The Instigator
Debate.here
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
35 Points

The private lives of public figures. Should they be disclosed?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Con Tied Pro
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision - Required
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,246 times Debate No: 17516
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (7)

 

Debate.here

Con

I will first start of by stating two of my opinions.

This issue about the private lives of celebrities has become a subject of heated debate these days. Coming from such a polemic is two-pole opinion to the issue, which is either the allowing of disclosure of private materials of public figures by the press or not. From our my point of view, the revealing of public figures' private conducts should be prohibited.

Let us now think about the first negative influence of exposing private conducts of public figures. The expose of personal conducts carries with it a devastating consequence. To be more specific, the exposure of anyone's private parts in life, not to mention the public figures who are far more vulnerable to such action, can cause a solvable problem get out of one's control and do unnecessary additional damage to the person concerned. Take David Beckham for example. The stories of him seeing another woman were disclosed by the media, and this wrecked every thought of him being a righteous football legend and a devoted father to his family. Even without having the media talking about his wrongdoing and the public criticizing him for such action, he would've carried out the legal obligations imposed by the court, and paid for his misdeed. However, the stories were made public, and Beckham had to suffer not only from all the legal punishments, but also from all those gossips and insulting comments from the public, which was definitely uncalled for.

2. On top of that, the disclosing of personal materials can interfere with important issues such as politics. The exposure of private lives of politicians can have a needless influence on voters, causing a personal, and unprofessional interpretation on them, leading to the election of a less capable candidate and therefore a less efficient government. When we elect a politician for our nation, we should care more about the suitability and the capabilities of him rather than the personal details or hidden aspects of their lives. However, if private conducts or details of the politician is publicized, people either unwittingly or consciously come to think of him as a man of a faulty character. That is, for example, the exposed personal conducts of a competent politician, who also happens to be an undevoted father and a husband, might prevent him from being elected despite of his prowess in politics, by making the public perceive him as untrustworthy, thus unsuitable for the position.
RoyLatham

Pro

The Resolution

1.1 Although he has identified as Con, Con is proponent of the resolution "Exposing the private conduct of public figures should be prohibited." He has the burden of proof and the responsibility to defend the resolution

1.2 The resolution applies to all public figures. Con says "private conducts of pubic figures. He cites sports figures and politicians in particular. That includes media celebrities such as actors, sports figures, musicians, people who succeed at pretending to be musicians, and reality TV stars. It also includes politicians, community leaders, leaders of social movements and organizations (labor unions, Tea Party movements, single-issue causes), and religious leaders.

1.3 We have to deduce exactly who is prevented from disclosing personal details. Con seems to imply that stories by the media should be prohibited. So if a political opponent of former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer discovers the Governor's escapades with prostitutes, it would be okay for the opponent to publish a book, blog about it on the Internet, or print and distribute campaign fliers with the information. The New York Times, however, could not report the story. Con should clarify: is it only the media who are restricted, or is everyone restricted? How about the public figure directly? Political candidates uniformly give biographical information about their education and numerous good deeds. President Obama wrote two books about himself. Michele Bachmann tells of her raising a couple dozen foster children. If stories of bad behavior should be suppressed because it causes celebrities to be viewed unfavorably, perhaps unfairly, then shouldn't stories of good behavior be suppressed on the the grounds of influence? As written, the resolution seems to prohibit any personal information by anyone toe reported in the media. Newspapers can't report that President Obama went to college, because that's personal.

My point here is that attempts to draw lines about what personal information is reportable and what is not are bound to fail. Similarly, lines on who ca report are also bound to fail. To support the resolution, Con must make the attempt to draw those lines. The challenge to Con is to define who should be allowed to say what.

1.4 If something is prohibited, there must be an entity that determines what cannot said or written, and imposes penalties for breaking the bans. There is no possibility other than government. therefore the resolution calls for government censorship based upon what the government considers to be private behavior. If a lobbiest has dinner with a Senator, is that public or private? If the Senator has dinner with her illicit boyfriend, is that public or private? Government will decide, and the answer may depend upon whether the Senator is in the Party in power or the opposition.

2. The resolution prohibits free speech

In the United States, forbidding publication of a true story requires amending the Constitution. How would that amendment be worded? Restrictions on free speech to protect the reputations of political leaders are the stack and trade of dictators. North Korea's Kim is a dictator known for having a lavish lifestyle while he starves and represses his people. Wait, under the resolution no one will be allowed to report that. He is a public figure and hence immune from personal criticism.

The resolution should be rejected on free speech grounds alone. Free speech is vital to the survival of democracy in the world, and protecting poor David Beckham's privacy or Kim Il Jung's privacy is woefully short of good reason to abandon the principle.

There are already laws against slander and libel. Publishing lies is not legal under the present system. All that is at issue is the right to publish the truth.

3. Lying by public figures should be subject to public scrutiny

3.1 Con, I think,assumes there is a bright line between what is private behavior and what is relevant to job performance. David Beckham's performance as an athlete is indeed unlikely to be affected by his extramarital affairs, and it's quite unlikely that his reputation as an athlete will be affected. Babe Ruth has long been notorious for his excesses with food, drink,and especial, prostitutes, http://www.nypost.com... It's had no effect on his legend as an athlete. Athletes, actors, and rock stars are usually not much harmed y truthful revelations. There are exceptions, such as Tiger Woods, who sold a squeaky-clean image.

The government has no business prohibiting a false image from being exposed. If a clean image has commercial value, as with Woods or Beckham, then the pubic deserves to know the reality as a matter of truth in advertising. If there is no effect on the commercial value, as with Ruth or rock stars, then there is no need to suppress the truth.

3.2 American evangelical pastor Ted Haggard preached against gay rights, but was discovered to have homosexual affairs and to have taken methamphetamine. He eventually admitted the allegations were true. http://en.wikipedia.org... Drugs and sex are his personal business, but they are also relevant to his job as a preacher soliciting contributions from the faithful. Incidentally, he has at least partially recovered from the scandal and his a new church consistent with his proclaimed bisexuality.

In general, religious figures are often held to certain standards by their followers, and the followers have a right to know if their trust has been violated. Government has no business deciding what is personal and therefore ought to be suppressed.

3.3 For politicians, it's fair to judge their character overall. Presidential candidate Gary Hart ran in 1988 and "was considered a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination until various news organizations reported that he was having an extramarital affair." http://en.wikipedia.org... Amid rumors, Hart invited the press to follow him around and try to uncover extramarital affairs, because, he claimed, there were none. The press did so, and discovered he lied. Lying is often a larger problem than the naughty behavior. When or not we think that extramarital affairs or lying about them ought to counted against a politician, it's not up to us to decide. Voters in the Democratic primaries deserved access to the facts, so they could decide if he was the best candidate.

I think Clinton would not have been impeached had he said, "Ahh've been a baaad boy, and Hillary's gonna kick my butt. But it's a private matter, so pass the fries and let's get on with government.". Sure, there would have been a kerfuffle, but his redundant lying was the big problem. Lying may be private behavior, but it is relevant to being a political leader. For government officials, it also subjects them to potential extortion. The line between public and private is again blurred.

There is long list of political scandals and attempts to cover them. Presidential candidate John Edwards lied to cover up his illegitimate child http://en.wikipedia.org... He may have used campaign funds as part of the cover up, or maybe he didn't. Governor Mark Sanford used a story of"hiking the Appalachian Trail to cover up a long-range extramarital affair. He may or may not have placed his State in some jeopardy by being unreachable, http://en.wikipedia.org... Under the resolution, these scandals would have to go unreported unless and until a determination was made that a matter of public interest was at stake.

There are many catgories of personal information: work habits, treatment of employees or associaes, religious beliefs, affiliations with interest groups, treatment of hildren, instances of (legal) dishonesty, associations with shady characters, habits, and hobbies. the public should decide what's relevant to leadership.


Debate Round No. 1
Debate.here

Con

Debate.here forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Pro

Pro's profile shows he hasn't been on the site since posting the challenge.

Arguments are continued.
Debate Round No. 2
Debate.here

Con

Debate.here forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Pro

I called Con "Pro" in the last round, sorry. He stll hasn't returned to the site.

Arguments are continued.
Debate Round No. 3
Debate.here

Con

Debate.here forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Pro

Con posted a coherent opening case, so I thought it might be a good debate. Wrong.

Arguments are continued.
Debate Round No. 4
Debate.here

Con

Debate.here forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Pro

Pro argued that publicity can make the private problems of celebrities worse. I argued that although free speech may make some situations worse, that's not grounds for a blanket prohibition on free speech in the whole area. We have laws against libel and slander, so what we are talking about is publishing facts. Perhaps the libel laws ought to be tweaked with regard to celebrities, but the debate is only about outright prohibition. For religious leaders and political leaders, the public has every right to have access to facts relevant to the character of the individual. I gave a number of examples. I also pointed out that government would have to decide what is "private" an what is "public," so that is an invitation to corruption in which the government has the power to cover up the serious moral defects and hypocrisies of its leaders.

Con did not rebut any of my arguments; he provided no references to support his claims; and he forfeited four rounds,

The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Con is using a picture of a severely overloaded table of food as his icon. I was going to make the joke "... and I demand to know how Con got a picture of my lunch." Then it occurred to me that Con could change his icon picture to something entirely different. Skip that one.
Posted by Rabid.Penguin 5 years ago
Rabid.Penguin
He also used David Beckham as an example. I think he should focus the debate on public servants though. It would make for a more interesting debate, especially if you focus more on elected officials.
Posted by aircraftmechgirl 5 years ago
aircraftmechgirl
I would think that based on his example toward the end of a man who did not get voted for due to his personal life, he is referring to politicians. I say jump on it. ;)
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Define "public figures." If you're talking about celebrities, then I've got no disagreement. If you're talking about elected officials, then I'll take this.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Debate.hereRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's counter-arguments were substantial and required rebuttal, of which none ever came, so arguments to Pro. Pro was the only debater to use sources, and because the sources helped make the winning argument, source points go to Pro. Conduct to Pro for Con's round forfeits.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Debate.hereRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 5 years ago
jm_notguilty
Debate.hereRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO suc. rebutted, CON forfeited.
Vote Placed by jewgirl 5 years ago
jewgirl
Debate.hereRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: F.
Vote Placed by SuperRobotWars 5 years ago
SuperRobotWars
Debate.hereRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Spelling was good but the rest of it all goes to Pro.
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
Debate.hereRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
Debate.hereRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins through forfeit.