Wake up, Kate; photogs are always watching
updated 6:20 AM EDT, Thu September 20, 2012
- Roland Martin: Michael Jordan, aware of his image, kept covered up, even in locker room
- He says Jordan could advise Kate Middleton: In media-obsessed world, cover up
- He says royals can be aghast if they want, but lurid pictures sell and people want to be shocked
- Martin: The world of privacy is gone, not coming back; if you're famous,don't sunbathe naked
Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."
(CNN) -- When basketball legend Michael Jordan talked to the press after a Chicago Bulls or Washington Wizards game, fans never got to see the superstar with sweat dripping from his brow or a towel wrapped around his waist after emerging from the shower.
Consciously aware of his image, Jordan would dress in a side room and not in the main locker room with the other players. So when he emerged, he was suited and booted. Some players would walk around naked, oblivious to the strangers standing there; others had towel wraps on, even dressing with members of the media standing not 10 feet away.
Maybe Jordan should put in a call to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and the wife of Prince William, and give her a lesson or two on what you need to do in this media-obsessed world -- now that photos of her breasts have been published by a French newspaper.
Brits are aghast at the breach of protocol, and Buckingham Palace is threatening legal action. Good luck with that. They are better off sitting Kate down with the same person who had to counsel Prince Harry after his butt-naked romp in a Las Vegas suite.
Royals to sue over nude photos
Look, I'm not the least bit insensitive to the shock and horror of the young married couple seeing magazine photos of themselves sunbathing on private property in France. Yet my mama and daddy always taught me that if you don't want someone to see your private parts, then don't show them in public for someone to see.
UK royals want criminal case over pics
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are carried as they bid farewell in Tuvalu on Wednesday, September 19. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -- on a tour marking the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II -- are visiting Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. See more of CNN's best photography.
Photos: William and Kate visit Far East
Over decades now, we have become accustomed to the crazed antics of the paparazzi invading the personal space of celebrities. Pantyless shots of Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton getting out of cars? Check. No-talent celebrities like Kim Kardashian starring in sex tapes to pave the way to the land of riches? Check. Cell phone videos of celebs doing whatever to whomever they want in nightclubs? Check.
Our culture not only has accepted it, we revel in it. Seriously, do you think all of those celebrity magazines and websites with photos of stars walking to the store to get coffee lose money? No. We live in the age of voyeurism, and the long lenses of the paparazzi satisfy our insatiable desire for the garbage.
"Mindless entertainment" is what I've heard folks call it. Just mindless is how I'll classify it.
Irish tabloid publishes topless royal photos
It would be great if celebs could be themselves. And it's terrible that folks can't drop the pretenses and have dinner with friends without thinking someone has a phone video camera on them and is capturing private remarks. But that world left us long ago, and it's not coming back. As long as photographers can reap six-figure pay days, and websites can rack up millions of page views and charge advertisers more money, every boob shot of a celeb will be shown.
Call it despicable and degrading, but it also creates a situation that requires common sense. Kate, unless you know for sure that no one else's prying eyes -- or camera -- will see you, don't sunbathe naked.
All of the screaming and righteous indignation won't do a darn thing to stop the next celeb or royal family member who chooses to show up in his or her birthday suit. Blame the photographer all day (and it's a job I would never want). But if she never takes the top off outside, we're not having this discussion.
Right, Michael Jordan?
Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.
Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roland Martin.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:24 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
Pepper Schwartz says with the constant drumbeat of scandals in armed forces, the military must require education programs to teach men self control, address culture of sexual entitlement
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
Gayle Sulik says the reason the BRCA1 gene mutation test for breast cancer risk -- the one Angelina Jolie had -- costs so much is that a company owns the gene and sets the price.
updated 10:26 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
John Sutter says the Scouts' plan to welcome gay Scouts but not gay adult Scout leaders doesn't make sense.
updated 9:53 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
Dean Obeidallah, Margaret Hoover and John Avlon's Big Three podcast takes on the New York mayoral race's new candidate, GOP hypocrisy in Oklahoma relief funding and Bloomberg's comment on who shouldn't go to college
updated 9:25 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
Despite dramatic terrorist incidents, the terror threat that led to 9/11 has been defeated, and Obama is right to say the U.S. should move on, says Peter Bergen
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
The Louisiana governor says there's a common theme in the IRS controversy, the seizure of phone records from The Associated Press, and the efforts to rally support for Obamacare.
updated 8:20 AM EDT, Thu May 23, 2013
Melissa Brymer says children need special attention to recover from the trauma of the tornado, and parents must be patient and calm
updated 7:38 AM EDT, Thu May 23, 2013
Will Marshall says Tim Cook was grilled about Apple's tax practices but the real culprit is a dysfunctional tax system.
updated 9:44 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
Peter Bergen says there's a great deal of misinformation about the counterterrorism policies President Obama will address in a speech Thursday.
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
Two decades ago, Joshua Prager was one of more than 20 people in a terrible bus crash. The author revisits the scene to see how others have made sense of the event.
updated 4:20 PM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
Joshua Wurman says tornado deaths can be reduced, prediction and preparedness can be improved, but it's up to individuals to make sure they heed warnings and have a safe place to go.
updated 10:57 AM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
Ruben Navarette says under Obama, a record number of immigrants have been deported. So why is his drive for immigration reform now in conflict with enforcement officials?
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
Nathan Gunter says Okies have learned to love the big sky, but also to watch it carefully for signs of trouble: When the sky betrays us, we cope by helping one another.
updated 9:33 AM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
LZ Granderson says the heroics of teachers who shielded kids in the Oklahoma tornado remind us of what they do for our country
updated 7:26 AM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
Tornado researcher Louis Wicker says progress is being made on understanding and predicting extreme storms, but if you hear a warning, take cover immediately
updated 7:29 AM EDT, Tue May 21, 2013
The masked henchmen grabbed three fingers on each of the Syrian political cartoonist's hands and pulled them back all the way -- so far that they cracked.
updated 11:22 AM EDT, Mon May 20, 2013
Meg Urry says loss of the failing, planet-finding Kepler satellite would be huge for NASA--but one way or another, it's a matter of time before we find signs of life on other worlds
updated 12:21 PM EDT, Tue May 21, 2013
Yahoo isn't buying a technology company so much as the community that uses it, Douglas Rushkoff says
updated 11:15 AM EDT, Tue May 21, 2013
Joseph Nye says it's far too early to write off the rest of the president's second term because of the IRS controversy, other issues
updated 7:32 AM EDT, Mon May 20, 2013
Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton write that people pass up opportunities to spend their money to avoid disagreeable tasks
updated 9:45 AM EDT, Sun May 19, 2013
Bob Greene on how 18th century Americans tried to make sense of the day with no sun
updated 8:57 PM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
With guest Rep. Keith Ellison, John Avlon, Margaret Hoover and Dean Obeidallah discuss the president's scandal trifecta, hope for immigration and what Jolie's revelation means for women.
updated 1:09 PM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
The press has turned on President Obama with a vengeance, writes Howard Kurtz
updated 2:01 PM EDT, Sat May 18, 2013
Donna Brazile says our democracy is endangered, not by the Russians, North Korea, Iran or even terrorists. To quote Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us."
updated 1:59 PM EDT, Sat May 18, 2013
Photographer Arne Svenson defends his show "Neighbors," portraits of the occupants of a building near him taken through their windows.
updated 9:37 AM EDT, Mon May 20, 2013
Theater critic Kevin Williamson was kicked out of a play when he took the phone away from an audience member and threw it. He says it was worth it.
updated 10:25 AM EDT, Sat May 18, 2013
Gil Welch says women must not panic over Angelina Jolie's mastectomies: 99% of women don't carry the BRCA1 gene.
updated 4:52 AM EDT, Sat May 18, 2013
JR's "Inside Out" project brings public spaces alive with giant representations of people
updated 3:22 PM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
Roger Colinvaux says the IRS scandal is fundamentally about disclosure of donors, not tax-exempt status.
updated 11:14 AM EDT, Thu May 16, 2013
Maia Goodell says the military should use civil legal remedies on sexual assault cases.