The death of the great actor Philip Seymour Hoffman earlier this month led to lots of discussions and soul-searching, including among the media, of how to treat the subject of drug addiction. There’s a right way- as a tragedy and a disease- and a wrong way. Actually, a lot of wrong ways- calling the deceased addict a loser, wishing aloud that he could have loved his kids enough to will himself away from the drugs, blaming his death on liberalism or arguing that the addict’s death would’ve been more poignant had he instead succumbed to autoerotic asphyxiation.
But at least no media member ever hid outside and, multiple times, watched Hoffman buying drugs.
The New York Post has now crossed that line and more. It ran a piece Monday with the headline “Fisher visits shady LA apartment,” based on a “weeklong investigation” of Carrie Fisher, the “Star Wars” actress who has been candid about her longtime struggle with substance abuse. Reporter Hugo Daniel, sure to mock Fisher’s looks while reporting on her possible drug relapse, writes this:
The Post witnessed Fisher — who rocketed to global stardom as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” franchise and is set to reprise her role in the seventh installment of the space saga next year — repeatedly visit a downtrodden Hollywood apartment, meet with someone in her car and then behave bizarrely as she made a beeline back home.
The Post observed a messy-mopped Fisher, 57, hardly looking regal in a giant black trench coat, waiting in her car while one of two women rushed down from the apartment to hop in the passenger seat for no more than 30 seconds at a time.
The pal then got out and returned to the apartment — and the actress drove straight home.
In one instance, Fisher was seen sitting in a car as a pal appears to hide something concealed in a folded piece of cardboard.
There’s also a two-minute video, in which we see Fisher – how dare she- walking into a car and getting in. In all, there’s nothing here that shows more than circumstantially that Fisher was actually buying drugs.
Look- this stuff is cruel to the point of near-sociopathy. This isn’t a actor being caught with his mistress, or a politician filmed red-handed accepting bribes or something. This is an actress who has struggled with addiction for decades, and a “reporter” hiding in the bushes to try to catch her doing it again.
Either Fisher has relapsed, and it’s a tragedy, or she hasn’t, and she’s essentially been libeled. Either way, the Post should be ashamed of themselves for running this.
They say the rules – both economic and journalistic- just don’t apply to the New York Post. For one thing, no other paper would employ a sneering, hateful loon like Andrea Peyser for as long as they have. But this is beyond that. This is the worst of tabloid garbage and any flack they take for it will be richly deserved.