Over the weekend, a hacker posted nude photos of actresses including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande, Mila Kunis, Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele, Christina Aguilera, and Kirsten Dunst, among others. This prompted rightful anger on all sides of the aisle, as well as an FBI investigation.
Then, comedian Ricky Gervais suggested that perhaps the best way to avoid hacked photos of your naughty bits being distributed on the internet would be for you to not put your naughty bits on your iPhone.
It is indisputable that given the technological advances of the past few years, a cautious person would not place pictures of his or her genitals on an iPhone. But Gervais’ comments brought hell down upon him from the Hollywood left, which ignored his point entirely and somehow imagined that Gervais had justified phone hacking. Lena Dunham of Girls fame, who has become famous largely for putting her naked body on display, fired at Gervais: “The ‘don’t take naked pics if you don’t want them online’ argument is the ‘she was wearing a short skirt’ of the web. Ugh…The way in which you share your body must be a CHOICE. Support these women and do not look at these pictures.” Seth Rogan added that hacking “shouldn’t be tolerated.”
Dunham and Rogan are correct, although they didn’t need to smack down Gervais to make the point (Gervais undoubtedly was not defending or justifying phone hacking). We do have a rightful expectation of privacy. That means our private communications are nobody else’s business.
Well, unless you’re a racist. Or religious. Or a Republican. Then, we can leak out your private communications and force you to sell your assets.
This is the hypocrisy of the privacy-first left: they’re all for privacy, except when they’re not. At least right-wingers and libertarians believe that privacy is privacy, and that all communications in private ought to stay that way. Folks on the left believe that Bill Clinton lying before Congress about inserting cigars into the orifices of interns in the Oval Office is a privacy issue, but that Donald Sterling expressing his views on race to his girlfriend in a private phone call is not.
Filmmaker Spike Lee said regarding Sterling, “He’s got to go because he’s tainting all the other 29 partners, he’s tainting the league and he’s tainting America. And when you hear something like that, that is a mentality of a slave master. He sees his players as slaves.” And NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated, without reference to the fact that Sterling’s tapes were leaked even though his comments were private, “The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful; that they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”
Donald Sterling: bad guy. Therefore, his privacy is of no account. Actresses: good. Therefore, their privacy is of the highest possible value.
In 2008, Governor Sarah Palin’s email address was allegedly hacked by members of Anonymous. Rick Davis, then-spokesman for the McCain-Palin campaign, stated, “This is a shocking invasion of the governor’s privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities, and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them. We will have no further comment.” The public reaction, however, was muted.
The same held true in 1998 when nude photos of radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger from age 28 were posted online. Naturally, E! Online snarked, “although the world can now admire her old cheesecake-posturing ways on the Club Love (www.clublove.com) porn site, Dr. Laura’s apparently not giving up her holier-than-thou pronouncements anytime soon.”
We now live in a world where privacy is a one-way street. Depending on who you are, it’s a privilege you’re granted; depending on who you’re not – namely, a member of the approved list for the American left – privacy is out the window.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.