Say you're an image-conscious celebrity and there’s an embarrassing medical emergency happening at your house, perhaps your own. Will you dial 911 now that you’ve heard the Demi Moore tapes?
In the heavily redacted 911 call, a woman describes the actress “having convulsions” after she “smoked something . . . similar to incense.”George Clooney denounced the tape’s release as privacy invasion — but L.A. police say it’s public information and they had no choice but to release it.
If you’re a Beltway VIP, you may be in luck!
911 dirt isn’t as easy to get around here as in California, according to a legal guide from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Maryland releases tapes but edits out medical symptoms. Virginia holds back details that could jeopardize a person’s “safety or privacy.” D.C. law doesn’t address 911 tapes, but journalists say they’re hard to get, with police arguing it could hinder investigations. The laws are looser in Florida, where the 911 tapes of college football coach Urban Meyer’s 2009 heart scare made for vivid TV news drama.
Why should we have the right to hear this stuff? It’s not voyeurism, argues the committee’s Mark Caramanica: “We need to know how government is responding to emergencies. . . You have to consider the larger picture of what you’d be losing if you don’t have that access.”
Read earlier: Demi Moore and the showbiz plague of ‘exhaustion,’ 1/25/12
Demi Moore 911 call released, 1/27/12