Grrr! Paparazzi v. Lohan

Actress/singer/model/whatever-will-get-her-mentioned-in-the-press Lindsay Lohan (search) got into yet another car crash this week — and yup, you guessed it, the paparazzi have been blamed.

Lohan insists she was fleeing a 20-strong crowd of photographers who were gathered outside a restaurant she was patronizing.

I don't doubt that the photogs were stalking the teen queen at the eatery. But this "I was being chased by paparazzi" act is getting old.

However, it's not fair to the celebrities who want to have a burger without worrying about a picture of them with ketchup smeared around their mouths appearing on the cover of Star magazine.

Imagine if every time you went out to eat, you had to be conscious of some photographer snapping away with a long-range lens.

Grrr! to the magazines who buy these less-than-flattering pictures.

That's why I featured Us Weekly chief Janice Min on The Real Deal (click here to watch). The celebrity-focused glossy has a standing policy to not buy pictures from photographers who are labeled as aggressive or who harass their subjects.

But it needs to go further than that.

Shows like "Access Hollywood" and "Entertainment Tonight" should have a "Paparazzi of the Day" segment to call out and admonish dangerous photographers on national television. They could also feature the good ones — like celebrity shooter Patrick McMullen (search) — who go about their business of snapping pics with class and integrity.

Look, there are two sides to every story, and celebrities willingly — if begrudgingly — give up a lot of the privacy that you and I have in our day-to-day lives.

After all, without the excessive exposure, their million-dollar lifestyles — and the lifestyles of their high-paid agents, public relations people, managers, stylists, hairdressers and makeup artists, to say nothing of their hangers-on ... err, best "friends" — would be in serious jeopardy.

But many of them are actually stalked and legitimately fear for their safety.

That said, there are also photographers out there who are just doing their job and are being unfairly lumped into this dangerous "paparazzi" category.

Regardless of the ongoing war between celebs and paparazzi, it seems like Lindsay Lohan is a bad driver.

We'll Always Have Paris

This just in ... Paris Hilton is not marrying Paris Latsis.

Who gives a flying Grrr? And why is this news? Why do the media cover this non-event? That's a very good, Grrring question.

I'll tell you why. Because we are a bunch of rubberneckers.

You know how angry you get when you are stuck in miles of traffic, only to discover that the cause of the jam was the massive rubbernecking of some little fender bender on the side of the road?

Well, there are millions of rubberneckers when it comes to the lives of celebrities, too. The more screwed up the life, the more they look.

Just to put it in perspective, (paid membership required) ranks the thousands of people listed in its database on a "Starmeter," which is based on how many searches a particular name gets each day.

Right now, Paris is No. 14. Brad Pitt is No. 18. Angelina Jolie is No. 10 and Johnny Depp is No. 2.

Oscar-winners Charlize Theron and Renée Zelwegger are No. 44 and No. 163 respectively. That should tell you how popular Hilton is in the world of celebrity — which still boggles my mind.

But Paris sells magazines and newspapers. She gets clicks on the Internet. She gets ratings on television.

Until she gets none of the above, well, "We'll always have Paris."

Sports Grrrs

You know what NFL pre-game shows need more of? Rap music.

I mean, watching a Donovan McNabb (search) interview on its own merit is, well, just not good enough. We need lots of cutaways, video effects and yes, rap music.

Because football players wouldn't be football players without rap music, right? At least that's what one can't help but think when watching a pre-game football show.

We call it "over-produced" in the television business. And it happens when the producer is inexperienced. Any producer who believes his or her piece needs a montage of mind-boggling quick cuts and effects set to rap music in order to make their piece worth airing is a producer who doesn't know how to tell a story.

Grrr! to the hype of rap music.

'Scoring in the Red Zone'

And speaking of sports, a newly published tome by broadcaster Spencer Tillman (search) is a motivational book based on the author's strong relationship with God.

Besides that, however, it's easier to score against the Baltimore Ravens defense than it is to get through to the message of "Scoring in the Red Zone: How to Lead Successfully When the Pressure Is On."

Now, Tillman is one of the nicest guys in broadcasting. He is often described as honorable and having integrity by his colleagues, and leads his life as if he's setting an example for hundreds of overpaid and immature professional athletes who could use a little guidance.

Tillman was an All-American football player at Oklahoma and went on to play with the Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers, where he also served as a team captain. Clearly, the author's credentials are impressive.

But as an author, Spencer doesn't score any touchdowns.

In football — in case you don't know — the red zone is the critical area inside the 20-yard line, where the stuff of defenses are made and quarterbacks become legends.

Tillman begins with a story about how he came to know his calling, after his mother, a missionary — among other noble callings — lost her long battle with diabetes. He then gives the reader a history lesson — essentially breaking down the plight of the Jews into a few pages, something to the effect of "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."

While it is nice to see a successful person in the world of big sports and media credit his success to a higher being with passages like, "As a leader, you need to imagine yourself as the quarterback and God as your offensive coordinator," Tillman gets preachy with pronouncements like "Kingdom work is not for the faint of heart or the easily distracted."

Unfortunately, neither is "Scoring in the Red Zone."

One becomes easily distracted trying to figure out where the point in the last few pages is. Tillman touches on too many concepts, like "crucible experiences," which he describes as:

"Transformational experiences that produce fundamental changes in the way you view life and your place in it. For example, a birth, a death, a new job, etc. The impact must be more than at the cognitive level, that is, simply understanding that it happened. In order for greatness to be realized, there must be a behavioral revolution as well. Old, unproductive habits die, and are replaced with new productive patterns. How these effect us are important because the most effective leaders are cause driven."

Huh? To me, a crucible experience was getting through this book.

Sorry Spence, but you told me to be honest.

Click here to read your Grrrs

Respond to Mike | Grrr! Lexicon

Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, writes the Grrr! Column and hosts the weekly "The Real Deal" webcast on and