Should Celebs Put Their Infants on Display In The Media?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 7, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Back of the Book" segment tonight, please believe me when I tell you I have absolutely no interest in the lives of celebrities, none. Paris Hilton was arrested overnight for DUI. I don't care. She should be prosecuted like anybody else.

But I must admit that it makes me queasy when I see famous people putting their kids in the media, babies on display. That kind of thing. That's not right. Or am I wrong?

With us now Katrina Szish, a contributing editor for Us Weekly, a celebrity magazine.

All right. You tell me where I'm wrong. Look, these are babies. They're little children, all right. They should be out of the public eye. Nobody should be bothering them. You had a childhood. That's No. 1.

No. 2, to take your own flesh and blood and market that — I don't care what they say about charity, this, that, and the other thing — market it to bring you fame, fortune, good publicity is just low. Is it not?

KATRINA SZISH, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, US WEEKLY: I think when you put it that way in terms of these celebrities maybe exploiting children, of course, that sounds terrible.

However, a lot of these celebrities realize, as celebrities, that people love to know every little nitty-gritty detail of their lives.


SZISH: So they're going to — people then will try any means necessary to see their babies. So I think the ones who immediately are like, "OK, here is my baby now leave me alone," I think they're doing it to allow that childhood.

O'REILLY: But they're not going to leave them alone anyway. You know that, Katrina. Your magazine has to fill pages. Every newspaper in the country. It's not like we'll give you one shot and they'll leave us alone forever. That's not what happened. So that's a bogus argument.

That's what they say, but it's not true, because the paparazzi is going to stalk Cruise and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It doesn't matter. They're going to get as many pictures as they can. This is a deliberate attempt by Tom Cruise and by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to make Americans like them. "Oh, look at the cute little baby. They're just like you and me."

Boy, I'm telling you it's wrong. It's wrong.

SZISH: It is bizarre. It is very strange. However, Hollywood is a bizarre place. And just the same way that people — there is a market for wanting to know what goes on in these celebrities' lives. These celebrities choose that life for themselves, and whether it's right or wrong they still do it.

O'REILLY: Why doesn't society say, "Hey, knock it off you people?" Look, I loathe the paparazzi. All right? I hate them. I think they're the worst. The celebrity press is intrusive. They're dishonest most of the time.

SZISH: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: But I'm telling you, you've got Britney Spears. You've got Brooke Shields, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, all of these people getting money, marketing their children, OK? And I am just outraged by it. I really am.

SZISH: But if the celebrities said, for example, the Tom Cruise example they said, "We're not going to show pictures of Suri for a while."

O'REILLY: Right, get lost. It's my kid.

SZISH: And everybody thought the kid must be an alien. It has to be deformed. Does it exist?

O'REILLY: So let everybody think the kid is an alien. All right? Let that happen. Look, these are performers. These are people who act or who do things in the public eye. Nobody has a right to know about their private lives, and nobody has a right to know about their children. And they're rich enough to hire security to make it very difficult for you to penetrate that wall.

I mean, the Cruise kid you didn't even see this kid for, what? Six months or seven months? Nobody saw.

SZISH: About four months.

O'REILLY: All right. Because Cruise is rich enough to buy protection. And then he splashes it out on a magazine, and you know why he's doing it.

SZISH: I think the Cruise example is one where he waited that amount of time to make a big splash. I do agree with you on that. I do think that.

O'REILLY: What do you think of that?

SZISH: I think that is reprehensible, and I think it is a case-by-case thing. I do think the Angelina and Brad example, people were going to hound them. They were very...

O'REILLY: No, no, no. You know what that was all about? That was all about Jennifer Aniston.

SZISH: We're a happy family.

O'REILLY: Yes. That was all about hosing Jennifer Aniston that people like her and said, "Oh, no, no, no. We're not so bad. We have a cute baby."

SZISH: That's a very interesting point but then again...

O'REILLY: Awful.

SZISH: As you said before, why won't the general public step back and say this is wrong? The thing is most people out there, they want to see it.

O'REILLY: Yes, yes.

SZISH: Even if they think it's wrong they want to see it, and that's what sells magazines.

O'REILLY: All right. I'm going to make a law against that. Arrest them all. Then we'll have a big story. Thanks, Katrina.

SZISH: Thank you.

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