November 20, 2019

Jennifer Lawrence’s Nude Pics Are Boobies in a Coal Mine

I read Bob Lefsetz almost as often as I listen to Howard Stern.

If Howard Stern and Andy Rooney had a baby, and it was raised by Joe Smith—out would come Lefsetz.  He’s contrary,  smart and cranky, he can’t speak but the honest truth, and he knows the music business inside out, like Joe.

Today, Bob Lefsetz weighed in on the Jennifer Lawrence nudie pics, and this is one of those rare occasions when I feel he needs to be guided back onto the rails.

His argument was a little too predictably cranky, and it boiled down to this: it serves them right.  Someone reached into the iCloud and pulled down naked and sexual pics these women have of themselves, then posted them for all of us to see.  Celebrities are shocked by this?  Lefsetz is shocked that they’re shocked.  How dare they be shocked, he writes.

“Oh, of course I feel sorry for Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton and the rest of the cadre whose names I don't recognize,” writes Bob. “But it really makes me wonder if they live in the real world. Are they so busy flying private and staying at the Four Seasons that they don't know what's going on?”

But Lefsetz is only half right.  Celebrities shouldn’t be surprised that people will go to any length to see them clothed or naked—that goes with the job.  They are magnets for us, period.  I once drove a half  hour farther than I had to on the Santa Monica Freeway just so I could keep pace and occasionally glance inside the car beside me—whose driver was Mel Brooks.  And he was fully clothed.

But yes, if these actresses had stopped to think, maybe it’s not a good idea to leave nude traces of yourself where even on the off off off chance, they could fall into the wrong hands. This is all true.

What Lefsetz leaves out is that this phenomenon should raise alarms for us all.  On many levels.

First, it is a crime.  Someone stole something that didn’t belong to them, then did something illegal with it.  If I take your jewels, it doesn’t make me less of a criminal if I give them all away for free. 

Second, if it could happen to Jennifer Lawrence, it could happen to me.  No, not my thousands of fully nude selfies—I keep those framed all over my office. I mean the credit card number I give Amazon.  My social security number, my passport number, my bank account. 

See, Bob, we should be grateful that people care so deeply about celebrity boobies that they would go to the extreme of breaking into the iCloud just to grab a peak.  That shows us that we are all vulnerable.  No offense to Jennifer, but better her body than my mortgage application.

Not your problem?  What about the millions of people who one day will depend on broadband to get a consultation from a doctor, or even a procedure—will they be stupid for trusting the internet that their bodies won’t end up on all our screens—much less their medical history?

The Internet is a boon to the elderly, infirm and the poor who can take care of business without going out, losing work hours, or leaving a bed—but who’s making sure their information—from Xrays sent to radiologists to scholarship applications—is safe?

We need a safer internet, period.  I cringe when I enter valuable personal information online, but increasingly, we simply have no choice.  Medical, financial, insurance. employment records – it all will end up there.  I simply don’t think we have to accept as inevitable that what is most precious to us—whether pictures of our sex lives or CAT scans of our brains—is easy pickings for others.

And when the prurient minds that went after boobies one day decide to go after the boring and more important stuff—we’ll all wish we’d took this celebrity outrage more seriously.