On a purely human level, it’s easy to understand why someone who quit
politics for good a year ago erupts if they think the media is
taking pictures of their kids. I think all parents can relate to
Latham’s desire to keep his children out of the media now he is out of
politics.

It’s also clear Latham has complete and utter contempt for the media
and he’s not alone there. Lots of so-called ordinary Australians
probably feel the same way – there’s a strong distrust of journalists
and a perception that the media invades people’s privacy.

That said, the reality is that Latham remains a news commodity at both
the quality and tabloid end of the spectrum. People are interested in
what’s happened to him. And if you become a media commodity you don’t
get much say in how much privacy you have. You don’t get to call the
shots.

Media technologies have become domesticated and ubiquitous. It’s not
just media professionals who are out there potentially reporting or
taking photos – everyone’s got a camera in their mobile phone and
access to the internet to distribute images and gossip. The price of
fame has gone up significantly.