Pictures of Meles Zenawi’s daughter posted on ER have become point of discussion everywhere. Some people argue that publicizing such picture is evasion of one’s privacy. They say that such act is unethical as families are “off limits” in public scrutiny.
This is not a matter of journalism ethics. Children of politicians are not left if there are reasons to scrutinize. Semhal Meles is daughter of a public figure. She brings this media attention upon herself by placing her lives in the limelight. She got coverage because she is an issue after the editor obtained her bizarre pictures, a picture one can never expect from the children of a prime minister.
Her picture was taken while she was carrying and training with a pistol, AK 47 machineguns. She drank like a river… with odd behaviors. This is an issue.
Take some examples in the USA. The daughters of George W. Bush were an issue of the media after they were caught drinking underage. Chelsea Victoria Clinton was left alone because she was not an issue at all.
Sarah Palin is another case in point. She is a politician. She had to know that her family would be scrutinized when she ran for Vice President of the United States. Is it unreasonable for her to expect the media to ignore her 17 year old, unmarried, five month pregnant daughter Bristol.
Why is Semhal so weird?
It is obvious that there is feeling of loneliness in Minilik palace. Being confined to one compound not being able to drive around in public, it seems that she felt isolated all the times. Meles Zenawi was once heard to say in a televised speech he gave to the Ethiopian public, he is under strong pressure from his children to enjoy the lives of ordinary people.
The pictures tell us a lot about Meles Zenawi’s three children: Semhal, Marda, Senay. They are confined to four corners, which is a virtually prison.
The picture that shows Samhal’s visit to Debrezeit says it all. She was surrounded by a battalion of army to protect her.
The girl is innocent but being a daughter of the ruthless criminal, Meles Zenawi doesn’t make her “off limits”.