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Chasing Amanda Bynes: Is it ethical for outlets to pursue interviews with a damaged star?

A Britney Spears-sized vacuum in our culture demands to be filled.

Britney Spears, in 2007 and early 2008, was notable not merely for a particular sort of aimless wandering through Los Angeles but an alternately hostile and coddling relationship with the press. She'd alternately romance a paparazzo and scream at the cameras who followed her around. An Allure magazine cover from the period, for which Spears consented to be photographed but not interviewed, said it all: "Britney Spears Tells Us Nothing -- and Everything."

Spears and the paparazzi, as documented in Rolling Stone and the Atlantic, had a symbiotic relationship. She rejected and sought their attention, all at once, on days-long, caffeinated drives to nowhere. But by now, with a return to apparent health and two albums and a season of TV under her belt, Spears is no longer the object of prurient interest she'd once been.

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