Images of Issues: Typifying Contemporary Social Problems

by Joel Best; Aldine De Gruyter, 1989

The construction of star-stalking as a crime problem typified victims as celebrities--actors and actresses, television personalities, and political figures. Claimsmakers referred to such celebrity victims as talk show hosts David Letterman and Johnny Carson, author Stephen King, actor Michael J. Fox and actresses Jodie Foster, Theresa Saldana, and Sharon Gless, singers Olivia Newton-John and Sheena Easton, and musician John Lennon ( Cosgrove 1990; Geraldo 1990). Several of these examples were not current; the harassment had occurred years earlier. During 1989 and 1990, national magazine articles and television broadcasts presented 16 typifying examples of stalking; 11 (69%) involved celebrity victims. In every other year, celebrity victims were a minority among the examples.

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