June 22, 2008 – Malibu area beachgoers attacked a group of paparazzi as they photographed Matthew McConaughey surfing at Little Dume on Saturday, June 21. The incident was videotaped and can be seen on websites TMZ.com and x17video.com.
The edited video shows a group of approximately 14 caucasian male adults in their early to mid-twenties, some holding and drinking what appears to be alcoholic beverages, approaching a group of photographers. A verbal confrontation begins when the beachgoers suggest a ‘fight for the beach’ with the beachgoers taking on the photographers—-call it Westward Beach Side Story. The video then shows one of the beachgoers, let’s call him Britney (for the beer pouch, not the zip code, he shares with Ms. Spears), approach one of the photographers in an aggressive manner. The photographer tells Britney, “I have called the police, they are coming right now.” Another photographer berates the group of men saying, “you look stupid right now.”
He nailed it.
The confrontation escalates with various verbal darts hurled from both sides. The video then shows the beachgoers gaining valuable ground as the photographers back up in unison. Things get shaky at this point but it appears as if a beachgoer grabs one of the photographers’ cameras as the other beachgoers flank and surround one of the slower photographers. Then Britney dares the photographer to “hit me.” In what could be described as a defensive attack, or General Custards last stand, the photographer swings his camera laden monopod striking Britney twice. The video goes “Blair Witch Project”, lots of commotion, screaming and upside down camera angles with room for a really bad sequel.
Many of the reporting websites are suggesting the confrontational beachgoers are actually surfers protecting their turf. If wearing the latest brand of boardshorts makes you a surfer, then yes, they were surfers. That same logic would make Borat a diplomat and me a golfer. The video does not show any of the confrontational beachgoers actually riding waves or holding surfboards.
Surfers or not, the video is disturbing.
According to KTLA.com, as of Sunday police have made no arrests, although one photographer filed a battery report.
The paparazzi in and around Malibu, known as “pap packs” or “paps” have drawn the ire of local residents. According to an AP report, the city’s Mayor, Pamela Conley Ulich, has turned to Kenneth Starr, investigator of the Monica/Clinton mess, and dean of the law school at Pepperdine University in Malibu, to help draft an ordinance to protect the town’s famous from attaining unwanted or unsolicited publicity. According to the report, many Malibu residents complain of black SUVs driving recklessly through the streets in irresponsible attempts to capture images of Malibu’s elite.
It is still not known whether McConaughey caught any good waves.