Oh, to be famous. We’ve all at some point dreamt of seeing our names plastered on billboards and TV screens, being interviewed on Larry King Live, or being featured in an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless.
But is fame worth the baggage that comes with it? Consider the recent troubles of a few public figures…
Time for Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) to cut and run. Seems that Mr. Foley had taken an interest in a 16 year-old boy who worked as a page for Representative Rodney Alexander (R-LA). Hey Mark… did you think this would go unnoticed?
Foley sent a series of e-mails to the page, at one point asking him what he’d like for his birthday and even went as far as requesting a picture of the kid. The page, to his credit, referred to Foley’s actions as “sick.”
Mr. Foley has tendered his resignation to both House Speaker Hastert and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Whether Mr. Foley ends up being charged for his behavior remains to be seen.
Jeanine Pirro is presently running as the Republican candidate for State Attorney General in New York. Unfortunately, Mrs. Pirro has an idiot for a husband. The man has a history of philandering, and he’s done some hard time for tax fraud, too.
More recently, a tape of a conversation made over a year ago has been leaked to the media. In this tape, Mrs. Pirro was speaking with friend and former NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik regarding the possibility of bugging her husband’s boat. She suspected at that time that her old hubby was again engaged in an illicit affair, and she was looking for proof.
Mrs. Pirro says that while she considered the idea, she never acted upon it. The conversation was taped by the FBI because they were investigating Kerik in a separate matter. Isn’t it odd that the tape would surface now, so close to election time? I’m sure this is only a coincidence. The Democrats would never stoop to leaking private information for political reasons, right?
Would anyone care about this if Mrs. Pirro was just another anonymous citizen? Of course not. But Mrs. Pirro is a fairly high-profile political figure, and while the timing of the tape’s release is questionable at best, this is the kind of thing that so often comes back to haunt those who live in the spotlight.
And what about Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens? Terrell isn’t “just” an NFL star. He’s a controversial superstar who has in the past made a habit of letting his mouth get him into trouble. And here he is in his first season as a Cowboy and he’s already sidelined with an injury. Dallas Police recently responded to a 911 call and found Terrell in a drugged stupor with an empty pill bottle nearby. The media went into a feeding frenzy, speculating upon whether Terrell had a drug problem, or if he’d attempted suicide.
As it turns out, it was neither. The bottle was almost empty before he took a prescribed dose (painkillers for his injury), and Terrell’s condition was the result of an unanticipated drug interaction with legal dietary supplements. Now the sports media, which is no less predatory than the leftist “political media” has been forced into damage control mode.
Consider this little tidbit from Owens’ publicist, Kim Etheredge:
"I am just upset that I just feel they take advantage of Terrell. Had this been someone else, this may not have happened."Sorry Kim, but it wasn’t “someone else.” Your client happens to be one of the most recognizable names in sports, and as such he’s fair game.
Hardly a day goes by that we aren’t bombarded with the latest scoop on political figures, athletes and the Hollywood elite. Whether it’s the mindless chitter-chatter on Fox and Friends or ranting and raving from the Blogosphere, the stream of vulgar sensationalism continues unabated.
Worse, the American public laps it up like the sweetest nectar. Some simply like to see the mighty fall. Others engage in pathetic attempts to live vicariously through celebrities. Still others look for the chance to cluck their tongues and wallow in a pool of self-righteousness as they look down their noses at the recently-fallen. We live in a sick society.
Equally sick is the way so many well-known personalities conduct themselves, all the while knowing they run a high risk of being exposed. How could Mark Foley possibly expect to send inappropriate correspondence to a minor child without getting caught? The media’s bloodhounds are everywhere, and their bread and butter is catching the famous in an act of poor judgment, if not criminal activity. In Mr. Foley’s case, getting caught may be a good thing, since the possibility exists (and I make no accusations here) that he had “plans” for this young page.
Considering all the above, I’m a bit divided as to my own aspirations to fame and fortune. Each week, a few more people are kind enough to read what I write. It’s gratifying to know there are people out there who like what I do, and it’s exciting to see my tiny reader base slowly becoming larger.
But what if I someday reach a level of popularity that qualifies me for celebrity status? I mean, if anyone ever found out about that joint I smoked back in ’75… oops.