Tuesday, May 17, 2011

End Runs: Trump Bluff, French Kissoff

Two presidential campaigns crash in one day and, ho hum, what else is new?

The Donald folds a flirtation with the 2012 Republican nomination after weeks of pasting his name over the news, as always leaving onlookers wondering what it was all about beyond enhancing the brand.

In a nearby posh Manhattan hotel, a contender for next year’s French presidency flames out in more traditional fashion, with a bedroom scandal out of classic farce as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, is ordered held without bail for sexually assaulting a housekeeper.

On cable TV and blogs, both figures--the renowned economist and the American media hustler—-are fodder for straight-faced speculation with no distinction whatever between a scandal that could affect the economic bailout of Europe and the end of an American sideshow of no importance whatsoever.

In the era of celebrities who are, in Daniel Boorstin’s phrase “well-known for their well-knowness,” Big Names exist in a world apart from their achievements or social significance.

If anything, the Trump saga, aside from its lack of prurience, rates more attention than that of a Bernie Madoff lookalike who seems to be a less suave sufferer from what we have all come to know as Bill Clinton Sex Syndrome.

“Celebrity Apprentice” will no doubt go on to higher ratings than ever next season, but who knows--or cares—-what happens to European economies or in French elections now?

On to today’s names in the news...

Update: Another day, another scandal. Former Gov. Arnold is being terminated as a Kennedy in-law for having fathered a child years ago by a woman who worked for his family. One thing about the Kennedys--they keep these things in historical perspective.

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