Jun 18

Two recent examples of two wrongs never making a right

I was pleased to see N.C. District Attorney Mike Nifong disbarred for his horrific handling of the Duke Nifong_2 lacrosse nightmare. But, I was saddened to hear that the players’ families now want to pursue criminal charges against Nifong and won’t rest until they see him behind bars. I might feel differently if the kids were mine, but I don’t see how Nifong’s serving jail time accomplishes much of anything, except revenge.

In the same vein, I see that that opportunist par excellence, the Rev. Al Sharpton, met with the L.A district attorney in the aftermath of the Paris Hilton ‘tempest in a teapot’ to demand equal justice for all. I’d like to think that Sharpton really is looking out for the little guy. In reality, though, he’s just a headline-seeking grandstander looking to capitalize, once again, on others’ mistakes.

Jun 05

Different houses. Same image problem

Two very different women, one already in the ‘big’ house and another one aspiring to the White House, have very different goals but very similar image and reputation problems.

Paris Hilton, serving time for one of her many petty transgressions personifies the vapid, ‘look-at-me-celebrities who populate today’s Paris_2
entertainment landscape. Along with Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, Hilton rose to the top with little or no talent and even less in the way of social graces. And, yet she seems proudly defiant of, and indifferent to, her less-than-stellar image. And, shame on us, her various transgressions have done little to stem our obsession with her.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, would love us to love her. Yet, despite her best intentions and efforts, she is easily the most polarizing presidential candidate. Ask 10 people about ‘Hill’ and you’ll get 10 very visceral reactions. Love her or hate her, people react to Hillary.

Take, for example, her handlers’ recent efforts to involve the electorate in selecting Clinton’s campaign theme song. Hoping to mimic something a la hubby Bill’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in 1992, the Hillary web site was, instead, inundated with suggestions like ‘The Bitch is Back’ and ‘Cold as Ice.’

Poor Hillary wants people to believe there’s a warm and compassionate person beneath that glacial countenance. Hilton, on the other hand, has no substance whatsoever below the surface and could care Hillary less what people think.

Hilton’s in her ‘house’ for now and will undoubtedly make many more such visits to similar establishments in her sure-to-be sordid future. Hillary, though, will never overcome her image challenges and convince a majority of Americans to elect her to the highest office.

In their own ways, both women are sad, but fascinating, examples of how image and reputation can mean nothing in one instance, and everything in the other.