Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bank Shot Publicity, The "No Paris" Ploy

It's brilliant really. You run a gossip rag and you've grown tired of seeing that same pinched-up face and those grainy flash of pussy photos. So what do you do? You announce that you aren't going to do it anymore. You wag the dog. You tell people that there is Paris Hilton fatigue out there in media consumer land and therefore you have purged her image and name from your magazine.

Your announcement gets picked up by the very news organization that had made a similar pledge a few months ago. (Cue the Alanis Morrisette please...) You get mentioned on the television programs covering her return to society. You get to brand your particular form of vapid "journalism" as being just that touch more high brow than the other celebrity magazines in the check out line.

So, for the cost of putting out a press release, you get the goodwill of all those people who are tired of the Uber-Tarts, you get coverage in other news outlets, and you don't have to pay the Pussy Flasher one thin dime. From a PR standpoint, it's a no brainer.

Beware, you'll notice one thing about the story. They never say this is a permanent thing. I'm sure the Heinous Heiress will be gracing the pages of US Weekly again sometime soon. But you have to love the depravity of getting essentially free publicity for not doing something.

Hell, Paris herself would be proud, she's been getting publicity for doing nothing for quite sometime now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shame on you NBC

Sometimes it sucks to be right. Paris "Wanna see my Cooter?" Hilton is getting (Cue Dr. Evil please...) one million dollars from NBC for the exclusive rights to her first post jail interview.

As I wrote last month in The Bitch Of It Is, It Might Actually Help Her this whole going to jail thing was going to make her even more money. What I didn't expect was the downpayment on that ill-gotten booty would come from NBC. National Enquirer? Us Magazine? Those I would expect to pony up dough. They are in the business of celebrity gossip. But not NBC.

Even though the interview is for the Today Show, not the Evening News, I still expect some journalist standards from an institution like NBC. Simply put, you don't pay for interviews, particularly interviews with Uber-Tarts whose only claims to fame are an endless supply of daddy's money and a propensity for flashing her girlie bits and making sex tapes.

To sum up, NBC just gave a talentless, spoiled rotten, filthy rich, exhibitionist one million dollars to ask her a few questions about what it was like to spend a month or so in jail.

Where's the religious right when I need them?

Can't some super-fundamentalist, snake handling freak start calling for a boycott of NBC? Haven't the suits at NBC earned a little back lash from the bible thumpers for giving that kind of scratch to an iconic sinner like Hilton? What good is it to have a country that not only sanctions, but protects the right of religious whack-jobs to spew self righteous rhetoric at acts just like this if they don't exersize that right?

Loose the hounds I say, they have to be good for something.

NYPost: NBC pays $1,000,000 for first post-jail Paris Hilton interview

Friday, June 15, 2007

I Am Steve Martin...Without The Fame, Talent And Money

Last night I spent a couple of hours throwing about 150 lob pitches to six year olds. Yes, my youngest daughter is a tee-ball...oops, sorry B...a BASEBALL player. At this age, the coaches do the pitching which means lobbing a baseball into a one square foot strike zone at about 1.5 miles per hour from about 25 feet away.

Now, some of these kids have an idea as to how to hit, they make decent contact and sometimes even hit it in the air to the outfield. But the first year kids like my daughter are still trying to figure it out.

Now, when B. first started swinging at live pitching, she swung from her toes and when she made contact the ball really flew. But over the past couple of weeks her confindence has fallen, with her sinking batting average, to the point where she is barely swinging in a desperate attempt to make contact. That is until last night.

In the final inning she got to the plate and I guess decided, "What the heck, go down swinging." On her third pitch she hit a hot two hopper to shortstop, drove in a run and beat out the throw.

I don't know who was happier, me or her. Just like Steve Martin in Parenthood I found myself laying on the ground with my kid in my arms, both of us smiling from ear to ear like we'd just won the World Series.

I've been a part of winning presidential and local elections. I've shaken the leader of the free-world's hand and accepted his thanks for all of my hard work. I even helped shape and design Census 2000, the United States' largest peacetime mobilization.

Last night was better.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

MTV Movie Awards

Other than a couple of jokes by Sarah Silverman, this show sucked. Is it official, am I old? Have I gotten so far away from the MTV target demographic that I just don't get it? Other than the wonderful digs at Paris Hilton, which were made that much better because she had the guts to do them with Uber-Tart in the room, what was funny? Anyone? Bueller?

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Google Eyes Are Watching

The following is a conversation I will soon be having with some Young Republican Person. I don't know which one, living out here in the "Burbs", there are a plethora of them from which to choose .
Me: "Don't you miss the days when the only people who were watching were the private dicks your wife hired and J. Edger Hoover? The days when privacy was not only allowed but protected?

"Now everyone is looking at your credit report, at satellite images of your neighborhood, even at the image scans from your hometown paper that show a picture of you dancing up a storm at that Olivia Newton John concert. Google has even introduced Street View actual images from addresses that you can ID by search. If technology were a person, you'd call them a stalker the way they keep track of us."

Young Republican Person: "Privacy? What the hell is that? What are you some sort of liberal throwback, some technology Luddite who fails to see the greater good that the Internet and it's great gatekeeper Google have provided? I, for one, am thankful for our new Google overlords and you'd be smart to feel the same.

By the way, who's J. Edger Hoover?"
Basically, this new feature from Google Maps called Street View lets you look up an address and then gives you a picture from the street of the said address. Being the Luddite that I am, I think this is an invasion of privacy. Apparently, I'm not the only one.

NYTimes: Google Zooms In Too Close for Some Google hits streets, raises privacy concerns

Before you get started, I know, it is a public street, anyone can walk along and take a picture of just about anything including me or my house. But the content of the picture isn't the issue, it's the distribution.

Look what happened to Allison Stokke. She had her picture taken by some guy, the picture gets up on the Internet and suddenly lechers from around the world are sending her e-mails and posting on message boards about how they'd have sex with her. Is that the price she pays for being attractive, the collective prurient obsession of the net? Suddenly being hot justifies endless e-mails, phone calls and ever multiplying Internet postings about your actions and activities? She didn't ask for it, it just happened, and she doesn't deserve the fear and aggravation that goes with it.

So now, by merely existing, Google can post a picture of you or your house on the net and that is just the price you pay for living in a free society? I don't buy that at all. Along with freedom of speech goes the right to privacy, and that right doesn't end because Google wants to provide the world with a cute gimmick that helps pad their corporate pockets. If they have an image of my house or my person, they should have to ask to use it and provide me compensation if I agree.

I am not a public figure, I have a reasonable expectation of privacy that does not end just because my house isn't surrounded by a privacy fence or because I've ventured out beyond the threshold of my front door. The value to public discourse and the general good to society of having those photos available is next to nil while the damage to my right to privacy is not only clear, but potentially dangerous.

But don't take my word for it, just take a moment to wonder how this guy feels about Street View. I'm willing to bet he was comfortable with being seen on the street, but visible to the entire world is a whole different thing.

Google may be watching so be sure you don't scratch your ass in public, you might find yourself the object of the world's attention. Like that blond in the Google photo above. Don't those pants make her ass look fat!