Friday, December 26, 2008

NY Governor Paterson Concerned about Gossip over Clintons Replacement?

The AP is reporting that NY Governor Patterson would like less gossip regarding his selection of a replacement for Senator Hillary Clinton’s senate seat. Apparently, the Governor does not understand that politician’s are now in the same spotlight as Hollywood Celebs, possibly more so. The fact that Caroline Kennedy is actively seeking the spot has generated news and controversy since her name was mentioned - Kennedy, (the name alone is synonymous with gossip) the daughter of Jack Kennedy, Manhattan socialite and author, has keep a fairly low profile, (outside of the occasional mention in the tabloids or the press (Google articles date to 1961 forward) is a social celebrity in her own right, add dynastic political ambitions and one has a Super Celebrity – Social Celebrity plus Political Celebrity.

Apparently, Paterson missed the phenomena of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin in the past general election. Obama appeared clad in a bathing suit early in the campaign, while paparazzi recently chased him to Hawaii where one managed to get a “'Pec-tacular' Obama Shot” according to the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, the GOP’s Rock Star, continues to receive high Google searches (up to 49,200,000!), and stories regarding her daughters future mother-in-law is fodder for the tabloids and the Associated Press (which had the class to carry the story).

Suddenly politicians have adoring fans, and are front page news on both Tabloids and more “normal” news outlets. The publics insatiable desire to learn more about their favorite “star” is driving this phenomena – blame reality television, or the dummying down of America (the Teachers Union), and the politician’s themselves who court and are courted by daytime talk shows and the nighttime comedy – whatever combination of the aforementioned is responsible, the fact that dignity and competence are no longer a criteria for high office is becoming clear. Although politicians may use these mediums to communicate with the “Masses”, it is not without a price – Oprah and (pick a View Member) are more interested in what they are wearing, or where they are vacationing, than what they might intend to do once elected. The political message is lost as the popular culture cries out for more “beefcake shots” of the President-elect and more “scandalous” stories about his rivals. Caroline Kennedy will amass more speculation and Enquirer front page stories than Obama, and she most certainly must have been aware of the consequences, even if the Governor has been living under a rock.


Chuck said...

I think it's 24 hour news and the internet. They are a part of our daily lives now.

Ralph Short said...

It is always amazing to me how lifetime politicians always claim they always "listen" to the people but when the chips are down they want you to shut up.

I think that means they are more into talking than listening, now there's a shock.

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