About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hoaxer James Guckert

One of the saddest and most revolting of modern-day hoaxes was the George W. Bush administration's use of a ringer calling himself Jeff Gannon to lob softball questions in presidential briefings and press conferences.

The man's real name is James Guckert, and he is a fellow who has quite a past.

In his phony role as a reporter, Guckert was credentialed as a correspondent for an equally phony news organization called Talon News Service, controlled by a major GOP supporter of President Bush.

Questions about Gannon finally began to be asked in February 2005 after one especially loaded, unprofessional question addressed to the president by "reporter" Gannon.

Soon it came to light that Guckert had no journalistic experience, but had worked as a male escort (male prostitute) and had posed nude for unsavory websites. He had used the same alias for those jobs.

This dreadful indication of how low the Bush administration was prepared to go came roughly one month after three syndicated columnists had been outed as taking money from the administration in exchange for supporting Bush policies--without revealing the payoffs to their readers. The three were Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and Mike McManus. The third of these writers, remarkably,did a column on ethics and religion.

Lord, Lord.

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