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, June 24, 2009

Whistleblower Jesselyn Radack

An opponent of the George W. Bush administration's ends-justify-the-means policies, federal Department of Justice ethics adviser Jesselyn Radack blew the whistle on how the U.S. government failed to follow ordinary, constitutional legal procedure in questioning John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban" who was caught in 2001 in Afghanistan fighting with the Taliban.

At issue was whether Lindh had been allowed legal representation before being questioned. Lindh's father had hired a lawyer to represent his son, but not knowing this, Lindh made self-incriminating admissions. Later, Radack complained that a number of her emails about this case had been destroyed.

Radack advised that the man's confession would not be allowed as evidence in court, which was not what her bosses wanted to hear. She was advised to find another job elsewhere.

Radack then joined a private law firm but lost that job when her former government department began investigating her. This criminal investigation was later dropped.

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