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.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Disgraced media figure James Guckert

An absolutely stomach-turning story from George W. Bush's years in the White House was that of James Dale Guckert, who posed as a White House reporter at Bush press conferences, where he tossed softball questions to the president or his press secretary.

For this assignment, Guckert used the alias Jeff Gannnon, and he managed to do this from 2003 until 2005 when he was unmasked as a plant and a phony.

Also in 2005, news surfaced that Mr. Guckert's suggestive photo appeared on the websites of gay escort services in the Washington area. This revelation did not fit entirely well with the GOP's family-values image.

Around the same time, several actual journalists were shown to have been paid substantial sums by the administration to write or broadcast the GOP party line, but without revealing these payments to their readers--another appalling ethical violation.

To give "Gannon" the appearance of legitimacy, the sham news agency Talon News was created, for which the bogus reporter was nominal Washington Bureau Chief.

After 2005, Guckert came out of the closet and began writing a column for the Washington Blade, a newspaper for that city's gay community.

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