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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 21, 2011

The Cult of the Disgraced and Misplaced

By Diane Dimond

Celebrating humiliation heaped upon humiliation






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is an odd thing we do here in America. People who get wrapped up in scandal often become elevated to celebrity status.

You know the type of people I'm talking about — those who are caught up in sex or drug scandals, criminal suspects or some other type of social misfit who's every move is followed by reporters. Cameras are there as they hustle into court, show up for their community service or just try to dodge embarrassing questions about their problematic behavior.

These folks become famous for being infamous. Think Kato Kaelin, whose dodgy testimony at the murder trial of O.J. Simpson got him branded as "hostile" to the prosecution. Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who engaged in sexual relations with President Clinton. Florida murder defendant Casey Anthony, acquitted of murdering her 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter. And now the former governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, who has admitted that he was, indeed, guilty of corruption after denying it for years.

I call them the Cult of the Disgraced and the Misplaced — a cult that attracts media honchos who are eager to exploit scandal for ratings. Hardly anyone in the cult seems to be out of bounds.

After his 15 minutes of fame at the Simpson trial, the mop-haired Kaelin got a radio show and appeared on several TV programs. Lewinsky was chased by all the major networks, newspapers and magazines for her first exclusive description of illicit sex in the White House. (ABC's Barbara Walters won that race, snagging what turned out to be the highest rated news broadcast ever.) NBC vigorously pursued Anthony and tried to fashion a book deal for her in exchange for her first TV interview. And Blagojevich? Well, he fit right into this cult and eagerly took the bait when TV producers came to call.

Three years ago when federal prosecutors revealed they had recordings of the Governor (nicknamed: Blago) arrogantly attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama, Blagojevich came out swinging. He vehemently denied asking for money in exchange for his appointment to the seat. He also denied that he lied to the FBI and had shaken down constituents for campaign contributions. He called it all a political conspiracy, and then instead of hunkering down for the fight of his life, Blago took meetings with top TV bigwigs.

Not even Blagojevich's impeachment by the Illinois State Legislature in January 2009 slowed down the offers. NBC was knocking on the door for Blago to star in the "reality" show "I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!"


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In a petition to the court in the spring of 2009, the disgraced governor, pleading poverty, asked the judge for permission to travel to Costa Rica for the filming. The request was denied. Ultimately, his wife, Patti, took the job and was seen on one episode eating a dead tarantula.

Humiliation heaped upon humiliation, I'd say.

But watching his wife forced to ingest insects to pay their bills didn't seem to give Blago pause. After hosting a radio talk show, he went on to make a deal to appear on "The Celebrity Apprentice" hosted by Donald Trump. More recently, he was hired to be the face of Wonderful Pistachios, which admitted they were looking "for some buzz" to attract people to their nuts. There's a joke in there somewhere.

But this celebration and rewarding of the scandalous baffles me. Has the concept of shame ceased to exist in America? If I was criminally indicted or caught up in a disgraceful episode playing out publicly, I think I'd hibernate until it passed. Although I suppose the lure of the money and the idea that sins can be erased if one is seen on TV is too much temptation for some.

The job of media executives is to get ratings, and apparently these kinds of shows — highlighting these kinds of people — attract viewers. Why? I'm at a loss to explain, except maybe we watch the notorious to make sure we are nothing like them. Maybe we want to see them be shamed on some level.

When Rod Blagojevich appeared in court earlier this month for sentencing (he was found guilty of 17 corruption charges), he suddenly dropped his past denials and admitted his criminal behavior.

"I caused it all," he said to the judge. "I was the governor, and I should have known better. I am just incredibly sorry." He was then sentenced to 14 years in prison. Blagojevich's admission laid bare the phoniness of those who rationalized giving him a shot at the public airwaves by saying, "Well, he hasn't been convicted of anything ..."

We had all heard his voice on that recording made years earlier blatantly trying to trade his public position for personal gain. We knew the real story from the get-go.

Blago must serve almost a dozen years before becoming eligible for parole. Let's hope by then we've all come to our senses and decided that TV programs featuring disturbed, addicted or criminal players are simply not acceptable. Maybe by then TV executives will stop rewarding the least deserving among us.

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Investigative journalist and syndicated columnist Diane Dimond has covered all manner of celebrity and pop culture stories.



Previously:



11/03//11 Sunshine Laws Putting Citizens at Risk
10/27//11 Do Prisoners Deserve Free Medical Treatment?
10/17//11 No Justice From Justice
10/12//11 Paying the Price --- Twice
09/26/11 When is Photography a Crime?
09/19/11 Laws to Catch Up With Science






© 2011, Creators Syndicate