OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Friday, October 20, 2006 :::

Rise of the Attention Whores

Wanna be a pundit, or just sound like one? The Wall Street Journal has a long feature on people who chase after the political spotlight as if their lives depend upon it.

They are the minor-league pundits -- political consultants, professors, activists, actors, journalists, bloggers and opinionated civilians -- and they're using 21st-century stunts to troll for airtime. Some try to break out of the blogs by repeating particular phrases in their written rants, designed to pop their sites up when TV bookers search for keywords online. Others are buying air time on AM and Internet radio stations to practice their punditry. And many are turning to media advisers or partisan training programs, where they learn new rules of engagement, such as how to use food to bribe producers. The ploys can work, as networks like CNN regularly survey the field, looking for new contributors.

Which is just one more reason why I'm glad we dumped the cable.

Well, that and my profound dislike for Comcast (the bloodsucking rent-seekers).

Reporter Jeffrey Zaslow has a particular fascination with one of the more extreme examples, Debbie Schlussel. By day she's an attorney, or would be except that she "blogs all day long, and works every other angle, too," to get noticed.

I wonder how she bills those hours?

Now it would be deeply hypocritical of me to say that I don't like to be noticed. Everyone does. But quite frankly, it still amazes me that people who ought to know better pay even the slightest attention to my typo-infested postings. But as the Journal piece makes clear, there are those who believe blogs, podcasts and other such outlets are a stepping stone to fame, influence and, yes, money.

Nevermind that along the way, the must endure moth-eaten green rooms, the cold, acidic coffee, the jaded indifference of the hosts, recycled earpieces that will not stay in place and the occasionally creepy looking guy behind the camera who would rather be snoozing in the breakroom than listening to your precious pearls of wisdom. It seems some people lust after those brief, soul-sapping moments more than sex.

Gotta fill the airtime somehow. And if there are those who need the attention that much, let them have it.

I'm going back to work.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/20/2006 2 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

"Don't pretend that you know me...cause I don't even know myself" -- The Who

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