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Us, Weakly

I’m late weighing in on this one, what with having a new baby and all, but I was pretty flabbergasted to see the recent cover to Us Weekly magazine in the check-out line the other day. Not content blazing its usual trails of journalistic excellence by sifting through Brad and Angelina’s garbage and diligently tracking the spread of celebrity cellulite, the poor man’s “People Magazine” has now turned its teeny-bopper brain to politics, running a cover story on Sarah Palin with the headline “Sex, Lies and Babies.”

Leaving aside for a moment whether a cheap gossip rag even has the requisite bona fides to venture a political opinion on anything, this makes for an interesting example of the disconnect between a collection of Hollywood suck-ups and the middle-American housewife subscribers who are after all their bread and butter. More than that, it’s a telling example of how Palin’s candidacy has driven the liberal media into a blind panic.

The brain trust on the Left were quick to declare Palin’s selection the last nail in McCain’s coffin, pronouncing “He’s thrown away his one argument: experience.” Except as it turns out, most Americans don’t think adding a first-term governor to the ticket in any way diminishes McCain’s own experience (why should it?). Indeed, McCain’s pick cuts into Obama’s one strength, which is the power of celebrity. For nearly two years now, Obama has coasted on his good looks, charm and silver tongue while the press either fawned over him or treated him with kid gloves to avoid charges of racism. Now he has competition in the “overnight celebrity” department and it’s a whole new ball game.

The lesson in all this? Fame is fleeting and celebrity-watchers are fickle. Obama has shown shrewd insight running on a platform of change that boils down to “I’m so new you don’t know anything about me! Isn’t it great?” But the trouble with that is, sooner or later another pretty face comes along and you’re old news.

Obamennifer, meet Sarangelina.

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