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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Paris Hilton Non Controversy

For the life of me I do not understand the popularity of Paris Hilton. She's vapid and when you're best known for spending money and coining a catch phrase like "That's Hot," you have to wonder if the Paris Hilton fans around the world have mental illnesses.

I'll get to the non-controversy of her Carl's Jr. television advertisement that has drawn the ire of the Parent's Television Council.

Our bored press, instead of pursuing important stories, will reliably report the latest Paris Hilton gossip because, damn it, she's just SO fascinating! And, apparently, the Hilton family has no problems with that great hotel chain's name being associated with sex and stupidity. (Although, I guess if you're a lonely Republican businessman on the road, you might associate a hotel with sex but for different reasons.)

So now there's this "controversy" over a television ad for the Carl's Jr. burger chain (a regional chain, so you may have never heard of them before) that features Paris in some sort of weird bathing suit, "washing" a car with lots of water and soap (most of which end up on her, of course) and then the big lie of the commercial, Paris taking a bite out of a Carl's Jr. hamburger. Paris looks like she weighs 80 pounds, so no way she actually eats the kind of huge hamburger Carl's Jr. serves up (unless it doesn't stay in her body long...if you get what I'm saying).

Predictably, the advertisement has been met with controversy, with the Parents Television Council, a right-wing advocacy group, issuing a statement (note: the PTC web site might be down as it's handling a lot of traffic. In case it is, click here to read the statement from Google's cache)that the Hilton ad was "sexually graphic" and would harm children in some way, although I think a child actually eating a Carl's Jr. hamburger would be harmed more than they would in watching the stupid commercial. Carl's Jr. specializes in huge heart-exploding hamburgers that contain roughly 10,000 calories (that's a guess).

The fake controversy is making its way to cable news. Especially on Fox News, where the right-wing hosts fake moral outrage over the commercial while airing it over and over and over again. I was just flipping through the channels and stopped for a moment on Fox News and the program Heartland with John Kasich. And guess what? They were discussing the commercial, and John Kasich said something to the effect that he worried about explaining the commercial to his children. What's with conservatives and explaining stuff to their kids? This is an argument you hear often from the right-wing pundits: they'll wring their hands and bemoan some sort of sexually charged item from the media and worry over explaining it to their kids. Do conservatives speak to their kids about anything? What the hell is so hard about explaining a stupid commercial? Why couldn't you say "The woman in the commercial is dressed like she is so that she'll get lots of people to buy that hamburger." Good lord, Kasich, how much more detail do you need to get into? And if the kid says "Why is she dressed like that?" you'd say "The people that made the commercial dressed her like that so that people would watch the commercial." You don't need to explain the whole sexual psychology of the ad, do you? That's what it really comes down to: right-wingers are scared shitless of explaining anything that has to do with sex to their kids. Repression is the key in conservative ideology.

Of course, the free publicity provided by the moralists at Fox News and the Parents Television Council is sending customers straight to Carl's Jr. So, good job, guys, for doing your part in keeping the Paris Hilton commercial on the air.

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