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L.A. Could Have Spared Us Paris

by Pamela Leavey

I have to admit the latest episode in the Cirque de Paris here in L.A. has made me think how utterly ridiculous this city can be at times. I’ve lived here for 17 years now, a transplant from small town MA, and I’ve seen it all over the years.

Today was one of those days when I thought to myself, some where in this city there are real people living their lives. But instead as Hart noted here earlier today, we’re subject once again to this ridiculous display of L.A.’s “perpetual ineptness when it comes to balancing the scales of justice in high-profile celebrity cases.”

Need I remind you of all the miscues in the Rodney King, O.J. and Robert Blake cases?

Note to the county courts: If you can’t convict, you need to quit.

And if you want to play ping-pong use a ball and some paddles — not a young heiress with purported medical issuesIt’s apparent that the dueling egos of Sheriff Lee Baca and Judge Michael T. Sauer have turned what should had been a simple case into a huge debacle that news outlets have recorded every second of. On Thursday, Baca, purportedly on the recommendation of Hilton’s shrink, reassigned the heiress to house arrest without consulting the court, the city attorney or the prosecutor involved in the case. Hilton’s release after having served only three days of a 23- or 45-day sentence resulted in a firestorm of criticism that had everyone from legal pundits to the Rev. Al Sharpton crying foul.

If Hilton, 26, was indeed on the verge of falling apart before her hearing this afternoon, she must be completely over the edge by now. It’s no wonder she’s reportedly spending the weekend in the psych ward.

Yet if Sauer, as some folks have speculated, is really out to get Hilton because of her wealth and fame, it might be because he’s grown weary of young Hollywood’s apparent disregard for the law. You’ve got teens in bars, DUI arrests every other day and those are the only things we routinely hear about. Hilton, the reigning queen of this scene, has now been elevated or demoted, to serving as the poster child for celebrity reform. Making an example, however, out of Hilton might prove to be yet another blunder for the city’s legal system. If in fact her undisclosed medical condition is real and something happens to her when she’s on lockdown, the Hiltons might subsequently own more than a few hotels in L.A. They might be granted the deeds to the coveted three Bs — Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Brentwood.

Conversely, if Hilton is faking it or just having a natural adverse reaction to solitary confinement, the sheriff will look foolish and once again the world will be laughing at yet another dramatic episode of L.A. Law.

Whatever…. I mean come on, does Paris really matter in the grand scheme of how messed this country is right now. Maybe she’s the poster child for the folks who want to ignore the real tragedies in our country by focusing on the celebrity dramas that take away from the real discourse about fixing our country. If we can’t fix Paris, then what can we fix? There’s a lot broken in our country and no doubt one of the things that needs fixing is our justice system, and the other is our media’s obsession with the celebrity follies here in L.A.. Like this self admitted, “highly trained tabloid news professional.”

Good gracious even John Edwards felt compelled to step into the fray and comment on poor pitiful Paris…

When asked about Ms. Hilton’s release on Thursday he said, “Without regard to Paris Hilton, we have two Americas and I think what’s important is, it’s obvious that the problem exists.”

Frankly I am bored to tears with the celebrity follies of L.A.. I live here because I like the weather. The celebrity circus goes on daily around here and most days you walk into the grocery store and see some unsuspecting star shopping like the rest of us. And there’s days like this when you shake your head say really who cares? Well, some folks feel sorry for Paris and some want to see justice served. I just tuned it out all day, because really somewhere in L.A. real people like me are living their lives and the Cirque de Paris is just another traffic stopper in downtown L.A.. And somewhere in Africa, people are still going hungry.

Life goes on… It’s doubtful with all the added drama that Paris Hilton will learn her lesson. But the outrage over the Paris Hilton fiasco will live on, as the Smoking Gun notes, “Angry e-mails flood L.A. officials over Hilton’s kid gloves treatment.” Funny… while I was busy doing what real people do in L.A. tonight, watching my daughter perform with her high school orchestra, the parent of one of my daughter’s classmates, who works in the down town L.A. prosecutor’s office told me that they had been flooded with emails and calls.

But, please… Stay tuned until the next celebrity goes of the deep end and turns L.A. upside down again. I can’t promise I’ll jump right on the story however, because celebrity gossip bores me to tears.

6 Responses to “L.A. Could Have Spared Us Paris”

  1. It is indeed too bad when such “events” mobilize way too much public attention. Although perhaps some good will come from knowing that the wealthy socialite will in the end, be treated like anybody else ought to be treated…(equaly…)



  2. In defense of our popular culture, celebrities are the characters in our grand cultural storyline. Their problems are vehicles to discuss societal issues. The need to discuss these social issues drives these media feeding frenzies:
    Paris- (the inner workings of the justice system, and fairness in the system)
    Imus- (the rising power of women and minorities in organizations and our need for respect)
    Anna Nicole- (money and fame is not as important as a good family and values)
    OJ- (every social issue under the sun)

    etc, etc, etc

  3. I am so tired of hearing about that idiot! The space shuttle took off and Gen Pace is being removed. But you wouldn’t know it with the non stop Paris garbage. Enough already! First Anna, and now Paris. It’s sick I tell you.

  4. It’s an obscene spectacle, but it is irresponsible to pretend that it isn’t happening, bury our heads in the sand, or just let it go.

    Like Right Wing hate radio: ignoring it wson’t make it go away, and it’s actively a corrosive agent on the body politic.

    If Paris Hilton didn’t serve their purposes, the MSM would not be in such a feeding frenzy.

    (They actually had news helicopters FOLLOWING the Sheriff’s Department black & white from jail to courthouse).

    It’s the perfect one-night-stand: Those media C-list celebrities who make their living drinking the blood of the Paris Hiltons have their celebrity predicated on Paris’ “naughty” stunts. I watched the Lary King panel last night, astonished that so many grasping non-entitities would subject themselves to such an orgy of cheap “moralism” just so they could be on TeeVee.

    This morass deserves every bit of scorn that the blogosphere can muster.

  5. Hart writes: “This morass deserves every bit of scorn that the blogosphere can muster.”

    Precisely. As I mentioned in my post at AoF and Katrinacrat, the most astonishing part of the coverage is the gasping and wheezing over “the rich getting preferential treatment” in the c.j. system, as though this is news or something. Welcome to reality, idiots.

    Not to mention, as I also wrote, Hilton is being scapegoated on behalf of all those other rich folks who have “gotten away with it”. Putting her in jail to “make a point,” as one prosecutor/idiot in L.A. said, doesn’t take away from the fact that this is the same jurisdiction that routinely lets celebrity *murderers* go free.

    So I guess driving without a license is much more serious of an offense than killing someone. Way to go, justice officials in L.A. Point Made.

  6. Right on, Todd.

    Although the very idea of the LA court system making any sense to the American public about “justice” or “due process” is a lot like trying to explain Picasso to a literalist:

    “No, her eyes aren’t ACTUALLY both on the same side of her nose.”

    I recall that there used to be a firewall between this kind of trivial fluff (Paris’ DUI, in essence) and real NEWS. That firewall broke down in 1992, when the supermarket tabloid THE STAR ran their breathless story on how Gennifer Flowers had phone messages from Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, proving that they’d had SEX.

    Bill and Hillary went on 60 MINUTES, famously, to answer the tabloid charges, and the rest, as they say, is history. But the real damage was that tabloid news began to dominate (as here) the REAL news, to the detriment of the latter.

    The STAR, by the by, is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp:

    Revealing claims that no respectable news outlet had been able to substantiate, the Star, a trashy supermarket tabloid, “broke” the Flowers story on Jan. 23, 1992. Armed with ambiguously damning taped phone conversations and well compensated by the Star for her revelations, Flowers claimed a 12-year affair with Clinton.

    from The Washington Post