All three cable networks just carried live coverage of the press conference in which Miss USA Tara Conner was spared from losing her crown by pageant honcho Donald Trump, in exchange for agreeing to enter rehab. And I just have to say, thank God they finally ended the war in Iraq so we can afford to divert ourselves with light stories like this in the middle of a news day!
What? They’re still what? OK, never mind.
Seriously, it’s hard to blame the networks for going live to the event: suspenseful, dramatic and–I’ll say it–touching–the press conference was like watching a reality show unfold in real time. (My favorite moment came when Conner told reporters she was not an alcoholic, then Trump corrected her, saying she simply didn’t know whether she was an alcoholic. Mr. Trump will tell you whether or not you’re a drunk, honey!) "You will never know how much I appreciate Mr. Trump for saving me on this one," Conner said tearfully. "It truly takes someone with a wonderful heart. A heart of gold." (Or at least a lot of solid-gold home fixtures.) "He doesn’t have to keep me around. You heard about the other things he could have said, you know, ‘You’re fired.’"
Come to think of it, maybe it’s a little too much like a reality show unfolding in real time. Trump told the assembled
reporters that he expected to have to dethrone Conner as of this
morning, but that after meeting with her, he realized that she was a
woman who could have a great influence on young people if given a
second chance. Hmmm… are there any other shows on TV where Trump sits down with ambitious young people in an office, lets them emotionally plead their cases to them, and decides, imperially, whether or not to tell them "You’re fired?" Is it by any chance debuting next month? Why yes! Yes it is! And how kind of the reporters at the press conference to mention it! And has it been suffering flagging ratings of late, ratings that might pick up from a publicity boost just like this one?
Fire Tara Conner? I think Donald Trump owes her a bonus.