12/22/06 — Enough bickering: Forget about forgiving, just get celebrities to be quiet

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Enough bickering: Forget about forgiving, just get celebrities to be quiet

Role models seem to be in short supply these days. Just take a look at the recent furor over Miss USA Tara Conner and her escapades and the resulting pardon from billionaire Donald Trump, who now owns the Miss Universe Organization, which oversees the U.S. pageant.

It seems the current Miss USA got caught out partying and making a genuine fool out of herself — even getting caught drinking underage — a real no-no when your platform includes personal responsibility and following the rules.

And then came the pardon — a second chance for a young girl who got caught up in the New York whirlwind, Trump said. If she made another mistake, she was out.

That’s when the real fun began.

Controversial and often annoying talk show host Rosie O’Donnell decided to critique Trump and his decision — and the name-calling commenced. Trump had little right to critique anyone’s behavior, O’Donnell said. Trump followed with a few thoughts of his own — none of them complimentary.

Now, the battle is raging and the latest on the feud is at the top of the news. All the while, O’Donnell and Trump seem to be unaware that the nation is listening to their ridiculous banter and insults.

Truth be told, this is a sad story about a young woman who made a mistake and who has been put on a pedestal as someone for others to look up to. She should not be praised for her lapse in judgment, but she should not be crucified either.

Debate pageants all you want and perhaps shake your head at how embattled some of them have become, but there is no question that what is most shameful here is the behavior of two people who should have known better in the first place.

The truth is neither Trump nor O’Donnell has a right to make a moral stand in this case — and neither has a right to sit as judge and jury of anyone, including each other. Both have certainly missed an opportunity to act like adults, let alone role models themselves.

And they haven’t been acting in keeping with the Christmas spirit, either.

And now that they have both wallowed in the mud, it is time to be quiet. It will be interesting to see if either is capable of that. In the meantime, the rest of us should stop listening.

Published in Editorials on December 22, 2006 11:25 AM