On Monday, Don Imus got suspended for two weeks for the ignorant, insensitive and racist remark he made about the eight African American players on the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.
On Tuesday, Larry Birkhead, like thousands of other men worldwide, became a father.
Which story will get more play in the following days?
Well, considering we’ve been force-fed the sordid details of the life, death and sex life of Anna Nicole Smith since her heart stopped beating just over two months ago, I’d say we’re going to be in baby Dannielynn hell at least until she takes her first steps.
The fact that Imus got off with a slap on his pinky finger for calling a group of young African American women he’s never met “nappy headed hos” will certainly keep the Rev. Al Sharpton and other African American leaders in the headlines until Imus is either fired — which won’t happen because money speaks louder than words — or until some other fool says something equally as obtuse.
Death and stupidity always come in threes.
Michael Richards, Imus. One to go.
But you can bet your last dime that the Imus debacle will be archived by week’s end since DNA evidence has finally proved that Birkhead, a photographer who was involved with the late model/reality star, is Dannielynn’s bio dad.
You would think that would be the end of it, right? Birkhead got what he wanted and can live happily ever after with his baby girl and the millions she may inherit. No, no, no, my friends. This will be just the beginning of another wave of sensationalist coverage. There will be Smith’s estranged mama, Virgie, who will most certainly be beamed across the airwaves in all of her full-figured ampleness while making some foolish allegation about how her daughter would want her baby girl growing up in Texas.
I bet Pepto-Bismol sales will reach an all-time high this week.
We’ll also have to hear reactions from Prince Frederic von Anhalt, who is married to Zsa Zsa Gabor. He’ll be asked to explain about how it feels to know he’s not Dannielynn’s great- great-grandfather, er, I mean papa. He’s just crazy enough to come up with some kind of conspiracy theory, too.
Finally, there’s Howard K. Stern, who is creepier than Lurch from “The Addams Family.” This cat spent much of February and March jacking up “Entertainment Tonight’s” ratings with all of his insipid exclusive interviews with Mark Steines and the gang. Don’t think he won’t be back on ad nauseam. Even though there’s really nothing left for him to say, he’ll be saying it for at least the next month on “ET.”
I can hear the tease now: “How Howard K. Stern spends his lonely days and nights now that he’s lost both his babies.”
All I can say is thank God he’s nobody’s daddy.
Sadly, this story won’t stop with the leading players vying for their close-ups. The supporting cast, as well as dozens of extras, will get their opportunity to upset our stomachs, too. There’s the bodyguard, his wife, the Bahamian prime minister, the dude who owned the house Smith lived in, the grave-digger, the guy who shot the autopsy photos, the little boy she played doctor with as a kid, her psychiatrist, her best friend, all of her estranged relatives, her bikini waxer and a whole slew of former lovers to chat with.
Hey, they can even get a bite from me. Although I’ve made a tremendous effort to erase this memory from my mind, I did actually meet Smith a few years ago when she was out hawking her E! reality show. She was such a sad caricature that I simply dismissed her as a coked-up blonde with a nice boob job.
Her life was one long sad joke, which is why I now believe that these have to be the last days that John prophesied about in the Book of Revelation. The world is in turmoil and we’re a nation that allowed ourselves to be caught up in Smith’s web of absurdity for far too long.
There’s something terribly amiss in the universe when you realize that the deaths of heads of state, Civil Rights and religious leaders have received less coverage than the drug-induced passing of Smith. The collective contributions of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and even Anne Frank are far more important than the news of who Dannielynn’s father is.
And while I am always sorry to hear the news of anyone’s death, the initial reports of Smith’s passing from an overdose of prescription meds was more stunning than sorrowful. The sadness didn’t hit me until I realized that I didn’t really care that she had died. I didn’t care about how broken-hearted she must have been after losing her son Daniel. I didn’t care that she had issues with her mother and I had almost stopped caring that her daughter would grow up without a mother.
The massive coverage had rendered me emotionally bankrupt.
I do care, however, that more Americans have died in Iraq. I care that more people have fallen off cruise ships and that legendary Grambling football coach Eddie Robinson has died during a time when thousands of African American boys could benefit from his guidance. I care that there are only eight more episodes of “The Sopranos” left. I am troubled by the facts that President Bush is still in office, that people are still being slaughtered in Darfur and that Elizabeth Edwards has incurable cancer.
And I care that in 2007 someone would have the audacity to “jokingly” call anyone a “nappy-headed ho” and think that it’s funny.
I wish I did care that Larry Birkhead will now know the joys of fatherhood. But unlike what is going on with Imus, I think this whole DNA debacle is truly funny. Isn’t it hilarious that everyone in the world now knows his name because he used to have sex with Anna Nicole Smith? He’s like the Kato Kaelin of his generation. And isn’t it even more amusing that there’s probably no end in sight to this ongoing saga?
“Next on ET: Larry Birkhead’s first Father’s Day with the baby girl he fought for.”
Yep, I’m laughing through my tears. And just counting the days…