Many Americans yesterday sat at the edge of their seats in anticipation of finding out whether Miss USA Tara Conner would be allowed to keep her crown and sash after she was caught last weekend drinking underage and with cocaine residue in her hair. Granted I've never done cocaine in my life and have no intention of doing it, but if the cocaine is in your hair, you're probably doing it wrong.
Speaking of hair, at the epicenter of this situation is Donald Trump, a not-so-great-Gatsby type who has made more out of little actual talent than Paris Hilton. Yesterday, Trump got to appear magnanimous with a heart as big as all outdoors (and with a hairpiece to match) by talking about second chances and comebacks. He should know all about second chances. He's been given enough of them after filing bankruptcy so many times. But that's not the point.
The point I want to make is that we've been suckered yet again by the media and the stars that inhabit their universe. I have a simple rule: if Donald Trump is involved in any way, it's guaranteed to be a PR stunt or be turned into one. Does it really matter whether Conner kept her title as Miss USA? Not really. But because Trump was involved, the media thought it did, so they convinced others (namely us) that it was.
And here's something else to consider. We really don't expect that much out of beauty queens. Show up, look good, say a few prepared words, have some photos taken, and that's pretty much it. To pump up their value to the world like Trump tried to do here is folly.
Listen, I think it's great Conner's going to rehab to address her drinking problem (as well as hopefully working with her to discern the difference between her nose and her hair), but it doesn't make her a hero, nor does the fact she was chosen Miss USA. Thanks to Trump, though, she was one Bette Midler song from being turned into the latest American hero. (Yeah. I don't know what "The Rose" has to do with this situation, either.)
And we're more than likely going to be willing to follow Trump down this yellow brick road because we feel for Conner's situation. The thing is Trump isn't really Dorothy in this land of Oz; he's Oz, and he's hoping we don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain because once we do, we realize he's full of crap.