About six months ago, I defined a term, Huffingtonitis to describe an individual who “defines his political views and makes public statements in order to win social approval and/or acceptance.” I also think some people take certain political stands in order to get media attention.
Thanks to reader Peter Hughes, I learn that Mrs. Huffington, for whom this condition is named, has gotten into a fight with Time reporter Joe Klein “about which one is more anti-war.” It seems this woman needs to out-anti-war Klein in order to prove to the leftists to whom she is now trying to appeal that she has really shed her past conservative views.
I have often wondered if former President Jimmy Carter has drifted to the left since the left the White House in order to keep his name in the headlines. As if he needs the media attention to compensate for his repudiation by the American people now over twenty-six years ago. But, I don’t know if the media attention makes him any happier.
He is quick to lash out at anyone who criticizes his latest book, not by taking issue with their arguments, but by accusing them “falsehood and slander” without detailing the particular instances of dishonesty or misrepresentation. He has been particularly sensitive to criticism of his latest book as being both anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.
It seems he has so lashed out because his critics have challenged the ideology which has given meaning to his life. Had Carter’s book on Israel not been so controversial, it would not have generated the media attention it did. Had it not generated the media attention, few people would be paying attention today to the former President from Georgia.
It’s not just in Hollywood where people do certain things in order to generate publicity. Pundits and politicians do it as well. They seem to think that celebrity — or at least media attention — confers meaning on their lives. They might find more happiness in life if they sought that meaning in productive activity — and enduring relationships.
– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)