Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Punch drunk with gratitude, Tara Conner tearfully thanked Donald Trump

Whether you care or not, this story's all over the news.

Punch drunk with gratitude, Tara Conner tearfully tipped her tiara to, er raised her glass to, thanked Donald Trump for not saying, "You're fired!" The Donald rationalized explained his decision not to dethrone the disgraced Miss USA by praising her as a "good person" who's been "trying hard." "I've always been a believer in second chances, and Tara deserves a second chance," he said. Trump blamed her unbecoming behavior (allegations of underage drinking, drug use and sexual misconduct) on her being a naive country gal who was spoiled rotten by the Big Apple.

Not everyone gulped that palaver. However, running to rehab has worked to turn the likes of some high profile people (such as swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn, Congressman Mark Foley, movie-maker Mel Gibson, Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and model Kate Moss) from villains to victims,* and it's worked for Tara too.
* Source: Ann-Marie Dorning, ABC News, "Running to Rehab: When Celebrities, Athletes and Politicians Mess Up, Rehab Offers a Popular Escape" (October 2, 2006)
Trump has spoken, and here's what he said: Tara will hold steady to her Miss USA title and prizes - provided she tee-toe-tals the line from here on. In an article filed under "Train Wrecks, Wacky and Weird," explains:

"She's agreed to go into rehab. She knows that if she makes even the slightest mistake from here on, she will be immediately replaced," said Trump. The carefully coifed billionaire explained that he will use Conner as a role model. "I believe she can do a tremendous service to young people."

Too bad for dethroned beauty queens such as Miss America 1984 (Vanessa Williams, New York) and Miss Earth 2002 (Dzejla Glavovic, Lebanon) The Donald didn't own and preside over their pageants. And too bad for Miss Teen USA 2006, Katie Blair, that even The Donald can't save her MADD, MADD, MADD gig as national spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Ratings rule for The Donald, and I believe they affected his decision to let Tara retain her tarnished tiara. Here's my logic: people like watching him fire candidates The Apprentice, and he does so - on that show - in a New York minute. When he allowed Martha Stewart to head a parallel Apprentice household and saw his own ratings being cannibalized, he sent the domestic diva packing and dissed her with a nasty, public post-eviction notice. And sordid stories about Tara's alleged bad behavior, predictions she'd be dethroned, and Donald's final answer got oceans of ink. Not all of it was favorable, but as far as Mr. Trump was concerned, apparently, "it's all good."

Dickens' A Christmas Carol