Check out Ron Rosenbaum’s savage dissection of Esquire magazine’s Angelina Jolie cover story. The actress, according to the
president of her fan club writer, “is the best woman in the world.”
“(B)ecause she is the most famous woman in the world—because she is not like you or me.”
It gets worse:
“She fulfills her vision of herself as the underdog; because she’s the underdog she connects to the world’s genuine underdogs … and so, in the end, finds meaning and a measure of happiness. It is the kind of conversion encouraged by all of the world’s major religions, but because celebrity is the religion in question here, the conversion of Angelina Jolie is regarded as out of reach—the function of fame and privilege.”
As Rosenbaum points out, this kind of fawning is routine.
The rules of the game, as established by the glossy magazines and the stars’ PR reps, ensure that “access” (well, a half-hour chat in a restaurant that enables the magazine to proclaim it has an “exclusive” interview) and the all-important exclusive cover shot are granted only to those magazines and journalists who will refrain from anything but fawning prose. It works out well for everybody. Celebrity journalists who play along get a good payday, magazines get newsstand sales bumps, and the rest of us are inculcated into the received myths of Celebland, the legends that sustain the illusion that it is somehow truly important.
Having briefly inhabited that world, I can vouch that celebrity journalists rank a rung below attorneys who advertise.