Xposed: Paula Abdul’s Crime?

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What is far worse is Paula's reaction. Rather than convey a sense of shame, if she's guilty, or outrage, if she's been falsely accused, Paula's response has been to parlay the exposure into her own career-advancing opportunity, appearing on Saturday Night Live to make light of it all

In 1956, contestant Charles Van Doren enjoyed such a successful run on a game show named “Twenty One� that he not only landed on the cover of Time Magazine but was hired as the permanent host of the Today Show on NBC-TV. However, just a couple of years later, when rumors that the program might have been rigged started to spread, a New York State grand jury subpoenaed the charming Columbia University Professor and scores of network executives, producers, and employees in order to get to the bottom of it. But the witnesses initially closed ranks, all steadfastly maintaining their innocence, even in the face of damning, irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

So, the United States Congress got involved, summoning Van Doren and company to Washington, D.C. to testify under oath as to whether or not anybody had been coached. Finally, on November 2, 1959, in front of a standing room-only hearing into the scandal, Van Doren capitulated and owned-up to the House Sub-Committee that he had, in fact, been supplied the answers to his questions ahead of time.

As a consequence of his confession, Van Doren suffered greatly for the scam. He was fired from his posts at Columbia and on Today, and he was banished to a social Siberia  to live out the rest of his days in a lonely obscurity.

Meanwhile, Congress passed a statute making it thenceforth a federal crime to fix any game show. Fast forward to the present where, today, we find 22-year-old Corey Clark, a rat-faced American Idol also-ran, being allotted his own full hour of prime-time television by ABC-TV to recount how he was courted, coached, seduced and abandoned by judge Paula Abdul, woman almost twice his age at the time.

According to Corey, Paula prepped him on every phase of his performance, from picking and paying for his clothes and to update his peasy-ass hair-style, to helping him choose songs that would most please her co-judges, Simon and Randy. It's bad enough that the transparent Corey has obviously decided to speak out now as part of a carefully packaged publicity stunt to sell both a tell-all

memoir about the steamy affair and his new music CD, whose lead single is a god-awful sappy love song about how he was mistreated by his cradle-robbing sugar mama. What is far worse is Paula's reaction. Rather than convey a sense of shame, if she's guilty, or outrage, if she's been falsely accused, Paula's response has been to parlay the exposure into her own career-advancing opportunity, appearing on Saturday Night Live to make light of it all, introducing a skit parodying what was a very serious crime, if it occurred.

It is indeed a sad commentary on the state of this society, when behavior which would have once generated widespread outrage and captured Congress' attention is now solely the subject of satirical comedy.

We can easily observe the degree of
our collective ethical decay and moral depravity, when nobody cares about the compromised  integrity of American Idol or a clear-cut case of sexual exploitation, leaving the entire matter unexamined, except as fodder for late-night comedians. Not long ago these sorts of shenanigans would have led to such a fast fall from grace for Paula Abdul, that we'd all be observing, "Look, a falling star. Make a wish!"

Black Star News columnist Kam Williams is an attorney and a member of the NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars. For more reports please call (212) 481-7745 to subscribe to the newsstand edition of The Black Star.

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