Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage from

Ignore the publicity whores

By Dean Obeidallah, Special to CNN
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Sat October 27, 2012
Donald Trump offered $5 million to charity this week if President Obama would release his college transcripts.
Donald Trump offered $5 million to charity this week if President Obama would release his college transcripts.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dean Obeidallah: There are people who always seek attention and the spotlight
  • Obeidallah: Do we really need to hear another ridiculous comment from them?
  • Statements made by people in power -- or those seeking it -- can't be ignored, he says
  • Obeidallah: Next time we hear these people spew their garbage, let's walk away

Editor's note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is a political comedian and frequent commentator on various TV networks including CNN. He is the editor of the politics blog "The Dean's Report" and co-director of the upcoming documentary "The Muslims Are Coming!" Follow him on Twitter: @deanofcomedy

(CNN) -- The publicity whores are back. OK, they never really leave.

We are able to avoid hearing from them for periods of time, but unfortunately, they always reappear -- typically when they have a book to sell or a new TV show to kick off or maybe when they feel ignored. This week, a handful of them crawled out from their subterranean colony.

I won't even identify these Kings and Queens of Whoredom by name. They don't deserve the attention. But we are all painfully familiar with them. They are a modern-day Legion of Doom. Their primary purpose is to elevate their own power or glory without regard to truth, justice or the American way.

Dean Obeidallah
Dean Obeidallah

Why can't we simply ignore them? Why can't we turn the other cheek and move on? These people are like rashes: The more you scratch them, the worse they get. But when you ignore a rash, it usually goes away.

Trump trashed for 'October surprise'
Trump not from here, Obama jokes

Do we really need to hear another ridiculous or dumb comment from them?

Become a fan of CNNOpinion
Stay up to date on the latest opinion, analysis and conversations through social media. Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion and follow us @CNNOpinion on Twitter. We welcome your ideas and comments.



Such as the millionaire with the grotesquely inflated ego and the equally grotesque hairstyle that looks as if a Pomeranian has been stapled to his scalp, the one who offered $5 million to see President Obama's college transcript.

Or the former governor who was once stumped by the question "What newspapers and magazines did you regularly read?"

There's also the smug comedian/host of a weekly cable talk show who has called the above publicity-driven politician vile names, including the "C-word," maybe as an effort to keep himself in the news.

And, of course, who can forget the radio talk show host who infamously stated in the days before Barack Obama was sworn in as our president: "I hope he fails."

Plus, there's a B team of media bloodsuckers who are just about personal profit at any cost. In fact, one of the stars of this bush-league team publicly used the word "retard" twice this week to describe Obama. Why use that word? Perhaps it's because, as of the writing of this article, her new book is floundering at No. 199 on Amazon.com's sales list.

Opinion: Sununu's comment insults black Americans

In contrast, the statements made by people in power -- or those seeking power -- about their political stances can't be ignored, even if they sound as extreme as the publicity whores.

A recent example is when Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock stated, "Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

These words were not said by Mourdock in the hopes of personal profit or to inflame passions like those desperate for publicity. Rather, they offer a glimpse into his true feelings on the issue of rape and abortion. The media should cover this extensively so as to better inform voters.

But too often, the media tend to follow big personalities who seek the spotlight. These publicity-seekers are like vampires who, instead of needing blood, must get attention to survive. It's in their DNA. They will still subject someone to their stream of nonsense. It could be an unlucky person on line behind them at Starbucks, an unsuspecting taxi driver or anyone who stops for a few seconds to tie their sneakers on the sidewalk.

Next time we hear these people spew their vile garbage, let's collectively ignore them. Let's not become outraged or demand apologies. Let's go on with our business, and maybe -- just maybe -- the media will follow suit.

Recently, I noticed a scab covering a small cut on my hand. When I picked at it, it became bigger and took up more of my attention. But when I left it alone, it healed. It disappeared without a trace. Let's hope the same happens with the publicity whores.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dean Obeidallah.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts say Americans are ready for sensible gun laws, but politicians are cowed by the NRA. Everytown for Gun Safety will prove the NRA is not that powerful.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Ruben Navarrette says Steve Israel is right: Some Republicans encourage anti-Latino prejudice. But that kind of bias is not limited to the GOP.
updated 7:23 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Peggy Drexler counts the ways Phyllis Schlafly's argument that lower pay for women helps them nab a husband is ridiculous.
updated 12:42 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Rick McGahey says Rep. Paul Ryan is signaling his presidential ambitions by appealing to hard core Republican values
updated 11:39 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Paul Saffo says current Google Glasses are doomed to become eBay collectibles, but they are only the leading edge of a surge in wearable tech that will change our lives
updated 2:49 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Kathleen Blee says the KKK and white power or neo-Nazi groups give haters the purpose and urgency to use violence.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Waxman say read deep, and you'll see the federal Keystone pipeline report spells out the pipeline is bad news
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Frida Ghitis says President Obama needs to stop making empty threats against Russia and consider other options
updated 5:29 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Peter Bergen and David Sterman say the Kansas Jewish Center killings are part of a string of lethal violence in the U.S. that outstrips al Qaeda-influenced attacks. Why don't we pay more attention?
updated 12:41 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Danny Cevallos says families of the passengers on Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 need legal counsel
updated 11:23 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
David Frum says Russia is on a rampage of mischief while Western leaders and Western alliances charged with keeping the peace hem and haw
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Most adults make the mistakes of hitting the snooze button and of checking emails first thing in the morning, writes Mel Robbins
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
David Wheeler says as middle-class careers continue to disappear, we need a monthly cash payment to everyone
updated 7:55 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Democrats need to show more political spine when it comes to the issue of taxes.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Donna Brazile recalls the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act as four presidents honored the heroes of the movement and Lyndon Johnson, who signed the law
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Elmer Smith remembers Chuck Stone, the legendary journalist from Philadelphia who was known as a thorn in the side of police and an advocate for the little guy
updated 2:56 PM EDT, Sun April 13, 2014
Al Franken says Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, wants to acquire Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable provider. Should we be concerned?
updated 11:22 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Philip Cook and Kristin Goss says the Pennsylvania stabbing attack, which caused grave injury -- but not death, carries a lesson on guns for policymakers
updated 3:06 PM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Wikipedia lists 105 football movies, but all too many of them are forgettable, writes Mike Downey
updated 10:32 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
John Sutter and hundreds of iReporters set out to run marathons after the bombings -- and learned a lot about the culture of running
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Timothy Stanley says it was cowardly to withdraw the offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The university should have done its homework on her narrow views and not made the offer
updated 10:16 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Al Awlaki
Almost three years after his death in a 2011 CIA drone strike in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki continues to inspire violent jihadist extremists in the U.S, writes Peter Bergen
updated 9:21 PM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
David Bianculli says Colbert is a smart, funny interviewer, but ditching his blowhard persona to take over the mainstream late-night role may cost him fans
updated 1:31 PM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Rep. Paul Ryan says the Republican budget places its trust in the people, not in Washington
updated 5:28 PM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Aaron David Miller says Obama isn't to blame for Kerry's lack of progress in resolving Mideast talks
updated 11:22 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
David Weinberger says beyond focusing on the horrors of the attack a year ago, it's worth remembering the lessons it taught about strength, the dangers of idle speculation and Boston's solidarity
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Katherine Newman says the motive for the school stabbing attack in Pennsylvania is not yet known, but research on such rampages turns up similarities in suspects and circumstances
updated 2:39 PM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
Wendy Townsend says the Rattlesnake Roundup -- where thousands of pounds of snakes are killed and tormented -- is barbaric
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT