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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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