Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 08/ 9/2006

Celebritology 101: Lindsay Lohan & the Celebrity Spin Machine

By Liz Kelly

Believe what I say, not what I do. (AP)

Pay close attention to what comes out of the mouths of celebrities. They may not always mean what they say. They probably didn't actually come up with these words (remember, most are paid performers) and in most cases their utterances -- whether on Entertainment Tonight or surrounded by salt-of-the-earth villagers in Namibia -- are calculated to add value to their brand. Imagine them henceforth as officially sanctioned sociopaths very carefully manipulated by an able band of helpers.

Below we study an annotated version of a very commonly used celebrity device in attempted image rehabilitation:

Lohan Wants to Visit U.S. Troops in Iraq

The Associated Press
Celebritology Annotation in Italics

NEW YORK -- Lindsay Lohan says she wants to go to Iraq with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and entertain American troops there.

Lindsay Lohan has suffered some big setbacks in recent days -- she was publicly scolded by a studio exec, dumped by her label, hospitalized for "dehydration" and has been called as a witness in a suit against her mother -- and wants us to associate her name with a more positive vision of a busty, ministering angel to the troops than a hungover, forever bikini-clad party girl on the fast track to Taradise.

"I've been trying to go to Iraq with Hillary Clinton for so long. Hillary was trying to work it out, but it seemed too dangerous," the 20-year-old actress says in an interview in the September issue of Elle magazine, on newsstands Wednesday.

"Hillary Clinton has no intention of taking me to Iraq and, as we speak, her people are calling my people to find out where in the hell I got the idea that Hillary would even permit me to join her on a government-funded junket to a war zone. And she asks that I please call her Sen. Clinton in the future. Oops."

Lohan, whose screen credits include "Freaky Friday," "Mean Girls" and the upcoming "Georgia Rule," says she hoped to emulate Marilyn Monroe, who performed shows for about 100,000 troops stationed in Korea in 1954.

"It's so amazing seeing that one woman just going somewhere, this beautiful sex kitten, who's basically a pinup, which is what I've always aspired to be," Lohan tells the magazine, adding that she would prepare for her trip to Iraq by taking shooting lessons with her security guard.

"Cuz Marilyn was also able to wear pretty clothes while metabolizing pretty heavy doses of booze and stuff. I think the perfect thing to add to that mix would be a gun. I'm sure there would be no problem with someone of my obvious talent and steady nerves carrying a gun around a U.S. Senator."

A spokesman for the senator offered a slightly different take on Lohan's contact with the New York Democrat's office.

"It was suggested to her that if she wanted to go, she could pursue doing so through the USO," said spokesman Philippe Reines.

In the above sentence, please note that non-celebrity Philippe Reines means exactly what he says.


There are some celebrities who inadvisably eschew the above strategy. For two current examples, one need look no farther than Malibu or, umm, Malibu to see the results of a star unleashed without proper handling. And we all know what happened when Tom Cruise unwisely dumped longtime publicist Pat Kingsley in favor of his sister and fellow Scientologist: Mission Nowhere.

Using the examples provided, practice your own spin control by recasting the following phrases or circumstances:

Example 1:
Circumstance: Your haggard client, X, was snapped sweating out a three-day drunk in a 24-hour Dennys.

You issue a press release saying X, who likes to remain grounded by visiting her favorite fast food haunt, is taking some time off from her hectic schedule. She recently became obsessed with baby seals and is jeopardizing her health losing sleep over their plight. She'll travel to Canada later this year to officially lend her support to the effort to end seal hunts.

Example 2:
Your client says: "I hate [insert group of people here].

You make all haste to let it be known that your client is an out-of-control lush who just so happens to donate lots of money to substance abuse programs and, like, has friends of that persuasion.

1. Your client says: "Yes, fat kids are a problem. Maybe childhood liposuction is a good idea."

2. Circumstance: Your client is really a crackhead, but still a bankable concert ticket. How do you keep your client working long enough to buy your fourth vacation home?

3. Circumstance: When questioned at a teen summit, your mid-20s starlet isn't able to name the vice president. She is able, however, to liplock a 17-year-old member of the audience.

By Liz Kelly  | August 9, 2006; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Celebritology 101  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Mix: MTV Curse Claims The Barkers
Next: Robin Williams in Rehab



Posted by: pleated pants = awful | August 9, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I am horrified that Lindsey has these thoughts and even more horrified that people are actually INTERESTED in what she has to say. I have a 20 year old, starting her senior year in college, no more interested in partying and being"cute and sexy" than the man in the moon. Do bars and restaurants not realize she is under age? Do her handlers and her absent parents not realize that this poor child is in for a BIG fall? I feel more pity for her than admiration.

Posted by: vicki Pasadena, CA | August 9, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

please note, this may be the first time in history that someone has said that a political flack meant what they said. it's a mad, mad world.

Posted by: ce | August 9, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

1. Your client says: "Yes, fat kids are a problem. Maybe childhood liposuction is a good idea."

Answer: "After watching Morgan Spurlock's chef d'oeuvre Super Size Me, [Client] has become concerned about the health issues facing today's youth. To this end, [Client] is sponsoring an "Anorexia Now" conference at the Learning Annex in Pasadena."

2. Circumstance: Your client is really a crackhead, but still a bankable concert ticket. How do you keep your client working long enough to buy your fourth vacation home?

Answer: 2 options - 1) Keep the crack pipe out of reach just far enough that Client remains engaged, but not high; or 2) Send Client to rehab, then immediately launch comeback tour. If there is a relaps while tour is going on, see Option 1.

3. Circumstance: When questioned at a teen summit, your mid-20s starlet isn't able to name the vice president. She is able, however, to liplock a 17-year-old member of the audience.

Answer: Whatever you do, don't let her go before a TV camera and explain that she's "country."

Posted by: celebstalker | August 9, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Can you say "Corey Haim"? Sure, I knew you could.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 9, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for checking in, Che.

Posted by: Liz | August 9, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Liz, the warning from clearly state that you can remove comments like Che's. I think that would be a good option since Che clearly has no intention of stopping this annoying diatribe.

Posted by: Re: Che | August 9, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Liz, will you tell Robin Williams that if he seeks treatment for alcoholism now (see, then he won't be able to talk about how much he hates [ethnic/religious affilition/sexual orientation/eye colour] next week.

And Che, baby, STFU, willya? Even if you're right, nobody gives a rat's behind. Not when there's so much high-qualty reality tv programming to be watched - you might as well be down at the corner yelling, "Soylent Green is people!"

Posted by: byoolin | August 9, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

That last post was brought to you by the letter "i" and the punctuation mark "?", both of which were inadvertently excluded from their intended locations.

Posted by: byoolin | August 9, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I think that Che has a valid point, that neo-cons like Lohan should bare their midriffs and pursue a policy of transfering the Government's capital to the rich.

Off point, I think that Lohan should be able to have marital relations with everyone she wishes to and even people she doesn't wish to, all in the pursuit of the rock and pipe.

Posted by: Tom Canick | August 9, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Re: [Client] is crackhead but also bankable concert ticket, I know this is based on real life (how many times over? don't know that). So this one celebrity-lady-singer, old skool and totatlly loved with her big voice, played a show here and my roommate is friends with the makeup artist. We go to the show, we go to the after party, and Lady Singer is in fact cracked out, and begging us, total strangers, to help her get crack 'cuz her people won't. Uh, right, like I want to be known as the 21st Century Cathy Smith. As the evening wore on, someone did provide her with other substances (many), but not the pipe.

Posted by: miss belle | August 9, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I think if she bares more she could probably begin a resolution of the currrent Israel-Hezbollah conflict. They would realize that there are things that transcend territory and idealogy.

Posted by: Stick | August 9, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

So Lindsey aspires to be a six kitten and a pinup. She needs to latch onto the other Clinton...and I don't mean Chelsea...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Plain Lindsay Lohan wants to be the next Marilyn Monroe? As far as beauty, NO WAY.

Posted by: Kris | August 9, 2006 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Why do you allow off-topic rambling. It makes for very non-interesting reading. In fact, I skipped the whole blog because of it.

Posted by: Kris | August 9, 2006 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Lindsey Lohan is a joke, as is most of the entertainment community. They have no idea what "real life" is all about. They live in a world of make believe, have no notion what is really important in life. They throw away relationships like we normal people throw away garbage. They are shallow, narrow minded and superficial and need to stay out of politics and stay on the silver screen where they want to be and belong.

Posted by: Andi In Houston | August 9, 2006 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Lindsay Lohan is indeed a joke, and probably cited Marilyn Monroe because that's the only star she's aware of. I doubt Lindsay has ever heard of Carole Lombard, who gave her life for this country while returning from a bond rally.

Posted by: Vincent | August 9, 2006 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Lindsay Lohan is hot... you know who else is hot right now.. that Elise Craig.. to bad she doesn't check her facebook wall.

Posted by: JLKMAN | August 10, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The only way Lindsey Lohan will mirror Marilyn Monroe will possibly be in how she leaves this mortal coil.

Posted by: ML | August 10, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I love it ML! Totally agree! She's only 20 and already "exhausted"? What the hell, maybe she aspires to die at 27... after all, she lives at the Chateau Marmont-pretty prententious. If she aspires to die at 27, like Morrison, Joplin, Hendrix, Jones, and Cobain, then she's in the right place.

Posted by: Alexandra Grantham | August 11, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company