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Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 03/18/2008

Comment Box: Defining Celebrity; A Good Read

By Liz Kelly

A mantra for LL: I am a celebrity, though not Marilyn Monroe. (Reuters)

What is your criteria for defining someone as a celebrity and thus deemed worthy for your column? Is this an ethereal thing or are there hard and fast rules? -- Submitted during last week's Celebritology Live chat

Angelina Jolie, Gilbert Arenas, William Hung, Ashley Alexandra Dupre -- all celebrities, of a sort -- famous, infamous, skeevy, it doesn't take much these days to gain a foothold in the news-scape or score a Barbara Walters/Diane Sawyer/Matt Lauer interview. But, since you asked about MY criteria and what I deem worthy for MY column, here's a short checklist:

1. Is somehow, even tangentially, related to the entertainment business. So, Tom Brady (and his penchant for dating supermodels) is in and Michael Vick (and his doggie day care) are out. Same goes for politicians and other three-piece suit types, unless they find themselves sucked into the Hollywood tractor beam. So, no Eliot Spitzer here (no matter how much we talk about it in the weekly chat), but plenty of Obama, as far as he's a celeb fave in this year's presidential election cycle. (In the interest of balance and conservative search engine crawlers, I'd like to add the following: Sylvester Stallone John McCain chuckle).

2. Once a celeb, always a celeb. Look no further than this morning's Mix (below) for proof. Some nutty guy on the red carpet? Shrug. Cast Gary Busey as that whackadoodle and, hello, we've got a keeper! The same goes for you and your new baby, Soliel Moon Frye. And, Lindsay Lohan, if you're reading this may come as some comfort: careers may evaporate, but your star power will shine through even the murkiest of Hollywood descents. Just ask former gal pal Tara Reid.

3. Is Britney Spears.

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Good Read: Confessions of a Celebrity Blogger (Huffingtonpost.com)
I'm reminded daily of the dichotomy (See Mariah, I can use it, too!) between Celebritology and the majority of celeb-centric blogs. I sift through much chaff to bring you only the finest in star-focused news. And there's something I've been keeping from you. Well, a lot of somethings. Confession time: Sometimes I don't include items that may overtaking the rest of the Internet because they're just too crude, cruel or ridiculously untrue to brand with the washingtonpost.com stamp of approval.

That's why I was fascinated with Charlotte Hilton Anderson's piece about the life of a ghost blogger for a popular -- yet unnamed -- celebrity blog. Anderson recounts her slow awakening to the expectation that she fabricate items. In response to one item that triggered a public denial from Michelle Williams, Anderson says her employer mused that Williams "got tons of free publicity out of it, so she probably secretly liked it."

Read Anderson's peek behind the curtains here.

---

Comment of the Week
"In the future, no one shaves their legs! Celine Dion is huge here." -- Methinks comments on the March 12 Morning Mix

By Liz Kelly  | March 18, 2008; 10:56 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Mix: Diddy Denies Tupac Assault Claim
Next: Morning Mix: Heath Ledger's Family Feuds Over Estate

Comments

Hi Liz,
And thanks for the Comment of the Week honors, though I should also add a thanks to byoolin for lobbying for that post (from the future, no less!)

I think you meant to say "Read ANDERSON's peek behind the curtains here," rather than Allen's. Got your Charlotte's mixed up. I think Anderson is the 'good Charlotte', if you know what I mean and I'm sure you do.

It was, as promised, and interesting read.

Posted by: methinks | March 18, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

um..."AN interesting read."
yeesh...typo city today. poor punctuation too, "Charlotte's"...ah well. i was basking in the glow of comment of the week honors.

Posted by: methinks | March 18, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Crikey. Thanks Methinks. Fixt now.

Posted by: Liz Kelly | March 18, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Sports figures are not celebrities? Ummm........ok. I would beg to differ, but, eh.

Posted by: EricS | March 18, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Congrats, methinks! (Aren't you now a multiple Comment Of The Week winner?)

Posted by: byoolin | March 18, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas' post made me woozy. I don't even know who he is, but two seconds into reading about point guards (and I'm a basketball fan) had me wondering if I should back away from the PC and instead go outside to enjoy the sun and fresh air.

The Anderson piece was interesting, but I hardly think having Michelle Williams cry foul is enough to make you important. I think Missy BlogWriter is trying too hard to obtain relevance in the blogosphere.

Posted by: td | March 18, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

InfUSA idEXEC Directory lists the NFL's industry type as "Leisure-Musical Groups." So, an argument could be made that NFL players are somewhat connected to the entertainment industry which would qualify them as celebrities.

I know this because I legitimately needed the information for a paper I am writing.

Posted by: ep | March 18, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I work around professional athletes and, while they have a high profile in their 'industry', I don't really consider them celebrities in the Celebritology sense of the word (or using Liz Kelly's criteria). There are examples of worlds colliding, of course, David Justice was married to Halle Berry, Ted Turner was married to Jane Fonda, Derek Jeter inexplicably dated Mariah Carey (maybe he liked her shoes?), but in those cases, the athlete enhanced his status by hooking up w/a celeb. I don't think anyone thought Halle, Jane, or Mariah needed those guys to enhance their celebrity status.

Posted by: methinks | March 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations on your Comment of the Week honor methinks! I never did make it to the future though and was wondering whether I should stop shaving my legs or if that fad had passed?

Posted by: jes | March 18, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The Turkish press was calling her "Selim" Dion.

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