Today the guy best known for shooting and killing an unarmed 17-year-old had his undeserved celebrity validated. George Zimmerman was challenged to a so-called Celebrity Boxing match by an actual celebrity, rapper DMX.
Now it’s true that the “celebrity” in Celebrity Boxing is singular, so we can pretend the designation only applies to DMX. A more accurate name for the match would be “Celebrity-and-Guy-Known-for-Killing-an-Unarmed-Teenager Boxing Match.”
Zimmerman is by no means the first guy with dubious celebrity credentials to get involved in these exhibitionist boxing fetes. Tonya Harding, for instance, founght in a similar match back in 2002. But Harding was known for something other than her involvement in the assault on Nancy Kerrigan in 1994: She started out as a world-renowned figure skater.
Before he killed Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was a neighborhood-watch coordinator. Now he’s selling his lackluster paintings, or, more likely, stenciled-over photos from Getty Images, for $100,000 on Ebay and he’s getting to perform in the same space as people like Dustin Neil Diamond, who played Screech in Saved by the Bell.
Of course there’s a long tradition of people using their infamy as a way to make money or converting that infamy into another moment in the limelight. Take Anthony Weiner’s 23-year-old sexting partner, Sydney Leathers, who capitalized on her notoriety by modeling for a leather apparel company and doing some filming for porn company Vivid.
But what Leathers did was at worst, distasteful. It’s certainly a far cry from killing a black kid in a hoodie and then going on to reap celebrity status for it. That has got to be a “celebrity culture” nadir of sorts.
Or maybe the nadir was that time O.J. Simpson tried to sell the knife he allegedly used to kill his wife for $5 million? At least he knew it was sick enough to keep it a secret.
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Since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, on which Donald Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women, "Senate Republicans have seen their fortunes dip, particularly in states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania," where Hillary Clinton now leads. Jennifer Duffy writes that she now expects Democrats to gain five to seven seats—enough to regain control of the chamber.
"Of the Senate seats in the Toss Up column, Trump only leads in Indiana and Missouri where both Republicans are running a few points behind him. ... History shows that races in the Toss Up column never split down the middle; one party tends to win the lion’s share of them."
"Some Republicans are running so far away from their party’s nominee that they are threatening to sue TV stations for running ads that suggest they support Donald Trump. Just two weeks before Election Day, five Republicans―Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican running for an open seat that’s currently occupied by his brother―contend that certain commercials paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee provide false or misleading information by connecting them to the GOP nominee. Trump is so terrible, these Republicans are essentially arguing, that tying them to him amounts to defamation."
Former Illinois GOP Congressman Aaron Schock "recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago." Schock resigned from Congress after a story about his Downton Abbey-themed congressional office raised questions about how he was using taxpayer dollars.
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."