Monday, April 25, 2005

The politics of extreme publicity

If the mayor of your town started photographing naked women for porn magazines, would voters be appalled? Mayor Oscar Goodman has agreed to be a Playboy guest photographer but since he's mayor of Las Vegas, the moral outrage may be muted. In fact, the only citizen expressing disapproval chooses particularly poor words to do so: "'If that's the case...that seems to be too much to swallow.'"

The real question is if Mayor Goodman -- who made his money defending mobsters in court -- is pursuing a sort of scorched-earth publicity tour as a run-up to promoting a tell-all book. Is he doing the outrageous simply to make himself nationally famous? For the answer, we have to turn to the master of extreme PR, Paris Hilton. Unfortunately, she's busy making borderline-porn TV commercials for a new Carl's Jr burger.

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