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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

Sorry, O'Reilly. It's not far-left ideologues pushing a secular-progressive agenda that's putting newspapers out of business. It's Paris Hilton.

And comedy writers are following the New York Times right down the tube.

Forget trying to deal with President Bush's latest faux pas, try to keep your Paris Hilton jokes from being dated. It's near impossible.

First she's sent to jail. Great stuff. Filthy, filthy rich Paris in the hoosegow. The comedy opportunities to bang on a wealthier-than-God, self-absorbed simpleton who needs a righteous comeuppance are infinite. The only thing that would be better would be if the judge deciding where Anna Nicole Smith should be buried was in charge of Paris's sentencing.

"I want Paris (sob) to be buried (sniffle, choke) with her Chihuahua" (complete breakdown, an-n-nd scene).

But who needs any more help when the material is basically written for you? The only seeming problem facing a satirist is that the job would be too easy. When you're aiming for Jon Stewart you don't want to end up running smack obscure-reference into Dennis Miller. But comedy writers have never faced with the second-by-second, ever-mutating reports provided by Paris. Sure today's news is old news by tomorrow, but at least let the ink dry.

My weekly L.A. Daily News column based on Paris getting out of jail toute suite (I turn in my Sunday column on Thurs) passe the moment she was back in court. Worse, the sample material I submitted to get on the writing staff of one particular talk show had to be in to producers on Friday morning -- tons of "Paris got out of jail "material included.

Unfortunately, with Paris fast-changing events, Jay Leno's monologue could be dated even by the time it airs a couple of hours later on the east coast.

Hell, if you go the bathroom, keeping your Internet columns up to date is a challenge.

One day Paris shows up late for her hearing, then she's in the brig, then she's out because she was "sick," then Sheriff says she was incarcerated for five days, not three. (Is this unbelievable? She checks into jail a couple minutes before 12, checks out three minutes after 12 and they count that as two extra days. That's not real time. That's Hilton Hotel checkout policy.)

And still it grinds on. She's under house arrest, then she's back in, and right now, she's on a starvation strike, refusing keep any food down. Finally, bulimia pays off.

When they said, "we'll always have Paris," I just didn't think it would mean, "always." I don't want to complain -- while I'm complaining -- but topical humor should be topical, and with Paris Hilton, it's hopeless.

Yesterday -- this is not a joke -- the statement came in from Paris's county-run villa cell. Paris was "shocked to see all of the attention devoted to the amount of time I would spend in jail for what I had done" and wants the public and the media to turn their attention to "more important things like the men and women serving our country in Iraq and other places around the world."

Like I said, sometimes it's just too easy.

Steve's latest blatant infomercial is available on YouTube and well worth five minutes, eighteen seconds of your time

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Albion Monitor   June 8, 2007   (

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