So what's the deal with public figures who've done something wrong coming out with press releases and interviews saying, "I did it because I had a bad childhood"?
Mark Foley, the Republican senator from Florida brought a new twist on the trend when, after instant messages to male pages asking them about the measurements of their penises and showing up at the page dorm late at night, drunk, and asking for some of the boys, went into rehab. Immediately he and his press folks said three things: he's gay, he's an alcoholic, and a priest had touched him inappropriately when he was a child. Foley seemed to be trying to lessen the blow of his inappropriate behavior by saying, "I'm an alcoholic, and everything started because I had a bad childhood and a priest molested me." Alcholism is a tricky beast to battle, and sexual abuse is something no one deserves to experience. But maybe Mark Foley should have taken responsibility for his actions instead of saying, "I'm a drunk, I had a bad childhood."
Same thing goes for Miss Tara Conner, the winner of the Miss USA pageant, who used cocaine and engaged in some publicly promiscuous behavior deemed "unfit" for a pageant title-holder. Donald Trump called a big press conference and announced Tara was entering rehab, but would keep her Miss USA crown because "people deserve second chances," which led Rosie O'Donnell say a few things about all of it on The View, thus beginning the now infamous Trump/O'Donnell public feud.
In any case, Matt Lauer interviewed the freshly-out-of-treatment Tara Conner yesterday, and she brought the same bag of tricks out: somebody had "violated her trust" when she was a child, she said, and it had caused serious problems for her. Matt couldn't get her to say much more, but the implication is some sort of physical or sexual abuse durig her childhood in Kentucky.
So I'm saying this: I understand bad things happen in childhoods, and that they can be very damaging, and they can be horrific and upsetting. But every time a public figure does something they're not proud of, like snort cocaine and get caught, or start coming onto underagers when they're a senator and serve on the taskforce for missing and exploited children, or whatever else, maybe they shouldn't fall back on "I'm sorry, I had a bad childhood." Instead, maybe they could take responsibility for their actions, and then find the number for a great therapist and start addressing their own issues so they can stop using troubled childhoods as a crutch for bad behavior.
You know things have reached a Britney Spears media saturation point when the press starts reporting on how many bathroom breaks Britney takes during a day of recording of her new album. I mean, really?
Meanwhile, is anybody else out there loving ABC's Ugly Betty, especially as of late? Becki Newton as Amanda and Michael Urie as Marc seem to have filled the gap where Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally's Jack and Karen left off after Will & Grace wrapped last year. I love Betty's twelve-year-old gay nephew, Justin. And beyond that, we now have Ms. Rebecca Romijn playing a woman who used to be a man (the former brother, now sister, of the editor-in-chief of the magazine where Betty works! gasp!) mixed into the melee. I'm just sayin': Ugly Betty is a whole lot of fun, and deserved the Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series.