Originally Published: December 22, 2000 7:15 p.m.
Once when he was accepting an award from theater owners for being the year's top box office draw, film icon Gary Cooper said: "Never have I seen so many people make such a fuss over so little."
Cooper's talent certainly had earned him the honor, and his humility was genuine. Even after winning two best actor Oscars, Cooper wrote an article disparaging his own acting ability. His words literally fit the asinine hoopla over the wedding of pop diva Madonna.
The "Material Girl" is supposed to marry film director Guy Ritchie today in Skibo Castle, which steel baron Andrew Carnedgie developed overlooking Dornoch Firth, Scotland.
Madonna has been complaining about her safety and that of her 4-month-old son with Ritchie. In one public appearance that drew more than 300 locals, representatives of the world's news media vastly outnumbered the indigenous crowd.
A crush of more than 300 crass, arrogant celebrity press journalists certainly is a fearsome prospect, but such complaints coming from Madonna is a little like George Armstrong Custer saying he couldn't understand where all the members of the Sioux and Crow Nations came from.
She has spent nearly 20 years marketing her as a pop diva with few inhibitions. She has gone topless in public and published a best-selling picture book full of racy pictures of her and her lovers called "The Sex Book."
That should teach her at least three things:
First, after 20 years of cultivating her trashy image, the fact she now seeks to get married in a Scottish castle does fit the classic definition of news being an event that departs from what the public might expect.
Second, when you promote a trashy image for so long, you likely will appeal to a certain class of people with limited taste who are likely to follow you wherever you go or subscribe to celebrity tabloids they expect will fill them in about your antics.
Finally, after a largely classless existence, it shows even less class to complain about attention from the very fans she so cunningly cultivated.
It's interesting to contemplate what amount and kinds of serious journalism news organizations could practice with the money the tabloids are piddling away on this nonsense.