From Newsweek: “Celebrity” has become a tarnished word, for which we may largely credit the late Daniel Boorstin, the eminent histo­rian who defined it in The Image, his 1961 survey of what he saw as the devo­lu­tion of America. “The celebrity,” Boorstin proclaimed, “is a person who is known for his well-known­ness.” Boorstin was writing at a time of great cultural flux, with the rise of the mass media and an efful­gence of what he consid­ered trash, and he placed celebrity within the larger context of an America whose citi­zens were increas­ingly enthralled by imita­tions of reality rather than by reality itself — by the pretense of substance without the actual substance. He coined the term “pseudo-event” to describe coun­ter­feit happen­ings like press confer­ences, photo ops, and movie premieres that existed only to adver­tise them­selves. He called celebri­ties human pseudo-events: hollow façades illu­mi­nated by publicity. So it has been ever since. · Go to Tiger-Stalking: In Defense of Our Tabloid Culture →