Editor’s note: This column was originally published Sept. 14.
When I was in grade school, Pearl Harbor Day, observed every Dec. 7, was a solemn occasion. On that day in 1941, as a result of a Japanese sneak attack, 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 were wounded. (I realize so far this is not exactly Laughing Matters territory, but please bear with me.)
Another solemn day in American military history was D-Day, marking the Allied invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944. D-Day is observed to honor the thousands of American GIs who died in just one day. (The invasion was so perilous that Ike reportedly prepared two speeches, one announcing the mission‚Äôs success and the other his resignation.)
While both days are still observed, time has seemingly faded their importance, which is understandable. Currently, what is still incomprehensible to me is how one TV network treated the anniversary of 9/11. (Finally we‚Äôre approaching a possible yuk.)
This past Tuesday, 9/11, at 8:46 a.m., the exact time 11 years ago that the first terrorist plane hit the World Trade Center, NBC‚Äôs “Today” show made an odd programming choice.
Instead of a moment of silence as the other three networks featured, “Today” chose to continue Savannah Guthrie‚Äôs interview with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” mom, Kris Jenner. The subject, among other things, was Kris‚Äô recent breast enhancements.
As “research” for this column, I watched the entire interview on YouTube and am still speechless. I suppose the message for women with implants is they need to be replaced every 10 years so, as Kris says, “Check your expiration date.”
Funny, I never thought of breasts as having an expiration date. Frankly, I‚Äôm not sure how Savannah even segued into the subject. “Speaking of towers, Kris, I‚Äôve noticed your ‚Äòtwins‚Äô look a lot perkier.”)
Before I go further, for those who don‚Äôt know of the Kardashians may I just suggest “consider yourself lucky.” Clearly I‚Äôm not a big fan. But, in the name of full disclosure, I‚Äôve never watched an entire segment of their reality show. (In 2010 the Kardashians “earned” $65 million, which is the kind of money it‚Äôd take to get me to watch.)
What I do know is that Kris Jenner, 56, is the former wife of the late Robert Kardashian. He was the famous (or infamous) attorney/best friend of O.J. Simpson and may or may not have helped him get away with murder, unless you think O.J. was innocent. (So, you‚Äôre the one?)
In 1991, Kris married Bruce Jenner, former Olympic gold medalist in the 1976 decathlon, and recipient of too many face lifts. (In a recent column, I noted that Jenner and Paul McCartney suddenly look alike, which means either they have the same plastic surgeon or that all people who‚Äôve had numerous face lifts tend to look alike.)
Kris‚Äô highly successful show is about her family, especially her six children. (Instead of “manager,” Kris calls herself a “momager.” How adorable. Not.) Apparently the show just finished filming its seventh season. (Meaning the end of time must be near or good news for fans of the Mayan calendar.)
For the record, the six Kardashian children are as follows: Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie. And oh yes, one son named Robert Jr., whose apparent distinction is that he has a penis and a first name that doesn‚Äôt start with the letter “k.”
The reality show follows the drama of the Kardashians‚Äô daily life (yawn) and, from what little I‚Äôve seen, can best be described in one word, “shallow.” I suppose this explains its success, or as PT Barnum reportedly said, “You‚Äôll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” (Although some attribute that quote to H.L. Mencken.)
The good news is that many viewers were outraged that NBC made such an inappropriate choice as featuring Kris and her new mammaries over a tribute to the victims of 9/11. The bad news is Kris‚Äô segment probably got boffo ratings. (After all, where else could one learn the latest about fake boobs at that hour in the morning? And forgive me for using the word “boffo.”)
But now Kris is also furious with NBC. It seems that, in all the fallout from the “Today” show segment (including a Twitter campaign to boycott NBC) a lot has come Kris‚Äô way. (Which probably means higher ratings and more millions for the Kardashians. What a country.)
To be fair, a “Today” spokeswoman said that NBC inserted 9/11 coverage into the “West Coast feed.” (Which probably means the you-know-what had already begun hitting the fan.)
I apologize for letting boobs, fake or otherwise, hijack this column. (No pun intended.) Honestly, I had wanted to explore the lessons I believe we should all have taken from the 9/11 tragedy. Oh well, maybe next year. (Hopefully I won‚Äôt even mention the Kardashians.)
Jack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.