Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman wins this week’s Irony Award, apparently desperate enough to bribe elite colleges to admit her kids.
Therefore, I award this week’s runner-up irony honor to her actor husband William H. Macy, because he stars in the TV show Shameless.
Huffman is one of 40 people charged with bribing colleges for admission reasons. This breaking news can be connected to an issue the New York Post addressed just a few days ago; that there is no shame today in America. Actor Jussie Smollett still leads the pack in Efforts to Lower the Bar with the charges that he faked two hate crimes.
But wait, there’s more. Actress Lori Loughlin joins Huffman in the spotlight. She’s among the 40 people charged with bribing colleges.
I thought their income level would have been enough to pay for elite high school tuition. Just being in that class of school that is enough to get into Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, UCLA and Wake Forest, the schools named in the investigation by federal investigators.
Nearby Duke University should be insulted. After all, the school prides itself for academic leadership. We know Duke wins a ton of basketball games while Wake Forest struggles to make the NCAA tournament.
I write this very tongue-in-cheek because college basketball is involved in this same mess. There is nothing to suggest that Duke and Wake Forest are caught up in the sports angle to this real-life thriller, but as many as 9 college coaches are believed to be among the 40 who are being charged with accepting bribes and conspiracy to cheat college admission tests.
Folks, another term for this is racketeering.
One coach already stands out and involves another high-priced elite school, the University of Pennsylvania, the graduate school alma mater of President Donald Trump. Apparently, federal investigators came upon a current Boston Celtics assistant coach, Jerome Allen, who now admits to receiving $300,000 from perpetrators when he was the head coach at Penn.
He resigned in 2015 but it’s not clear if the school had a whiff of bribery involving Allen. His record for 6 years coaching the Quakers was 65-104.
You’d think for that amount of money the record would be the other way around. Is there a court Penn can go to sue Allen for incompetence?
As someone who’s been up to his elbows though his work life in news, entertainment and sports, this story brings the best of all-my-worlds into one neat tidy package. I couldn’t be happier about the different material and data to use for this article because it made it easy to write.
But it doesn’t make me happy to write about the deep reason for this story. This scandal upped the spotlight a couple of hundred watts on bad behavior by so-called leaders in 2 major U.S. institutions, college athletics and Hollywood entertainers. When the spotlight shines on you. lead by example.
It’s pretty obvious the accused thought they wouldn’t get caught. Starting with the sex scandals in recent years with the rich and famous, they believe their position provides a wall from the reality of how the rest of us live our lives.
I was prompted to write this as soon as possible because it touched a big nerve with me. The nerve of the rich and famous bribing and bullying to get what they want. There was a time in America when just being rich and famous got you want you wanted just by showing up or picking up the phone. Politicians learned this a while back, and their financial scandals aren’t as spectacular as a $25 million college admissions bribery investigation involving famous actors.
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But don’t fret, one so-called leading politician didn’t get the memo. Just yesterday in my home state of Nevada, former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson, pleaded guilty to the charge he skimmed $250,000 from campaign contributions for persona use. One of his buys was a $100,000 nightclub.
Hey, what a place it would be for entertainment if he could book Huffman and Loughlin. I’d name the show Felons Follies.
Did Atkinson ever have the thought he eventually would be caught? Obviously not.
“Regretfully, it has been discovered that I have used campaign funds for personal use,” Kelvin Atkinson said on March 4, announcing his resignation as leader of the Nevada Senate.
Simon Says Translation: Dammit, I got caught. I tried to hide it.
All of this means these ne’er do-wells of acceptable behavior make many right-thinking people to root hard against them when they’re prosecuted. And the ones that don’t express little-to-any outrage of said behavior fuel the rhetoric of opponents to be louder to match the brashness of famous athletes and entertainers.
It culminates in the realization that this is life in the United States of Anything Goes. Do whatever, whenever, to get what you want. I almost wonder if the National Flag could be a graphic of a clenched fist with money.
Remember when the exclamation Oh My God meant real surprise and shock? Today it’s just an online social media abbreviation in our attempt to let others know how “in-touch” we are about events of the day.
Stay tuned. There will be more about this mess.
Simon Says, using money as a tool might make you a fool.
Would you donate to help expense for this growing site of news and commentary? I promise I won’t be bribing any colleges for admissions. I don’t have any children.
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Scott Simon, Simon Says.