By Dom Serafini

On weekday evenings I switch between channels to watch entertainment news programs (including the syndicated Extra, Entertainment Tonight, and NBC’s Access Hollywood) — not to be informed about celebrities, but to find out who the celebrities are these days! It seemed to me as though I might be the only member of the show business trade media out of sync with the modern entertainment world.

Then I came across a June 15, 2024 article in The Wall Street Journal decrying the fact that the author, writer Joseph Epstein, was “unable to recognize a single person featured in the magazine [Vanity Fair].”

I tend to stay away from gossip, pop culture and celebrity publications since I’d be a “reader out of water.” These days, U.S. celebs in my world are the likes of Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Justices Alito and Thomas. There’s also “Little Marco,” as Trump called Senator Marco Rubio, as well as “Lying Ted,” aka Senator Ted Cruz. Internationally, I also follow the antics of “Mad Vlad” (aka Vladimir Putin), “Give me Taiwan” (aka Xi Jinping), and “El Loco” (aka Javier Milei).

I’m sure that writers for magazines such as Vanity Fair, Us Weekly, People, and Entertainment Weekly are hip, and therefore they know the new up-and-coming celebrities. The question is: Are their readers also in tune with their hoopla or have the magazines lost them along the way since their target audiences no longer identify with the content?

In the WSJ article Epstein made another interesting point. The comic impressionists of years ago who had the talent to replicate various celebrities’ voices and tics no longer exist because there are no celebrities that vast audiences can recognize.

Television no longer airs shows that can hold the attention of three different generations at the same time, and the last remaining true celebrities are too timorous to tackle cancel culture subjects for fear of reprisal.

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