LeBron James came from nowhere to shock Kim Kardashian and win the 2014 Carnie Awards honoring the nation’s leading carnival-style hucksters, side show acts and con artists.
“When Lebron left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010, he went from being the country’s most-liked to the most-disliked pro athlete, according to a Forbes poll. But the hate must have been hard to take, because he’s moving back to Cleveland and it’s being treated like the second coming of Christ,” says Peter Fenton, who chaired the selection committee of current and former carnies.
While some say that today’s media-savvy Americans are too hip to be conned by charismatic celebrities, Fenton disagrees.
“People today are just as gullible as they were back when housewives bought snake oil from fast-talking carnies while their husbands drooled at strippers in dimly-lit tents,” says Fenton, who earned a small fortune as a teen-age carnival con. His midway adventures are revealed in the critically acclaimed classic book Eyeing the Flash: The Making of a Carnival Con Artist (Simon & Schuster). Adds Fenton, “Just because the sales pitch comes via your smart phone or flat screen TV doesn’t mean it’s not full of bull.
“The Carnie Awards were launched in 2005 to honor celebrities, politicians, corporations and CEOs who know that suckers are still born every minute. Like all good carnies, they’re aware that when it comes to drawing a crowd or making a buck, the sizzle is more important than the steak.”
So step right up ladies and germs. Here from Peter Fenton are the top five celebrity cons of the 2014 Carnie Awards!
An Ohio lawmaker even wants to give James his own commemorative state license plate. But there’s probably more to Lebron’s return the Rust Belt than love. His Cavs contract will pay him $20 million plus; around the same he earned in Miami. However, the lion’s share of his income comes from endorsements and that will likely soar now that he’s the “good guy” again. Currently estimated at $53 million per year, it could skyrocket to $100 million or more.
Kim hit the huckster big time in 2007 when her sex tape with Ray J was leaked. Her notoriety only grew bigger in 2011 when her highly-publicized marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries ended after 72 days. Many pundits considered the marriage a sham. But that didn’t give Kim pause. She wed rapper Kanye West in media frenzy and they’ve now been man & wife for nearly 100 days. The blissful union may last for many hundreds more, as long as Kim’s TV ratings remain high and the marks keep buying her perfume.
A mere 21, Miley has a wonderful voice and the DNA of a hardened side show stripper. She could have been the next Taylor Swift. But she preferred to get rich with her backside instead of her vocal chords. And youthful yahoos are still filling basketball arenas to get mooned by Miley.
The iPhone 5s is only a year old, but Apple will soon convince millions of smart phone fashionistas that they’d rather be dead than be caught with such an ancient device. Rumor has it that the iPhone 6 will have a larger display and a few other tweaks, but that will probably be enough to convince millions of trendy consumers to trash their suddenly embarrassing current phones. While adding billions to Apple’s bottom line. An innovator under Steve Jobs, Apple is now in the business of high tech Snuggies.
My Urban Fantasy
thanks to Peter Fenton: firstname.lastname@example.org