Of all the stories that made headlines during 2012, the most ridiculous — hands down (or up in prayer if you’re a true believer) — was the media fixation on the Maya doomsday prophecy. Even with NASA and prominent scientists and the government constantly debunking the various scenarios centered around the end of the Maya calendar, the story persisted until Dec. 22, 2012, the day after the projected doomsday. But the second-most ridiculous story of the year — in a 365-day stretch that included that ludicrous laugh factory that was the Republican primary race — was that which featured, appropriately enough, a reality star: Kim Kardashian. And although the famous for being famous Kim K wasn’t what made the story ridiculous in the first place, by the time it was over she was contributing to it.
(And, no, as ridiculous as her divorce from NBA bencher Chris Humphries was and the media frenzy surrounding her relationship with rapper Kanye West continues to be, they pale in comparison to the title winner…)
The most ridiculous running headliner of 2012 was… (drumroll, please)… the totally asinine scandal that erupted around the responses by supporters of both Palestine and Israel when Kim Kardashian wrote what should have been considered a kind and compassionate Twitter post. Instead, people took offense. So she jumped to the other side to balance out what some saw as her taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Reaction: Condemnation from the other side. All in the space of about five minutes. So… what was a poor girl to do? She issued an apology for her “offensive” remarks.
Here’s what happened (as related by Huffington Post): Back in mid-November, the “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star tweeted, “Praying for everyone in Israel.”
Soon inundated with vitriolic comments and even a few death threats (from mind your own business comments to Palestinian supporters preaching unlawful Israeli occupation), she opted to show that she was neutral in the ongoing conflict and posted (just minutes later): “And praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!”
This, of course, brought on the ire of the pro-Israel faction (many of whom are part of a lunatic fringe gang of Christians bent on facilitating the biblical apocalypse, not unlike the true believers that were hooked on the misconstrued Maya calendar prophecies) and those who thought that the Twitter-addicted Kim K should steer clear of perhaps the oldest conflicts on the planet.
Having somehow offended the sensibilities of Palestinians and their supporters by offering prayers for all in the Middle Eastern nation (which, by the way, hosts quite a few pro-Palestinian residents as well as the predominant Jewish population, not to mention other ethnicities and religious factions), the 32-year-old reality star inadvertently doubled down by somehow offending Israelis and their supporters with her second Twitter comment. Since both comments encompassed praying for everyone in the world, one has to wonder just why anyone was offended by the popular celebrity simply showing a little compassion for a troubled region?
So it came to pass that Kim K, finding herself in the middle of a conflict that stretches back at least a couple of millennia, deleted the tweets and issued an apology for her “offensive” remarks on her website. It was a well-written statement that explained what she meant in her tweets and that she had not intended to offend anyone with either Twitter post.
And that should have been the end of it, innocent tweets and idiotic reactionary comments to be placed in the “what was that all about?” file. Except…
In a not-so-brilliant move on Kardashian’s part (or her publicist, or manager, or rep, or whatever), the officially neutral celebrity announced just a week after the controversy that she would use a scheduled trip to Kuwait and Bahrain (to open Millions of Milkshakes shops) to educate herself on the Middle East. According to TMZ, a source close to the reality star said, “Kim wants to be as informed as possible … so she can use her celebrity to help those in need and raise awareness about important issues in the area.”
No one was quite certain how milkshakes and prayers for those caught in a war zone mixed and so, after a few jokes about Kim K’s intellect and her much-publicized derriere (even TMZ couldn’t restrain itself, writing, “Kim Kardashian — putting the ass in ambassador.”), the matter sort of faded away.
It is a story that began as a simple Twitter post of support. It reached the point of ridiculousness within seconds as Kardashian, who boasts nearly 17 million followers, received vituperative comments and even death threats. A follow-up post received the same from people with an equally illogical “us or them” mentality. (And now you understand why an ages-long socio-politico impasse has endured between the at-odds factions with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli situation.) And what should have been a totally satisfactory (albeit a truly unnecessary) apology led to an exaggerated overreach. The dark comedy, a veritable demonstration of the idea that some people really do have way too much time on their hands and are quick to distraction, quickly turned to pop culture farce as the ever-keen-to-turn-a-buck Kim K seized the opportunity to promote her grand opening of milkshake shops into a Middle East learn experience and diplomatic jaunt.
Without doubt, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strained an optic nerve attempting to control an automatic eye-rolling reaction to the entire episode.
At least Kim K didn’t wear anything see-through while she hobnobbed with a few local leaders on her Middle Eastern trip.