So the still-married Kim Kardashian is pregnant by rapper Kanye West, who announced this bit of news to a crowd of 5,000 during a New Year's Eve concert with a melodic line of pure poetry: "Now you having my baby." From there, the warm and fuzzy got even warmer and fuzzier as he playfully ordered the audience to congratulate his "baby mom."
The media world is abuzz. The happy couple is reportedly building dream castles in the air, debating the pro-con dollar flow of pitching their latest addition as a potential player on the Kardashian reality TV show, now in its seventh season. Lest this be overlooked, the most important part of that sentence is that the Kardashian reality show has entered its seventh season.
How can that be?
How can a glorified porn star rise from bed to national esteem in such a few short years? Recall what the normally liberal, Hollywood-adoring Huffington Post said in a Nov. 2 story: "Kim Kardashian owes a large part of her fame to the release of her sex tape with then-boyfriend Ray J."
Kim won a $5 million settlement from the company that released her sex video in 2007 — and within weeks the entire family was up and running with a reality television show, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," featuring the nationally televised drama of Kim's farce of a marriage to NBA star Kris Humphries (to whom she is still legally hitched). Coincidence? Then there's this: It wasn't until after this tape was released that the Kardashian sisters' clothing business really soared, finding new markets from Qatar to Indonesia in 2012.
"Kardashian's first sex tape with Ray J was shot in 2003 and released in 2007," the Huffington Post article continued. "Since then the brunette beauty and her family have gone on to dominate the world of reality TV and beyond. Most recently, there have been reports that the singer's boyfriend Kanye West had a couple of his own sex tapes being shopped around, one of which was said to feature a Kardashian lookalike."
Ugh. The rot just goes deeper.
Here's why America should care: The Kardashian saga illustrates our nation's moral, spiritual and cultural decay like few other media stories do. America of 50 years ago would regard Ms. Kardashian with a mixture of disdain and pity, embarrassed by the very idea of a young lady's most private moments being broadcast for all the world to see. America of 25 years ago would stop and think before promoting through business channels a figure with such sordid background and negligible public relations attributes.
Put her on the normally family-friendly "Fox & Friends" morning show for a chat with the normally feminist-leaning host Gretchen Carlson to give business tips and entrepreneurial advice. Give sisters Kourtney and Kim a spinoff reality television show based in Miami, scheduled to debut this month. Give Khloe — who faced a bit of wardrobe malfunction that displayed a private body part for a full two minutes in a second guest appearance on Fox in 2011 — a host slot on "The X Factor," where she promptly commits another wardrobe blunder with a too-short skirt.
Is this really what the future of our country looks like? What would George Washington say?
"Religion and morality are the essential piillars of civil society," our first president did say.
Paris Hilton, meanwhile, shouts out her approval.
"I'm so happy for her," Hilton reportedly gushed to TMZ on Kim's announced pregnancy by Kanye. "They are perfect for each other."
The polite America of yesteryear would not be amused. Miss Hilton's claim to fame, after all, was her own sex tape and 2004 offshoot pornographic movie, "1 Night in Paris."
Cheryl K. Chumley is a digital editor at TImes247.