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  • Every Prime-Time Special About a Female Celebrity from the Two-Thousands – The New Yorker

 February 19

by Carolina

“Diane Sawyer is facing backlash after her 2003 interview with Britney
Spears resurfaced on social media. The veteran broadcaster is known
for her stern interview approach, but with a new documentary, ‘Framing
Britney Spears,’ shining the light on the pop star’s treatment by the
media, many are condemning Sawyer for how she treated Spears.” — Newsweek

Photograph by Bryan Bedder / Getty

INTERVIEWER VOICE-OVER: We all know FEMALE STAR from her decades of hard work and artistry that I will now gloss over to make room for casual sexism and unfounded accusations about her personal life. This week, on an actual televised news program, I sit down with her for an exclusive interview in which nothing is held back.

INTERVIEWER: FEMALE STAR, you’re hot—that’s huge for you.

STAR: Thank you, yes, it is.

INTERVIEWER: How many eating disorders would you say got you this incredible body?

STAR: I don’t have an eating disorder. I just work out and maintain a healthy diet.

INTERVIEWER: Anorexia? Bulimia? That thing where you smoke so much crack you start eating crack instead of a balanced breakfast?

STAR: Like I said—I just eat healthy and work out. I have literally every trainer and nutritionist at my disposal.

INTERVIEWER: Interesting. So how do you justify giving every girl in America an eating disorder when you can’t even bother having one yourself?

INTERVIEWER V.O.: I’ll ask her judgmental and invasive questions about her career . . .

INTERVIEWER: Do you like your voice?

STAR: I guess so—

INTERVIEWER: [Making notes on a pad of paper.] Conceited.

STAR: I mean, there are people with better voices—

INTERVIEWER: [Sharp intake of breath.] Low self-esteem—troubling.

INTERVIEWER V.O.: . . . her childhood . . .

INTERVIEWER: This is a picture of you from before you were famous. Look at that little girl.

STAR: Aww!

INTERVIEWER: Aww, indeed. Now, in this picture, you were several years younger than you are today. How do you expect your fans to feel about these drastic changes?

STAR: You mean—aging?

INTERVIEWER: What do you think that little girl would do if she saw you now? Would she be proud? Would she kill herself? My money is on kill herself.

INTERVIEWER V.O.: . . . and, of course, wildly inappropriate areas of her personal life.

INTERVIEWER: America wants, needs, and, above all, deserves to know—are you a virgin, or what’s going on down there?

STAR: I’m not going to comment on that. I just think it’s private.

INTERVIEWER: You say it’s private, and yet here you are, on the cover of a magazine, lying on a bed—the exact place that sex happens. Curious, no?

STAR: That was a fun shoot. I didn’t choose the pictures they used.

INTERVIEWER: O.K. But shouldn’t you, then a sixteen-year-old child, have had the marketing and P.R. savvy of a major corporation, as well as the personal self-possession to boss around a group of much older and mostly male professionals, until you got the exact images you wanted?

STAR: I—

INTERVIEWER: Without being a bitch about it?

INTERVIEWER V.O.: My unearned “gotcha” moments will shock you, as this too-good-to-be-true story of an innocent young woman starts to unravel.

INTERVIEWER: What do you say to the allegations that you’ve been within the same city limits as people using hard drugs?

STAR: I can’t control what other people do.

INTERVIEWER: O.K., sure. You’re going to tell me that you have no power over adult strangers, even though we know men want to have sex with you?

STAR: Well, public presentation as a sexual object is really not the same as power in our society—

INTERVIEWER: What? Sorry, I was distracted by your breasts, which is actually your fault.

INTERVIEWER V.O.: And, yes, we will be discussing the most famous breakup ever to have occurred between two children.

INTERVIEWER: You denied having a sexual relationship with BELOVED MALE CELEBRITY. Strange, because he privately confided to a shock-jock radio host on air that, in fact, you did. So I guess my question is, Why have you refused to publicly congratulate him on getting in your pants?

STAR: I don’t think I need to—

INTERVIEWER: Literally everyone else is proud of him. He’s getting a Congressional Medal for Being the Biggest Stud.

STAR: Is that . . . real?

INTERVIEWER: [Raising eyebrows] I see we didn’t have time for civics lessons between concerts. That will make my detailed questions about the Iraq War all the more devastating.

INTERVIEWER V.O.: You won’t want to miss the stunning admissions that I brutally force out of her in a faux-intimate setting, this week, on an actual news program.

INTERVIEWER: Finally, I just want to ask you—do you think you’re deserving of love?

STAR: Yes, I think so.

INTERVIEWER: LOL, O.K. Do we say LOL in 2007?

Original posted at www.newyorker.com

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