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Susan Boyle Superstar

05/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

At the risk of alienating everyone on the planet, I am going to raise my voice against the Susan Boyle phenomenon.

Not against the dear woman herself, but against the manipulative media that shot her to stardom. And the millions of crazed people who now see her as the Second Coming.

I have worked in the news and entertainment sectors long enough to know how a person, or a story, can be transported, transfigured, transformed. I've seen the sleazy hypocrisy and sly maneuvering that pulls the strings behind the scenes: a wink, a sigh, a pregnant pause is often all it takes to shift reality.

The three judges on Britain's Got Talent are good at that. Their facial mugging and body language set the tone for the audience and the contestant. Of course, they know in advance who will appear on stage, because there is a pre-selection process, and rehearsals. They know they are going to have a jerk, or a pro, or a buffoon, or a sex-pot -- usually chosen in perfect balance for each show.

And once in a while, they arrange a "surprise" -- like the singing plumber a few seasons back, who belted out "Nessun Dorma." This season, it was the golden-voiced Susan Boyle.

Of course, her hair could have been nicely styled and her dress could have been prettier, but she was thrust on stage au naturale for the shock appeal. The producers knew exactly what response she'd have from the audience, and the three judges were primed to reinforce the effect. If, indeed, their immediate snide reaction to Susan was not rehearsed, but genuine, they are contemptible human beings.

We have to ask ourselves a few questions about this entire spectacle:

Are we fed up with our perfectly gorgeous, filthy rich celebrities? Are we looking for the Cinderellas and Ugly Ducklings next door? Are we seeking reassurance that being ignored, unloved, and ordinary will eventually be rewarded? Why are we so surprised when an unattractive person turns out to have an extraordinary talent? And conversely, why do we assume that an attractive person is divinely gifted?

Susan Boyle has already had more than her fifteen minutes of fame, and I wish her many hours more. I am simply sorry that she was "discovered" this way -- first as an object of derision, and then as a gimmicky success story.

But maybe that's how fairy tales are written, even today.