Remembering the star of stars: Rita Hayworth

“AMERICA JUST wants to be entertained!” writes Tina Brown of Sarah Palin’s inevitably continuing future — no matter the outcome of this election. And Tina has none other than Lorne Michael, the genius of “Saturday Night Live,” adding: “There’s a real intelligence there. She connects with people. Whatever it means to be a star, she is.”

Two weeks ago I also pointed to the future Sarah Palin who might go home to Alaska, but not in defeat. It would be to cram on economics and international affairs and come back as the darling of the conservative GOP in four years. (They’d be done with stifling old cranky guys by then and ready for a real killer candidate!)

Or, on the other hand, Gov. Palin can be a reality TV host or a talk show biggie, set up by Fox across from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Television awaits.

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SPEAKING OF Sarah Palin: I went down to NYU to be part of a panel on privacy issues in the media. I was the least of an illustrious group — NY Times media ace David Carr, Time’s Jim Kelly, the legal counsel for the Washington Post and Newsweek Sheresse Smith, plus Judge Andrew Napolitano who advises Fox News. We were monitored, hectored and amused by the great legal mind Arthur Miller as moderator.

Gov. Palin came up again and again in the arguments. Had she been badly treated in the matter of exposure of her family and children? Or had she used them to enhance her image, bringing them into the limelight herself?

We decided, I think, that “media ethics” is an oxymoron these days.

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THE LATE Rita Hayworth was a woman so fab that they pasted her photo on the Atom Bomb! (If you feel that’s a dubious distinction, try harking back to World War II when things were very different.)

Rita was a star of stars. She lives on via daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan and the Alzheimer’s Assn. celebrating its 25th anniversary on Oct. 28 at the Waldorf in New York. The honorees are philanthropist Lily Safra and Frank Bennack, Jr. (He is back running Hearst after a failed attempt to retire.)

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IT’S ABOUT time the Theater Hall of Fame added the one and only Nathan Lane. Joining him Jan. 26 at the Gershwin will be playwright Alan Ayckbourn, producer Emanuel Azenberg, choreographer Patricia Birch, actor Richard Easton, composer Marvin Hamlisch, orchestrator Jonathan Tunick and posthumously — Roscoe Lee Brown.

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