D.C.’s Bodacious Blogger Goes Broke

Say it ain’t so! How could a young woman whose only apparent talent is to carry on multiple affairs with congressional types who gave her cash and post sophomoric details of the trysts on the Internet go broke?

After all, didn’t her slutty blog get her a book deal and a naked spread in Playboy, even? Why isn’t she tittering all the way to the bank now??

Monica Lewinsky could answer that question. Not even the world’s most famous former intern, whose name was once internationally synonymous with a certain sex act, elicits more than an, “Oh, yeah, whatever happened to her?” when mentioned these days.

Why should the mention of Jessica Cutler — once known as “Washingtonienne” on the Web — merit anything at all?

Alas, she’s the latest sad example of media attention having nothing to do with whether you actually have something to offer the world. Can’t really blame Cutler for thinking she was on her way: hounded by the press, a book contract from a legit publisher thrown at her, a guarantee of at least a million men seeing her in the buff. What 20-something wouldn’t think, “Hey, I’m hitting it big!”

But in an age of shrinking attention spans, when anyone is lucky to be famous for even 15 seconds, the blinding spotlight of publicity doesn’t validate anything other than one’s fleeting value as eye candy. Did anybody really think that “Saturday Night Live” booked Lewinsky as a guest host at the peak of her notoriety because she had comedic talent?

This kind of thing happens in Hollywood all the time. But as politics and politicians increasingly entwine themselves with the power of celebrity, expect to see more of it in the nation’s capital.

—By William Triplett in Washington.

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