Okay, I must admit this whole Paris Hilton getting sentenced to prison thing fills me with just a little more glee than it should. Okay, not glee, but a strong sense that karma is doing its thing, that a little jail time will do the girl some good, maybe even help her to grow up a bit, teach her that, all evidence to the contrary, the world does not revolve around her.
An aside here... I know many people felt a similar glee when Martha Stewart went to jail. I didn't. And I'm not a Martha fan. At all. I just felt like she'd done something so many other people (mostly men) had done and that they were making an example of her mostly because of her celebrity and party because of her gender.
I really don't feel the same way about Paris. She had a suspended license. She was on probation. She knew she wasn't supposed to drive her car. If she really believed there were circumstances under which it was okay to drive her car without a license, then her sense of entitlement, of being above the law and better than everyone else only intensifies my feeling that she had this coming to her.
I think why I gave Martha the benefit of the doubt was that, in my mind, her stock broker committed the bigger crime. He's the one who passed on insider information.
I would challenge most people not to act if they received a stock tip they knew they shouldn't have received. Getting that kind of a tip is what many of the myths and fairy tales about success in the market are based on. Real insiders must not act on this information, of course. That's the pledge/the bond they make with non-insiders to get them to invest in their company. But if they do let information leak, and it gets passed around and you hear it... I think it would take a very strong person to ignore the information. Was Martha greedy? Sure. Did she think she'd get away with it? Sure. Did she then lie about it in an attempt to cover her ass? Sure. But I don't think her belief she'd get away with it had anything to do with her celebrity. She thought she'd get away with it because most people get away with it. Because (sadly) it's an all-too-common occurance in the industry.
Now, I'm sure driving with a suspended license is all too common, too. And I'm sure many people do get away with it. But I'm also pretty sure that repeat offenders, celebrity or not, are going to get some kind of a hefty fine or jail time if they are unlucky enough to get caught. I expect the maximum hefty fine for such a crime would not teach someone like Paris Hilton a lesson. It probably isn't big enough to be a deterrent or even make a dint in her monthly credit card bill. It would not be a punishment. So, I laud the judge who gave her some jail time.
And today I read that she's appealing to Arnold Schwartzenegger for a pardon???