Keller @ Large: Not All Outbreaks Of Egomania Are Created Equal

BOSTON (CBS) – The made-up celebrity controversy of the day, at least so far, involves Justin Bieber, the pop star who toured the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam.

As some of his fans are now learning for the first time, the museum tells the story of a young Jewish teenager who hid from the Nazis and kept track of her ordeal in a diary that has become a well-known Holocaust artifact.

 Listen to Jon’s commentary

Keller @ Large: Not All Outbreak Of Egomania Are The Same

As he exited, Biber wrote in the guestbook: ‘‘Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber,’’ a nickname used by his young female fans.

This has excited some critics who say Bieber’s comment was offensive – although no one at the museum seems to be offended – because it trivialized the Anne Frank story in a narcissistic way.

I say, the kid meant well. If you want to see real big-time narcissism in action, check out multi-millionaire basketball star Kobe Bryant’s Facebook posting after he suffered a season-ending injury.

Most of the piece seems like an unedited venting of understandable frustration over his bad break. But I became suspicious when Kobe remarked that he was delivering his self-pity “real, no image.”

That’s what people say when they’re blowing smoke at you.

And it certainly seemed as if a public-relations professional suddenly stepped in, because Kobe’s lament managed to tack on an acknowledgement that “there are far greater issues/challenges in the world then a torn Achilles,” and a last-second shout out to his teammates.

Justin Bieber is a well-meaning 19-year-old kid trying to relate to history. Kobe Bryant is a self-promoting 34-year-old man fascinated by his own hype.

Not all outbreaks of egomania are created equal.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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