What happened
Paris Hilton went to Harvard University this week to collect the Harvard Lampoon’s Woman of the Year award. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine standing here,” the heiress and reality TV star said. “Harvard is hot!” (AP via Google)

What the commentators said
“Paris Hilton honored at Harvard?” said Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan in The Boston Globe (free registration). “Now, we've seen it all.” It’s true that the Lampoon “wags” are trying to be funny, and that the award is “a not-so-subtle jab at the high-minded Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which is giving its Woman of the Year Award to Oscar-winner Charlize Theron.” But, still.

Joke or not, said Boston University’s student paper, The Daily Free Press, in an editorial, “honoring an heiress with no real accomplishments crosses into the realm of poor judgment.” This kind of publicity stunt only feeds the celebrity gossip machine that consumes the media.

“Is there any adult who feels anything but disdain—mollified, perhaps, by a little pity—for Paris Hilton?” said Austrialia’s The Age. Right now, Hilton is just trying to drum up publicity for her new movie, The Hottie and the Nottie, but she’s always trying to sell something. “Like Zsa Zsa Gabor before her, she is famous for being famous, charisma without content, bottled and sold by movie producers, perfumers, promoters and journalists.” The thing is, when you meet her in the flesh, “it’s virtually impossible not to like her.”