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Published October 08 2010

Morast: Admit it: You want the Bristol Palin gossip

I’m just going to get it out of the way: Bristol Palin looked smokin’ hot.

When the daughter of Mother Bear Sarah Palin left the Forum newsroom Thursday, she was everything you want a B-grade celebrity to be: tan and attractive; wearing a short, tight black skirt; obsessed with her cell phone to the point you wonder if she exchanges texts with God; and completely unaware of the eyeballs glued to her every move.

She was a bright star in a room of fluorescent-lit journalists, and I loved every second of the two minutes we didn’t actually spend together.

You would have, too.

Trust me.

Despite the belief that Fargo-Moorhead is a city full of current and former academics who eschew the low-culture bliss of VH1’s reality-show lineup for the sophisticated enlightenment of 1,000-page Dostoevsky novels, we’re suckers for celebrities.

As much as any sane body in California or Grand Forks (East and West locales), the F-M populace finds that same quick thrill of sharing our clean air with people who have probably been written about on Perez Hilton’s gossip blog.

Shocked? In denial?

Don’t be.

In the past five days, we’ve proven that in a city plump with high-art offerings – from an impressive opera to museums with masterpieces – almost nothing earns more local interest than the invasion of a sappy reality TV show and a contestant on a celebrity dancing show.

That’s why for every metaphorical tear I’ve seen shed for the ability of ABC’s reality show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to give a deserving family a new home, I’ve heard four people ask about the show’s hosts – including Ty Pennington’s Wednesday night appearance at the HoDo.

It’s cool. I’m all for worshipping dull stars – Tom Skerritt, you’re the man.

But too many of us have a built-in response to feel guilty about the desire to interact or read about people who don’t really do anything that matters. So we pretend we don’t care, or we agree with the vocal minority that condemns celebrities as pseudo-villains.

Yet this week, the most searched and read items on the Inforum.com website involve anything about “Extreme Makeover” and anything with the words “Bristol Palin” in the headline.

We want details about these people who don’t care about us. And it appears everyone’s doing it in closets, so to speak, because I only know three people who admit to caring about celebrity culture.

That’s why I’m opening up today and admitting that it was awesome watching America’s third most famous teen mother stroll through my newsroom as if it was a dance floor with carpet.

And because I know you’re wondering, her partner on “Dancing with the Stars” wasn’t with her, though word was he did come to town with Palin so they could train together in advance of Monday’s episode, which I’m sure many of us watch because there’s nothing we love more than celebrity culture.

Well, nothing except the union of two people with the last names Wang and DeCock.

Texting teen update

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Mariah Kelly, an Oakes, N.D., teen who’s supreme texting ability earned her a spot in a national texting contest.

Well, sorry to say that she didn’t leave the contest with a victory statue. Kelly said her competitive texting was fast but that she forgot to include a period in the phrase she had to text.

“I was pretty devastated,” she said, via text of course.

Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518 or rmorast@forumcomm.com