Monday, November 17 was one of the biggest days in California history. Journalists had gathered from around the world. Thousands of spectators had been lining up since early morning, hoping for a glimpse of the momentous occasion. A changing of the guard was about to occur, and the tension was palpable.Cameras flashed and the crowd went wild when the uber-celebrity was introduced. Indelible memories were instantly created. Millions would always recall where they were on this day - the day Britney Spears received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Oh sure, up north in Sacramento, at the exact same time, some guy named Arnold was putting himself into a position to receive government-paid gas for his SUVs, but here in Tinseltown we recognized the real story. Governor, schmovenor...this is Britney's world. The rest of us just try to catch glimpses of her. It was, in fact, a day filled with a dizzying bounty of PR stories. One could have chased any one of a number of calorie-rich publicity spins that particular date and been full for a week. A tasty sampler: Drug addict Rush Limbaugh returned to the airwaves after a 30-day rehab to resume his criticism of flowers, small children, and drug addicts. Showtime announced the air-date of the controversial miniseries The Reagans, causing conservatives - too euphoric over Arnold, Rush, and Britney to muster another fight - to console themselves that at least it wasn't airing on HBO. Finally, a search warrant was issued for Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch. On a news day this heavy, a seasoned pro must weigh the various elements and choose the lead story based on a simple, time-honored technique: Which newsmaker has the cutest belly-button? I've seen Arnold's. He's out. I figure Reagan's and Rush's cancel each other out, making Britney's the clear winner. Spears' Hollywood star ceremony was part of a tremendous blitz of national publicity for her new album. In addition to an hour-long news special and a lip synced "live" concert on ABC, she appeared on Leno and Jimmy Kimmel (the same night) and adorns the cover of a dozen magazines. Regrettably, she declined my invitation to reveal, for the first time, in this column if Madonna is a better kisser than Justin. Britney. Arnold. Rush. Jackson. Reagan. Man, you don't get days like these very often. Perfect fare for feasting before a long, cold winter. Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer
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