Carroll County Times Opinion

Tom Zirpoli: Let’s hope we don’t hear much from these attention seekers in 2023 | COMMENTARY

As 2022 comes to an end, I’m hoping to hear less from certain attention seekers in 2023.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, had a six-part docuseries on Netflix during which they shared too much about their personal lives and struggles with family and the media. One does wonder, however, that if they feel badly about the way they have been treated by the media, why do they continue to share so much with the media?


If this couple thinks they have family struggles, then clearly they live a privileged life. Troubles with your in-laws? Fights with your brother? Welcome to the real world, kids!

I have never understood people who are compelled to publicly discuss on television, Facebook or Twitter their personal issues. Yet, the show generated a record number of viewers for a Netflix documentary in America and in Great Britain.


Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for Arizona governor, lost to Governor-elect Katie Hobbs last month. But Lake, the Trump-endorsed candidate, will not admit defeat because, after all, she is Trump-endorsed. She keeps herself in the media with a steady flow of announcements about unfounded election fraud. Her latest challenge is that Republicans had to wait in long lines to vote in Maricopa County because of equipment issues. This is interesting considering that Arizona Republican leaders have gone out of their way to limit voting opportunities in Arizona under the appearnce of improving election integrity. I guess they are finally learning that when they limit voting opportunities for Democrats, they also limiti opportunities for Republicans.

Speaking of Arizona, I can’t forget to mention Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who recently announced she was leaving the Democratic Party and becoming an Independent. Democrats will not be shedding tears, however, since they didn’t consider Sinema much of a Democrat. She has been a thorn in the side of Democrats as she has stymied President Joe Biden’s legislative efforts and stood with Republicans against important bills that would, for example, provide universal child care for American families and raise taxes on billionaires.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called her the “most effective first-term senator” he’s ever seen. As a result, Sinema has to know she would have had a difficult time securing the Democratic Senate nomination in 2024. Thus, the move to become Independent.

Elon Musk will certainly keep himself in the news during 2023. Musk made a formal offer to purchase Twitter for $44 billion before realizing Twitter was not worth $44 billion. He changed his mind, which he frequently does, but he signed a contract and didn’t have much of a choice. As a result, he was stuck with Twitter, and Twitter — along with the rest of us — is stuck with Musk.

When business professors write books about running businesses, there may be a chapter titled “What Not to Do to Succeed in Business,” and it will be all about Musk and his leadership at Twitter. Topping the list of recommendations will be not to insult your advertisers who provide more than 80% of your company’s revenue by threatening to shame them if they don’t continue to buy ads. It may also be recommended that you not fire half of your employees before you know what they do because you might learn tyou need some of them to run your company.

In the name of “free speech,” Musk has made it easier for folks to spread COVID misinformation and hate speech on Twitter, and has suspended accounts of some journalists who write about his chaotic tenure at Twitter.

Musk is either blind to effective business practices or believes he can buy his way out of his incompetent decisions. Regardless, future dictionaries might consider having a picture of Musk under the definition of “Impulsive Personality.”

(Sorry, Musk. I deleted my Twitter account so you can’t suspend me)


There are many other candidates for this list of people we prefer not to hear more from in 2023. For example, we can hope we have heard the last of Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker before more of his undisclosed children are found.

Perhaps we can also say a final “goodbye” to former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who lost her state’s only congressional district general election to Democrat Mary Peltola. Palin was Trump-endorsed so, naturally, she immediately attacked Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system after she lost. To her credit, however, Palin secretly — I guess she did not want Trump or her MAGA followers to find out — sent Peltola a private text to congratulate her and called Peltola “a real Alaskan chick. Beautiful and smart and tough.”

Palin is now setting the standard for class among Republicans. It should be an interesting New Year!

Tom Zirpoli is the Laurence J. Adams Distinguished Chair in Special Education Emeritus at McDaniel College. He writes from Westminster. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at