Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

July 07, 2007 Stops Talking

Home improvement doyenne Martha Stewart got into big trouble a few years ago and was sent to jail, but long before she entered prison her handlers were devising a strategy to repair her reputation. Central to this strategy was, a site in which Martha Stewart could communicate with those who thought she had a raw deal, but now that Martha is free again and rebuilding her media empire, the domain name has lapsed and is available for resale.

Good copies of remain on file at the Internet Archive, and they provide an object lesson in how busted celebrities, once in jail, spontaneously decide to use their remaining years to correct injustices but mysteriously forget their noble intentions once they've been sprung from the jug. Here's part of a 2004 Christmas message from

I beseech you all to think about these women -- to encourage the American people to ask for reforms, both in sentencing guidelines, in length of incarceration for nonviolent first-time offenders, and for those involved in drug-taking. They would be much better served in a true rehabilitation center than in prison where there is no real help, no real programs to rehabilitate, no programs to educate, no way to be prepared for life "out there" where each person will ultimately find herself, many with no skills and no preparation for living.

To see how much Martha has done for prison reform in the years since her release from prison, I went to Google and conducted a search on the terms "Martha Stewart" and "Prison Reform." But the only articles I found were from January of 2005, a week or so after she wrote her moving message that caused people to weep around the world. Nor does Martha Stewart's Wikipedia entry contain an iota of evidence that she's now active in prison reform efforts. I can only conclude that she's either dropped the idea or is keeping her prison reform efforts very, very quiet.

Please keep all of this in mind when you listen to Paris Hilton talking about how she's going to spend the rest of her days doing good. Talk is cheap, words are quickly forgotten, and human nature is damn near immutable.

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