The Daily Beast Dumbs Down 'Smart People'

Tina Brown's webventure The Daily Beast has a section devoted to recommendations of things by "smart people" like William Shatner and Lydia Hearst, two people not known for their intellectual acuity.

William Shatner, whose expertise is listed as Film, recommends Susan Boyle. Good discovery, Bill. What, did you find that on Priceline? Lydia Hearst recommends a band called Bat for Lashes. She likes a song called Daniel because, "Her lyrics are definitely really bizarre; her sound is dark and ambient, sort of dreamlike. Watching her videos puts me in a trance!"

What's funny is that when the Beast started, they actually did get some smart people to recommend shit they liked. Bill Clinton recommended three books about the bail-out; Missy Suicide, of Suicidegirls.com, recommended The Institute for the Future and Simon Sebag Montefiore recommended Frost/Nixon.

The latest recommendation is a singer named Kat DeLuna. She recommends aromatherapy oils. So either since October 2008, the Daily Beast has cycled through all the smart people in the world or their cachet has sunk to a level where instead of asking a former president to recommend a couple books they're asking a 21-year-old pop star about aromatherapy. Both explanations are equally plausible.