It used to be that vapid celebrities exercising their First Amendment rights were nothing more than American background noise, fodder for the punch lines exchanged around water coolers. Who can forget Jessica Simpson’s best reality show moment, circa 2003:

“Is this chicken or is this fish? I know it’s tuna but it says, ‘Chicken of the Sea,’ ” Simpson asked her husband. On camera.

But with today’s super-sized social media followings, several of these morons have gained god-like power to destroy in the blink of an eye. A tweet or an Instagram post might as well be a bolt of lightning sent from on high to punish some poor, non-famous soul unfortunate enough to come under the gaze of our decidedly temperamental, unbenevolent overlords.

None of these celebrities has gotten any smarter, mind you, just more powerful. And, as author Robert Caro observed after writing his epic series about President Lyndon B. Johnson, “ … power always reveals. When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do, then you see what the guy always wanted to do.”

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