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A Father Of Girls

by Geraldo Rivera | Dec 19, 2006

I got an I-pod shuffle from an old friend for Christmas. He knows my family and me so well; he filled it with relevant songs. One hits so close to home, it's going to be my ring tone, it's 'The Father of Girls' by Perry Como. And it goes,

"When you're the father of boys,
 How you worry,
 But when you're the father of girls,
 You do more than that,
 You pray!"

And with the news filled to overflowing with reports on girls like Britney forgetting everything from her pets to her underwear, and Miss USA Tara Conner allegedly doing everything from underage drinking and drugs to kissing her teenage counterpart publicly, there's been a ton of negative role models to give we fathers of girls plenty to pray about.

But Donald Trump staged such an extraordinary spectacle this morning that it might serve as cautionary tale to girls who want to go wild.

After a cascade of negative press, the just turned 21-year old Miss USA from rural Kentucky was the on the verge of being dethroned for her excessive behavior, when Donald came riding to the rescue...allowing her to keep her title, but go into alcohol rehab and submit to random drug testing.

The entire event was so burlesque in its pop sincerity that it might scare straight other girls who aspire to follow in Paris Hilton's x-rated footsteps.

Tara apparently traveled a slow spiral down from her demure acceptance speech in which she criticized excessive behavior, to living the tabloid life in the Big Apple. She hit bottom at today's press conference where she tearfully thanked the boss for not saying, 'you're fired'.

Following the unofficial rule, which now requires damaged celebrities to enter rehab, whether or not they physically need it, Tara now becomes a kind of new role model for beauty queens in a jam.

In the old days, once sullied, they were out. Remember when Vanessa Williams was forced to step down as miss America after Penthouse published nude photos of her, even though the pictures had been taken years earlier?

Vanessa went on to embrace her bad girl image, and has had a robust show business career, co-starring now in the hit TV show 'Ugly Betty'. If Tara apologizes often enough and stays relatively straight, she'll serve out her reign as Miss USA, probably reinvigorating the pageant's sagging rating in the process, since Americans love to root for the underdog, which may be why the wily Donald gave her the heralded second chance in the first place.

And hopefully, she's not going through the motions of contrition just to keep the tiara and apartment at Trump Place.

Meantime, I only have another 18 years and eight months left as the father of teenaged girls. And I pray a lot.

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