PR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Marion Bartoli, for making a graceful exit from the world of professional women’s tennis just two months after winning her greatest championship at Wimbledon. The French 28-year-old officially retired from tennis after a disheartening loss in the second round of a regional tournament in Ohio. Tears streaming down her cheeks, she acknowledged near constant pain from her life on the court and said her body just couldn’t take it any longer. She called her father to discuss her future after the loss, then announced her decision to retire with little fanfare. “Everyone will remember my Wimbledon title,” she said. “No one will remember the last match I played here” at the Ohio tournament. In the world of sport, so seemingly tarnished by the spectacle of athletes behaving badly, Bartoli’s candor and humility score an ace.
PR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (Full Fiasco) to Orson Scott Card, the science fiction writer whose recent rant against President Obama suggests he’s having trouble distinguishing between reality and the realms his characters inhabit. According to a May blog post that went viral this week, Card sees Obama as a maniacal dictator whose quest for world domination involves marshaling urban street gangs to do his evil bidding. The scheme would fit right into Ender’s Game, Card’s celebrated novel-turned-film starring Harrison Ford and set to open in theaters Nov. 1. This paranoid scribble won’t help Card’s image, which he may be trying to rehab. Already notorious for his virulent opposition to gay marriage, Card recently (and quietly) stepped down from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage. Now he has this to contend with. Ender’s Game, or game ender?
THE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Vogue’s profile on Jennifer Lawrence. Within the seven-hour interview, the Hunger Games star and Oscar winner revealed, “I always knew I was going to be famous.” She goes on to elaborate that she didn’t know for what she might be famous, only that fame was a certainty. This seems a landmark in celebrity interviews, not quite outlandish enough to be one of those near-reality parodies from The Onion, but still flabbergasting in its “Huh?” factor. Readers will likely be neither shocked, inspired, nor terribly interested.