Who is this Betty White and what does she have that Peyton Manning doesn’t?
  • Who is this Betty White and what does she have that Peyton Manning doesn’t?
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How did this start? The first thing I remember is reading an ESPN.com item on Kobe Bryant questioning whether or not he’ll play in China this year. Which led to an article on another website, Miami NewTimes, that quoted Kobe praising misunderstood underdog LeBron James, which led to a companion piece about worst celebrity tippers. Number 1 worst tipper on that list was Tiger Woods, which led to CBSSPORTS.com and an article titled, “Poll: Tiger popularity levels still cratering.” The second paragraph says Americans name him the least-liked and least-trustworthy sports figure. Ho-hum.

But, but, but, then I read, “Popular actress Betty White topped the list of 25 most popular celebrities,” which led to ipsos-na.com (a marketing research company) and their poll of 2000 human persons that resulted in the headline, “Betty White Is America’s Favorite and Most Trusted Personality.”

Below that head is a box entitled, “25 Most Popular Personalities.” Betty White is the most popular celebrity in America, more popular than Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, and, get this, Peyton Manning.

Betty White is more popular than Peyton Manning! What in the hell is going on? And right before football season, too. Who is this Betty White and what does she have that Peyton Manning doesn’t? And what, precisely, is her connection to professional sports?

Believe me, I have researched this, and I’ve come back to tell you Betty White is 121 years old, recently arrested for her fourth DUI, subsequently jumped bail, last seen at the A&C Truck Stop in Laramie, Wyoming, plying her trade. Which is weird...I didn’t think she lived in Wyoming.

Just a second, let me recheck that.

Well, it seems Betty White is 89 years old and lives in Carmel and L.A. But, she does have impeccable television credentials. White made her first television appearance in 1939 on an experimental Los Angeles TV station. She and a buddy sang songs from the operetta, Die Lustige Witwe. I don’t get it either, but it must have been boffo because she’s been working ever since. White was a regular on radio in the 1940s, topping out with her own series, The Betty White Show. Still, it’s television she owns; she’s been appearing on television for the past 72 years. That factoid is either a great bar bet or it could come to you as a sudden, unexpected knowing that provokes existential panic.

Ms. White won her first Emmy (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series) in 1951. Time passes...in this case, 60 years. In that time, White has won or been nominated for 48 awards. Some were legit — Emmy, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild — some were semi-legit — People’s Choice Awards, TV Land Awards — and some were flat-out wonderful — Viewers for Quality Television, New Now Next Awards, Walk of Fame, Disney Legends. Plus, she’s an honorary forest ranger.

And, yet, I have never watched one of her shows all the way through. Is there some kind of strange ultra-dimensional attraction between Betty and me? Probably, but that’s not the point; the point is, how does this tarted-up truck-stop hussy out-popular a manly NFL quarterback by the name of Peyton Four-Time-NFL-MVP Manning?

Let’s get to it. Miss Cowboy Truck Stop won Favorite Web Celeb from the People’s Choice Awards. Peyton Manning won the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian award. Miss Never-Too-Old-to-Party won the Best WTF Moment award. NFL.com named Manning the eighth best player in some unremembered NFL category. White won Favorite TV Guest Star. Returning serve, Manning won the Ohio Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year award.

Pretty much a draw. Okay, let’s drill down to bedrock; namely, who gets the money? Betty White pitches Snickers. Peyton Manning sells Wheaties. Betty White promotes the Lifeline Program, “a leader in the life settlement industry,” and, may I add, a leader in viatical settlements as well.

Dictionary.com: vi-at-i-cal, 2. of or pertaining to a financial transaction in which a company buys life insurance polices from terminally ill at less than their face value and may sell the polices to investors.

On the other hand, Peyton Manning pitches MasterCard, a respected and vital cog in the world’s financial order.

Call it a push.

Peyton Manning had neck surgery in May, says he will not play any preseason games and may not be ready to play in the regular season opener. He’s been placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Last January, Betty White accepted the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (Hot Cleveland). Her latest movie, The Lorax, is in post-production and will be released in 2012.

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Comments

fraudexposer Aug. 25, 2011 @ 6:59 a.m.

Betty White promotes Snickers, which I suspect she does for the money, and the same with Lifeline, which you describe as a leader in the life settlements and viatical industry. If you check the website for the Florida dept. of financial services you will see that this leader of the industry was run out of Florida for fraud and for violating the settlement agreement with the state in regard to the multiple incidents (and victims) of their fraud.

Typical of the state of Georgia, they welcomed Page/Lifeline, probably due to the taxes they could collect from the company. Another example of how money trumps everything.

Although not as old as Betty White, I am a senior. I know too much about this industry to sell my life insurance, no matter how great the need. And I never would endorse any company because there is no transparency. If a company, under close scrutiny, appears to be A+ at noon today, it could change ownership or how it operates and secretly become F at midnight.

I doubt Betty White needs the enormous payments she gets from Lifeline. She does a disservice to other seniors by lending her reputation and her name to this promotion.

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Davo Aug. 30, 2011 @ 1:26 p.m.

Your post makes little sense to me. This is an article about Betty White not Lifeline or Snickers. Jeez you need to get a grip. Actually, come to think of it the article itself makes no sense either.

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atlsnow Aug. 29, 2011 @ 10:36 a.m.

Funny how some people are quick to slam the life settlement industry - you may want to get your facts straight before you start labeling the entire cart "bad". And it's also funny how bad news and controversy always seem to prevail. You don't even realize what type of service life settlements can provide to seniors who need the cash. Most seniors are in the dark when it comes to selling this untapped asset; they are not even informed of their rights. Yet, when they were first trying to acquire their policy they are told about everything; however, when they no longer need the policy or can no longer afford it; they are left in the dark because most carriers do not want them to sell the policy. Do you know that about 85% of all insurance policies never have the death benefit paid because the policies are usually surrendered or allowed to lapse? The insured and/or policy owner is left in the dark about the option of selling their policy. They can get more than the surrender value and less than the death benefit. In these economic times; wouldn't informing or at least educating the insured and/or policy owner help?

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