Hollywood elites are, by definition, in the business of concocting fictional stories.
Is it any surprise that they apply these skill sets beyond screen and stage entertainment, where the fiction is acknowledged, and use them to achieve their objectives in realms affecting their personal and political lives?
In both the college admissions scandal and the alleged hate crime fraud masterminded (I use the term very loosely) by Jussie Smollett, I find five other common points in addition to the first point of employing fiction:
Winter for the Ruling Class (Yale University; photo credit: Max Pixel).
Two: Powerful people from powerful families with no concern for issues of right and wrong tried to accomplish their goals "by any means necessary." Religion — the notion the God watches over us and knows when we sin — is regarded as a quaint vestige of the past and a hindrance to achieving necessary ends, both personal and political.
Three: Wealth enables payoffs. Most people cannot conceive of lavishing thousands of dollars, much less hundreds of thousands or even millions, on bribes because they earn their money through hard work. But such are the rewards of stardom or business success: once liberated from concerns over morality (see point two), there is no problem in offering whatever it takes ($3,500 for a couple of Nigerian brothers, or millions to a college official) to get the desired behavior.
Four: The notion that "laws are for the little people" is widespread, from Hillary Clinton's exoneration by James Comey (and, according to the recently released testimony of Lisa Page, the Department of Justice) to state and local level officials who escape mundane concerns such as speed limits.
Five: Utter indifference to the victims of their fraud. Jussie Smollett remained silent as the Chicago police investigated possible miscreants, who could well have had their lives ruined if prosecuted for the phony hate crime. I suspect that most of the parents and children admitted to elite schools never once thought about the hardworking kids who did not get the longed for acceptance letters these offenders got through fraud. They matter so little that they don't ever merit consideration when planning the crimes.
Six: Despite all of the above, virtue-signaling remains a favorite pastime. Smollett's now infamous interview with Robin Roberts was a nonstop festival of moral preening (as a victim), while at least some of the Hollywood and business elites implicated in the college admissions scandal used their wealth for "donations" to a tax-deductible foundation established by the consultant, while others donated directly to the universities.
I suspect there are other similarities between the two scandals, because they both reveal that our ruling class is far more corrupt and cynical than most Americans ever realized.
Note: I am indebted to my friend Mike Nadler for originally pointing out the comparison between the two scandals. But responsibility for any inadequacies and errors rests solely with me.