For once, the tease more than lived up to its promise. As with Man landing on the Moon, Mandela walking free from his prison cell, and Derek Jeter’s winning hit in his last game at Yankee Stadium - it was a photograph that will be forever etched in the memory.
I clicked on the link – how could any red-blooded male NOT click on that link? – and there she was, butt naked and balancing a champagne glass on same said butt, splashed across the front cover of PAPER magazine with the headline: ‘BREAK THE INTERNET, KIM KARDASHIAN’.
Which is exactly what she nearly did as the startled world scrambled to view, disseminate, debate and deliberate over the single most examined and infamous derriere in history. (A bold claim, but think about it and I’m right).
Predictably, the abuse and ridicule began to pour in as fast as the gasps of shock, awe and admiration.
Ms Kardashian-West was apparently a ‘slut’, a ‘terrible mom’, a ‘disgrace to the human race,’ ‘a dumb, trashy b***h’ etc.
Of course, she’s heard it all before, ever since that sex tape was leaked and propelled her into the kind of instant, gigantic cyberspace notoriety that can either crush a woman or make her so strong and impervious to criticism that she builds a $1 billion brand.
Kim’s in the latter category and people hate her for it.
They resent her global fame, her immense wealth, her marriage to one of the world’s most brilliant music icons. Above all, they loathe her resolute refusal to bow to all the bitter venom that spews its way in her direction.
It’s time for me to make a shocking admission: I like and admire Kim Kardashian-West.
I interviewed her soon after I joined CNN and found her to be a warm, unpretentious, honest and rather charming young lady.
When I mockingly asked her to name a single talent she possessed, she smiled knowingly and made no attempt to cite one.
But then she thought about it more and said: ‘Actually, I think being an entrepreneur is a skill, marketing is a skill, and so is fashion designing. My sisters and I are smart enough to understand that having a successful reality TV show is just a platform for people to get to know us on a personal level.
‘But for us, we’ve always been about the business – selling our fragrances, shoe lines, clothes. And we’ve always been about hard work.’
As for her roundly condemned status as a role model, she told me with calm conviction: ‘I think I promote a healthy, natural body image.’
She admitted to using Botox, Spanx and the odd piece of masking tape to aid the daunting red carpet process. But she insisted she’d never had plastic surgery, and was happy and confident with how she looks.
I have studied her face close up and seen nothing to contradict this; Kim’s a natural beauty.
She also revealed she gives away 10% of her income to charity. That, as you can imagine, is a lot of money.
In a stunning illustration of her power, I ended the interview by asking her to look down the camera and order her Twitter followers to follow me. They did, over 60,000 of them in 20 minutes.
Since then, I’ve met her a few more times at parties. She’s always exactly the same – friendly, chatty, and completely lacking in the searing insincerity and delusions of grandeur that so many stars with ‘real talent’ exude.
There’s also an absurd hypocrisy with regard to which female celebrities are allowed to bare their flesh without criticism.
When Keira Knightley stripped topless recently, she explained it was strictly to make a protest against air-brushing. Hmmm.
When Rihanna, Madonna or Beyonce gyrate their booties on stage, it’s done in the name of ‘art’.
When all the supermodels got their kit off for PETA, it was excused under the banner of ‘helping the animals’ .
When Demi Moore posed naked and pregnant, it was applauded, not castigated, because she’s a great actress and the photo appeared on the cover of prestigious Hollywood bible, Vanity Fair.
When Chelsea Handler does it, which seems to be every day at the moment to diminishing laws of aesthetic return, it’s heralded as ‘comedy genius’.
But when Kim Kardashian-West does it, in a photo session conducted by highly acclaimed French photographer Jean-Paul Goude, she is lambasted.
She’s 5ft 3in, has spectacular curves in all the wrong places if you’re a Size Zero catwalk star, and can’t sing, dance, act, paint or play the violin.
Yet she survives and thrives because millions of young people around the world find her both real and someone they can relate to. They appreciate that she’s got a very smart eye for business, fashion, television and social media. And an even smarter eye for self-publicity and nurturing her brand.
Kim doesn’t take drugs, get drunk, fall out of clubs, cheat on her man, or do any of the other insanely louche things that stars with far greater ‘talent’ often do.
She works ridiculously hard, is good to her fans, and is by all accounts a good, loving daughter, sister, wife and now mom herself.