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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Rolling Stone and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev…

rolling_stone_tsarnaev   Rolling Stone‘s decision to feature Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, on the cover of its latest issue has generated a public reaction that I cynically suggest is probably what they expected.

Late Wednesday morning, both Tedeschi Food Shops and CVS pledged not to carry the Rolling Stone issue in its stores.

On its Facebook page, CVS wrote:”CVS/pharmacy has decided not to sell the current issue of Rolling Stone featuring a cover photo of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect. As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones.

And from Tedeschi’s Facebook page: “Tedeschi Food Shops supports the need to share the news with everyone, but cannot support actions that serve to glorify the evil actions of anyone. With that being said, we will not be carrying this issue of Rolling Stone. Music and terrorism don’t mix!

CVS’s statement is understandable. It’s less a free speech issue than a business decision. They don’t wish to offend their customers. Tedeschi’s statement makes less sense. Having not read the piece, Tedeschi can’t definitely state that the article “glorifies the evil actions of anyone” (unless Tedeschi is referring to the feature on Robin Thicke). Also, the line “music and terrorism don’t mix” reveals an ignorance of Rolling Stone‘s regular content — much of it is political and not related to music at all.

Catherine Parrotta reported on Twitter that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino believes the cover is a “disgrace” and that it should’ve featured first responders instead. The mayor already has one job with a limited career path, does he really need to try his hand at publishing?

Rolling Stone released a statement:

“The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”

I think this all speaks to a prevalent mindset that fame = good. It doesn’t matter how the fame is achieved (any reality TV star, for example). The bomber is objectively famous. We all know (or at least should know) his name. That doesn’t make him Santa Claus or Marilyn Monroe. The fact that our culture has trouble making the distinction between fame and moral value is more an indictment on our culture.
In-depth coverage of the victims of this awful act and the heroic men and women who rushed to their aid is a great thing. However, it’s not the same as also examining the twisted mindset of the man accused of perpetrating it. The latter should not preclude the former. I haven’t read the piece yet but I presume it does not “glorify” him nor do I think it will inspire young people to view him as “cool.” My biggest objection is that Tsarnaev pleaded “not guilty” to the crimes. As implausible as that is, he has not yet been convicted of anything, and the article seems to take the position that he has.
 

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Jenny McCarthy on “The View”…

Otherwise serious people are spooked about the impact Jenny McCarthy’s hiring on The View might have for the health of a nation.

Dr. Claire McCarthy writes:

By choosing Jenny McCarthy to be a host on “The View”, ABC made a decision that could end up costing lives–even worse, the lives of children.

OK, I don’t find McCarthy particularly talented but isn’t that a bit extreme? Oh wait, there’s more to it.
Jenny McCarthy believes that vaccines caused her son to be autistic. Never mind that it’s not clear that he was actually autistic, none of the claims she has made about vaccines and autism are backed up by, um, any medical evidence. But that doesn’t stop Jenny McCarthy from making those claims very publicly. She is a supporter of Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor whose study linking the MMR vaccine and autism was found to be based on fraudulent data. The fact that he has been discredited by the medical community and lost his license doesn’t stop her from supporting him.
McCarthy is, by all accounts, a flake, but if any parent makes health decisions for their children based on what a panel member of The View tells them should have their children taken from their custody immediately.
Our fear of free speech stems from our fear that people are too lazy or stupid or both to rigorously investigate what they see, hear, and read. That’s not entirely unfounded, though, as I’m still getting Daily Currant articles forwarded to me as serious journalism.
Oh, I was going to use a photo of McCarthy for this post but I couldn’t find one that wasn’t offensive in some way. Take that as you will.
 
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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Pop Life

 

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If Disney makes a movie of the book, she’ll be played by a vulture…

So, this is happening.

One of the women on the jury that found not guilty on Saturday has already signed with a book agent.

According to Reuters, literary agent Sharlene Martin said Monday that the juror “hopes to write a book explaining why the all-women panel had ‘no option’ but to find Zimmerman not guilty of murder.”

When I consider the qualifications to write a compelling examination of the intense debate in a jury room — a modern day 12 Angry Men, if you will, I surprisingly don’t think of a woman who gets all her news from The Today Show.

Nor one who describes the victim simply as a “boy of color.”

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Social Commentary

 

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Sympathy for the Black Conservative…

Can we take a momThomasent to express sympathy for a group who’s about to experience a trying few weeks? I refer, of course, to black conservatives. They’ve got to agree that the Zimmerman verdict was not just appropriate but that Zimmerman’s version of events was most likely completely true. They’ve got to agree that race had nothing to do with Trayvon Martin’s death… although, race was the reason George Zimmerman was unfairly prosecuted and victimized. They’ve got to nod and say how Martin shouldn’t have been wearing a hoodie. How else would Zimmerman have known he wasn’t a criminal like so many other black males that the Democrats have failed with their social polices and lenient welfare handouts? And, yes, Martin shouldn’t have attacked Zimmerman or fought back or anything like that. He’d still be alive if he’d just politely waited for the police with Zimmerman, who he should have trusted completely was not a sexual predator. It’s not like he looks like one, after all. They’ve got to agree that Benjamin Crump is a “race huckster” just like Al Sharton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP. They’ll probably have to talk about O.J. Simpson some more. And, oh yes sir, Barack Obama is dividing the nation by race when he refers to the death of a violent thug as “tragic.” He’s promoting race riots, just like his crony Eric Holder. If he were alive today, Martin Luther King would agree, because he’d also be a black conservative.

On the upside, black conservatives will receive lots of invitations to dinner and cocktail parties for the rest of the month so their friends can get their comforting opinions on record.

 

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Today’s Pop Quiz…

Can you name the actors in this clip from a 1993 episode of Batman: The Animated Series? Two starred in popular 1980s TV series, and the other is currently starring in a critically acclaimed cable show.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Pop Life

 

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Ohio Shows the Ladies How It’s Done…

WideModern_Kasich_130701620x413  “So, Gov. Kasich, shouldn’t we find, I dunno, at least one of those… uh, whaddaya call em? …. women for this photo op of you signing this restrictive abortion bill? What about Dunlap in HR? It’s her first day but she’d just have to smile at the camera. Oh, she’s in orientation? Well, shoot, what about Gladys the sandwich lady? Just take off the apron, spruce up her hair a bit. She doesn’t have to speak English or anything. It’s just a photo. OK? We’re just gonna do this? All right, hey, what do I know?”

Frankly, if Kasich is truly pro-life, the next bill he’ll sign would ban Cincinnati Chili.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Political Theatre

 

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The Freedom to Follow…

Over on Daily Kos, I discuss George Zimmerman’s perceived “freedom” to pursue a stranger at night, and Trayvon Martin’s accepted “burden” to explain himself.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Social Commentary

 

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Caine and Reeve…

Our clips today are scenes from two movies starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve, both based on plays I enjoy. The first is Sidney Lumet’s Deathtrap (1982) with Dyan Cannon. Ira Levin wrote the play, which is as suspenseful as his more well-known Rosemary’s Baby but without the supernatural elements. Reeve plays very much against type, and Caine is as marvelous as always. The second is Peter Bogdanovich’s Noises Off (1992) with Marilu Henner and John Ritter. I had the chance to see the 2001 Broadway production with Patti Lupone and a pre-Grey’s Anatomy T.R. Knight, and I think it works better on stage than film. However, I highly recommend both movies as a pleasant evening’s entertainment.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Pop Life

 

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