Originally created 12/21/06

Of troubadours and jesters



If Time magazine named a "Not Person of the Year," it just might be the American celebrity.

Not even our politicians made more gaffes, offensive remarks or asinine observations in 2006.

Just a few recent examples:

- Comedian Michael Richards, Seinfeld's "Kramer," went on a bizarre racist rant during a standup routine at a comedy club. No one - not even he - could write it off to tasteless jokes: He wasn't trying to be funny.

- Comedienne Rosie O'Donnell apparently thought she was being funny when she mocked the Chinese and how they talk. Later, she said, "Some Asian people have told me it's as bad as the n-word. Which, I was like, 'Really? I didn't know that'."

This, from the Sultan of Sensitivity herself! O'Donnell, remember, blasted talk show host Kelly Ripa for being "homophobic" when Ripa didn't appreciate singer Clay Aiken putting his hand over her mouth. "I don't know where that hand's been, honey!" Ripa told Aiken. Ripa said it was cold and flu season, and didn't want the germs. We don't blame her, but O'Donnell thinks it's "homophobic" because Aiken might be gay. How utterly beefheaded.

- Comedienne Joy Behar - on O'Donnell's show The View - recently compared former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to Adolf Hitler.

Wisely, official Washington has declined to dignify Behar's outrageous slur. But comparing any U.S. official to one of the world's worst mass murderers - especially an American leader who, like it or not, has put his heart and soul into protecting America as much as Donald Rumsfeld has - is worthy of the utmost contempt. The utmost.

Not to mention the fact that such a slur against a good and decent man trivializes the unspeakable crimes of Hitler's Holocaust.

Another recent comment by Behar was nearly as preposterous and offensive: that Republicans might have been behind the recent stroke of Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson. "Is there such a thing as a man-made stroke? In other words, did someone do this to him?" she said - later adding that "I know what ... that party is capable of."

The list goes on. For some reason, people seem to think celebrity, or an ability to act or sing or make people laugh, makes them experts on foreign or domestic policy issues, or some kind of moral hall monitors.

These rantings might be perversely amusing if not for the fact that these armchair experts are filling people's heads with mush and toxins.

Why in the world does anyone give them the time of day? Why are any Americans having their world views shaped by troubadours and jesters? We wish all of America would take a cue from Washington just this once and tune out the ignorant, offensive and hurtful blowholes in the entertainment world.



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