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February 16, 2005

Department of Cluelessness

As a Hollywood Journalist conflates the controversy over Eason Jordan's remarks about the US military targeting journalists with the controversy over Chris Rock's remarks regarding the upcoming Oscar fest (which, like the Grammy, I ain't watching).

Really, Mr Richmond - you don't really see a difference?

t isn't easy being the token liberal voice of reason, particularly now that the United States appears to be turning into a second-grade classroom. If you use a naughty word or subscribe to any line of thinking that isn't in the nation's accepted curriculum, you get sent to the principal's office for a good, long lecture.

I actually agree with the second-grade classroom analogy... I just think the piece falls apart from there due to an "unfortunate miscalculation of scale."

CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan discovered this the hard way when he was reprimanded -- and ultimately privately pressured to resign -- for comments made Jan. 27 in Switzerland regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq and his purported implication that American troops had purposely targeted them. The 23-year CNN veteran was roasted on conservative blogs and finally abruptly stepped down Friday.

Chris Rock knows how Jordan feels. He has been having fun taking shots at the Academy Awards and its status as an untouchable pillar of entertainment culture. But he should know that this is no time to speak freely. Those days are history. Sticks and stones no longer are required to inflict pain everywhere you turn.

No Rock doesn't. He's a comedian, and he's playing it for all he can get. He's not going to lose work over it. Mr Jordan already has.

And you're right, Mr Richmond - firing Rock from the gig probably is a bad idea - if the Academy didn't know what they were buying when they hired him... the hirer should be fired.

And as for "particularly in an age when speaking one's mind can be hazardous to one's career health" - sorry dude, Eason Jordan was speaking professionally, in an official capacity, and in a fashion that properly called into question his fitness for the job. He earned his firing.

[shakes Etch-a-Sketch]

In a completely unrelated, post-saving fashion...