Over the weekend, President Obama admitted he is “not the strapping young Muslim socialist” he used to be. Obama also said that while at the dedication of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas last week, he was thinking about a library named after him when he leaves office. Obama said that some have suggested it be built in his birthplace – Obama said, “I’d rather keep it in the United States!”
Those were just a few of the comments made by President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington Saturday night. This is an annual star-studded event that attracts the biggest celebrities, politicians and media personalities in the country. It’s a moment when the President ‘jokes’ about Congress, the news media and himself.
Jokes are funny if there is at least a degree of believability that the source delivering the jokes might actually mean what’s being said. President Obama was funny – or should I say his ‘writers’ were funny! The President made fun of the rumors that he is actually a Muslim, which many reading this blog believe to be true. And he joked about his relationships with Congress and the news media.
Here are a few comments made by President Obama:
• About CNN: “I know CNN has taken some knocks lately but the fact is, I admire their commitment to covering all sides of the story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate!”
• About BuzzFeed: “I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college around 2 a.m.”
• About the FOX News Channel: Obama said The History Channel was not present at the dinner because they were “embarrassed” for comparing him to Satan in the TV series, “The Bible.” But he said, “Of course, that never kept FOX from showing up.”
Conan O’Brien was the comedian host and he took shots at everyone, too:
• Conan said that N. J. Governor Chris Christie was mistakenly seated with the Republicans.
• O’Brien commented that there are only two active black senators in the Senate – which means there are more blacks in the Senate than at a Mumford & Sons concert.
• He said, “My prior experience has taught me how these dinners work. If the President laughs, everyone laughs. And if the FOX News table laughs, a little girl fell off her bike!”
• O’Brien also talked about Obama’s relationship with speaker of the House John Boehner. He compared that relationship to a blind date between Anderson Cooper (CNN) and Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) – they both understand each other, but you know nothing is going to happen.
Considering the long-standing tension between the two parties in Washington, as well as tensions between politicians and the media, there is something quite comforting about the President making fun of himself, his political adversaries and the media. However, whether it was President Obama or Conan O’Brien making the jokes, it seemed that there were too many in the audience who were not laughing at themselves when the jokes targeted their group or their agenda.
If you go to the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, you know what kind of event you are attending – so just enjoy it – or stay home!
I hope you do appreciate it when the President or any politician show a sense of humor when it comes to their ideological adversaries. I will always maintain the right to add a sense of humor and sarcasm when talking about the heated political issues on “The Scoot Show!” Please don’t ever lose your political sense-of-humor, even when listening to talk radio – that is a precious and unique human trait.
So, it appears FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will not be in favor of fining the FOX network after David Ortiz of the Boston Red Socks said, on live TV Boston “is our f---ing city!” live on television as he addressed the home fans in Boston. The FCC essentially approved of profanity being used on live television in that situation. Here is the Tweet from the Chairman:
This is not the first time profanity has flown out of the mouth of an athlete during a moment of excitement. After the Super Bowl in New Orleans, Ravens QB Joe Flacco dropped the F-bomb live on television with 100 million people watching. And there have been a few times when live broadcasts following sporting events have been laced with profanity.
If the job of the FCC is to monitor the broadcast media, should the FCC have fined TV stations for Ortiz’s outburst? While not appropriate in situations where a mass audience, including children, is watching a sporting event, shouldn’t profanity be excused in these moments?
It is impossible to protect your children from hearing profanity in the real world, so why get upset if they hear it live on TV in the context of a moment of intensity? Hearing the F-bomb, or any profanity, should never be an excuse for anyone to suddenly start using foul language. It is more important for parents to teach their children to do what is right regardless of what they see or hear than for the FCC to censor and fine profanity that is part of a live moment on TV.
The only thing that bothers me about all those who will be quick to give someone, like David Ortiz or Joe Flacco a pass on dropping the F-bomb live on television is that many of those same people would be highly critical and demand punishment of a network if a rock star said the same thing in a moment of excitement.
I think the FCC made the right decision by not fining TV stations for the Ortiz bomb drop, but I also think it is important to point out that if you do not condemn a star athlete for using profanity live on television – you CANNOT condemn a rock star for doing the same thing.
Unless, of course, you are willing to label yourself a HYPOCRITE!
While talking about the Boston Marathon bombings the night of that tragic event on the show, it didn’t take long for some people to rush to judgment. Text messages to the show ranged from “this is why we need to secure our borders” to “Obama is one of them!”
At the time those text messages came in, no suspects had been identified. So, I had immediate questions. How do you know it was the work of people who are in this country illegally? And President Obama is one of ‘who’? This was so reflective of many Americans who are quick to judge ALL Muslims from the Middle East or illegal immigrants.
Here is what the suspects were NOT:
• They were NOT of Middle Eastern descent.
• They were NOT in America illegally.
• They were NOT young black males.
• They were NOT wearing hoodies.
• They were NOT wearing sagging pants.
These are some of the stereotypes many Americans use to judge and condemn others. But the two suspects in the Boston bombings defied many of the characteristics used to profile people.
I often talk about how it is not fair to pass judgment on people because of the way they appear. If you are one of those Americans who are quick to judge others by the way they look, think about what you have learned from this event.
But sadly, many of those with deep prejudice against people who are different will never recognize their own prejudice. I hope you are not one of them!
The FBI has released video and photos of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing known as Suspect #1 and Suspect #2. The FBI is asking the public to help identify the suspects, which have been described as ‘armed and dangerous.’ (Click HERE to view photos and video of the suspects.)
However, yesterday reputable news sources, like CNN, FOX News, the Boston Globe, and the Associated Press were all reporting that a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings had been identified and taken into custody. C NN’s John King went so far as to say that a source told him that the suspect was a “dark-skinned male.” The ‘breaking news’ of an arrest in the bombings continued until the “breaking news” became news that NO arrest had been made in the case.
I am not one to automatically defend the media of which I am a part. However, in this case, let’s give the media a break. We watch what we know is ‘live’ reporting about situations described as fluid, meaning there are constant changes in the story. The competitive instinct in news reporting is to be the first to break a story. While accuracy is important to any legitimate news organization, the goal of being first to report a big story often turns accuracy into a causality.
It is important for the public to trust the media, but it is also realistic to say that the public may demand too much from the media. Working on the show at my desk watching the minute-by-minute updates from CNN, FOX and MSNBC, it was interesting to watch how quickly the ‘breaking news’ changed. It’s my job to pay attention to developing news stories, but for all those who were not watching this constantly changing story, they might have heard bits and pieces during the day and feel as if they have the true and accurate story.
Someone who heard that there was an arrest and went through part of their day breaking the news to others, only to learn that the original story was wrong, may feel embarrassed for their part in advancing the false news of an arrest and will quickly blame the media for the mistake. In this case, it would be the fault of the media, but as consumers of the media we should realize that live reporting is just that – live and not planned, scripted or rehearsed.
The 24-hour news networks have to fill 24 hours a day and they all go to wall-to-wall coverage when there is a major breaking story of national interest. This has changed news reporting in America, but it has yet to change the public’s expectations of the media.
As I watched CNN’s aggressive reporting of an arrest in the bombing case, I couldn’t help but think about recent comments made by Jeff Zucker, the new president of CNN. Zucker said that CNN has not been compelling enough and compared the network to a “spare tire in the trunk,” meaning you use it only when you have too. CNN’s ratings have not kept pace with FOX and MSNBC. “You only take it out when you really need it,” Zucker said to the Atlanta Press Club luncheon on Monday. “It’s not one of the four tires on the car all the time. The challenge for us is how to make CNN more essential, how to make it one of the four tires on the car.”
We, the audience, want immediate answers when it comes to tragedies. We want to know who is to blame and why they did it. But those answers cannot always be immediate. In an effort to serve the viewing public, the media have a tendency to give us immediate answers before all the facts are known. So, it now becomes our job to realize that as we watch live coverage of any news event, the first reports may not always be the most factual reports.
While this may cause some to condemn the media for putting speed before accuracy, the inaccurate reports of a suspect and an arrest earlier today do not harm the public or the investigation.
Blaming the media for ‘anything’ has become spectator’s sport, but let’s remember that the media are a collection of humans and humans make mistakes. Our demand for perfection of the media during live coverage is unrealistic.
What was your first reaction to the breaking news of the explosions at the finish line at the Boston Marathon today?
Two explosions killed two people and the injury count continues to rise. Today is an annual holiday in Boston and this would have been a prime spot to use terror to make a political statement. That was my first reaction, but we still don’t know who is responsible for the explosions.
As I watched video of the first explosion just behind the spectators at the finish line of the Boston Marathon I noticed that the concussion of the explosion shook a row of flags representing nations around the world. This visual was a stark reminder that there is ‘hate’ in the world.
Regardless of who is behind today’s explosions, this was an act of terror on the part of someone. It has yet to be determined if this was the work of a terrorist group, or an individual. Surveillance cameras will provide video of the movement of individuals prior to the explosions and that could lead to identifying those responsible.
But until we know who is responsible our instincts will lead us to initial conclusions. After the explosion at the federal building in Oklahoma City, there was early speculation that Muslim terrorist were behind it. But it was an American, Timothy McVeigh, who with the help of a few others bombed a building out of hate for America.
In America, we are quick to define ‘hate’ as something that comes from those who are different from us, but there are too many examples of ‘hate’ coming from American citizens to dismiss homegrown hate leading to terrorism.
As a society, we want instant answers because we want to know who to blame. At this point, we don’t know who - or why. Regardless of who is responsible for this attack on a day known as “Patriot’s Day” in the great American city of Boston, we should be reminded that whether it’s from the outside or inside America, the hateful tone of political discourse everywhere should make anyone a suspect.
As I thought about the vulnerability of the crowd gathered at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today, I instantly thought about the large crowds we were in over the weekend during the French Quarter Fest. I also thought about all the times we are in massive crowds in New Orleans and throughout the South with our festivals and celebrations.
Perhaps we could all do a better job of being vigilant when we are in crowds. What happened in Boston today could have been an individual dropping a backpack on the ground. If someone did that during the French Quarter Fest would you defined that as something to report?
As Jim Morrison and The Doors sang years ago, “People are strange!” Without encouraging over-reaction to people in crowds, let’s try to learn from yet another tragedy. Even if it doesn’t look that suspicious, if you see anything that might seem strange to you – report it.
The conversation on “The Scoot Show” about the new song by Brad Paisley and LL Cool J titled “Accidental Racist” evolved into a discussion about judging people by the way they dress.
There were comments about how we judge police officers by their uniforms and a caller said that people with tattoos should be judged as less intelligent. But the conversation really erupted when I said that it’s not fair to judge a female who dresses in a very sexy way as someone who is actually promiscuous. I was surprised that a few women called to disagree with me and say that it is fair to judge a female by the way she dresses.
Women, like men, dress to attract attention. If you see a woman wearing a very short skirt or low-cut, tight jeans or a top that reveals cleavage, is it fair to assume that she is promiscuous? I have known a lot of women who were very sexy dressers, but were far from promiscuous. I have also known women who dressed conservatively but were quite ‘loose’ with their sexual activity.
I have long argued that it is unfair to perceive that a young male wearing a hoodie or sagging pants has criminal intent, and yet, there are many people who do assume criminal intent when passing anyone wearing certain clothes a certain way. Whether you like the style or not, hoodies and sagging pants have become fashionable with a young generation and once something becomes a fashion statement it is wrong project a criminal attitude on anyone donning a fashion trend.
We do judge people by their uniforms, but there is a big difference between a uniform, which represents an occupation, and a fashion statement, which is simply an expression of a young generation. I am a ‘hostile witness’ to the Baby Boomer generation because my generation is quick to judge based on clothes or fashion trends while conveniently forgetting that their generation adopted fashion trends and styles that were considered totally outrageous to the then-Establishment.
Many argue that ‘perception is reality’, but that is a statement that is often misunderstood. The idea that ‘perception is reality’ is for the purpose of understanding what the public perceives about a product, a candidate or a person for the purpose of create effective marketing. The phrase ‘perception is reality’ does not define reality; rather it defines what is perceived which can be totally opposite of reality.
I understand that people do judge others by the way they dress, but that doesn’t mean it’s fair. Since we do have a tendency to make initial judgments about others, it’s also important to question ourselves as to how fair those initial judgments are.
There are many young males with tattoos and edgy hair styles who don’t drink or do drugs and there are many young males who wear suits or Polo shirts who drink excessively and do drugs on a regular basis. In the same way, there are females who dress in a sexy way but are not morally promiscuous.
The song “Accidental Racist” addresses the idea that the white and black cultures often judge each other’s symbols without understanding the cultures. Not everyone who displays the Confederate flag is a racist and not everyone who wears sagging pants is a criminal or wants to be a criminal. There are millions of black Americans who are proud to be from the South and it would be wrong to label them racists. They may not display the Confederate flag, but they are proud of their Southern heritage and pride in the South does not always translate into racism.
It is a nature human instinct to project how we want to be perceived by the way we dress, but often the perceptions we project do not reflect who we are as individuals. The person who is well-dressed is not always the upstanding citizen he or she is perceived to be. And the person who is dressed to project a ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl’ image may not be a bad person.
I would think that my generation, the Baby Boomer generation, would understand how unfair it is to judge character by one’s style. Today, the fashions of the 60’s and 70’s may seem tame relative to the world today, but the long hair and the mini-skirts of that era were quite rebellious and judged by the Establishment to reflect a young generation that would go nowhere in life. Now that we are the Establishment, what is the justification for judging character based solely on style?
Long before parents were concerned about sexual images on TV and in music videos - there was Annette Funicello!
Annette Funicello, one of the original members of the Mickey Mouse Club, passed away yesterday at the age of 70. Annette went on to star in a series of “Beach” movies with Frankie Avalon and was always considered a sex symbol to a young audience. Annette was very cute and to put it politely, she really ‘filled out’ a sweater or a swimsuit top – even before women used silicone to ‘fill out’ sweaters and tops!
As we remember Annette Funicello, we also should remember that she inspired young boys to ‘think about things’ and this was at a time when parents did not blame graphic sexual visuals on television for such thoughts.
If the wholesome image of Annette had an effect on a young pre-teen and teen audience, then why have today’s parents become obsessed with the idea that images on television today are responsible for encouraging sex.
As I have mentioned countless times on the show, sexual instincts are a natural human phenomenon that occur even in the absence of graphic images. But blaming graphic television today for inspiring sexual activity in young people fits perfectly into our new world where something or someone is to blame for inappropriate behavior.
As a kid watching TV, I thought about sex a lot. I thought about sex when I saw Samantha on “Bewitched,” Ellie Mae on “The Beverly Hillbillies” or while watching any James Bond movie. We didn’t know everything, but we all responded to the visuals of the Bond girls and we all knew what he was doing with them.
All of those images were tame compared to more graphic content seen today, yet they were powerful enough to inspire thoughts about sex. It wasn’t so much the images that inspired ‘thoughts’, it was more the natural curiosity of a young person.
Today, when there are reports of an increase in teen sex or reckless sexual behavior in young people, there is a tendency to blame that promiscuous behavior on sexual images on television. That is a typical cop-out!
Thinking about sex, even as a pre-teen or teen, is natural and should not be blamed on images or content on television. Young people can and should be taught to be responsible for their sexual behavior. Failing to do that is a ‘parental failure’ – not the result of television.
President Barack Obama is being criticized for describing California Attorney General Kamala Harris as the “best-looking attorney general” in the country! Was it wrong for the President to compliment a female official’s looks?
President Obama made the comment this week at a Democratic fundraiser. However, before Obama said Harris was the “best-looking attorney general” in the country, he said, “She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough…she also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general.” (Of course, as this comment rockets around the internet, Facebook, Twitter and across network television, the ENTIRE quote is not given.)
Democratic strategist James Carville was critical of Obama’s remark, but did say that based on pictures, “it’s probably true!” Assistant editor of Salon, Katie McDonough, said the comment was “stupid” and “sexist.” New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait wrote, “The degree to which women are judged by their appearance remains an important hurdle to gender equality in the workplace.” He also described the President’s comment as “disgraceful.”
I am quick to criticize the ignorant and sexist statements men often make about women, but I find nothing wrong with what President Obama said about Kamala Harris. There is a significant difference between reducing women to sex objects and simply appreciating a woman’s beauty. And the President did acknowledge Harris’ character before her beauty.
I agree with condemning a man’s instinct to see every woman as a sex object, especially in the workplace, but we should not allow political correctness to rob us of our ability to express appreciation for beauty as long as it doesn’t replace judgment of character and accomplishments – and that goes for women and men.
There are many attractive females here at the radio station and often they are very well-dressed, but I find myself holding back and reluctant to express an instinctive compliment for fear that it might be perceived as sexist.
It’s okay when political correctness raises our awareness about being more sensitive to others, but political correctness is taking away our right to respond to each other as human beings – and that’s wrong!
Today, as the shocking video from Orleans Parish Prison aired on CNN, the anchor referred to New Orleans as a “third-world country.” While New Orleans has benefited from incredibly positive image-building from a series of national events over the past few years, including the Super Bowl this year…the video of prisoners in a now-closed section of Orleans Parish Prison cooking drugs, sipping Budweiser tall boys, cutting coke, shooting heroine, gambling with cash and displaying a loaded gun inside the prison projects a horrific image of our city. But will it affect tourism?
America has seen videos and TV shows that expose life behind bars, but the video from inside Orleans Parish Prison is one of the most outrageous videos ever to reach the mainstream media. As a native of this city, the video is embarrassing and appalling, and whoever is responsible for allowing this behavior and contributing to drugs, guns and alcohol getting into the prison should not only be fired, but should serve time – and not in a New Orleans jail where they can enjoy drugs, drinking, guns and gambling with stacks of cash. They need to go to a real prison!
The relaxed atmosphere of many federal prisons housing non-violent offenders has light-heartedly been referred to as being sentenced to a “club fed” – a mock of the party settings of popular beach resorts known as “Club Med.” The behavior captured on video inside Orleans Parish Prison reveals behavior that seems more fitting for a wild spring break party than life in a prison. What we have all witnessed on the video is illegal actions that should lead to being in prison, not activity after conviction and sentencing to prison.
The debauchery behind bars in New Orleans has gotten national attention, and while this is not good for the image of New Orleans that has been so positive in recent years, I’m not sure it will hurt the image of our city when it comes to tourism and hosting major events. Most people will be shocked and disturbed beyond belief by the behavior in the Orleans Parish Prison, but most people think that they could come to New Orleans and never be exposed to such threatening activities because it’s in a prison.
Unless you are planning to come to New Orleans to get arrested, you would not even consider even being affected by the deviant behavior behind bars. But sometimes good people are arrested for non-violent violations that would place them in the Orleans Parish Prison and that should be a concern for everyone.
However, if you were planning to go to a city to get arrested – maybe New Orleans offers more than other cities!
Even before 9-11, Americans have equated the word ‘terrorist’ with Islam and that has led to a growing prejudice against all Muslims. In the movie “Olympus Has Fallen,” the terrorists are North Korean and one initial thought was that this would cause some people to now ‘hate’ Koreans. That has indeed happened.
Since the release of the movie, there has been a wave of social media racism toward Koreans. Here are a few social media comments from people who have seen “Olympus Has Fallen:” “Watching Olympus has Fallen, (bleep) you you (bleep) piece of (bleeping) Koreans” – “I’ve never wanted to smack a (bleep) more in my life” – “Just saw “Olympus Has Fallen.” I wanna go buy a gun and kill every (bleeping) Asian.”
One of the first things that came to mind as I watched the movie was that there would be new prejudice toward Asians and unfortunately, I was apparently right. Entertainment should not have the power to manifest hate, but understanding the relationship between entertainment and society I wasn’t surprised.
Too many people have a problem distinguishing a movie from reality. Often I have talked about the criticism of movie-makers for basing movies on real or historical events that are not 100% factual. We are supposed to go to movies for the purpose of being entertained – not for a history or current events lesson. Yet, many people will form opinions about real life and real people based on ‘entertainment’ from Hollywood.
Movies that depict facts or fantasy have the power to invoke feelings and strong emotions, but to walk out of a movie with an actual prejudice demonstrates that some people don’t know how to use and interpret entertainment. It’s important to differential between a movie and reality – even when the movie reflects a current reality.
The other thought that came to mind while watching “Olympus Has Fallen” was whether or not an attack on the White House could actually happen. As I watched, I realized it was just a movie, but the plot seemed plausible. The cinematic visuals of the White House burning and part of the Washington Monument collapsing make you think, ‘what if this really happened’?
Some will argue that because of 9-11 it is inappropriate to show a terrorist attack on America, especially on iconic symbols like the White House, but does the idea of America being attacked again by terrorists actually instill a strong sense of patriotism and the desire to protect America?
The effects in “Olympus Has Fallen” are excellent and at times the violence is graphic. The storyline is riveting and while you may sense how it will end, you are still compelled to watch and see what actually does happen.
The relevance of the movie is haunting considering the current tensions with North Korea and in the movie the head of Secret Service is a woman. Very recently President Obama appointed a woman to head the Secret Service for the first time in history. The movie would have been produced long before it could have been known that there would be threats from North Korea at the time of the movie’s release and that the President would appoint a woman to head the Secret Service.
Enjoy “Olympus Has Fallen” as a movie and don’t allow the storyline to cause you to be prejudiced – and we should also not allow the actual news to led to prejudice. No one should judge entire groups based on the actual or depiction of the behavior of a few and it’s important to remember that every group has extremists.