Monday, September 05, 2005

Mad as hell, and not going to take anymore, Part 2

I intended to take the full Labor Day weekend away from El Bloggo. I almost made it, staying away from the computer on Saturday and Sunday, and trying to enjoy the weather and college football.

But hey, if President Bush can cut his vacation short, so can I. I miss so much stuff when I try to stay away. For instance, until my buddy Matt e-mailed me about it, I hadn't heard anything about Kanye West's anti-Bush diatribe during Friday night's Concert for Hurricane Relief, in which he said "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

The Washington Post's outstanding TV writer, Lisa de Moraes, called it "Why We Love Television, Reason No. 137," and I'm not going to disagree. If you haven't seen it, you can find the video clip at Crooks and Liars. It might become an all-time classic television moment. If not for the context being so serious, it looks as if it could've been a skit on Saturday Night Live.

But maybe I'm just saying that because Mike Myers was standing next to West at the time. I don't think Myers has looked that uncomfortable since he saw the box office returns and reviews for The Cat in the Hat.

I've read some criticism of West (via blood on my teeth... - thanks for the link, Clint) for using a telethon to criticize President Bush. And I suppose there is something to be said for that. After all, the intent was to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. On the other hand, West had extremely strong feelings on the matter, had a forum he may never have again, and used the opportunity to say what was on his mind. Whether you agree or disagree with what he actually said, you have to admit the man has gargantuan balls. He spoke out against something he saw as wrong. I admire him for that.

He was mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

Another example of mad as hell was on FOX News the other night. Again, you can find the video at Crooks and Liars. (That's where I found it. I wasn't, like, actually watching FOX News. C'mon.) Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera were in New Orleans, filing reports for Hannity & Colmes, and both of them were irate about the conditions and treatment they were witnessing. Smith had clearly had enough of the spin and bullshit he'd been fed by officials on the scene. At least twice, he simply replied with an irritated and exasperated "I don't know" to questions by Sean Hannity -whom it should be noted was sitting comfortably in the FOX News studios.

If you ever had doubts about how much of an assclown hand puppet Hannity is for the administration, asking about the military convoys driving into New Orleans, this video might finally erase those. Even Smith saw through it, yelling "That is perspective! That's all the perspective you need!" at him. It's great stuff.

As for Rivera? Well, he's at his grandstanding, drama queen best ("Let 'em walk the hell out of here!"), holding a baby right up to the camera and crying ("Take a look, Sean!"), but I don't think you can question the man's sincerity, given what he's surrounded with and what he's seen. He can be a buffoon, and probably thinks he should play the lead in Sahara II, but he was serving up a whole platter of "perspective" Friday night.

Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

Earlier in the year, my nominee for the 2005 Howard Beale Award had been NBC's David Gregory after taking on White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan following the Karl Rove-Valerie Plame revelation in July. Now, I think Kanye West and Shepard Smith might have moved into first place.

The real lesson for me? Clearly, I need to watch more TV.