Our friends to the North seem to be getting even crazier than we are about what’s permissible in public discourse. The agency that oversees television ads—yes, such a thing exists—has disallowed a Toronto Blue Jays ad in which burly Frank Thomas, formerly of the Oakland A’s, wins a pillow fight with a kid. Jim Patterson, president of the Television Bureau of Canada, says it’s an “issue of power…that’s not acceptable behavior with a child and a person that large.” Tony Ciccia of Publicis Canada, the agency that created the ad, says it’s obvious Thomas isn’t committing an act of violence, and he finds the ban “peculiar,” given Canadians’ penchant for violent hockey. All I know is, if I were a Canadian daddy I wouldn’t be getting into any pillow fights with my kids, lest social services whisk them off to some pillowless foster home.
Back here in the States, the latest on the Don Imus flap: Imus is being punished with a two-week suspension from the airwaves. In my book that’s a vacation—it’s obviously just a symbolic gesture. If the station really wants to make amends, it should consider filling Imus’s time slot with programming about women’s sports—and the first guests should be members of the Rutgers basketball team. I don’t care what Al Sharpton or NOW or even Imus himself has to say about it anymore: I want to know how the subjects themselves felt being called “nappy headed ‘ho’s.” Not just the appellation, either, but the context in which it was said; I still maintain that some of them might not have taken it as an insult.
Everyone asks, what if he’d called your daughter a ‘ho? I’d rather let my daughter speak for herself, and I’ll speak for myself. Given the context in which Imus said it, I’m fairly certain that, as a teenage girl, I would have laughed and felt secretly proud to be regarded as fearsome. Of course, I was a degenerate hoodlum…and I’m told that serious female athletes these days eschew that sort of thing. Whether they do or not, I want to hear from those gals, and as soon as I finish blogging I’m heading over to the two radio stations—MSNBC and WFAN I believe—to tell them so. Anyone care to join me?
Note: In case I’m completely off base on this, I urge my readers to click here and read Gwen Ifill’s op-ed in the NYTimes.
Don Imus on Al Sharpton’s radio show yesterday.