Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Old Rush Limbaugh said something naughty, involving the Vice President's first name, if you get our drift, and Atrios is running with it. If you were among the people who sent furious letters to the FCC about Nicollete Sheridan's towel, I encourage you to behave consistantly, and prepare a poisen-pen letter in this instance, too.

EXPLANATION A spokesman for ABC Sports told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he hadn't received a single phone call or e-mail in the immediate aftermath of the Sheridan broadcast. The flood of complaints didn't start until more than 24 hours after the incident. Were any of these complainants actual victims (or even viewers) of "Monday Night Football" or were they just a mob assembled after the fact by "family" groups? Though the F.C.C. said that it had received 50,000 complaints about the N.F.L. affair, it couldn't determine how many of them were duplicates - the kind generated by e-mail campaigns run by political organizations posting form letters ready to be clicked into cyberspace ad infinitum by anyone who has an index finger and two seconds of idle time.

[Yes, Atrios is doing the same thing. Do you get it now?]

Though I'd love to see Rush hoisted on his own petard (that would have to be one, heavy-duty petard, wouldn't it?) I think the whole thing is silly. (This is a consistant view: I thought the Monday Night Football flapdoodle was silly, and though I wasn't yet blogging when Janet Jackson's costume exploded, I thought the manufactured outrage over that was silly, too)

The only people disturbed enough by foul-mouthed radio jocks, exploding costumes, or dropped towels to demand government intervention are those "opportunistic ayatollahs on the right" who stand to profit from cultural controversies - and their sheep.

The rest of us avert our eyes, change the channel, put our kids to bed, set good examples, and act like responsible parents.

That is our job. Not the FCC's.