Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Price Is Wrong For Rosie

Rosie O’Donnell has decided not to pursue the job as host of The Price Is Right because she would have to move to LA. She currently lives in New York.

This is good news. While Bob Barker cannot be easily replaced as the host, the producers must find a new host if they want to continue the successful show. To find a host that can fit on the show, the producers should look for someone who will not cause controversy. Rosie O’Donnell is not that person.

Rosie O’Donnell is controversial because of her very strong political confrontations with Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View. There are a lot of people who absolutely hate Rosie. This is probably not merely because of her liberal views, but her aggressive debating style. While I lean to the left, there are people on the right who I like. I would say that I like a number of both liberal and conservative pundits who I feel are at least trying to be honest about the issues. I would compare Rosie to Ann Coulter, who brings more division than discussion.

But unlike Ann Coulter, Rosie I feel is more frustrated with what she sees in the media. I feel that Ann Coulter is filling a role as unwavering water-carrier for her party. Eventually, people have to realize when things are not going well. This gives Rosie a little more credibility than Ann Coulter.

Saying that, if Rosie became the host of The Price Is Right, then many people who don’t like her will not watch the show. I don’t think I would watch the show if it was hosted by Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, or Rush Limbaugh. Agree or disagree with Rosie, she is a divider.

I truly feel that Rosie being on The Price Is Right would have been a mistake for an even bigger reason than ratings. That reason is the fact that she should be on some show in which she will discuss politics. I think that she would waste time on a show in which she does not give her opinions. I have known Bob Barker since I saw his show as a little child. I do not know if he is a Republican or a Democrat. I do not know what his views are on the Iraq War. The only view that I know he holds is that pets should be sterilized.

Rosie needs a political show or a show like The View in which she can express her opinions. Being on The Price Is Right would not be the best move for her. If Rosie starts or joins a show in which she discusses politics, I feel that it would do well. I think if she and Ann Coulter had a show it would be a hit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lil' Bush

I want to begin by saying that if you are the President of the United States, you will be made fun of. To run for president is to make a choice. No one is forced to become president. If something happened to both the President and the Vice President at the same time, the Speaker of the House could become the President without choosing to obtain that position. If someone runs for Vice President, they are preparing to replace the President if anything happens to him or her.

Realizing that people choose to become the President, satire will follow. Bill Clinton was made fun off during his entire time in office, especially for his marital infidelity. President Bush has been made fun of for the confused manner in which he speaks and for his assumed lack of intelligence.

After President Bush entered office, Comedy Central had a show on called That’s My Bush, which felt more like a spoof of The Honeymooners. It only lasted a year. Following 9/11, it did not feel like an appropriate time to spoof President Bush. That’s My Bush was not renewed.

Years later, with an unpopular war in Iraq and many scandals that face the Bush Administration, the time for satire seems appropriate. Currently President Bush’s approval ratings are in the low 30s. He is an unpopular president. The more people dislike him, the easier it is to find an audience for Lil’ Bush.

Lil’ Bush originated as three small episodes on AMP’D Mobile. They portray President Bush as a child in elementary school. His father, President George H. W. Bush, is the current president. In the show, Lil’ Bush spends time with his friends Lil’ Cheney, Lil’ Condi, and Lil’ Rummy. Lil’ Condi has a crush on Lil’ Bush, but he prefers to pursue Lil’ Laura.

The best character on the show has to be Lil’ Cheney, who is ruthless and violent. For lunch, he would take a live chicken, rip off its head and drink the blood from the body. This is comical and obviously not realistic. He would also say very few words in English, and mainly say “Ra ra ra.” Some real words would be mixed in, like, “Ra ra ra, October Surprise!” His character is based on the view that Dick Cheney is tough and angry.

Not all of the characters spoofed are based on real situations. Lil’ Jeb, based on Governor Jeb Bush, is portrayed as a retarded Frankenstein monster. On the AMP’D Mobile cartoon, he rides the short bus. In reality, Governor Jeb Bush appears to be more polished and intelligent than his brother. The character of Lil’ Jeb has no basis on his real personality. The only real spoof of him was when Barbara Bush told Lil’ Bush that he may need his brother to rig an election someday.

Lil’ Bush does not just portray Republicans in a bad light. The show has Lil’ Clinton cheating on Lil’ Hillary with the Lewinsky twins. Also, Lil’ Hillary works at the abortion clinic for fun. I think that the Clintons would be very insulted by their portrayal in the cartoon. If it only made fun of Republicans, that would be one thing, but seeing that it makes fun of Democrats too is fair.

Why does it make fun of more Republicans? The main reason is that they have been in power. Now that we have a Democratic House and Senate, I would not be surprised to see Lil’ Nancy (Pelosi) or Lil’ Harry (Reid) in future episodes. In fact, I hope that the show makes fun of all politicians who do things to get themselves in trouble. I want to see Lil’ William Jefferson with money hidden in his freezer or Lil’ John Kerry wearing flip flops.

The show is a great political satire because it bases many of the jokes and events on real life situations. I think that the show will be on the air until we have a new president. By the time that President George W. Bush leaves office, spoofing him may not be as relevant. In the meantime, it’s very relevant and a funny show to watch. The most important thing about comedy is that the jokes must remain the most important thing about the show. So far, the Bush Administration has given the creators of Lil’ Bush a lot to satire. I hope that the creators of Lil’ Bush will stay the course.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Anti-Gay: Lose Your Job

Last week, two well-known people lost their jobs because they made anti-gay comments. One of them is an actor and one of them is a military leader. I’m talking about both because although this is an entertainment blog (which would make talking about the actor the reason), I find it interesting that it can cause another high-profile individual to lose his job during the same week.

Those two individuals are Isaiah Washington of Grey’s Anatomy and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace. Let me begin with Isaiah Washington.

I have never seen an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and in this case, that is a good thing. I am not judging Isaiah Washington as an actor. Whether he stays on Grey’s Anatomy will have no personal effect on me, since I do know like or hate the show. Earlier this year, Isaiah Washington referred to a co-star of Grey’s Anatomy as a “faggot.” Whether you work on a television show or in a private business, calling someone a slur can get you fired. Let’s say that Isaiah Washington feels that being gay is a sin. He could have kept his views to himself. But when you speak out against a group with such a hateful epithet, then you put yourself at risk for losing your job. Isaiah Washington let his hatred be well-known. Last week, the producers of Grey’s Anatomy decided not to renew Mr. Washington’s contract. Television shows go by a contract system, not automatic employment. Not renewing his contract is basically their way of firing him. I think that Isaiah Washington got what he deserved. It’s unfortunate that slurs against gays are not treated the same way as slurs against other minorities.

General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been in the military for his entire career, since the 1960s. Through hard work he has moved up in rank over decades. To clarify how much dedication this takes, he has been working to move up in the military since Lyndon Johnson was the President.

General Peter Pace earlier this year said that he believes that homosexuality is immoral. There are two kinds of people who are against gays. The first one, Isaiah Washington, hates gays. The second one, General Peter Pace, does not believe that it is moral to be gay. While I believe that Isaiah Washington hates gays, I do not know if Gen. Pace hates them. He may come from the view of “Hate the sin. Love the sinner” or he may actually have stronger views against them.

But the problem for him is the fact that he made comments that could come back to hurt him. He made those comments in 2007, after the Democrats have won both the House and the Senate. This would cause a battle if he was renominated for the same position. The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has decided not to renominate Gen. Pace because it would be a difficult to gain approval.

General Peter Pace should have known that his comments, while not hateful, were political. One thing I know about the military in general is that it is not supposed to be a political institution. I have had some friends serve in the Iraq War. I will not ask them their views on the war, because they are not in a position to speak freely while serving in the military. A number of Generals have spoken out against the Iraq War after leaving office, because they can speak freely after leaving office. I think that Peter Pace forgot that his opinions can put his career, a very long career, in jeopardy. I actually feel bad for him because he spent decades in the military. But this is what happens when you say things that can hurt yourself later. Did he think that those comments couldn’t hurt him if he was renominated? I think that he just wasn’t thinking.

Both men just did not think of the consequences of their actions. Last week they both paid the price for their comments. With all of their accomplishments, both men will always be known for their anti-gay comments.
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