Oct 162002
 
Authors: Becky Waddingham

I’ve never been a huge Andy Rooney fan. Actually, I thought he was dead. He might as well be since he was suspended from CBS’ “60 Minutes” for insensitive comments about blacks. Or gays. Or something. Doesn’t matter; point is, he’s done it again, and this time it’s women he has offended.

I never much liked Harry Belafonte, either. Calypso just doesn’t get me going (with the possible exception of that “Ay Calypso” John Denver song).

So I didn’t really care when these two sophomoric talents made headlines with their idiotic comments last week about two things you can’t joke about in this country: women and black people.

The media backlash against Rooney and Belafonte for two ill-advised and poorly said comments is justifiable, but I find it interesting that anyone cares in the first place. Ignoring these two morons is a better response than talking about it incessantly on “Larry King Live.”

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what they said.

Rooney decided to opine on the increasing presence of female sideline reporters in football.

“The only thing that really bugs me about television’s coverage is those damn women they have down on the sidelines who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about,” Rooney told Boomer Esiason, who is the only thing that really bugs most people about television’s football coverage. Rooney helpfully added that he’s “not a sexist person” but believes that women have “no business down there trying to make a comment about football.”

I mean, I can’t stand Melissa Stark either, but it’s not like Eric Dickerson makes any more sense just because he’s a guy.

When someone likes Rooney makes a comment like that, the most rational reaction is just to ignore it. Obviously he’s an idiot, so why grace his comments with any kind of acknowledgment?

That’s the path our secretary of state has taken.

Belafonte, an outspoken liberal and wannabe Calypso King, criticized the Bush administration for its abuse of civil liberties in the year after the Sept. 11 attacks, and singled out Secretary of State Colin Powell for his lack of opposition to it.

“In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and there were those slaves that lived in the house,” Belafonte said in a radio interview last week. “You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master.

“Colin Powell’s committed to come into the house of the master,” he added. “When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture.”

Powell said the comments were “regrettable” and he wished Belafonte hadn’t used the slave inference. That’s pretty much all he has said about it. Powell, a class act, has ignored the comments, and we would all be well-advised to follow suit. Media-starved morons like Rooney and Belafonte would be better served if we just forgot about them.

Speaking of media-starved

The so-called Beltway Sniper has started to really make some waves. First President Bush said at a press conference that the series of murders makes him sick to his stomach. Then the Pentagon announced it was lending a reconnaissance plane to help find the shooter. Then Hollywood took some action.

A new movie starring Colin Farrell was slated to come out later this month but is now being postponed because of the sniper. “Phone Booth” is about a man literally stuck in a phone booth who is told if he hangs up, he’ll be shot by a sniper perched on a building above.

This is not unlike what happened last year after the Sept. 11 attacks, when several movies were edited to remove the Twin Towers from posters, previews and feature presentations. “Collateral Damage,” an Arnold Schwarzenegger flick about a terrorist who blows up a building, was postponed until early this year because of its eerie Sept. 11 vibes.

I respect Hollywood’s decision to censor itself out of sensitivity, but isn’t that exactly what these terrorists want? It’s almost like a concession from the good guys. They win once we start changing things.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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