There are two things I look forward to the most when I carry on my religious routine of going to Eli’s Bagels in Aberdeen every Friday morning: the bagel, of course, and reading through the New York Post. Yes, the archaic, age-old practice of actually turning pieces of paper to read a story rather than pressing a button. Anyway, I am always amused by Phil Mushnick’s column, which he has had for nearly thirty years, one where he takes shots at people on radio and television for the greater good of the viewer. He is a media watchdog, so to speak, and generally, I agree with what he has to say, save for his redundant I-Told-You-So’s and attacks on Mike Francessa. This past Friday though, Mushnick said something that the casual reader, or someone new to his way of writing, might be offended and alarmed by, and that was in a joke comparison that the now-Brooklyn Nets should be more like their owner, the rapper Jay Z.
Mushnick attacked the way this crude and verbally offensive singer (as most rappers are; it pained me even to use the word singer for him as a label) has been allowed to call the Nets’ marketing shots, and argued that they might as well go the distance to emulate their grand overseer:
Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N——s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B—-hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!
People were quick to go after Mushnick, saying that he crossed the line with racism and bigotry. Those that never read a word he has ever written have been calling for his job since yesterday morning. This is quite ironic to me, considering that for as long as I have been reading his column, he has always spoken out against racism and bigotry in the media, always taking the stand for the greater good and against inappropriate remarks made towards anyone’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, etc. Phil Mushnick is not a racist, nor is he a bigot; he is simply a writer trying to illustrate the point that it is okay for rappers to use words such as those above, in the worst possible contexts imagined, and everyone be fine with it, but as soon as someone else does, or as soon as you want to bring those words into the limelight, where maybe the singer can answer for his actions, the whole world goes nuts.
This leads us to those magical two words again: double standard. How many people calling for Mushnick’s job have rap CDs in their collection or on their iPods? I’m willing to bet quite a few, and shamelessly at that. They probably see nothing wrong with someone young and hip like Jay Z trumpeting violence, rape, murder, and/or foul language, but if an old white dude dares to bring it up, then my word, that’s not right! Fire him! I’m willing to bet Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have their picket signs ready. I guess this song by Jay Z is rather tame compared to what Mushnick had to say (WARNING: explicit language).
I do not condone the use of any racial slur, or any attack on someone for any reason other than their own stupidity. Words like that are not a part of my vocabulary, nor will they ever be. But as long as rappers continue to use words like that, people such as media watch dogs should be able to take shots at them, using their own wording. Mushnick’s article was not a racist diatribe or attack, it was merely a comparison that, of course, in this world, gets blasted out of context. Anyone who reads him on a regular basis knows that, but what does it matter? Ignorance will always win out in the end, and its a fight that, unfortunately, Mushnick may end up losing.
Politically Incorrect Rating: 9/10