Half-listening to the news: cheers and jeers .. do we really know the difference?

May 12th, 2007 | By | Category: Entertainment

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been half-listening to the news and become more than irritated at a couple of stories. I have to wonder whether there’s a larger trend emerging.

The first story surrounds Shane Doan, captain of the Canadian team at the World Hockey Championships in Russia. Next comes Imus, the US mega shock jock, and finally John McCain, the US Republican presidential candidate.

These professional men paid what were really compliments to people. And maybe somebody … Anyway, I was only half-listening to the news …

Doan be crying

So Mr. Doan is alleged (and the evidence seemed pretty flimsy) to have said “that fucking frenchman did a good job.” Members of Parliament in Ottawa criticized him for this. And I thought what? His alleged crime is to have, during gameplay, uttered those words about his perceived enemy – the opposing goalie?

So on the highly paid and fantastically honoured field of sport, are we really saying that one man should lose his job because he complimented an opposing player? I may not know everything about sport, but well some of the joy would be taken out if anyone could eliminate the best players in any sport by simply accusing them of something that might be racism. (Vince Carter totally called me a honky last night! Or Tiger Woods called me a damn Canadian!)

Here’s the thing: that’s a compliment. No if ands or buts about it! “That fucking ______ did a good job.” Fill in the blank with whatever human descriptor you want and that is nothing but a compliment! In fact, it’s a begrudging compliment and that makes it even better! But last week several elected members of our Canadian Parliament came forward to croak to the cameras about how they would like Shane’s career to suffer because of his apparent racism.

(ED. NOTE: My good chap, it wasn’t a goalie. It was a referee – or even a “linesman” to be quite exact. And it seems highly unlikely that Mr. Doan said “you fucking frenchman referee/linesman are doing a good job.” Then it appears he hadn’t really even said it to a referee/linesman. If what he did or didn’t say really was a compliment, this article would have some legs. But the ladies and gentlemen of the jury, sir, are still out to lunch on that. )

Imust protest

So then I remember half listening to the news about how big time radio shock jock Imus is thrown out of his job for saying that the girls on a basketball team are “Snappy Haired Hose.”

Here’s the thing: that’s a compliment. Sure as heck it is! Being a snappy dresser, having snappy clothes, living a snappy life is what we all aspire to on account of commercials. Anyway, I don’t really know much about women’s basketball. So that makes me like everybody else. But as far as I know the shock jock Imus is out of work because of his apparent racism.

(ED. NOTE: Again my good fellow, wake up and smell the dandelion wine. What Mr. Imus actually said was “Nappy Headed Ho[e]s.” And that doesn’t just mean a hairstyle, as some in the anglophile suburbs thought. He was calling the young lady college students prostitutes. That just won’t do, sir, whatever your race, creed, or credit card.)

Look, under the earth … McCain!

Finally John McCain – the US Republican presidential candidate who at the recent TV debates said “I would follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell.”

Here’s the thing: that really is a compliment. You can take that to the bank! You follow someone you love to the gates of hell because you are honestly confident that they will protect you from the devil. You might even believe they can defeat the devil … so there’s going to be a show! Only Jon Stewart was wise enough to point out McCain’s apparent treason.

(ED. NOTE: At last, sir, you have said something that almost makes sense.)

And my concluding point is just this. Cheering or jeering? Nowadays do we really know the difference?

(ED. NOTE: Well played again sir. And does it really make a difference? So long as there’s noise to occupy our minds, half-listening to the news?)


M.N.M. Magoo is a northern North American financial analyst who can usually be found at Trader Vic’s Lounge, in Sioux Lookout, ON.

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