September 23, 2002


AND NOW FOR THE MOST LUDACRIS ITEM OF THE DAY...: Bill O'Reilly has come out in favor of "The Sopranos," saying that "it takes vicious hoodlums and shows their human sides. The actors are so good, so convincing, that the audience sees real people on the screen." But he follows this up with the highly insincere sobriquet that he "roots for the feds" to catch Tony and his fellow hoodlums. How he can do this I'll never know; if the feds catch the whole mob then there's no more show for him to praise.
But how can O'Reilly endorse "The Sopranos" when he previously started a national boycott of the relatively innocuous rapper Ludacris? After all, pretty much all the lyrical content he ripped Ludacris for (violence, violence against women, sexism, glamorization of the criminal lifestyle, ethnic self-stereotyping, etc.) is right there in virtually every "Sopranos" episode. The reason "The Sopranos" and Ludacris and Eminem are acceptable despite all of that is because they practice their craft extremely well- better, in fact, than anyone else. "The Sopranos" is generally considered up there with the great television shows of all time, Eminem is currently the most important artist in popular music, and Ludacris is up there with the top acts in rap, because of his excellent lyrics and even better delivery. Seems like O'Reilly has one standard for "gangsters" and another for "gangstas."
This is a familiar hypocrisy, of white people (conservative or not) who blast rap music as "violent," "sexist," and all of the other buzzwords, yet count "The Godfather" as their favorite movie, love the sexual humor of "Animal House," and stand steadfastly for free speech as long as the people doing the speaking look like them.
In the meantime, I'd love to know whether or not O'Reilly watches "Oz." Who's his favorite O'Reilly brother, Ryan or Cyril? Has he seen the episode where Cyril beats up a visiting TV journalist?

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 23, 2002 02:57 AM
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