Saturday, September 19, 2009

Re Kanye West, USA TODAY and the Gannett Newspaper chain.

I didn't watch last Sunday's MTV Awards "scandal" involving Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift's award acceptance, but I saw the clip later--plus the shrieking of CNN's Don Lemon and Kyra Phillips.

Yes, Kanye's interruption was not appropriate. But the media and celeb blowback seemed to be rather overscaled in terms of what he actually said (in effect, Beyonce should have won).

It's not as if Kanye West climbed onstage and went into a tirade berating Ms. Swift regarding her talent or her personality or her CD/download sales. If that had happened, I could understand (and agree with) outraged responses.

In fact, something of this exact nature happened three-decades-plus ago at the Country Music Awards (then telecast on CBS) when Charlie Rich apparently pulled out a lighter and set fire to an awards envelope because John Denver (considered too "pop" by some of country's then-Old Guard) won in a certain category.

Few people today remember Rich's outburst. Let's see if Kanye's behavior is referenced in the media, say, five years from now.
While I was in San Francisco last week, I saw one of the dumbest-ever editorial cartoons in an issue of USA TODAY.

The cartoon referenced the recent behavior of Joe Wilson, Serena Williams and Kanye West--lamenting the decline in "civility."

The punchline was someone declaring that he was going to lament the lack of "civility" by "trashing them on my blog."

It's rather pitiful when a newspaper equates public disruption by people in the news with writing blog entries criticizing people for disruption/lack of manners/lack of common sense.

But this must be the house philosophy at the Gannett newspaper chain, which gives us USA TODAY.

Back in 1988, Gannett still owned the Santa Fe, NM newspaper THE NEW MEXICAN. This was during the time that Garry Trudeau's DOONESBURY dared to take a week to satirize/criticize then-Arizona Governor Evan Meacham for objecting to a holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday.

THE NEW MEXICAN pulled the DOONESBURY strips. The newspaper received a lot of criticism for doing so. Then, THE NEW MEXICAN (or possibly Gannett majordomos) reversed its position and ran the Meacham series--but also added an irritated introduction (sort of "we hate to do this, but here they are").

Seems to me that there's no difference between Gannett Newspapers in 1988 and what remains of the chain in 2009.

No comments:

Post a Comment