Saturday, October 29, 2011

What's Worse: A Comparison, or a Call for Murder?

A couple of weeks ago, singer Hank Williams jr. compared Democrat Obama meeting Republican Boehner with Nazi Hitler meeting Jew Netanyahu. He wasn't comparing Obama with Hitler - just the circumstances of the meeting - two people on polar sides of issues getting together.

But everyone in the media cried out that he had compared Obama to Hitler, and as a result he lost his gig as Sunday night football intro singer.

Just saw the below article, from Fox News, about some guy named Orlando Jones. He's a comedian - someone I never heard of, but he called for someone to kill Sarah Palin. Has he lost any gigs because of it? Has he apologized. (You know if he does it will be all right. The only folks whose apologies never do them any good are caucasians, seems like. (For a couple of examples: anyone heard from Michael Richards aka Kramer recently? Excoriated because he made a stupid reference to lynching in answer to a heckler. Meantime the homophobic black comedian Tracy Morgan's career continues to thrive, and the gay community accepted his apology. )

News today is that orlando Jones has apologized, offering pretty much the same explanation for his tweet as Hank Williams Jr did for his joke.
On his Facebook page Thursday, his apology read: “I pray that no harm comes to Governor Palin. I’m not a political pundit and I certainly don’t believe in murder. I think laughter is great medicine. I’d love to elevate the conversation but no one seems interested in that. So I’ll keep on going for the smiles even when I miss by a mile.”

The apology is a reversal since he first said when pressed about his tweet on Tuesday: “My job as an artist is to hold up a mirror to society. I do not decide how people feel or react to that… I offer no apologies.”

Most outlets covering the story – and Jones wrote on his Facebook page that they were doing so only to to draw “attention and ad dollars” – condemned the artist. “What a twit,” wrote the Chicago Sun Times, which quoted a secret service agent who wondered how “a public person like Orlando Jones would be so stupid as to make any kind of suggestion – joking or not – about killing a politician or other high-profile individual.”

Meantime, at least one paper still says its Palin's fault Gifford got shot, because her admakers put a crosshairs on a picture of Gifford's district, and never mind that that crosshairs graphic has been used for decades by political admakers on both sides of the aisle.

From 3 days ago, Fox News:

Orlando Jones slammed for tweets calling on liberals to 'kill Sarah Palin'

Celebrities have been known to post tasteless tweets on Twitter, but critics are slamming comedian Orlando Jones for crossing the line when he tweeted that liberals should “Kill Sarah Palin.”

Following the death of Muammar Qaddafi, the MADtv star tweeted, “Libyan Rebels kill Gaddafi, if American liberals want respect they better stop listening to Aretha & kill Sarah Palin (:”

Despite his addition of a smiley face emoticon, the Twitter community did not react well to Orlando’s post.

“Why does @TheOrlandoJones think it’s funny to call for Sarah Palin to be murdered? #palin #liberaltolerance” said one tweet.

Jones shot back, “No I don’t. I think it’s funny you are so upset about my inane tweet.”

After receiving widespread criticism for his hateful tweet, the comedian spent the better part of Tuesday attempting to defend himself.

“My tweet was farcical not funny or a call to action. 100 bucks 2 the 1st person who can count the # of Palin jokes about killing Democrats(:,” Jones tweeted.

One person tweeted in response, “@theorlandojones why would you say to kill Sarah Palin then? Who does that? It’s inciting to others..”

Jones tweeted back, “Inciting? I agree to disagree. As positive comments do little to incite good. Those perceived as negative do just as much(:”

Finally, after dozens of tweets, Jones decided that 140 characters weren’t enough to properly articulate himself and posted the following statement to his Facebook account: “My job as an artist is to hold up a mirror to society. I do not decide how people feel or react to that. My tweet hit a nerve. That’s good. The fact that is has taken precedent over the serious issues that face us is not good. That’s media outlets vying for attention and ad dollars.

“Was it my best line? No. It would be great if those individuals who are genuinely outraged redirected that energy toward the greater good. Any anger directed at me and my right to free speech is an absolute waste of time. I am not a statesman. My comments reflect no political affiliation. It’s just me being me, in a world that will never comfortably mix political correctness with artistic expression. For that, I offer no apologies, excuses or wisdom.”

Early this morning, Jones remained defiant, tweeting, “Its tempting&more comfortable 2 keep your head down, plod along, appease those who demand: ‘Sit down&shut up, that’s a quitter’s way out.”

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