- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hip-hop dogs

Whoopi Goldberg, in her first day as permanent co-host of ‘The View,’ raised eyebrows when she seemed to defend disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who last month pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges. ‘For a lot of people, dogs are sport,’ Goldberg insisted. ‘Instead of just saying [Vick] is a beast and he’s a monster, this is a kid who comes from a culture where this is not questioned.’

“When co-host Joy Behar inquired which culture is okay with torturing dogs, Goldberg clarified her point: ‘He’s from the South, from the Deep South. … This is part of his cultural upbringing.’ …

“[Y]ou don’t have to be a mind reader to surmise that the culture Goldberg is really referencing, albeit euphemistically, is black urban culture. Dogfighting isa part of the hip-hop milieu. … Pit bulls, known for their fighting prowess, are the dog of choice among celebrity rappers. Even the name of Vick’s dog kennel, ‘Bad Newz Kennels,’ which specialized in raising pit bulls for fighting, features the z-for-s spelling popular in hip hop circles.”

Mark Goldblatt, writing on “Bad Newz,” Friday at NationalReview.com

Not spoon-fed

“Though neither the Federal Communications Commission nor Congress ever mandated it, 8 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday (Eastern time), and 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, have traditionally been devoted to family-friendly programming. …

“If you were born in an earlier generation, when broadcast television still dominated America’s media landscape, the family hour might still seem like a big deal. At that time — not so long ago — just about the only shows for kids to watch aired during the early evening. But the days of media scarcity passed away with disco and bell bottoms. Once cable TV and VCRs came along, a viewing revolution began that upended the entire video marketplace. Today, the consumer-empowerment revolution has kicked into high gear, now that viewers have access to a stunning variety of information and entertainment options, along with countless devices to help them manage media consumption for themselves and their families. …

“Armed with all these new viewing options and technologies, parents, not broadcasters, now determine the content of the family hour and when it will take place. We no longer have to sit down at 8:00 each night to be spoon-fed our daily dose of family-friendly fare.”

Adam Thierer, writing on “Who Killed TV’s ‘Family Hour’?” Friday at City-Journal.org

Star descending

“Entertainers at all levels actually have a difficult job, whether they’re paid a little or a lot. It’s a profession in which image matters: how you’re dressed, how you physically look, even how you move. [Britney] Spears has been a public relations disaster recently. So when she steps onto the stage every move of hers is going to be watched. And, yes, her physical appearance will be judged since that’s part of the reason why she was propelled to fame and makes all the big bucks.

“On all fronts and by most accounts, she should not have stepped on the stage [at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards]. It would have been better to call in sick. …

“She is, after the MTV show, a star in descent.”

Joe Gandelman, writing Monday on “Britney Spears: To Some It Was Like Watching the Fat Elvis,” at TheModerateVoice.com

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