- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Godwin’s Law

“Just when you thought you knew everything about Tim Tebow, a Boston sports radio station informed us that he is probably a Nazi. The host was joking, but then so was Don Imus when he insulted Rutgers’ women’s basketball team. CBS fired him. Will it do the same when the race-based insults are directed at Tebow? Why do I get the feeling Tebow will be Denver’s starting quarterback before Fred Toettcher is out of a job?

“‘Toucher,’ as he is known to his listeners on 98.5 The Sports Hub, had this observation on Tebow’s draft-night gathering. ‘It looked like some kind of Nazi rally … so lily-white is what I’m trying to say. Yeah, Stepford Wives.’ Come to think of it, I didn’t see much diversity at the Tebow house. Maybe all that missionary stuff is just a cover, and his family has really spent years setting up a skinhead movement in the Philippines.

“Failing that, CBS is on the hypocrisy clock. It owns WBZ-FM. … Toettcher’s not Imus, but the ‘Toucher and Rich Show’ has some sway around New England.”

David Whitley, writing on “‘Lily-White’ Tebow a Nazi? Shades of Imus in Boston Radio Jock’s Slander,” on April 25 at AOL’s NFL Fanhouse site

Music fight

“Joni Mitchell rarely gives interviews, but when she does, watch out rock legends! The singer-songwriter launched into an unprovoked 31-word take-down of fellow icon Bob Dylan in the LA Times this week, calling him the insult of all insults among songwriters: plagiarist.

“The interview was well underway when Dylan’s name came up during talk about the creation of personas in music. The banter set Mitchell off, and she said, ‘Bob is not authentic at all. He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake.’ Oh, but the ‘Blue’ singer wasn’t finished with the real-life Robert Zimmerman: ‘Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.’ …

“Mitchell and Dylan have toured together in the past, as part of the Rolling Thunder Revue back in the mid-1970s and again in 1998, when she co-headlined a tour with Dylan and Van Morrison. It’s unclear what has come between them in the 12 years since they last worked together.

“Dylan wasn’t the only singer to get a thwacking from Mitchell, though. She says Madonna’s rise to stardom in the 1980s led to a negative turn in society. ‘Americans have decided to be stupid and shallow since 1980. Madonna is like Nero; she marks the turning point.’”

Marc Schneider, writing on “Folk Fight! Joni Mitchell Calls Bob Dylan a ‘Fake,’” on April 23 at Popeater

Kiddie sadism?

“‘Struwwelpeter’ was written and illustrated in 1844 by Heinrich Hoffmann, a Frankfurt medical doctor. Subsequently translated into more than one hundred languages, the book has been parodied, mocked, revised, adapted to multiple mediums … and condemned for its alleged sadism, didacticism, and supposed advocacy of blind obedience. It is a book that adults love to hate and that children find enthralling.

“Humorous, whimsical, outrageous, and bursting with wild exaggeration as well as with an undeniable and notorious streak of terror, ‘Struwwelpeter’ is in truth a delight. It grips child readers and teaches them not only about the baleful consequences of misbehavior, but also about the subtle lesson that art is made up of powerful contradictory feelings and ideas: that art and literature can be both grim and funny, frightening and cheerful, momentous and banal — like myths and legends and fairy tales.

“Shunned perennially for its sometimes brutal punishment of children, Struwwelpeter was never intended to be fearsome. It was meant to be merry and droll, an antidote to the pedantic books for children that were typical of its time.”

Ellen Handler Spitz, writing on “Harsh Lesson,” on April 15 for New Republic blog the Book

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