Friday, July 5, 2013

Paula Deen and Alex Baldwin: A Tale of Two Celebrities

Paula Deen admitted to using the N word, for which she has been crucified. She has been dumped on and dumped by. The Food Network and QVC have said goodbye and good riddance. Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Walgrens have said no to her merchandise. Sears, KMart and Penney’s, which presumably need every cent of revenue, have abandoned her. Novo Nordisk, a manufacturer of insulin, terminated their relationship. Smithfield Hams, with a history of environmental violations, cut her off. Caesar's Casinos, which has no problem with smoking elders in wheel chairs and oxygen tanks playing the slots, took her name off four restaurants. She lost most of her 17 contractual vendors. All for admitting using the N word decades ago. The N word is one of several racist, sexist, and ethnic terms that are unacceptable in today’s society. Their usage should be condemned. Alec Baldwin used the C word for African Americans – not a peep out of the media. Capital One is sticking by its No-hassles man. Woody allen has him in a movie. Paula Deen’s deposition was taken as part of a sex discrimination lawsuit, directly mostly against her brother. This somewhat long excerpt is the context of the N word. “Q Have you ever used the N word? A Yes, of course Q Okay, in what context? A Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head Q Okay. And what did you say? A Well, I don’t remember, but the gun was dancing all around my temple Q Okay A I didn’t. I didn’t real favorable to him Q Okay. Well did you use the N word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your feet? A Absolutely not Q Well, then, when did you use it? A Probably in telling my husband Q Okay. Have you used it since then? A I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time Q Can you remember the context in which you used the N word? A No Q Has it occurred with sufficient frequency that you cannot recall all of the various context in which you used it? A No, No Q Well, then tell me the other context in which you used the N word? A I don’t know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me Q Like a joke? A No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don’t know Q Okay A But that’s just not a word we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the 60’s in the South. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior Q Okay A As well as I do Alex Baldwin has an anger management problem. It manifested itself in 2007 when he left a phone message for his 11 year old daughter. She apparently did not answer his phone call at the scheduled time. These are some of his prize quotes in the two minute tape: “You don’t have the brains or the decency as a human being.” “I don’t give a damn that you’re 12 years old, or 11 years old, or that you’re a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass ….” “I am going to get on a plane and I am going to come out there for the day and I am going to straighten your ass out when I see you.” “You are a rude, thoughtless little pig, OK” That message was also stupid. He was in the midst of a messy divorce and child custody case with Kim Basinger, his soon to be ex-wife. She released the tape to the public and used it in the legal proceedings. He was kicked off American Airlines Flight #4 in Los Angeles December 6, 2011 when he refused 5 times to turn off his cell phone. He even went into the bathroom, and pounded on the wall, while yelling and screaming. The plane had to taxi back to the terminal to the discomfort of the other passengers. A New York Post reporter approached him on February 17, this year while he was walking his dogs. The reporter asked him about litigation his wife was involved in. He grabbed the reporter, Tara Palmeri, and said “I want you to choke to death.” The accompany Post photographer was G. N. Miller, a retired NYPD detective. Miller asserts Baldwin called him a “coon, a drug dealer,” “a crackhead,” and a drug dealer who “just got out of jail.” The piece de resistance was last week at the James Gandolfini funeral. George Stark, a reporter for the Daily Mail, mistakenly reported that Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria Thomas, had tweeted throughout the funeral. The reality is that she started tweeting about an hour after the funeral ended. Baldwin tweeted: “Someone wrote that my wife was tweeting at a funeral. That’s not true. But I’m going tweet at your funeral.” “George Stark, you lying little bitch. I am gonna _____ you up.” “My wife and I attend a funeral to pay our respects to an old friend, and some toxic bitch writes this f___ing trash.” “I’d put my foot up your f___ing ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.” “I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna f__k you up.” So we have misogyny, racism, and homophobia in recent days, weeks, and months, compared to a nuclear reaction against Paula Deen for admitting she used the N word three decades ago. The media would crucify a conservative for these statements and acts. Alex Baldwin received a pass. He apologized in a letter to GLADD, saying his tweets had nothing to do with anyone’s sexual orientation. A GLADD spokesman say his language was inappropriate, but that he had a history of actively supporting LGBT equality. GHis penance is that he has stopped tweeting. So why the double standard? Alec Baldwin is highly respected in the Hollywood community. He has repeatedly validated his liberal standing. He even vowed in 2000 to leave America for Canada if George W. Bush were elected President. Unfortunately Baldwin stayed. Hollywood likes his timing with light humor. He’s cool. He’s getting like Joe Biden; you just know he suffers from diarrhea of the mouth. Deep down, he doesn’t believe it because he is of the Hollywood elite. He can't really mean what he is saying, can he? Paula Deen though is the opposite. She is the Queen of Southern Cooking, down home Southern cooking, which is not the cooking of New Orleans. Hers is high cholesterol, artery clogging cuisine of the common Southern: fat, sugar, butter, deep fried. She comes across as uncouth and unsophisticated, peddling trashy food in the eyes of the elite. She reminds us of a time we would rather forget. Paula Deen is of the common people, the real people, the down-to-earth people - not of the New South. Her mistake was telling the truth in the deposition. Of course, generations in the South used the N word as a racial epithet, often directly as an insult. She would have used it, as she acknowledged. Many still do, but not in public discourse. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and West Virginia Senator Harry Byrd joined the KKK. She also stated that it was decades ago and that times have changed in the South, the new South. The hypocrisy is overwhelming. Random House announced it was cancelling her upcoming book, "New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes: All Lightened Up," scheduled for publication in October 2013. The still to be published book is currently number 1 on the Amazon list. Two thoughts come to mind. First, publishers are having difficulty selling any books these days. Why they would cancel a profitable cookbook is baffling. Second, if the reason is the N word, then how does Random House justify publishing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which contains the N word 219 times? The vendors who terminated her would have interesting answers if they were asked the same question about using the N word. Of course, a secondary reason may be at work. Viewership of her TV show has dropped about 25% and her merchandise sales have fallen sharply from their peak in 2010. Perhaps the merchants were using the N word flap as an excuse to terminate her for commercial reasons.

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