Posts Tagged ‘Anger’

Lashing Out Against Lashing Out

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I think it’s safe to say the predominant theme in American culture and politics these days can be distilled into one word: Anger.  Anger takes shape in many forms, but the single most popular seems to be “lashing out.”   

I noticed it today, when I read numerous headlines about Sarah Palin “lashing out at the Wall Street Journal.”  A WSJ reporter claimed Palin was not factual in recent criticisms of Federal Reserve policy when she prefaced her remarks by pointing out that everybody knows how much food prices are soaring these days.  The WSJ reporter pointed out food prices are actually quite low and increasing at the lowest rates in decades.  Palin “lashed out” at the reporter citing a recent article in his own newspaper that reported food prices were soon going to start spiking.

Anyway, it struck me that this phrase, “lashing out,” has been used in connection to Ms. Palin a lot.   So I googled it and got 278,000 results in .24 seconds.  All this “lashing out,” by the way, goes a lot of ways.  A lot of people are lashing out at Sarah Palin or lashing out at Sarah Palin’s critics almost as much as she is lashing out at others.  

All of which proves reporters and headline writers need to seriously invest in buying Thesauruses.  Surely, there have to be a few synonyms out there somewhere.   

On we go to the Lash-Out Fest:

 9/3/2008     Palin Breaks Silence Lashes Out at Obama

1/9/2009      Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Media Again

1/9/2009      Sarah Palin Lashes Out at ‘Very Scary” Media Coverage

1/10/2009    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Bloggers, Mainstream Media

4/3/2009      Sarah Palin’s Camp Lashes Out at Levi Johnston for Sex Talk on Tyra

6/67/2009    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Kerry

11/17/2009  Sarah Palin Lashes Out at McCain Staffers, Media in Oprah Interview

2/2/2010      Rahm Emanuel’s “Retarded” Comment: Sarah Palin Lashes Out

2/17/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at ‘Family Guy’ Down Syndrome Joke

3/13/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Liberals, D.C. and Media

3/27/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at “Lamestream Media’s Lies”

5/25/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Journalist Joe McGinniss for Moving Next Door

6/17/2010    Palin Camp Lashes Out at Levi Johnston’s Sister

7/25/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Media, McCain Campaign and Journalist

7/30/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at President Obama’s Appearance on the The View

10/31/2010  Sarah Palin Lashes Out at ‘Corrupt’ Alaska Reporters

11/1/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Politico

11/1/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at “Corrupt” Reporters

11/3/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at ‘Clueless” Ed Gillespie

11/9/2010    Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Stimulus

11/10/2010  Palin Lashes out at Bernanke, Urging Him to Cease and Desist 

And now the Lash-backs:

 8/29/08       Team Obama Lashes Out at Palin

9/2/2008      Santorum Lashes Out About About Palin Coverage

9/3/2008      John McCain Lashes Out at Media Over Palin Attacks

9/5/2009      Levi Johnston Lashes Out at Sarah Palin

9/11/2008    Matt Damon Lashes Out at Sarah Palin

9/14/2008    Lindsay Lohan Lashes Out at Sarah Palin

10/10/2008  Rush Limbaugh Lashes Out at Anti-Palin Pundit

10/17/2008  Biden Lashes Out at Palin’s Pro-America Comment

12/11/2008  Powell Lashes Out at Palin

11/24/2009  After Apologizing to Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart Lashes Out at Sarah Palin

8/25/2010    Lisa Murkowski Lashes Out Over Sarah Palin’s Endorsement of Joe Miller

10/27/2010 Charlie Crist Lashes Out at Extremists Sarah Plain, Marco Rubio

11/3/2010    Levi Johnston Lashes Out at Palin; Not Qualified for Presidency

11/9/2010    GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus Lashes Out at Tea Party, Sarah Palin

Yes, conservatives are angry.  Liberals are angry.  Moderates are angry.  To paraphrase Rodney King:  “Can’t we all just stop lashing out at one another?”

Lebron Bores the Nation

It was the most riveting hour of live national television since Geraldo Rivera breathlessly described the opening of Al Capone’s vault 24 years ago.

Instead of dirt and an empty glass bottle, we got Lebron James talking in the third person about all the talent he brought to Cleveland for 7 years before telling us he was now going to bring all that talent to Miami, where everybody thought he would go in the first place.

It was a stilted and awkward setting at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America in Connecticut as he sat down before a silent audience of, uh, boys and girls with Jim Gray (see note below) who tried his best to drag out the painful proceedings by asking literally 18 inane questions before finally getting around to the BIG ONE.

By the end of the show, it was clear Lebron’s ego had left the following in its wake: One very happy American city, five other cities shrugging their shoulders and one really pissed off Cleveland, Ohio where his uniform was burned in effigy and the owner released a statement calling Lebron selfish, heartless, callous and cowardly.

As for the Lebron James brand- I suppose he could have damaged it more by, say, bringing guns into a locker room, but he did not help himself a lot. He had always touted himself as the kind of player that would not thump his chest and taunt opponents after a slam dunk. This was an hour of boring chest-thumping that has won him the enmity of at least six NBA cities where he is sure to be booed and reviled in the coming season.

One thing I think we can breathe easy about is that this strange, uncomfortable, melding of sports, entertainment and news is not likely to be repeated. It was horrendous, anti-climatic television likely to be parodied and mocked for decades to come. I can’t imagine why any major broadcast company would ever want to repeat such a mind-numbingly vapid proceeding.

Note: Labron’s “interviewer” was Jim Gray- not an ESPN employee but a free-lance journalist. CNBC is standing by its story that Gray’s expenses were paid by the entity that was created for last night’s production; in other words by Lebron’s people. ESPN readily admitted Gray was hand-picked by Lebron to conduct the “interview.” They now say they paid for Gray’s expenses. CNBC is not budging from its story. Gray also claims he was the one who came up with the concept of the one-hour special.

Full numbers for the “The Decision” will be out Monday but it appears to have gotten a huge 7.3 overnight rating. Some of the advertisers ESPN allowed the James camp to sign up for the telecast, University of Phoenix, Bing and Vitamanwater, are reportedly turning over $2.5 million from the proceeds of the ads to charity.

Critics are calling this ESPN’s “Deal with the Devil.” The blurring of the lines between an event that was combination news/sports/entertainment makes this made-for-TV saga fodder for an ethical debate that should last years.

More on Jim Gray and who did or did not pay his expenses can be found on MSNBC’s web site.