Don’t Like: The New York Post’s Decision To Post Erin Andrews Spy Video Pictures and Including A Distasteful Cartoon As WellJuly 23, 2009
(note: this is not page with the picture… I’m not going to do that)
Ragging on a rag like The New York Post (eh, get it?) seems like a waste of time. It’s a nonsense paper, with a nonsense agenda, designed to make money, and it does. Fine.
I’m also not here to get political. That would be pointless. Dismissing a sensationalist paper for it’s politics completely misses the point as they are inherently designed to piss people off or go the extra step out of bounds on a given angle (politically speaking of course). Does it potentially have a negative effect? Sure. Do I like that so many people read it? No. It’s just doesn’t make sense to rail against this because it’s an inherent reality of the mud slinging business. And most of their gossip rag stuff is completely trashy, but appropriately trashy in the larger sense. In other words it’s exactly the kind of nonsense you’d expect to find in any magazine like that.
So then The Post went along the other day and ran a story on page 1 referencing the now unfolding and infamous Erin Andrews story. If you have not heard, the ESPN sideline reporter was recently filmed with a peephole camera as she was changing in her hotel room. It is a significant offense. Highly illegal. And rotten to the core. Honestly, I did not find that it happened that surprising. Erin Andrews has a vehement, vocal, and often juvenile fan base, stemming from the fact that she is an attractive, capable woman and is a member of the sports world, particularly college sports. That lends itself to a certain kind of attention. She is also a decent sideline reporter (my qualms are more with actually sideline reporting and not her performance itself). The problem with having this kind of celebrity-like admiration is that she also a sideline reporter and NOT a giant celebrity with security and protection and all the like. Honestly, I’ve worried for her safety in a variety of situations. Sure, she seems tough and no nonsense and all that good stuff; she’s probably perfectly capable of taking care of her self… but still. I worried about, I dunno, something like this.
Most of the major papers have and simply abstained from referencing the story all together… but The Post? They ran an article about her outrage… including a screenshot from the video (a barely censored one).
This is absolutely deplorable.
More than than that it is actually illegal. They are posting a pic which was from an illegally shot video. Admittedly, I do not know the finer points of the law concerning this issue, but I know that that kind of act is illegal and grounds for legal action. The Post have since taken it down on the website version of their paper. But probably more because people are pissed (even within their regular readers). This sentiment is also not to imply that I, or some of the people who complained, are some kind of prude or believe that sexuality has no place in modern media. Who can’t understand why a lot of people would want to see a naked video of someone famous? Particularly an attractive famous person. It’s just that I recognize the inherent difference of a video obtained through such incredibly dishonest and violating means. Not helping matters is that some people are confusing the release of this video with the “release” of some other famous celebrity videos; they don’t understand what the big deal or difference is and why this video can’t legally be posted.
There isn’t even a comparison. Those videos were released with pre-made deals and financial compensation. It was planned. This video was not.
Which leads to something else The Post happened to do in that edition of the paper. They printed this cartoon.
There are three possible meanings you can take from this cartoon. The first is that modern corporate/celebrity culture uses sex and personal stuff to sell sell sell. Which would be valid. But that would be giving a lot of credit. See the problem is those 5 blatant ESPN signs, which means the second possible meaning and perhaps most obvious is that ESPN planned or wanted this video to come out. Or is somehow glad. Which is malicious and implies they are a morally bankrupt organization… which I find to be anything but the case for the company. It also completely discounts the fact they’ve been running around like crazy suing websites and LEGITIMATELY trying to shut it down. If anything ESPN has been the one major sports coverage unit that has really, and truly tried to abstain from sexualizing sports. They consider themselves a family network. They really do and seperates themselves from Fox Sports, which has no qualms about doing so (the great irony of this being that Fox sports is 1000 times more likely to have the kind of behavior/viewpoint shown in this cartoon). The third meaning, and most offensive, is that Erin Andrews was in on it. Which if that is the intent, is probably the most heinous, sexist, cynical, violating tone I can think of for a situation like this.
Once again… this is absolutely deplorable.
Yes the cartoon probably falls under free speech and probably has the legal standards to run… but then I have the right under free speech to say this probably should never have seen publication and if I ran a paper it wouldn’t… ever.
This sounds like I’m getting all high and mighty and holier than thou… I know… I’m sorry. True, should I expect anything less from society? Is this really THAT big a deal? I’m not sure. But sometimes I get tired of being cynical. I get tired of just ignoring shitty behavior just because humans are inclined to be shitty sometimes. But every once and awhile it’s okay to call a duck a duck. Their actions are egregious. It deserves to be called out.
In response to the whole affair, ESPN has blacklisted any Post reporters from their coverage and removed their access to any ESPN broadcast. This will have an immediate effect on their coverage and will hopefully hurt them financially.
But for Erin Andrews, in a perfect world, she would sue for posting the picture and defamation of character for the cartoon. She has a legit claim with the picture, but the cartoon claim would be thrown out under free speech. And since the post is part of the News Corp empire the history of two mega corporations suing each other tells us that it would be so bogged down in various stalls and litigation as to be a complete waste of time.
So in the end, ESPN made the right call.
For me, the whole thing has no effect, really.
I will continue to never read The Post.
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Posted by FILMCRITHULK
First off he never really addresses atheist’s arguments and just makes hilarious statements and conclusions instead. But first, a qualifier!
1) I am somewhat at odds with logic. It’s is an incredibly useful tool of construction/deconstruction and often provides the crux of philosophical theory. But logic itself is not, and has never been, the definitive system for “answers,” philosophical or otherwise. The basic scientific principal of “correlation does not mean cause” prevents it so, and yet most logic depends on that being true. While it may seem that “science” as we know it was invented in the 17th-18th century, really the basic tenants have always been routed in the pillars of observation and appropriation. There’s a timelessness to those qualities, just as their is a timelessness to logic, but they are interdependent on one another and have always been. More so, in the age of increasing scientific propriety, observation, data collection, and technology, we have a legitimate ability to gain actual substantial answers to long theoretical questions and problems. With that, logic has become the currency of the intellectual disaffected and the occasional dead weight of lunacy.(1)
Enter this asshat.
There’s a lot of general stupidity out there with which I have absolutely no problem. I generally like to single out the most amusing or most outrageous in some kind of personal way. So like those, this guy is special (assuming he’s serious. Which I think is true. More on that later). But this seems to think he is the god of logic. But so often the problem with logic is that YOU define the variables and if you define them wrong you can go of an logic bender that leads you to a stunningly crap-tastic conclusion. So let’s go on a journey.
First off, there is his claim that Atheists don’t believe in god, because they can’t see god. He compares this to the fact that we can’t see air, but we know it’s there. Sigh. The obvious problem is that we can see air. You use a thing called a “microscope” (well a powerful version of one) or other scientific instruments with which we can look at and analyze the molecules that make up this “air” thing you speak of. Even better, he then uses the comparative example of “not being able to see your own brain, yet it exists.” Well tell you what, I’ll go grab my dad’s Vietnam era machete and give a good slice across your forehead, grab a piece of your brain and show it to you before you die. Because you’re sitting and talking to a camera, yes, even you have a brain (of course this implies your sliced brain would still have visual functioning capability). See we have TANGIBLE ways of actually seeing these invisible examples you speak of. The atheist argument is dependent on the fact we currently have NO TANGIBLE ways of seeing god. (2)
The next part is equally awesome. Saying that proposition of God’s existence inherently begins as a 50/50 chance is a total falsehood. Just because there are two possible answers, does not mean there is an equal chance of those answers being correct. It’s like saying there’s a fifty/five chance I’ll be hit by a falling lime green Boeing jet today. The odds are actually dependent on, you know, the probability of said event occurring, not the number of a possible outcomes. It is one of the most basic pillars of logic and one of the first things you learn on the subject: An either/or result does not facilitate either/or logic.
Which then brings him to the “51%” thing where he goes from his already incorrect 50/50 probility of god existing to the the long-pause-inclusive “but. there. is. evidence!… of him, existing!” deduction is high comedy. Needless to say said evidence isn’t presented and instead we’re just treated “we exist” followed by a statement which implies 100% of god existing by saying “And if he didn’t exist there would be nothing.” Just awesome. It becomes evident he has no idea where he is in his logistical timeline and is pretty much winging. Then sequeways with a sort of nice equivalent of saying science can’t prove anything “because it’s logic.” Which is oh so failsafe.
The also also best part comes right after that with “the four most evil people in history of human history” (nice repeat) were atheists… followed by the hilarious DOUBLE eyebrow raise (a kind of awesome you get me? you GET me? ATHEISTS ARE EVIL, eh?). Followed by the prefect double hand open of obviousness.
The also also also best part is his other videos are even more hilarious, offensive, and culturally charged (the one on sex hurting the vagina being okay in particular), but this one highlights his logistical failures much more acutely.
Psychologically speaking, his arguments are oddly solipsistic. He is taking special care to deny almost any other singular influence on his opinions. Most like to reference and support, his logic is instead a wholly insular enterprise. It is an increasingly common behavior on the internet and something I find to be a result of 1) a disconnected society and 2) bad learning habits. But that’s all conjecture. The dude is funny to watch.
There’s a lot of belief that this guy is playing a character and these segments are a joke. Who knows? The problem is that it doesn’t pass my gut test. I look at him and it reads real even if his statements are ludicrious (a good deal of Christians seem to be just as offended by his nonsense giving them a bad name). He’s just too good the personality type. He’s simply too good at playing the self assured, withdrawn, intellectual type who is probably a libertarian, thinks no one is as smart as he is, and dismays that society does not live up to his standards. Which makes me sad… I’m going to hope he really is playing a character.
It should be said there scientific arguments/theories for god’s existence (the big bang, etc) that are at least somewhat interesting. It’s all deeply theoretical and miles away from having scientific legitimacy, but it’s still interesting and enjoy reading about it. And no, I’m not talking about intelligent design. Any scientific theory that is built on “we haven’t figured this shit out yet, so it must be god” is about as faulty in logic/science/basic life skills as you can get.
For those questioning my motives, as everyone tends to do, I really don’t have a stake in the answer. I might believe in God, but I lean sort of atheist. I’m not sure. I just know that I care about the methods we use to come up with “answers”, because often the methods inform the answers themselves.
1- This statement however does ignore the problems created by conflicting data and the mass amounts of misinformation.
2- There are some interesting theories, which I address a bit at the end above.
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Posted by FILMCRITHULK
This monstrosity has been floating around the blogosphere lately and perhaps for good reason. I wasn’t going to say anything at first. Most of the commentary has been along the lines of “sign of the apocolypse” and “fall of western civilization… but over the last 24 hours I’ve become a little bit obsessed.
See this isn’t just your usually stupidity. This is special.
Strangely, the questions begin with the haircuts. How does someone get that haircut who isn’t a Japanese teen five years ago? They aren’t even fallout-boy-at-least-definable-by-physics-bad. What possesses someone to be that incredibly outrageous with their hair? It’s amazing. Who likes that?
Then there is, you know, the actual music. I mean, what? Apparently they have combined screamo and crunk. And appear to have done so by yelling intermittently at periods of their crunk song. For no apparent reason. Also the stunning acne. I imagine this is preventative to stardom, but what the hell do I know. I just know it illicits a gutteral response of “yick”. Then there’s the name “brokencyde” a weird mashup of a bunch of other band names that somehow make more active or relative sense than this one. It’s a kinda desperate name at that. I imagine some bad late 70’s high school band naming themselves “Led Sabbath” and that seems akin to this. But this is all the surface-y stuff. It’s like not liking frida because she has a unibrow. Actually it’s not like that all. You might not be able to judge a book by its cover, but in this case it would have been really, really helpful.
Obviously, the music sucks. Not even enjoyable on some ironic level. It’s harsh and loopy and not in a pleasing way. The lyrics spare no subtext like mongol hordes spared no village. It’s audacious in some ways really. “Let’s fuck on the dance floor! Right now!” is the effective gist. Sure, it’s juvenile to a fault, but the members of this seem so inandated with their own awesomeness and not in a “our subculture actually values this” kind of way that allows me to put a lot of rap video’s excesses off the hook. There’s nothing “awesome” really happening. The range rover, the benz, the pathetic red plastic cups, the tiny party of 7 girls obviously conned into this somehow. It’s all longing to be something it terribly isn’t.
But the truly amazing part comes at around 1:50 where there is a sudden, dramatic 180 switch and the boys proceed to yell “LIAR!” at the girls and pantomime choking a Jamie-Lynn Spears lookalike. The juvenile behavior at this point reaches absurdity. Little are they aware, but the action profiles the insane, deeply rooted problem of young boys trying to “get chicks”. They espouse their sexual prowess (in reality, obviously lacking) and regard women as nothing more than vacant fuck puppets (that’s the nicest way I could put it), but their fragility is SOOOOOOOO transparent that they scream LIAR! WHORE! at a moments notice. You hurt their feelings you see!
It’s all so wonderfully poetic. They completely emasculate their own amazing bullshit.
And look. I’m not someone who gets up on a soap box and bitches about every little indignation (well. actually that’s exactly do in this blog. but not in real life… or… um LOOK OVER THERE! [runs away]). Most of the time you watch a bad late 90s rap video and kinda laugh it off. There’s kind of an aloof charm, or slickness to that stuff and a lot of other music videos in general that make it all at least OK.
“Freaxxx” is fallout and effect of all that I guess; a couple of lame ass tards’s interpretation of the baser ends of pop-culture, complete with the more transparent evidence of about 14 different aspects of arrested maturation and development. They are WELL within date-rapist territory. In short, these fuckers have problems… and I’m guessing they’re not alone.
My friend Ken had some nice input too after I sent it to him: “Way to loop and lip-synch to your own emo scream while filming against a backdrop of a McMansion development. I like how the lead “vocalist” is the only one who appears to be having a good time. The actively-disinterested blonde dancer is perhaps my favorite element of the video. The strained novelty of the dancing pig-suit gentleman is another excellent touch. It is really and truly a tragedy that the Midwest has been dragged kicking and screaming into popular culture by the internet.”
I’m sorry, but this commercial is freaking awesome.
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Posted by FILMCRITHULK
Yeah these commercials have been overdone. But finally one is full of awesome.
Bonus points: Bird looks awful.
Exta Bonus points: Bird said he felt like a dork after doing it.
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Posted by FILMCRITHULK
It kind of reminds me of that King of the Hill episodes where bobby takes the RAD classes and kicks all the school yard bullies in the nads while screaming “I DON’T KNOW YOU! THAT’S MY PURSE!”
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Posted by FILMCRITHULK