Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Flap over "F**k Jesus!" comment by ESPN reporter.

Well, I just received a mass e-mail from Don Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association (formerly known as the American Federation for Decency). Or, rather, I received an e-mail from whatever lackey he's got working for him (since I'd be shocked if that old fart actually knew how to use e-mail).
What's got his rancor up this time? Is it more selling of vibrators at Target? Or getting all bent out of shape over someone saying "Happy Holidays" as opposed to "Merry Christmas" at Wal-Mart? No, this time, he says, it's more serious. A female reporter at ESPN named Dana Jacobsen, was speaking at a celebrity roast in Atlanta when she said the following words: "Fuck Notre Dame! Fuck Touchdown Jesus! And fuck Jesus!"
For those who don't know, "Touchdown Jesus" is in reference to a statue of Jesus on the Notre Dame campus, which has its arms outstretched way up in the air, almost as if the Son of Man were saying, "Touchdown!"
The Catholic League has called for Jacobsen to be "disciplined." Other Christian groups are jumping on this bandwagon as well. Now, Jacobsen has been disciplined all right, with a one-week suspension. But that's not enough for many Christians, it seems. Don Wildmon has now sicked his organization upon this woman, frustrated that this sort of thing would get a mere slap on the wrist. After all, as some pundits have already pointed out, isn't this the same ESPN which booted Rush Limbaugh from its airwaves for insinuating that Donovan McNabb was held to a different standard because of his skin color? Wasn't Don Imus fired for calling the women's Rutgers basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed hoes?" Why then does this woman not get the same treatment? Why, it's an outrage, I'm telling you!
Now, let's all take a deep breath, here. No, she was not fired. But unlike Limbaugh or Imus, these comments were not uttered live on the airwaves. They were uttered at a Mike and Mike celebrity roast (whatever that means) - OFF the air. Only YouTube has allowed snippets of this celebrity roast to be seen, and the magic moment with Ms. Jacobsen is, alas, not among them. She was purportedly drunk, but then, so was nearly everyone else there at the time. Language was free & easy that night, and comedian Jeffrey Ross, who was Emcee'ing the event, opened up the festivities with cracks about how bad the furnishings were. "It's like a clearance sale at Pier 1 Imports! Lamer than Mike Ditka's cock!" Mike Ditka happened to be standing about 15 yards behind him at the time. Eventually, he turned around and said, "Mike! You look good for 85!" Then, continued by adding, "This event was on his bucket list!"
So you can imagine just how much shit was being said at an event like this. This was no prayer-meeting! It was a no-holes-barred adults-only venue. Yes, Dana was booed and finally taken off stage when she uttered her f-bombs, but comedian Eddie Geffen immediately sprang to her defense. And why not? They were all equally as guilty as she was!
So what in the world is the Catholic League and the American Family Association doing trying to but their rather bulbous noses into this for? With all the profanity, sexual innuendo and drunkenness going on at this event, why single out this poor woman who is probably mainly on ESPN's staff for her looks rather than her views anyway? The answer, I fear, is simple. Not content to try to censor broadcasters on the air, they now wish to censor them off the air as well. Their message is simple: Behave the way we want you to behave. Yes, all the time. No, really, all the time. We're not kidding! We're watching you every second.
Sorry to bust your bubble, Mr. Wildmon, but your desire to be Big Brother for Jesus doesn't wash with me. It should be people like you, not Dana Jacobsen, who should be taken off the air for a week. (And I mean an actual week. That's seven of your on air Sunday sermons over seven Sundays!) Only liberals like me stand in the way of your having us all fitted with chastity belts and installing a pre-set V-chip inside every television. America is a freedom thing, which means that people have the right to say whatever they want in adult company. So that having been said, Mr. Wildmon, as much as I hate your words, I defend your right to say them. Just as I defend my own right to say this:
Fuck Touchdown Jesus!