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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Protecting The Oscars

Ah, finally! The transcript from the Feb. 14 Hannity and Colmes where they interview Matt "accuracy" Drudge about Chris Rock, and comments he made about the Oscars.

Let's go to the transcript. We join the conversation following a question from Alan Colmes about why Drudge rarely gives TV interviews:

MATT DRUDGE, DRUDGEREPORT.COM: Well, you know, I do most of my business on that dirty Internet that you were just talking about, where I find there is a lot of freedom to report exactly what I want. And this is what I did this weekend. It's just not the comments in Entertainment Weekly that Chris Rock is running up against here. He was quoted in one of his acts — and we're not sure if he was playing a character, if he's playing Chris Rock or what he's playing here — "Abortion, it's beautiful. It's beautiful abortion is legal. I love going to abortion rallies to pick up women, because you know they are blanking."

Here's a little tip regarding the basic tenets of journalism: if you cannot get the answer to the question of why something happened or why someone said something, you don't have a story. Since Matt Drudge never studied journalism, he can get away with not asking important questions on issues he reports. Such as, was Chris Rock playing a character when he made the abortion comments? Getting that answer would really clarify things.

Actually, all you really need to know about Matt Drudge is summed up nicely in this part of the conversation with Sean "I love Hollywood" Hannity:

HANNITY: Did you talk to Chris Rock for this story? Did you get in touch with him?

DRUDGE: No, because there is simply enough out there, there is enough audio. I've spent weeks going through the audio clips and everything.

Again, I know it's a comedy act. The problem is, it's also social commentary. I don't know if Chris Rock thinks abortion is beautiful. We don't know these things. He has said that publicly.

There you have it. Drudge, in preparing his report, did not bother to talk to Chris Rock to get his side of the story. After all, that would require actual work, instead of just cutting and pasting together pieces of e-mail to post as an "exclusive" report.

Note that Drudge says "I don't know if Chris Rock thinks abortion is beautiful. We don't know these things." Hey Matt, here's a suggestion for you: ASK CHRIS ROCK IF HE THINKS ABORTION IS BEAUTIFUL. That would pretty much sort things out.

Here's what I don't understand about this non-issue: why would someone like Sean Hannity care who is hosting the Oscars and what they might say? I thought Hannity hated Hollywood liberals. And now he wants to defend the honor of a ceremony where the Hollywood liberals he hates are recognized for their work and awarded for it? What kind of sense does that make?

As I predicted, Hannity makes the comparison to conservatives:

HANNITY: What if a conservative, Matt, what if you, what if Rush, were to make derogatory statements about gays? I mean, clearly, very derogatory statements that he made in that case, the "F" word every 35 minutes. You know, what is America going to think when they hear the statement, "Abortion is beautiful. Abortion is legal. I go to abortion rallies to pick up women because I know they blank."
Is there no line for Hollywood? Does not Hollywood say that this is it? At this point, we don't go any further, or...


Oh, please. Gee, Sean, how about if YOU do some research? You know, figure out the context of Rock's remarks, which I think you'll find are a part of his standup routine. Get one of your producers to contact Rock and ask him about the remarks. Although I can see how it's easier to just take pieces of Rock's material and then complain about what he says, as if he was saying those things outside the context of being a comedian.

Also, as far as offensive statements go, I don't recall Sean Hannity getting upset when his good friend Ann Coulter said the following in her column on Sept. 12, 2001, about Muslims:

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.

No, Chris Rock joking that he wanted to pick up women at an abortion clinic is much worse. Say, maybe Sean can go and rent the movie Dogma, where he'll find the same joke. He can get director Kevin Smith to appear as a guest and ask him what he thinks about abortion.

I like this part of the conversation where Sean Hannity kisses Drudge's ass:

HANNITY: What's the reaction, though, to this story? And, look, you have built your reputation. And I think one of the reasons you are so popular is you take on these institutions single-handedly on just about every major story as it related to President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. You were breaking all of those stories. And you were being attacked daily for it.

Drudge's reputation. Huh. Does Hannity mean Drudge's reputation for printing unverified gossip? Such as this piece of "news" from Feb. 12, 2004:

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU FEB 12, 2004 11:45:28 ET XXXXX
CAMPAIGN DRAMA ROCKS DEMOCRATS: KERRY FIGHTS OFF MEDIA PROBE OF RECENT ALLEGED INFIDELITY, RIVALS PREDICT RUIN
**World Exclusive****Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**

A frantic behind-the-scenes drama is unfolding around Sen. John Kerry and his quest to lockup the Democratic nomination for president, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.Intrigue surrounds a woman who recently fled the country, reportedly at the prodding of Kerry, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. A serious investigation of the woman and the nature of her relationship with Sen. John Kerry has been underway at TIME magazine, ABC NEWS, the WASHINGTON POST, THE HILL and the ASSOCIATED PRESS, where the woman in question once worked.

As it turned out, the story wasn't what we journalists call "true" or "accurate" or "factual" and, in fact, the woman at the heart of the "affair" denied having one with Kerry. In a statement released on Feb. 17, 2004, she said:

"I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false. Whoever is spreading these rumors and allegations does not know me, but should know the pain they have caused me and my family. I am in Kenya with my fiance visiting his family, and we ask that the press respect our privacy and leave all of us alone."

Which brings us full-circle. Matt Drudge is not a reporter and doesn't even differentiate between facts and innuendo. It's no wonder Sean Hannity likes him so much.

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