"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 11 January 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run 01.11.01



Grammys piss Off Mammys — and Pappies!

To borrow a phrase from the hockey press — it's called the Hate Trick. That is, the game an increasing number of public folks play in benefiting from the intense media heat associated with bigots while not getting burned themselves. While careers once ended overnight from association with bigotry or hate groups, these days the John Rockers and Pat Buchanans keep rolling along and never see their incomes slashed to the size of a Hitler mustache. Rush, Imus, and Howard Stern play the game daily, and George Bush only got stronger when he refused to criticize the Confederate Flag in South Carolina.

Joining them this week and scoring big his first time out is National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences President Michael Greene, who announced that Eminem has been nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy not despite but because of his hateful lyrics about women and gays. "If music is to remain the voice of rebellion," Greene says, in his best I'm Not Old You Are voice, "It's got to continue to unnerve and upset parents. That's its job. And Eminem has probably done the best job of that of anyone in decades."

Can't argue with that — Eminem's own Mom is currently suing the rapper for libel. But how sad that Greene's standard of greatness is simply pissing off Mom and Dad. Music must remain the voice of rebellion? Is it really up to the Grammys — that hotbed of outlaw ferment - to dictate culture? We're hoping Eminem's fellow nominee Paul Simon can still get his 90-year-old parents riled by Grammy night; his chances of copping some steel at the banquet look pretty slim right now. By stating flatly that Eminem didn't even get nominated for creating great music, but simply for the social antagonism around him, Greene hinted at what the Grammys are after this year. Even the NARAS voters didn't want Eminem; he was chosen by a "blue ribbon committee" whose sole job is to appease the music critics who gave the Grammys flack all these years by nominating music critic darlings for awards. Still, the Hate Trick play of the week goes to Greene who manages to pander to the whiniest group in the world — pop music critics — and yet appear a man of avant-garde artistic conviction in one fell swoop.

The Broads from Brazil

American women may bitch and moan about the Mommy Didn't Love Me Enough poster boy Eminem, but in the Fatherland Girl Power makes you free. Taking the attitude that if you can't join them, beat on them, a new study reveals that fully one-third of Germany's neo-Nazis are women. Forget Rush's tepid feminazis, these fraus are the real thing. Hardcore Himmlerettes, they view their loutish male comrades as lightweights who don't show up enough for the meetings and flake on the Cause (not that these whip-snapping hunnies make the meetings any more appetizing, we're sure). No doubt this groundswell of führer femininity is what Jodie Foster is counting on for her big screen appearance as Nazi party pom pom girl Leni Riefenstahl, auteur of Olympia and Triumph of the Will.

"She is really one of the great stories of the Twentieth century," says Foster, "and a moral tale for all of us. She is an extraordinary woman — sharp as a tack and as beautiful as she ever was with a tremendous body." Va-voom — but didn't they already make Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS ? Foster, of course, doesn't hate anybody (except perhaps anybody who brings up painful memories of her performance as a moaning social retard in Nell — a role that clearly violated the Reich's standards of mental fitness); but after the ice cold reception of her big screen interracial romance, Anna and the King, she's turning into the broad from Brazil for a follow-up. Who can blame her? Before she's even got the script on paper she's getting heat from the Simon Wiesenthal center. She could have handed them Bormann and still they wouldn't have seen Anna and the King; but a mere mention of Leni's name is guaranteed to bring Foster the kind of above-the-fold publicity she hasn't seen since John Hinckley was still armed and dangerous. Hate trick and score!

You Ain't Whistling Nixie!

And finally, somewhat like the ticking alligator that follows Captain Hook from port to port in Peter Pan, the Nixon White House tapes have resurfaced again to haunt the GOP. This time the scandal involves George W. Bush's nominee for Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, caught on tape agreeing with President Nixon while Nixon rambles on about how much smarter African blacks are than African-Americans. Rummy nods along, giving Nixon a "That's right" or a "Yes" when called upon. Unless any other evidence appears to the contrary, we'd rather give Secretary Rumsfeld the benefit of the doubt about being a racist. But that doesn't get him off the hook for being a spineless Yes Man. For some this might prove a moral failure, but the tape is a valuable management training exercise in how not to kill your career while your boss kills his. Rumsfeld artfully dodges making any racist statements himself while still managing to hold his spot in the Good Ol' Boys country club of GOP politics, and that's the true Hate Trick. Unlike Nixon's blind loyalists — Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and Liddy — who spent their post-Watergate lives as ad nauseum apologists of R.N.'s antics, Rumsfeld joined the Kissinger, George Shultz side of the team, becoming a rich and powerful post-Watergate survivor instead of letting Nixon episodes like this tar him.

What can we say? Don't be a player hater — be a hater player.

courtesy of the Sucksters