The “Chink in the Armor” ESPN Headline Writer

THE BACKGROUND:

ESPN Fires Writer For Penning Racist Jeremy Lin Headline; Suspends Anchor For 30 Days (NY Daily News)

THE BASICS:

An ESPN writer posted a headline on ESPN’s mobile web site that read “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets” and was promptly fired for it.

ASSHOLE, DUMBASS, OR DUMB-ASSHOLE?

I honestly don’t believe this writer was out to offend anyone. I think it’s merely the case of a writer who didn’t think about the consequences of his words before he wrote them, proofed them, and posted them. Because if he did, it should have gone something like this…

The potential outcomes of including the pun “Chink in the Armor” in my headline about an Asian basketball player and the odds of them occurring:

  • Winning the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting because I provided “a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, using any available journalistic tool including text reporting, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or any combination of those formats, in print or online or both” (ODDS: 999,999,999,999 to 1)
  • Getting promoted because I added insightful commentary to a feel-good sports story about overcoming racial barriers that’s very profitable for my employer (ODDS: 1,000,000 to 1)
  • Getting fired because I debased a feel-good sports story about overcoming racial barriers that’s very profitable for my employer (ODDS: 1 to 20)
  • Never getting another legitimate writing job anywhere because I debased a feel-good sports story about overcoming racial barriers that’s very profitable for my employer (ODDS: 1 to 10)
  • Getting hired by Fox News for my potential to be “Fair & Balanced” (ODDS: 1 to 1)
  • Getting hired by a British tabloid for my pun-tential (ODDS: 1 to 5)

If this writer had put any significant thought into his pun, he would have realized that he had everything to lose and not much to gain in writing it. It’s not like he was an unknown blogger trying to make a name for himself. He was working for the New York Yankees of his profession, and he pissed it away. You could say his firing was a well-deserved pun-ishment.

VERDICT: DUMBASS

Pete Hoekstra And His Campaign Team

THE BACKGROUND:

Pete Hoekstra’s Super Bowl Ad (YouTube)

THE BASICS:

During the Super Bowl, Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra ran an ad in Michigan featuring an Asian woman using broken English to thank his opponent, Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), for sending jobs to China.

While on a bicycle in a rice paddy, the Asian woman says, “Thank you Michigan Senator Debbie ‘Spend It Now.’ Debbie spend so much American money, you borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs. Thank you Debbie ‘Spend It Now.’”

ASSHOLES, DUMBASSES, OR DUMB-ASSHOLES?

Even without the racism, this ad is just not very good. It suggests the Chinese are loaning us money to make our economy “very weak” and to take our jobs, which is akin to:

  • A bank giving someone a mortgage and then writing a letter to his employer demanding he be fired.
  • Or a drug cartel giving a dealer a brick on credit and then snitching on him.
  • Or a pimp giving his hoes food and then strapping chastity belts on them.

Generally, when you make a loan to somebody, you want them to succeed so, you know, they can pay you back. Otherwise, you get stuck up shit creek (just ask these guys).

Aside from lacking any semblance of logic, this ad also leaves a lot to be desired in terms of production quality. I know it’s Michigan, but is this really the best Chinese accent they could find? The actress in the ad clearly has an American accent and clearly can’t hide it. Is it too much to ask that she have a better Chinese accent than say, Russell Peters, an Indian guy? Apparently, the quality of Michigan political ads is matched only by the quality of their cars (see these guys).

And let’s not forget, this ad offends like a motherfucker. From the broken English to the rice paddies to the music, it completely stereotypes Asians. Not only is such stereotyping politically incorrect, it’s actually detrimental to the premise of the ad which is that the Chinese economy is getting “very good” at our expense. Well, from the look of things in the ad, the Chinese still rely on subsistence farming and are too poor to afford cars or even motorbikes. Yup, nothing says booming economy quite like rice paddies and bicycles.

So there you have it…quite possibly the worst political ad of all time. It’s stupid. It’s poorly produced. It’s offensive. It’s helping raise money for Debbie “Spend It Now.” Way to go Team Hoekstra. Such an accomplishment couldn’t have been done by mere dumbasses or assholes. It takes real…

VERDICT: DUMB-ASSHOLES

Rush Limbaugh

THE BACKGROUND:

Limbaugh on Obama’s ‘Chip on His Shoulder,’ the Phenomenon of the ‘Not-Romney’ and the GOP’s Fear of Conservatives (Fox News)

THE BASICS:

All you need to know is that the following words came out of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth:

“And I have often — always suspected that Obama has a chip on his shoulder about the country, that he doesn’t think of it as great…He believes the multi-cultural garbage that we came here, kicked the Indians off the land and brought with us racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, slavery, and all that.”

ASSHOLE, DUMBASS, OR DUMB-ASSHOLE?

I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the white man came to America and took it from the Native Americans.

And I’m also pretty sure the white man went to Africa and forced the black man to come with him to America to be his slave.

But you know what, I’ve probably been influenced by that multi-cultural garbage called history.

Look, America is great, but we’ve had our fuck-ups, and if we are to learn from our mistakes, we have to acknowledge them first. Glorifying ourselves and not owning up to our mistakes as a country isn’t patriotic, it’s childish.

No country is perfect. Every country has done things it isn’t proud of. Well, every country but one…North Korea. I’ve yet to come across a single article from the North Korean media that has anything but amazing things to say about their country. North Korea may be perfect, but I don’t think we want to be like them. Surely, a great American like Limbaugh would agree…

VERDICT: If Limbaugh really believes what he said, he’s as big a dumbass as Mahmoud “The Holocaust Is a Myth” Ahmadinejad. If he was intentionally trying to mislead people, he’s as big an asshole as Ahmadinejad.

Frank Luntz

THE BACKGROUND:

How Republicans Are Being Taught to Talk About Occupy Wall Street (Yahoo News)

THE BASICS:

Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist, offered the following advice to the Republican Governors Association:

[excerpts from the above article below]

Don’t say ‘capitalism.’

“I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’” Luntz said. “The public…still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’

“If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But “if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes.”

Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’

“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’

“It’s not about ‘government spending.’ It’s about ‘waste.’ That’s what makes people angry.”

Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’

“If you talk about ‘compromise,’ they’ll say you’re selling out. Your side doesn’t want you to ‘compromise.’ What you use in that to replace it with is ‘cooperation.’ It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you’re selling out those principles.”

Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’

Use the phrases “small business owners” and “job creators” instead of “entrepreneurs” and “innovators.”

Don’t say ‘bonus!’

“If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you’re going to make people angry. It’s ‘pay for performance.’”

ASSHOLE, DUMBASS, OR DUMB-ASSHOLE?

Luntz is a fucking wordsmith who excels at making the bad seem not all that bad. But two can play that game. Here’s my advice to Democrats on what words they ought to be using:

  • Don’t use the word “capitalism” either. Use “anarchist market.”
  • Don’t tell people government “takes from the rich.” Be more specific, tell them government “takes direction from the rich.”
  • Republicans don’t defend “hardworking taxpayers”. They defend “the bank accounts of the rich.”
  • Don’t say “government spending.” Be more specific: “building roads”, “funding schools”, “paying for cops”, etc.
  • Republicans don’t believe in “cooperation.” They believe in “holding America hostage to get what they want.”
  • Out: “Job Creator.” In: “Job Outsourcer.”
  • Bank executives don’t get “pay for performance.” They get “lavish pay for not-so-lavish performance.”
  • It’s not “trickle-down economics.” It’s “pissed-on economics.”

Admittedly, many of these recommendations oversimplify the issues with broad damning strokes, but hey, it makes for great propaganda, kind of like Luntz’s recommendations.

VERDICT: ASSHOLE

MF Global Ex-CEO Jon Corzine

THE BACKGROUND:

Corzine: ‘Don’t Know’ Where MF Global Customers’ $1.2B Went (USA Today)

Corzine Testifies He Didn’t ‘Intend’ to Break Rules on Funds (Bloomberg Businessweek)

THE BASICS:

  • Wall Street firm MF Global makes a 6 billion dollar bet on European government debt.
  • The bet doesn’t work out, and MF Global goes bankrupt.
  • In the aftermath, 1.2 billion is found to be missing from the firm’s customer accounts.
  • Ex-CEO Jon Corzine tells Congress he doesn’t know where the money is.

ASSHOLE, DUMBASS, OR DUMB-ASSHOLE?

It’s asinine to believe that anyone can lose track of 1.2 billion dollars. Why? Because it’s 1.2 fucking billion dollars. It’s not something you fucking lose track of. Of course, when massive amounts of money disappear, no CEO ever has a clue what happened, and Corzine is no different. Here are just some of his incredulous comments to Congress:

“I’m not in a position, given the number of transactions, to know anything specifically about the movement of any specific funds…”

Not in a position to know? Really? Weren’t you in the fucking position of CEO? The position that’s supposed to know everything? (To be fair, CEOs just can’t be expected to keep tabs on menial, day-to-day business activities like moving 1.2 billion dollars. They have to think big picture!)

“… and I will repeat, certainly would never intend to direct or have segregated funds moved.”

Notice how he doesn’t just say, “and I will repeat, did not move or direct to move any segregated funds.” Instead, he qualifies his statement with “would never intend to.” Can you imagine a person who is being falsely accused of robbing a bank telling the police, “I certainly would never intend to rob the bank”?

“As a former United States senator who recognizes the importance of congressional oversight, and recognizing my position as former chief executive officer in these terrible circumstances, I believe it is appropriate that I attempt to respond to your inquiries.”

That was a nice excerpt from his written statement. Unfortunately, it was followed up with this during his live testimony:

“While I intend to be responsive to the best of my ability today, without adequate time and materials to prepare, I may be unable to respond to various questions members might pose.”

What’s better than the Fifth Amendment? Incompetence!

It’s funny how when federal investigators come around, CEOs all of a sudden become the biggest dumbasses in the world. You could argue that Corzine is a dumbass for gambling away 6 billion dollars and bankrupting his company, but remember, most of the money he gambled with wasn’t his. He’s no dumbass, just a big greedy…

VERDICT: ASSHOLE

Melvin “I Am Not Racist” Thompson

THE BACKGROUND:

Small Ky. Church Votes Against Interracial Couples (MSNBC)

THE BASICS:

An Appalachian church voted and approved a resolution banning interracial couples from becoming members of the church and from being “used in worship services or other church functions.” The person who crafted the resolution, Melvin Thompson, said, “I am not racist. I will tell you that. I am not prejudiced against any race of people, have never in my lifetime spoke evil about a race. That’s what this is being portrayed as, but it is not.” Instead, he called the matter an “internal affair.”

ASSHOLE, DUMBASS, OR DUMB-ASSHOLE?

To tell you the truth, I’m not really all that bothered by this blatant racism. After all, it’s Appalachia. It’s to be expected. What bothers me is that Thompson claims that, despite writing a resolution to ban interracial couples from becoming members at his church, he is not racist.

Well then, what the fuck are you?

A hypocrite?

An idiot?

A hypocritical idiot-racist?

I actually would respect him more if he just came out and said, “Hell yeah, I don’t want no fucking goddamn <racial slurs of your choice> in my fucking goddamn church. White power, goddamn it.” If you’re going to be racist, at least be honest about it. You’re in Appalachia – there’s no need to be humble.

VERDICT: DUMB-ASSHOLE

Butt “Doctor” Oneal Morris And Her Patients

THE BACKGROUND:

Fix-A-Flat Butt Injections Lead to Arrest (WBBH News)

Report: More Women Claim Fake Fla. Doc Gave Them Cement Butt Injections (CBS News)

THE BASICS:

A Miami woman, Oneal Morris, was arrested for giving people butt injections consisting of cement, Fix-A-Flat, mineral oil, and super glue and was charged with practicing medicine without a license.

ASSHOLES, DUMBASSES, OR DUMB-ASSHOLES?

To be honest, I don’t think Morris was out to scam people or harm them. If she was just out to scam people, why inject their buttocks with cement, Fix-A-Flat, mineral oil, and super glue? Any number of substances would have been easier and less toxic to use (e.g., syrup, batter, Jell-O, dough, PLAY-DOH) and if she was really out to do harm, any number of substances would have been easier and more toxic to use (e.g., herbicide, insecticide, antifreeze, gasoline, paint thinner).

The only explanation that makes sense is that she really believed that cement, Fix-A-Flat, mineral oil, and super glue was a legitimate medical concoction worth charging patients $700 for. In fact, if you look at her pictures in the articles, it appears as though she believed in it enough to treat herself with it. Yes, such a concoction probably does make one’s butt bigger due to swelling and subsequent scar tissue, but for her to not appreciate the dangers of injecting cement, Fix-A-Flat, mineral oil, and super glue into a living person is well, astonishing.

Really, how fucked up must your brain be to be that out of touch with reality? And how on Earth do you fuck your brain up that much? And finally, how stupid do you have to be to allow, never mind pay, Morris to perform any kind of medical procedure on you. Just look at her. I wouldn’t trust her to give me a flu shot in a hospital setting, much less perform plastic surgery on me in her apartment/van/whatever shady place she actually “practiced” at.

The only lesson to come from this story is this: if you’re a dumbass, you too can make money in this world. Just take advantage of other dumbasses – it’s a pretty big fucking (and probably breeding) market.

VERDICT: DUMBASSES ALL AROUND