I was out of town when it happened, but I didn't regard her "Left Side of the Moon" poke at Eugene Kane as disrespectful or exploitive of Jasmine Owens. I see now that Tim Cuprisin was looking for conservatives to attack her like they attacked McGee. He sees it as a somehow "similar" to the McGee/Imus/Opie & Anthony "gaffes."
I don't see the equivalence. The bit was unfair to Kane and it wasn't funny. Chicken squawks are pretty much fourth grade.
But it didn't strike me as being in the same category as the the others. She wasn't suggesting that Jasmine's death was a good or deserved thing (as McGee did with respect to Katherine Sykes) nor did she suggest that Kane was happy about it (as McGee claimed to be). She didn't suggest that violence against another person was funny (Opie & Anthony) or utter a racial slur (Imus).
She was making - however sophomorically - a point about the way in which some people in Milwaukee allow other concerns - whether they be political correctness or a legitimate concern about racism - affect their response to urban violence. These women made precisely that point in the Journal Sentinel on Friday.
What was unfair about it is that Kane didn't do that here and, contrary to what my colleagues on the local right say, he doesn't always do it. He is perfectly capable of getting his Bill Cosby on.
Maybe it was too soon to mention Jasmine in connection with a political point but I don't believe that. I did it the day after the awful thing happened. It is an outrage that requires a political response. I agree that the political point should not have been made with humor or in a way that attacked the good faith of a particular person, but was it really as bad as celebrating someone's death or laughing at an imagined assault of a woman?
But, since it is my job to suck thumb over things, I want to say that the whole thing demonstrates the limitations of politics as entertainment. If you want to draw people - whether you are left or right - there is a certain pressure on you to take cheap shots. Ann Coulter has been quite forthright in admitting that she is often more concerned that her stuff be funny than that it make all the points that she wants to make in just the right way. (I'd say that she often does both but I don't want to give Jim Rowen tachycardia.)
When I was doing a regular newspaper column, I felt that way. You wanted to make a point and be fair, but you also wanted to get a reaction. On this blog, I have decided, for a number of reasons, that my role isn't to go for a large readership. (Reddess: And you're going a great job with that!) I am more concerned with who reads than how many read. (Ed:Pretention alert!)
But if I wanted to have more traffic, wouldn't I have to talk more smack?