Wednesday, September 19, 2007


from FOUND magazine.

More on the cheating Pats and Belichick's take on J. Edgar Hoover and Nixon

So I wrote about how I didn't think this whole Pat's cheating scandal was that big a deal here. Well here's a completely different take on it from one of my favorite football columns, Tuesday Morning Quarterback, written by Gregg Easterbrook. While I think he goes a little bit overboard, especially because I believe the heart of the NFL's popularity is how its rigid salary-cap and profit-sharing system maintains parity, Easterbrook raises some scary rumors about Belichick.

And the Patriots' cheating might have been more extensive than so far confirmed. Fox Sports reported that former NFL players believe Belichick had microphones installed in the shoulder pads of defensive linemen so the Patriots could tape other teams' offensive audibles and line calls. Needless to say, putting microphones on players violates NFL rules. Andrea Kremer of NBC reported that several teams might charge the Patriots this week with having stolen playbooks from the visitors' dressing room. The convenient "malfunction" of visiting teams' headphones at the Patriots' two fields under Belichick seems to have happened far too often to be an IT department error. The rumor mill says Belichick, Richard Nixon-style, has file cabinets of info on opposing coaches and assistant coaches – some gleaned honestly, some obtained by cheating.

That last bit sounds like Hoover to me, hence the title. Anyway, read his article, I'm beginning to feel myself shifting camps here.

Barry Manilow is a petulant child

...and corrosive to the fabric of an open, democratic society.

Apparently, Barry Manilow backed out of a scheduled appearance on the View, the best of daytime TV, because he didn't want to be interviewed by Elisabeth Hasselbeck because of her political views. Yeah. You read that right. Hmmmmm. Who else can I think of who only allows himself to be interviewed by people he agrees with....oh yeah....a certain president who has a single-letter nickname? Hmmm? Manilow, by the way, is a solid left-winger, as can be seen here, at the NYTimes' political donations search engine (I know I just dissed them yesterday). He donated $2,300 each to Obama, Hillary, Edwards, Joe Biden, and surprisingly, Ron Paul. I also seem to remember him being associated with some sort of left-wing causes, but I can't recall exactly.

Anyway, so Manilow's a leftie while Hasselbeck is pretty conservative, so here's what his website says:
Hey guys,

I wanted to let you know that I will no longer be on The View tomorrow as scheduled. I had made a request that I be interviewed by Joy, Barbara or Whoopi, but not Elisabeth Hasselback. Unfortunately, the show was not willing to accommodate this simple request so I bowed out.

It’s really too bad because I've always been a big supporter of the show, but I cannot compromise my beliefs. The good news is that I will be on a whole slew of other shows promoting the new album so I hope you can catch me on those.


OMG that makes my blood boil. 'This simple request'...what?! How is it possibly a 'simple request' to ask a show (any show) to not have one of their main hosts present while you are a guest? At best it is impossibly misguided or ignorant, while at worst it is slimy, repulsive, and arrogant. Then, he tries to make it seem ok, by saying 'but I cannot compromise my beliefs.' What beliefs? That differing views are beneath your discussion? That you will somehow be physically compromised by your proximity to a conservative (albeit a gorgeous one)? That like-minded liberals will think less of you because you dared speak with one of the others?

TMZ originally broke the story here. Apparently he said to the site in a statement that he thought Hasselbeck's views were "dangerous". Well, let me fill you in on something Barry, in an open society, when we think views are dangerous, we don't run away from them and don't listen to them....what kind of message does that send? to anyone....friends, allies, enemies, even your children? In an open, free society Barry, we debate and argue and discuss, we share different experiences and points of view, and we TRY TO CHANGE THE OTHER PERSONS MIND. If you find her views dangerous...go up there and tell her! Lay out a reasoned, civilized argument as to why she is wrong, and why her beliefs are counterproductive (disclosure, I actually do think she is a little loony, and some of her views are quite disgusting). don't run away like a petulant child. it's juvenile and corrosive, and possibly evil. don't make ridiculous and impossible demands to satisfy your self-righteousness. WIN THE ARGUMENT.