Saturday, January 10, 2009

Post No. 72a: Articles of Interest from USA Today re a Modern Day Don Rickles (and maybe a comment or two on political correctness)

The opinions expressed in the following two articles taken from the January 9, 2009 hardcopy edition of "USA Today" are not in any way reflective of the views of the Institute for Applied Common Sense or any of its employees. We just found them to be interesting in light of the ongoing debate about political correctness.

The FIRST ARTICLE is taken from “Page 3.0” written by Michael Hiestand and is entitled, “Barkley the entertainer usually gets a pass.”

“Charles Barkley’s latest and very serious mistake-an arrest for a drunken driving charge-has drawn derision appropriate for an athlete or credible analyst. said if he were “almost any other athlete we’d have burned him at the stake by now” and The Charlotte Observer said he’s “hurt his credibility.

“Except, TNT’s Barkley is neither an athlete, representing a team or league, nor particularly credible. He’s an entertainer – think Lindsay Lohan, Hugh Grant, Paris Hilton, the Saturday Night Live news desk-who began in sports. His supposed plan to run for governor of Alabama would be as meaningful as Howard Stern’s run for New York governor in 1994.

“Otherwise, Barkley wouldn’t have survived on-air after saying Dan Rather should have killed Saddam Hussein when he interviewed him. And that Olympic curling “is dusting, any woman can do that.” Or goading animal rights activists by eating a burger on-air- “I don’t care what this cow went through.” Or saying, after a Desperate Housewives actress jumped into Terrell Owens’ arms on a Monday Night Football skit, he’d like the actress “to jump on me in here one night.” By the time Barkley said The Masters has “always been racist” or, on CNN, that conservatives “are fake Christians,” who really cared? After all, Barkley long ago said he’s “not a role model” – but even that was just a scripted line in a (Nike) TV ad.

“Like Don Rickles, Barkley is best seen as a long-running act where he can say things that would be wildly inappropriate for most public figures. But that act also allows Barkley to do things on-air like kiss a donkey’s rear end.

“The Houston Rockets’ Tracy McGrady, talking on TNT, has figured it out: ‘I don’t really listen to Charles about basketball. I listen to Charles if he’s talking about calories in a cupcake.’”

The SECOND ARTICLE is taken from Sports, Section C, Page 1, written by Joe Saraceno, and is entitled, “Barkley’s test results to be released.”

“The 45-year old Hame of Fame basketball star was stopped in Scottsdale on New Year’s Eve for running a stop sign. After a police officer said he smelled alcohol, Barkley refused to give a breath test but flunked a field sobriety test and was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. The former MVP and 11-time NBA All-Star told police he was in a hurry to receive oral sex from a female passenger, according to a police report. Barkley issued an apology.”


  1. I guess it is an insult to Don Rickles to compare Barkley to him. Barkley is a self-inflated blowhard who has wasted any quality he may have had as a pro basketball player by demeaning himself and those he judges.

  2. I find Charles Barkley entertaining. I should leave it at that but I won't. I took the most recent incident as evidence that Barkley was just in training to become a politician.

    On the other hand I have nightmares, and fits of laughter, just thinking about Sir Charles' golf swing.

  3. Dan:

    I've trying to conceptually determine the difference between Don Rickles and Barkley in terms of what they do, not who they are. I imagine that one could say that Don Rickles ridicules and attacks most everyone, through derisive and insensitive comments, but that his sentiments are not heart-felt and only intended for humorous purposes. One possible way to distinguish them might be to say that Barkley has another motive or underlying source for his derisive and insensitive comments, or that he is malicious, or that he is ignorant, or that he is rude, or.... What would that be to distinguish WHAT HE SAYS from Rickles? Just curious.

    What about Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage?

  4. While distracted, I have in fact survived. Your comment did give my wife and I a good laugh though.

  5. To all: Thanks much for commenting on our blog. We just acquired our new computer and should be back up to speed shortly.

    Good stuff thus far. Keep it going.

  6. Do you think that Barkleys' most recent run-in with the law, coupled with his past conduct, should disqualify him, on a practical level, from becoming the Governor of Alabama, should he actually decide to run?

  7. To all: Thanks much for commenting on our blog. We just acquired our new computer and should be back up to speed shortly.

    Good stuff thus far. Keep it going.


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