Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vulgar VIPs

The latest example is “Rev.” Jesse Jackson and his comments about Obama’s private parts. (No wonder McCain is dodging questions about birth control.)

For me the first shocking revelation about the vulgarity of a public figure came when I read the Watergate tapes transcripts. Here was a Republican President, a Quaker, swearing like a sailor. And those around Nixon were doing the same.

I learned later that LBJ had a foul mouth as well.

And just a few months ago Bill Clinton revealed his potty mouth at the end of a radio interview when he thought they had disconnected the phone.

And entertainers like Robin Williams and Bill Cosby can get pretty raunchy in their stage shows.

Historians and biographers would probably tell us that most occupants of high office in this country were vulgar in private settings. In former days these traits were more easily swept under the rug by staff and forgiving journalists. Nowadays I would guess there are fewer colleagues willing to keep quiet.

Jackson’s comment had shock value even in our society. The comment led to an in-depth public discussion about Obama and his true allegiance to the black cause in America. And the discourse continued about personal responsibility for advancement. But no talk about affirmative action. My guess is that the Democrats don’t want to go there.

But the current controversy should say more about Jackson than Obama. I doubt if he will be held accountable for the remark. And so goes the double standard in America.

Maybe Jesse can make lemonade. I hear tell he is in contact with Shure Microphones. He’s trying to pitch a new lapel mic with the tag line, “So sensitive it’ll pick up a whisper.” (Just kidding! A feeble attempt a humor.)


  1. He's a hypocrite. Plain and simple.


  2. His illegitimate child says otherwise.