If you’re not willing to keep an open mind, the loser is you.

The “Washington Post” says the Russians interacted with fourteen of Trump’s team and the Fox News site leads with Hillary Clinton.

We live in silos, reinforced by our media consumption, but one thing’s for sure, if you’re not watching Fox, the world is in turmoil. Huawei, Brexit, the stock market and…

Kevin Hart.

He was picked to host the Oscars and then he was booted after it turned out he made homophobic remarks in the past.

All seems sensible until Michael Che weighs in and…

That’s the funny thing about old school media, the SNL story on Sunday was about DeNiro’s appearance, it wasn’t until today that the Che story blew up.

I read it first on the “New York” magazine site. You see most stories break on alternative sites, the big outlets don’t have enough manpower, but it’s those on the beat elsewhere who pick up the details of smaller stories and then they are  amplified.

And in case you still don’t know…

“‘Well, that was short,’ Che began, ‘Kevin Hart had to step down as host of the upcoming Academy Awards because of homophobic tweets from 2011. But didn’t the Academy nominate Mel Gibson for an award just last year?’

‘Also, if Kevin Hart isn’t clean enough to host the Oscars, then no black comic is. The only black comic I know that’s cleaner than Kevin Hart is booked for the next three to 10 years,’ Che concluded his rant as a picture of convicted comedian Bill Cosby’s photo appeared.”

https://bit.ly/2L993vN (turn on the volume to watch the clip)

Proving, once again, distribution is king.

Placement is part of distribution. If SNL opened with this clip, all hell would have broken loose. But it was buried in the middle of the show. Then again, was this intentional? That’s what the left wing does, bury controversial remarks while the right delivers them up front and center.

Now the funny thing is Che is right.

Or maybe it’s that African-Americans have more power than Jews. Kevin Spacey is banned from show business, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose too, but Mel Gibson gets a pass…is it because he’s attractive and generates cash?

Oh, you can say that Gibson’s comments were in the past.

But so are Kevin Hart’s!

And now it’s not only Michael Che supporting Hart, but Nick Cannon, and whitey Kevin Kline!

This is how the Academy gets itself in trouble, by not knowing what they’re getting into. Kinda like putting Kid Rock on the tube and being astonished when he shows up. Meanwhile, Rock pays off the layaway bills for 350 Wal-Mart shoppers and few know about it, because that does not fit in with the Robert Ritchie narrative: https://cnn.it/2E7AvZo

But one thing you’ve got to say about Rock, he doesn’t stray from his story, he’s always true to himself, and that’s why he’s got so much money he doesn’t care if you’re not paying attention to him, his fans support him.

That’s a modern day rock star.

But back to Kevin Hart. Turns out Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer and Sarah Silverman also have a history of homophobic statements, are they not banned because they’re’ white?

Then you’ve got someone saying these women have gay audiences and therefore…

We’ve got to decide where the line is, we’ve got to decide if someone can be rehabilitated, if someone can change.

Ever since Grover Norquist made Republicans sign a pledge not to raise taxes, changing your mind has been anathema in Congress. Look at the campaigns, candidates always point out competitors’ “contradictions.”

Meanwhile, the rank and file change their minds all the time.

But the tribalists insist on purity. Even though so many of us are not tribalists, rather our characters are chiaroscuro.

This is a problem on both left and right. It’ll be hard for the left to win if it doesn’t manage the infighting of special interest groups. Only the pure and bland can be nominated, those without history and experience, and that’s not a winning strategy.

But there’s no kumbaya on the left, the party of kumbaya. It’s the left that is excoriating Elizabeth Warren for her DNA test. The right is laughing. Same deal with Al Franken. That’s a bad trade, Al Franken for Kristen Gillibrand. Does that make me sexist? In the eyes of some lefties it does.

Oscar ratings are tanking. And it’s a show supported by advertisers who want young ‘uns when only oldsters are watching. So the Academy tries to make adjustments, like the “Popular” Oscar. Then the organization is rightly excoriated. Never play outside your sandbox, your lack of understanding is always revealed.

So, there’s got to be a continuum, and where someone is on it has to be factored in. Louis C.K. is not Harvey Weinstein, no way. And by casting him as such, it just reinforces that no one should ever admit they’re wrong, they should just stand their ground, and deny, deny, deny, like our President.

And times have changed. Things people said and did in the past they wouldn’t today. And some deeds are actionable, and some are not. A zero tolerance policy never works, just like three strikes and you’re out, every case must be judged on its own merits. But not in America, where it’s about rules, and the only ones winning are the cheats who are bending them, the rank and file just get caught and fall further behind.

But no one wants to have this discussion. And everyone’s afraid.

Men are afraid.

Musicians are afraid.

Comics are afraid.

And if they weigh in, there are consequences, just like with Michael Che.

But isn’t this what we want in society, limit-testers, people who make us look at situations a different way, with new eyes?

I now know the Kevin Hart expulsion is more complicated than it looks. Like Brexit. Once you can see the consequences, maybe you make a different choice.

But most people are uniformed, they’re so busy rooting for their tribe that they don’t want to hear anything that challenges their preconceptions.

As for the old saw that you can never change someone’s mind, hogwash. People won’t change on the spot, but after digesting the new information they’ll oftentimes adjust.

Then again, most people are just tuned in to the news in their own silo. They’re afraid of being challenged.

But when it comes to subjects other than politics, we find so many of us switch sides regularly, we are a much more homogeneous society than we admit.

But right now, we’re all addicted to the news. Not only Mueller, but tariffs and…

It’s like watching a ping-pong match.

Then again, Fox News hits against the wall, playing with itself. Used to be Republicans were the antidote to Democrats, now they’re just plain crazy. That’ll get my e-mail going. Then again, you know you’re doing it right when people react.

Kudos to Michael Che for pointing out the Academy’s hypocrisy.

As for SNL and my previous excoriations, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and if you’re not willing to keep an open mind, the loser is you.

 

Author: Bob Lefsetz

Bob Lefsetz is the author of “The Lefsetz Letter.” Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth,

Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

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