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RW Blowback on "Idol Gives Back"

Jodi210 posted on Webloggin:

Africa aside, I have a real problem with the depiction of the deplorable conditions in the United States. It was especially painful to watch Simon peruse the L.A. food pantry. Watching him go around telling us that he didn't realize that "this" existed just a few miles from his house; oh my.

Starvation in America is not for lack of available help or plentiful food. No, the problem of children starving is one of parental neglect. People do not have to starve in this country. The simple fact that charities and food pantries exist should be the tipoff to Simon. Didn't he notice the warehouse full of food? This is one of thousands of such warehouses across America. Help is there for the taking.

FYI to American Idol, I don't need some 17 year old, wet behind the ears adolescent to preach to me about how bad the world is and how we need to give back.

See also the commentary by Lorie Byrd on Wizbang Classic

I've never watched American Idol. My wife gave up on it after one season. To me, it's the epitome of vanity and speciousness, which might explain a lot of it's popular appeal -- all glitter and no substance. But I thank them for this gesture of generosity. Unlike the high-fallutin' society folk of Margaret Mitchell's Atlanta, I won't turn down kindness, even from the Belle Watling of the media.

But I find this blame-the-victim mentality especially distasteful. The idea that families will always have enough in America simply isn't correct. Even if a family is on assistance, the amount you receive simply is not enough to actually put food on the table for a full month. And many of the places where poverty is worst, the organizations which serve the poor are overextended. Lorie is correct that it's wrong to say children all over America are starving, but that does not mean that there isn't great poverty in many places in this country. Hopefully when the number one television show in the nation brings this to our attention, it will raise awareness and encourage giving.

And finally, regarding that dyspeptic last paragraph in Jodi's commentary, I suggest she open her bible and read Matthew 11:25. I suspect that God would be much more pleased with a "wet-behind-the-ears" child soliciting charity than with a person who sees herself as older and wiser ridiculing the poor.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (2)

Why must it be about "blame"? She was talking about the responsibility those parents have for their children. There is literally vast amounts of free money and free food the government has ready to give (thanks to socialist programs), that literally goes wasted each year. Maybe its poor marketing strategies so those coffers can be raided for pork barrel projects, who knows. Do you remember that screaming guy on the TV ad with the colorful $ clown suit holding the cash in front of the capitol building (or some other gov building looking similar)? Why would someone have to PAY to find out about "free" government money programs?

Welcome Blue,

I think Henry has the sentiments right at least from my perspective (can't speak for Jodi but I know her thoughts).

I watched tonight's show and my thoughts were mixed. The state of Africa is very sad. I wish it was as easy as giving them money but I think the efforts need to happen at a higher level where we help instill an institutional sort of change. There is so much need but we often hear of aid being squandered away by warlords and those running the show over there. Economic development is their best hope.

This is not to say that we shouldn't give hen financial aid and I truly get the feeling that Randy, Simon, Paula and Ryan have their hearts in the right place.

The mix however of the Idol contest with this telethon type performance is what seems to appear disingenuous to me and that is likely a corporate decision. That aside they did raise large amounts of money so I hope it helps although I don't think that money alone is the solution.

My feelings on the depictions of U.S. poverty are different because this country is more than capable of providing for everyone. Whereas Jodi focused on parental neglect I believe that cause is just one of many factors. The government certainly isn't helping here. In New Orleans I think the local government is atrocious. The fact that the people in NO reelected politicians who failed them in Katrina points to a problem that I believe is rooted in a welfare style mentality. Kind of like charity for votes. Unfortunately even that results in empty promises for many of those living in squalor.

Please don't construe the Webloggin article as ridiculing the poor though. That is not her point and I know from personal experience that she would not do that. It was really more about Idol. I understand where she is coming from and I believe that corporations often glom onto these kind of causes merely for the ratings factor (doubt they would do it otherwise).

Thankfully Idol had Ellen DeGeneres and Jack Black on tonight. Black is funny and Ellen is simply a class act.

Good luck in your new venture. I am sure it will prove successful.

Terry Trippany
Editor, Webloggin


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