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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

STUCK IN IDOL: Trouble at "American Idol," the TV show that of course has become synonymous with broadcast quality and good taste. Seems two of the program's judges made "questionable" comments. (This is becoming one of my favorite adjectives: "questionable." The word doesn't say that particular people are upset, people with their own biases and axes to grind; heavens no, the word says the fault lies with specific comments intrinsically; therefore such comments are always unacceptable regardless of context.) Which comments? I cannot tell you unless you promise to take your school-age children away from the computer screen, so they aren't traumatized for life from witnessing you shriek and collapse. Ready, set, go:
On Tuesday's show, seen by a Nielsen-chart topping 35.5 million viewers, Cowell told one male contestant to "wear a dress" and Jackson asked another, "are you a girl?"
Oh, the horror. This was nothing less than an "offense" against gay and lesbian people, despite no reference to either category, according to the airwave monitors over at Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). These always-compassionate folks want us to know that they are "reaching out to the show's producers to discuss our concerns and the concerns of community members and allies who have contacted us about this matter." If you are the type who gets concerned about thinly-veiled threats from politically correct pressure groups, don't be alarmed here. "Reaching out" doesn't necessarily mean "We're coming for you." The phrase "discuss our concerns" doesn't necessarily mean "telling you what you're allowed to think or say." The mention of "community members and allies who have contacted us" doesn't necessarily indicate that there's a "concerted campaign of group-think" underway. None dare call it inquisition — how about inclusive instead?