|Monica & Big Sexy don't mix|
By Jason Whitlock
Page 2 columnist
Dear Martha Burk:
Back in 1993, I founded the "We Be Wantin' Magic Off Da Air" movement, a campaign to rid television airwaves of Magic Johnson's mush-mouth commentary. At the time, Magic was my all-time favorite athlete, but someone needed to take a stance against verbal incoherence. The movement was well ahead of its time, and had I been listened to back then, many broadcasting tragedies would never have occurred, such as the Magic Johnson late-night "Tragic Hour" and Eric Dickerson as "Monday Night Football" sideline reporter.
I've also been involved in less-celebrated cause celebs, such as "Sack the Hack," the campaign to remove Paul Hackett as offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. And twice I headed up the group that begged Roy Williams to tell Dean Smith, Phil Ford, Dick Baddour and all the other selfish, ego-driven "Carolina basketball family" members to kiss Kansas' butt.
Martha, you and me, we're freedom fighters of the highest order.
That's why I worry that this letter will be misconstrued. The last thing a freedom fighter wants to hear is some advice from an uninformed source who doesn't understand the cause. Trust me, I understand your movement. I feel your pain.
But Martha, as noble and necessary as your current cause is -- and understand that I see you as a modern-day, substance-less, embarrassing version of Rosa Parks and other true, courageous, female freedom fighters -- I'd like to see you tackle a different agenda. My suggestion would keep your name in the news and your ego afloat. In fact, if you took up this cause, I could envision you earning real political clout and world-wide support. You would turn your harshest critics into some of your staunchest allies. Rush Limbaugh might even support you. You would bring black people and white people together, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, feminists and male chauvinists, Sonny and Cher, maybe even Ralph Wiley and O.J.
Martha, you should be leading the fight to get Monica Lewinsky off national TV.
Lewinsky is the host of the latest, hot reality TV dating game, "Mr. Personality." It's the show on which one attractive single woman tries to find her perfect man among 20 Lone Rangers (masked men). I watched the debut Monday on Fox. It was interesting.
The whole time I watched I kept wondering what were Lewinsky's qualifications to host a national TV show. And it basically came down to one thing: Years ago, she dropped to her knees and aced a south-of-the-border oral exam given by our most powerful professor.
You want to talk about negative messages. You want to talk about something worth fighting over. Every young woman who tunes in to "Mr. Personality'' -- and the show is directed at a female audience -- will be hammered over the head with the message that if you want to make it big in American culture, break out the knee pads and Cuban cigars.
Oh, that's right, Monica is a victim in all of this. A powerful man took advantage of her patriotic lust, and that makes it OK that she's getting ahead by ... well, you know.
Martha, you've compared your movement to Martin Luther King's civil-rights movement. Perhaps you have more in common with Malcolm X, who believed in equality "by any means necessary."
Hey, I ain't madatcha. I respected Malcolm and Martin.
Martha, in your honor and in support of your philosophy, I'm establishing the "Malcolm X: By any means necessary" summer internship program on my radio show. The program is strictly for recently, college-graduated women looking for a headstart in broadcasting.
Jason Whitlock is a regular columnist for the Kansas City Star (kcstar.com), the host of a morning-drive talk show, "Jason Whitlock's Neighborhood" on Sports Radio 810 WHB (810whb.com) and a regular contributor on ESPN The Magazine's Sunday morning edition of The Sports Reporters. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.