Stephin Merritt- who’s a racist?; DJ Star- who’s a criminal?

Way behind in my media coverage (lots of other projects eatin’ up time) but I just wanted to give a brief shout-out to this stalwart article in Slate:Blacklisted. Racism is an ugly thing indeed but throwing around the term recklessly is ugly and hurtful also. The tabloid smearing of Stephin Merritt isn’t something you’d expect from writers that are usually much more thoughtful (Jessica Hopper, Sasha Frere-Jones) but the piece lays out the details quite nicely. As an addenda to that, Sasha F.J. offered something of an apology based on that article. Hopefully, in the future, JH and SFJ will be a little more careful before they tar someone with a tag like that and other scribes will take that as a warning too.

Speaking of unwarranted behavior, if any 1st ammendent supporters are shedding a tear for fired-then-arrested NYC radio DJ Star for threatening a rival DJ and his family on-air (including putting a bounty on their head), I’d ask if any supporters would feel as sympathetic if they were being called out on the radio and having their family threatened. Star likens himself to Lenny Bruce but I doubt if he himself thinks that he’s a sly provacateur who’s toying with society’s conventions. He’s an egotistical ratings-hound who wanted to push his rivalry up another level and get a response. He did but not the type he probably anticipated though his joly demeanor after his arrest means that he knows something. This notoriety is going to help his rep as someone else will no doubt hire him eventually.