Bob Oschack is apparently a comic, of sorts, and until very recently worked for a Fox Sports online video series called "The College Experiment," billed as a "comedy-driven, weekly cocktail of hot co-eds, non-stop partying, sophomoric humor, and a dash of college sports."
You know how this turns out, right?
Apparently Oschack and the College Experience team thought it would be hilarious to do a piece with the premise "lame Asians at USC have funny accents and don't know anything about college football, hyuck hyuck!" You might find it funny — if you are twelve, or have a very low threshold for amusement, or think that Mickey Rooney was hilarious in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Pretty much everybody else thought it was douchey, unfunny, and really kind of insipidly racist. I share that view, even though as a matter of principle I strongly support ridiculing USC students at every opportunity.
As a result, Fox Sports apologized and cancelled the show.
All of that — asshole acts like asshole, gets treated like asshole — is banal. The backlash, as usual, will be more interesting. Let's anticipate some arguments:
1. "OMG what about Bob Oschack's free speech rights?" What about them? How are they relevant? Bob Oschack isn't being prosecuted or sued. His free speech rights aren't at issue. Rather, his private employer decided that (a) it would be bad business to be associated with his douchiness and/or (b) it was distasteful, as a matter of branding, to be associated with his douchiness, and canned him. That's Fox's right, as a matter of its own free speech and economic freedom. Just as it's not necessary to genuflect towards "my God that person is an asshole" when we defend someone from official censorship, it's not necessary to genuflect towards "naturally he can't be prosecuted for this" when we call someone out as an unfunny choad.
2. "OMG political correctness is run amok!" Oh, whatever. The sort of political correctness I care about is the kind backed by official action — like the sort of stuff FIRE documents. I really can't bring myself to care about "political correctness" in its modern, moral-weakling, watered-down sense, which seems to be "boo hoo, I can't act like a dick without people treating me like a dick." Speech is not tyranny, and only weenies think it is.
3. "OMG people don't have a sense of humor!" Meh. There's a great part in one of P.J. O'Rourke's books where he covers a dispute at a college newspaper over whether to run an advertisement by a Holocaust denier. One side argues that freedom requires it, the other argues that it's offensive. "Nobody considered whether it should be rejected because it was a piece of shit," P.J. observes. I think that "edgy" humor gets what I will, in politically-incorrect fashion, call affirmative action treatment: people get caught up in whether it's offensive or not, and what that means, without considering if it's a piece of shit whether it's offensive or not. This explains the greater part of Bill Maher's career. Here? Belabored, smirking, badly paced, badly shot. Piece of shit — even before we get to whether it's obnoxious. Which it is. Sorry, Bob.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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