That Story Gots Legs…
I swore I wouldn’t address this issue, but here goes…
Last week, the New York Post started a bit of a media frenzy after declaring that Taylor Hicks “…won’t watch the Fox show [American Idol] anymore – and just wanted to use the exposure he got from winning Idol to further his career.” The Post based that brilliant conclusion on the following quote pulled from this interview with Taylor from Relix music magazine:
“American Idol for me is fizzling out, ” he tells the latest edition of Relix magazine, a publication formerly devoted to following the Grateful Dead. “I want to take that opportunity and exposure: you either come see me, buy my album or you don’t. I’m not trying to meet expectations. If you can say you’re a working musician, then you’re doing something good.”
Naturally, the Post pulled the quote from Relix, but failed to link to the article. Fox News carried the item the same day. (Fox produces Idol, Rupert Murdoch owns both the NYPost and Fox Television. Hmm…)
The Relix article was posted in my comments section way back on October 31. I posted a link to the article on the blog November 1. I didn’t bother to pull that particular quote, which I interpreted as Taylor believing that once Season 6 began, he would no longer be able to use Idol for exposure.
Online Idol fans, at least on the blog here, found the article unremarkable. Taylor Hicks fans were happy that the music snobs at Relix, a music magazine devoted to the jam band scene, were embracing Taylor. The only controversial statement noted by readers was Taylor’s answer to a tongue-in-cheek question about who he’d like to “hit in the nuts”. He said, “Roseanne Barr, after she sang the ‘National Anthem’ real bad. I don’t know if she has nuts, you might want to check.” Eep!
Three weeks later, on November 21, Ken Barnes of USA Today posted the item, noting Taylor’s quote about rejecting the original coronation song handed to him by producers (this was old news to many in the Idol online community–see here, here and here) and mentioning that he found Taylor’s admission that he didn’t watch Idol an “admirable anti-Idol stance.”
A week later, the NYPost and Fox News picked up the story with a decidedly different spin. As TMZ.com, the entertainment blogs, the wire services and assorted television programs ran the story with the Post spin intact and then some (Joe Fricking Scarborough of MSNBC spliced two quotes together from two different questions, distorting the original quotes’ meaning), it left many in the online Idol community scratching their heads.
Things should quiet down now that Taylor has addressed the “controversy.” As one of my astute readers said, “What 30 year old man watches American Idol?” Ha. I know a few closet watchers. However, point well taken. Much ado about nothing, if you ask me.