Friday, November 12, 2010

Keith Olbermann, Cam Newton, and Wiz Khalifa: Hot topics for November 12, 2010

Once again today, there are four new rising topics today.  One of them, Veteran's Day, is out of date (having been yesterday), but didn't show up until today presumably because of the seven day sampling window.  Also showing up today for the first time (that I've noticed, at least) are MSNBC political opinion journalist Keith Olbermann, Auburn college football player Cam Newton, and rapper Wiz Khalifa.

Keith Olbermann's appearance in the rising topics comes later than I would have expected (but again, consider the seven day sampling window) after his suspension last Friday (and almost immediate reinstatement) for the offense of donating to Democratic political campaigns.  I think the best headline I saw in connection to this was "News flash: Keith Olbermann might be a Democrat!"  Anyone who hadn't figured that out by now had to be entirely dense.  MSNBC also apparently didn't realize that people would notice that they let Joe Scarborough get away with making donations in previous years.  In any case, Olbermann is so transparently partisan that there's no risk that anyone could reasonably suggest that this somehow impacts his "impartiality" as an opinion journalist.  Boner move, MSNBC.

Cam Newton is a college football player at Auburn who is apparently the focus of a scandal involving paid recruitment, which is a major no-no in the college football world, even though I suspect nearly every big-name college skirts, evades, circumvents, or just outright ignores the rules in this area.  College football is big money, and the big-name colleges (like Auburn) spend a great deal of money on getting the best players so they can get even more money from the businesses who want to use them as walking billboards to drive sheeplike fans to buy merchandise they don't need.  College football exploits the players, creates incentives for colleges to make decisions that don't favor academics or the social interests of their students, and has all sorts of disproportionate impacts on women.  And with all the recent information on football causing serious, irreversible brain damage, I think it's really time that we reconsider the merits of this "pastime" as a national obsession.

The third rising item today is for yet another bad-boy rapper getting arrested; today's lucky winner is Wiz Khalifa, who was arrested in North Carolina for possession of marijuana on his tour bus.  Frankly I don't care if a rapper does pot in his bus, and I don't see why North Carolina should care, either.  But if you're a prosecuting attorney, and you can nail a high-profile out-of-state bad boy with an easy bust, hey, go for it.  It makes getting reelected easier.