Jewish World Review Sept. 3, 2002 / 26 Elul, 5762

Bill O'Reilly

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Consumer Reports

Let's misbehave | It used to be that the American ethic was to reward good behavior and punish wrongdoing. Remember those days? Well, they are gone, but maybe not forever.

Last week, the Pepsi-Cola company announced they hired the rapper Ludacris to do a commercial that would run during the MTV awards. Seemed like a good move on paper, as Ludacris sells millions of records to the young people that Pepsi wants lapping up soda.

But Ludacris is a thug rapper. His lyrics celebrate intoxication, irresponsible sex, drug dealing and violence. The man brags he has a "ho" in every area code. He raps that "I'm DUI, hardly ever sober."

In proudly announcing the acquisition of Ludacris' services, the director of "multicultural marketing" at Pepsi, Giuseppe D'Alessandro, said: "There's a new Pepsi generation. Our youth are colorblind, and very diverse."

Well, that's swell, Giuseppe, but is the "new Pepsi generation" deaf as well as color blind? Ludacris espouses illegal, anti-social and subversive conduct all over the place. So what's up with that, my multicultural friend?

Under withering criticism from me on television and radio, Pepsi promptly dumped Ludacris and pulled the ad. Good for them. Pepsi has made trillions of dollars in America, and it owes the country some sense of decency. By paying and promoting Ludacris, Pepsi-Cola was rewarding bad behavior and encouraging children to sample his tawdry wares.

The reason that Pepsi reversed itself is that thousands of Americans e-mailed the company and said they would not buy its products as long as Ludacris was endorsing them. The power of the people prevailed. Let's hope a trend has started here.

But Pepsi is not alone in enriching people that deserve to be scorned, not celebrated.

Have you seen this "The Anna Nicole Smith Show" on the E-cable network? Here is a woman who bought herself giant breasts, posed naked, married an 89-year-old millionaire and hungrily gathered up his money when he expired. That's Ms. Smith's entire resume.

Yet she is given a national television program on which she displays no talent, an incredible lack of intelligence and is snippy to boot. I watched in horror for 10 minutes as this woman wandered around aimlessly murdering the English language and sneering into the camera. I finally bailed when she decided to get a garish tattoo put on her substantial ankle. If this is entertainment, I am Michael Jackson.

And then there's Michael Irvin. The former Dallas Cowboy was constantly in trouble with drugs and other questionable stuff as a player, and now he's been hired by Fox Sports Net as a commentator. Why? Because like Anna Nicole Smith, he's notorious. Irvin has no broadcast talent and is depriving somebody who does of a job.

The list of undesirables that have prospered because of their misbehavior is long and depressing. Eminem gets a Grammy. Mike Tyson gets a boxing license. Monica Lewinsky gets a book deal. Enough already!

We need to stop celebrating awful people and start shunning them. And if giant corporations insist on hiring these pinheads, then we should shun the companies. America is becoming a giant sideshow where degenerates are in demand. What's next, a reality program featuring Michael Skakel?

Way back in the beginning, President George Washington nailed it. He said this: "Associate yourself with men of quality if you esteem your reputation, for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."

Words to live by. And I am sending that quote to Pepsi-Cola. Perhaps they'll pass it along to the new Pepsi generation.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate