Jewish World Review Sept. 17, 2002 / 11 Tishrei, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

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Consumer Reports

Singing a different tune | The uproar over the rapper Ludacris getting fired as a spokesman for Pepsi Cola has been interesting to watch, especially since I'm the guy who started the situation.

Ludacris' mom -- whose name is not Mrs. Ludacris, by the way -- is very angry with me, as are many in the world that profit greatly from the vile words that this rapper and many others put out.

Nobody really defends what Ludacris is peddling, which is a life of guns, violence, drugs and disrespect of women. The man can rhyme many words, and some of them are "Glock," "crack," "hos" and, most frequently, the "f-word" in an amazing array of forms.

No, the argument from Ludacris sympathizers is that Britney Spears also hawks Pepsi and she is just as bad.

Say what?

To me, comparing Ms. Spears to Mr. Ludacris is like comparing pot to heroin. Ms. Spears struts around in tight slacks, a bare belly and store-bought breasts. She sings silly love songs, as Paul McCartney might say. She does writhe around a lot and look pouty -- and there is a double-entendre in her Pepsi commercial with the dazed and confused Bob Dole -- but is Britney Spears a danger to the republic?

I believe Ludacris is dangerous. Scores of grammar-school teachers in the inner cities of America have written to me detailing horror stories spurred on, they say, by rap music. One fifth-grade teacher told me that it is common in her class for 10-year-old boys to call little girls "bitches." And those little boys can quote the lyrics of Ludacris with amazing accuracy.

Another teacher, who works in a Los Angeles ghetto, has a once-a-week "real talk" half hour in her classroom. She told me that some eighth-grade girls now say they want to become strippers and some boys pimps. When asked why, the kids say it looks like fun in the rap videos. Nobody in her class mentions Ms. Spears at all.

Now, I'm sure there are little girls who can sing Britney's songs about young love all day long as well. And some of these girls inevitably will want to dress in a manner inappropriate for their age because of the Spears influence. That is not good. But it is a million miles away from a handgun, a crack pipe and selling sex.

The Spears vs. Ludacris argument is deceptive because of its racial overtones. Many defenders of Ludacris say the criticism of him is racially motivated. That, of course, is a foolish and insulting position to take.

Every American should be condemning rappers and rock stars who sell children subversive values. It is tough enough these days for kids to develop maturity in our confusing society without being told that selling drugs and carrying illegal guns is fine. And children who have absent or bad parents are especially vulnerable to corrupters selling them instant gratification.

Where is the outrage over Ludacris and Eminem? Where is the protection for kids who have no role models and little supervision?

I can put up with Britney Spears. She's just another in a long line of teen idols who come and go like so much pollen in the wind. Yes, she flounces around, and some little girls will be affected, but that kind of damage can be undone.

However, Ludacris, like a cursing Pied Piper, can lead children into a lifestyle of defiance and destruction that could ruin them for many years -- perhaps forever. And like the decadent mercenary he is, he'll laugh all the way to the bank doing it.

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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.


09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
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