The Blog Squad

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Jumping off the E-train?

Well, that was abrupt. Somewhere between the last week’s Elliott lovefest and this morning’s newspaper, Elliott Yamin went from “hometown hero” to “Wolfman.” Let me count the ways in which Elliott was demeaned, insulted or otherwise dissed in the today’s Times Dispatch.

First, was the banner over the masthead with the headline “Has Elliott lost some sparkle?”

Next, was the entire section of letters to the editor -- five in all -- whining that the paper’s coverage of Elliott and “American Idol” was excessive, tabloidish, and took the place of real news. It's certainly valid to a point. Remember the A-1 story about people who couldn't get through to vote? But still, if this had been a local boy about to lead an NFL team to the Super Bowl, I doubt we'd hear anything about it not being real news. One person said he would actually subscribe to the Times or the Post just to be sure he was getting his daily news fiber instead of Cocoa Puffs. (My words, not his.)

Then there were the complaints over the paper’s use of the words “hometown hero.” That word should be reserved for soldiers, firefighters and police officers (and of course, Super Bowl quarterbacks), we were instructed. Suzan White of Richmond was very kind in her letter to give us all a mini-course in Joseph Campbell’s writing just so we could all be clear on a what a hero really is. (Perhaps we might remind Ms. White that there are there are several meanings and connotations to the word other than the mythological one.)*

Turning to the Metro section, there was Douglas Durden and Melissa Ruggieri’s recap of last night’s show in which they, quite fairly and objectively, pointed out that last night’s performance was fine but not the shining moment it should have been to propel him into the finals next week.

Then, Mark Holmberg had to weigh in by pointing out that people online refer to Elliott as “monkey boy” or “Wolfman” and bust on Elliott for his looks. (In all fairness, let me remind you that in the beginning of the competition I gently suggested that Elliott change his hair, which reminded me of Curious George. He's come a long way since then.) Then, Holmberg goes on to say that a reference to Elliott smoking a cigarette in last week’s paper enraged some fans, some of whom suggested that the inclusion of that fact might cost him votes.

It seemed Elliott couldn’t catch a break in today’s paper. That’s a dramatic turnaround from the reception he received last week. But one gets the feeling the E-train is indeed rolling into the station. He’s done a great job and like Simon Cowell said last night, has made his mum proud. Will he survive tonight? My gut tells me no, but we’ll see. Either way, Joseph Campbell notwithstanding, he’ll still be a hometown hero.

*1. A person noted for special achievement in a particular field; 2.a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments)


At Wed May 17, 10:15:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't ever watched American Idol, but I hope Elliott loses soon, just so you'll go back to writing about other things! When did entertainment become the most important thing in our lives?

At Wed May 17, 03:00:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear non-Idol watcher -- You are a loser. Live a little and be happy for a kid who has had the deck stacked against him. He has guts and courage and we should all be proud of him. I'm sure even you could use a break from the standard, hideously bad news that is a staple in the RTD. My guess is Richmond will look fabulous on Idol tonight. We need the good press! Quit complaining. You'll get your full dose of negativity back shortly. Until then, rain on someone else's parade.

At Wed May 24, 04:27:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it's "negative" to want to hear about something newsworthy rather than just pure entertainment. Just because you are talking about something not related to television or other forms of popular entertainment does not mean that you are negative or a "loser." One could say that if someone only talks about people and situations that exist in reality tv that one would be considered "sad" and "need to get a life" and "ill-informed" and overall "boring, tedious company." But of course, a well mannered person would never say those things.
I too hope this blog gets back to more important topics soon.


Post a Comment

<< Home