Free the Baby Gorilla


By Jeff Moss
November 11, 2014

I am a huge fan of social media. Without the invention of Twitter, I don’t think the DetroitSportsRag would even exist any longer; due to the lack of a big advertising budget, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with this website’s expansion, or lack thereof.

And for years now, we have used Facebook to house the DSR’s message board(s).

However, social media in general is awful.

For every benefit of Twitter and Facebook — which includes being able to spread my message to a much wider audience — there are about 100 drawbacks. From dummies Tweeting every moment of their mundane lives, to narcissistic nut jobs posting nonsense like this every five minutes …..


Anyone with an IQ north of 100 who has spent five minutes on Facebook knows about the negative aspects of social media. But one of the more annoying trends lately has been the use of the politically correct, “lynch mob” mentality by so-called enlightened people to crush any person whose behavior they deem inappropriate.

What bothers me is, in a lot of instances, people whom I otherwise respect engage in this policing. For example, a few months ago when Tigers manager Brad Ausmus made a dumb joke about going home and beating his wife after a tough loss, you would have thought the guy actually went to his residence and abused his spouse with a Louisville Slugger.

I mean, it WAS an idiotic joke but let’s save the clinical diagnosis of antisocial behavior for the numerous people who actually hit their wives and don’t just crack wise about it. And I am as big a Keith Law mark as you will find.

This issue came to a head for me last week after comedian Artie Lange made a series of controversial jokes on Twitter last Tuesday. Based on the social media reaction, you would have thought that the dude beheaded Bambi while urinating on an amputee veteran on national television.

Now, I am a huge fan of Artie Lange. I have purchased his books; seen his standup live; and I will go to my grave insisting that the halcyon days of the “Howard Stern Show” were the years when Lange was sitting just a few feet to the left of the King of All Media.

But to tell you the truth, I didn’t find the jokes that got Lange in hot water last week regarding ESPN’s “First Take” host Cari Champion to be very funny. 

Again, Lange’s biggest crime here was not being humorous. (Other than the one about Champion laughing at his white dick, which did get a laugh from me.) Look, if Lange had made these jokes at Yuk Yuks or The Funny Bone he probably would have bombed and gone about his business.

[Hell, if Lange was still on Stern doing similar material it might have killed. Unfortunately for the former broadcaster, future podcaster he picked the wrong medium to make these sort of jokes.]

But instead, he posted his thoughts on the Twat Box where there are thousands and thousands of people who are just looking to be offended by the next controversy. That way, they can stand up to the awful perpetrator; defend the honor of the aggrieved victim; call for the banishment of the offender; and then feel much better about themselves.

Because, ya know, they really did SOMETHING. These delusional imbeciles think they are the modern-day versions of the civil rights advocates who marched from Selma to Montgomery.

Because of the above JOKES, Lange has been banned by ESPN — I guess the Baby Gorilla won’t be appearing on “Numbers Never Lie” anytime soon — and has had an appearance on Comedy Central canceled.

Comedy Central?!?!?!?? Have they ever heard the shit coming out of the mouths of Jeffrey Ross and Anthony Jeselnik during their televised roasts?

Banned by COMEDY CENTRAL?!!?!?? Did they forget they aired this set by the late, great Greg Giraldo?

In reaction to Lange’s Tweets, Keith Olbermann made Artie one of last Tuesday evening’s “Worst Persons in the World,” which the comedian probably deserved in tongue-in-cheek fashion.

But in Olbermann’s remarks he referenced Lange’s two failed suicide attempts and his time in a mental institution, closing with the question of whose bright idea was it to let Lange out of the insane asylum the last time. Really, Keith? Over some JOKES you went THERE?

If you watch that Giraldo video, you see that the deceased comedian made jokes about the Holocaust and beastiality, even comparing Warren Sapp to King Kong because the former Bucs defensive lineman is black!

But it was FUNNY so no one said a word. Once again, Lange’s biggest crime wasn’t his subject matter but the JOKES not going over. Unless you think that the subject of slavery can never be broached by a comedian. Well, the most successful comedian working today (Louis CK) closed his last HBO special on that very topic.

The ironic part of all of this is that the folks who are so enraged over Lange trying to be funny while using slavery as a backdrop probably angrily Tweeted their dismay and disgust on an iPhone or iPad.

Which, as Louis points out in that above clip, is A FUCKING PRODUCT OF ACTUAL SLAVERY!!!!

One of the loudest voices coming to the rescue of Champion was her fellow ESPN employee, Jemele Hill. You might remember Hill from her days working for the Detroit Free Press. Hell, she even wrote one article for THIS website which her bosses made us take down because she wasn’t allowed to freelance (though that didn’t stop her from trying to get a check out of us). This was one of her many comments on Lange ……

So now you can add rape to the list of subjects that can never be referenced in a comedian’s act. Someone had better alert Sarah Silverman, who I believe has a uterus ….

Oh and Hill and her white horse must have forgotten that SHE HERSELF GOT SUSPENDED a few years ago for making a supposedly inappropriate comparison between the Boston Celtics and the Nazi regime.

And for the record, Hill shouldn’t have been suspended for that either.

But that is the hypocritical world we live in. Where the easily offended grab their pitchforks and call for the scalp of whomever dares to be edgy or controversial. This group think can even include those who have been VICTIMS of such nonsense in the past.

We live in a world where a basically anonymous person can make a stupid joke about AIDS in Africa before boarding a flight and her career is ruined before she even lands on the continent. And then she is fired.

Where a controversial comedian makes a joke about a tsunami and loses a lucrative advertising deal where his job is to sound like a DUCK. Because, I am sure no one at Aflac was familiar with Gilbert Gottfried’s act before they hired him.

Not too long ago, Jimmy Kimmel appeared on the radio show of Lange’s former boss and the late-night television host told Stern he is well aware that at any given time he could Tweet something out that could instantly end his ABC program’s existence.

And thanks to this current climate, where the PC Twitter Police are on the lookout for any perceived bigotry, misogyny or homophobia — whether real or imagined — so they can add another pelt to their wall, we are in danger of entering a period of the most antiseptic comedy we’ve ever seen.

The message is loud and clear. If you want to be edgy or experimental you do so at the risk of having your career end at a moment’s notice.

Because if you want to make jokes about killing a spouse and her [boy]friend with a knife and explain that, while you don’t agree with the crime, you UNDERSTAND it …..

Well, you better be as funny as Chris Rock at all fucking times.

It’s all very depressing. Hell, I have half a mind to down a gallon of Clorox bleach and take a Pampered Chef knife to my gut.

Oh no, I just made a joke about Artie Lange’s most recent suicide attempt.

I hope he doesn’t rat me out to Awful Announcing and Bomani Jones.