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Monday, October 20, 2003

PERSONAL FOUL: ROUGHING THE WRITER AT DISNEY/ESPN 

Gregg Easterbrook’s remark about Jews and money was, as he has admitted, “crummy work”. He could have made his point about greed and the promotion of violence as a cash cow without inserting religous or ethnic affiliation. An apology should be sufficient and he should be allowed to write his ESPN column, 'TMQ', but alas, he's been sacked and the corporate avarice he cited takes a safety.

The real reason Easterbrook won’t be allowed to continue is that he has committed that cardinal sin of media incest; he has criticized one of the mother ship’s money making properties, “Kill Bill”, an admitted gore-fest from the blood & guts obsessed imagination of Quentin Tarantino and Disney/Miramax. The Disney/ESPN/ Miramax corporate nexus has ruled that Easterbrook in violation of the "promote, don't critique" code of media money grubbing.

When the San Francisco Chronicle chimes in about marketing violence, you have to figure that 'over the top' has been topped.

Ever since Disney acquired ABC/Capital Cities, and with it ESPN (Disney’s principal source of cash & profit), the network has been used as a source of shameless cross promotion with a variety of Disney properties, e.g., in the summer of 2001, ESPN had Freddie Prinze, Jr. as a guest on its “Sunday Conversation”, a show devoted to actual sports figures and not actors portraying them.

Of course, it was a thin disguise for the pumping up a mediocrity titled “Summer Catch”, a Disney film. This sort of ‘advertising’ has continued to the point where you can’t tell if ESPN is doing a story or pitching a product.

Bottom line, Easterbrook bit the hand that was feeding him, regardless of whether it Jew or Christian. Do we really need more evidence that that further FCC deregulation allowing media monopoly should be fought at all costs?



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