Associated Press writer Jake Coyle offered a TV reviewer's take on MTV host Russell Brand's Bush-bashing on Sunday night. He called it "candor" and mocked the idea that a host should steer clear of suggesting the president's retarded. He thought the "import was a welcome change." Is he really a change? Brand seems to epitomize MTV, which glorifies every excess:
After all, Brand has built his image on his candor and edginess. He's well-known across the pond as a standup comic, TV show host and radio DJ — but more so as an outlandish and hedonistic figure who speaks unabashedly about his prior drug and sex addictions.
Brand was especially "unabashed" about mocking teen stars who've taken a stand for abstinence before marriage:
Again and again, Brand — a confessed former sex addict — poked fun at young sex and abstinence. Speaking of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter's boyfriend and would-be father, Levi Johnston, Brand sympathized with him: "That is the safe sex message of all time. Use a condom or become a Republican!"
Brand clearly angered some in attendance when he repeatedly joked about the Jonas Brothers, the sons of a pastor, all of whom wear purity rings as a symbol of their vow not to have premarital sex. At one point, Brand brandished one as if he had won it from a Jonas brother.
"American Idol" champ Jordin Sparks defended them: "I just wanna say, it's not bad to wear a promise ring because not every guy and a girl wants to be a slut, OK?"
Brand responded by apologizing, before slyly offending again by alluding to R. Kelly in an unprintable joke (like many of his). Perhaps summing up his perspective, he explained, "A bit of sex occasionally never hurt anybody."
Brand surely won at least as many enemies as fans on Sunday night. But in contrast to some of the personality-less pop stars this "American Idol"-crazy country has been producing lately, an import was a welcome change.
Obviously, Coyle is slamming Sparks, and he seems to imply that anyone who would champion a cause like abstinence must be an airhead with no personality or style. If Sparks was a supposedly recovering "sex addict" like Brand, she would have personality to burn.
Coyle snidely suggested in his opening that Brand seemed "out of place," not because he was British, but because he wasn't a phony who thanked God and who zipped his political lips to retain his nonpartisan popularity:
It was because Brand injected the VMAs with blunt politics, self deprecation, unabashed sexuality, and, yes, plenty of off-color remarks.
Didn't he know where he was? The VMAs? In La-La Land?
No, this was no place to voice anything like an opinion on world affairs or joke about young Christian pop stars. This is a place to look cool and thank the almighty for the honor of little moon man statuettes.