1524 Barr Avenue, #2, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15205

History Articles
Humor Columns
Your Comments
Television Archives
Contact Al

Home arrow Humor Columns
Humor Columns

There are currently 20 HUMOR columns

Choose the column type BELOW

You've Chosen




 Winter, 1998


 How celebrities avoid real blame

I'm Guilty, But I'll Try Harder

By Al Owens
Hold on for a second. I feel some tears coming on! Ok I'm back. I was just watching that news conference with Boston Red Sox outfielder Wilfredo Cordero and his allegedly battered wife, Ava, and I got a little choked up. But I'm alright now.

Mr. and Mrs. Cordero have reconciled their differences, apparently, and now they kissed and made up. At a news conference. Before the whole world. As if they mean it. And as if anybody cares!

Another athlete calls a news conference to admit their guilt and I'm heading for Canada.

Within the past couple of months I've hardly been able to flip on my television without some baseball player, golfer, basketball player, or sports- caster admitting they've made some kind of mistake.
Just 9 days after Cordero was arrested and charged with domestic assault he and his wife appeared on television to say, "I want everybody to know, we are working through our problems".

Well I want everybody to know, I don't care!

Marcus Camby you got caught taking gifts from an agent in college. A clear violation of NCAA rules. Now you've been busted for possession of marijuana and a traffic violation. A clear violation of Connecticut laws.
What's the next natural thing to do? Of course, hold a news conference and say utterly stupid things like, "I'm a strong guy with a strong mind and a strong will and I think I can bounce back". Mr. Camby you get paid millions of dollars to bounce a basketball. We don't care what else you bounce. Including yourself... Knuckle head!!!!! I don't care if Dennis Rodman tearfully admits he went overboard with his ill advised swipes at Mormans and their religion. Just get me some rebounds and leave your apology at home.

Fuzzy Zoeller, if you really didn't mean those racist things you said about Tiger Woods, you wouldn't have said them. People don't make jokes about things they don't think are fundamentally true.

Marv Albert, we really didn't need a news conference and your denial of those sexual assault charges. Especially since you didn't stay in front of the cameras long enough after your denial to take questions about those charges!

A.J. Foyt, you beat up a competitor on camera. What makes you think an appearance with before another camera, with an apology, would change anything. Fact is, you assaulted somebody in front of 20 million people!

I hear, Frank and Kathy Lee Gifford could be next. There's a nasty rumor going around those two are going to "work through", Frank's admitted infidelity on Live with Regis and Kathy Lee.

On and on and on. These people believe they can plead their cases before the American public, instead of in courtrooms or at their psychiatrists or at their marriage counselors.

And they're sending one clear message to America's youth.. You can do anything you'd like to do, Then call a news conference; Admit you've done it; Complain you were just having a bad day; Swear it was all a big misunderstanding; Tearfully blame it on your parents sending you to bed early, once, when you were ten years old.
Say any and all of those things and you will be accorded lifelong clemency, in the court of public opinion. Some morning I'd like to rob a gas station at gun point and then get caught a few minutes later. By noon I'd jump before a camera, with the owner of the gas station at my side, and tearfully say, "I'm sorry. Hey, we're both sorry".
The gas station owner would then confer this upon the incredulous public. "Al needs a little understanding. "He really didn't mean it. "The gun wasn't as dangerous as it looks. "And besides he had that, 'I don't need this money, I'm really a pretty nice guy,' look written all over his face". "We'll work through our problems. "And besides, I'm as much to blame for owning a gas station as he is for robbing one".
Sound silly? Well that's pretty much what Mrs. Cordero did on behalf of her apparently abusive husband.

As a non-athlete I know I'd never get that chance. Athletes are smart enough to pull that bit of trickery every time they get into some sort of trouble lately.

Entertainers too. Get caught with a prostitute. (Hold a news conference. Then apologize.
Get caught with a male prostitute dressed up like a woman. Hold a news conference. Then apologize.

Get caught drinking while driving. Hold a news conference. Then apologize.

Why don't these people hold their news conferences and offer their apologies first. Then they can go out and commit the crime. That way us television viewers will know what to expect, and then we can avoid it!!
I've spent a few years in Hollywood. I know a little bit about how those people think. A news conference can be a magical experience, the day after your busted.

I interviewed about two thousand actors and actresses. The one thing I've been able to pull from that experience is that an actor who's riding the wave of popularity doesn't really need an interview. Those are the ones that will respectfully deny interview requests, every time. But let an actor get a parking ticket, and he'll camp out in front of a Polaroid to try to plead for sympathy and understanding.
That's Hollywood.

After I'd spent a year or so on the job in Hollywood, I started finding out just how flimsy these star's egos really are.
It occurred to me that our Entertainment Tonight Segment Producers, who aren’t among our brightest citizens, would suggest (In writing) that we should ask every single actor, "Why did you take this part?' It was the job of the Segment Producer to secure and work out the logistics of interviews with movie stars and other celebrities.
They didn't really care what happened after these interviews were setup. They just wanted volume.”

So there I'd be, asking a perfectly bad, and generally unemployed actor (who'd just done 5 to 10 for armed robbery), "Why did you take this part?

I was always flabbergasted that not one gave me the honest answer. "I needed the money"
No! Not in Hollywood. The answers always boiled down to, "Well I think that at this point in my career, it was the correct artistic direction in which to go". Or "I'm an actor and I felt this was the proper area to spread my acting apparatus.

Huh!! You needed the money. Nobody else would hire you. YOU needed the money. You haven't worked in five years. YOU NEEDED THE MONEY!!!!

You needed the money, so you could buy a bottle of cheap wine, so you could drive lit-up through a red-light district, so you could pick up a two headed, one third alien, one third human, one third cross dressing undercover man-lady of the night, so you could get caught running one of those red lights, so you could get arrested for solicitation and DWI, so you could hold a news conference the next morning, so you could say, "I'm sorry and I won't, except for the part about the cross dressing alien sexually ambiguous prostitute, do it again"!

That's why you took that part.

[ Back ]