Mein Gott, I haven't heard someone actually use the word "jigaboo" in, like, 25 years. But an anchor-blatherer at the Fox station in Cleveland just did this morning.
Like Kristi Capel on Fox 8, I was stunned at the vocal chops of Lady Gaga last night as I watched her Sound of Music medley on the Oscars. Like Kristi Capel, Mrs. Favog and I were thinking "Who the hell knew?"
We kind of had an inkling from her recent duet album with Tony Bennett. But apart from that and last night's TV performance, it's not like that phenomenal voice is evident from the music she usually performs.
But unlike Kristi Capel on the Cleveland airwaves, "jigaboo music" is not how we would choose to characterize Lady Gaga's normal fare. Then again, we're not perky, young TV blatherers . . . and we're old enough to know what the word means. We also are old enough to have sense enough not to use it.
IT'S LIKE Capel is the much younger, perkier reincarnation of the elderly Omaha neighbor who last used that word in my presence when describing folks who have more melanin in their skin than I do. Or he did. And I recall thinking at the time, more than two decades ago, "Who the hell uses that word anymore?"
It was almost more amusing than it was offensive, though offensive it was -- and is.
But wait, there's more. At least Mr. O'Hara didn't use the word when speaking to an African-American man, WJW co-anchor Wayne Dawson. Capel did. Behold the perils of TV-news "happy talk" as transcribed by Raw Story:
“It’s hard to really hear her voice with all the jigaboo music — whatever you want to call it — jigaboo!” Capel opined.I . . . I . . . I . . . uh . . . ummmmmmm . . . holy crap!
“She has a nice voice,” Dawson, who is black, said after a nervous laugh.
“She has a gorgeous voice,” Capel agreed. “I never knew. Very nice.”
As God is my witness, I dearly wish Dawson had gone all Richard Pryor on her ass.
I REALLY, really do.
That said, I really cannot think of a better example of the "twit problem" American TV news has gotten itself into since the days of Ron Burgundy. Is it really too much to ask that the folks who purport of inform us on "TV news" actually, you know, know something?
This was Capel's response when viewers began to scream bloody murder. Really.
@John_Ferguson_ @fox8news I apologize if I offended you, I had no idea it was a word or what it meant. Thank you for watching.
— Kristi Capel (@Kristi_Capel) February 23, 2015
FURTHERMORE -- and this is a radical, radical thought, I know -- is it too much to ask that if television journalists have no idea what they're saying, they just say nothing at all?
We might all enjoy the peace and quiet.