The other night Christine and I were getting ready to watch a videotape. While we were setting things up, American Idol was on. Simon and the other judges were mercilessly tearing apart a series of hopefuls, driving one sensitive-looking guy to tears. I’m the last person to say America needs any more “idols,” at least of the performing type. But now I see another reason for the popularity of Idol. It is the attraction of bloodsport, like watching the Romans feed the Christians to the lions.
Of course, many of the contestants have no business performing, being of limited talent at best. But they are baited by promises of fame and fortune into appearing on the show, and Simon and Co. evidently delight in shredding these women and men, made in the image of God, before a national audience.
And it seems no one cares about this heavily hyped brutality. But I do have an ally, one Rosie O’Donnell, who also finds the show disgusting. Normally someone I disagree with 99 percent of the time, today she is right on the mark in decrying the cruelty of Idol. Thank you, Rosie. Keep preaching it.