Not content with trying to provoke gays, Drudge also attempted to incite abortion foes to lobby against Rock with the headline "Shock Oscar host Chris Rock recently declared that abortion in the United States is a "beautiful thing!" He then cited a joke Rock has used since the early '90s:
"Abortion, it's beautiful, it's beautiful abortion is legal. I love going to an abortion rally to pick up women, cause you know they are [having sex]."
Note: This is an unscientific survey of washingtonpost.com readers.
But many abortion foes didn't seem to be biting, either. One antiabortion blogger said it's "a mistake to treat a comedian doing standup like he's a senator doing a stump speech." Dorinda Bordlee, an attorney for Americans United for Life, told LifeNews.com that she'd seen the routine and understood it was a parody. Rock, she explained, used satire "to show that abortion on demand has made women more into sex objects than we've ever been."
"Funny" is highly subjective; not everyone gets every joke. Certain Washingtonians still deplore Rock's jokes a decade ago about Marion Barry's drug use; others still rankle at his interpretation of the difference between "black people" and those whom he used a hated expletive to describe.
Not everyone can "lighten up," as Oscar producer Gil Cates suggested Tuesday. Added Cates: "What [Rock is] saying is for the purpose of making us laugh."
Drudge probably wasn't laughing in 2003, when Rock blasted him for reporting that DreamWorks honchos were pressuring the comic to refrain from criticizing President Bush before Rock's comedy "Head of State" hit theaters. Rock's response:
" . . . If I see Matt Drudge, I'm going to take my red-blooded American foot and put it up his un-American [butt] for trying to disrupt the opening of my movie."
Was Drudge carrying a grudge? Or did he inadvertently give the academy just what it paid for when it hired Rock: a harmless, ratings-boosting "controversy"?
Yesterday's Drudge Report, headlined "CHRIS ROCK VOWS TO KEEP THE CURSES OUT OF OSCARS," forgoes the shock element and reveals that Rock has told Ed Bradley of "60 Minutes" that he welcomes ABC's cuss-word-obliterating time delay as a "safety net." Said Rock, "You welcome the net."
This Oscar fan welcomes being reminded that in these bitterly divided, "red-state, blue-state, me-state, you-state" times, Americans on both sides still have a sense of humor.
Now that's shocking.