August 29, 2005

Attorneys General Killed the Radio Star

posted by Will Wilson @ 12:11 pm

Like a world-class athlete, Eliot Spitzer raised the bar of Attorney General nincompoopery with his radio station Payola investigation. With the gauntlet of AG idiocy thrown, Tennessee’s Paul Summers looked deep within himself and found the heart of a champion.

Mr. Summers warned country singer Gretchen Wilson that displaying a can of Skoal smokeless tobacco during her performance of the song “Skoal Ring” would, by his obscure rationale, violate the Master Settlement Agreement. Summers sent letters to both Ms. Wilson and to the U. S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., makers of Skoal. Bravely disregarding the limitations of office, logic, contract, and constitution, Summers argued that it was his job “to make sure they don’t do that”-Ms. Wilson’s freedom of expression and the lack of any sponsorship agreement between her and U.S. Smokeless notwithstanding.

In that case, who is “they” and what is “that?” AG Watch is left to conclude that “they” means “all artists” and “that” means “displays tobacco.” No artist, accordingly, may use tobacco; the only art-if the line is drawn at art-allowed by a good Attorney General will deny, refute, reject, and altogether dismiss smoking and other nastiness.

Or maybe Summers has a narrower, aesthetic purpose. Perhaps Summers and the other AGs are misunderstood fans of the surreal: “The Piano Has Been Drinking,” one supposes, plays interminably on AG Radio and the NAAG Gallery houses only Magritte.

August 22, 2005

Breakin’ Up (they say it’s hard to do)

posted by Will Wilson @ 2:12 pm

August 19, 2005

Update: Smokey and the Bandits in WSJ

posted by Will Wilson @ 9:58 am

August 9, 2005

Smokey and the Bandits

posted by Will Wilson @ 2:58 pm