Russell Simmons's Cynical Bill O'Reilly Stunt
So a few days ago, successful businessman and avid New Age-weirdo Russell Simmons took upon himself to defend rap from the incursions of successful businessman and avid right wing-psychopath Bill O'Reilly, on where else, the brand-new Huffington Post of hip-hop, Global Grind: "As Editor-In-Chief of Global Grind, I am calling out Bill O' Reilly."
Now whether or not a man who is so far removed from the rap community that he is in fact "friendly and socially connected" to O'Reilly when he's not "calling out" dudes on the internet is the right guy to defend hip-hop from those dudes is more or less immaterial. What did this argument devolve into, in no time at all? Invitations and counter invitations. In the wake of Simmons's bold challenge, O'Reilly did what he usually does and invited him on the show, thus outflanking Simmons in the whose-enterprise-will-get-the-controversy-win? race to the public.
A blustery Russell: "I publicly accept your invitation to appear on the Bill O'Reilly show on FOX News in response to my blog. But Bill, I need you to address the hip-hop community directly...You could benefit from receiving their more passionate responses if you would have a direct communication with them instead of just the "yogic" calm responses that you will get from me. So, I respectfully ask again for a blog from you to the community pointing out your opinions about their impact on society."
And while it's kind of Russell to point out that his yogic response-tactics are the not the customary red-faced shouting to which O'Reilly is accustomed, let's not get carried away here: This is an argument between two incredibly successful men about which one of them will provide free publicity (and, weirdly, free labor in the O'Reilly-blogging case) for the other. For O'Reilly, this is business as usual. For Simmons though--way to convert some genuinely offensive shit into shine for your new start-up. Keep "grinding," man...