More American Idol Ethics: Are The Fans Of The Show Really As Unfair And Stupid As The Producers Think They Are? Is Everybody?

KKK video

Here’s a quick summary: American Idol has tossed one of its finalists off the show because a video he posted when he was 12 years old shows him standing next to someone who looks like he’s wearing a KKK hood.

Top-five finalist Caleb Kennedy was therefore treated as a white supremacist racist even though the show almost certainly knows he isn’t. Or perhaps the show didn’t do any investigation, and just took this drastic action because it didn’t want to be attacked by activists and Black Lives Matter, and it was easier to sacrifice an innocnt kid. Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, gave a statement to MSN claiming that the video was taken when Kennedy was 12 and inspired by the horror movie “The Strangers: Prey at Night” “They were imitating those characters. It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan,” she said.

Let’s see: the movie is a 2018 film, so the timeline is right. I guess a 12-year old imitating the guy in the middle might resort to a Klan-style hood:


If the mother was making that up, she really did some impressive research.

Caleb, 16, posted a statement about his departure on Instagram:

“Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise but I am no longer gonna be on ‘American Idol.’ There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”

I wish he had let me draft that statement for him.

So an aspiring singer, only 16 years old, is “cancelled” by a TV show because someone might misinterpret a dumb video he posted when he was 12. This only makes sense in a culture where a Supreme Court nominee with an impeccable record as a judge, father and husband is called a rapist by U.S. Senators after an unsubstantiated tale about what he may have done at a party when he was in high school.

We are losing all sense of fairness, proportion, empathy, perspective and rationality as fear and intimidation rule.

I’m sorry, Caleb. You didn’t make this sick culture, but unless something changes, you are cursed to live in it.

17 thoughts on “More American Idol Ethics: Are The Fans Of The Show Really As Unfair And Stupid As The Producers Think They Are? Is Everybody?

  1. Here’s how Instapundit headlines the story: “American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy out after KKK-themed video surfaces.” That’s nice: pure misrepresentation in order to knock American Idol.

    Conservative media is just as unethical as progressive media; they’ve just been right more often lately.

    • Conservative media only covers a handful of topics, which usually match whatever topics progressive media are covering. Basically, progressive and conservative media sit around arguing with each other.

      There is no “news” anymore. It is just media, and all of it, across the political spectrum, is closer to entertainment tabloid than news.

      Epoch Times is the closest to being an actual news outlet that I can find, and it is a propaganda outlet out of Hong Kong that has an agenda of getting rid of the current Chinese government.

      I’m tired of advocacy and propaganda disguised as news. All of these media can take their agendas and shove it.

      • I don’t know how the local news in your area is, but here in Houston, it is awful. I prefer watching paint dry.

        The local stories are a tiger wandering around a Northwest Houston neighborhood, apparently spirited away by some idiot out on bail for allegedly whacking his girlfriend; a grieving family whose mother was found dead in a local pond after having gone missing two months ago, and Vanessa Guillen’s family demanding justice for their daughter who apparently was killed by her commanding officer at a military base up near Dallas. The coverage is sensationalized and over the top, with wide angle shots of the beautiful news personalities “sharing” the latest details with each other as if they are deeply engaged in conversation. Then, they turn it over to the weather guy who warns us this hurricane season will be the worst ever – EVER!!!! – recorded in the history of humans since we came down from the trees and found out mercury does weird things at different temperatures.

        I want to pour bleach into my eyes.


        • I no longer watch the news because doing so puts my television in danger of being destroyed by flying objects.

  2. I played “The Spirit of Lindbergh School” (my town had Washington School, Lincoln School, and Lindbergh School, go figure) for a play tracing the history of the school when I was 12. It was basically a ghost costume, but it came in 2 parts: a robe and a hood. No one should have mistaken it for anything but a ghost costume, but if those pictures were to resurface now (they won’t, they were never made digital and I’ve made sure they are in a very safe place so they never will be), who knows WHAT would happen?

    • Some assholes will criticize you.

      I have been participating in online discussions, starting with Usenet newsgroups, for over a quarter of a century. I learned early to just scoff at assholes.

      • The rule used to be don’t hire or promote assholes. The rule also used to be don’t listen to assholes. Now assholery seems to be what’s driving the bus.

  3. These are sad times. I guess I should have been cancelled years ago. When I was 12, there was a Confederate Battle Flag alongside a 36-star US flag hanging on my bedroom wall, as I had ancestors who served under each of them. (I was a history nerd from a young age.) Of course, that would be no defense these days. Speaking of childhood diversions, has the “Hang Man” game been cancelled yet?

    • No, but there is a new woke version of Monopoly. Also a history geek, I have collected a huge number of toy soldiers/military miniatures from all time periods. A lot were made in the UK, where the Victorian wars were big. I had some of them set up where one group showed the British fighting the Mahdi and another the Zulus, and so on. My brother asked me when he saw it, half tongue in cheek, “What’s this, the crushing of native peoples?” I responded, also tongue in cheek, that it was history and it happened. These days people wouldn’t ask that tongue in cheek. Thankfully I don’t get many liberal guests.

      That said, I wonder if we history buffs are going to be expected to change our approach to the hobby. Is the historian’s role to tell the facts, to analyze them, or to condemn them for not measuring up? Is it still ok for the guys to gather in the study to sip whisky, shoot pool, and talk about how near-run a thing Waterloo was or how Gettysburg came together by chance?

        • Yes, and WW2 weekend would get awfully dull. That said, one of my best friends, an Aussie, actually, asked recently why it was necessary to do or display things that make others upset, and why couldn’t people focus more on being kind and making sure others were comfortable than on making themselves or their opinions heard. I can’t argue with trying to be kind, but I find it ironic that it seems to always be the white folks, the conservative folks, the traditional folks, etc., who are the ones expected to go along to get along, while the other folks are the ones saying it’s time for us to speak out, make ourselves heard, and say we’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s grossly unfair, but it looks like we may be stuck there for another year.

  4. Is this statement the go-to language for groveling and/or redemption?

    “I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect!”

    That is a common theme when someone finds himself/herself in a pickle. Who writes this stuff? I was kind of hoping mom would tell The Mob to kiss her behind but that would require a bit of social media backbone. I guess the prize of being the next American Idol or America’s Next Super Star is just too great and it’s better to sacrifice your son’s well-being for promises of success and lots of money. Sad.

    That statement about “bettering myself” is simply bone chilling. It smacks of the most depressing four-word sentence in the English language: “He loved Big Brother.” I expect a 16 year to do stuff to better himself or herself. That’s what 16 year olds are supposed to do: They are supposed to make mistakes so they learn things and try to figure out this crazy world. Our son just turned 17. I hope when he is 27 he is not the same person but the grown man we know he can be. I constantly tell him that online is forever and those silly photos of him and his pals doing silly things will be misconstrued in the worst possible light and come back to haunt him, either during his college admissions process or when he goes out in the world to take his chances. He doesn’t have the luxury of relative anonymity that I did at his age. Our social media consisted of a land-line dialed on either a push button or rotary dial phone, where Ms. Prieby called to tell my mom that my friends and I were jumping off her garage roof into our swimming pool and the local Kodak store would have those candid photos developed next Tuesday, Wednesday, tops.


    • I agree, John. That kid’s PR flacks did an A+ job of groveling for him. I’m guessing there are apology templates available on line.

    • “That statement about “bettering myself” is simply bone chilling. It smacks of the most depressing four-word sentence in the English language: ‘He loved Big Brother.’ ”

      Particularly bone-chilling, John, is the thought that he is expected to better himself. How does a 16-year old ‘better himself’ from the 12-year old he used to be who stood next to another kid in a costume that was supposed to be from “The Strangers: Prey at Night” but that looks like a Klan robe? How dare he? Kids aren’t experts at costume making. He was lucky his friend didn’t end up with a Charlie Brown-esque holey robe.

      (That being said, one would have thought an adult might have pointed out the resemblance to a KKK hood. Maybe the kid was just given the benefit of the doubt. Imagine such a thing!)

      There’s no way for him to better himself. It’s already done. Get this kid a time machine so he can go back in time and A) tell his buddy to either get an expert to sew the costume or pick a different outfit B) tell his mom (or whoever took the photo) to back off with the camera or C) run screaming through the streets warning people what the totalitarian future looks like when teenagers are held accountable for poorly-fabricated Halloween costumes they wore when they were younger.

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