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Posted at 7:55 AM ET, 10/ 8/2009

Michael Vick Lands TV Show; Ex Calls Madonna 'Retarded'

By Liz Kelly
Thursday

Headlines: Jon & Kate Gosselin battle over twins' birthday; inspire upcoming "Law & Order" episode... R. Kelly admits he can't read... Naomi Watts named most bankable actress by Forbes... Michael Vick lands BET "docu-series"... Tila Tequila apologizes for suicidal Tweets... Frances Bean Cobain slams Ali Lohan via Twitter... Dina Lohan unveiling "Shoe-han" (I kid you not) line of footwear... Clump of Elvis Presley's hair could fetch $12K at auction... Celebrity photographer Irving Penn dead at 92... Woman claims Dr. Phil trapped her, touched her inappropriately... Randy Quaid's wife sued for defamation.

Crime Watch: Nick Nolte's son arrested for DUI.

Video: Nancy Grace's Jon Gosselin smackdown continues...

More: Roman Polanski/"To Catch a Predator" mash-up... Bring Tracy Morgan to Twitter campaign ad... Dead celebrities turn up on "South Park".

Pix: Katy Perry and Russell Brand stroll Paris streets hand in hand.

Rumor Mill: Is Mariah Carey expecting?... Madonna buying New York apartment for boyfriend Jesus Luz?... David Letterman paramour banned from "Late Show" set?

Not News: Rep. says rumored Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston meeting did not happen... Heidi Klum has not given birth... Elvis's grandson did not land recording contract.

Say What?
"He usually likes everything, but sometimes I'll walk out and he'll say, 'I think that dress might be wearing you. You don't need that.'" -- Katie Holmes describes the level of Tom Cruise's involvement in her clothing choices in the November issue of Elle.

"I still love her. But she's retarded, too." -- Guy Ritchie on his conflicted feelings for ex-wife Madonna in the new issue of Esquire.

Chat Day: Join me at 2 p.m. ET for this week's Jon & Kate-free Celebritology Live chat. Then stick around for The "Lost" Hour at 3 p.m. ET.

Time/Space "Lost": Explore the show with this neato interactive, geocoded timeline.

By Liz Kelly  | October 8, 2009; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Next: VIDEO -- Twits: Kirstie Alley, Slash, Danny DeVito

Comments

Michael Vick - I'm ready to wish him well and hope he really has changed.

After the last few weeks of disgusting celebrity defense of Polanski - who brutally raped a 13-year-old child and then ran away like a coward,

I have a different impression of Vick who, while he did something horrible and cruel, acted like a man, accepted his punishment, and seems to be trying to reform.

Vick comes across as an adult - and makes Polanski and his apologists seem like whiny, bratty perverts who don't care whom they hurt.

Posted by: Amelia5 | October 8, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

i tried to watch the nancy grace clip... i really did... but that shrill awful harping staccato had me scrambling for the stop button inside 20 seconds - i just cant begin the day with that.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | October 8, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"Nick Nolte's son arrested for DUI"

Wow! Nolte's kid is hunky. Hope he gets the help he needs.

"Join me at 2 p.m. ET for this week's Jon & Kate-free Celebritology Live chat."

Proof positive that there is a Gd.

Posted by: jezebel3 | October 8, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I guess the Nolte apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


"I think that dress might be wearing you"? My gaydar is going into overtime with this one.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | October 8, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"Jon & Kate Gosselin battle over twins' birthday" - you'd think they could just look at the birth certificate to figure out when it is.


"R. Kelly admits he can't read." So no more checking your dates' birth certificates to find out if they're of legal age, alright, R.?


"Frances Bean Cobain slams Ali Lohan" - Oooooh! Orphan fight!


Wearing shoes with Dina Lohan's name means stepping in dog poo classes 'em up a bit.


"Clump of Elvis Presley's hair could fetch $12K at auction..." unless it turns out to be nothin' but a hound dog's.


I was once trapped by Dr. Phil, too. Okay, I misplaced the remote for a few minutes and couldn't change the channel. But I know how that woman feels.


Nancy Grace/Jon Gosselin: I think I'd rather watch an equal weight of meat spoil.


"Dead celebrities turn up on "South Park"." If the Mormons can claim their souls after death, why not Parker & Stone?


Katy Perry and Russell Brand: rehearsal for her new single, "I Kissed A Troll."

Posted by: byoolin1 | October 8, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Okay, orphan fight gets my vote for comment of the week.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | October 8, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"Clump of Elvis Presley's hair could fetch $12K at auction..."

Suitable for testing? DNA transfer?

Posted by: jezebel3 | October 8, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I've been busy getting married and honeymooning and I feel so behind on my snark.

You know your life is sh!t when it inspires a "Law & Order" episode. Sheesh.

And I'm pretty sure that ANY touch from Dr. Phil would be inappropriate. Ick nast!

Posted by: jaybbub | October 8, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Happy nuptials, jaybbub!!

Posted by: byoolin1 | October 8, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

First and most important -- Congrats Jaybub. Just don't tell us how happy you are and get matching tatoos.

Amelia, umm, no, Vick did not act like an adult when caught. He did not just make a mistake. His very first NFL check went to bankroll the dog fighting operation. He ran it for SEVEN years. During which time he electrocuted, drownded and slammed to the ground to kill dogs who did not perform well enough to fight in the ring. When caught, he lied about his involvement, not only to the NFL but also to police. Once charged, he tested positive for marijuana while out on bail. He only took the plea deal because the evidence against him was so overwhelming he was looking at a lot longer time in jail. He also only went to jail for running the ring and gambling. He never served one day in jail for killing the dogs, despite finally admitting he personally killed several dogs. No, he is not remorseful for what he did. He is only sorry he got caught.

My reaction to the Michael Vick series -- Oh HE!! No. Not now, not ever. He should never have been reinstated in the NFL, let alone be on tv extolling what a good liar he is, I mean changed man.

You know you are messed up when the child of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain slams you.

Posted by: epjd | October 8, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Well said, amelia; Vick did something awful, but he took his punishment and is trying to get his life back on track. (And I say this as a huge dog lover). Roman Polanski could learn a lot from him. Whether he should be getting his own reality series...mmm, not so much...

And I salute R. Kelly. That's huge. I guess it shows how well illiteracy can be hidden, that he was able to make it as an artist without being able to read.

Hmm, I don't have much to snark on today...oh thank God, it's Nancy Grace! You can always count on her to be a total moron.

(And congratulations, jaybbub!)

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | October 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

byoolin is on today.

Posted by: esocci | October 8, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I'll add my congrats to jaybub. As the late, great Groucho said, "Marriage is a great institution. If you want to spend your life in an institution (wiggle eyebrows.)

OK, maybe Elvis' grandson DIDN'T get a recording contract. That doesn't mean he won't, huh-huh-UH.

Quint, thanks for coming clean about Grace. I don't feel so all alone, now. I thought I was the only one who couldn't stand watching her for anything more than 5 minutes.

Let's put Dr. Phil in for a position as a therapist inside San Quentin. Then he could help all the celebs that are, or will soon be, confined there.

At least Vick paid for his crime. The NFL still hasn't paid for theirs.

The LIN needs to run a talk show about gender identity co-hosted by Wee Tom and Anne Heche. Or a "reality" series.


Posted by: reddragon1 | October 8, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Almost forgot. Guy, the ho can SING!

Posted by: reddragon1 | October 8, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Quint- It looks like Jon was growing a bit of a spine. However, the Smackdown 1 was pretty good.

You go Frances Bean. This should apply to all those celebs "who-are-famous-because-they-have-a-famous-sibling/familymember" (like DINA LOHAN TOO!!)

Dorkus - I thought the same thing when I read the Tom/Katie comment. (Either that, or she's letting him control waay more of her life than a healthy individual should.)

Noltes - now they compare stories over cocktails.

jaybbub - everytime another year rolls by, Mr. Lurker & I think "WOW! we've been together THAT long!" Congratulations and enjoy!!

Posted by: anonymouslurker | October 8, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Somebody needs to inform Levi Johnson that Playgirl magazine is mostly read by gay men. Maybe his new pal Kathy Griffin who is also a friend of the gays convinced him to do it.

Posted by: buffysummers | October 8, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Katie's reply to Tom: "I think the 4" lifts in those shoes might be wearing you. You do need that."

Madonna's response regarding Guy: "I still love him. But I can buy Jesus his own block in Manhattan and Guy will still be poorer than I am."

Elvis' grandson wasn't offered a recording contract -- he was offered a role on a "Dallas" remake as the one who steals Bobby away from Pam. But no worries; it was all a dream anyway. Check the shower if you don't believe me.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | October 8, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Levi Johnson appears to be young and stupid. If Playgirl give him the bucks (pun intended) he'll take it off for them.

Posted by: reddragon1 | October 8, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

So Tom Cruise is the arbiter of fashion in his household? That would explain those man-jeans of his that she wore for weeks on end.

Congrats on the newly wedded bliss jaybub!

Posted by: wadejg | October 8, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"Naomi Watts named most bankable actress by Forbes" -- because when you want reliable entertainment news, above all else, go to Forbes.

Seriously, though, Naomi Watts?! I couldn't pick her out of a lineup. Honestly. I know the name, and she's friends with Nicole Kidman (because all Australians know each other, of course), but, what?

Many of the the others on this list also read like a "Who's Who? Who Cares" list.

2. Jennifer Connelly -- Pretty. Talented. Sincere. Predictable.
3. Rachel McAdams -- No idea who she is.
4. Natalie Portman -- Pretty. Bland. Besides, calling her one of the "most bankable" is like calling Carrie Fisher bankable. It's the special effects, stupid.
5. Meryl Streep -- Volume. Do enough movies and you'll make the list eventually. (Though that's probably not true for Ben Never-Say-No Stiller. Hmm.)
6. Jennifer Aniston -- You gotta be kidding.
7. Halle Berry -- NOW you're talking. Come to me, Jinx.
8. Cate Blanchett -- Dear Lord, who put an actual ACTRESS on this list? Some Forbes proofreader has gotta be in deep doo-doo over this.
9. Anne Hathaway -- She could read the phone book on screen and I'd be there.
10. Hilary Swank -- Eh. Pretty. Bland. etc.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | October 8, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"R. Kelly admits he can't read..."
- And "Adam" at Showbizspy.com can't write. He barely graduated grade school yet a high school teacher says he could be "one of the greatest writers of all time" if he just believes in himself?

"Woman claims Dr. Phil trapped her, touched her inappropriately..."
- Sesame Street must have been on to something when they named their "self-help, psuedo-psychologist" muppet "Dr. Feel."

"He usually likes everything, but sometimes I'll walk out and he'll say, 'I think that dress might be wearing you. You don't need that.'" -- Katie Holmes, in Elle.
- Sounds to me like someone's lobbying to replace Nina Garcia on the judge's panel when Project Runway goes back to LA!

"Rep. says rumored Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston meeting did not happen..."
- I'm not reading that link either, so can someone tell me whether it was Brad or Jennifer who hired Justin Timberlake's granny as their spokesperson? And how were the cookies?

Posted by: mdreader01 | October 8, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Many congratulations, cheers, and joy to you jaybub.

THANK YOU EP! for saying it clearly and unambiguously. Wasn't he supposed to be banned from the NFL? Now, not only is he back, but he's getting his own tv show to boot? Called what - "How to Lie and appear Really Sorry while you are doing it"? or maybe "How to hide your dogfighting ring after prison" or "The many ways to satisfy ones urges to bludgeon dogs to death". Just because the guy was caught and able to appear contrite doesn't mean he is a changed man. Has he ever expressed any remorse for the horrible cruelty and torture he inflicted on the dogs? He makes me sick to my stomach. On top of Polanski and Phillips, it's been a nauseating few weeks. [Maybe Vick should go work for the Anton Scalia and his cronies - http://www.slate.com/id/2231644/]

Posted by: agog1 | October 8, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the good wishes. Who would have thought an overweight, middle-aged woman with three kids, a crappy job, and loads of divorce-debt could find true love? But she did!

We now return to our regularly scheduled snark...

Posted by: jaybbub | October 8, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Never thought I'd defend Wee Tom, but someone has to tell her when she looks ridiculous. I'm guessing that when she went out in that homespun pantsuit (remember that?) that Tom was on the opposite coast . She looks great on the Elle cover however.

I declare Guy Ritchie the winner of the backhanded compliment contest. Beyonce wins an honorable mention for her defend the jerk/offend the victim you previously defended performance.

Posted by: hodie | October 8, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to you, jaybub! So glad for you!

I'm with ep and agog on the Vick story. Not convinced he has redeemed himself. I mentioned before my sister's dog was stolen for a baiter dog for one of those Carolina dog fighting ring, and I guess I still hold a grudge! Poor, poor, Dixie Dog.

Posted by: hodie | October 8, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Liz! How could you miss including the Levi Johnston posing for Playgirl link? ;-)

Just kiddin'. Ewwwwww.

Posted by: Californian11 | October 8, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Amen re. Vick. Like Randy "Duke" Cunningham, he's not sorry he did it, he's only sorry he got caught. But then nothing creates such a visceral reaction in me as animal cruelty. I had to turn off the NPR report on the Supreme Court debating that issue.

Posted by: Californian11 | October 8, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The Cobain/Lohan link mistakenly reports Ali Lohan's age as 45, but after looking at the picture, I thought maybe there was another older Ali Lohan that Cobain was twitting about. It's too sad when a 15/16 year old looks like one of the Real Housewives. Seriously - it's too sad.

Posted by: mat00 | October 8, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Of course, now I get it... the 45 was intentional. How could I have missed the snark?

Posted by: mat00 | October 8, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

jaybbub
Who would have thought an overweight, middle-aged woman with three kids, a crappy job, and loads of divorce-debt could find true love? But she did!

In the virtual world that is Lizard Island, you are a goddess whose inner beauty radiates. We Lizards realize how lucky your new Spousal Unit is to have found you! Warm wishes for a happy life together.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | October 8, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Californian, You're not alone on this. I too had to turn off those same NPR (and PBS) news reports, after I accidentally heard the first few words of the stomach-churning details. Not that I'm criticizing the media for reporting them, mind you. It's just that I know my own limits and occasionally need to hit the "Off" switch.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | October 8, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Nosy, that's why I prefer the Island to the "real world". You made my day.

Posted by: jaybbub | October 8, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

But Vick paid the penalty for what he did. He pled guilty, and went to PRISON. Should all convicts who serve their time forfiet their future careers - esp when he career amounts to being physcially agressive?

It's not like he wants a career as a day care worker, where he would need to be gentle and kind. I think it's fine he wants to go back to tackling, etc.

POLANSKI, on the other hand, viciously raped a PERSON (not a dog) and yet is being defended by the very people who crucified Vick PLUS Polanski ran away like a pathetic coward.

So I respect the way Vick is acting NOW (even if he did horrible acts) but I cannot understand defending Polanski.

Posted by: Amelia5 | October 8, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Join me at 2 p.m. ET for this week's Jon & Kate-free Celebritology Live chat."

Didn't happen. What's the deal, Liz?

Posted by: jezebel3 | October 8, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Jaybub!

Glad I'm not the only one who can't bear the debate in the Supreme Court right now. Even reading the articles about it makes my blood pressure go up.

Sorry Amelia, I'm with the others on this. (apologies in advance for those who've heard me say this ad nauseum) Not for nothing have they found that pretty much every serial killer has had a history of torturing animals (which isn't to say every animal torturer is a serial killer of course). It takes a seriously sick sociopathic personality to torture animals to death and a stint in prison doesn't fix that. He11, years of therapy wouldn't fix that. His news conference "apology" back before prison was a pathetic performance scripted by his reps. His recent sixty minutes appearance was almost chilling to me--I got NOTHING from it except rote and it seemed to me his remorse was about what his hobby did to his career. So no, not only do I not respect what Vick is doing now (he has no other choice than to appear remorseful), but I wouldn't want to be anywhere near him ever. And I used to be a fan.

Having said all that, I totally agree with you re Polanski and his defenders. Just comparisons with Vick don't work at all for me. They're both depraved individuals.

Posted by: sorcerers_cat | October 8, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

But, Amelia, he didn't do his time for killing the dogs. He only served ONE count of conspiracy to operate an dog fighting ring across state lines. For which he got --- wait for it ---- LESS THAN TWO YEARS.

He has not expressed remorse. He has said he let other people lead him into places he shouldn't have gone. Yeah, the guy who bought the property and financed the entire operation was the victim of bad people. Without Vick there would be no dog fighting ring.

Furthermore, he didn't stop because he realized it was wrong. He stopped because he got caught and went to jail. But for his stupid cousin getting busted for drugs which led to the search warrant of the property, he would still be fighting dogs today.

Should he be out of work completely? No. But, he should not have a high-profile job being made millions in the NFL and then get a tv show.

Posted by: epjd | October 8, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Amelia - I can see what you are saying and I think we can be in 'violent agreement' here. Polanski is a wretch of a being and those who defend him stun me, their justification makes absolutely no sense.

However, that is entirely separate from Vick and the two things don't warrant comparison.

Interestingly, for me, the ability of the victim to move on from what Polanski did - to understand it wasn't 'her fault' to see what he did was wrong and to recover from it, while not easy to bear is somewhat of a relief.

Vick did something, paid the price for it, but that does not mean he's by any means regretful or reformed.

It's hard for me to see the updates on those dogs that they rescued from him. To understand on some level that their pain and torture went on and on and on. To know how they were forced to be something they are not naturally inclined to be, by the very being who had ultimate control over them and from whom they sought affirmation and affection. To see how much they simply want to give and receive love and affection and how they don't have the capacity to understand why they were treated the way they were. Recovery for them doesn't involve understanding. It requires that, despite everything that had been done to them, that they believe/trust that this human from whom the so desperately want love and affection, might just give it to them, instead of the pain they have been conditioned to expect. It's kind of hard to get past.

I am probably not making sense, I know - I can't stand that there are people so lacking in empathy that they can cause pain to other beings knowingly, with pleasure and for some barbaric desire for entertainment.

I said it when that beautiful horse died during the triple crown, we've broken faith with the animals that we offered partnership to back during the early days of man's evolution from cave dweller. Shame on us that animals treat each other and humans more humanely than we do.

Posted by: LTL1 | October 8, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Ps congrats to Jaybub and Mrbub.

Posted by: LTL1 | October 8, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

ep - I still think your objection is with the penalty that the prosecutor (or judge) decided to go for with Vick. He did something heinous, but for whatever reason, the penalty did not seem to fit the crime - but that's a prosecution problem, not something that made Vick's crimes worse, or even allowed him to escape punishment. He took the punishment that was given.

The fact that being an NFL player is a high-profile job for which he is paid a fortune is again, not something for which he should be condemned. If you (and fans, etc.) don't think a felon should be a football player, then don't watch him play. And don't watch his TV show. But I don't have a problem with a felon, who serves his time, to come out of prison and pursue his career since he is at no risk of hurting dogs while playing football. I would feel differently if he were a convicted child molester who wanted to be a day care worker.

My bigger point was that the same people who want Vick punished more (despite the fact he's been punished) at the same time want to forgive Polanski - for both his horrific crime AND for running away like a coward for all these years.

Posted by: Amelia5 | October 8, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Lizards may wish to look into the most recent Weingarten discussion, in which Gene says he supports the free speech argument in favor of permitting circulation of animal cruelty videos, but is against child pornography. Gene claims that banning animal cruelty videos starts us down a slippery slope in which the government can ban all sorts of communication as having no intrinsic social value.

Excuse me, Gene, but we already started down that slope when the courts ruled that the child pornography was not protected communication. If you are scared about "going down the slippery slope," then initiate litigation to roll back the court ruling.

Should child pornography be banned?
Absolutely.
For the same reasons that animal cruelty videos should be banned.
They both capitalize on the brutalization of sentient, powerless individuals.

I have faith in karma. If Michael Vick does not completely turn around his life, particularly the crowd with whom he hangs, some day in the future we'll read about story about how Michael Vick was found, face down, in the gutter, with a bullet in the back of his head.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | October 8, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"MIAMI — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth took full responsibility for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida and began serving a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter."

Michael Vick spent more time in prison than this clown will. Anyone planning to boycott when he's reinstated?

For that matter:
"n 1977, Mr. Polanski pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault of a minor. He drugged and had sex with a 13-year old girl. A Los Angeles judge sent him to 42 days in prison while he had psychological testing – and waited for his sentence. On the eve of his actual sentencing, Polanski heard from his lawyers that the judge was considering sentencing him to another 48 days in prison – maybe longer. So, Polanski jumped bail, and fled to France."

Roman Polanski has already spent more time in jail than Stallworth will.

Whether you like it or not, Vick served his time and paid his debt to society. You can't say he's only sorry he got caught, you don't know him. Neither do I. I'm not even a fan of his. But he lost every thing he had and went to prison, which is more than a lot of people who have done a whole lot worse can say. Let's see what he does now before we condemn him.

Posted by: onlytheshadowknows1 | October 8, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Sas - this one baffled me too - not Gene (I wasn't aware of his position) but how free speech can be used to protect illegal acts. Wasn't the basis of banning child pornography that it was showing (and perpetrating or implicitly condoning) an illegal act not unlike snuff films showing murder? Am I confused, is animal cruelty is legal?

Ep talk to me here...

The root of it all gets me back to trying to understand how can one want to see or perpetrate pain on another being?

If I see someone or something in pain, I hurt for them. I couldn't imagine deliberately causing pain or suffering. I get that on some level folks disconnect, to eat meat to wear leather, etc. But to physically be the instrument of that pain, to be present and condoning when that suffering occurs, I just can't fathom.

I don't even think I could watch it if they tried to do to Vick what he did to those dogs. As much as I am angry at what he did, I couldn't wish that equivilent pain on him.

Posted by: LTL1 | October 8, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Sas, if such karma as you describe were to occur, it would be "ripped from the headlines" at warp-speed for an epi of L&O.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | October 8, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

You guys who want to continue condemning Vick don't seem to understand how crime and punishment works in this country. If you break the law, you pay the penalty.

In Vick's case, the prosecution chose to go after him in a way that resulted in him spending two years of his life in jail. Now that he has paid for his crime in the form of time in jail, the situation is behind him.

Continuing to punish him because you believe he hasn't shown remorse is ridiculous. By that logic, anyone who has evil thoughts - but doesn't act on them - deserves to be condemned as well. He has done nothing since serving time to warrant a second round of punishment.

I wouldn't want to hang out with this guy, and a lot of companies wouldn't hire a guy with that kind of criminal history. You may also be right that he'll relapse and either kill animals or get himself killed. The point is, you don't get to make any decisions about anything in the absence of him repeating his actions.

Posted by: esocci | October 8, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"My bigger point was that the same people who want Vick punished more (despite the fact he's been punished) at the same time want to forgive Polanski - for both his horrific crime AND for running away like a coward for all these years."

Who though? Sort of an outside jumping in here, but I don't really see the same people doing that, though I could be missing it.


It seems that people are disagreeing with you only to the extent that you are saying that Vick acted honorably by pleading guilty and doing his time. It was a plea bargain that allowed him to avoid much harsher penalties, and it was only after lying to try to avoid penalties in the first place. I, for one, would hope that our definition of good behavior for celebrities hasn't sunk so low that not becoming a fugitive from justice is enough. That he may not have been quite as much of a coward as Polanski - or, just as likely, didn't have anywhere to run to and live comfortably without fear of extradition - doesn't really mean that he was good or acted "like a man" (assuming you meant that in an honorable fashion).

Posted by: LizaBean | October 8, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Liz. can we have a good Friday List tomorrow? Something that'll keep all the lawyers from getting riled up? Please?

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | October 8, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Well said, sas. Amelia, many of us who don't believe Mr Vick is at all contrite for torturing animals ALSO want to see Polanski have consequence for his crime [it would be nice to see him have consequence for his predation, but if all they can get him on is jumping bail (escape, whatever the term is), then by all means get him on that].
Being paid millions once again to play football DOES put Vick in a good position to start and/or participate in dog-fighting again; he knows now he just has to figure out how to keep it better hidden. THAT is why we don't want him to get paid so much. Getting a TV show and getting MORE visibility, and viability just supports that. Do you honestly think he feels bad about torturing or killing dogs, or has 'learned' anything remotely like how awful it is or why not to do it?
There is a very long way from "he served his time now leave him be, live and let live" to "pay him millions of dollars and give him a TV show too so he can make millions more".

Posted by: agog1 | October 8, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

You think he needs millions of dollars to kill more dogs?

What? Are you serious?

If Vick was such a pathological dog killer, he'd do it whether he was working at McDonald's or playing for the Eagles. He'd find other dogfighting rings. I don't see how his profession plays a role in this, and you haven't explained that either. It seems like what you really want want is to lock him up and throw away the key. I'm sorry, but that's not how this country operates.

Posted by: esocci | October 8, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"In Vick's case, the prosecution chose to go after him in a way that resulted in him spending two years of his life in jail. Now that he has paid for his crime in the form of time in jail, the situation is behind him.

"Continuing to punish him because you believe he hasn't shown remorse is ridiculous. .... The point is, you don't get to make any decisions about anything in the absence of him repeating his actions."

We absolutely can make decisions about whether we support him as a football player and as a television personality. He can't be criminally prosecuted again; it doesn't mean that we all are obliged to pretend nothing happened.

Personally, I don't really have an opinion about him playing football or being on TV, mostly because I don't see either of those roles as being worthy of public trust. But for people who do see celebrities and sports figures as prominent public figures with public influence, it's completely valid to ask whether we want to continue to support them in that role after such a gross display of cruelty and inhumanity.

Posted by: LizaBean | October 8, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't ask anyone to support him, but to suggest that he is no longer entitled to make a certain degree of money (where is the cut-off exactly?) because he hasn't been remorseful enough is silly.

What I find most perplexing in all of this is that people are furious at Vick for once again being in line to make millions. It's the NFL who chose to reinstate him and allow him to play. It's the TV networks who are giving him the show. How is any of this Vick's fault?

On top of all this, football is what Vick does. There is a very fine line between being a rich athlete and an out-of-work, unemployed bum. They spend their lives playing football and many don't graduate college (if you got offered your dream job for millions of dollars after your junior year, would really have graduated?). It's not like Vick can just go take a job in an office somewhere but chose not to because it doesn't pay well enough. What skills does he have that the companies you all work for would hire him? I can't blame him at all for going back to the NFL.

Posted by: esocci | October 8, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The HSUS is actively working with Michael Vick in a community outreach program to discourage "informal" dogfighting. The HSUS contends that the hard corps dogfighting rings in which Vick participated will go even further underground and will not be deterred by any community outreach effort. The most that can be hoped is that the community outreach programs in which Vick participated with the HSUS will encourage an anti-dogfighting mind-set that will lead to a decrease in informal dogfighting and an increased number of tips leading to prosecution of the hard corps dogfighters.

If Vick makes a difference in this regard, then that, too, is karma.

Earlier today, I was visiting a client only a few block from where the Dalai Lama was giving a lecture. So I guess that I took in the karma.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | October 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

esocci:

Word.

It's not Michael Vick.
It's the NFL.
It's about putting paying butts in seats.
If the NFL thought that having the players fight each other to the death would put more paying butts in seats, and doing so would not violate any laws, the NFL would be airing death matches every Sunday.

Michael Vick knows how to play football. That's his career. It's up to you whether you want to reward the NFL for paying Michael Vick big bucks to continue his career. Vick's creditors are happy with the arrangement, because that's the only way Vick can pay his debts under his bankruptcy agreement.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | October 8, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

esocci makes some interesting points, how is it that when you do a side by side comparison of some crimes that our visceral reaction can be so inconsistent? Is it the publicity? Is there some nuance to the specific crime? Is it that individual? I talked a little bit above about why the dog fighting hits me so hard. But is my relative outrage over various crimes balanced?

To me in a perfect world, the NFL would have said 'you know what, we need to take a stand here, for the greater good of what football is supposed to represent and the impact it has on our collective society. As a result - the following civil/federal violations will not be tolerated' and apply that rule across the board. Fair, equal and letting folks know that beyond the legal consequences there are societal consequences for our behavior.

In a perfect world, the arts community would have said 'you know what, we need to take a stand here, for the greater good of what the arts are supposed to represent and the impact they have on our collective society. As a result - the following civil/federal violations will not be tolerated' and apply it equally and fairly.

We forgive and forget our supposed heros because we want what they have, fame, money and power. It's our own fault, we continue to watch football and we continue to watch the movies of people who condone a rapist on the basis that he's really good at what he does.

Meh - it is time to go home... and think happy thoughts about how Karma may possibly work... please let it be so...

Posted by: LTL1 | October 8, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm sending out a head-bump to a big, hairy cryptid.

Redemption is a funny thing.

It is possible in this country to go to prison for crushing someone's skill with the heel of your boot, then come out and make millions of dollars promoting boxing matches.

Just ask Don King.

Posted by: mdreader01 | October 8, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Nancy Grace/Jon Gosselin: I think I'd rather watch an equal weight of meat spoil."

----Lizard Island Laureate Byoolin

-----------------------------------------
Byoo' are you trying to tell us that there's a difference?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | October 8, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

" how is it that when you do a side by side comparison of some crimes that our visceral reaction can be so inconsistent?"

I've been thinking about this too. I think there are a couple of things that get people so riled up in this case and Polanski's. First, is the sense that you noted so eloquently above that they are going after the most powerless victims, and they are crimes of deliberate cruelty. I think there is a sense in many of us that it takes a certain depravity to torture animals or rape children, that is different in both degree and nature from other crimes.

I think the other aspect is that there is a sense of entitlement or arrogance in expecting to be able to go back to being (or continue to be) in a place of status, wealth and privilege after commiting a crime like this. I agree with esocci that people should be angry at the NFL and the TV networks, but I also doubt that Vick is a passive participant - I would hazard a guess that he pitched himself to both organizations.

Rightly or wrongly, most ex-cons don't get to go back to the life they had before the committed the crime. Most criminals don't get to flee and live without punishment for decades. I think it bugs people that these two seem to claim some sort of special place after committing such particularly heinous crimes.

Given that Vick did serve his time, I see esocci's point that it's not necessarily fair to expect him to live a life of contrition forever after, and yet I can also see why it rankles people that he would go on to be a star of sorts.

Posted by: LizaBean | October 8, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Sas, I once spotted a bumper sticker that read, "My karma ran over your dogma." Double entendre, anyone?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | October 8, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Nosy, I have fun taking in the fish emblem wars.

http://pnglanguages.org/silewp/2009/silewp2009-002.pdf

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | October 8, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Nick Nolte's son is SIGNIFICANTLY better looking than his father ever was. Yowza.

Posted by: lolyla | October 8, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Who's letting all the wordy people post today?

Posted by: lolyla | October 8, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Who's letting all the wordy people post today?

Posted by: lolyla

-----------------------------------------
We're refraining from much of our usual cut and past jobs, just to annoy you.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | October 8, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Sas, re the fish emblem wars, I recall once reading that the purveyors of the evolution fish are HQ'd in Colorado Springs, ironically (or not) also home to so many religious fundies.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | October 9, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

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