Sunday, January 16, 2005

THEY ARE THE WORLD: America's Tsunami benefit telethon passed more-or-less smoothly, and in pretty much the way you'd expect. Madonna shuffled along to a studio to do a live-by-satellite version of 'Imagine', which never seems appropriate when sung by a multi-millionaire, even less so when it's one who's in thrall to a cash-guzzling cult. No religion and no possessions, eh, Maddy? What a crazy would that would be. The current over-sensitive state of the State Censors has lead to a blind panic over John Mayer's apparent swearage: network executives hitched their skirts and climbed atop chairs like the maid in Tom and Jerry at the possibility that rudeness might have crept onto the network - after all, the deaths of thousands and thousands of people might be bad, but nowhere near as awful as the thought of ladies and servants hearing the odd 'fuck'.

Talking of obscenity, the odious Bill O'Reilly popped up - O'Reilly had made some typically pug-headed and ill-considered remarks about how the money probably wouldn't end up going to help tsunami victims on his 'O'Reilly Blows It Out His Ass' programme on the Fox Network. Now, rather than behave like Billo would if he'd been criticised, George Clooney decided not to burn him in effigy, but instead invited him onto the telethon. So it was that Billo turned up to invite people to contribute - not the most startling sudden change of direction he's ever made (that would be when he swapped from saying he was going to sue the Andrea Mackris for accusing of him of sexual harrassment, and then suddenly paid her a huge sum of money to go away instead) but still quite a fascinating demonstration of just how totally inconsistent and poorly thought-out most of the stuff he blurts out to his Fox audience is. We're wondering if he's going to stick to his braying demand on his 6th January show that those taking part keep fully involved:

If George Clooney and other stars go on TV and ask you to give, then they had better be involved all the way down the line. Now I don't expect the celebrities to audit the books, but if problems are brought to their attention, they must help solve those problems.