November 23, 2009, - 12:48 pm
Consider the NBA and FOX part of Barack Obama’s new kinder-gentler strategy on Iran. Yes, the NewsCorp part of FOX that owns FOX News and runs the FOX owned and operated stations. We’re now so politically correct toward the country that sponsors Hezbollah AND Hamas, denies the Holocaust, and hates America, that you can’t even pronounce the word “Iran” as “Eye-Ran,” without getting suspended. And FOX is getting in on the act.
Yes, They Look Alike: Hamed Haddadi & Sacha Baron Cohen
The broadcast network yanked two FOX NBA analysts, Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith, for pronouncing the words, “Iran” and “Iranian,” incorrectly as “Eye-Ran” and “Eye-Raneeuhn,” after an Iranian L. A. Clippers season ticket holder whined about it to the NBA, FOX, and the Los Angeles Times. It’s ridiculous. Lawler and Smith were referring to Hamed Haddadi, the first Iranian in the NBA (wow, what a momentous “achievement” to celebrate; can’t wait ’til the first Al-Qaeda member joins–perhaps a potential job for KSM after he’s acquitted at his New York trial).
While, for Iranians, the correct pronunciations are “Ee-Rahn” and “Ee-Rahneeuhn” (and that’s how I’ve always pronounced it), the American vernacular has long included the innocent pronunciations by Lawler and Smith. It’s so trifling, petty, and ridiculous. The way they pronounced it is the way many Americans have pronounced the name of the country for decades. Suddenly, this is cause for “offense”? When an expert Palestinian grenade thrower becomes the first Palestinian pitcher in Major League Baseball, are we going to suspend sports broadcasters because they pronounce the name of his terrorist, fictional state as “Pal-uh-styne,” and not the correct Arabic pronunciation, “Fahl-uh-steen”? Quick, someone go arrest “Flock of Seagulls.”
While the two broadcasters also innocently compared Hamed Haddadi him to actor/comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (who is Jewish), Iranian-born NBA fan Arya Towfighi was angry only about the pronunciation of Iran. Guess what, Arya? We don’t speak Farsi in America, and most Americans can’t even properly pronounce English words. And, as reader California Screaming observes about Haddadi,
He is a twin of Borat. PC bullcrap.
Exactly. But, of course, the NBA and FOX gave in, and both Lawler and Smith were suspended (they’re supposed to be back on the air, tonight).
Fox yanked Lawler and analyst Michael Smith from Friday’s Prime Ticket broadcast of the game against the Denver Nuggets after Clippers season-ticket holder Arya Towfighi [DS: VP and General Counsel of Univision] objected to an on-air exchange between the announcers toward the end of Wednesday’s 106-91 Clippers loss at Memphis.
A source with knowledge of Fox’s decision but who was not authorized to speak publicly said Lawler and Smith had “been suspended.” . . .
Lawler and Smith, who have been an on-air team for eight years, had a 40-second exchange about Grizzlies 7-foot-2 center Hamed Haddadi, who is the first Iranian citizen to play in the NBA.
The dialogue included several instances in which Smith and Lawler pronounced Iran as “Eye-ran,” and included the comparison of Haddadi to the fictional character Borat, the creation of comic Sacha Baron Cohen. . . .
Reached after a meeting with Fox officials Friday, Lawler said, “I’m really sorry with the decision. I deeply regret that anything we said offended even one good Clipper fan or anyone else. I am not a bigot.”
The Wednesday exchange began when Haddadi entered the game and Smith said, “Look who’s in.” Lawler responded, “Hamed Haddadi. Where’s he from?”
Smith answered, “He’s the first Iranian to play in the NBA.”
Towfighi, in an e-mail to The Times, the Clippers and Fox Sports executives, took umbrage with the fact that Smith mispronounced Iran and Iranian.
Frankly, I’m sure fans listening to the game wondered who the heck the guy was when 1) they see a rare White guy who isn’t riding the bench in the NBA and is actually playing, and 2) they hear the guy’s name is Hamed Haddadi, and that’s not your usual NBA player name (though Jawan and Hakeem might be). I note that neither Smith nor Lawler noted that Haddadi is Muslim, which he is. They clearly didn’t mean this as an attack and would have made similar comments about Haddadi if he was from some other exotic or unusual locale for an NBA player to emanate from.
I’d bet that if someone had the guts to interview Haddadi about his views toward Jews, HAMAS, Hezbollah, Khomeini, and Ahmadinejad, we’d find some pretty unpleasant answers, more unpleasant–at least to me–than, say, pronouncing a country’s name as “Eye-Ran.” (But no one has the guts, just like no one had the guts to ever ask former NBA star, Muslim Hakeem Alojuwon, about his extremist mosque.)
Um, has everyone forgotten that Iran is our enemy, that the country is developing nuclear weapons and may already have them, that its leader and cadre of Ayatollahs engage in Holocaust denial and want to wipe the Jews off the map? And we’re offended by how two white bread sports guys pronounce Iran?! Hellooooo . . . ?
Frankly, it’s far more offensive that an Iranian NBA player makes a mockery out of our high-cultured art a/k/a the classical hip-hop dance. Keep this in mind: White Iranians Can’t Dance . . .
I’m offended. Time to write letters to the NBA, the LA Times, and FOX and get this insensitive man who can’t dance and has no rhythm off of our NBA broadcasts.
When will the PC (especially to our enemies) end? I guess, no more songs like this. (It might offend someone from you know where.)
Tags: Arya Towfighi, basketball, Borat, Clippers, FOX, Hamed Haddadi, Iran, Iranian, Michael Smith, NBA, PC, political correctness, Ralph Lawler, Sacha Baron Cohen, Univision