AS I SEE IT - 12/21/2000
This past week, L. Brent Bozell decided to go after Mick Foley and his book
In Bozell's latest column, located in full at through this link, the self-appointed moral arbiter of our time, L. Brent Bozell proceeds to go after Mick Foley and his Christmas Chaos book.
Here is an excerpt:
"...World Wrestling Federation personality Mick (Mankind) Foley wrote a best-selling 1999 autobiography, Have a Nice Day! Now comes the illustrated childrens tale Mick Foleys Christmas Chaos...
You have to wonder what kind of demented parent would consider buying such garbage for his or her child. Its not as if the buyer would be surprised by the contents. The front cover depicts a naked elf, posed so that his private parts are (barely) hidden.
On the back cover youll find an artists rendering of characters like the WWF stars X-Pac, best known for gesturing toward his crotch and wearing a shirt that reads Suck It; Val Venis, whose persona is that of an ex-porn star; and the Godfather, whose persona was that of a pimp frequently accompanied by scantily clad hos?
Once you actually start the book, early on you read that one elf is teaching his fellow elves to use obscene language, while the naked elf moons Santa Claus. On the next page, the elves are in front of a television set, watching the WWF show Raw Is War. Is Foley suggesting a cause-and-effect connection between the WWFs programming and real-life obnoxious behavior? Worse: Could he possibly be proud of this? Amazingly, the only logical conclusions one can reach are: Yes and yes.
The Christmas story continues. Rudolph is beaten up by his fellow reindeer, who resent his fame and wealth (he owns the copyright to, yes, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer). Eventually, however, Santa, the elves, and the reindeer reconcile after Santa receives a selfless, heartwarming letter from a young burn victim who reminds everyone of the true meaning of Christmas..."
Demented parent? Who in the hell is L. Brent Bozell to refer to anyone as a demented parent?
I first met Mick Foley back in 1991. Mick Foley loves his wife and his children. He and his wife Colette are about to have another child any day now. Someone should inform Mr. Bozell that Foley really loves them, it isn't part of his "character".
And by the way, Mr. Bozell...the boy in the Christmas Chaos book, is a real boy, a burn victim, who was made very happy by meeting his hero, Mick Foley. Here is the story of that little boy and what Mick Foley did for him from the AS I SEE IT column of November 12, 1999:
"....Do you think wrestlers, or more importantly, the real life people behind the wrestlers can't be heroes?
Then read the story from the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, NH. Read about Mick Foley and what he did for a three year old child.
What I read in the Bill Murphy's article, entitled Wrestler inspires recovery, in the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune didn't really surprise me. Mick has his own children, Dewey and Noelle. But this goes well beyond just the actions of a parent. I've seen Mick Foley do it for years with Jon Owen, a young man who's a friend of mine, [and has been] mentioned in 'Have a Nice Day'; and with countless others.
I've seen Mick Foley be a real-life hero. Read on...
'Like any 3-year-old boy with an ounce of sense, Antonio Freitas of Lawrence knew exactly what to do with the mask he was told to wear. Yank it off and toss it aside when it became annoying. Ditch it when the enforcer, his mom, wasn't around.
The thing was, the mask was supposed to hold in heat and help heal severe burns he suffered when he spilled a crockpot of boiling oil over his head, face, back and arms.
But his mother and her boyfriend came up with a solution. They convinced him to wear the mask more often by pointing out that his hero, the wildly popular professional wrestler Mankind, was a fellow mask-wearer.
The connection between the two has grown far stronger than the simple fact that they both wear masks. When Mankind found out about the Lawrence boy, he made an effort to meet with him and treated him as a VIP at a wrestling event at the Fleet Center in Boston last night.
Seeds of the visit were sowed last month when Chris L.P. Guilmette, boyfriend of Antonio's mother, took Antonio to Somerville to get Mankind's autograph. But a long line probably would have kept Antonio from seeing his hero. Told of the boy's injuries, Mankind -- also known as Mick Foley -- told the boy and Mr. Guilmette to come behind the line. He plopped Antonio onto his lap and talked to him. Next time he performed in the area, he told Antonio, he could come as his guest.
Mankind, one of the top three stars in the stable of World Wrestling Federation combatants, called this week, telling Antonio and his mother, Rhonda Gaudreau, he wanted them to be guests at the show in Worcester that night or in Boston last night. Mr. Foley left tickets and backstage passes for Antonio and his family, and the meeting of the boy and giant took place last night.
Antonio was 2 when he pulled over a crockpot, full of oil for cooking french fries, onto his head while in his grandmother's pantry in Methuen May 27, 1998. He nearly didn't make it. His heart and breathing stopped a few days later at Shriner's Hospital in Boston, but he was revived.
He was burned on his face, back and arms. But the burns on his head were the worst. The burns were so severe hair cannot grow in several patches. He may have hair transplant surgery. If it is done at all, surgery on his face and areas other than his scalp will be done in two or three years, Mr. Guilmette said.
Antonio balked at wearing the mask. "He'd always freak out," said Mr. Guilmette. Mr. Guilmette and Ms. Gaudreau would try to cajole the boy into wearing the mask by talking about Mankind.
"Seeing him in the mask made Antonio feel better," Mr. Guilmette said. He said, "If Mankind wears a mask, maybe I should."
Mr. Foley downplayed his willingness to give the boy a thrill. "Every once in a while you can do something for someone," he said. "And it's really not costing me much. If I can help this guy in any way, it's very flattering. It made me feel good." '
It was additionally pointed out by Internet wrestling columnist CJ Marsciano in a recent column critical of Bozell:
"....Never mind that Foley not only dedicated the book to Antonio, but also made the young boy - or rather a letter attributed to him and sent to Santa Claus - an important part of the story. Never mind that Foley, Lawler, and Regan Books are donating proceeds from the book to the Shriner's Hospital For Children, described on Christmas Chaos' copyright page as 'a network of twenty-two hospitals that provide expert, no cost orthopedic and burn care to children under eighteen.'"
Indeed, never mind that far more good came out of that gesture by Mick Foley, Jerry Lawler and the others responsible for the "Christmas Chaos" book than anything ever done by the extremist political group called the "Parents Television Council". But we wouldn't want the truth of that fact to get in the way of a Bozellian rant, would we?
I know that L. Brent Bozell and his staff read my Wrestling Fans Against Censorship PTC Watch updates. I've heard from them, as have others involved with WFAC on more than a few occasions.
So let me say a thing or two to this alleged human being.
L. Brent Bozell, who in the hell are you to criticize someone who give a child that joy?
Who in the hell are you to set yourself as some sort of moral authority?
Considering that you have lied about your political affiliations... hidden behind the cloak of the pay and pray TV preachers of the religious right... found it perfectly acceptable to mask a militantly extremist political agenda behind the illusion that you are only concerned about the welfare of children.... you dare to insult a man like Mick Foley who acts as a father and, more importantly, as a daddy?
It's well known that your father wrote for the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Your father's employer, Senator Joseph McCarthy, met his political demise in the so-called Army-McCarthy hearings before the well-respected attorney of the US Army, Joseph Welch. Welch devastated McCarthy in response to one last McCarthy attack on a member of Welch's staff with these words:
"Until this moment.... I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.... You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
Mr. Bozell, after this attack on a decent man like Mick Foley, the same can be said about you.
For all of you who are reading this, take some time to let L. Brent Bozell and his employees know what you think of the dishonorable way he has conducted himself in this matter.
Here are the snail mail addresses and telephone numbers of the two PTC offices:
Parents Television Council
600 Wilshire Boulevard #700
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 629-9255
Mr. L. Brent Bozell
Media Resource Center/Parents Television Council
325 South Patrick Street/Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
Main telephone numbers: (703) 683-5004
Main fax number: (703) 683-9736
Pamela Groover and Anne Golden (703) 683-5004
Kelly Dwyer at (703) 683-9733 or (800) 672-1423
The Parents Television Council can also be contacted via e-mail through the following addresses:
As always, please communicate your thoughts to the staff of the Media Research Center and Parents Television Council in a literate and respectful manner.
Let me close by wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a season full of special times for all and all those you love. And let's hope the coming year opens the hearts of those like Mr. Bozell who seem so filled with hate.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)