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Nelson Mandela: A life in pictures
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
When an explicit photo of Anthony Weiner’s purported package hit the Web Wednesday after Andrew Breitbart shared it on the Opie and Anthony show, America was stunned to learn that Opie and Anthony are still relevant. It turns out the only thing more persistent that Weiner’s dong is the allure of the shock jock.
Gregg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia have never had the King of All Media cachet of Howard Stern, but like a slew of other radio bad boys, their infantile shtick has proved surprisingly durable. The duo, who’ve been coasting on their formulaic combination of “outrageous stunts, biting impressions and guest nutjobs” for 16 years now, have been fired, fined and canceled for their behavior — yet still remain persistently on the air. Among their greatest hits: a 1998 April Fool’s stunt in which they hilariously reported mayor of Boston Tom Menino had been killed in a car accident, a 2002 incident in which they encouraged a couple to have sex in St. Patrick’s cathedral and broadcast their activities (a prank that cost them their nationally syndicated show), and a 2006 eggnog drinking contest that ended, predictably, with a contestant vomiting into somebody’s mouth. (To their credit, though, they did get Louis C.K. to ask Donald Rumsfeld if he was a lizard from outer space.)
There’s something both blatantly offensive and quaintly old-fashioned about the shock jock, and about the idea that men like Don Imus, who in 2007 referred to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as a pack of “nappy-headed hos” or Bubba the Love Sponge, who said after last year’s devastating earthquake in Haiti that the county “ought to tap the hooker market to get things back on track … Maybe half a million Haitians that will end up not being around tomorrow … it’s a cleanse,” are still gainfully employed.
You’d think after decades of FCC baiting and outrage inciting, the pee pee poo poo radio format would by now seem as dated as a 30-year-old copy of “Truly Tasteless Jokes,” and as boring as, well, the jocks themselves. But it turns out that for a certain audience, sexist gags comparing women to toilets just never get old. In the age of Sirius, where jocks are at long last free to say “shit” on the air, the anything-goes douchebag seems downright indestructible. Oh, sweet freedom of speech! But what was perhaps once an outrageous, anarchic, rock ‘n’ roll style seems now just as lazy and bored as a hooker in an on-air hot dog eating contest.
It’s not that being vulgar and outrageous can’t be fantastic. But Opie and Anthony possess none of the crazed jackassness of a Johnny Knoxville or the politically naughty brilliance of “South Park.” Even Howard Stern, for all his Weiner press conference crashing, has the impassioned air of a man who occasionally balances his talk of blumpkins with an impassioned and very personal investment in First Amendment freedom.
Compare any of that with what went down when serious journalist/possessor of cellphone penis shot Andrew Breitbart says his hosts “used a surveillance camera that’s in the room and did a screen grab of it and put it out there. These people have admitted that they did this surreptitiously and illicitly and they lied in the process saying that they didn’t even have a camera in the place.” It’s an unusual assertion, given the fact that it appears his visit to the show was being openly recorded, but “Opie” Hughes likewise asserts that “Breitbart did not want this picture to be released.” Perhaps Breitbart had confused a show that has conducted Christmastime “homeless shopping sprees” with the Jim Lehrer “NewsHour.”
Of their Weiner-tweeting shenanigans, “Opie” Hughes took to YouTube Wednesday to explain that after a fan grabbed an image off the video and sent it to them, “It was a race to see who could tweet the picture the fastest. That’s exactly what we did. Unfortunately I don’t think we were thinking.” That’s them in a nutshell. There’s no joke there, no punch line, not even a question. Just a bunch of guys sitting around, looking at another guy’s penis and laughing. That’s long past the point of being shocking, and it sure as hell isn’t funny. It’s just pathetic. And very, very tired.
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
Mandela is accompanied by his former wife Winnie, moments after his release from prison February 11, 1990 after serving 27 years in jail. (Reuters)
In this February, 1990 photo, shortly after his release from 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela, gives the black power salute to the 120,000 supporters packing Soccer City stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg. (AP Photo)
Nelson Mandela showed his passport in February 19, 1990, shortly after his release from prison. The South African government authorized an application for himself and his wife Winnie - (Juda Ngwenya / Reuters)
In this July 27, 1991 photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the "Day of the Revolution" in Matanzas, Cuba. (AP Photo)
In this July 4, 1993 photo, President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela listen during Fourth of July ceremonies in Philadelphia during which Clinton presented the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to the African National Congress president and South African President F.W. de Klerk. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
President of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela acknowledges cheers from the crowd as he prepares to unveil the ANC's official election platform in 1994. (AP Photo/David Brauchli)
African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela greeted residents of Mmabatho in March 1994, during a visit after the nominal homeland came under South African control following the ousting of the former President Lucas Mangope. (Reuters/Howard Burditt)
South African President Nelson Mandela smiles with actor Sidney Poitier at a press conference in Cape Town in 1996. Poitier played Mandela in the film "One Man, One Vote" (AP Photo / Sasa Kralj)
South African President Nelson Mandela waves to crowds as he sits next to Queen Elizabeth II in a an open carriage on the way to Buckingham Palace.(AP/Louisa Buller)
Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly Cyril Ramaphosa, left, holds up a copy of the country's constitution which was signed by President Nelson Mandela, in December 1996. (AP Photo / Adil Bradlow / POOL)
Nelson Mandela at a news conference in Johannesburg in February 2000. (AP Photo / Denis Farrell)
South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar, right, received the Rugby World Cup trophy from President Nelson Mandela also wearing a South African rugby shirt, after South Africa defeated New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup , in 1995. (AP Photo / Ross Setford)