Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Is Kravitz Immune from Getting Fired?

Sorry, I was busy yesterday and did not get to read Kravitz's column from the Sunday paper until just now. And now I say, "Kravitz you freaking fucktard!"

Why is Helio immune from public scorn?

When Michael Vick was led toward a federal courthouse, weighted down by handcuffs, leg shackles and several charges involving the depraved sport of dogfighting, protesters and unaffiliated citizens stood on the sidewalk and hurled invective at the doomed NFL quarterback.

When Helio Castroneves was led toward a federal courthouse Friday in Miami, also weighted down by handcuffs, leg shackles and felony charges of tax evasion, curious onlookers and IndyCar fans around the country prayed that the charges were false, and that Castroneves would eventually be found guilty of nothing more than ignorance.

So where's the righteous rage this time?


Well...one was indicted for sending the family pet into battle that can cause physical deformity or death, while the other one was indicted for not paying his taxes which we all hate doing!

Part of the disparity in the way America has reacted to these stories has a racial tint. I would like to think, though, that most of this is a reflection of the way we view the crimes in question.

Oh, hell no! As stated previously...one was indicted for sending the family pet into battle that can cause physical deformity or death, while the other one was indicted for not paying his taxes which we all hate doing!

I maybe off-base on this but I really do not think that race has anything to do with the fact that Helio hasn't been crucified by the media and I am really incensed that Kravitz tries to instigate race into this topic the way he does.

In Vick's case, we've all seen the underground dogfighting footage, usually on one of the undercover TV news shows, of pit bulls let loose on one another and tearing each other apart for the entertainment and wagering pleasure of the subhumans involved.

In the case of Vick, we had eyewitness accounts of Vick being a part of the dogfighting, putting down losing dogs and being a part of something horrible and just plain wrong.

In Castroneves' case, there's no blood, no clear victim, no underground footage. This is as pasty as white-collar crime gets. While there are victims any time a rich man hides his money from the government, those victims are not readily identifiable. And keep in mind, there is a segment of society that despises the government and specifically the Internal Revenue Service, and in whispered voices they are saying, "Yeah, stick it to those SOBs."

In the case of Helio, we have the government saying that we believe you have done something illegal from the tax code that is volumes thick that people go to school for many years to try and understand that can still get things wrong when they think they were right. We do not have a "smoking gun" or eyewitness account stating that Helio and/or his sister or attorney willfully hid the money to avoid paying taxes.

I would like to think that if Castroneves was indicted on dogfighting charges and Vick was hit with tax-evasion charges, our reaction would reflect the crime, and not the skin color of the men charged with the crime.

Is that naive?

Maybe.

Are you a fucktard? Mayb...yes, you are!

If the reaction to Castroneves has been muted, clearly the media coverage has been strangely close to nonexistent.

There is not much to get a reaction for. Yes, he was indicted for tax fraud. I'm betting the reaction would be a lot different if it was vehicular manslaughter, domestic abuse or drug smuggling. What can you really report? You can interview his team owner, Roger Penske. You can interview other drivers and other racing commentators. You can interview a tax attorney. You can interview race fans for their reaction. Not much else you can really do at this point.

When Vick got popped, ESPN gave us breathless, almost nonstop coverage, with legal expert Roger Cossack explaining every step in the process. It was a morality play.

Dogfighting is a much better headline than tax fraud. The evidence was much easier to evaluate and know what was damaging and what was circumstantial to Vick's case. The tax law is so convoluted that most people probably would not understand what was being said to them. Plus, we really do not know what involvement Helio really had in the matter.

With Castroneves, just check out espn.com. His story is in the middle of top headlines, right there with stories about how Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a game-day decision and Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire was poked in the eye during practice.

The lead story?

O.J. Simpson. Guilty.

Yes, that is big news. Thirteen years too late, but it should be a bigger headline than Helio getting "indicted". If Helio was found "guilty" of tax fraud on Friday, then you could argue which headline should have been bigger.

The question is why Castroneves' legal troubles have garnered so little attention in the national mainstream media. We're talking about one of the two most visible people in open-wheel racing. And we're talking about a guy who gained national prominence for winning "Dancing With the Stars.'' If I were the IRL, I would be alarmed by the lack of coverage, even though it's a sad and devastating story. Is the IRL so insignificant that one of the top two drivers gets hauled into federal court in shackles, and almost nobody notices?

Helio is not a Tony Stewart or a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. or a Jeff Gordon and the IRL is definitely not NASCAR. The story got the amount of attention it deserved. When more facts are found out, then the media will begin to side one way or the other on the matter.

...

Like most Kravitz articles we critique, the story goes on and on. He does a quick comparison to Pete Rose and Bill Whittington, how exuberant a person Helio is and how could he end up in cuffs, and how we really do not know the athletes and that those happy, seemingly nice athletes can turn out to be another O.J.

What Krapitz fails to bring to the story is the fact that Michael Vick had legal issues prior to the dogfighting indictment the already had his character in question. In 2004, two people were arrested for distributing marijuana in a truck registered to Vick. In 2005 he was sued by a woman who allegedly get genital herpes from Vick. The case was settled out of court. In 2007 he was detained at Miami International Airport where he surrendered a water bottle with a hidden compartment. No illegal substance was found but the suspicion was there. Additional issues also have surrounded Vick due to the people that he employed or hung out with. So Vick's character was already in question when the dogfighting incident came about.

Helio has been shown to be a happy-go-lucky kind of person that won on "Dancing with the Stars" a couple of seasons ago and likes to climb fences after victories. We have not seen him have run-ins with the law or shown up on a police blotter. To have the tax fraud issue come up was a shock, but there are some many questions and unknowns at this point that it is harder to drag him through the mud at this point.

This is not a matter of race, it is a matter of character. What is this was Reggie Wayne or Dwight Freeney getting indicted for tax fraud? Do you think that they would be treated like Michael Vick? Hell no.

Helio is not Michael Vick, he is not O.J. Simpson and he is not even Pete Rose. Yes, he is one of the top names from the IRL, but even if this had been Mario Andretti or Rick Mears in the Indy Car heyday, they would have gotten the same treatment as Helio.

Unfortunately, while Kravitz's article is shitty, he still gets points for stirring up articles like this one. Sorry for the long post.

Side note: I love the idiot web person for the Star's website that has the Colts headlines and stories in black with white lettering. After you have clicked on the link, they set the links to appear in either black or something that does not show up with a black background. Niiiccceee!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Slut Bunwalla said...

I was going to take a shot at this one, but you beat me to it.

Aside from the Vick and Castroneves crimes (alleged crime, in Helio's case) being VERY different in scope, another big reason there has been less coverage is that most people in the US don't give a damn about open-wheel racing--especially compared to the NFL. Even with Helio's exposure thanks to Dancing With the Stars, I think it's easy to say that the NFL is at least 20 times more popular than the IRL.

Not to mention that the Helio story broke at one of the busiest times of the year in terms of sports. The sporting world has the NFL, college football, the Major League Baseball playoffs, NASCAR, the opening of NBA training camps, and even the beginning of the NHL regular season all happening right now. No wonder the Helio story isn't getting much air time--there isn't any left!

Contrast this to when Vick was indicted, which was mid-July 2007. Major League Baseball was just coming off its All-Star Break. Other than NASCAR and the IRL, there was very little happening in sports at the time.

You'd think Kravitz would have been able to discern this, since he's a SPORTS columnist and all, but that's too much to ask.

October 6, 2008 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Kringlebert Fishtybuns said...

Pro Football and Indy Car racing, my two favorite sports...yes, I'm one of the dozen or so IRL fans...I had to have a say in this.

Sorry guys, but I need to go back to the fact that (in my opinion) it was DOG FIGHTING versus Tax evasion!!! Who gives a rats what race the involved are! Does this moron really believe that these two cases are the same and should be reacted to the same?!? Dog fighting?...hiding money?...hmmm...Which is more outrageous?...

Oh wait...where talking about Krapitz aren't we? Well that explains everthing! What a tard!

October 26, 2008 at 9:43 AM  

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