If you missed the angry shrieks coming from South Florida last week, let us be the first to inform you: Comedian-turned-pundit Victoria Jackson did not particularly enjoy last week's cover story about her ("Tea Party Princess," by Gus Garcia-Roberts). In fact, in a screed posted on the website she writes for, patriotupdate.com, she called it a "hit piece," claimed it was riddled with "omissions and half-truths" and added that, even though she was expecting to get pilloried by the liberal media, "It still hurt."
Jackson's response is long and mostly pedantic. And though we did correct one mistake in response to her response (see below), we stand by our story. So we'll fast-forward to her conclusion.
"Why did I do the interview, knowing the liberal media would lie, exaggerate and denigrate?" Jackson writes. "I think all press is good press, because it makes people think. I hope that my fading Saturday Night Live fame will shine a sliver of light on the conservative cause and that maybe one person out there will do a double take and wonder if they've been brainwashed by the left, and maybe read a book and have an original thought and see that truth is the best way to go. Truth always wins in the end."
So, is all press actually good press? Many readers agreed with Jackson on that front — with some of the angriest feedback in this week's proverbial mailbag coming from lefties who couldn't believe we'd put a right-wing nutter like Jackson on the cover. Writes Echo Parque, "Thanks for confirming L.A. Weekly is obsolete. Seriously? Why give this halfwit more attention?? Disappointed, but far from surprised." Adds Christopher John, "Why are you giving publicity to this degenerate cunt?" To which we reply, why are you using that disgusting word?
Gregg Sartiano has a good point about the headline on our sidebar: "The sidebar reads 'Other SNL Stars whose careers have done a 180.' That implies that Victoria has done a 180 as well. Somehow I think going from buffoonery to utter buffoonery is more like moving in a straight line."
He's got us there. But then, in a postscript, he also blames us for the war in Iraq and, undoubtedly, the upcoming apocalypse.
"These bozos [Tea Party types] were the same ones foisting slogans like 'These Colors Don't Run' in 2003 in the Iraq War run-up. If big media, like yourselves, had OSTRACIZED and MARGINALIZED their ilk while asking the tough questions of Republican elected leaders, maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't have gone into that mess with not even a PLAN, let alone an 'exit strategy.' Thanks for making it abundantly clear in the article that her views are way out in cuckoo-land. But you still gave her the cover. You shouldn't have given her the time of day."
Not everyone criticized our choice. Writes Michael Nicklen, "Thanks for your scary cover story on Victoria Jackson. As an actor with an inquiring conscience, I seek to understand what causes certain showbiz figures — Jackson, Jon Voight, David Mamet, etc. — who work in a mostly tolerant and very diverse profession to turn into tunnel-vision, anti-fairness, pro-fascist weirdos. What the hell happens in these people's brains, if any?"
Writes Doc Benway, "I read this article as I read every Weekly article. My thoughts are: What happened to you, Victoria Jackson? It's like she's bought into every right-wing cliche imaginable to couch her beliefs in. I felt sorry that her SNL co-workers harshly criticized her voice, and smirkingly rebuffed her religious 'offerings' (though she should have kept her beliefs to herself, not brought them to the workplace). When her dad makes derogatory remarks about disliking 'fat people,' and then she herself actually says, 'You're allowed to be fat and black, because it's sassy and sexy, but if you're white you're not allowed to be, unless you're liberal,' smacks of both racism and sour grapes on so many different levels you wonder why she can't see the forest for the trees and pick apart her own words to see how narrow-minded and ignorant they are."
Reader Jon Nicolello used to be a fan: "I actually thought that Victoria Jackson was kind of funny back in the day. Now she has gone to where all minutely talented comedians go to languish and die — off to the right wing of the Republican Party. Victoria may opt for hell over an eternity with Dennis Miller and Norm MacDonald. Hell will be by far more interesting and way funnier."
Finally, reader Jeff Feld objected to one of the books shown on our cover as Jackson's reading list. "It is incomprehensible that you chose to include Hitler's Mein Kampf on the cover of your Jan. 27 edition. Even assuming the Tea Party represents all that is bad with modern-day American politics, the inclusion of this hate-filled book in your photo essay represents all that is bad with modern-day liberal journalism."
So, in summary, everyone hates us this week: Victoria Jackson, Victoria Jackson haters and even haters of Victoria Jackson haters. If we were into hockey, we'd call that a hat trick.
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In last week's Victoria Jackson cover, we wrongly stated that Jackson imitated Tina Turner on Johnny Carson's show. It was actually Diana Ross. Also, in "The Phantom," about surfing pioneer Bob Simmons, Hawaiian big-wave pioneer George Downing was misidentified as George Freeth. We regret the errors.