Editorial | Celebrity Car Trouble
Call a cab
What the heck is it about celebrities and cars?
From Hugh Grant to Mel Gibson, a lot of celebrities pulled from their cars by police say things that nearly wreck their careers.
When hauled out of a car by police near Malibu, Calif., in 2006, Gibson informed police that Jews were "responsible for all the wars in the world."
Surprising, since this came less than two years after Gibson had made a film about the most famous Jewish man of all time - a man who preached peace.
Alycia Lane of Philadelphia's KYW-TV now joins Gibson and other celebrities in the annals of bad car talk.
At 2 a.m. on Dec. 16, Lane was arrested in Manhattan after she and friends in a cab allegedly berated the occupants of a car traveling ahead of them because they thought it was moving too slowly.
That the offending vehicle was actually an unmarked police car didn't faze Lane and her buddies. One reportedly jumped out of their cab and yelled, "I don't care if you're a cop, drive faster!"
Lane got out of the taxi, too, and began to take photos with her iPhone. When asked by the police to stop, she got into a scuffle with a female officer who allegedly was called a lesbian slur by Lane.
Lane denies using the homophobic epithet. And, charged with second-degree assault, she may get her day in court to prove it.
Until then, let's just say that such vulgar, asinine behavior is contemptible on the part of anyone - even TV news anchors.
That's right, Lane is also alleged to have told the arresting officers that she didn't care who
was a TV reporter.
Well, if she said that, here's some news she should have learned in Journalism 101: Media people (remember: you read it here) are just people; they have, and should have, no special privileges.
If you are a media person, you don't therefore get to strike police officers, as Lane is alleged to have done. You don't get any special license to use hate speech to describe fellow human beings.
Good people avoid using the words Lane is alleged to have hurled at the female cop.
Society - grudgingly, slowly, with many holdouts - is moving beyond such idiocies. At best, these slurs are revolting displays of flailing, emptyheaded cruelty; at worst, they are strikes against civil and human rights.
Should Lane lose her job? That's for her bosses to decide after figuring out what really happened. One thing's for sure: The mixture of celebrity and automobiles sure can make some people lose their perspective.