Jewish World Review May 31, 2002 / 20 Sivan, 5762

Michelle Malkin

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Consumer Reports

Dysfunctional dad of the year | Move out of the way, Ozzy Osbourne. There's another foul-mouthed celebrity who's vying for the bleeding-heart pop critics' Father of the Year award.

Eminem, the Detroit rapper whose third album skyrocketed to the top of the charts this week, wants everyone to know that he spews profanity, perversity, and homicidal fantasies for a very good reason. "Everything that I am doing right now is for Hailie," Eminem explained in a BBC interview last summer. "The money-it's for her college."

Hailie is Eminem's six-year-old daughter. The rapper portrays himself to gushing music reviewers as a doting parent, just trying to be a good provider. He buys her teddy bears and takes her on tour. He tattooed her name on his arm. His new album, "The Eminem Show," which is being described universally as "mature," features a soul-baring ode dedicated to his child. In "Hailie's Song," he warbles: "My baby girl keeps getting older, I watch her grow up with pride/ People make jokes, 'cause they don't understand me/ They just don't see my real side."

Awww. Well, grab a Kleenex and get in group-hug position. Eminem isn't a bad guy. He's just, you know, misunderstood. The "real" Eminem, we are supposed to believe, is a sensitive and protective father who sympathizes with fellow parents who object to his vitriol. In an interview on MTV, he pontificated: "The more adult I'm becoming, the more I'm realizing that this might have an affect on her, or it might scare her, or she might hear a word or a sentence that she doesn't know how to take. I'd just rather not even play it around her."

Oh, give me a bleeping break.

Eminem may not let his little girl listen to his albums, but he has had no qualms enlisting her in the marketing and production of his sicko products. When Hailie was a toddler, Rolling Stone magazine reported in April 1999, Eminem lured her into his recording studio by promising to take her to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.

He then recorded Hailie's voice for use on one of his most infamous tracks, "97 Bonnie and Clyde," a tale of a father killing his baby's mother and disposing the body with the help of the child:

"Here, you wanna help Dada tie a rope around this rock?/
Then we'll tie it to her footsie, then we'll roll her off the dock/
Here we go, count of three. One, two, three, wee!/
There goes Mama, splashing in the water/
No more fighting with Dad, no more restraining order."

Spin magazine dubbed the studio trickery one of the sleaziest rock moments of the year.

In addition to providing unwitting background vocals on this charming family collaboration, young Hailie has appeared on the cover and liner notes of Proud Papa Em's records. She makes another special guest appearance on the latest album in a piece called "My Dad's Gone Crazy." With Hailie providing a spoken-word hook ("I think my dad's gone crazy"), Eminem makes cocaine-snorting noises and weaves a pornographic rant around his daughter's voice.

Hailie is a ubiquitous presence on the album; Eminem invokes her as a defense against any criticism of his work. In one new track called "Superman," for example, Eminem fantasizes about terrorizing a woman: "I put anthrax on your Tampax and slap you until you can't stand." What kind of model father makes a living broadcasting such misogynistic garbage for mass consumption? Well, hey, it's just harmless banter. "If my music is literal and I'm a criminal, how the f*** can I raise a little girl?" Eminem spits back in a later track.

Instead of exploiting his daughter for commercial gain and then hiding behind her skirt to justify his trash, Eminem might consider early retirement. He spends much of his time harping on his latest album about fame, anyway. And he constantly complains that he is sick of being a role model for the rest of America's youth.

Well, right on, Em. Your primary responsibility is to be a good role model for your own child. So why not quit the filth-spewing industry-you can certainly afford it- and get a respectable job?

I hear Chuck E. Cheese is hiring.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate