Topic: Society

Faith Hill
(November 2006)

Another "botched joke"?

That's what country singer Faith Hill and her PR staff would have us believe, but for anyone who actually saw her live televised reaction to being bested by "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood as Female Vocalist of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards, that explanation is hard to swallow, to say the least. Hill says she was not exhibiting a lack of graciousness when cameras showed her backstage screaming "What?" and storming off when she lost the award to Underwood. Oh no…it was all a joke.

"The idea that I would act disrespectful toward a fellow musician is unimaginable to me," Hill said in a statement after her disappointed diva act became yet another YouTube favorite. "For this to become a focus of attention given the talent gathered is utterly ridiculous. Carrie is a talented and deserving Female Vocalist of The Year." Boy, Hill is good! She sure looked genuinely upset when she and her established colleagues like Martina McBride lost to neophyte Underwood. And how deviously clever of her to stage her mock tantrum on live TV, so viewers who didn't know that Hill is a brilliant comic put-on artist on par with the late Andy Kauffman and Borat would be completely fooled, since no sane performer would ever deliberately make themselves look like a spoiled head-case.

Ah, that's where you don't know Faith! "Hill is a notorious prankster," wrote the Toledo Blade's Brian Dugger, a Hill fan. "She was being playful," claimed Hill's manager. McBride said she knew that her pal Hill "was just clowning around." Clarence Spalding, the Country Music Association Board President who knows when to come to the rescue of a mega-star in distress, said, "Having been there, I can assure you that Faith was in no way being disrespectful of Carrie Underwood or her accomplishments. It was a playful moment caught on camera that has been blown out of proportion and taken out of context."

The David Manning Liar of the Month often goes to someone who insults our intelligence by offering up a ridiculously unbelievable lie, and Faith Hill certainly qualifies. Admittedly, this is a tough one to admit to, but she really had no other ethical choices. Lying her pretty head off is an alternative, but not an ethical one. At least rapper Kanye West, who staged a far more egregious fit recently when he lost the "Best Video" award at the European MTV Music Awards, didn't claim that his disgraceful display was something other than it appeared to be. West ran onstage, grabbed the microphone and shouted: "Fuck this! If I don't win, the awards show loses credibility. Nothing against you, but hell, man!" He did explain that his judgement had been clouded by booze and adrenaline (we can believe that!), but he apologized to the winners while reiterating his belief he should have won. West may be a boorish and ungracious egomaniac, but he's an honest egomaniac.

Hill, on the other hand, is a November Liar of the Month.

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