The Texas police department that arrested Fiona Apple seems to be vying for the Phillippe Reines Award, given for outstandingly inappropriate and self-defeating communications from a government employee to a civilian. After Fiona Apple delivered a semi-coherent semi-rant at a concert about her treatment at the hands of the sheriff's department, spokesman Rusty Fleming issued the following missive:
First, Honey, I’m already more famous than you, I don't need your help. However, it would appear that you need mine….
Two weeks ago nobody in the country cared about what you had to say, — now that you’ve been arrested it appears your entire career has been jump-started. Don’t worry Sweetie, I won't bill you…
Next, have you ever heard of Snoop, Willie or Armand Hammer? Maybe if you would read something besides your own press releases, you would have known BEFORE you got here, that if you come to Texas with dope, the cops will take your DOPE away and put YOU in jail…
Even though you and I only met briefly in the hallway, I don't know you but I'm sure you're an awesome and talented young woman and even though I'm not a fan of yours, I am sure there are thousands of them out there, and I’m sure that they would just as soon you get this all behind you and let you go back to what you do best—so my last piece of advice is simple "just shut-up and sing."
Ken from Popehat, who is a lawyer, and a national treasure, notes that Fiona Apple is not exactly behaving well herself--then sums up:
So: if you must, enjoy Rusty's letter to the extent it takes a swipe at celebrity entitlement. But if you do, bear in mind that ugly and contemptible things lurk beneath its surface. They letter, though seemingly lighthearted, contains a dark message: civilian, OBEY.
It's not an excuse that Fiona Apple was acting like an idiot--any more than Phillippe Reines can offer the excuse that Michael Hastings was being provoking. Only one of the two parties is being paid by the taxpayer for a job that includes acting like a responsible adult, not eighth graders trying to establish who's gonna be king of homeroom this year.
One would assume, of course, that the sheriff's department would know enough not to abuse anyone who can get on stage and complain to thousands. But then, one would also assume they'd know enough not to send out a sexist, authoritarian note like this.
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