Follow-up: Chris Brown says, does the right things ... so far


Welcome to the new Blade blog Culture Shock, a three-times-a-week riff by Pop Culture Editor Kirk Baird on pop culture news, events, and trends. The blog will appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings here, with the odd night or off-day posting if something is merited.

I deliberately left my opinion of Chris Brown s apology out of Wednesday s Culture Shock for the simple reason that I didn t want to sway anyone s feelings. As the headline for the blog said, watch the video and decide for yourself.

That being said, most of you reading today s Culture Shock have watched Brown s video by now and come to your own conclusion about his sincerity or lack thereof.

For those of you who haven t seen the pop-R&B singer s mea culpa to fans, click here.

And for those of you who don t know what I m writing about ... on Feb. 8, Brown brutally assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna. The images of her bruised and battered face were horrific, and placed Brown in stark to contrast to his cultivated clean-cut, nice-guy image. Brown later pled guilty to the charge of felony assault, and must complete six months of community service in his home state of Virginia. He is also serving five years supervised probation, and must complete a domestic violence counseling program.

As for my opinion ... Brown seems contrite certainly the singer taking full responsibility for his actions by deeds and words is a novel change from how most celebrities handle their public miscues; however, there is that nagging cynical side of me one that most journalists have that cannot discount how much the negative publicity affected his image and what he was prepared to do to repair his damaged reputation.

Brown raked in millions in endorsements, and his inexcusable actions justifiably cost him most, if not all, of that money. The loss of that kind of income cannot be ignored. So, was this video nothing more than a PR ploy to get back in the financial good graces of corporations and fans alike?

I hope not, for his sake.

Time will prove Brown s sincerity; for now, at least, he s doing all the right things. He s taken responsibility for his actions and, more importantly, he s taking the necessary steps to help prevent his anger from manifesting itself in such a violent way again all positive signs of his sincerity.

Brown thus far has proven he deserves a second chance. How he handles that opportunity is up to him.


The ratings story is being held another week for space reasons. As part of the new era of journalism, newspapers must reconcile readers' wishes for easy-to-digest graphics and numerous pictures with less pages to support it. It's a tough balance, and often graphics-intensive stories have to wait for available space.

Anyway, check out the piece in the Aug. 2 Blade. (At least, it's Aug. 2 for now.) THANKS.

Check out the pop culture-y Sunday story in The Blade by yours truly comparing Toledo-area TV favorites to the national favorites. I think you ll be surprised at some of our likes and dislike.

To make my point, I ll tell you that American Idol is not the No. 1 show among Toledo-area viewers aged 2 and above. In fact, the ratings juggernaut is the third most-popular show in town, according to Nielsen s May sweeps. You can probably correctly guess one of the two shows that beat Idol, but correctly guessing both may prove to be a little trickier than you think.

Agree or disagree with a posting? Lemme know. Have a topic or suggestion? Lemme know that, too. Send an e-mail to or call 419-724-6734.