Media

Dept. of Corrections: LL Cool J Is, In Fact, Hard As Hell. As is Toby Keith.

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Sometimes, we make mistakes. Like that time we declared doorknob-dead the street credibility (or: “cred”) of Queens-bred rapper LL Cool J. As it so happens, LL himself has remedied the situation, and even left his mother out of it..

Tuesday, we noted LL Cool J’s rumored participation in Sarah Palin’s big Fox News Network debut, Real American Stories, last night. He was going to be one of three featured profiles, the others being fellow token nonthreatening black entertainers country singer Toby Keith and former GE chairman Jack Welch. But to Palin’s dismay: Not so much.

See, LL took to Twitter — where else? — to register a surprising grievance with the world: It was news to him, too, that he was going to be a featured guest on Sarah Palin’s Party People. This may have been in response to an astute observation by one of LL’s fans. Regardless, Cool James had this to kick:

Fox lifted interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & R misrepresenting to public 2 promote Palins Show

How ’bout that? Some people working on Sarah Palin’s behalf used footage from another LL Cool J interview to promote their show, which he has nothing to do with — and, it would appear, wanted nothing to do with — to hose people into watching. Probably because there aren’t going to be many celebrities outside of the realm of the ones Fox’s viewers already hold in high regard (like…Sarah Palin) who will go on Sarah Palin’s show, and attract viewers who wouldn’t already show up.

You know what happens next — Sarah Palin and Co. bumped him “off” the show. The statement producers gave him is fridge-magnet worthy:

Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith’s [also known as LL Cool J, to everyone] interview fit that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career.

Fledgling, huh? It’s not like he was in an Oliver Stone movie or anything. And that’s 28 more IMDB acting credits than you have, lady.

But that’s not all, because finding Sarah Palin a despicable person is something everyone, regardless of race, age, political persuasion, or the number of rapper beefs you’ve had. Via Dave Itzkoff at the New York Times, this statement from country singer and Real American Hero Toby Keith’s publicist:

“I have no idea what interview they are using. Toby’s talked to Fox a number of times, and I had no idea that this was going to be on Sarah Palin’s special. Fox has never contacted me — not now, not when they were putting this together, not at all. I have no idea what they’re using.”

She later noted that Keith had never been interviewed by Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin was definitely not in front of him when it happened. This is funny, because there are people who think the same thing about a child coming out of Sarah Palin’s uterus as well. Crazy.

Point is, we were wrong, and quick to judge. LL, sorry. We’d like to put that mic back on your arm, and maybe take you out to brunch sometime. We still won’t watch Rollerball, but we will throw down for the Borough of Queens (pause) on this one. Nice work.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]