Despite my love for Mos Def, when I heard that he was performing at Sasquatch, I thought it worth re-posting an excerpt of a late-March episode of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" that doesn't make him look good. The clip available below features a panel discussion with Mos, Salman Rushdie, and Christopher Hitchens. It received a lot of attention in the blogosphere, from the more rabid rightwing precincts to the Village Voice's Sound of the City blog. And with good reason: it's an abject lesson in the vacuity of talk TV.
I blame Mos. After all, he started this useless snipe-fest when he asked Rushdie and Hitchens to define the political manifesto of Al-Qaeda and/or the Taliban, then made it worse by seeming not to know the difference between the host dictatorship and their terrorist guests--a distinction Dubya had trouble making, if memory serves. Eventually, everyone gets frustrated, but it's Mos' defense that you'll take home: "I'm not wearing an Al-Qaeda T-shirt!" he yells at Maher. Also note that Rushdie, god bless him, is trying hard not to combat Mos' embarrassing ignorance on this topic by announcing, "These are the type of people who issued a fatwa against me!" Like I said: I love Mos, truly, but dude doesn't come off well here.