Tattle: Cosby shoots off his mouth, not his gun

Bill Cosby: Calling accused Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman a racism does no good. (AP Photo)
Bill Cosby: Calling accused Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman a racism does no good. (AP Photo)
Posted: April 16, 2012

Bill Cosby went on CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday to discuss the Trayvon Martin case with host Candy Crowley.

Tattle has no idea why he was on.

Or what he said.

Cosby tried to make the point that the Martin shooting was about guns and not race, but his reasoning and syntax got so convoluted, his point got lost.

Cosby: “I believe that when you tell me that you’re going to protect the neighborhood that I live in, I don’t want you to have a gun. I want you to be able to see something, report it, and get out of the way, because you happen to be a part of the neighborhood. I don’t want you to get hurt. And I don’t want you to hurt anyone.”

Okay, we get that. Don’t be a hero, neighbor.

But then, Cosby said, “How are you going to solve a race issue when it becomes he said, she said or he said, he said? And the other question is, what is solved by saying he’s a racist that’s why he shot the boy? What solves that? This. And what is he doing with it? And who taught him and told him how to behave with this? It doesn’t make any difference if he’s a racist or not racist. If he’s scared to death and not a racist, it’s still a confrontational provoking of something.”

Sure, George Zimmerman walking around with a firearm and having the easy opportunity to shoot Trayvon Martin is a gun issue. But that he shot Martin because he was black (and “black” meant “trouble”) — that’s a race issue.

It wasn’t merely Zimmerman’s too-easy access to a gun that led to him to shoot a 17-year-old armed only with iced tea and Skittles. It was the gun combined with his prejudice, misplaced fear and sense of Wild West “Stand Your Ground” vigilantism.

London calling

Often a tip-off as to what’s coming to Broadway, the British theater’s Olivier Awards were dominated by the musical “Matilda,” which won a record seven prizes including a joint best-actress trophy for the four children who play the title role.

The musical, based on Roald Dahl’s story, plans to open it in New York early next year.

The prize for best actor in a play went jointly to Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who alternated the roles of a scientist and his monstrous creation in Danny Boyle’s National Theatre production of “Frankenstein.”

Ruth Wilson was named best actress for playing a weathered woman of the world in “Anna Christie” at the Donmar Warehouse. The production of Eugene O’Neill’s maritime melodrama, which co-started Jude Law, was named best revival.

Nigel Harman won the prize for best supporting role in a musical for his recently ended stint as Lord Farquaad in “Shrek.”

Sheridan Smith — last year’s best actress in a musical for “Legally Blonde” -- was named best supporting performer in a play for her non-musical role in wartime drama “Flare Path.”

Smith will be seen on screen in May in “Hysteria,” as a randy Victorian housekeeper with a fondness for the feather duster.

Tattbits

Five guitars belonging to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have been stolen from a Southern California soundstage where the band has been rehearsing for an upcoming tour.

On its website, the band offered a “no questions asked” $7,500 reward for information leading to the return of the instruments.

The stolen guitars include Petty’s blond 1967 12-string Rickenbacker and his Gibson SGTVJunior, Mike Campbell’s blue Dusenberg, Ron Blair’s Fender Broadcaster and Scott Thurston’s 1967 Epiphone Sheridan.

Their tour kicks off on April 18 in Broomfield, Colo., with Tom Petty on kazoo.

Pamela Anderson and Lionel Richie owe the government money.

California tax authorities said Anderson owes $524,241 in personal income taxes. The Franchise Tax Board included the “Baywatch” star on a list of the state’s 500 biggest income-tax delinquents posted Friday.

If the IRS is anything like the Secret Service, we know how Pam can pay it off.

Meanwhile, E! Online reports that Richie owes the federal government $1.1 million in unpaid taxes and that a lien has been issued warning that the singers’ assets may be seized if he doesn’t pay up in a timely manner.

“Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?”

California law requires tax authorities to update and publish the names and amounts owed by the state’s 500 biggest tax scofflaws twice a year.

“When taxpayers do not pay their fair share, it places an unfair burden on those who do,” the tax board said on its website, which said the 500 owe the state nearly $233 million.

Other notable names on California’s tax-delinquent list include CNET co-founder Halsey Minor, Joe Francis, the founder of the “Girls Gone Wild” video empire (it would be more of a surprise if he wasn’t on the list), actor Nick Cassavetes and boxer James Toney.

Minor and his wife, Shannon, are on top of the list for owing the state $10.5 million in personal income taxes.

Francis owes $794,000, Cassavetes, the son of filmmaker John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands, owes $273,000 while Toney owes $354,000.

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s newest allies in his mission to attract more visitors to the Big Apple.

The Muppets joined Bloomberg on Friday as he announced that Jim Henson’s lovable creations are the city’s official “Family Ambassadors.”

The tourism and marketing arm, NYC and Company, says the city welcomed 15 million family visitors in 2011.

And all of them seemed to be in Penn Station at noon on Saturday when Tattle was there to catch a a train to Millburn.

An Associated Press review of a securities filing made Friday shows that CBS CEO Les Moonves’ pay package for 2011 was valued at $68.4 million, up 20 percent from a year ago.

And that doesn’t count what CBS pays his wife Julie Chen to host “The Talk” and “Big Brother” and whatever other job she wants.

“60 Minutes,” anyone?

New Yorker Quamine Taylor has been arrested for a second time on charges he broke into Sean “Diddy” Combs’s East Hampton mansion, where he apparently ate food, drank liquor (Ciroc vodka,perhaps?) and slept in one of Diddy’s bedrooms, according to an arrest report issued Friday.

The unemployed 30-year-old has not posted $2,000 bail. He is due back in court next month. His mother, who was not identified in a story in the New York Post, told the newspaper her son has a long history of mental illness.

Taylor told the Post in a jailhouse interview published Friday that he has been going to Diddy’s house from time to time since 2001 — since he was Puffy.

“I stay there a lot, but Sean gets funny sometimes about me staying there,” Taylor said.

Imagine that.

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

Email gensleh@phillynews.com.

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