NJ Senator Kyrillos Honored for Anti-Snookie Stance

The One Voice Coalition — a national network of more than 5,000 Italian American anti-defamation activists, headquartered in Bloomfield — isn’t amused by the likes of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, the Jersey Shore, or the show’s co-creator SallyAnn Salsano.

Today, the coalition announced that it will give its first-ever “Una Voce” award to NJ Senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth/Middlesex) for his tough stance against Snookie, who received $32,000 for speaking to Rutgers University students earlier this year. Holding Snookie’s “massive” compensation up as an example, Kyrillos has sponsored a bill (S2843) which challenges the use of activity fees at public universities for events or speakers which students might find objectionable.

One Voice Coalition President Andre’ DiMino lauded Kyrillos for his courage in taking on MTV, and for sponsoring the legislation. “His quick and courageous action in standing up to bias and stereotyping sets the example for other legislators to follow,” DiMino said. “The Jersey Shore is outrageous,” he added. “It’s an unbelievable disgrace.”

The senator will receive his award at a June 29th event to launch One Voice’s “Rapid Response” team, which DiMino says will bring the organization’s efforts to fight discrimination and defend Italian American heritage to the next level.

Last year, One Voice awarded it’s annual “Pasta-tute” prize to SallyAnn Salsano. According to DiMino, the award is reserved for an Italian American who the coalition believes has “sold out.”

“The Jersey Shore is the bell-ringer, and has spawned other Italian bashing pseudo-reality shows showing bad acts of bimbos and buffoons,” he said. “These programs portray Italian Americans in a terrible light.”

Other recipients of the “Pasta-tute” award include David Chase, creator of The Sopranos, who got the prize three times.

For more information on the June 29 event, click here or call 973-759-9259.

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  1. Let me get this straight- this idiot State Senator is sponsoring a bill that will allow students at public institutions to “opt-out” of having their student fees pay for speakers, discussions, and symposiums that they may find to be objectionable?

    And from what I read, the students choose Snookie. If they want to hear her speak, so what? It’s their money. Oh, right, Jersey Shore is Evil. But by having Italian Americans on the Supreme Court, Governors, senators, leaders of industry, etc. its hard to make the argument that little Snookie is “harming” the image of Italian Americans.

    I would say this is close to full assimilation into America.

    (Being Black, this was my fear with Obama, that many would say the same for us. However, any look at the total of Black American life in the US shows that Black folks are MUCH further behind than most traditional immigrant groups– though in a few years, that might not be so. And when it is, the argument against say, Affirmative Action, will be stronger.)

    But this runs counter to the idea that the College campus is EXACTLY the place for this kind of “speech” to occur.

    I WANT those with differing views to speak on my campus because I know that the answer to speech I don’t like is MORE speech, not dumb “laws” that limit speech.

    Oh well, it’s clear from the award that Kyrillos is a hero….

  2. As best I recall, Snooki is in fact of Portuguese descent, and was adopted.

    I’m almost always suspicious of pressure groups which purport to be defending the image of any ethnic or national group. But then I’m old enough to remember the Italian-American Civil Rights League (the IACRL was conclusively proven to be a front for LCN which was run by a sub-species of Lenin’s “useful idiots”), the Black Panthers (racist drug dealers and murderers who well deserved Federal surveillance) and even the Bund. Only the ADL and the NAACP come to mind as ready exceptions to the silliness such groups as the “One Voice Coalition” seem to specialize in.

  3. I agree, prof, that it’s a dangerous policy for a subset of students to override a decision for a choice of speaker. I am dumbfounded, however, what educational value there is in a lecture by Snookie. I’m thinking it’s a waste of $32K.

  4. Well, fine, but if I was a member of the student body and my funds went towards securing Snooki as a guest speaker, i would demand equal time for Malcolm Gladwell!

  5. Nero’s fiddle has apparently been passed to Kyrillos this month. While you’re at it with this bill, how bout another seat belt law. Seat belts, Smoking and Snookie–please work on healthcare reform.

  6. Well, One Voice gave the “Pasta-tute” award to David Chase 3 times… Clearly not a positive vote for the show.

  7. As an Italian American, I am vastly more offended by the One Voice Coalition who is suggesting that what Snooki does has anything to do with me and how I am perceived in society. Also as far as I know, Snooki has never claimed to (inaccurately) represent my interests unlike the One Voice Coalition.

  8. Easily my favorite part of the dull-witted public debate over Snooki’s visit to Rutgers was hearing some radio bloviator sputter that “it’s an OUTRAGE that Snooki was paid $32,000. Why, when ‘TONY’ Morrison spoke at Rutgers, HE got only $30!”

  9. As an American with Irish ancestors, I would like to form a group to take down Lucky Charms. Kids have been enjoying those prejudiced marshmallows for far too long.

    This whole thing is a joke. Everyone’s outraged that they had to pay Snooki $32K for a speech? Who cares! Is everyone on campus now somewhat restricted from learning because they heard a speech from a reality star?

  10. Johnny5: I think people are upset because this is what our society has become, that we would pay someone like Snooki more money than someone like Toni Morrison to speak at an institution of higher learning.

    Just the way I’d be upset if someone in my family were to choose the Olive Garden over the Belmont Tavern. Not hatin’ on you, just want to know “WHY?”

  11. @ huh_wha – Toni Morrison [spelled correctly now with no quotation marks necessary] got $30,000 for giving a Commencement Speech at Rutgers. Not $30. Also Toni be a she, not a he. Is you even know who you be talking about?

  12. MM, Having spent Father’s Day visiting my fine nephew living on the Jersey Shore ( who’s renting down there due to the resulting short commute to his strenuous job) , and thereby, having my wife and I eating in a ballroom-sized space full of people partaking of an all-you-can-eat Father’s Day seaside buffet in Long Branch ( what a bunch of humongous gluttons – I’m glad the building had a steel frame ),
    I can safely say that many people will almost certainly pay Snooki more money than Toni Morrison, for no other reason than for keeping a mirror of their fat and lazy selves in the public eye (complete with commercials) , and to feel better about themselves as a result.
    I unfortunately expect Obamacare to pay for their insulin shots and toe amputations, unless some GOP candidate has a better idea.
    But I must admit, the octopus salad was really tasty.

  13. mitochondriac, my fault probably for not telling the story well. The entire point is that the radio dunderhead did not know that Toni Morrison was female, and so referred to her as “he.” (And, the “$30” is of course an abbreviation for $30,000). Gee, funny stories always lose something when they have to be explained. I’ll do better next time.

  14. To be totally fair (if heretical), I think Snooki in her cups has a good deal more entertainment value than the dreary novels of Toni Morrison offer.

    Anyway, let us recall that a sportswriter once mentioned to Babe Ruth that his new contract paid him more than the POTUS was making at the time. “But I had a better year than he did,” the Babe sensibly replied.

  15. cathar that’s a funny image of Snooki “in her cups” I’m guessing you mean drunk .. but it could also refer to an undergarment which us just as funny

  16. Hey, I like Olive Garden. I like their capellini pomodoro…And I’m even part Italian…I guess I’m not a real Italian….

  17. DagT, while I did mean to refer to a blotto Snooki, your alternate interpretation is actually quite a bit funnier. My compliments!

    (And Toni Morrison is never a figure of mirth.)

    Mrs. Martta, Malcolm Gladwell? You’re kidding, right? I’d ask for Sonny Barger as my ideal commencement speaker. He’d certainly make far more interesting observations about what the world really holds for newly minted grads than most far more conventional speaker choices I’ve read about.

  18. Nellie, tsk, tsk, re: Olive Garden. But I like you so I will allow you this transgression. I’m sorry, but to me their food tastes as if it was made in a laboratory.

  19. MM, the food wasn’t made in a lab, it was made in Tuscany at their culinary institute!

    Nellie, I’m half I-talian but I’ve never eaten at the Olive Garden. I’ve always thought their food looked a little too cheesy and gooey but I’m sure it’s not all that bad. Remember, I defended Red Lobster so I’m not a total food snob. A little Le Bernadin, a little Applebee’s, it’s all good.

  20. Those kids on ‘Jersy Shore’ have a lot of moxie. They turned their ’15 minutes’ into a full-time highly paid gig and now they’re all celebrities with talk show and campus appearances. Damn, what a world. The ‘One Voice’ crew seem to be a cranky bunch. They should unclench and have a good BM. They’ll feel a lot better afterwards and can then look for a genuinely, worthy cause to champion.

  21. That may be, Tudlow, re: Olive Garden, but since OG and Red Lobster are both owned by a corporate conglomerate (Darden Restaurants), I doubt their “culinary institute” is anything like one where Mario Battali would set foot. Too much oil, too much salt, too carb-y.

  22. MM: I still don’t see that as an issue whatsoever. How many comedians or musicians play at colleges across the country? Would you be as outraged if instead of Toni Morrison they got Tony Toni Tone to play?

    You spend so much of your time in college learning and studying that an hour break to see a “celebrity” would be refreshing.

  23. I’m sure they could have negotiated the $32,000 down to a kegger and a year supply of fake and bake.

  24. Yes, I had to put celebrity in quotes 🙂

    But honestly, she does fit the mold of a celebrity. She is a TV reality show star who is cashing in on her fame.

    It’s not really worth an argument in my mind since I do agree with you that more intellectual speakers should speak at colleges, I just think it’s good to have a wide variety of speakers for students to learn from.

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