Is Dan Aquilante on vacation? Is Mary Huhn preparing tomorrow’s attacks on Emmitt Smith’s delivery? Those are the only possible explanations I can come up with for the New York Post allowing sports media columnist Phil Mushnick a free shot at Kanye West.

As a lyricist and performer, West meets all the requisites of a thug-rapper, the kind who advance the worst negative stereotypes of black people while helping point African-American culture backwards.

West is among the many rappers who helped return the N-word to the mainstream. His lyrics are loaded with that vilest and rapper-resurrected slur for blacks.

Yet, he insists that the media and George Bush do blacks dirt.

West, in all his public endeavors, is an inveterate braggart in the pro forma gangsta fashion. He’s the toughest, coolest, smartest fellow in the world.

One should shudder and bow – or cut and run – when Kanye enters. He has even said that if the Bible were to be re-written to address modern heroes he’d be included.

In West’s commercial rappings, women are mostly provided standard (vulgar) status; they’re whores who exist to serve West’s immediate sexual desires, and are then discarded.

On the other hand, strong reefer, hot cars and sparkling jewelry command his full attention and greatest regard.

Yet, he considers President Bush selfish.

West’s rap artistry and his noted co-performers and collaborators show a predilection for stoking and/or perpetuating mindless blood feuds, the kind that daily leaves young black men shot dead by young black men.

Yet, he claims that the government sent troops to Louisiana to shoot black people.

Much as I’m grateful for the Entertainment Biz 101 from the not-racist-at-all Mushnick, I look forward to a similar examination of the artistry of one James Gandolfini, a thespian recently courted by Senator John McCain’s campaign. I’m not entirely familiar with Gandolfini’s best known work — I understand it was shown on an obscure premium cable channel — but I’ve heard the odd rumor or two said program might’ve glorified violence, materialism, openly disparaged women and portrayed Italian-Americans in a mostly unfavorable light.