Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Media: The lying pundits with a focus on Jonathan Turley

Alice Stewart died last month.  Who? 

 

Exactly.

 

The 58-year-old had spent her life devoted to homophobic causes before suddenly her body was discovered outdoors.  Alone.  Forgotten.  All the gas baggery having escaped from her.

 

Nothing changed.  The world didn't even stop to mourn which is a example of not just how unimportant she herself was but also of the lack of importance for her profession.  

 

She was a gas bag.  A talking head.  A pundit.

 

Proof of how worthless she and profession were came as her peers rushed to find some way to celebrate her.  Their skills being as limited as Alice's were, they couldn't come up with much.  The always ridiculous Dana Bash came up with "a woman's woman."  The anti-choice, homophobe was a woman's woman?  What a strange thing to say.  What exactly happened at the office Christmas party, Dana?
 

Whatever it was, it was instantly forgettable which is the reality of the bulk of the chat & chews and their awful hosts and awful guests.  Uninformed and, frankly, unattractive.  After all what is the punditry of "public affairs programming"  other than celebrity TV for ugly people?

 

Which brings us to Jonathan Turley because, quite frankly, aging does kill but not quickly and if we're stuck with him, we should all grasp what a danger he is.


For those who don't know the media personality, Turley started off on what passes for left on corporate television.  He  came up with the rise of  cable talk which vastly expanded the need for talking heads who could jabber away on live TV.  In those early days, Turley was especially popular because he resembled a gargoyle (still does) and cable loved to pull from the uglies -- especially when it came to the left (see the looks challenged James Carville, Paul Begala, Alan Colmes, Paul Glastris, Michael E. Kinsley, Tom Braden, Bob Beckel . . . ).  Like his peer group, Turley's face was never graced with a cute phase.

 

What once distinguished him from the other potato heads was (a) he seemed to actually listen and (b) he seemed to put some thought into his responses.

 

 Those were his free range days when he traveled from outlet to outlet before being imprisoned in the veal pen that is FOX "NEWS." They take he network's ill gotten money and, in return, the network takes them, fattening them up.  It's no coincidence that Mother Tucker Carlson was slim on CNN, MSNBC and PBS and no surprise that, even a year after his firing, Mother Tucker still can't drop the pounds.  Or look at their current 'star' Greg Gutfeld -- like Zza Zza always said, at a certain age a gal has to choose between her face or her ass.  Viewers of THE FIVE can be forgiven for wondering these days when Doris Robert took over hosting duties?

 

When did Jonathan become such a sad and cautionary morality tale?  When he went to work for FOX "NEWS," of course.  You can't be on the devil's payroll without bringing on your own eternal damnation.

 

And that's how you get today's Turley, by grasping that he's not in purgatory as a way-station to heaven, he's damned to the hell that is FOX "NEWS" and can never return to the world of respectability.


He's a raging whore these days and has devalued his brand.  His once keen mind has dulled, his free for all exchanges have been replaced with talking points.  He's now as dead on air as you imagine he is in the sack.


It's been a sad and slow decay witnessed by America over the last few years.  It also goes to what the fright-wing is currently pursuing and how so many on the left keeping missing it.


MEDIAS TOUCH is a good outlet and produced good content.  But we cringed over one this week where a woman wanted to talk about the assault on women's rights.


We don't think the assault exists?

We know it does.  And it's a good topic for a commentary -- for many commentaries.  But the woman seemed to doubt that or to feel that she needed to shore up the case by citing an attack on Civil Rights.  Citing?  A whispered aside, at best.  And why do that?


There's more than enough reason to make a commentary on the assault on Civil Rights -- many commentaries (and Roland S. Martin regularly does a great job with those commentaries on his own podcasts).  The way the woman utilized this was confusing and weakened her presentation.


If she was attempting to note the reality that the fright-wing wishes to strip all of us of our rights (which is, in fact, true), she left out the LGBTQ+ community and that's a huge omission because that community is and has been the test case for the fright-wing in their efforts to destroy rights and to create a climate of hate.


And it has been with those efforts that the hate mongers have shown their hand; however, too few want to see reality -- or maybe their own latent homophobia prevents them from seeing reality.


The Supreme Court is a dishonest and crooked body that has handed down outrageous rulings over the last four years.  And, yes, DOBBS is one of those outrageous rulings.  So were the rulings in ALEXANDER V SOUTH CAROLINE NAACP and SFFA V HARVARD/UNC.  They are disgusting rulings that ignored precedent and trashed settled law.  


But the worst attack on Americans came in 303 CREATIVE LLC V ELENIS. 


And this is where Turley comes in.  He had already begun his flirtation with The Federalist Society.  Within a few years, his exposure had led to full blown hate.  He began offering pro bono help behind the scenes to many offensive and disgusting cases.  On CREATIVE LLC, he began insisting that Lori Smith -- the homophobe -- was being denied her religious right to practice homophobia.  He worded differently but that's the reality.


Lori was a known liar who had no standing to sue and her case was a joke that only became more outrageous after the verdict when it was learned that the person she cited in court papers as having requested she make a same-sex wedding site for him (a) never made that request, (b) was straight and (c) was married to a woman and had been for over 15 years. She's just a cheap little liar and you have to wonder how she justifies that in her so-called faith?


The verdict in that case created two sets of citizenship.  Straight people are entitled to all rights but gay men and lesbians only have rights if those rights do not offend the homophobia of some religious nutcase. That's what the verdict was. 


Turley went all in on that case and you can read his Tweets and his columns -- even if he kept hidden his interactions with Lori Smith's attorneys.  With DOBBS and the other cases?


He was less vocal and had to keep things hidden.  In our society, sadly, you can fully attack the LGBTQ+ community and get away with it. Turley and the fright-wing know that they have to step more lightly when it comes to attacking others.  So with attacks in other areas, these are steps to eliminating rights.  Steps.  Affirmative action has largely been struck down in college admissions due to the Crooked Court. DOBBS?  It, as Turley repeatedly insisted, turned the issue over to the states.  Many of these states,Turley failed to note, had already prepared for this day and had laws in place to destroy reproductive rights.


They chip away at a specific right.  But with Lori Smith's case, they went back to overturning equality and all the decisions that involved equality over the Court's history to argue that gays and lesbians only have rights if 100% of America agrees they should have them.


That's what they want to do with reproductive rights and with Civil Rights but they know they have to move slowly there.  And part of the slow move is to lie and attack the rights of women and people of color in an attempt to soften public reaction to the coming onslaught.


The fakery is part of the process and the plotting and scheming start long before we're aware of it.

 

 

Ryan Grim speaking with Lauren Windsor on this week's DECONSTRUCTED (THE INTERCEPT):


RG: And so the last time we had you on CounterPoints, the show I do on Wednesdays and Fridays, that one was one that panned out. You were talking to a member of Congress who was friends with Amy Coney Barrett before she was nominated, before she was confirmed is my memory, correct me if I’m wrong. And he said, she has told me that she wants to be the deciding vote on overturning Roe v. Wade. Do you remember that one?

LW: It was Mike Johnson, actually. 

RG: Oh, that’s right, Mike Johnson! Because at the time, I’m like Mike Johnson, some backbench nobody. Now he’s speaker of the House.

LW: Yeah, well, so he was at a conference, it was Rick Santorum, his Patriot [Voices] lobby day on the hill, but he was one of the speakers and we were asking about abortion-related stuff. And he [said], “Yeah, we’re making progress.” And I remember this was back in 2021, mind you, and I haven’t reviewed that in a while, but it was essentially, “We’re making progress. And when we have the court, I think that Amy Coney Barrett will be the one to author the opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

 

Coney Barrett wanted to be the deciding vote in overturning ROE?  That's a detail she shared with the fright-wing but not with the American people or the Senate during her confirmation hearing.


No there, she said things like, "I don’t have any agenda. I have no agenda to try to overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come."  And she lied, "I will follow the law of stare decisis, applying it as the court is articulating it, applying all the factors, reliance, workability, being undermined by later facts in law, just all the standard factors. And I promise to do that for any issue that comes up, abortion or anything else. I'll follow the law."  But she didn't follow stare decisis -- that would have required respecting precedent.  And she lied and misled the American people and the Senate (grounds for removal from the bench) because she'd already revealed to insiders before being nominated that it was her goal to be the deciding vote in overturning ROE.


 

They plot and they scheme and they come up with outrageous rulings undermining the image of the Court and the trust in it.


Jonathan Turley's happy to whore for The Crooked Court and does so regularly. 


He's supposedly an expert on the Court.  But what he Tweets and writes about really doesn't bear that out, now does it?


In the 90s, if Clarence Thomas had been exposed for all the bribes he's received, Turley would have been all over it.  Alito's recordings released this week where he's revealing his bias?  He would have been all over that too?


But he's a paid whore for FOX "NEWS" and an agent of the fright-wing now so he ignores these actions -- huge actions, huge news stories.  


It's like when he was trashing Antifa near daily in his Tweets as a violent group trying to silence others while ignoring the two years of the Proud Boys attacking drag queens at libraries for story time.  He didn't even note it when it took place in DC.  July 21, 2022, Brandon Tensley (CNN) was reporting:


The drag queen Panda Dulce was at the San Lorenzo Library in California when members of the extremist group the Proud Boys barged in.

They interrupted Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), where performers read books to kids as a means toward literacy and compassion for others, and, per Dulce, slung insults such as “groomer.” One man’s T-shirt instructed, “Kill Your Local Pedophile.” 

A month later, Dulce is still reeling from the confrontation.

“The right’s alarmist, downright fascist bias of who should or should not exist will never override the indisputable reality that we (LGBTQ people) do exist,” she told CNN.

What happened to Dulce wasn’t a unique incident in the context of our present day. In recent weeks, some conservative politicians and right-wing groups have directed their fury at drag, insisting that children must be shielded from a supposedly pernicious art.

A bookstore in the DC area said that protesters interrupted DQSH at one of its events just this past Saturday. Last week, protesters in Houston staged a demonstration outside a drag show at Hamburger Mary’s, a popular restaurant and queer institution. The agitators were with Protect Texas Kids, a nonprofit organization that baselessly claims that LGBTQ people and their allies are “indoctrinating” children, among other things.

In June, in response to a celebration in West Palm Beach that advertised a “drag show for kids” – part of Pride on the Block, which included arts and crafts, cooking classes and a variety of other youth activities – Florida Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini stated on Twitter, “I will be proposing Legislation to charge w/ a Felony & terminate the parental rights of any adult who brings a child to these perverted sex shows aimed at FL kids.”

 

In 2023, the Proud Boys launched another attack in DC as Christopher Wiggins reported for THE ADVOCATE.  We're emphasizing DC because there's no way he missed these attacks since he teaches at George Washington University in DC.

And let's grasp also that this is the same opiner who has a fit when someone heckles a college speaker on campus.  This is a personal affront to Turley and he frets over it constantly.  

But when Proud Boys show up and threaten violence, that's not anything to worry about or write about in Turley's fright-wing world.


He's a pundit who is bound and determined to destroy the country.


Which is why he needs to be watched and why he needs to be called out for his hypocrisy.


He also needs to be called out for his stupidity.


Several long conversations took place between us and two friends at SIMON & SCHUSTER over the weekend.  They're the publisher of his upcoming book: THE INDISPENSABLE RIGHT: FREE SPEECH IN AN AGE OF RAGE.  And they have a tale to tell that's so much more interesting than anything in Jonathan's book.


For starters?  


The book presold on its title which they thought would make the book fly off the book shelves.  (Shelves?  They're in denial.  We each bought a book on Monday in hard cover at a book store.  By contrast, we generally purchase 15 online and they're KINDLE versions.)  


Turley was hoping to have an insta-book -- a volume of pages that he padded out by republishing his online columns.  S&S made clear to him that they didn't think a book of content already available for free online would sell nor would it justify the advance he was given for the book.


From there, things just got worse.  "He's not much a writer, is he?"  One asked us, noting that they'd never seen more editorial control over a book by an already published writer. 


He was a good writer once.  But he got old and he got sloppy and he makes pop cultural references that are incorrect because he fails to fact check and his memory's faded on the culture points he was taught in college.  


There was a lot of arguing over various passages with Turley acting the diva.  "If the book doesn't sell," we were told, "we're done with him.  Never again.  It was too much work to produce something so sleight and unimportant."


And that was in the early conversations.  Their opinion of the book only nose dived further after they supplied us with copies and we gave them a page-by-page review of all the problems with the book, all the errors on the pages.  


It's our hope that when the book comes out, real book reviewers as well as journalists on the left, will note how Turley types but doesn't write -- nor does he comprehend.


Take Anita Whitney.  She's identified, by him, in the book as Charlotte Anita Whitney.  Many paragraphs later, he refers to "Anita Whitney" but never notes that she went by that her entire life.  Rather strange when she was a very well known American -- a Socialist who became a Communist who was convicted for being a Communist and saw that conviction reach the US Supreme Court for review (the conviction was upheld).  She was a leftist and a women's rights activist (a vice president of The League of Women Voters).


Turley types that she went to "fine private schools."  Yes, she did.  When not in public schools.  See, she went to both -- a fact that escapes Turley despite the fact that this is all covered in the groundbreaking book NATIVE DAUGHTER by Al Richmond -- groundbreaking and highly praised book.  Turley refers to her as "the young girl from the west" when she goes off to Wellesley.  This is how he refers to an adult woman -- and this is why students reviewing his teaching performance rate him so low, semester after semester.  The term Turley struggles to find is "woman."




Anita Whitney was an 18-year-old woman when she started her studies at Wellesley.


Turley types away delivering a lot of fiction passed off as fact.  Such as here:


After graduating in 1889, Whitney and other alumna were invited to go for a short visit at the Settlement House at 95 Rivington Street in New York.  It was more of a field trip than social work for the affluent young ladies.  

Interesting and smug -- and wrong.


As Turley portrays is, the visit is some sort of post-graduation trip made in 1889.  The trip was 1893 and part of the Wellesley class reunion of that year. Equally true, per Alice Whitney's own statements, while she was at Wellesley, many of her classmates were doing volunteer work.

He wants to write that she defied expectations of marriage and children.  Whose expectations?  The author's expectations?  She graduated, at the age of 22, from Wellseley in 1889.  She was 23 in 1890 and the average age of marriage in the US at that time was . . . 23.  Who exactly does Turley believe was pressuring her to get married?  Her decision had already been made and her family and friends knew it.


There was no pressure on her to marry nor did her family thinks he would.  And upon returning to California, a detail he leaves out, she became a child probation officer -- a first in California. He skips this just like he skips her political transformation.  It's all kind of vague in Turley's writing but in reality it was the California earthquake and fire of 1906 that brought her into working with labor unions and her work in a relief camp found her at odds with corporate interests.  If you're trying to explain how she moves from student to Socialist (1914) to Communist (1919), you can't leave out what she observed first-hand and what underscored her growing sense that her work prior to 1906 had no lasting value.  

 

And we can't leave out the speech she gave that led to her arrest and then conviction -- a conviction that would be upheld by the Supreme Court.  That's kind of an important speech and it's the whole point of including her in the book.  So maybe get the date right?  Turley says she delivered the speech on November 29, 1920.  But she gave it on November 28, 1919.  In fact, she was arrested on November 28, 1920 for the speech so she couldn't have given it the day after.  Multiple errors appear when he's supposedly covering the court case.   And he writes, "A reporter who served as a witness later admitted that he was ordered by police to falsely claim that a red flag was draped over the American flag onstage."

 

No, reporter Ed Condon is not someone who "later admitted" this fact, he admitted it on the witness stand in his courtroom testimony, admitted that the police -- specifically Inspector Fenton Thompson instructed him to lie to the jury.   And the flag was in a cabinet and we've got three pages -- including this issue being raised yet again in the trial when Whitney's attorney moved for a dismissal (see THE SAN JOSE EVENING NEWS, February 20, 1920 front page report "Whitney Defense Claims Frame Up").

Turley leaves out so much and invents so much more.  It's why he wanted to republish his columns, this isn't a scholarly book or even a factual one.  He's supposed to be a college professor and a legal scholar but he's written a sack of garbage that is incredibly shallow while at the same time being deeply problematic.


Jonathan Turley is a menace who plays fast and loose with the truth on FOX "NEWS" and who is selective in his outrages.  The way you check a dangerous person like that is to expose them as the liar that they actually are.


 

Happy Pride, get to streaming

 And if you're looking for something to stream . . .


TUBI

 

1) GRIDIRON GRIND (TUBI Original, Naomi Grace) -- sports drama

2)  I AM SYD STONE (Travis Nelson and Benjamin Charles Watson) romance.

3) LUZ (Ernesto Reyes) -- romance

4) HEARTS BEAT LOUD (Kieersey Clemons, Nick Offerman, Toni Collette) -- musical comedy

5) WOMEN WHO KILL (Ann Carr and Sheila Vand) -- comedy-thriller film

6) A VERY SORDID WEDDING (Leslie Jordan, Rue McClanahan, Caroline Rhea, Bonnie Bedlia) -- comedy  film

7) TRANSMILITARY (documentary)

8) THELMA (Eili Harboe) -- horror film

9) BAYOU MAHARAJ (documentary about musician James Booker)

10) HANDSOME DEVIL (Fionn O'Shea and Nicholas Galitzine) -- sports drama


PLUTO

 

1) THE PASS (Russell Tovey and Arinze Kene) -- drama  


2) DRAWING THE LINE: A PORTRAIT OF KEITH HARING -- documentary

3)  ELTON JOHN: BECOMING ROCKET MAN -- documentary

4) BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE  (Wendy Crewson and Karyn Dwyer) -- comedy

5) GEORGE MICHAEL: EASY TO PRETEND -- documentary

6) THE FEELS ( Constance Wu and Angela Trimbur,) dramedy 

7) LOVE IS STRANGE

8) ADRIFT (Linh Dan Pham and Do Thi Hai Yen,) -- drama

9) BEING BEBE: THE BEBE ZAHARA BENT DOCUMENTARY -- documentary

10) BRIDEGROOM: A LOVE STORY, UNEQUALED


HULU

1) THEATER CAMP (Ben Platt, Jimmy Tatro) musical comedy

2) BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT -- documentary

3) BENEDETTA (Charlotte Rampling, Virginie Efire) -- drama about a 17th century lesbian nun

4) JAGGED MIND (Maisie Richardson-Sellers and Shannon Woodward) -- horror

5) BLUE JEAN (Rosy McEwen, Kerrie Hayes) -- drama

6) PROM DATES (John Michael Higgins, Antonia entry, Patty Guggenheim) -- comedy.

7) FLEE -- drama with animation

8) SWAN SONG (Udo Kier, Michael Urie, Linda Evans, Jennifer Coolidge) -- drama

9) TELL IT TO THE BEES (Anna Paquin, Holliday Granger) -- romance

10) MONICA (Trace Lysette and Patricia Clarkson) -- drama 


ROKU

1) RENT (Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs) -- musical

2)  SUCH GOOD PEOPLE (Michael Urie, Stewart Wade) -- comedy

3) THE IMITATION GAME (Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley) -- drama

4) BOULEVARD (Robin Williams) -- drama

5) THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT (Terence Stamp, 

 6) MAPPLETHORPE -- documentary

7) CONCUSSION (Robin Weigert) -- drama

8) THE SOUND OF IDENTITY -- documentary

9) ADAM & STEVE (Malcolm Gets, Craig Chester, Parker Posey) -- romantic comedy

10)  EL CLOSET (Anthony Alvarez, Miguel Vasquez, Ernesto Baez) -- drama


PARAMOUNT+

 

1) THREE MONTHS (Troye Sivan, Judy Greer, Javier Munoz, Louis Gossett Jr, Ellen Burstyn)

2) ROSIE'S THEATER KIDS -- drama about a theater school for kids that Rosie O'Donnell created

2) BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER (Natasha Lyonne, Rupal, Clea Duvall, 

4) CODED: THE HIDDEN LOVE OF J.C. LEYENDECKER -- documentary 

 5) ELLIE & ABBY (& ELLIE'S DEAD AUNT) (Sophie Hawkshaw and Zoe Terakes,) -- romantic comedy

6) TEEN WOLF THE MOVIE (Tyler Posey) -- drama, horror

7) A CLUSTERFUNKE CHRISTMAS (Cheyenne Jackson, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer) -- comedy

8)  ROCKETMAN () -- musical drama 

9) HOCKNEY: SEEING BEAUTY -- documentary 

10) KINKY BOOTS (Joel Edgerton and Chiwetel Ejiofor)  -- comedy


DISNEY+

1) ELTON JOHN: FAREWELL FROM DODGER STADIUM -- concert

2) ALL OF US STRANGERS (Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal) -- drama

3) MACK WRESTLES -- sports documentary 

4) TREVOR THE MUSICAL(Holden Hagelberger and Sammy Deli) -- musical

5) OUT (Caleb Cabrera, Matthew Martin, Kyle McDaniel, Bernadette Sullivan) -- animated short film 

6) HOWARD -- documentary about lyricist Howard Ashman

6) TWO OF US (Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier) -- romance  

7) LIGHTYEAR (Chris Evans) () -- animated

8) STRANGE WORLD (Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu) -- animated

9) ZOMBIES 3 (Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Trevor Tordiman and Kylee Russell) -- science fiction

10) BOYS ON THE SIDE (Whoopi Golberg, Mary Louise-Parker, Drew Barrymore)

Monday, June 03, 2024

Media: Jessica Lange triumphs onstage and on TV while Donald Trump flops

Last week, we got the opportunity watch an artist play crazy and to watch a fool and his cult do the same.


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Of the two experiences, the clear winner was the artist.  In midtown Manhattan, at The Hayes Theater we watched Jessica Lange star as a human monster named Phyllis in Paula Vogel's MOTHER PLAY.  She is amazing and you have a little over two weeks to experience her performance onstage.  If you have HBO, you can experience her in THE GREAT LILLIAN HALL in which she plays a theater actress who is experiencing the onset of dementia.  In both roles, she excels.

 

Not only that, she demonstrates why film went through such a fallow period.  Jessica's training was unique and that should be one lesson here.  She studied acting, yes.  She also studied mime.  And it's the latter, often ignored and/or ridiculed that may have given her the bedrock to build her many amazing performances on.  

 

Her body tension is a thing to marvel over in many performances and it might even outdo Bette Davis' amazing use of body tension in JEZEBEL.  

 

In a better period of time, Jessica would have been ranked with Bette and the other greats. 


"Ava and C.I., Jessica has received two Academy Awards, three Emmys, five Golden Globes and a Tony."

 

She's won her applause.  Other actresses have won applause as well.  

 

But in the 80s and 90s, especially, and, to some degree since, they and other actresses were held in check by an overpraised hollow bunny.  


Yes, talk Meryl Streep -- the most overpraised actor of her time because, yes, even a crazy fool can utter  truthful statement from time to time.

For years, we used to argue that Meryl's talents didn't translate as well to the screen.  Then we saw her in MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN and realized that, no, her onstage performances didn't any deeper than the superficial nonsense she does onscreen.


Meryl's career was protected and sculpted by a man, Sam Cohn, who understood an industry axiom: Hollywood wants what it can't have.  Which is why he kept her out of California unless she was making a film or doing promotion (attending awards show is promotion).  


Like Madonna, well groomed is usually the best that Meryl can hope for.  She's never been attractive -- a detail Joe Queenan rightly pointed out decades ago.  Cohn knew that he had to put 'special' into the Streep brand so instructed her to keep the film community at arms length.  Otherwise?  They might have taken a good long look at her and grasped she was not star material.  


She and Cohn kept up the deception for decades but then Meryl got in a snit fit that she was not being paid as much as Ahnuld and others.   Ahnuld was making $20 million and more a film in the 90s and the 'great' Meryl Streep was lucky to hit three million a role.  


Maybe it was her preening ego or maybe she just doesn't understand math but the speech did not go over well.  During the 90s, a box office bomb for Ahnuld was THE LAST ACTION HERO (a little over forty million in domestic ticket sales) and that this was what a 'hit' Meryl Streep film struggled to make. POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, for example, just made it into the forty million domestic box office and without a bare chested Kurt Russell and an amazing performance by Cher, SILKWOOD wouldn't have made $35 million in ticket sales.  HEARTBURN -- a 'hit' for Meryl -- sold $25 million in ticket sales.  PLENTY?  Six million dollars. 


Over end over, she failed to deliver ticket buyers.  Over and over, a Meryl Streep film opened across the country to half-empty theaters over and over.  And when she did have claim to a hit?  No, not DEATH BECOMES HER.  That film pulled in $75 million because they were smart enough to beef up Goldie Hawn's role (Goldie owns the film) and because a lot of Bruce Willis fans turned out for the film.  But in something like OUT OF AFRICA, where she could have made it about the money the film made, she instead made it about her vanity.  She did not enjoy working with Robert Redford and she whispered all over town.  It's even in Cher's first 'autobiography' where Cher shares Meryl told her never to work with "R." She trashes everyone if she's in a hit -- she trashed Goldie after DEATH BECOMES HER, she trashed Dustin Hoffman after 1979's KRAMER V KRAMER, she trashed Robert after OUT OF AFRICA


There was often strong work in films she was in during the 80s and 90s but it wasn't strong work from her.  Goldie's Helen Sharp remains a memorable character, Diane Keaton as the terminally ill Bessie in MARVIN'S ROOM, Shirley MacLaine's Doris Mann in POSTCARDS -- Jack Nicholson and Stockard Channing walk off with HEARTBURN.  She just has no star power and her talents aren't developed.


She is a potato head.  She's never in the body of a character.  She does an interesting accent or speech tick and then tends to stand outside the performance with a aren't-I-cute attitude.  


No, Meryl, you aren't cute and you've never been a cute.


You have come closer to destroying American films than any other performer.  Imagine a real film actress like Debra Winger starring in SILKWOOD, for example.  Or Sissy Spacek opposite Jack Nicholson in IRONWEED, Goldie Hawn in SOPHIE'S CHOICE, Charlotte Rampling in THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN, Jacqueline Bisset in STILL OF THE NIGHT, Diane Keaton in DEFENDING YOUR LIFE . . .  


Or picture Anjelica Huston as Eva The Grand High Witch in THE WITCHES.


Oh, you don't have to on that last one.


Meryl turned down that role.  And trashed it publicly.  It was "anti-woman."  And Anjelica triumphed in the role.


Every now and then, Meryl will sign on to play a bad woman, a bitch, someone evil.  And then she'll destroy the script by refusing to play it.  As with THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, she will repeatedly soften the character and destroy it.  It's why her filmography is one mediocrity after another.  Faye Dunaway has CHINATOWN, NETWORK, 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR -- memorable films, great cinema.  Meryl?  She's got PLENTY, A CRY IN THE DARK, THE SEDUCTION OF JOE TYNAN, FALLING IN LOVE, BEFORE AND AFTER, DARK MATTER, LION FOR LAMBS, HOPE SPRINGS, -- it's a long and sorry patch of film history.  Didn't have to be that way.  Real actresses might have saved some of those films -- they certainly could have improved them.  But the actresses mentioned above were short changed as were Theresa Russell, Glenn Close, Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver, Kathleen Turner, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lili Taylor, Dianne Wiest, Barbara Hershey, Judy Davis, Melinda Dillon, Amanda Plummer, Laura Dern, Bridget Fonda . . .   Imagine those women taking on one of the roles Meryl bumbled and imagine them delivering -- the whole history of cinema changes.


But the hollow marionette could only fool the people for so long.  Jessica Lange is great as Lillian Hall but, guest what, Meryl Streep was supposed to have played the part.  She didn't.  She's been exposed as a very limited talent which is why she's a supporting player on HULU's ONLY MURDERERS IN THE BUILDING.  Supporting player.  That's how low she's sunk.


She brought it on herself.  Along with her failure to ever truly burrow into a character in one film after another, she had two other things against her.


Harvey Weinstein.


That's was the first strike.


Rose McGowan was detailing what happened to her at the hands of abuser and rapist Harvey.  


Meryl owes a lot of her career to Weinstein and she immediately stuck up for him.  Ronan Farrow details just a tiny bit of that in his book on Weinstein -- CATCH AND KILL: LIES, SPIES, AND A CONSPIRACY TO PROTECT PREDATORS.


Rose had called Meryl out online and Meryl was apparently too stupid to grasp that Rose and Ronan were communicating constantly.  In his book, Ronan gave a very watered down version of the exchange -- where Meryl tries to get him off the story of Harvey's abuse by insisting that Harvey's done so many great things for the Democratic Party.  Rose knew about that before she Tweeted and she knew the full exchange that took place -- an exchange that would kill whatever following Meryl has in the public.  It's what's killed the industry's interest in hiring her.


Strike two brings us to the other main fool we're noting in this piece: Donald Trump.


Like the child in THE EMPEROR'S CLOTHES, dunce Donald stated a bit of truth when he called Meryl the most overrated actress of all time.  


There was an immediate effort to circle the wagons but there was also the knowledge that, hey, on this, Donald's right.


It didn't help Meryl's case that she was now an exposed cover up artist for Harvey's abuses, assaults and rapes.  But it also didn't help her that she tried to make it a free speech issue as she promoted THE POST.  Not only was THE POST an awful film and her acting even more barren than usual, but there was also her need, in 2017, to present THE WASHINGTON POST as something to praise.  It was heroic, Meryl wanted the world to know.


The world shot back: THE WASHINGTON POST sold the Iraq War.


And Donald Trump sold the January 6, 2021 insurrection attempt against the United States.  It was a failed coup but an attempted coup none the less.  The ultimate punishment for such an action (treason) is the death penalty.


So it was interesting to watch his reaction and the reactions of his cult to last week's verdict in the hush money case.  Donald was found guilty on all 34 counts.


Long noted for her portliness, defector (to Russia) Tara Reade wanted the world to know this was "lawfare."  And, no, that's not arguing fair law.  It's the claim that the law is being used unfairly to persecute the disgustingly obese Donald Trump.


 When she can put her leg of Pacifica Walrus down long enough to speak without food in her mouth, Tara and her crowd will insist that this has never, EVER, happened before!


Apparently, their 'argument' (lament) is that no one ever even tried to convict Abraham Lincoln when he bribed his porn star to shut up and then hid the bribe as an election expense?


This is how Amy Goodman reported it on headlines for Friday's DEMOCRACY NOW!:


Guilty. After three weeks of testimony and less than 12 hours of deliberation, a Manhattan jury has found former President Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony charges of attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election by falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 11, just four days ahead of the Republican National Convention.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a felony. The maximum penalty is four years in prison, though Judge Juan Merchan could decline to send Trump to prison and instead impose a fine, probation or supervision. Trump is expected to appeal. He spoke to reporters outside the Manhattan courtroom after the verdict was announced.

Donald Trump: “This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who is corrupt. It’s a rigged trial, a disgrace. They wouldn’t give us a venue change. We were at 5% or 6% in this district, in this area. This was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5th by the people. And they know what happened here, and everybody knows what happened here. You have a Soros-backed DA. And the whole thing, we didn’t do a thing wrong. I’m a very innocent man.”

We’ll have more on the historic conviction of Donald Trump after headlines.


Here's reality for Donald's cult: He broke the law and he got.


He broke a lot of other laws and walked on them (at least so far).  Yes, but mobster Al Capone was put away on tax evasion.  You go with the charges you can make stick.


Still Donald and every crackpot from Tara Reade to Naomi Wolf wails, "This has never happened before!"


Oh, we're sorry.  You mean they didn't convict  Abraham Lincoln of trying to bribe the porn star he had an affair with?

 

Instead of pretending others got off for the same thing, grasp the reality that as bad and as trashy as some of our previous presidents were, none was so filthy and full of so much garbage that he dragged a circus show behind him into the White House.

 

New laws were not created for this case.  These laws were on the books.  And they weren't just passed and applied retroactively.  The cult can't stop lying and pretending that the fat stooge they follow got convicted from crimes he committed.

 

So then they start trying to pretend this is just like the show trials.

 

Excuse us, the big problem with the Moscow show trials wasn't a trial by jury.  Donald had a jury trial and a jury came to a verdict.  Donald also didn't behave like he was at a show trial -- with his nodding off, his constant farting and his refusal to testify.

 

Donald's not a convicted felon -- thirty-four times over.

 

At the end of the day, that's all on him.

 

And while the reviews for Donald's crazy aren't glowing the way the reviews for Jessica playing crazy are, the verdict is.  On Sunday's FACE THE NATION, Margaret Brennan noted,  "Our new CBS News poll finds that 57 percent of Americans think the jury reached the right verdict, with virtually the same share, 56 percent, saying he received a fair trial."  It's not a Tony nomination, but it's an accolade all the same.

 

 

What people are streaming

NETFLIX

Top 10 movies

1) ATLAS (Jennifer Lopez)

2) COLORS OF EVIL RED  (Jakub Gierszal)

3) THE LEGO MOVIE (Elizabeth Banks)

4) GODZILLA MINUS ONE (Ryunosuke Kamiki)

5) POKMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU (Ryan Reynolds)

6) SHREK (Mike Myers)

7) THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE (Charlie Day)

8) MADAME WEB (Dakota Johnson)

9) THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (Patrick Wilson)

10) MOTHER OF THE BRIDE (Brooke Shields) 


Top 10 TV shows

1) DANCING FOR THE DEVIL: THE 7M TIKTOK CULT

2) ERIC

3) BRIDGERTON

4) YOUR HONOR 

5) GEEK GIRL

6) TIRES

7) JURASSIC WORLD CHAOS THEORY

8) RAISING VOICES

9) ASHLEY MADISON: SEX, LIES & SCANDAL

10: QUEEN CHARLOTTE: A BRIDGERON STORY


PEACOCK

Top Movies Today

1) THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAGICAL NEGROES (Nicole Byer)

2) OUR SON (Luke Evans)

3) THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (Paul Walker)

4) COUPLES RETREAT (Jason Bateman)

5) NIGHT SWIM (Amelie Hoeferle)

6) STORMY (documentary about Stormy Daniels)

7) JOHN WICK (Keanu Reeves)

8) BURLESQUE (Cher)

9) KNOCK AT THE CABIN (Ben Aldridge)

10) M3GAN (Allison Williams)

 

Top TV

1) LAW & ORDER SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT

2) CHICAGO P.D.

3) CHICAGO FIRE

4) SUMMER HOUSE

5) VANDERPUMP RULES

6) CHICAGO MED

7) THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY

8) BELOW DECK

9) LAW & ORDER

10) DATELINE

 

AMAZON PRIME 

Top 10 movies

1) DIE HART 2 DIE HARTER (Kevin Hart)

2) THE BOYS IN THE BOAT (Callum Turner)

3) THE BLUE ANGELS (documentary)

4) THE IDEA OF YOU (Anne Hathaway)

5) ROAD HOUSE (Jake Gyllenhaal)

6) DANGEROUS (Scott Eastwood)

7) DIE HART (Kevin Hart)

8) AMERICAN FICTION  (Jeffrey Wright)

9) MILLION DOLLAR MURDER (Poppy Montgomery) 

10) NIGHT SCHOOL (Tiffany Haddish)


Top 10 Purchases

1) GODZILLA-KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE (Rebecca Hall)

2) THE FALL GUY (Ryan Reynolds)

3) THE CIVIL WAR (Kirsten Dunst)

4) DUNE PAT TWO (Zendaya)

5) THE BEEKEEPER (Jason Statham)

6) ARTHUR THE KING (Mark Wahlberg)

7) GHOSTBUSTERS FROZEN EMPIRE (Mckenna Grace)

8) THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE (Henry Cavill)

9) TROLLS BAND TOGETHER (Anna Kendrick)

10) TAROT (Jacob Batalan)

Top 10 purchases TV

1) TYLER PERRY'S SISTAS

2) YELLOWSTONE

3) JERSEY SHORE FAMILY VACATION

4) THE SECRET OF SKINWALKER RANCH

5) YOUNG SHELDON

6) TOP CHEF

7) RICK AND MORTY

8) GREY'S ANATOMY

9) ALL AMERICAN 

10) PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

 

STARZ

1) THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES (Viola Davis)

2) BLACK MAFIA FAMILY

3) SILENT NIGHT (Joel Kinnaman)

4) POWER BOOK GHOST 

5) MARY & GEORGE

6) OUTLANDER 

7) DREAMKATCHER (Henry Thomas)

8) RETRIBUTION (Liam Neeson)

9) MAJOR PAYNE (Damon Wayans)

10) JOHN4WICK (Keanu Reeves)


MGM+

Top 10 

1) BILLY THE KID

2) THE BEEKEEPER (Jason Statham)

3) MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE DEAD RECKONING (Tom Cruise)

4) THE BOYS IN THE BOAT (Callum Turner)

5) FROM

6) BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE (Kingsley Ben-Adir)

7) BEACON 23

8) SPECTRE (Daniel Craig)

9) THE WINTER KING

10) TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEAST (Anthony Ramos)


HULU+

Top 15

1) THE FIRST OMEN (Sonia Braga)

2) FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS HOBBS & SHAW (Jason Statham)

3) 9-1-1

4) UNDER THE BRIDGE

5) THE KARDASHIANS

6) 20/20

7) GREY'S ANATOMY

8) STATION 19

9) THE BATMAN (Robert Pattinson)

10) FRIDAY NIGHT SMACK DOWN

11) BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (Martin Lawrence)

12) WHITE CHICKS (Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans)

13) WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (Woody Harrelson)

14) FANTASY ISLAND (Maggie Q)

15) T.I.M. (Georgina Campbell)


PARAMOUNT+

Top 10 shows

1) MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN

2) EVIL

3) NCIS

4) THE CHI

5) CRIMINAL MINDS EVOLUTION

6) STAR TREK DISCOVERY

7) SURVIVOR

8) SPONGE BOB SQUAREPANTS

9) EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

10) BLUE BLOODS

 

Top 10 Movies

1) SOUTH PARK: THE END OF OBESITY (Trey Parker)

2) SOUTH PARK (NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN) (Matt Stone)

3) SOUTH PARK JOINING THE PANDERVERSE (Trey Parker)

4) SOUTH PARK THE STREAMING WARS PART 1 (Matt Stone)

5) TOP GUN MAVERICK (Tom Cruise)

6) MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE DEAD RECKONING (Tom Cruise)

7) SOUTH PARK THE STREAMING WARS PART 2

8) TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS (Anthony Ramos)

9) JACK REACHER (Tom Cruise)

10) BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE  (Kingsley Ben-Adir)

 

HBO

Top 10 Movies

1) DUNE PART TWO (Zendaya)

2) THE IRON CLAW (Zac Efron)

3) MOVIE PASS, MOVIE CRASH

4) NIKKI GLASER SOMEDAY YOU'LL DIE (Nikki Glaser)

5) SLEEPLESS (Jamie Foxx)

6) THE GREAT LILLIAN HALL (Jessica Lange)

7) CRAZY RICH ASIANS (Constance Wu)

8) SISTERS (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler)

9) HELLBOY: THE GOLDEN ARMY (Ron Perlman)

10) MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR (Mel Gibson)


PBS

1) PBS NEWSHOUR

2)  SEASIDE HOTEL

3) POMPEII THE NEW DIG

4) COBRA REBELLION

5) GREAT PERFORMANCES

6) NATURE

7) NOVA

8) MASTERPIECE'S ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL

9) ROOTS OF COMEDY WITH JESUS TREJO

10) CALL THE MIDWIFE


THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW 

 

What we streamed last week.

Film

1) BROS (MGM+, Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane)

2) THE GREAT LILLIAN HALL (HBO, Jessica Lange)

3) ATLAS (NETFLIX, Jennifer Lopez)

4) MY FAVORITE BLONDE (CINEVAULT, Bob Hope)

5) MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (PLUTO, PARAMOUNT+, Tom Cruise)

6) GO FISH (PLUTO, Guinevere Turner)

7) THE LONG GOODBYE (PLUTO, Elliott Gould)

8) BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE (AMAZON PRIME, Natalie Wood)

9) INSIDE MAN (NETFLIX, Denzel Washington)

10) ABBOT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN (PLUTO, Abbot & Costello)

 TV

1) THE KROLL SHOW (PARAMOUNT+)

2) SO HELP ME TODD (PARAMOUNT+)

3) ELSBETH (PARAMOUNT+)

4)  COLUMBO (PLUTO)

5) WILL TRENT (HULU)

6) AMERICAN DAD (HULU, SLING free, DISNEY+)

7) TINY HOUSE NATION (PLUTO)

8) STRANGERS WITH CANDY (PARAMOUNT+)

9) EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS (CRACKLE)

10) GRACE & FRANKIE (NETFLIX) 



 

 

 






Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Truest statement of the week

Since 2004, I’ve officiated over 250 LGBTQ+ couples, including Mayor Denise Simmons’s nuptials. When interviewed for this 20th anniversary, I was asked to show photos. I had to sort them into three piles as I’ve done with heterosexual couples, highlighting we are like everyone else: deceased, divorced, and still together.

Looking back at advances since 2004, such as hate crime laws, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA, the legalization of marriage equality, same-sex adoption, and anti-homophobic bullying becoming a national concern, among a few, the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way since the first Pride marches.

When you reside at the intersections of multiple identities, as I do, the 20th anniversary of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts is also the 70th anniversary of the historic U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education. This ruling upended this country’s separate but equal doctrine, adopted in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896.

However, victory comes with backlash.

On this year’s anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, African American and Latinx American students continue to attend not only segregated schools - whether here in Boston or across the nation. Also, they overwhelmingly attend high-poverty urban ones with metal detectors. Sadly, not only has policing while schooling doubled since 2001 to the present day, but so has the school-to-prison pipeline.

As for us, LGBTQ+ Americans, bigotry works in this political climate.

 

-- Irene Monroe, "20 Years of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts" (THE BLACK COMMENTATOR).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:


The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.



And what did we come up with? 

 

 

Peace.

 

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

 

 

 

 

 

Gaza

From THE COMMON ILLS:

Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, May 28, 2024.  Another horrific act carried out by the Israeli government in Gaza but the pushback is so strong accountability might finally emerge.

The Israeli government's slaughter of Gaza gets worse every day and that's certainly true of actions over the weekend. 



That's a report from THE GUARDIAN of protests taking place today.  


If you thought the actions of the Israeli government couldn't get more outrageous, you were wrong as one action on Sunday demonstrated.  MINT noted, "An Israeli airstrike on Sunday hit a refugee camp for displaced people in Gaza killing at least 35 people, mostly women and children, and injuring dozens more, CNN reported citing Palestinian Ministry of Health."  That's disgusting.   Neri Zilber (FINANCIAL TIMES OF LONDON) observes that the Israeli government attempted to insist they struck a terrorist camp.  They might have stuck with that were it not for footage and witnesses and some press pushback.  Holly Evans, Namita Singh and Bel Trew (INDEPENDENT) report:


The charity ActionAid said its activists witnessed the attack, which it described as an “inhumane and barbaric act”. “We are outraged and heartbroken by the recent attacks in west Rafah, where Israeli fighter jets launched eight missiles at makeshift shelters housing internally displaced persons (IDPs) next to UNRWA warehouses stocking vital aid,” the charity said in a statement.

“These shelters were supposed to be safe havens for innocent civilians, yet they became targets of brutal violence. Children, women, and men are being burned alive under their tents and shelters.”

People staying at the camp described the “terrifying” scenes as the strike unfolded.

Eklas, 27, who is originally from north Gaza, said: “People died from the fire. People did not know where to run. The fire broke out in the tents. The bodies were burned. I wanted to flee from Rafah to Khan Yunis, but I did not have the money for transportation.

“It terrified us all, more than one explosion shook the place. We do not know whether to leave the camp now or whether to stay. We couldn’t sleep last night due to fear, horror, and anxiety.”



Doha Madani (NBC NEWS) quotes the Red Crescent Society stating, "It is important to note that this location was designated by the Israeli occupation as a humanitarian area, and citizens were coerced into evacuating to it."  Citing the UK's Action Aid,  ABC NEWS reveals, "The death toll in the IDF airstrike that hit western Rafa Sunday night has risen to at least 50 individuals, including civilians."  CNN adds:


Gaza's Health Ministry said those killed and wounded in the strike were mostly women and children. Video obtained by CNN shows tent-like structures on fire. The Palestinian Authority presidency urged the international community to intervene immediately. Hamas described the attack as a "massacre" and said it holds the US administration and President Joe Biden personally accountable. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) expressed horror following the airstrike, saying it "shows once again that nowhere is safe."  


Australia's ABC NEWS reminds, "The strike came two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to end its military offensive in Rafah, where more than half of Gaza's population had sought shelter before Israel's recent incursion. Tens of thousands of people remain in the area while many others have fled."  And it comes as Amnesty International is asking for probes of other recent strikes.   THE NATIONAL reports:


Amnesty International has urged the International Criminal Court to investigate as war crimes three recent Israeli strikes that killed 44 Palestinian civilians, including 32 children.

Last week, the prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Khan, applied for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top Hamas leaders on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Amnesty said three Israeli strikes one on Al Maghazi refugee camp, in central Gaza, on April 16 and two on Rafah, in southern Gaza, on April 19 and 20 are "further evidence of a broader pattern of war crimes" committed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

"The cases documented here illustrate a clear pattern of attacks over the past seven months in which the Israeli military has flouted international law, killing Palestinian civilians with total impunity and displaying a callous disregard for human lives," said Erika Guevara-Rosas, senior director at Amnesty.



  International rights groups and leaders who for months have demanded a cease-fire in Gaza expressed renewed horror as images emerged from Israel's Sunday bombing of a tent camp that had been set up by forcibly displaced Palestinians in Rafah, with women and children making up the majority of the 45 people who were reportedly killed in the attack.

Emergency workers toldNBC News that the death toll was likely to rise, as many people had been trapped in the encampment as it was engulfed in flames.

NBC reported that the strike took place less than a mile away from a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical facility, where at least 180 injured people arrived on Sunday.

"We are horrified by this deadly event, which shows once again that nowhere is safe," said MSF on social media.

Muhammad Al-Mughir, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Civil Defense, told NBC that the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood that was attacked had been designated a "humanitarian area" in Rafah, from which more than 800,000 people have been forcibly displaced this month as Israel has launched a ground invasion. More than 1 million people have been forced to flee to Rafah since October, when Israel began its siege in Gaza.

The bombing came two days after the International Court of Justice issued its latest order to Israel regarding its assault on Gaza, telling the government that it "must immediately halt its military offensive or any other action in the Rafah governorate" and that the ICJ was not convinced by Israel's claims that it was taking steps to protect civilians. 


Daniel Hurst (GUARDIAN) reports that Doctors Without Borders is demanding action:
 
The global president of Médecins Sans Frontières has urged Australia to impose sanctions on the Israeli government, saying he has “run out of words” to describe the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and the collapse of the health system.

Dr Christos Christou is due to meet the Australian foreign minister, Penny Wong, on Wednesday to request “immediate, concrete actions to hold Israel to account” for its conduct during the war.

“Australia must apply appropriate sanctions on Israel, as it would to any other global state that refuses to comply with UN security council resolutions,” Christou told the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday.


 Christou said Israel was conducting an “indiscriminate and disproportionate military campaign” and “pursuing a policy of deliberate deprivation, only allowing a trickle of food and water to enter Gaza”.

Let's take a pause here for a moment.  Doctors Without Borders is calling for action from the Australian government.  Hmm.  I'm not a citizen of Australia.  But if I were and I was Tweeting multiple times a day, you can be sure that would be all over my feed and you can be sure I'd be writing about it and calling out my government of Australia.  I call out the US government all the time.  I've called out White House occupant Bully Boy Bush and presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden here and never did so in a weak manner.  

That's why you need to avoid fake asses like Caitlin Johnstone.  So strong, so vocal . . . when it comes to US or UK leaders.  But she doesn't live in either.  She lives in Australia, she's a citizen there.  Excuse me, she's a coward there.  She's failed to her own government accountable over and over.  She didn't trash them for their refusal to stand up to the UK over Julian Assange.  She never holds them accountable because she's a scared, little coward.

That's a big story, Doctors Without Borders taking that stand.  But Caitlin's in hiding yet again.  Oh, she's still Tweeting.  Useless garbage.

And trying to round up votes for Donald Trump.

That's right:

The thing about claiming Trump would be worse on Gaza is that you don't even know that's true. It's a completely baseless and unfalsifiable assertion. Biden's adamant refusal to put up any resistance at all to Israeli insanity is such a drastic deviation from the norm for US presidents that it's entirely possible replacing him with almost anyone would be an improvement.

We don't link to trash.  And she'll claim that she's being misunderstood and there's more to her words.  

Yes, if you click "more" you can read more.  Why you would I don't know.  But she needs to just sit her tired ass down and lefties in the US need to stop promoting her.  She's not our ally.  Do you grasp that yet, Heidi Boghosian?  Stop pimping this piece of trash.

If you did click "more" you'll find her writing of how people don't know that Trump would be worse for Gaza.

That's so sad.  She's physically repulsive, she's a coward and, it turns out, she's also stupid.  I don't have time to spoonfeed the willfully ignorant so I'll just note one example that demonstrates she's yet again talking out of her ass: December 5, 2017.  Go see what Donald did that day and then play the game of pretense that Caitlin wants to play.  Only a fool, only a damn fool, would go along with her nonsense.  

She's not left.  She's not a friend of the left.  She is promoting false equivalencies and doing what the corporate media did in the leadup to the 2016 election: Normalizing Donald Trump.  It's time for US lefties to stop promoting her.


Back to Gaza.  As the truth was repeated more and more, the Israeli government moved over to the claim that it was a mistake.  Doha Madani and Chantal Da Silva (NBC NEWS) explain:

The strike drew condemnation from world leaders just days after the United Nations' top court ordered Israel to halt its offensive on the southern Gaza city, where more than a million people had sought refuge.

In an address to the Knesset on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the strike “a tragic incident," his office said, clarifying comments made in Hebrew that could be translated in English as either “a tragic mishap” or “a tragic mistake.”

“We are investigating the case and will draw conclusions, because this is our policy," he said. 


Another investigation where the government investigates its own actions?  We've seen this before repeatedly since October 7th and know how this ends.   As the Israeli government attempts to pretend it's nothing unusual, others don't rush to agree.  BBC's Paul Adams,Matt Murphy report:

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, at Algeria's request, to discuss the Rafah strike.

In a statement on Monday, UN secretary general António Guterres said the strike had "killed scores of innocent civilians who were only seeking shelter from this deadly conflict".

"There is no safe place in Gaza. This horror must stop," he said





We have said repeatedly that no place is safe in Gaza. Not shelters. Not hospitals. Not the so-called humanitarian zones. 

We have also warned that a military operation in Rafah would lead to a slaughter. 

We’ve seen the consequences in last night’s utterly unacceptable attack. 

Whether the attack was a war crime or a “tragic mistake,” for the people of Gaza, there is no debate. What happened last night was the latest – and possibly most cruel – abomination. 

To call it “a mistake” is a message that means nothing for those killed, those grieving, and those trying to save lives.


It was not a mistake.  It was a miscalculation on the part of the Israeli government which thought it could get away with it.  Of course, it would think that, it's gotten away with so much in the last months.  But times are changing.  CNN notes:

A growing list of countries, world leaders and aid agencies have now condemned the strike, saying "there is no safe space in Gaza."

Here are some of the international reactions:

  • "Horror must stop": UN chief Antònio Guterres issued a blistering condemnation. "There is no safe place in Gaza. This horror must stop," he said. The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the strike on Tuesday, according to a UN diplomat.
  • "Abomination": UN relief chief Martin Griffiths criticized Netanyahu's response to the attack. "Whether the attack was a war crime or a 'tragic error' for the people of Gaza, there is no debate. What happened last night was the latest – and possibly most cruel – abomination," Griffiths said.
  • "Unbearable": French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "outraged" by the strikes and called for a ceasefire. Germany described the "images of charred bodies, including children, from the airstrike" as "unbearable." The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said Israel must implement the ICJ ruling. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the strike a "massacre" and said his country “will do everything” in its power to hold Israeli officials accountable.
  • "Heartbreaking": A US National Security Council spokesperson said the strike was “heartbreaking," adding that the United States was “actively engaging” with officials in Israel to determine what happened. The spokesperson also said "Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists who are responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians."
  • "Complete disregard for the lives of civilians": Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) strongly denounced the strike and called for an "immediate and sustained ceasefire" in Gaza. MSF said the airstrike on the camp "shows the complete disregard for the lives of civilians." MSF nurse activity manager Gaia Giletta said from Gaza that "we are shocked by the continuous attacks on civilians, and we have no words to describe the horror of what we've seen here."
  • "Hell on earth": “The images from last night are a testament to how Rafah has turned into hell on earth," said Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The scenes from Rafah last night are harrowing, Lazzarini said, and some victims “were reportedly burnt to death."
  • Strike could hinder hostage talks: Qatar said Israel’s strike on the Rafah camp could “hinder” negotiations aiming for the release of hostages and reaching a ceasefire in Gaza. The Qatari foreign ministry said the strike is a “serious violation of international laws” and expressed concern that it “would complicate the ongoing mediation efforts.”
 
MINT notes reactions as well:


The attack triggered a global outrage against Israel. A US National Security Council spokesperson said Israel "must take every precaution possible to protect civilians".

Egypt condemned the "targeting of defenceless civilians", calling it part of "a systematic policy aimed at widening the scope of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip to make it uninhabitable".

Jordan accused Israel of "ongoing war crimes", Saudi Arabia condemned "the continued massacres", and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed "to hold these barbarians and murderers accountable".

Qatar condemned a "dangerous violation of international law" and voiced "concern that the bombing will complicate ongoing mediation efforts" towards a truce.


Everyone waits to see what Joe Biden's reaction will be.  He has looked the other way for months while turning over billions of US tax dollars to the Israeli government.  He has looked the other way while arming the Israeli government.  He has invoked supposed "red lines" that never have any actual meaning.  He is losing support among the youth, among African-Americans and among Arab Americans and the November presidential election looms.  Is he going to do the right thing or continue to support and take part in a genocide?


This latest atrocity has the Biden administration’s fingerprints all over it. The IDF’s onslaught on Rafah has proceeded over the past three weeks after the White House gave it the green light. Just two weeks before Israel attacked Rafah, Biden signed a supplementary military assistance bill passed with bipartisan support that included $26 billion in funding for Israel.

Biden has asserted that Israel is doing “all it can to ensure civilian protection,” while National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan insisted that the IDF’s assault has “not involved major military operations into the heart of dense urban areas.” This line has been maintained even as over 800,000 people have fled the city. Likewise, administration officials continue to claim that killing civilians in Rafah is a “red line,” even as the IDF does this every day with impunity.

The Biden administration’s lying claims that no “major” operations are taking place in Rafah and that it opposes killing civilians are no more credible than Netanyahu’s attempt to present the bombing of the refugee camp in comments Monday as a “tragic mistake.” The fact of the matter is that as horrific as Sunday’s massacre was, it is part of a pattern of the systematic targeting of defenceless civilians by the IDF.

From the bombardment of the al-Ahli hospital killing upwards of 500 people, to the storming of the al-Shifa hospital, and the destruction of Khan Younis, millions of workers and young people know all too well the brutality of Netanyahu’s regime and what it is capable of with imperialist backing.

The imperialist governments in the United States and Germany, Israel’s two most important weapons’ suppliers, reiterated their backing for the Zionist regime after Sunday’s massacre. Adopting the Israeli government’s propaganda wholesale, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said, “Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we all understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists, who are responsible for attacks on Israeli civilians.”

Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr has renewed his calls for the US embassy in Baghdad to be closed after an Israeli strike killed dozens of civilians in a camp in Gaza.

In a post on X, Mr Al Sadr condemned the attack and Washington's "shameless" support for the "genocide" he charged was under way in Gaza.

"I reiterate my demand to expel [the US ambassador] and close the embassy through diplomatic means without bloodshed," he said.


Gaza remains under assault. Day 235 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "Gaza death toll reaches 36,096, with 81,136 wounded."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

  




On bodies trapped under rubble, ALJAZEERA notes this morning:

We’re talking about a three-storey building that housed not only residents but also dozens of other displaced Palestinians in Rafah that made it to Nuseirat three days ago.

I met the neighbours. I met the family. I met one of the relatives of people still trapped under the rubble earlier today. They were telling me heartbreaking things.

Imagine escaping the air strikes in Rafah, looking for a safe space but being killed after three days of evacuating – not only being killed but being trapped where the Civil Defence teams do not have any equipment to remove or pull these people from under the rubble.

I saw Civil Defence teams doing their best to pull people from under the rubble. They were digging with their bare hands, with very basic tools. This was not the first time we have seen this scene. We have been seeing this for more than seven months now.

Unfortunately, it may come to a point where the Civil Defence teams will give up on this house because there are more people being targeted every single hour across the Gaza Strip.


April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."
 

As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."


Lastly,  CNN notes, "Norway, Spain and Ireland will formally recognize a Palestinian state from today — a move that will bolster the global Palestinian cause but has further strained relations between Europe and Israel."



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