Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
Another Sunday. We're rested. Mainly because we ate breakfast while two grappled with the issue of what to keep and what to cut.

Let's note the highlights:

Sexto ex comandante militar pide reununcia de Rumsfeld
C.I. on the Kerry "plan" and Dexy Filkins
Blog Spotlight: Mike on going to California
Blog spotlight: Kat on music
Blog Spotlight: Cedric on a shame of 2006
Blog Spotlight: Elaine on the need to note independent media
Humor Spotlight: Wally on Bully Boy
Humor Spotlight: Betty on her 'caring' husband
Blog Spotlight: Rebecca on Flashpoints and indymedia
Food spotlight: Gazpacho soup in the Kitchen

Thanks to all for allowing us to republish.

Along with eating breakfast, four of us also took an extended nap. You'll understand why when we discuss this edition.

"Editorial: Further Disgrace for The New York Times" is an editorial we're proud of and Ty's glad he "got one over on C.I." We credit C.I., rightly, for being on the Dexter Filkins beat from the beginning. C.I.'s mind was elsewhere when Ty squeezed that in and only now are we hearing, "What are you talking about?" But the paper loves it's Dexy, apparently more than it loves the readers and more than it loves reporting. Read the editorial and find out why.

"TV: Katie Was a Cheerleader" is a powerful piece. Ava and C.I. lovers (the entire readership of our site), yes, you will laugh. You will also find yourself nodding along with the strong feminist critique that they offer. This wasn't a piece they planned to write. We actually begged them to take it on last week. Here's what happened, a person C.I. was dictating an entry to begged for the inclusion of a link to a piece critical of Couric. C.I., knowing Couric and the writer, said what was thought to be a brief "wrap around" and nothing more. But that's not what happened. C.I. ended up calling back and saying, "Add this!" and dictated a lengthy commentary which C.I. then pulled (that's why that entry went up so late) before it published. C.I. and Ava know Couric and planned to do no more than note the transfer to anchor of the evening news at some point. But the commentary being made offended them on several levels. When C.I. finished dictating the pulled before publishing section, Ava had a lenthy monologue of her own problems with the commentary. At which point, C.I. dialed back, said "Pull it, we're probably addressing it at The Third Estate Sunday Review."

That was apparently enough to delight their loyal readers. E-mails poured in to this site and The Common Ills. It got so bad at The Common Ills that Ava requested permission (granted) to send out an early draft of what they were working on. This was the research draft, the cut and dry draft. It was never going to make it up here but was their way of working towards what they wanted to finally say. Thoughts that this would end the e-mails were misplaced. More e-mails continued to pour in as members Ava e-mailed the draft to circulated it with other members and friends and pretty soon we were getting more e-mails here on a piece that had yet to run than on anything that's ever run. It got so bad with The Common Ills e-mail accounts that C.I. had to make a plea ("please") for members to move on to another topic because few suggested highlights were coming in as membership focused solely on the Couric issue.

You've got it here today. But it wasn't easy. It was easy for them to write. They blocked out an hour early on while the rest of us were discussing the edition and wrote their commentary. Then they turned it over to us because they felt it might be "too long." It was 120 paragraphs.
I, Jim, made the mistake of stating it was going to be the longest piece we've ever run. Thought that it might be "too long" immediately became "Oh, it's too long" and they started cutting it like crazy. We pulled in Trina to provide fresh eyes and persuade them, if she enjoyed it (she did), that it was fine as is.

At that point it was eighty-two paragraphs. And the issue was settled. We did our other pieces. Some long, some short.

When we did highlights five hours ago (reposts from writing worth noting), we thought we might be done. We weren't. The editorial needed another polish. And? They said, Ava and C.I., go take a nap. We did. Three hours. They did not want to part with their feature. Were it not for the fact that C.I.'s still got to do entries at The Common Ills, they'd probably still be working on it.

At over sixty paragraphs and, according to Ty, 5199 words, we think it's the longest feature we've ever run. That's not a complaint. We're sure everyone who has been awaiting it going up here will be pleased.

"No Voice for the Village" is our take (reality based) on the new directions The Village Voice will likely be headed to.

"Quick Take: Scalia" a quote, a note, is how Dona sums it up.

"Pacifica Radio Highlights" -- support independent media. Utilize indepdent media. We've tried to highlight a cross section of upcoming programming that might interest a range of listeners.

"Musings and thoughts on why you should be watching/listening/reading Democracy Now!" with Laura Flanders on vacation, we focus on Amy Goodman for our 'steer you to the independent voices' feature.

"Quick Media Take" we do read the e-mails (we is basically Ty and Dona). When a reader suggests something, we're happy to give a topic a try.

"When Poodles Snarl " is about our modern day Joan Crawford and Bette Davis among the chat and chew class. We eagerly await their teaming up for a remake of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

New content was written by:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and me;
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);
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
and Wally of The Daily Jot

We thank Dallas for links and more. We thank Trina for fresh eyes and input on the TV commentary. The TV commentary was written solely by Ava and C.I.

And that's it. Hopefully you found something to make you laugh, make you think or make you angry enough to get active. We'll see you next week and Happy Easter to those who celebrate.

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