Sunday, April 20, 2008

TV: The Christ-child fumbles

Last week, ABC aired the Democratic debate and, as interesting as the debate was, what was even more interesting was what followed. We were especially amused by the propagandist who should be confined to the "People's Republic of Brooklyn" (as she's so fond of referring to it). The live debate broadcast Wednesday night and was hosted by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Even those basic facts were too much for Pravda on the Hudson. Friday, two days later, Amy Goodman would declare, "Just some of the questions in the first half of last night’s presidential debate on ABC." She'd say that after offering a clip fest from the Wednesday (not Thursday -- facts are hard for Goody) debate which she referred to as "some of the questions" asked during the debate.

We're glad the Queen of Panhandle Media ended her clip-fest with a non-question, Charlie Gibson declaring, "The crowd is turning on me. The crowd is turning on me." Facts are never good enough for the piece of trash Goodman. That wasn't a question nor did it take place after a question. The audience booed, near the end of the broadcast, and after the debate had ended, when another commercial break was announced.


Goodman never met fact she couldn't molest or batter. But that moment is important. Not for the lie she's selling or the one that aged socialite Arianna Huffington tried to push. They want you to believe the audience was offended by the debate. The audience set through the entire debate. The audience demonstrated they had no problem booing. The audience never booed during the debate. The studio audience never found anything awful about the questions.

That's because there really wasn't anything awful about the questions. Or, in fact, unusual about them. They were the same type of questions that had been asked throughout the debates. What had a bunch of LIARS offended was that Barack Obama had to answer questions.

In the Friday segment of Democracy Now entitled "Great American Hypocrites" we were surprised only that Amy wasn't profiling herself. Her guest was Glen-Glen -- the non-Democrat. Glen-Glen and Amy skinnydipped in a cesspool of lies.

Goody wanted to let you know just how unprofessional the questions asked were -- the ones asked of Obama. How interesting that in her gas bag segment, she couldn't find offense at any questions asked of Hillary. And how very strange of Goodman to take offense at any question to begin with. We remember her asking Newt Gingrich whether or not he had called Hillary Clinton a "bitch" and following up by repeatedly questioning him on whether or not his own mother was a liar. In fact, Goody is so proud of her moment of 'journalism' that she includes it in her book Exception to the Rulers, recounts it for six pages (pp. 245 -250). Is someone like that really in any position to finger-point at others?

Sad-sad Glen-Glen and Goody lied to viewers and said the questions weren't fair to Barack. The questions were the more than fair and, in fact, the two are proven liars by the immediate news cycle.

Hillary was asked tough questions as well (the questions that Charlie and George offered were not "gotcha" questions and those repeating that lie just reveal their own journalistic ignorance). Barack was asked about Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and flag lapel buttons. Hillary was asked about some people not finding her trustworthy, about Bosnia and about whether or not Barack Obama was electable. That last question was prefaced by George noting that super delegates whisper Hillary has been making that argument in private.

That last question was actually what dominated the news cycle. "YES! YES! YES!" screamed the immediate headlines. That's the moment the press seized on and it was as tough as any question Barack was asked; however, Hillary is a professional and knows how to answer questions.

The problem wasn't the questions asked of Barack, the problem was that he couldn't answer them. It is appalling to see Little Red Riding Hood Amy Goodman, broadcasting from allegedly free speech radio, tell the country that some questions are off limits. The ghost of Lew Hill should haunt Goody for the rest of her life because she doesn't belong on Pacifica radio if she can't support free speech.

During the debate, the Obama campaign sent out several text messages to supporters urging them to take to several discussion boards and leave comments. The few that did so used multiple identites. It was appalling to see The New York Times report on how many 'people' posted comments at ABC News when the paper provided their own message board and, just looking at the IP addresses of the comments, would have demonstrated to them that the "many" were actually the few. Some commenting at the paper's boards, using multiple identities, would forget who they were posting as at any given moment providing laughter for anyone closely reading the full thread of comments.

Early on the text messages from the Obama campaign were telling people to say he was doing a great job. It was only in the second half of the debate, the so-called 'substance' portion, when he failed there as well that the campaign began texting people to complain about how 'unfair' the debate was.

Barack was awful throughout the debate, uanble to handle personal or policy questions, unable to stop pausing repeatedly in the midst of a single sentence, unable to stop using "uh" as a comma, noun and verb. He looked like an incompetent. And the biggest shock for his groupies was learning that, in fact, their Christ-child could not walk on water.

Amy Goodman, on Friday, wanted you to know that some people were offended. Yeah, MoveOn already endorsed him, they are hardly impartial. But she also cited press 'critics.' We've been really kind in our three year run when referring to Water Cooler Critics. We've generally never named them. We've just noted the nonsense flowing out of their word processors. One is a sexist pig and we've referred to him repeatedly. No surprise Goody would cite him as an 'authority.'

That's The Washington Post's Tom Shales who HATES women. We've referenced him in our Men In Trees review and our Charlie's Angels commentary. We've actually referenced him non-stop but if he's going to be seen as an "impartial" voice, cited as such, we're happy to out his sexist ass. Since the 70s, he has scorned women in review after review. You might wonder, setting sexism aside, why any outlet would let a 'critic' span four decades? That's a good question and you really have to wonder at what point he's going to retire or get a real job. But the reality is his body of work reveals just what a sexist pig he is, year after year, decade after decade. He has attacked shows starring women just for starring women. He's been happy to use his space to focus on the actresses' hairstyles instead of the programs. He is not impartial voice in any matter involving women and shouldn't be seen as such. We noted long ago, without naming him, that he should have been fired by the paper long ago. So it's no surprise that someone with a history of decades of public sexism would be cited by Goody as an "objective" authority. She also cites the lame Greg Mitchell and he showed that he likes his women silent not all that long ago, now didn't he?

The reality is that both candidates were asked tough questions, the sort that the media says go to character. Just like when Amy Goodman asked Newt Gingrich if his mother was a liar. Again, she's the last to ever lecture. Hillary, asked about the issue of whether or not Barack was electable, did attempt to dance around the issue before saying, "Yes. Yes. Yes." That was what the news cycle ran with. We don't blame her for dancing because Barack is not electable but she can't very well say that on national TV. If any of the questions in the first portion qualified as an actual "gotcha" question, it was that one.

Bosnia came up via a man on camera who stated she lost his vote over that. After she had stated several times that when arriving in Bosnia, she came under fire, he no longer found her trustworthy. Hillary could have stammered and "uh . . . uh . . . uh"ed her way through her response the way Barack did. She didn't do that. She apologized, she repeated that she had apologized, she stated it wasn't correct, that she had clearly been wrong and that she found it very embarrassing.

That's how you answer that sort of question. There's really nothing left for anyone to add to that (though some will). It's above board, it's clear. Hillary was honest and forthcoming and that's why she won the debate.

Let's turn to Barack and the idea that he was asked questions that were off limits. Jeremiah Wright is off limits? That's hilarious. Sort of like Barack's apparently inflated drug use. Barack can bring it up in his books, he can joke about it with Jay Leno on national TV but if anyone ever asks him about it or comments on it, the cries of "UNFAIR!" and "RACISM!" fly.

Jeremiah Wright was the subject of a speech Barack gave in Philadelphia last month, a much covered speech. He then high tailed it out of the country (to vacation in the Virgin Islands) and, upon return, mainly stuck to the 'news' programs like ABC's The View. Even on those sort of programs, he took questions about Wright.

Suddenly it was off limits for him to be asked about Wright? People are calling George "hostile" and worse for asking a yes/no question that if Barack had only answered "yes" would have ended the matter. George asked whether Barack thought Wright was as patriotic as Barack was. Barack couldn't answer that and fell back on the fact that Wright served in the military. So what? So did Lee Harvey Oswald. That's not an answer to a yes/no question. That's an evasion.

Barack gave a speech about Wright and wants to reap all the good press for that and then claim that Wright is an off-limits topic. In every question in the first half of the debate that Hillary or Barack was asked, the candidate's response determined the way America saw them. Barack was shifty, evasive and that's no one's fault but Barack Obama's.

The media loves to focus on what they term "character issues." That's nothing new. That didn't spring up in this debate. Were Barack all that his groupies think he is, the manufactured 'controversy' wouldn't have raged. The questions weren't the problems. His inability to answer was the problem.

The flag lapel is the most cited example of unfair questions. That came from a woman and it's interesting that a man saying he doesn't trust Hillary and a woman asking why Barack refuses to wear a flag lapel pin only results in attention to the latter but we read the subtext as "%$& women!"

Here's reality: Barack Obama made a big showy comment on how he didn't wear a flap lapel pin, of how it was, in effect, wrapping yourself in the flag. He stated (this is all in 2007 to the Associated Press) that he believed he proved his patriotism by his actions. Those remarks were ones he was proud of 2007.

Faced with a question from a woman, who probably wasn't following Barack coverage in 2007,

about that very issue, he couldn't answer. He couldn't even trot out his year-old response. That's not the moderators' fault, that's not Hillary's fault. The blame for that sorry moment goes to Barack.

Then there is the issue of William Ayres. And that may be the most illuminating moment in the 'press' that followed. The Weather Underground broke off from the SDS during Vietnam. The Weather Underground came about because you had a criminal government ignoring the wishes of the people and continuing the illegal war in Vietnam. You had a government suspected of spying on the people. Two administrations, Democratic and Republican, had continued the illegal war. Frustrations were high and, honestly, the SDS was out of it. The SDS wanted to be top-down. And the top was a bunch of White, sexist males. That point is especially important and we will come back to it because it's a point that none of last week's commentary grasped. The Weather Underground believe in violence. (Believes -- few members have renounced violence. Ayers has not renounced it.) They wanted to bring the war home and to do so via armed clashes and bombings. They bombed government buildings. Some would argue, they bombed the people's buildings and, certainly, repairs were paid for by the American citizens. They also bombed corporation buildings. But their most famous bombing was a residential building and an accident. Making bombs in a townhouse in NYC resulted in the bombing that claimed three lives, all presumed to be members of the Weather Underground (many suspect a male involved was actually a government agent).

Bill Ayers was a part of that group, the media repeatedly told you last week. His actions were sort-of outlined in the debate:

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, if you get the nomination, you'll have to -- (applause) -- (inaudible).I want to give Senator Clinton a chance to respond, but first a follow-up on this issue, the general theme of patriotism in your relationships. A gentleman named William Ayers, he was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol and other buildings. He's never apologized for that. And in fact, on 9/11 he was quoted in The New York Times saying, "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough."An early organizing meeting for your state senate campaign was held at his house, and your campaign has said you are friendly. Can you explain that relationship for the voters, and explain to Democrats why it won't be a problem?

What followed in the debate and what followed in the media proved the very real bias in favor of Barack Obama.

Barack tried to justify his relationship with Ayers instead of explaining it. He didn't answer the question but tried to whine the above took place when he was eight-years-old. That is a lie. Barack was born in 1961 and Weather Underground's actions took place over many years. (It was embarrassing to hear, on Friday, Diane Rehm insist, "He was eight-years-old!") He termed the actions "detestable" -- sounding like a First Class Priss. When he did so, he justified the question.

If the actions are "detestable," why is he hanging around Ayers? Hillary added to his relationship with Ayers (she didn't add all and she knows a lot more, as do we) and that led Barack to respond, "I'm going to have to respond to this just really quickly, but by Senator Clinton's own vetting standards, I don't think she would make it, since President Clinton pardoned or commuted the sentences of two members of the Weather Underground, which I think is a slightly more significant act than me . . ."

Despite Professor Patti Williams public orgasms over Barack's legal 'knowledge,' we've long noted the man's an idiot who can't even grasp what "verus" in the title of a court case means. We have no idea how he ended up president of the Harvard Law Review (not much of a credit in our eyes) but it was due to something other than a grasp of the law. So we'll assume that he wasn't trying to lie, he just truly doesn't know (idiot) whether Clinton pardoned or commuted the sentences of Linda Evans and Susan Rosenberg. He commuted them. They were not pardoned. We pointed that out Thursday morning. Sadly, it required pointing out again Thursday night. No pardons took place. But if you need a better example of the bias the press has in favor of Obama and against Clinton, you need look no further. Barack declared that Bill Clinton "pardoned or commuted" and the press ran with what? Pardoned. Given the choice to run with either, they went for the one that painted the Clintons badly and excused Barack's friendship with a domestic terrorist.

That tells you a lot. What a journalist actually does -- a real one -- is examine that charge, research it. In doing so, it would have been obvious that the two women had their sentences commuted, not that they were pardoned. But why bother to actually do your job when it's so much easier to repeat a lie -- one that benefits Barack and one that his campaign repeated on Thursday and as late as Friday. Barack's campaign is lying, there was no pardon.

David Corn, who used to pride himself on the facts, had a screaming meltdown when he took part in a media conference with the Clinton campaign. He insisted that "you guys obviously know, we all know, that President Clinton pardoned two Weathermen . . . uh . . . activists, terrorists, whatever you want to call them." No, David, we didn't all know that because it never happened. But when you're spoon-fed by the Obama campaign, when you're willing to publicly disgrace yourself to trade journalism in for campaign booster, you're prone to make mistakes.

Apparently not content to sound stark raving mad in front of his peers, David Corn then took to Mother Jones (aka Consumer Reports for the faux left) to brag, "I asked an obvious one: Did Hillary Clinton believe that it had been appropriate in 2001 for President Bill Clinton to have pardoned two members of the Weather Underground as he left office?" No, David, you didn't ask an obvious question, you embarrassed yourself by flaunting the fact that you've sold yourself out to the Obama campaign and are now letting them do the 'research' for you. It's nothing to take pride in.

It really was amazing to watch so many outlets -- presented with two possibilities of what Bill Clinton had done -- run with the more extreme and do so on the basis of the Obama campaign. Again, there bias was showing and they should all apologize.

A few seemed to grasp the need to clamp down on this thing before reality set in because reality wasn't being told by the press missing the story. The few (Bambi supporters) seemed to grasp that, no, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans combined were not the same thing as Bill Ayers. They aren't. And that's the point the media has repeatedly missed but that's how a sexist system operates. See, in some relationships, there is a leader and there is a follower. Ayers was the follower. Sing along with us:

And when the country was falling apart
Bernardine got it all shook up
And then there's Dorhn.
And then there's Dorhn.
And then there's Dorhn.

Yeah, Bernardine. The woman. The leader of the Weather Underground. Bill Ayer's partner and wife. Bernardine rightly grasps the powder keg this is and has refused all press requests. Bill Ayers wasn't just a member of the radical organization, he was (and is) married to its leader. He is not Susan Rosenberg or Linda Evans, he's elevated several steps higher.

Last April, The Nation was bemoaning "a recent spate of films and books that sanitize and romanticize the Weather past" (Christopher Phelps, "The New SDS," April 16, 2007). That would include 2003's documentary The Weather Underground in which a modern day Bernardine states that she will not renounce violence. We think it's amazing documentary, we think Bernardine's an amazing woman. But for Barack to claim that he is excused for hanging out with Ayers (and Dohrn) because he was eight-years-old (lie) when Weather Underground was active really requires that Ayers or Dohrn renounce their violent crimes. They don't. And if Bernardine doesn't, Bill won't because he has always been the follower to her leader. Bernardine was the leader of the Weather Underground.

Grasping that fact, it's hilarious to read the coverage post-debate which treats Bernardine as an arm-piece. She is the power broker in that relationship, Bill is the trophy wife. And there are other Weather ties to Obama. One that is public is former Weather Underground member Mark Rudd endorsing Barack.

The question wasn't shocking in a debate. Barack has bragged non-stop of his alleged superior judgement. He has no record to run on so all he's got his own life. People are going to ask questions and Ayers has been a minor media focus for months now. The focus wasn't helped when the Obama campaign attempted to lie that Ayers and Barack were friends because they had children the same age. As The Guardian of London's Daniel Nasaw pointed out Dorhn and Ayers' son Zayd is 30-years-old, Malik is 27-years-old and Chesa Boudin, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert's son that Ayers and Dorhn raised, is also 27, while Barack and Michelle Obama's daughters "are 6 and 9, respectively."

Ayers and Dorhn raised Chesa because his parents went to prison in 1983 for their actions in a bank robbery (unrelated to Weather Underground). We mention that for a reason. Dorhn and Ayers made national headlines and led the evening news broadcasts when they turned themselves in at the start of the 1980s, Barack Obama, born in 1961, was already a college student at Occidental and should have been aware of the big news.

Bill Ayers was not just a member of Weather Underground, he was married to (and still is) the group's leader. It's been very interesting to see Bernardine stripped of her credit in last week's accounts. It was equally interesting to see David Corn rush to Weather's defense at Mother Jones. For the record, we think Weather Underground was a response to the times and the actions of a criminal government (and we worry that something similar awaits America in the immediate future). We grasp that it was a complex time.

We also did not enshrine the hideous Mark Felt. Mark Felt, in his role as associate director of the FBI, broke every law imagineable and, in fact, that included getting Jennifer Dohrn's panties as a "trophy" during one illegal search. (Jennifer is Bernardine's younger sister.) The law breaking and the repression of Felt were among the things Weather Underground was responding to, along with the illegal war in Vietnam and a great deal more. But July 4, 2005, David Corn's co-written hagiography (co-written with Jeff Goldberg) of Mark Felt ("How Mark Felt Fooled the FBI") couldn't stop lavishing the criminal with praise. So it's more than a bit amusing watching Corn last week twist himself like a pretzel to mitigate Weather Underground's actions.

What it boils down to is the debate exposed Barack to be not-ready for the presidency. For all the talk of his superior judgement, his amazing speech making skills and blah blah blah, on the stage Wednesday, asked very basic questions, he couldn't deliver.

Hillary did deliver. The news cycle, the immediate news cycle, seized upon what they thought would be the defining moment: "YES! YES! YES!" to whether Barack was electable. Hillary was asked about the rumors that she has told super delegates that Barack is not electable. The press has run with that over and over, with those whispers. So her response was news. But Glen-Glen and Amy Poops aren't offended by that. They're not offended that Hillary was asked about whispers. Truth is, for all their faux outrage, they're probably not offended that Barack was asked about concrete things. They're sad that their lover boy couldn't get it up in the debate. They're sad that he came off like so much erectile dysfunction.

There he was, their man, their "goldenboy," doing that left-handed jerking off motion he does over and over whenever he speaks and he was beating a limp horse.

Bambi didn't deliver. He was a selfish-pork-face (as Gilda Radner once worded it) and they can't accept that he has feet of clay and isn't ready to run for president, so the problem must be the questions!

Hillary was actually asked tougher questions. Hillary didn't give a big speech about Bosnia after her mistake. Barack gave a big speech about Jeremiah Wright. If Barack found the questions offensive, he could have refused to answer. He didn't choose to take that stand. He chose to respond and he responded with evasions and half-truths. Realizing how pathetic he looked as the debate wound down, the Obama campaign texted their groupies, ordering them to take to the blogs. The day after MoveOn was calling for mob mentality as well. Most pathetic was FAIR joining in.

For the record, the latter two weren't offended when Hillary was slimed on MSNBC with accusations that she was "pimping" her daughter Chelsea. For the record, when Randi Rhodes practiced the sort of misogny that only a queen bee can, they issued no e-mails. For the record, when Jesse Jackson Jr. flat-out lied about Hillary Clinton on national TV, they didn't say a word. Bill Moyers was so 'tickled' by it, that he broadcast it and didn't tell his viewers that Jackson was lying. It's been open season on women -- not just Hillary -- and they haven't given a damn.

Now they want to act offended because their fellow jerked his limp noodle on stage instead of delivering. His embarrassments are his own. George and Charlie asked questions -- and, pay attention Amy Goodman -- none of the questions were, "Is your mother a liar?"

The aftermath was very illuminating. For example, you saw Barack Obama flip the bird when speaking of Hillary Clinton which was appalling and only further demonstrated how non-presidential he is. It did tickle his followers. His followers, his mob, went a little further. They issued a video fatawa on George that YouTube took down. That is how disgusting the "Hope" Brigade really is. They will put together a video announcing the death of someone and his "crime" was asking questions that they didn't like.

We're not concerned with tone and weren't bothered by the multitude of critiques of George. Call him a hair ball, a liar or whatever you want. We certainly have. But when you move into the area of "HE MUST DIE," you've really gone too far.

But they were aided in that. They were encouraged to do that. To really get the mob screaming, they were fed the lie that George is in the tank for Hillary. Liar Amy Goodman had to imply that on Friday by describing him as "George Stephanopoulos, the former Clinton aide". Left unstated was the reality, George and the Clintons are not close. George left the Clinton White House and went to ABC. Along the way, he wrote a book entitled All Too Human that we both think is garbage. We're not fans of George (as anyone reading our writing well knows) and one of us (C.I.) made a point of publicly snubbing Geroge two years ago. When he wrote that book, he offended a lot of people and he broke with the Clinton White House. His work on This Week (before he was a host) was not "Clinton friendly." To try to get the mob roused up by saying, "You know he was a part of the Clinton White House!" without telling them that he left under a cloud is lying. And that's all that Panhandle Media can do because all they are is pathetic liars, still jealous of their peers pulling down regular paychecks, working in real media, while they whine and whine some more, largely in obscurity.

"Great American Hypocrites" was the title of Amy Goodman's Friday segment and with Goodman you have the prime example of a LIAR SUPREME. Goodman has repeatedly brought on Barack supporters and members of his campaign without revealing that to her audience. It was only natural that she enlist again this week into lying in the service of her real master. That's not truth and justice, it's not the American way and it certainly isn't jorunalism. It's trickery and deceit, it's half-truths and outright lies, offered up as journalism. The actual post-debate story is first and foremost that the mob Barack has at his service was willing to threaten George for daring to ask questions. Don't expect Amy Goodman to ever tell you that story. Don't expect FAIR to send out an action alert on that. And never expect reality from the mouths of liars.

[Note, we intended to work Canterbury's Law into our review but a friend at Fox swears the network grasps it's a great show and that they're talking about giving it a "big" summer push. We fear it will actually be cancelled, but we've agreed to take him at his word. If you've never seen the show, episodes are available online for streaming -- free of charge. If Fox does give it a summer push, we'll review it then.]
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