Sunday, April 27, 2008

TV: Mission Impossible

"Your mission, should you decide to accept it," the recorded voice would declare before laying out the IMF's task each week. We know Jim Phelps never refused a mission but was he ever tempted? Probably not, he just faced petty dictators and organized crime. Ourselves, we face bad TV each week which is much more draining -- if not deadly.

This week's mission found us traveling to such far flung (read "backwater") locales as MSNBC -- a banana republic if ever there was one -- and, as the re-entry point into the so-called 'civilized' world, PBS. The journey only seemed to prove Joan Wilder's theorem developed in Romancing the Stone: "But if there was one law of the west, bastards have brothers who seem to ride forever." To which we add the axiom: "Yes, and they all appear to have been in-bred."


Proving that point as Pennsylvania voters showed up for their primary Tuesday was MSNBC Live where David Shuster and Tucker Carlson pulled out their tiny puds to see whose was bigger only to quickly put them back in their pants because no one thought to bring a microscope. But David Shuster did 'think' to bring an ink pen mocking Hillary Clinton. Transcript via Media Matters which also provides a video clip for those who missed or want to relive Nerds In The Locker Room:

SHUSTER: And we're back. Just over three hours until the polls close in Pennsylvania. Tucker Carlson is a friend of mine, an MSNBC senior campaign correspondent. And joining us from Washington is Reuters Washington correspondent John Decker. Before we get to predictions, Tucker, I want to present you something that actually was delivered to Chris Matthews today, but he's not here, and I stole it and I'm giving it to you.
SHUSTER: It's a pen. It's "Jabber Jaw Pens." And when you listen to it here --
[laughter from pen]
So in honor of being on the air with you for the first time in a little while, I present to you with a Hillary laughing pen.
CARLSON: You know, I can't tell you, David, how much I appreciate this, how much I appreciate your going through Chris' mail while he's gone and how much I'm really going to miss that cackle. I hope it goes on forever. It's brought light to my life.
SHUSTER: As we -- to the refrain of Hillary cackling, let's start with predictions tonight. What's going to happen?
CARLSON: I think she could do better than expected. I mean, it's impossible to overstate the degree to which this is about impressing the media, basically. She could win, you know, no votes at all, and she wouldn't have to get out. She could win every vote in the entire state, and she wouldn't win the nomination. And so this is about crossing the threshold that we set. And I think she's going to have to do pretty well in order to do that. And I think she -- I think she might.

Tucker Carlson said it "brought light to my life" and that's obviously needed. This is the man who was dropped by PBS (even with his father being the Corporation for Public Broadcasting president), fired by CNN and, just last month, MSNBC cancelled Tucker. He is the Jerry Van Dyke of the gas bag set and he's already had his My Mother, The Car moment (his ridiculous appearance on Dancing With The Stars), so what's left? David Shuster is, of course, just vile.

While voting was going on in Pennsylvania, Tucker and David decided to ridicule one of the candidates. And people complain that reporting early returns influences voting? Surely, the outrageous incident above, rank with sexism, was loudly called out, right?

By whom? Media Matters, yes. But FAIR? David Shuster is FAIR's little pet. See Schuster's credits include being on Fox "News." You may remember Shuster's recent suspension at MSNBC when he accused Hillary Clinton of "pimping out" her daughter. As the remarks got attention and before the suspension was announced, FAIR elected to "republish" (so it would show up as "new" in search engines) their 2005 item fawning over Shuster ("spills on the dishonest journalism and blatant bias at" Fox "News"). Shuster's received a lot of attention in his 'career,' such as when his local TV station had to retract his Whitewater rumors passed off as 'fact.' Shuster was one of the biggest peddlers of the illegal war on cable "news," so it was interesting that FAIR elected to avoid calling him out but did make sure to republish their 2005 item earlier this year to put a little gloss on their pet.

FAIR's becoming an interesting train wreck. As sexism has paraded through what passes for campaign coverage, FAIR's stayed silent. Like most of the left and 'left' outlets, it's become so toxic that it has given up all the standards it ever preached. It doesn't even pretend to give a damn about sexism these days and that's because so many people 'working' at FAIR are in the tank for Obama. That goes far beyond Norman Solomon who made a real ass of himself this week endorsing Barack and comparing him to FDR. They've been offering non-stop defenses of Barack Obama for some time. In a laughable "advisory" sent out on March 14th, they whined of Jeremiah Wright (yeah, we'll get to him), "This is not the first time that the press has devoted significant time to raising questions about Obama's associations or connections with various public figures . . . One example is Chicago real-estate developer Tony Rezko, now on trial for bribery charges." To smear Hillary, they cite -- and remember this is FAIR -- whom? Robert Novak. That's how disgusting FAIR has gotten. In order to smear Hillary, they're citing as trust-worthy a man they have called out repeatedly for falsehoods. Rezko is, of course, the man under federal indictment who is said to have practiced influence peddling, doing favors for politicians so that they would do favors for him. He raised over $250,000 for Barack's various campaigns and when Barack couldn't afford to purchase his mansion and the adjoining land, Rezko toured the property with him (at Barack's invitation) and ended up buying the land. Rezko's slums were in Barack's district and Barack steered federal monies Rezko's way. But what you hear over and over is that, "Barack's not been (legally) accused of any wrong doing!" FAIR even notes that in their "advisory." His friend -- a friendship he's minimized -- is under federal indictment and he wants to be president. It's news.

Instead of treating it as such, FAIR tries to toss all standards out the window and play enforcer for their crush. The only word for FAIR these days is hypocrite. April 17th they issued another "advisory" and made little effort to hide the fact that they were part of Team Obama. Entitled "ABC's Debate Debacle," they tried to play like they were being . . . well, fair by acknowledging that if you were going to complain about the first hour of the ABC debate, you had to admit that Hillary faced similar questions. Or at least a similar one ("Clinton's gaffe about Bosnia"). That was it. They made no reference to her being asked about whether or not she was trust-worthy or about whispers from some super delegates. Then for twelve tortured paragraphs, they go on to defend Bambi. They lamented that Obama was asked about crazy-ass Jeremiah Wright (overlooking the fact that Obama gave a heavily covered speech about Wright which alone would make it a topic for any debate) as well as "professor William Ayers, who was once a member of the radical Weather Underground group." Once? What does that mean, he was there for the formation meetings and left three months later?

Ayers is with Bernardine Dorhn who was always the leader of Weather. Dohrn called the group quits in the late seventies (it started in 1969) and that was the end of the group. Ayers was a member of Weather when it started until it ended many years later. They whined that George Stephanopoulus asked about Obama's association with one person (George should have asked about Bernardine as well) who was on the FBI's most wanted list. Again, Barack wants to be president and he's associating with someone who was on the FBI's most wanted list for being a player in an organization that bombed buildings and is responsible for the death of police officers (some would say four -- carrying the actions of former Weather members through to post-Weather days -- we'll just go with the plural and leave people to evaluate it on their own). FAIR whines that by pointing out that "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" George was confusing the issue. "Actually," FAIR declares pompously and stupidly, "that quote appeared in the Times on September 11, 2001, it was not, as Stephanopolous seemed to imply, made on the day of the attacks." George didn't imply that. He stated Ayers was quoted on 9/11 in the paper and The Times goes to bed the day before as even a half-wit knows. The "advisory" was turned into an embarrassing audio segment on Friday's CounterSpin proving that stupidity is not limited to cable "news" but also abounds on radio.

So don't look for Shuster and Carlson's nonsense to be called out by the alleged FAIR when they've made a point to ignore sexism throughout the campaign. How proud they must be to expose themselves as opportunistic hypocrites.


Keith Olbermann. As a friend at MSNBC says, "I swear he has crack odor." He certainly appears to on TV. Always rushing to a half-baked conclusion, it's very easy to see him rushing through a shower -- standing under the water for about 2 minutes, and never thinking to wash back there. (Seriously, guys, be aware that the body sprays they're selling you aren't dealing with the repugnant odor a number of you suffer from. If a woman doesn't want to go down on you, it may have nothing to do with not enjoying giving blow jobs, it may have to do with the rank smell coming from your asses. As important as learning how to wipe yourself is learning how to wash yourself.) In his 'commentaries,' Keith Olbermann starts at full blast and never seems to grasp that he has peeked about twenty seconds in. If Van Morrison were to redo "Tupelo Honey" in honor of Keithy, we'd suggest "your love is like Minute Rice, your love is microwave popcorn . . ."

Keith made the news last week with Howard Fineman but we actually found another moment appalling as well.

First up, Keith and Howie. Keith gets a full-on softy for his steady Barack and he hates Hillary. Howie is the man so detached from the truth that even his friend Al Franken once had to call him out on air in the midst of an Air America Radio interview. The two Nervous Nellies teamed up last week to cream their shorts over how dreamy Barack was and to fret over how he might not get the nomination. Howie was citing "some adults somewhere" -- certainly never to be found on cable "news" -- should do something. Specifically, "step in and stop this thing". "This thing" would be the primary elections and, apparently, concerned he might not be dancing with the homecoming king, Howie wanted to toss 'little things' like elections aside. Well who needs elections in a democracy!

Keith was all for it, like the fascist he is, and wet dreaming over who that "some adults" could be: "Right. Somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out."

Jerlyn (TalkLeft) and Susan UnPC (No Quarter) have posted the videos of the exchange. Howie and Keith drooled over the thought of some man taking Hillary into a room "and only he comes out." It's offensive. Is he suggesting Hillary gets assaulted, is he suggesting she gets murdered?

Do the boys have any clues about how a democracy functions? We know they have no clues about decency, but did they even understand that the United States is supposed to be a democracy? Don't expect FAIR to call out this sexism because they call out none. Keith is Katty-van-van Heuvel's buddy and some at FAIR will do anything to suck up to Katty-van-van (even forward private e-mails without the sender's knowledge or permission).

Even with unFAIR proving how useless they could be, the little exchange got enough attention that Olbermann was forced to issue what Joan Walsh (Salon) termed an "apology." We wonder if she read the same statement we did?

It is a metaphor. I apologize: the generic "he" gender could imply something untoward. It should've been "only the other comes out - from a political point of view." You could've called for reaction first if your main motive had merely been criticism.

"You" is Rachel Sklar and our apologies to her but we're not linking. She publishes at Aging Socialite's Cat Mix and, after deliberating over their decision to publish an offensive attack on mentally challenged children, we don't link to that site. As for Olbermann, that's an apology? It's not an apology. And he's still stating that Hillary gets assaulted or killed "from a political point of view" and his disdain for the democratic process is still evident. But enjoy the laughs of: "You could've called for reaction first if your main motive had merely been criticism."

Keith makes a statement on TV and Sklar calls it out. There's no reason to call him. Sports commentator and non-journalist Keithie wants to give a lecture on 'reporting'? Critics don't make calls before reviews. Pauline Kael, seeing a bad Robert Altman film, didn't ring up Bob and say, "Look, you're doing another s**t joke, a sure sign the film's a stinker, and I'm panning it so I thought I would get your input." A critic evaluates. That's so hard for Olbermann to comprehend because he knows nothing about journalism -- as he demonstrates each week night.

And he did it on Thursday as well. It was a very special episode of Chachi Loves Keith as Olbermann teamed up with Rachel Maddow to disinform. Rachel Maddow, a War Hawk for her entire first year on Air America Radio (fond of citing the non-existent Pottery Barn 'rule' of you break it, you bought it), is nothing but a liar and always will be one. Listeners of Unfiltered grasped that rather quickly as she would begin a Monday broadcast with news of what The Washington Post was reporting "today" and "today" was actually an article that ran on Sunday, or Saturday or Friday. Big Brain has Big Problems -- which didn't prevent her from attempting to educate guest host Bill Press on air one week. Being that Rachel's an out lesbian, a lot of people are confused by the fact that she's never called out Barack on his campaign's use of homophobia.

Calling Barack out would take guts and Maddow long ago demonstrated that she has none. This is the woman who, when informed that Unfiltered was being taken off the air at the end of the month to be replaced with a program hosted by Jerry Springer, refused to join Lizz Winstead in the walk-out. Winstead would be the person who not only co-hosted Unfiltered but basically created the Air America line-up. Winstead would also be the person who picked Maddow as her co-host (passing over others including Laura Flanders the self-loathing lesbian). When someone gives you your first national break and you're both informed the program is ending, you might think you would show a little loyalty.

Maddow showed none. She stabbed Lizz in the back in the AAR studios off air. She was angling for a job -- any job -- and loyalty wasn't in her vocabulary. She repeated on air the lie that Lizz was out because Lizz was sick. She allowed that lie to be repeated on the program's blog (which she constantly referenced on air throughout the month). She had her father take to the blog when she finally announced on air that the show was ending. Her father pleaded with anyone still listening to Unfiltered to please, please contact AAR (he helpfully provided contact information) to let them know how important Rachel was. Not content to have Daddy beg for her job, Rachel felt the need to cite the blog post and encourage people to do as he asked.

It paid off in that she got an hour show which was to Unfiltered what Sonny Comedy Revue was to The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour -- which was why it was quickly cancelled. But, having proven that she was a corporate toady, she was rewarded and despite having one low rated program after another, she keeps getting chances from AAR.

AAR is sinking. No one's supposed to notice, but it is. You can only file bankrupcty so many times. You can only bring in new ownership promising a turn around so many times. Rachel's dumb about many things but not about self-preservation. She angled MSNBC appearances early on (and was honestly only invited back repeatedly because the network considered Randi Rhodes physically frightening, Laura Flanders pushy and the woman they wanted, Janeane Garofalo, refused to take part in the freak show). When MSNBC's inherent sexism was being called out, Maddow latched onto that wave to call out Chris Matthews. As soon as she and MSNBC were negotiating a contract, she took to the press to defend Chris. Again, she's a corporate today who will do anything for a job. She proved that at the end of Unfiltered. And, no doubt, her father regularly writes a dozen e-mails to MSNBC each day, under assorted names, to praise his daughter's uninformed commentary.

"Lipstick on a pig" describes Rachel's TV appearances. As a MSNBC regular, and not a mere guest, the make up is turned up to full blast in an attempt to convince viewers that they are not watching Scott Baio. That basically translates as Baio with mascara, painted lips and so much blush it appears he has a fever.

On Thursday, Maddow (called "Maddow the Mad Cow" behind her back at MSNBC which seems unfair because mad cow is a disease one acquires and Rachel was born the way she is) bumped uglies with Keith Olbermann as they attempted to determine whose was bigger?

Maddow won because no one out masculines her. She tortured 'conventional wisdom' to undermine Hillary Clinton's Pennsylvania win (you didn't really think she'd have anything good to say about Hillary, did you?). In a voice that expresses more self-pleasure than even Keith's, Rachel Maddow declared:

The numbers argument is that Hillary Clinton's strength in some swing states, so far in the primary campaign, indicates that she would be stronger against John McCain in those states than Barack Obama would. The two that she usually cites now are Ohio and Pennsylvania but the implication is that by winning in those states--in those states the Democrats historically have to win in order to get the presidency -- Hillary Clinton has shown in the primaries that she would be stronger in the general. It's a simple argument. It doesn't necessarily bear out historically. I mean, you can ask Michael Dukakis how he felt in November 1988, looking back and hugging himself, thinking how good it was that he won the Pennsylvania primary that year, when he came nowhere near winning the state in the general election.

Maddow has only one speaking voice: pompous. It was hilarious to watch her claim that Dukakis didn't come close to winning Pennsylvania because she's lying and it reminded us of all the times she'd lie and say, "In this morning's Washington Post . . ." Those were lies -- she was reading from the article on air, she obviously had the article in front of her. She can't help but lie, it's her defining trait in broadcast. The 'logic' reminds us of Michelle Obama's stupidity or lying. Michelle, eager to sell her husband's non-existant electability, was shouting recently about how he had won, this year, in states that usually go Republican in the general election. "When's the last time," Michelle wanted to know, that a Democrat won in these states? Uh, the last time would be 2004 when Democratic primaries and caucuses were held. Michelle's not really so stupid that she thinks, in 2004, a Republican won Democratic primaries and caucuses, is she?

Maddow's "logic" builds on Michelle's stupidity or lies. Her argument is that a primary victory isn't a general election victory and that is true. States will (unless Keithie and Howie get their way) have multiple winners during the primary season -- a Democrat, a Republican, a Green Party, etc. When it's time for the general election, there will be only one winner. Maybe the term "finalist" should be used in place of "winner" when referring to the primary season? But Maddow, alleged Big Brain, should grasp that if, as happened, Hillary was the first choice in Pennsylvania and Ohio, she has a stronger base of support in those states. Therefore, she is the strongest nominee for the Democratic Party in those states. Going with the runner up would most likely hurt the Democratic Party in a general election. Just as, pay attention Rachel, going with Paul Simon in 1988 would have resulted in the Democratic Party losing by even bigger margins. The only big state Simon carried in the primaries, for those who care, was Illinois, his home state. See a pattern?

Maddow didn't. It was far more important to her to lie that Michael Dukakis came "nowhere" near George H.W. Bush. Truth isn't important to Maddow as a manuscript currently being shopped around about Air America Radio's early days (by an on air personality) makes clear --much more so than we have here. "One of the boys" is how it describes her in a milder moment and that's certainly apt. Maddow was happy to charge sexism when it would benefit her and happy to walk away from that charge, to vouch for Chris Matthews, when MSNBC offered her a contract. Maddow's in it for herself and everything she ever says needs to be factored through that reality.

Reality left PBS long ago and that's where we ended last week's mission. First up was Washington Week where Gloria Borger (having smoothed over her forehead problem) was inventing facts that never existed, about the Michigan primary. Declaring that actions Clinton took were "against the rules of the Democratic National Committee" when they weren't but this allowed Slate's John Dickerson to then whine, "Obama wasn't even on the ballot!" Because he removed his own name -- because he knew he would fair poorly. There was no rule that you had to remove your name from the ballot. Barack Obama knew he would perform weakly and chose to remove his name. (Hillary, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel kept their names on the ballot.) They were insisting -- with no objection from any other panelist or moderator Gwen -- that it wasn't fair to count Florida and Michigan in the popular vote.

The popular vote is the popular vote. Primaries took place in Florida and Michigan. Whether the DNC seats, or doesn't, the delegates, the primaries took place and news outlets shouldn't pretend otherwise. Reporters are supposed to report what took place and, fact, primaries took place in both states and Hillary won.

John Dickerson -- whose outlet created a Hillary Death Watch and likened it to their Saddam-Meter, so therefore really shouldn't be invited on to comment on the Hillary campaign -- was whining that "the arithmetic we were taught in school" didn't allow for including the primaries. Actually, John, it did. Math exercises had you count apples and oranges. You weren't allowed to determine whether a national grocer would carry those apples and oranges before you were expected to count them. You were told there were X number and you added them. The same way that the primaries in Michigan and Florida are part of the popular vote. Martha Raddatz, who seemed the sanest on the panel, brought up the issue of "battle ground states" and Gloria distorted Martha's question, after explaining that she'd "talked to David Axelrod today." David Axelrod is Barack's campaign manager and no real reporter would ever cite him as an authority since he's far from impartial in the race but, then, Gloria's never been a real reporter. Axelrod's bit of "truth"? Gloria shares that he told her Barack didn't "expect to win in Pennsylvania." That's a nice little lie. He spent how many millions on advertisement? He spent how many days campaigning there? If he didn't think he was going to win, Axelrod's confessing to a campaign breakdown because that time should have been spent in Indiana. That's something a real reporter would have grasped.

John Dickerson noted that Barack's trying to change the elitist tag that has stuck to him and Gwen interrupted to note, "Yeah, but cheesesteak and beer didn't do it in Pennsylvania." John explained Barack's new strategy, mentioning jello molds. "What's with you and the jello molds?" Gwen wondered, after John had mentioned it repeatedly causing John to explain that Barack's citing it repeatedly, how he ate jello molds growing up. Was everyone too shy or stupid to point out the obvious?

Grown men don't refer to "jello molds." A homemaker clipping recipes out of Ladies Home Journal in the 1970s might refer to "jello molds." Everyone else would just say "jello." One more example of how out of touch Barack is with the average person today. We look forward to him attempting to woo the Latino vote by declaring that he eats chips and "guacamole dip" -- possibly, he can wear hip huggers and an apron while using that laughable term?

Gloria wasn't done lying for Barack. She seemed to sense that no adult says "jello molds" today and that it was a wee bit too fussy. So she took to speaking for the Obama campaign and claiming that Hillary's electability argument was bogus and "I think the Obama campaing would say it's the other way around." You think? Didn't you just brag about your conversation with David Axelrod? Before anyone might ask that question, she was rushing off to spread rumors about Hillary's campaign. "They say it came through the internet," Gloria declared ominously. "It" was campaign donations. "These things are hard to trace," she added and, sadly, she wasn't speaking of her own smears.

By this point, we felt like we were in season seven of Mission Impossible. We'd left cable "news" finally, praying that the shots we'd received would protect us from the various diseases which inhabit that land. And Mission Impossible left that banana republic storylines in season seven as well with the program deciding to focus on the US and zoom in on organized crime. "Organized crime" may best describe today's media. That was evident by viewing Bill Moyers Journal.

For the record, as we've repeatedly noted, throughout this year, Bill Moyers has done one story on race after another -- superficial examinations, but they've been done. They've actually been overdone. He has never explored gender. It gives Big Bill the willies. And he's made it clear, repeatedly, that his program is in service of the Christ-child Barack Obama. Hillary can be doubted, scorned, called a liar by him, but Barack walks on urine. Possibly Bill's.

Breaking with tradition, Bill leaked video of his interview with crackpot Jeremiah Wright ahead of time and it had a number of people excited. Not us. We were well aware that Bill wasn't hitting hard (someone with the show warned us ahead of time that it was "more embarrassing than anything [Barbara] Walters has ever done") . The point of leaking the bit where Wright says he's a person of the Lord speaking truths and Barack's a politician was to make potential viewers think, in Bill's language, "Hot damn, there's going to be a throw down."

It was more like a press jacking. Or maybe just a jacking. The whole point, and he bragged about this, was to "humanize" Wright. He probably thinks he did but Bill's been missing a few screws for decades now.

The first thing we noticed was that Wright wasn't wearing the ornate caftan he is so infamous for but instead a shirt and tie. Interesting while, declaring on the program, that [White] missionaires sent to Africa convinced people that you "have to have on a tie." We found it amusing that Wright was attempting to equate his mu-mu with African garb since it more closely resemebles the fashion at Monterey Pop.

Bill was very creative throughout the broadcast. We chuckled over this exchange:

BILL MOYERS: When I hear the word "black liberation theology" being the interpretation of scripture from the oppressed, I think well, that's the Jewish story--

REVEREND WRIGHT: Exactly, exactly. From Genesis to Revelation. These are people who wrote the word of God that we honor and love under Egyptian oppression, Syrian oppression, Babylonian oppression, Persian oppression, Greek oppression, Roman oppression. So that their understanding of what God is saying is very different from the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians. And that's what prophetic theology of the African-American church is.

That's the Jewish story? Non-Jew Bill might want to rethink that and certainly Wright, the "religious historian," is factually wrong when he claims that Jews "are people who wrote the word of God" "from Genesis to Revelations." That little 'factoid' would certainly be news to a rabbi. For the brain dead like Wright and Bill, the Jewish faith does not recognize the New Testament. The New Testament is Christian and, therefore, written by Christians. It's appalling that the non-stop yabberer about religion Bill Moyers didn't catch that but it's not surprising that Wright's meager religious knowledge led him to make such a stupid statement.

Wright then wanted to inform viewers that "the prophets" (we're not sure whom he meant because he didn't name them and, for all we know, he meant Simon & Garfunkel) called out Israel, they were "not damning . . . in fact, if you look at the damning, condemning, if you look at Deuteronomy, it talks about blessing and curses, how God doesn't bless everything. God does not bless" gang-bangers, dope dealers, young thugs. (Like too many lost in love over the sound of their own voice, Wright has to repeat often. The three listed are named by him in repetative sentences that sounded like the typical bad chorus to any Eurythmics song.) Then we get to "G** damn America." By Wright's 'logic' throughout the interview, he was cursing America and doing so as a prophet.

Strangely profit never entered into the discussion but Bill couldn't portray Wright as the helper of the downtrodden while also exploring Wright's need to construct a million-dollar-plus home. It didn't really fit in with the workshops (which do not seem to have produced any results since neither Bill nor Wright cited any) to improve the plight of the poor.

If you want a true portrait of the bad broadcast, watch or listen. Those dependent upon text should know that the transcript is scrubbed. They should also grasp that Wright is an idiot, an uneducated one. No one talks "about my government right or wrong." Only an idiot would say that. The phrase the feeble minded Wright is trying to grasp is "My country right or wrong." He may be distorting the phrase intentionally because he damned the country and now wants to pretend he was damning the government (and we're not sure that's an enhancement for his image).

Bill refers to "those soundbytes" and that's been a talking point of Wright apologists and defenders for sometime. Wright whines that he "felt it was unfair. I felt it was unjust. I felt it was untrue." No one's required to listen to (or worse, watch) his mincing act, performed in drag, in full. He's offensive, he's a hate monger. Bill, a semi-trained journalist, certainly is aware that when someone does an interview for a print publication, every word is not run. It's not gotcha, it's not "soundbytes," it's reporting.

Bill didn't flinch when Wright expressed the following, "That the perception of God who allows slavery, who allows rape, who allows misogyny, who allows sodomy, who allows murder of a people, lynching, that's not the God of the people being lynched and sodomized and raped, and carried away into a foreign country." Sodomy would be anal sex and, in this country (which Wright is a part of), it has only really been a "crime" for two men. (Despite being on the books in such a way that it should have also been enforced for male-female couples, it was used to prosecute gays for consensual behavior. Lawrence v. Texas finally overturned it.) Wright knows damn well what he's saying. And he knows damn well how offensive what he says is. He's expressing homophobia and let's all not pretend he's describing slavery because the term "misogyny" is in there.

Hate-monger Wright not only practicies homophobia, he practices misogyny. It was cute to watch what clips Bill chose to play and realize which ones he didn't. When Wright was thrusting his hips like Flip Wilson doing Geraldine to imply sex, Bill wasn't interested in that. Nor was he interested in the hate speech (and political speech, campaign politics that do not belong in a church by law) Wright expressed towards Hillary Clinton -- as he distorted her, raged against her and came to his climax (don't call it an 'awakening') by thundering she had never been called the n-word. There is no excuse for that so Bill chose to pretend it never happened. He also ignored Wright's 'sermon' on Natalee Holloway. She's the young woman who went missing in Aruba and, by her parents accounts, a Christian. But that didn't prevent Jeremeiah Wright from ripping her apart in front of his church. What was Natalee's crime?

All that's known is that she went missing and is still missing. Nothing else is known but to hear Wright screaming from the pulpit she was a whore, a drunk and a dope fiend. Now Wright never met the woman and there's no conclusive evidence about anything that happened in Aruba so exactly why did he feel the need to make her the subject of a sermon and to smear her? Why did he feel the need to trash her? If he mentioned her at all, as a person of God, it should have only been to ask everyone to pray for her safe return. Instead, he libeled her with rumors and false charges and he scorned her. He's a hate monger and he's a misogynst. Natalee Holloway never did a thing to Jeremiah Wright. There was no point to his sermon and no factual basis to it.

The allegedly educated man, the one time "cardiopulmonary technician," also declared that AIDS was a plot against African-Americans, a government plot. Bill avoided that clip and that issue. The man is a crackpot and a hate monger. He makes baseless charges from the pulpit in order to enrage his congregation. Sorry to upset any members of that congregation but when you listened to it, you took part in hate speech. If you applauded, said "Amen" or stood up, you are a hate monger. Natalee Holloway's treatment proves it. She wasn't "powerful" (though he clearly thinks the powerful are to be hated), she wasn't a racist, she wasn't a vile person. She's a young woman who went missing and Wright thought he could shred her apart from the podium. Because she was a woman? Because she was White? We don't know. We just know that no one claiming to be a person of God has the right to do what he did.

Bill Moyers obviously knows that as well which is why he refused to include that clip.

He thinks he "humanized" Wright (whom the radicals on the left insist has been "demonized") and helped his candidate Barack Obama. He did no such thing.

He only reminded us of Mission Impossible. Specifically, the season seven episode entitled "Ultimatum." In that kitchy episode, the IMF team takes on 'respectable' Dr. Jerome Cooper. The scientist is unhappy with the American government and attempts to blackmail the president of the United States via threatening to explode a bomb. He has a list of demands including replacing cabinet members. It's all really pathetic, on every level, because changing cabinet posts doesn't change foreign policy. Bill Moyers is pretty pathetic as well which is why he's the perfect modern day Jerome Cooper. They even look a little alike. No one looks like Madlyn Rhue which is a real shame. With her long hair curled (though not cut) into a shag, she's clearly supposed to be modeled on Jane Fonda (the episode aired in 1972) and she's his radical partner. The team tricks Jerome into disarming the bomb by making him believe he accomplished his goal. Once he disarms the bomb, Rhue's Adele shows up laughing.

Like Jerry, Bill accomplished nothing. He gave Wright time to 'explain' his hate mongering but he had to show clips, even selectively chosen ones. In doing so, he only drove home what a crackpot Wright is. Since the part of Adele wasn't cast, let us crib her last, caustic line, "Oh, yeah, Bill, you conquered the world alright!"
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