Sunday, June 08, 2008

Norman Solomon remembers 'the ladies'

June 3rd, Norman Solomon, erstwhile 'media critic,' showed up at FAIR (or 'FAIR') to offer "Obama, Clinton and Anger to Burn." It was a laugh riot, even if Norman didn't intend it to be.

Norman wanted to have a little talk with the ladies. (Laura Flanders tried the same tactic but pulled it off a little better last week.) Norman thought he'd start by opening with a joke. Or that's how we're seeing his citing the increasingly crazed Bob Herbert (who made it up from The New York Daily News to The New York Times in the standard press manner -- bashing African-Americans -- and now seems guilt riddled, as he should be, and determined to see racism everywhere).

Herbert feels that "months" were "spent" on the "toxic terrain of misogyny, racism and religion". Do tell. And who climbed Mount False Charges, Herbie? It would be Bob himself. In column after column. So it's cute that Norman wants to cite Bob Herbert as an authority on anything.

Norman has the good sense (it vanishes quickly) to note Herbie "doesn't spread the blame evenly" and then Norman, apparently wishing he could be "Charlie Harper" and not "Norman Solomon," brags he himself doesn't "either."

The Blusters of St. Norman?

We're not seeing it as an eternal classic but we'll anticipate the clip job that's, no doubt, currently be compiled.

Norman's never called out the sexism in the campaign season and don't think for a moment that he's really going to now. He just tossing it out in an effort to reach out to women -- you know, the gender he has repeatedly slammed and slimed this decade when he couldn't ignore them.

"They're about to go over a cliff," he types supposedly meaning voters but, read closely, it's those damn women drivers, Norman infers.

If you didn't catch on, his next paragraph makes it clear because the problem is, he says, "The anger that's churning among many Hillary Clinton supporters is deserving of respect. For a long time, she's been hit by an inexhaustible arsenal of virulent sexism, whether from Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh or Chris Matthews." Tucker Carlson? His show is gone. Rush Limbaugh? It's garbage from Norman who likes to play "media critic" but really doesn't want to be one. A real media critics names names. Even the casual observer long ago grasped that no one's provided as much sexism per second as Keith Olbermann. Norman ignores that -- just like 'FAIR.'

He's not interested in calling out sexism and he's really not interested in sexism. That's really all he has to offer in the entire column, directed at the 'ladies.' Instead, he's back to racism. Racism matters to White man Norman. Sexism? He doesn't give a s**t.

Which is why he's moaning about some racists quoted in the press saying they'd never vote for a "Black man." (Word to Norman, we're not aware of any "Black" man running for office. Barack is bi-racial. He also ignores all the press quotes from 'average voters' who stated they would never vote for a woman.) In his best Cokie Roberts (the column reads like Norman dressed up in drag -- with pearls), he tells you that emergencies bring out the best people because they "put aside differences, at least for a while."


Yes, it's time for another man to tell women what to do. It's time for another smug, pompous prick to think the women of America are just waiting to hear what he has to say.

And though he's got zilch to say on sexism, he's got a ton to spew. Don't you know, Norman insists, that the Bill of Rights is burning!

How can we sleep when our Bill of Rights is burning!

Pour on that Midnight Oil, Norman.

And do you know that children from Baghdad to Los Angeles are dying! Dying!

Apparently, they're sitting on tops of buildings, on the verge of jumping, due to some feminists announcing they won't vote for Barack Obama. Dramatic little things, aren't they?

The social contract has been scorched, Norman insists.

There's an "electoral opportunity" just over the horizon, Norman insists. He can see it! He can almost taste it! The only problem, he tells you, is "the long Obama-Clinton battle has depleted precious time with little good to show for it."

Well it certainly hasn't produced anything worth seeing from Norman but that's a given when sexism is used non-stop and a 'media critic' pretends not to notice -- week after week, month after month. Reading, you start to get the idea that Norman's real panic is that of a kid who's trashed the home over the weekend and realizes the folks are due back any minute.

Norman feels he may be losing people with his scribbles, after all, he came close to singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," but never quite made it. What to do? What to do?

Oh, yeah, toss in the word "gender" and maybe the 'ladies' will nod in solidarity.

So Norman does that and, like a criminal returning to the scene of the crime, also includes the "prejudices . . . of sexual orientation."

Golly, Norm, Gay Pride month is this month and we saw Hillary's statement on it. We didn't see Barack's. Why do you suppose that is? Oh, yeah, he used homophobia to scare up votes in South Carolina.

Hey, Norman, give us the link to the column where you called that out?

Oh, wait. You never wrote a column calling that out.

"Furious supporters of Hillary Clinton are now talking about Michigan and Florida" -- as they should. If Norman wrote this the day it appeared at FAIR or even one day before, he should know Barack Obama received more delegates than Hillary for Michigan. Interesting considering his name wasn't even on the ballot because he made a big show of pulling it to show 'solidarity' with New Hampshire and Iowa. Hillary wins the state and she gets less delegates than the man who took his name of the ballot? Florida's punished when other states who jumped the starting gate are not (such as Nevada). But we're not supposed to notice that either. The DNC 'rules' committee makes a complete mockery of popular will and fair and free elections. And no one's supposed to protest?

"Understandably, they’re apt to see recent developments in the context of despicable male chauvinism and unfair caricatures in the press," Norman writes when the reality is that what's being seen is an unfair process rigged against a candidate. We know "despicable male chauvinism" when we see it -- we did, after all, read Made Love, Got War.

Normy tells you that there is "more than enough anger to burn" but warns that John McCain will benefit. Oh, the horror.

If John McCain becomes president, Norman's setting out the media template here, it will be the fault of those angry feminists who just can't show the same disrespect for themselves that the media, the Obama campaign and, in fact, Norman does for women.

He tells you corporations are cheering on a victory by McCain. Strange. As John Pilger so aptly noted last week, Barack's the candidate of Wall Street. Norman wants you to know "outright militarists" are cheering on McCain as well. "Outright militarists?" As opposed to the closeted ones? Look, Norman, when you put Sarah Sewall (aka Sarah Sewer) on your campaign (as Barack has), you really can't have your surrogates play the anti-militarists card. Sewall was over the counter-insurgency manual. (Obama's other adviser, Samantha Power, blurbed the book in gushing praise.)

In what is surely supposed to make the 'ladies' gasp Norman thunders about "Men on the Supreme Court"!

Let's break it down for Norman. There have been two women on the Supreme Court in the entire history of this country. One was appointed by Ronald Reagan, the other by Bill Clinton. Reagan's dead. Another Clinton was running for the Democratic nomination. Anyone worrying about the Court would have supported Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton's appointments stand up.

Equally true is that Democrats in the Senate rolled over when Bully Boy appointed Roberts and Alito to the Court.

Peddle your hysteria elsewhere. Your theatrics come off as neither wise nor informed.

Normy ends on a cautionary note, "Unfortunately, the angry often end up burning themselves." Yes, that may be the case. If Barack's the nominee in November, it appears he will lose the nomination and we may all begin saying "President John McCain."

That won't be the fault of feminists. It will be the fault of those "angry" people "burning themselves" by insisting upon Barack Obama who is unqualified to be president, has no record to speak of, used sexism himself ("periodic," etc.), allowed his surrogates and the media to use sexism without ever calling it out (where was that speech, Norman), made homophobia a standard campaign device for all Democrats to come and has associated with some of the most unsavory characters.

Instead of tut-tutting to the 'ladies,' maybe you should be explaining where the hell you get off mentioning sexism when you, the great 'media critic,' haven't once called it out this year? Or where the hell you get off making a fleeting reference (so inclusive!) to homophobia when you're supporting the candidate that did what even Republicans don't do in presidential races.

You almost destroyed a marriage recently with your 'friendship.' It's past time for you to stop being so 'helpful.' You want to be a media critic that anyone listens to? Stop re-writing the same columns every year. We've all read and re-read your "The media never tells you that MLK was against the war" column you phone in each year. We've read all the garbage you churn out over and over. It's tired. It's old. You're boring.

The one thing a media critic cannot afford to be is boring.

But that's what you are today as you refuse to call out 'friends' and repeatedly go after the easiest targets.

Someone lied to you.

Someone convinced you had some pull with women. You don't.

Not with women angry about the non-stop sexism.

And you make the same mistake Laura Flanders does. You assume it's only women who are appalled by the sexism.

Norman, you've become a good foot soldier for the Democratic side of the establishment. You of all people should grasp that doing so means you're a lousy media critic.

Run along, the grown ups have real issues to discuss and don't need to hear anymore of your scary campfire tales. If it's still not clear to you, it takes a lot of nerve to hit a woman with your fists and then tell her not to fight back, but that's just what you're encouraging. You really should be ashamed. Scoot along, Solomon, you aren't king here and we're not going to make like Sheba and lift our hemline for your sick amusement.
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