Sunday, June 15, 2008

A note to our readers

Hey --
Are we late this week? Some don't think so. The reality is that everyone's tired and pointing out that at 3:00 a.m. EST, when the roundtable finished, we should have been done. It was made clear that no one wanted to continue (as I'd suggested) and that we'd get back together this evening.

So let's start with who helped create this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
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,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,

And of course Dallas who found links, was a soundboard, and helped in so many other ways. Here's what we've got.

Truest statement of the week -- Bonnie Erbe was the clear winner. For those wondering about Katie Couric, Ava and C.I. are focusing solely on that so we didn't put Couric on the nomination list. That wasn't a slap to Couric and her very true words but since there was an entire feature article on that, we didn't consider her as a nominee. Erbe was the clear choice and there were only two other nominees, neither of which said anything all that important.

Editorial: Nader's a real candidate with real stands -- The editorial and we did it early on. The roundtable was the second to last thing we did. This is a strong editorial and we're all pleased with it. But we'll probably move away from editorials on the political campaigns (Dona says, "As sure as you type that, another one will come up next week"). Okay, we'd like to move away from them. That doesn't mean we'll stop covering Nader. It does mean that we would like to move that to articles. The silence in existance on war resisters since winter 2006 continues and we probably should make that our focus. Whether it will turn out that way or not, who knows?

TV: Strength greeted with confusion, attacks & silence -- Ava and C.I.'s commentary. The promise I made was if they wrote long, hit hard and worked on this we'd all be done quickly. That didn't happen as everyone but Ava and C.I. pointed out. They worked on this longer than anything they've ever worked on. They started Saturday evening and, by Saturday night, were reading portions of it to friends (feminists and women working in broadcast and cable). They incorporated all feedback and did another draft. Then they did their editing. When they were done, they handed it to me and I read it outloud. We immediately went to work on the editorial because everyone was jazzed by this. We were working full speed throughout the edition as a result of this. Which is why, when the roundtable was done, and some started noting the time, there was some real resistance to working some more. It was pointed out that while Ava and C.I. worked on this, I was telling the rest that everyone was tired and if we could get a strong editorial and one or two strong short pieces, we'd do a shorter edition and everyone could get some sleep. It was pointed out that Ava and C.I. busted their asses on this (they really did, I don't argue that point) and I was still saying we had other pieces to do. Betty's opinion was that this was the finest thing Ava and C.I. have done and that "if you're thinking anything we're all going to produce right now, as tired as we are, will be up to that level, you are kidding yourself."
This really is strong and powerful. And funny. Ava and C.I. disagree and they have several sections that they edited out to make it flow better. We may try to work on those discards in future weeks to revisit the topic but Ava and C.I. really say it all. And say it so damn well. There was a gasp and a laugh at the use of "bitch" because Ava and C.I. don't use that term. That came from the feedback over the phone from friends who were repeatedly stating what Dr. Kathy qualified her for that term. As they heard it over and over, they agreed they'd try to work that point in somehow. They went with a quote from Death Becomes Her. This really is something. And you should be asking, because journalists were raising this point to Ava and C.I. in their feedback, why did Bill Moyers discuss the 'tearing up' moment by supplying a clip that wasn't of that moment? It is true that journalists are supposed to be use primary sources when available. So why didn't Bill Moyers air the video of Clinton? Why did he instead air the attack by Jesse Jackson Jr.? Why did he go with an attack and a distortion when the journalistic thing to do was to play the moment so the viewers could see it for themselves? Bill Moyers needs to answer that question.

Where are the demands? Where is the knowledge? -- C.I. and Elaine's brains and C.I. journals were picked for this. We are serious about continuing to explore the history of war resistance during Vietnam and we think it's appalling that the history isn't explored by all our 57 mags/websites and they've got nothing to say. If we make this topic the editorial next week, we'll cover it. Otherwise we probably won't because next week will be our summer read.

Roundtable -- First. Dona says, "Augustana, Holly Near, Ashford & Simpson, Carly Simon, Jefferson Airplane and Jack Johnson were what we listened to this edition." She didn't realize how late it was and, in the roundtable, referring to Barbara's e-mail, said we'd note what we were listening to. Everyone was too tired. Second, this is a wide ranging roundtable and I did attempt to include as many e-mails as I'd read. Ty and Dona did as well. There was a huge section that got deleted. This was typed this afternoon and Dallas didn't do links because C.I. sent Dallas packing. C.I. rightly noted that it was bad enough we always expect Dallas to do links but to ask him to work all night and then call him back this evening was just outrageous. We all agreed with that. Dallas, thank you for your work, it is appreciated. We shouldn't abuse all you do expecting you to constantly give time and give time especially when it's due to my poor planning. Time permitting, we'll put in some links this week.

Barack and his use of racism -- This was the last piece we had to write. Again, we were are working the e-mails. We know what you're interested in and following. The realization that Barack, in Jamie's words (and we couldn't fit it into the article, so I'm sorry but we'll include it here) that Barack cried "Fire!" in a crowded building over and over is really starting to tick people off. We should all be ticked off. Originally, the final draft was much longer. As Dona pointed out, Betty makes the point strongest and we just need to end with her words.

Cockburn's SewerHose -- Does the left really thinking mocking John McCain's POW years is a winning strategy? Do they really think that taking the word of someone who either participated in torture or condoned it with his presence is how we honor the victims of torture? This is the second time in recent weeks that we're aware of CounterPunch getting this sleazy. It needs to stop.

Things to do -- A listing of three events taking place this week.

Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Betty, Kat, Marcia, Rebecca, Ruth, Cedric and Wally wrote this and also picked out highlights unless otherwise noted.

And that's what we've got. Next week the plan is the summer fiction read. After that, Dona and I will be off for a week, then Ty will be off the week after. This was addressed in the edited out section of the roundtable (edited because "It's dull, it's too personal and there's no reason to include it" -- in the words of one participant).

We'll see you next week.

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }