Sunday, July 13, 2008


Jim: Roundtable time. Participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, and Ava and me 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 Marcia SICKOFITRDLZ. We're going to work in some e-mails and topics include sexism, the presidential race, the Iraq War and more. If you see an illustration, that's by Betty's son. Ty's gone through the e-mails Saturday.


Ty: A number of e-mails came in on last week's "Stop the racism." Soo-kyung spoke for all and for herself. For all in terms of finding the nonsense of a non-Korean-American doing a stereotypical accent and faltering speech while trying to pass the racism off as 'art' and for herself in terms of she's third generation American, her family came from South Korea to California in the early seventies. She self-describes as "a 19-year-old college student who has more than had my fill of 'comedy' and 'art' reinforcing racial stereotypes. If I was Anna Deavere Smith, I would take that and read it, 'wee-un-forcing wacial staretypes.' It is not funny. It is not art. I seriously doubt Amy Goodman would play a clip of a White person offering a racial stereotype of an African-American and find it amusing as she so clearly did. There seems to be a real lack of understanding about race and racism in this country and a lot of so-called progressives seem to think saying 'no' to racism means treating African-Americans as fairly as they would Whites. There is a whole range of hues and colors in this country and in this world and all so-called awareness about racism has meant is that people get it is wrong to stereotype African-Americans but, as a consolation prize, they go to town on Asian-Americans and Latinos. On of my professors last spring, an educated African-American, came into our class and began whining about the roof on his house. As we waited and waited for the class to begin, he seemed to grasp how uninterested we were in his story. So he decided to end it 'happy' by stating he was just going to drive through 'the Mexican part of town' and find some guys who would work cheap and they won't 'mind the heat because it's hot in those trailers that they come across the border on.' Some of us gasped. No one laughed. Sensing that he offended us, he tried to joke it off. When I complained to the dean's office, I was told he was only visiting and it really didn't matter 'besides, do you really want to accuse a Black man of racism?' Yes, I did. And who knows what he would say about my family if I wasn't in the room? For Amy Goodman to play that clip and not call it out was racism. I've had enough of the 'progressives' and their movement for 'racial justice' that never includes all of us. Our issues are never explored on Democracy Now and we're rarely even invited on as guests for a roundtable featuring as many as four or five participants. In fact, about the only time an Asian-American gets any attention from the 'progressives' is when it's time to rip apart right-winger Michelle Malkin. Whites and African-Americans in 'progressive' media better wake up to the fact that they are marginalizing a huge number of people and they are practicing racism." She also added that her sister steered her to this site a year ago because of Ava and C.I.'s TV pieces and "that's why I wasn't surprised that Third Estate would be a site -- the only site -- that would address this topic. Keep fighting and know a lot of us are cheering you on."

Dona: One thing I want to say, besides thanks to everyone who wrote and many shared stories similar to Soo-kyung, is that the article was written by Jim, Ava, C.I. and Betty. To give credit where it is due. That article was hugely popular in the e-mails.

Betty: Let me toss in that Ava, C.I. and Jim basically wrote the entire article. I just went and added a little bit. The three of them ended up writing a great deal last week and the rest of us joined them late Sunday morning. Their article could have stood alone without any input from me and I felt that way about a number of articles. But on that one, I did want to weigh in and it's for the reasons outlined in the e-mail. Racism is not just something done to or distortion of Black people. I've talked about the problems in my office before. I'm Black, by the way. And how Latinos were told they could not speak Spanish in the office by one supervisor. That supervisor ended up getting in trouble for that; however, it went to a very real undercurrent of racism. C.I. taught me a little trick to deal with it -- it being when racist comments are made. And I'm talking about my own community, the Black community. When some comment is made about Latinos, whether it's a stereotype about driving or what, I say, "Wow." I wait for everyone to look over me and for someone to ask, "What?" Then I say, "Oh, sorry, I was just thinking about how sixty years ago, this office would have been filled with White people and what they might have said about us." It gets the point across. Smith isn't a 'comic,' she's not much of anything to be honest. But there seems to be some idea that it's okay for us, Black people, to be racist because we're just being 'honest.' Honesty is when we examine our own community. When we are discussing other races, that's not honesty. And we certainly have no right to stereotype or have the arrogance to believe that we can speak for Asian-Americans.

Cedric: Just to add to Betty's point, because she and I have talked about, it's degrading 'humor,' it's insulting 'humor' and it's racist 'humor.' It flies on Comedy Central so maybe some of our brothers and sisters think that's the way to get fame, but it's degrading and it needs to stop. The test should always be if someone did that about you, would it be funny or racism? When we joined everyone last weekend, we were looking at some of the stuff Ava, C.I. and Jim had written and Betty was saying, "This is too good as it is, if we add to it, we're only going to weaken it." I was tempted to add to that piece but I thought they pretty much covered it and, what they didn't, Betty added. I'm really proud of that article, even if my only output was, "It doesn't need anything from me."

Jim: That's the only reason we had an edition last week. We'd decided to take the weekend off. Here, in California, a number of us decided to go out. I was going through the photos of Dona and my trip to France and Ava and C.I. were too tired to go out. So we were just talking, the three of us, and C.I. mentioned that the topic would have to be covered at The Common Ills because a number of e-mails came in. C.I. had planned for us to all do it. So we, Ava and I, said no, we'd work on it, the three of us. It was a strong enough topic that we were going to post it here by itself and call that an edition. But after we worked on that, we began toying with some other stuff. If it wasn't for that article, there would not have been an edition last weekend.

Ty: Which brings up Gaylene's question and she points out there is rarely a mailbag so she doubts it will be answered but she's just wondering why Jim, "who is involved with Dona, skipped out on going out with her? It seems sort of weird to me and that Ava skipped out when Jess went. Aren't they still a couple?"

Jess: Ava and I are still a couple but we aren't joined at the hip. Dona and Jim will have to speak for their relationship but I did offer to stay because we -- Ava and I -- don't see each other a great deal. The reason for that is because Ava, along with C.I. and usually Kat as well, is on the road each week speaking to groups about the Iraq War. I knew the last thing she wanted was to go out. I offered to stay and her comment was Wally was visiting -- and is again this weekend -- and Elaine and Mike were here so we should all make sure that they had a good evening.

Ava: Right. I actually apologized -- to Jess, Wally, Mike and Elaine -- that I wasn't going along but I just wanted to relax.

Dona: And Jim actually had a bad headache -- which came from the nonsense we addressed last week. He begged off because of his headache. Our relationship is different than Jess and Ava's which has a great deal more check-ins. If I hadn't wanted to go and Jim had decided to go, it wouldn't have been an issue with me. By the same token, we didn't have a conversation about my going. When the edition was cancelled, Kat proposed to those of us here -- Kat, Wally, Mike, Elaine, Jess, Ava, C.I., Jim and myself -- that we go out. Jim may have been the first to say no. When I said yes, I was looking at him and he was okay with it. There was no need for any conversation between us on the topic. That's not insulting Jess and Ava's relationship or claiming that Jim and mine is better, it's just noting that there are differences. Another difference is that Jim and I will have screaming fights with another. Ava and Jess never do or never take it public if they do. Their relationship works for them, our relationship works for us. If the four of us were exactly the same, we might have ended up coupling differently.

Jim: Ava just mouthed "never" to Dona. She's laughing by the way, as is Dona. One of the e-mails I read this week asked about DVDs and we do plan to do a DVD piece or discussion this edition. We're starting with the roundtable because we're not sure what we're doing this week other than this, Ava and C.I.'s TV commentary and the DVD piece. Okay, Cynthia McKinney has won the Green Party's presidential nomination and I'm tossing to Betty.

Betty: Because Cynthia's a home girl from my region and I -- my whole family -- voted for Cynthia in all of her Congressional runs. I'm voting for Ralph in the presidential election and that wasn't as difficult as a decision as some might think but it was also helped along by the fact that the Green Party will not be on the ballot in Georgia. Cynthia started out holding elective office in Georgia. This was a little bit before I was born, 1986. Despite attempts to pass the ERA in the seventies and a new awareness, women serving in the state legislature were expected to wear dresses. In her last time serving in the US Congress, a lot of gas bags -- some from the left -- downed Cynthia's then-new hairstyle or her manner of dress. They apparently never grasped that she is a trailblazer -- always has been, always will be. In the state legislature, she broke the rule on dresses and all women serving in the legislature today owe her a debt. She was elected to the US Congress in 1992 and was re-elected repeatedly until the 2002 primary election when a traitor was run against her in the primary. Cynthia lost the primary. Two years later, in 2004, she won her Congressional seat back. She had the support of her district and people from around the world. She did not have the support of Democratic 'leadership' or of the 'leadership' in 'independent' media as they all made very clear quickly. Fancy Nancy Pelosi refused to do the normal thing which was reinstate Cynthia's senority. She had five terms under her belt when she returned to the US Congress but Fancy Nancy made sure that didn't matter and that Cynthia was treated like a freshman. It was outrageous and it was racism and Panhandle Media didn't give a damn. Rushing to make a vote, she had an altercation with the DC police and The Nation magazine's official comment on what followed was that Cynthia was on her own. Air Berman wasn't going to sweat over the plight of a Black woman.

Ruth: Jew-boy Berman didn't give a damn.

Betty: I'm laughing. Thank you, Ruth. Ruth's Jewish. The war against Cynthia continued and although she won the primary in 2006, it wasn't by enough to avoid a run-off. She lost the run-off. It's cute how in that primary run-off, more people showed up to vote than voted in the actual primary. So Cynthia is a honest voice, an authentic voice. I am thrilled, as a Black woman, that she received the Green Party nomination. It's so great to see a Black person triumph and it's so great that a Black person can run for president.

Marcia: It really is. It fills me with a sense of pride. At a time when bi-racial is passed off as "Black," it's especially important that someone like Cynthia becomes a nominee. Not having to stradle any racial line, Cynthia's not going to run to the White conservative crowd by trashing Black fathers. She's not going to speak down to any Americans but especially not Black America and, yes, that is a reference to Rev. Jesse Jackson's comment that bi-racial Barack speaks down to Black people. Rev. Jackson apologized. He shouldn't have. His comments were correct.

Cedric: Saturday morning, C.I.'s "Cynthia McKinney, Let her shine" went up and I had non-stop phone calls all day from friends and family saying I better be sure that makes "Highlights," so I'll go ahead and mention it here as well. There is a special sense of pride in Cynthia because she looks like us, she's lived like us, she speaks to us and will speak for us. She is authentic. The real-deal as my grandmother said this afternoon. She was on pins and needles all day afraid there would be some upset and Cynthia wouldn't be the nominee. She calmed down a bit after she read C.I.'s entry thinking, "Okay, it is going to happen." But too many times, things have seemed possible and didn't happen. You may be familiar with that point because the White media used it to try to push bi-racial Barack. And let me be really clear, that if he would be who he is, I would disagree with him but celebrate the progress of a bi-racial person running for a nomination. But he's not Black and, no, that's not just a right-wing talking point. He's half Black, half White. He was raised by Whites. And, as Rev. Jackson noted, that's who he plays too. Cynthia is one of us so, whether you support her run or not, you realize she is Black History come to life.

Ty: And she's also a woman which is something of a miracle, her getting the nomination, after all the crap that was used against Hillary. I'm tossing to Jess.

Jess: I am a Green Party member. As the only Green working at a community website, I know Green Party community members expect me to cover certain things so I made a point to check in with as many as I could before the nomination and after. We're all happy for Cynthia McKinney. None of us will be supporting her with our votes. We're voting for Ralph Nader. I'm moving to "I" statements but I am speaking for all Green members in the community that I was able to talk to. Cynthia has defined victory for her campaign as getting 5% of the vote in November and we hope she does. That would allow some inroads for the party. However, if the party hadn't tried a safe-state strategy in 2004 and disowned Ralph Nader -- whom I also voted for in 2004 -- they wouldn't need to be working so hard. There's a lot of smears about Ralph and the reality is he gave them an inroad and they refused to use it. Cynthia will hopefully bring them a new inroad. But she's having to rebuild because the Greens failed to utilize the 2000 run. Greens are very curious about how her inroads will be used in 2012. In terms of Cynthia, the only reason cited against her personally was the defining of 5% as a victory. Don't tell us, inroads need to be made! As I just established, inroads were made in 2000 and then abandoned. That's a Green Party issue. The other reasons Cynthia will not be supported goes to other Green Party issues. The Green Party elected to present themselves as the Democratic Party's little sister and not a political party. It did that in 2004 with the safe-state strategy which is an open wound with Green grassroots. It did it in 2008 when a number of Greens with websites, columns and media appearances carried the water for Barack. They hissed and boo-ed at Hillary, sometimes repeating lies disproven. They refused to call out the non-stop sexism against Hillary. Like it or not, being a visible Green means leadership of some form. Sexism is not a Green Party value. It was counter-productive for the Greens to cheer on any Democratic nominee and, honestly, sends a message that whomever their nominee ended up being, their nominee was a second-class citizen to Barack. But to stay silent on the sexism used against Hillary was not Green Party values being practiced. To ignore it or join in was shameful. Medea Benjamin's ass needs to be formally kicked out of the Green Party. 15 people said if that happened, not her resigning, the Green Party stating she is not considered a member, they'd consider voting for Cynthia in November. Medea Benjamin has never protested Barack Obama and has never called him out. He is not -- as a few grasped finally over the 4th holiday -- going to end the illegal war. Benjamin has bird-dogged Hillary, has trashed her publicly and, near the end of the primary when -- despite winning primaries -- there were so many "get out Hillary!" calls, Medea decides to use her Green cred to go to a function Hillary held for women and start pulling her usual I-Need-Attention! Look-At-Me! I-Will-Not-Be-Ignored! bulls**t. There was no need for it. The media had long ago crowned Barack the winner and there was Medea pulling another one of her useless stunts. It only drove home that CODESTINK loves to pretend they're pro-women but they target Hillary and Condi and who else? All we're seeing is a group of little babies who scream at women and don't call out men. Medea is publicly a member of a group called "Progessive Democratcs for America." The Green Party is not the Democratic Party. Her ass needs to be kicked to the curb by the Green Party. She uses her former Green Party membership to get on alternative media and speak as an 'independent' or a 'Green.' That slot doesn't belong to her. Let her compete for attention with other Democrats. Hateful things were said about Hillary by a number of Green 'leaders' and they would then rush to prop up Barack whom they knew nothing about. It hurt their own nominee -- not even picked back then -- and it hurt our image as a party. We tolerated sexism, we said it was okay. We said, "Well, it's Hillary, we don't like her. So we won't say anything. Boo Hillary!" That's not mature. When Hillary's being accused of pimping her daughter, when her womanhood is questioned -- by Glen Beck or Laura Flanders, when CNN 'debates' whether or not she's a "bitch," when gas bags say on TV that they have to cross their legs when she speaks, when her clothing is the first thing Chris Matthews want to discuss, when any comment she makes is twisted, when 'academics' like Stephen Zunes feel that the bashing is so great he can lie and claim she only visited Iraq once and get away with it, when she's smeared and lied about and attacked every day, it didn't require any Green saying, "I'm voting for Hillary!" It only required that Green Party act on their core beliefs and say, "That's unacceptable." We didn't have to root for her. We merely had to stand up to sexism. What we saw were our 'leaders' -- Medea, Ted Glick and many, many more -- would join in. That's disgusting. The Green Party talks a good talk about equality and justice. The Greens of this community believe you don't just talk it, you practice it. Which is why we defended Hillary. That leaders are so out of touch with the grassroots and with their own supposed values goes a long way towards why Greens in this community are supporting Ralph Nader. Nominating a woman for president and Rosa Clemente for vice president does not erase the silence by all on calling out the sexism nor does it erase the attacks on Hillary by some leaders. Before Hillary suspended her campaign, Ralph supporters began calling out the sexism online. That was noticed, that did register. None of us believe Ralph Nader agrees with Hillary Clinton any more than he does with Barack Obama. We do know that his supporters called it out and we do know that Ralph himself called out the calls for Hillary to just pack it in. Some people demonstrated that democracy is something you practice. Sadly, those people were not Green Party 'leaders.'

Ruth: If I may jump in next, you can apply what Jess is speaking of to the Democratic Party as well. And one of the reasons so many Democrats will not be voting for Barack is because he used sexism, his surrogates used sexism, the pathetic Nancy Pelosi failed to call it out, as did Howard I-Don't-Watch-Much-TV Dean and Harry Reid. We are not rewarding bad behavior. I think it is likely that Cynthia McKinney will find the press a little less likely to go after her the way they would have a few months back and that will be due to the fact that they realize this I-Don't-Know-Did-Sexism-Happen act is not playing with the public and there actions are being closely watched now.

Rebecca: I would agree with that and agree that they think they can play dumb and this whole thing blows over for them. "Them" being the press. It does not blow over. But it will make them a little more cautious in the way they discuss McKinney. Not that they'll discuss Cynthia that much to begin with. But some of the comments they might otherwise make they'll now be reigning themselves in. Cynthia McKinney was a done deal the second Ralph Nader decided he wasn't going to be in the Green race -- and Kat's going to talk about that. So they knew, the Greens, that Cynthia was their nominee long before this weekend. Not only should they have not joined in the attacks on Hillary or been silent on them, they should have loudly called them out for their nominee. Had they done that, it would be harder for the press to shut out Cynthia. Greens would have some standing when calling out sexism against Cynthia because they would have called it out against Hillary. When Cynthia is the subject of sexist coverage, and she will be -- that's a given, it will seem like partisan sour grapes because they were too stupid to realize that practicing their own beliefs, by calling out the sexist treatement of Hillary, they were laying the groundwork to argue for better and increased coverage of their own nominee.

Kat: Does any woman deserve to be raped? That's the question people should answer for themselves. No is my answer. And by the same token, no woman deserves what Hillary went through. Whether you like or not. I like her, she won me over. But no woman deserves that. The silence on the non-stop attacks of Hillary was not all that different from coming across a woman being raped in public, asking, "Well who is it?" and when finding out the woman is someone you don't like, walking on by. Actually, it's worse. It was more like the gang-rape scene in The Accused. With a lot of participants and a lot of people standing on the sidelines cheering the violence against women on. Jess rightly talked about the Green Party's core values. Any mistaken belief that they would actually practice that vanished when the Greens thought they might get Ralph. Prior to that, they were all over Cynthia. When they thought they could have Ralph, all the write-in campaigns to get Cynthia to run, all the praise they'd showered on her vanished for many as they rushed after Ralph. Had he run as a Green, we might have seen something very similar to the attacks on Hillary done on Cynthia. And that's why you call it out. It was not about Hillary, it was never about Hillary. Medea Benjamin can lie through her craggly, line carved mouth all she wants. It was an attack on women. You either stand up to it or it goes on and on.

Dona: I'll just note that C.I. recently called out the attacks on Maureen Dowd recently -- and C.I. doesn't care for Dowd -- and, if you'll notice, the sexist language in what was supposed to be media 'criticism' was toned down after. We all have power. We all have the power to stop sexism. If we don't use that power, we are taking part in sexism.

Mike: And it is "we." It's not just up to women to speak out against sexism. It effects all of us. It effects the world we live in and it infects our world. I am disgusted with the number of men who want to be seen as fair and 'progressive' who not just engaged in those attacks but also the ones who stayed silent while they took place. It demonstrated that so-called values are meaningless and you will toss them in the trash can if you think it will bring you what you need. On the one hand, some will cheer that, "What if it was your mother, or daughter or girlfriend?" stuff. That was a point that needed to be made, probably before I was born. By 2008, there's no need for any man to have to think, "What if it was my mother?" We don't think that way in terms of race. We don't -- we is White men -- need to sit there and think, "What if I weren't White?" We know racism is wrong and we call it out. We seem to have a real problem, as White men, standing up against sexism. We'll make excuses, we'll say we're busy with other stuff, but the reality is that those of us who do that don't give a damn about sexism.

Wally: I would agree with that. I would agree that FAIR made it very clear that sexism wasn't an issue to them. FAIR made it very clear that their notion of 'fairness' and a 'just world' did not include a world without sexism. Keith Olbermann was one of the worst offenders and they looked the other way. Not only did they look the other way when he was sexist, they then went out of the way to praise him for other things. He's MSM and they can't pretend they're a media critic and stay silent about him. They aren't a media critic. They're nothing but garbage. And if I can just expand a little bit, we're pointing out that it was an attack on all women but to underline how that was, you had women called "bitter" and "old" and they were called racists. I think Ava and C.I. have made this point repeatedly but it bears noting one more time: There were no editorials from the likes of BuzzFlash to African-Americans telling them they didn't need to vote race. But not only did that crap-ass outlet attempt to lecture women, it assumed that the only reason any woman would support Hillary's run was due to Hillary's gender.

Cedric: We're all trying to be brief but I gotta jump in on that. Ava and C.I. -- not Barack -- are masters at flipping the script. They get it when no one else does. And when they first started making that point it was like a light bulb going off for me. As an African-American, I was expected to support Barack. The fact that I didn't was frequently seen as strange. My supporting him would have been greeted as the norm and acceptable. Why did women get attacked for supporting Hillary? It says a great deal about what we value and what we don't. And FAIR was the worst in my opinion. The Nation and that nut Matthew Rothschild were awful but FAIR is supposed to be a media critique from the left. "Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting" is their claim. But, as Ava and C.I. noted, throughout the primary they ignored sexism and when they finally 'addressed' it in one headline on CounterSpin, it had to be lumped in with racism and it was three examples of racism and one example of sexism. As Ava and C.I. pointed out, CNN thought they could discuss whether or not Hillary was a "bitch." And that was one sentence for CounterSpin -- where they didn't even name the program -- and then they went on and on about this column and that column. At least two of which were right-wingers. CNN is MSM. It's supposed to have a higher standard. And they're discussing whether or not Hillary is a "bitch"? CounterSpin wouldn't have even dealt with that -- goes to Dona's point about using your power -- if Ava and C.I. hadn't birddogged their ass for weeks before. It was insane and FAIR, so quick to call for mea culpas from the MSM and apologies from them, owes the public an apology for their actions. They have no standing with me now when they criticize someone's correction or apology because they have still not apologized for their own actions and their actions were appalling and were not fair.

Elaine: I agree with Cedric, Wally and Mike. On FAIR, they really do owe an apology. They have certainly called for the mainstream to make them. If FAIR wants to demonstrate that they are capable of leading, they need to issue an apology. They need to do what Howard Kurtz did at The Washington Post, write an article examing how, week after week, they avoided the topic. How when MSNBC suspended FAIR's pet over his own air sexism, they were silent. How did they decide his comments weren't an action alert? They need to explain that. They need to explain why there is a standard for all broadcasters except Keith Olbermann. They have a lot of explaining to do and my own feelings right now are that unless they offer that explanation, they can close shop. They are a media critic and they were silent. Week after week on CounterSpin, day after day at FAIR, every two months at Extra! And after Ava and C.I. started calling FAIR out on that, they could finally offer that joke of an article in Extra! that named all the easy names and avoided Keith Olbermann when the focus was NBC and MSNBC. It's not "fair" and it's not media criticism. And it shouldn't take Ava and C.I. -- I love their work but it shouldn't take them -- pointing the bias out to prompt FAIR to address it. It shouldn't require me or Mike, Wally or Cedric pointing out that FAIR did not do their job and looked the other way on sexism to prompt an apology from them. There is no excuse for the way they behaved. It cheapens and devalues any criticism they could offer in the future and the longer they go without an apology, the less anyone will respect anything they say.

Jim: I'm sorry but we need to wind down. There are some e-mails we didn't get to and Dona handed me a note that says everyone spoke except C.I. So I'll toss to C.I. for the wrap up.

C.I.: Okay. What happened to Hillary shouldn't have happened to any women. By calling it out, those who did call it out, it sends a message that says it is unacceptable. In the immediate wake, that makes it a little bit easier for Cynthia McKinney but it makes it a little bit easier for all women. What was done to Hillary was done to women. It was outrageous. There is no defense for it and there is no defense for being silent about it. Because so many involved -- let's use FAIR as the example -- where Janine Jackson, Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon support Barack. Because so many involved supported one candidate, they appeared to delight in the use of sexism against Hillary. It was 'permissable' because it happened to someone they loathe -- and they loathe her. No, that's not how it works. And you certainly can't pose as a media watchdog and refuse to call out sexism. In most cases, at most outlets, you'll find if people were honest that they'd say it didn't matter to them because they didn't like the victim. As Kat pointed out, no woman deserves to be attacked. It was vicious, it was ugly.

Dona: I'm going to come back to you. I don't generally jump in and especially not when we're winding down but I just realized Ruth made one comment the entire roundtable. So, Ruth, talk about the public stoning.

Ruth: Okay. Ava and C.I. have written and written for years now about Bash-the-Bitch. It's the public pastime. There is nothing wrong with criticizing a woman. But are you using the same standards and language you would use with a man? If not, you're being sexist. We really do not care if you say Ms. X is a tramp if that's your criticism when you're dealing with Mr. Z. But, look at Maureen Dowd. Is the criticism we were seeing of Dowd the sort we see of any man in her same position? No. They don't use terms like "spanked" for the men. And I agree that C.I.'s calling it out cooled a lot jets. She is still being criticized but the tone has become far less sexual and that sexual tone, that leering quality, is not present when they go after a man. But with women, and this goes to some primal fear of women, they will toss out anything to take her down. We do not care about 'tone' -- we do care about consistency. If you're tossing out "knee pads" for Elisbeth Bumiller, show me where your equivalent comments on a male reporter are? I know what C.I.'s were. First off, Bumiller was made the commander of the Elite Fluff Patrol and there were two other fluffers serving under her. Second, there was Todd S. Purdum 'cupping' the story and jokes about his needing a jock strap to write. Bash-the-Bitch is a feeding frenzy. It's when a lot of anger over valid issues bubbles and boils and it's all taken out on one woman. The failure to note young boys or young non-White girls who were kidnapped or assaulted led to a lot of remarks about individual, young, White women that were uncalled for. Suddenly, it was bash this missing woman or that missing woman. It had nothing to do with the women, it had to do with the anger over the continued silence of violence towards non-White young girls and all boys. Well that is your media problem. It has nothing to do with the women that were missing and attacking them was a bit sad. This country was lied into an illegal war by the White House. The press corps aided in that. In some cases, journalists lied, in other cases, they just didn't do their jobs. Somehow the very valid anger turned itself on Judith Miller. Miller did not do her job. I have a hard time calling her a liar because I think she was a fool. Her actions on the ground in Iraq appear to demonstrate that she believed -- wrongly -- that there were WMDs. Judith Miller was not the only reporter who got it wrong. But it became Bash-the-Bitch. Michael Gordon, who co-wrote several of the worst pieces with Miller, is still not a household name prompting boos and hisses. Despite the fact that since 2005, he has obviously slanted his coverage to try to push a war with Iran. Was Judith Miller anchoring World News Tonight, Nightly News, CBS Evening News, the NewsHour and writing for the New York Times, and The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe, etc., and also hosting all programs on NPR? Was she in charge of Newsweek and Time? Newsweek did a laughable -- even in real time -- report on what was beneath Saddam's palace. Does anyone even remember that article -- which was nothing but alarmist and calling for war -- or who wrote it? No. All of the very real, very valid anger at the press corps lousy job focused on Miller. If you think that is 'fair' then you may want to ask yourself did all the others -- predominatly men -- learn a lesson by being left off the hook? No. They slinked away and they still hold their jobs. They await the next time when they can be pressed into service. Or, another example, what was the appalling, months long attacks on Katie Couric, before she even started as anchor. We were told it was because she was from a morning entertainment program. Well Charlie Gibson was prompted from Good Morning America -- where he chose to go -- to World News Tonight -- a pregnant woman and an injured man had to lose their jobs for that promotion to take place. But it was never an issue raised about Gibson. Bash-the-Bitch is when very real anger floats around and needs a target. If you pay attention, that target is usually a woman. And when the feeding frenzy starts, even if you don't care for the woman, the smart thing to do would be to back off. It would be even smarter to call it out but the left media is nothing but a bunch of chickens and cover-up artists so they never call it out. At the very least, they could stop contributing to it. Did that do it?

Dona: Very much so. C.I., please wrap up.

C.I.: You don't have leaders in the media -- big or small media. You have followers. So when Bash-the-Bitch gets rolling, it becomes a feeding frenzy. "Everyone's talking about it! I must talk about it too!" No. If everyone's talking about something -- anything -- that should be your cue that your time could be used more wisely addressing what everyone is NOT talking about. But it becomes a water cooler topic and people kid themselves, to use Miller, that it's about the illegal war. That what they're doing is actually addressing the illegal war. That's not what they're doing. Again, Michael Gordon was her partner in crime and he's gone on to continue his crimes all by himself. And that's only one example. If we're just discussing reporters at print outlets, there are a lot of men to cover. Outside Robin Wright at The Washington Post, there are not a lot of well known women on the international scene at US outlets. So this idea that we offed Judith Miller and did our jobs and all is good in the world is just a joke when she was a statistical minority. She also did not write editorials or columns. So the idea that repeatedly dredging her name up, all this time after, is dealing with the Iraq War is just a joke. But it gets a little traction and you have nothing but followers in the media -- Big or Small -- with a pack mentality and you get a feeding frenzy on some woman. Miller's being gone from The New York Times is no great loss in my opinion but it also didn't many a damn thing changed at that paper. And to expand it a little, Dexter Filkins was an awful reporter. His copy was reportedly vetted by the military -- including that 'award winning' piece that turned the slaughter of Falluja in November 2004 into a rah-rah, feel good event. In 2006, when The Washington Post revealed that the US military saw Dexy as their go-to-guy when it was time to plant a story, that didn't lead to him being called out. There was no huge outcry. The illegal war started. It still goes on. It still goes on because of reporters like Dexter Filkins but how many Americans know the first thing about his bad reporting? Miller's reporting does not stand up. She did not do her job. She was far from alone. She was not taken down for her journalistic crimes alone or a lot of others would have went down with her. She was taken down because of Bash-the-Bitch. Someone will say, "Okay, but she was amplified!" Take it up with those who amplified her. Take it out on them. As David Corn and many others, who wrongly ripped apart the late Gary Webb's work demonstrated, they have no problem questioning something -- just because it's in print doesn't make it gospel. So the notion that Dick Cheney citing an article by Miller on Meet the Press is just Miller's responsibility is insane. Tim Russert could have questioned it. He didn't. Meet the Press has a larger audience than The New York Times. Miller needs to be held accountable for what she reported. But holding her accountable and her alone isn't accountability. It's Bash-the-Bitch.

Jim: And on that note, we'll end the roundtable. This is a rush transcript.
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