Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dowd to Fey: And when they met, it was murder (Ava and C.I.)

Tina Fey seems intent upon destroying what's left of her career and who the hell are we to prevent her? In a new Vanity Fair article, she's disgracing herself yet again. Fortunately, she's run off even more viewers since we last checked in with Fey, so the article's ability to hurt 30 Rock is probably limited.

Before we go further, we have to note that the author of the piece is non-writer Maureen Dowd and let's add that for all who have missed those Ed-Wood-in-their-badness pieces MoDo used to churn out for Premiere in the 90s when she was trying to 'sex up' LA -- she's back!!!! Thus far, there are no rumors that Dowd slept with Fey for this piece. But let her write a few more Van Fair features and the rumors will, no doubt, pile up as quickly as they did when she was the 'roving' film 'reporter' last decade.

Back to the article which Van Fair has entitled "What Tina Wants" but a more truthful telling would be: "When Half-Wits Collide." Doubt us? MoDo and Tina bring out the worst in each other, as evidenced by the first two (single-sentence) paragraphs.

Tina Fey has never dated a bad boy.

She didn’t even let boys she dated do anything bad.

Yeah, it's pretty damn awful. When you consider it was written by a woman who allegedly had no sexual interest in Fey (and that Fey's an allegedly intelligent woman), it's really disturbing and bordering on John Simon's infamous leering at Nastassja Kinksi in 1982 (sample: "The breasts are perfect, though some might think them a bit small, pubescent; over the youthfully querying eyes, the brows are adult and ripely female," Rolling Stone, May 27, 1982). For all those who ever underestimated MoDo's active fantasy life, stop a moment and grasp that it takes a highly 'creative' mind for her to write like a dirty old man.

Now don't think we've forgotten Tina. Exactly what was she doing talking about her love life with MoDo? Or, for that matter, tossing around the f-word? (MoDo dubs it "easy banter" thereby explaining how she could date John Tierney.) Here's Tina showing her ass and ignorance yet again:

"What made me super-mad about it," Fey says later, "was that it seemed very sexist toward me and her. The implication was that she's so fragile, which she is not. She's a strong woman. And then, also, it was sexist because, like, who would ever go on the news and say, 'Well, I thought it was sort of mean to Richard Nixon when Dan Aykroyd played him,' and 'That seemed awful mean to George Bush when Will Ferrell did it.' And it's like, No, that's not the thing. This is a comedy sketch on a comedy show." "Mean," we agreed, was a word that tends to get used on women who do satirical humor and, as she says, "gay guys."

So much there, it's hard to know where to start. First, she's bringing up Dan Aykroyd playing Richard Nixon? Is the idiot unaware that Richard Nixon was out of office long before Aykroyd ever played him on Saturday Night Live? If she's not, let's be the first to tell her that Nixon left office in disgrace.

Will Ferrell? In the 2000 election, when Will Ferrell did candidate Bush, the Democratic hating Darrell Hammond did Al Gore. The two balanced one another in the eyes of many. Al Gore was portrayed as sniveling, Bush was portrayed as stupid. And it needs to be noted that, while their likes offscreen were pretty obvious in 2000, neither performer felt the need, as Fey did, to make it clear in public that she was portraying a character she wanted to lose the election.

Fey wants to insist that this is just nonsense, this notion that Saturday Night Live and she were sexist. We're beginning to see why the bulk of SNL alumni who worked with her continue to refer to Fey as a brown-noser. SNL has a long, long history of sexism and in 2008 -- spring and fall -- SNL achieved new lows.

Hillary was a bitch in skit after skit. That was the 'joke.' Hillary was a power-hungry bitch desperate to be president, in it all for herself, willing to do anything to be president.

And though she dropped out the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in June, SNL (as they told us in April they would) brought her back on for 'comedy gold.'

That power hungry bitch. It was all so funny -- they thought. Remember that.

Sarah Palin was introduced to SNL viewers this fall. Tina Fey played her. For the bulk of Fey's Palin skits, Palin was a dumb idiot, frisky and hot-to-trot. It was 'funny.' Then Palin morphed into calculating. From dumb-bunny to dumb bitch. "Progress" as only SNL can offer it.

Now remember we noted that the SNL's Bush in 2000 was balanced out with their Gore? Where was the balance in 2008? There was none.

Barack? A god. Hillary could be seen in bed in curlers. Barack? Did he exist outside of the close up? Not on SNL.

His wife infamously says that she's proud of the US for the first time in her adult life and SNL isn't running with that? Barack infamously refers to the 57 states in public (the US has fifty) and that's not a joke? Nothing's ever a joke with Barack. They gave him no interior life. They tossed Kleenexes at him while putting Palin and Hillary through the meat grinder. It was not fair, it was not equal. It was sexist and it doesn't just go to the historical pattern of SNL, it goes to a year long pattern.

Tina wants to insist that there was nothing sexist about her characterization of Palin?

Where was the moment where Barack was lampooned for saying small-town voters cling to God and gun (as well as anti-free trade and anti-immigrant positions)? Never touched on. Barack relating to Iowa voters by 'sharing' his stops to Whole Foods for arugula. (Iowa has now Whole Foods store.) We can list a million things.

And SNL never did a skit. SNL never cracked wise on Weekend Update.

They kissed Barack's ass over and over and used 90 minutes of weekly network broadcast time to influence an election. And Tina doesn't think there's anything wrong with that?

Tina's little Palin act included repeating constantly that she (Palin) could see Russia from her front porch and that qualified her as president. A Zogby poll found over 87% of Americans able to identify this statement as made by Palin -- even though she never said it [here in PDF format].

And Tina wants to pretend her little act was innocent? Repeating, before Ackroyd ever played Nixon on SNL, Nixon had left office.

Idiots like Maureen Dowd like to say that Tina was a dead ringer for Palin. Palin doesn't have a hawk nose, a cleft chin, a fatty lower face or a long scar running across one side of her face. Tina may not be able to control those things. She does control where she pitches her voice. And though Palin's voice comes from her chest and Fey's own voice comes from her throat (which is why she has so many sore throats), Tina deliberately pitched it to a head voice when 'impersonating' Palin. It was part of making Palin appear an airhead. Another way to ridicule her. Repeating, Palin has a chest voice.

MoDo reports that Seth Meyers, according to Tina, wrote the bulk of the Palin skits. And Tina wants to pretend there was no sexism involved? Seth Meyers who HATES women. Seth Meyers who has been co-hosting Weekend Update solo and makes damn sure women aren't welcome? Seth who lives to work in a joke about the porno Deep Throat into a Weekend Update has any respect for women?

Tina Fey is a liar, Rebecca is correct. Tina lies and lies some more. Those skits she wants the world to know she didn't write (she wants them to know it because NBC has found that an increasingly large portion of potential viewers find Tina off-putting), are we supposed to believe Tina can't remember what she did in them?

"Pageant walking"? Palin was ridiculed for having entered a beauty pageant to try and win a college scholarship. Gee, Barack's bragged ("bragged" is the term) about the pot and coke he did in college with allusions to the possibility that he may have done heroin. We're not remembering that -- or anything from Barack's past -- being the basis for an SNL joke. But it was ridicule Palin over and over, wasn't it?

And what about having Palin hike up her skirt in a skit to show even more leg? That was based on what?

It wasn't rooted in reality and when all of Barack's flaws were repeatedly avoided, it does go to bias, it does go to a serious problem that should have a number of people fired (including Seth Meyers) and it does go to ridiculing women repeatedly -- whether it was Hillary or Sarah.

And Tina really needs to stop lying.

Yes, it is painful time for her. She's the darling of the egghead set and has gotten more press than she ever could have dreamed and it hasn't helped her failing show a damn bit. We're not psychics. We are familiar with last year's ratings. Season two started with an all time high in its low ratings, 7.33 million for the Jerry Seinfeld episode. And then what happened? The ratings dipped and they dipped. It's the same pattern as last year only it's even more evident and, as the network's own polling data indicates, a vague I-don't-like-the-show feeling in 2007 is today a strong I-don't-like-Tina feeling.

Bitchy, as female comics, producers, writers and performers told us, doesn't allow a woman to have a career in comedy. Turns out they were right. Ask Tina Fey. Better yet, ask NBC.

When we last noted Fey's faltering ratings two weeks ago, the show had fallen from it's 8.6 million all time high to 7.3 million. Then it took Thanksgiving off only to return last Thursday. And what happened? What always happens? Tina Fey ran off viewers. How bad was it? Well The New York Times was apparently too scared to print the numbers. 7.1 million viewers. She lost another 200,000. And the show that preceded 30 Rock? The Office? 8.3 million viewers. And the show that followed 30 Rock, ER? 8.1 million viewers. In other words, ER (which ends its run this spring) managed to bring in one million viewers more. In other words, 1.2 million viewers of The Office, with no broadcast show starting on the half-hour, elected not to watch 30 Rock. As we pointed out some time ago, each week 30 Rock has lost viewers since it began airing this fall.

Back to the lengthy quote of Tina from Van Fair, Tina's fretting over "gay guys" being called "mean"? Golly, it's not like Thursday night didn't just find 30 Rock making that same claim.

Oh. Wait. It. Did.

Goodness, Tina, in the show you write and star in, one would assume you had some sort of say. Or are you too busy pushing your breasts off on America these days to do the work required?

Let's now address Maureen Dowd who never had an eye for detail because that would require recognizing reality. Here's MoDo 'reporting' from the SNL set during the broadcast that would take SNL to record ratings, when Governor Sarah Palin appeared on the program: "She [Fey] has taken off her Palin-streaked beehive wig, and her dark-brown hair is pulled back in a thick ponytail. "

Click here for the official SNL site and the video playing is the opening where Fey poses as Palin at a press conference while the real Palin speaks with Lorne. Do what MoDo can't, use your senses.

Do you see a beehive? No, you do not. Maureen Dowd, backstage, either has no idea that Tina wore no beehive wig or else doesn't know what a beehive is. Either way, it's an indictment of her shoddy reporting 'skills.'

Maureen Dowd is a moron. An allegedly trained reporter who either is so stupid she does not know what a bee-hive actually is or whose 'skills' and 'ethics' are so weak that she needs to invent things she claims to have seen.

Invent things she claims to have seen? We think we just described every column MoDo ever wrote.

We're not sure who wins most embarrassing? There's Tina spilling out of her blouse (and then some) as she tries to act sexy for Annie Leibovitz. But there's Maureen being . . . well MoDo.

Dowd lives to peer into other's minds (the Clintons most infamously), so let's edge close to her own insanity:

Sarah Palin's debut left conservative men salivating -- "Babies, guns, Jesus: hot damn!" Rush Limbaugh thundered--and left Fey little choice. There had not been such a unanimous national casting decision since Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.

Dowd appears to be saying -- a sure sign of an awful writer is that, when discussing their work, you have to say they "appear to be be saying" -- that Fey was drafted into playing Palin by "unanimous national casting". Certainly that was true of the Water Cooler Set.

We'll allow that point but then Dowd decides to sport her stupidity the way Tina does her bosom: "There had not been such a unanimous national casting decision since Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind."


Clark Gable was one of many actors the public wanted for the role. To imply he was the "unanimous choice" ignores the strong support for many other actors including Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn (both of whom were pursued for the part by producer David Selznick, Flynn repeatedly). Afterwards, many (including Bette Davis) would say Gable was the only choice to play the role but that was (as Davis noted) in retrospect.

Someone needs to explain to Maureen that just because she can type it doesn't make it true.

Imagine all the 'political' writing the country could have been spared if Maureen had grasped that years ago?
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