Sunday, February 07, 2010

TV: Living on the fringe

"What the hell has gone wrong with the left?" asked a friend whom we both encouraged to write a piece on just that topic. But even though we tossed it back to him, he didn't bite so we will. He'd read Ann's Wednesday post about a horrible KPFA broadcast and it had him thinking about other things he was seeing and hearing. What he doesn't feel safe to cover, we will, besides, we already feel like Olivia Dunham.


Let's start with radio and, in fact, with KPFA's The Morning Show on Wednesday when the first half-hour provided listeners with . . . Well, nothing to brag about.

Sara Robinson is a purveyor of hatred and a dishonest one at that. Asked by Brian Edwards-Tiekert to describe the Tea Party Movement, she was so eager to rush in with distortions, she tripped over her own words.

Sara Robinson: They're -- okay, there -- there are basically two slices of the right in America. One of them is the the kind of congenital far right they're probably 10% of the population who are right wing in perpetuity. They are always with us. There's there is this this faction, this slice, that that is always out there -- the John Birchers, the Liberty Lobby, they're the KKK, going back in history we've always had them. Just to the left of that group, only slightly, is another group which is about the same size, 15% or so, who are conservative but they don't live in that same deep authoritarian place that the far, far right does and most -- most of these people will align mostly with the center right in-in-in reasonable political times. These are not reasonable political times. And so these people have some sympathy with the far right position.

Sounding as if she was on some sexual high as she ripped part a huge portion of the American public, Robinson is the ugliest face the left has. Exactly what elections will be won by insulting large portions of Americans? Not insulting political leaders, insulting the American people.

Robinson tells you there are two kinds of right wingers and, in the 21st century, you really have to marvel over anyone who is that simplistic. But Robinson has no brains to spare, only hate to spew. If you doubt us, check out her work. Last month, she was calling the right "fascists" in a non-thought piece. Now Barack Obama is a Corporatist War Hawk -- we've said that since 2008 when the Democratic Party primaries were taking place and some on the left (yes, Carl, we mean you, kisses) were spreading the lie that Barack was a Socialist to try to drum up support for Barack on the left. But when someone on the right calls Barack a Socialist, the left gas bags go into tremors while wailing and moaning. But it's okay to call the right "fascists" apparently.

Sara Robinson helps no one on the left and someone needs to tell her to get an education and stop hating on the people or step off the public stage because she offers nothing.

Robinson is so far from alone. On Democracy Now!, Michael Moore describes the right thusly: "Of course, the other side, you know, they’re always up. They’re up at like 5:00 in the morning trying to figure out how to screw the human race. So I’m not surprised they got to the polls." Not content merely to insult the right wing voters, Moore launched a wider attack attacking "an uneducated American public -- when I say 'uneducated,' I'm talking about an American public, as you know, where we rank in the world, in math and science and literacy, all these things -- we're so far behind so many other countries. We have 40 million functional illiterates in this country, 40 million adults who can't read and write above a fourth grade level. If you create a country where the education system sucks so bad, where you make it your lowest priority, and then you want to create some propaganda to easily lead them down the path you want to lead them down, it's a cakewalk at that point, when you have this enforced ignorance [. . .]"

Golly, Mikey Moore, you're referring to the same public that elected Barack Obama, a candidate you whored for, less than two years ago. You didn't find them so "uneducated" then, now did you?

We'll come back to Moore. Democracy Now! is of course a program that started as a radio show and is now a TV show as well as a radio show. Grit TV is a TV show trying to become a radio one and WBAI has (sadly) begun airing it on Mondays. Grit TV stars the increasingly homely Laura Flanders as some sort of angry mule braying endlessly.

The only thing that produces more chuckles these days is her remarks such as, "Have you ever wondered what happened to rational thought, reasonable argument and all the rest?" She should talk. Minutes later she's feigning shock that Senator Scott Brown "posed nude for Cosmopolitan" -- so busy was she playing shocked that she forgot to explain he wasn't full frontal and that it was done back in the early eighties when he was in college.

But Laura The Self Loathing Lesbian Flanders doesn't care for the people. Nor do her guests. Susan Jacoby offers this divisive critique of the American public, "we had then and we have now an electorate that can't remember what happened last week." The hideous Frank Schaefer declares "a country that does have an attention span that's getting close to that of an inebriated jelly fish." Laura cackles loudly at that insult -- a non-logical one since jelly fish aren't known for consuming alcohol. ("Cackles" used intentionally. As late as February 2008, Flanders was still referring to Hillary's laugh on air as a "cackle" -- weeks and weeks after even Chris Matthews had been shamed into ceasing and desisting.)

Laura The Self Loathing Lesbian Flanders doesn't care for the people. It's why, in 2004, she could tell visitors she was supporting the Democratic Party's presidential candidate John Kerry and even go on air after the election was called -- for the entire late shift on Air American Radio -- and tell listeners she was feeling as sad as they were and that they were in it together and they would get it through it together. Of course, had listeners known then that she didn't vote for John Kerry, that she voted for Ralph Nader, they would have, at the very least, felt lied to.

Laura always plays the listener for dupes. And a number of masochists love to watch or listen to her because they kid themselves that all these hideous things she and her guests say about the American people don't apply to her viewers or her listeners. Keep kidding yourself.

And her small cult doesn't make up for all the Americans she drives away from the left with her never ending sneering at America and Americans.

People grasp what goes on before their eyes and ears.

Last week on Fringe, Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) finally regained her childhood ability to see what objects were from this universe and what objects were from the alternate office. It sets the stage for the coming war William Bell (Lenoard Nimoy) has warned her about. Most importantly, in the final scene, it set the show on course for the long teased out topic: Peter (Joshua Jackson) isn't the Peter of this world. Having regained her ability, Oliva shows up for a date with Peter and immediately grasps that he's from the alternative universe. Walter (John Noble) instantly realizes what is taking place and begs her not to tell Peter. That's a lot to address when Fox's finest show starts back up in April.

But Olivia's ability is something that people seem to be grasping in this world as well. No longer are people pouring their money into a number of Panhandle Media outlets which reveal themselves to be little more than con jobs. Across the left spectrum, shows, magazines, even a radio network are sinking or have sunk. It's because, like Olivia, we have a 'glimmer' -- we look at them and we realize they are not who they appear.

And where there are frauds, there is Michael Moore. Called out from the start by Pauline Kael, the American people now catch on. Not only do his films make less and less money, the last one didn't even make back its cost (budget plus prints and advertising). From the biggest documentary of all time in 2004 to the Heaven's Gate of documentaries in 2009.

Here's the skinny on the rotund Moore, he thinks he's a trickster. Here's the reality, no one is as stupid as he thinks they are. Here he is again speaking to Amy Goodman (from two weeks ago unless you listened to a Pacifica fundraiser last week when it was 'rebroadcast'):

Michael Moore: That is how I'm, you know, feeling, because I won’t accept the sugarcoated difference between the Obama administration and the Bush administration. And you can say, on the surface, just how great things are in terms of compared to the last eight years, but the substance, when it comes to, you know, the rubber meeting the road, I can't tell you how profoundly disappointed I am at this point. [. . .] And Obama, a year ago, man, he just had it right in his hands. He could have—he really could have chosen a different path. The country was demanding it. There was such excitement that we were going to turn away, radically away, from where we'd been in these last eight years and create the country that we all want it to be. Vast majority of people voted for him. And that he thought that the way to go in was to go in trying to be like the other side, this is the continual and historic failure of the Democratic Party in our lifetime, that they think the only way they’re going to survive is to be more -- is to be Republican lite. And every time that happens, it goes kaboom. [. . .] I think, all kidding aside, that this is another example of the Democrats are essentially a bunch of wimps. They don't have the guts. They don't have the courage of their own convictions. They're disgusting. I'm embarrassed. I want really nothing to do with them. And if they don’t find their spine, well, they're in for a huge surprise in November.

Those strong words are supposed to find you nodding in agreement with the sexist fabricator. You're not supposed to notice, mere minutes later, when he's back to praising Barack, when he's ripping apart the Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner for his actions and acting as if those aren't the actions Barack wanted. Barack appointed him. If he wasn't doing what Barack wanted him to do, Barack would ask for his resignation. That's basic and we can all grasp it. But there's Michael Moore insisting that he's done defending Democrats, insisting they're a bunch of wimps without guts who can't find their spine and yet he's just as gutless and spineless and wimpy.

People have caught on to Michael Moore. (And his attack on Mumia isn't something he'll ever recover from.) The anger in America is very real. It's base is the continuing wars -- the wars the gas bag left wants to forget because Barack's the one running them now. The Iraq War was always going to have multiple effects. The most immediate one was going to be illustrating what an occupation was and driving up support for Palestinians. That's here at home. For the first time in many Americans lives, they had to confront what an occupation was. But that wasn't the only impact.


Whether the left gas bags care or not, millions of ten and twelve-year-olds saw mass protests against the Iraq War. They're now young adults. They saw those protests. They grew up knowing the Iraq War was wrong and needed to end. And though some adults can fool themselves, the youth is not fooled and will not self-deceive. On campuses across this country, their critique of Barack Obama always includes the Iraq War. The ongoing Iraq War that the gas bag left -- including Michael Moore -- have forgotten.

On top of that base of discomfort is the economic layer. And the two are interrelated. Not only because the economy will continue to tank as long as the wars drain billions and billions each year but also because the country was lied into the Iraq War. Lied into that illegal war by an Oval Office occupant. That appalling lie is always there as an echo when Barack Obama speaks. If the Iraq War continues after Barack's out of office, it will float around the head of his successor.

That's reality. These are impressions on the character and soul of America and they go to the disgust so many feel with those currently in power. And they go to the disgust so many feel with the gas bag left. Instead of speaking to these people -- a large number of Americans all over the political spectrum -- the left gas bags think the 'smart' thing to do is to insult them. This is what MSNBC has truly birthed: A hatred for Americans, a disdain for the people. Unable to aim their fire where it belongs (at the powerful), they went for the public and their garbage has infected the rest of the gas bag left. The people they will need in the future are the very ones the gas bag left seems determined to drive off right now.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }