Sunday, December 19, 2010

TV: The Craziest Sitcom

Hands down, the craziest and longest running sitcom has to be Democracy Now! which features the whiny voiced Amy Goodman who visits the real world about as often as Tinker Bell leaves Pixie Hollow.


In what has to be her latest attempt at humor in text, a beggar's note has been appearing at the website and we thought she couldn't top the laugh getter of visiting "Democracy Now! for news you can trust" but we continued reading and her claim that her program is the one to go to for news about Iraq made us laugh even harder.


This is the woman who passed off the SOFA as the end of the Iraq War for how many damn years?

The SOFA, for those who've forgotten, is the Status Of Forces Agreement rammed through by Bully Boy Bush in November 2008. Many things can result from it -- as we've noted since it passed the Iraqi Parliament -- including that the war ends at the end of 2011, that the SOFA gets extended or that a new agreement replaces it. But for two years, Goody's ignored any reality that didn't excuse her awful 'coverage' of Iraq.

Iraq coverage from Goody generally means she brings on some idiot who doesn't know the first thing about democracy. There's Nir Rosen -- the man who insisted, "Frankly this is a rare case where I hope Maliki violates the constitution, acts in some kind of authoritarian way to make sure he wins the elections, because the alternative is fragmentation, or a criminal, sectarian kleptocratic Shiite elite taking over, and then Iraq might unravel." That's Amy Goodman's idea of a qualified speaker, someone hoping a thug "violates the constitution, acts in some kind of authoritarian way," etc.

Here's another, Raed Jarar -- who doesn't know the first thing about democracy or the US Constitution. Raed loves to brag -- and has bragged to us -- about his 'work' in 2010 getting 'the Congress' to approve the SOFA. The Congress did no such thing. The House passed a laughable measure that would have been more hilarious had it not been so tragic. Tragic?

The SOFA is a treaty. All treaties are negotiated by the executive branch and signed off on by the Senate. In Iraq, the Parliament was allowed to do that. In the US, that was not the case. And, in fact, among the members of Congress objecting -- a huge list -- was then-Senator Barack Obama. Before he was even sworn in, his promise that he and Joe Biden, if elected, would not abide by such an unconstitutional measure as the SOFA was pulled from his official website.

Nir Rosen and Raed Jarar pass as experts on Democracy Now! -- consider them the Squiggy and Lenny of the show. But there are many more outlandish and over the top characters. For example, Wednesday found Amy joined by her very own Candy Pruitt and Beverly Leslie: Mark Stephens and John Pilger. The jokes started the moment Amy Goodman referred to rape allegations as "sex crimes allegations" and they just continued as she refused to ever use the term "rape" or list the allegations the Swedish government presented in the British court against Julian Assange. But people like Amy Goodman don't talk rape, do they? As Margaret Lyons (Entertainment Weekly) pointed out:

On Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Tuesday, Michael Moore mischaracterized the rape accusations facing Julian Assange. People criticized both him and Olbermann, and now the MSNBC host has quit Twitter in a huff, thanks to what he described as a "frenzy." Yep, it's almost like misrepresenting and minimizing rape accusations can get people upset. Feminists -- we're impossible to please

She also didn't have anything remotely resembling balance in a segment featuring known liar Mark Stephens (he's Assange's attorney) and Assange supporter John Pilger. We'll mainly ignore Stephens who has misled repeatedly in public (he is the one who started and spread the lie about "broken condom"). We'd be surprised that, opposite a journalist, Stephens wasn't asked about that lie; however, Amy Goodman's no journalist.

Mainly ignore? It's been suggested that WikiLeaks should have found a new public face and we can see that point. And, after hearing Stephens prattle on, we really agree.

Mark Stephens: He's got to raise 200,000 pounds in cash. That's about $300,000. And, of course, the problem with that is that we finished court after banking hours closed yesterday, so -- and getting that kind of money out of a bank, you'll realize that most banks don't carry that kind of money. It's very modest amounts that they carry these days, because we spend most of our money electronically. And, of course, he's being electronically hobbled by Visa and MasterCard, who have stopped the accounts being -- paying money to WikiLeaks. And so, actually gathering that money has meant that he's had to call on -- and we've had, on his behalf -- to call upon the very generous friends that he has, very high-profile individuals.

What the hell did he just say?

Goody let it fly. How typical.

But in the real world, how right is it for WikiLeaks to raise money for Julian Assange's personal defense?

Is WikiLeaks a legitimate outlet or is Julian Assange's personal bank account?

Don't expect Amy Goodman to ever ask that question.

Do expect her to recognize other women only when it can be used to promote her cause-of-the-moment:

Amy Goodman: There's a letter from Women Against Rape, a British organization, in The Guardian newspaper in London. It’s written by Katrin Axelsson in support of Julian Assange. [. . .] This is a feminist organization in London. Mark Stephens?

Who is Katrin Axelsson?

That's the question everyone should be asking. Google "Katrin Axelsson" and you quickly discover -- well, not so quickly, you have to go through over 24 pages of results -- that she doesn't appear to exist before Julian Assange needed vouching.

She was a nobody, a cipher in the snow. Now she's all over the net -- because the quickest way any woman gets noted in this society is by tearing down a woman to build up a man. She doesn't write like a feminist in that letter and, point of fact, today rape's not solely a "feminist issue."

By all means, rape is an issue feminist have led on. We're the ones who called it a crime, who took it out the 'personal problem' dismissal and demanded justice. It's an issue we still care about. But let's not pretend that a group of women today who are against rape translates as "feminist." In fact, it's rather telling of how sexist and how women-hating people like Amy Goodman, Tom Hayden, Micheal Moore and all the other people promoting this 'group' and Katrin Latrine are that they insist that Women Against Rape must be a feminist group.

Because non-feminist women are for rape?

On that broadcast, John Pilger was tossing around "Orwellian." We'd say there's nothing more Orwellian than judging someone to be a feminist just because they're against a violent crime.

While we don't know every feminist in the world, we do know many in many countries and we got on the phone to find out about Katrin and her group from British feminists. The most common reply was that they'd never heard of her or the group until Katrin & company wrote the letter to The Guardian. That's rather strange. We spoke to 32 prominent British feminist and Katrin and company were complete ciphers for 31.

How could that be?

Because WAR doesn't do a damn thing. Check out their events calendar (before they change it) and you'll see that. In 2009, they had one event. In the entire year, one event. And a fundraiser. So they could have two events in 2010?

It's that way throughout. And while they claim to provide legal services for victims, they've actually suspended that for some time now. "TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED" they insist . . . on a post that's not been updated since at least February of this year.

What do they do? Not a whole lot. Not a whole lot.

The one feminist who had heard of them offered her opinion that they were a Marxist group, not a feminist group, and that's why they'd written their letter to the editors and that's why they had such 'street cred' with Amy Goodman, Nicole Colson and assorted other losers.

So a group that does nothing for women -- if you're only claim was the legal clinics and you've not done them all year, that would mean you're doing nothing for women -- and isn't really a feminist organization -- but is one of those 'peace & justice' euphemism users -- wants to attack two women and prop up a man and that's supposed to be surprising?

You know what WAR was famous for before this event?

Two years ago they trashed Helen Mirren, whom they didn't believe took rape seriously enough. (Apparently part of their pattern, they attacked Helen Mirren for her opinions expressed in an article in which she admitted she'd been raped.)

So that's what they do with their time: fundraisers and attack women. What a proud group they must be.

For some, it's really important that the wome who may have been raped be attacked. If you don't grasp that, please note that Amy Goodman did a column last week where she billed WAR as a "feminist group" and that may be her first use of the term in print for the entire year. She has a weekly column, so that says a lot.

Radical Marxist? Hello, John Pilger.

John, you're often on the mark on so many issues but you're a sexist pig and you've been that for years. That's reality, you know it, we know it. That's why, in a journalistic career that's spanned not just nearly fifty years but also the run of second-wave feminism, you've never managed to document that movement.

You miss a story for one week, we say you were busy. You miss it for almost fifty years, we say you've sent a message and it's been received.

Wednesday, he told Amy Goodman:
In my film, I also went to Washington, and I interviewed the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Bryan Whitman, the man who's been in charge of media operations, as they call it, through a number of administrations. And I asked him to give a guarantee that Julian Assange would not be hunted down, as the media was describing it. And he said he wasn't in a position to give that guarantee. So, I think we're in a situation here, Amy, where people have to speak out.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense? John's been embarrassing himself since the rape allegations surfaced against Assange. He's been 'massaging' and 'twisting' the truth. In fact, he's repeatedly given truth a purple nurple.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense?

Do you know how many Assistant Secretaries of Defense there are?

John hopes you don't, he hopes like hell that no one knows and no one questions. (Certainly Goodman didn't.) In 2008, there were 10 Assistant Secretaries of Defense. It's a generic title. Second in charge at the Pentagon is called "Deputy Secretary of Defense." That's currently William J. Lynn III. There's an Assistant Secretary of Defense Legislative Affairs, an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, one for International Security Affairs, and on and on it goes. Bryan Whitman's actual title?

He's not an Assistant Secretary of Defense. He's a Deputy Assistant. A sub-division of Assistant. His full title is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. And he doesn't make policy so he can't "guarantee" anything to John Pilger other than that the two of them can get together for an interview.

But John massages and milks it and really tries to turn it into something, doesn't he?

Repeatedly. Which is how we get him saying, "But, you know, the absurdity of this case is that a senior prosecutor in Sweden threw this thing out. And I've seen her papers. And she was left -- she leaves us in no doubt there was absolutely no evidence to support any of these misdemeanors or crimes, or whatever they're meant to be, at all." He's just lying now. Her papers?

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Her papers? Apparently what she filed for the British court. And she's not required to file evidence with those. And John knows that and he knows that discovery doesn't start at this point in the process. So there's no way he'd have seen any evidence if he were the defense counsel -- which he isn't and therefore will not be entitled to see anything before it is introduced in court during a criminal trial (if anything ever is, if there ever is a trial).

What you got were lies and spinning.

But that's all the tired Amy Goodman has to offer. Sick jokes from a sick f**k.

And now we return to that begging letter (a similar plea has been sent via snail mail). And how Goody asks for "your tax-deductible contribution today." Sadly, that's not a joke.

Goodman gets a tax exemption because we all pretend she's playing fair and not endorsing. But she endorsed Barack by attacking John McCain and by giving Barack soft and constant coverage and by ignoring Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney. Goody will insist she had them on her show. We will reply that we pointed out in real time how little they were on, how Goodman would regularly offer, in headlines, a 'bad' John McCain position and then Barack's 'good' one while refusing to note where Nader and McKinney stood over and over again and that while Barack and the Democratic National Convention received ten hours of coverage, the Green Party's convention was reduced to a headline item.

And she gets away with it because people lie. She gets away with it because people whore. Take David Lindorff who wrote about the peace protest outside the White House:

If you wanted to know about this protest, you had to go to the internet and read the Huffington Post or to the Socialist Worker, OpEd News, or to this publication (okay, we’re a day late, but I was stuck in traffic yesterday), or else to Democracy Now! on the alternative airways.

Uh, Lindroff, you posted that on Saturday at your own site which would make you two -- not one -- days late. At The Common Ills, it was covered in the Thursday (day of) snapshot and that night in "I Hate The War."

Goodman covered it on Democracy Now? No, she reduced it to a headline. Lindorff wants to huff that this was an important story and he wants to pretend Goody covered it. It was the eighth out of twelve headlines for Friday. NPR gave it more play.

On Democracy Now!, Goodman plays a journalist. That's funny and about as believable as Letha Wedge when she asks Tony and Tia (Return From Witch Mountain), "Why don't we all have some candies and some sodas and some ice cream?"
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