Sunday, April 11, 2010

Truest statement of the week

Back in the old days, when Barack Obama was one of the hopefuls trying to get his party's presidential nomination, he was asked a specific question: does the American constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charge as unlawful enemy combatants? The would-be candidate's response was unequivocal, rejecting the idea that there was any such power. No wonder, then, that so many people were startled when it emerged last week that the Obama administration has authorised not only the detention but the "targeted killing" of an American citizen, the extremist Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

-- Joan Smith, "Obama – the idealist turns assassin" (Independent of London).

Truest statement of the week II

Charles Davis (via Jon Schwarz) has an incisive take on the high fluttery flail induced in our imperial courtiers by the latest Tea Party tantrums. Davis demolishes a piece in The Nation by progressive paladin Maria Harris-Lacewell, in which she waxes lyrical -- not to nonsensical -- about the great threat to "the legitimacy of the state" posed by Tea Partiers disrespecting our elected officials. These acts -- spitting, swearing, insulting, shouting, etc. -- which might have been considered legitimate expressions of citizen anger (or at least good clean fun) if directed at, say, George Dubya or Dick Nixon, are now to be regarded as -- I kid you not -- "an act of sedition" when aimed at the ruling party.

-- Chris Floyd (Empire Burlesque) on Lie Face Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday, another note to our readers.

Along with Dallas, the following helped on this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
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),
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

Joan Smith ended up earning this one by, in her opening paragraph, juxtaposing one position against the other and demonstrating that when Barack said "change" he meant his own right to do so after being voted into office.

Chris Floyd. Going with this allowed us to note him and to note Charles Davis so it was a two-for-one.

Our Iraq feature. This is a short edition or seems like one. Two Iraq features ended up not being publishable. We considered trying to do a fourth so we'd have two things on Iraq but, in the end, we decided we were too tired and just wanted to go to sleep.

This wasn't the show they planned to review. Saturday Night Live. Again. Tina Fey. Again. But the phones never stopped ringing Saturday night as various people called to weigh in and they knew they'd have to tackle it. This is an Ava and C.I. masterpiece. It's also probably the strongest thing this edition.

E-mails resulted in our doing this feature. While checking C.I.'s notes (at C.I.'s request), Jess did this screensnap. ("C.I.'s request" does not refer to her delegating tasks onto others. When we decided to do this piece, my first question was to C.I., "Did you take notes during the hearing?" My second was, "Can we use them?" To which she replied, "Yes, but check them." Why? She didn't do a transcript in that day's snapshot because Eleanor Holmes Norton was really showing her ass. Try to do someone a favor by not providing a transcription of them embarrassing themselves and disbelievers show up insisting, "That never happened!")

Tom Harkin has to be the ultimate victim, the 21st century damsel in distress. Last week, a 12-year-old was arrested in Harkin's office. A twelve-year-old girl. Ooooh. Scary. Poor Tom Harkin.

We did a mailbag piece. We were half-way through it when Dona pointed out that it was a mailbag and we had an illustration. We (Jess, Marcia and myself) were calling it "Dear Third Estate" and working up a grand intro on that topic.

We just wanted to be done. Ava and C.I. tied this moment into Tina Fey and included it in their TV commentary. We just wanted to be done. Dona asked if that moment could be pulled and, if so, could the moment be a short entry? Ava and C.I. (as tired as the rest of us) agreed and we all ended up writing this.

Mike, Elaine, Wally, Cedric, Ann, Stan, Marcia, Rebecca, Betty, Kat, Ruth and Trina wrote this and we thank them for it.

And that's what we came up with. Jess is streaming The Ambushers online (one of Dean Martin's Matt Helm movies) and C.I. and Ava took care of breakfast which is now ready so we're going to eat, finish up with Jess' film and go to sleep.

See you next week.

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Who moved, who stayed?

Monday WikiLeaks released US military video of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad assault which resulted in multiple deaths including the deaths of Reuters employees Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. It quickly became the Iraq story of the week. Monday, Al Jazeera interviewed Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks, about the leaked video.

Julian Assange: This is a video of an Apache helicopter on the 12th of July, 2007 in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad. It shows a number of things. It shows an attack on a group of people. Two of which are Reuters journalists from Baghdad. Those men are killed by 30 milimeter cannon fire. There seems to be some initial confusion as to whether those people are carrying weapons and that the Reuters' photographer's camera was a weapon. But it proceeds from what might have been an excuse for not concentrating too much, to something far more serious. When one of the Reuters photographers is crawling away, wounded, clearly he doesn't have a weapon, clearly of no threat and a van tries to rescue him which passes by and two children inside. That van is then attacked and the Reuters staff member, Saeed, is killed along with all the people in that van except for the two children who survived but were seriously wounded. [. . .] Just 20 minutes after that serious and disturbing event, a Hellfire missile attack is conducted on a nearby house. That from -- The roof appears to be under construction. And that attacks kills another -- by the military record -- six people. But maybe potentially more, anotehr six. The military say that insurgents went in that hour or lived in the house or went into the building. But our people have shown that in fact there were three families in that house and we have the records of some of their deaths -- including two women. And so on. It is possible that some armed men walked into that house but the majority of the people in that house seemed -- at least the majority of the people that lived there seemed to be regular families and we have evidence from the person who owned the house and photographic evidence of the Hellfire missile and so on.

If Iraq was touched on by a program at all last week, they gave a 'shout out' to the video. Some did more, some did less, but the story was noted on NPR's Talk of the Nation, The Diane Rehm Show, Morning Edition and All Things Considered; PRI's The Takeaway and The World; and Pacifica's Democracy Now! and Flashpoints.


Agani, it was often the only Iraq story the programs touched on (PRI programming was a noteable exception). Appearing on
The World (PRI) Wednesday, today, Harvard professor Matthew Baum explored the subject with host Marco Werman and the professor noted:

Matthew Baum: It's not the time delay per se, it's that this is coming out at a period where basically American opinion, American attention, world attention has pretty much moved on from Iraq. Iraq is no longer the story that it once was in terms of salience. It may still be very much in flux in terms of how the situation in Iraq is ultimately going to play out but it is clearly not the center of international attention that it was, say, at the time that the Abu Ghraib images came out. So you just have a less receptive audience than you would have had at that time by virtue of the fact that people aren't paying that much attention to Iraq anymore.

If you doubted that at least the American media had moved on, you only had to take inventory of what got covered and what didn't. Sunday, three embassies in Baghdad were targeted and, Tuesday, Baghdad apartments were targeted. Multiple deaths and hundreds wounded resulted but did you see much coverage of that?

No, you didn't.

Political tensions continued in the post-election period but you didn't see a great deal of coverage on that topic either.

There were exceptions. For example, last week
Scott Horton (Antiwar Radio) interviewed Dahr Jamail and they were able to talk about the WikiLeaks video as well as the post-election period. It was possible to do so.

Few tried (PBS' The NewsHour tried and achieved -- alone among the broadcast networks) and we have to wonder how many even noticed that?

We take Matthew Baum's remarks and apply it to the news media but he was referring to the American people. People can't know about things that don't get coverage. But that said, is the silence on Iraq not only a reflection of the media's desire to move on but also a reflection of the public's desire?

Frankie Hughes. A twelve-year-old arrested in Iowa last week. For protesting the wars at Senator Tom Harkin's office.

Is she a coming wave or one of the last hold outs?

TV: The Woman Who Loathed Women

If there's a bigger self-hatred pusher than Tina Fey, we've yet to come across him or her. Tina Fey hates women. Tina Fey is ashamed of women. If you didn't get the message before, she spent 90 minutes on NBC last night explaining. The skit that telegraphed just how sad and hollow Fey's artistic life is began with an announcer declaring, "This year, a new network will be unveiled by the woman who changed the face of television." A large "O" appeared on the screen.


The announcer continued, "Because the time has come for the Sarah Palin Network." Thought that "O" was going to stand for Oprah? The woman who did make an announcements about her network last week?

Silly goose! How many African-American woman do you expect Kenan Thompson to portray! He's only one man and he's already doing Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson, Lil Kim, Wilma McNabb, Wanda Sykes, Maya Angelou, Star Jones and assorted others.

During the Palin skit, "Todd Palin" -- starring in the TV show Todd! -- tackled Kenan in what was apparently supposed to portray Todd Palin as a racist. Saturday Night Live is never more amusing than when it sees itself as enlightened and possessing the qualities to criticize others for racism. Or to put it another way, "Hello, Saturday Night Live? This is Kettle. You're still awfully White."

The Palin skit wasn't really funny and it wasn't really timely. And, in fact, that pretty much describes the entire broadcast. The opening, for example, was Barack Obama (Fred) urging people to fill out their census forms.

The forms mailed in the envelopes marked "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW" were due, pay attention, April 1st.

So, for example, the skit might have passed for timely had it aired in March but airing April 10th rendered it dead on arrival.

What do you do when the boat has sailed and you're trying to make a stale joke appear fresh? Slap some sex talk on it. The only trick SNL still has.

Having lost that oily, Shetland Pony hair do, Fey seemed eager to latch onto her own past glory. She re-visited one of her famous moments. For those who don't know, it's the moment that she immediately disowned when the studio releasing Baby Mama informed her that she needed to in order to help the box office. Yes, we're referring to Tina's "Bitch is the new black" skit.

So she was back on Weekend Update for "Women's News." And it was embarrassing, telling and so hideous we still can't stop watching and chuckling.

"Bitch is the new black" (with statements like "Bitches get things done!") was seen as a feminist statement in 2008. (Which is why Tina had to disown it to promote her film -- something she quickly did starting with a Reuters interview and working her way down the news chain.) Though she no doubt expected this one to also be received as such, it had nothing to do with feminism.

For example, one "ladies" was more than enough. But Tina kept latching onto it in one form or another. Not in a humorous manner but in a I-am-so-out-of-touch way. So you got "Ladyland," "a lady curse" and much, much more.

"It's a great time to be a lady in America, We've got a lady Secretary of State, a lady Speaker of the House," she prattled on. But who were the villains, the big bad, in her supposed pro-woman monologue?

Believe it or not: Women.

She worked in two cheating husbands . . . kind of. Sandra Bullock (whom we know and love) was worked in by name as was -- in depth -- the woman who slept with Sandra's husband.

Sandra's husband?

Tina didn't mention him. She ripped apart the woman who, for the record, did not marry Sandra Bullock, did not take a vow to be faithful to Sandra Bullock and has never met Sandra Bullock.

If there's an offense done when someone has an extra-marital affair, we'd argue it's done by the partner having the affair. We rolled our eyes when Elizabeth Edwards tried to portray John Edwards as a virginal cherub taken against his will and ravished by that forceful other woman. We roll our eyes at Tina Fey ripping apart a woman while giving the cheating husband a pass.

It's not feminism.

And it really wasn't funny but, as one former SNL-er said to us on the phone as the (re)broadcast was winding down, it was bitchery.

Full on bitchery.

We'd been talking to friends lately about the lack of value given to females in comedy and how, for example, The New Adventures of Old Christine has, yet again, hit another high water mark this season but that won't be noted or applauded. And we were debating the state of women in comedy and whether any progress had been made.


That was Tina Fey's contribution.

For 90 minutes, she marketed bitchery.

Joan Rivers isn't one of our favorite people but she paved a road in comedy that allowed other women to step on the stage. She isn't the pioneer but she's among them. And what Tina Fey allowed herself to be written into on Saturday demonstrated that we're not only falling backwards, it's worse now than it was then. Because Joan Rivers may have trafficked in bitchy one-liners and jokes, but she owned them, she put them across. Tina Fey was inaudible at various times in the broadcast (a skit where she was thinking to herself in a classroom, the Sarah Palin skit, her Weekend Update skit, etc).

In the Sarah Palin skit, for example, "Sarah" calls Tina Fey's alter ego (30 Rock's Liz Lemmon) freakish because she's "in her late thirties" and has no grandchildren. We're meant to, in that skit, laugh at that archaic characterization.

Is that characterization -- seeing unmarried women as lonely spinsters -- not the same 'humor' Fey repeatedly resorted to during the broadcast?

"Bad" "Sarah Palin" (as played by Tina Fey) mocks unmarried women. Well what about Saturday Night Live? In the classroom skit, she is a lonely and desperate woman. She added wine to her cereal that morning. She sobs uncontrollably in movie theaters alone. But there's a young boy, Jason, in her class. And the whole joke is how she fantiszes about him and wants to give him a bath and maybe do things with him or push him around in a stroller at the mall or . . .

The class (and the audience?) gets to be horrified when she is caught not thinking a thought to herself but singing it aloud (about how Jason is her baby).

If that was one skit, you might overlook it. But it wasn't one skit, was it? We'll provide another example. A mock TV ad from Duncan Hines found Tina Fey (who, remember, in real life is married which adds an even cattier edge to these skits) playing yet another single woman of a certain age. But don't worry, for those lonely, desperate career 'girls,' Duncan Hines is marketing Brownie Husband. You bake it, play with it and then eat it.

It was all so bad that the parody of CBS airing the golf tournament might have been seen as a more 'liberated' character in that the single Ashlyn St. Cloud at least had a sex life. One she couldn't stop bragging about, true, but then you can't serve up 'jokes' about "whores" (Tina warned in her Weekend Update skit that, apparently like the needy, they were always among us) without letting Tina play one?

Yeah, that's the joke. Tiger Woods has had how many lovers come forward, how many women did he cheat on his wife with? And the joke is not Tiger Woods but a 'bimbo' that slept with him? That's the joke?

No, there was nothing feminist about Tina Fey's appearance. It was pure embarrassment and you could hang your head in shame or do like we did and enjoy the fact that each and every day she reveals herself to be not only worthless but a woman filled with an ocean of self-hatred.

Tines has a new flick. And the actor in it pulled in an audience. It might even come in number one for the weekend. But it's not a hit. The studio set a mark that the film had to make by Friday to be a huge hit. It didn't make it. A friend at the studio thought that Saturday numbers might goose it up a bit. Didn't happen. The film may pull off number one for the weekend. But it's going to have a short life.

And we asked why that was at all surprising?

Who does Tina Fey appeal to?

For free, Americans won't even watch her weekly TV show.

Who's going to pay to see her?

And considering she stabbed women in the back to promote Baby Mama, we're surprised she agreed to make her current film. Did she really think those teenage males she courted so heavily on Baby Mama were going to turn out for a film about parents on a Date Night? This is Bye-Bye Love with a little more pizazz.

A quality she did not exhibit on SNL last night. She was a mother visibly ashamed of her child at a school dance, she was a nine inches tall hooker named Lolene, she was a number of things. She was not, however, remotely funny. As the never ending Sarah Palin skit drug on and on, we were not only again reminded how Jami Gertz actually has the looks to pull off a Palin impersonation, we were also finally able to put our finger on who Tina Fey looks like: A more mature Libby Doyle. If Elizabeth Doyle had yellow teeth and a scar running down one side of her face.

Oh, does Tina think that's hurtful?

Does that upset little Tina?

Poor little Tina.

In what world?

In the world we live in, Lindsay Loham is a never ending train wreck, no question about it. But you won't find a lot of Loham jokes in our writing.



Oh, yeah. Tina Fey wrote the screenplay for Mean Girls which starred Lindsay Loham who was able to turn it into a hit film. And her thanks for that from one-time co-star Fey is to have her mother ridiculed on national television?

There was Tina Fey portraying Loham's mother as a drunken slut with chest freckles (marketing a new item called: Checkles). Now we're not close to Loham, we barely know her. But we do know who she considers the source of pain in her life.

It's not her mother. It would be her father who can't stop talking about her, blogging about her, anything to ride her name to fame. And her supposed, alleged 'friend' Tina Fey made fun of her mother on national television, ridiculed the woman.

That's Tina Fey, that's the real Tina Fey. Always letting a man get away with murder while slamming a woman for the least offense. That's Tina Fey, the real Tina Fey. Stabbing everyone who ever helped her along the way in the back and then insisting her bitchery is "humor" and that others need to lighten up.

Women should have long ago grasped from the lack of women (and the over abundance of men) on 30 Rock that Tina Fey is not their friend. Watching her do one skit after another, where she played female stereotypes who were the butt of every joke last night, may have sent the message her low rated sitcom hadn't. Then again, these days not many people bother to watch Saturday Night Live.

Eleanor gets egg on her face

December 3, 2009, the House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing entitled "The United States Secret Service and Presidential Protection: An Examination of a System Failure" and Mark J. Sullivan, Director of the Homeland Security Department, was among those appearing before the Committee. Ava and C.I. attended the hearing and C.I. broke the only news from the hearing in that day's snapshot: Barack Obama is not receiving a greater number of threats than previous presidents or George W. Bush did.

And yet, as we noted last week, the lie continues to be repeated. A reader e-mailed whining on Thursday that it was a lie! Barack was receiving more death threats! And the proof was that C.I. didn't include a transcript.

A) It wasn't an Iraq-related hearing or topic so C.I. felt no need to include one. B) Not including one allowed C.I. to be kind about US House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton who made a real fool of herself in public.

Norton revealed that she wasn't concerned about the safety of "any old president," but Barack mattered to her. Not exactly the attitude that a member of the US Congress should express, regardless of what party they belong to.

Norton mugged relentlessly. Norman Fell on a full season of Three's Company didn't mug as much as Norton did in her first round of questioning. She found herself so amusing. As is often the case, those most amused by themselves end up playing the fool -- as Norton did that day.

When not mugging, Norton was attacking. She yelled at Sullivan. She snapped at him. She cut him off repeatedly, she mocked him and the Secret Service and she revealed that she wishes she had mastered a foreign language (we've never heard anyone pronounce "poser" as she did -- apparently, she believed she was offering the French pronunciation).

All in all, as the screen snap below demonstrates, it was not a pretty day for Eleanor Holmes Norton. C.I. handed us her notes from the hearing (taken the day of) and Jess went to the Committee's webpage to stream the hearing (click here).


Here's the transcript, as taken by C.I. in real time at the hearing and as checked by Jess this morning.

US House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton: Let me tell you what my concern is, Mr. Sullivan. It is well known, it's been in the press over and over again, that this president has received far more death threats than any president in the history of the United States. An alarming number of death threats. I'm not going to ask you for the details on that. But here we had the first State Dinner, not of just any old president, but of the first African-American president. Was there any attempt to increase security given all you know which is what we know about threats to this president of the United States?

Mark Sullivan: Ma'am, no matter who the president is --

US House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton: I'm asking about this president! And my question is very specific. Given death threats to this president, was there any attempt to increase the security at this event, yes or no?

Mark Sullivan: Ma'am, I can't talk about that. Number one, I will address the threats. I've heard a number out there that the threat is up by 400%. I'm not sure where that number --

US House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton: Is it up at all? We aren't asking for the number.

Mark Sullivan: Well I would just -- I think I can answer that, ma'am. It isn't up 400% and I'm not sure where that number came from but I can --

US House Rep: Eleanor Holmes Norton: Please don't assign!

Chair Bennie G. Thompson: Just a minute. We can't hear the gentleman.

US House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton: Please don't assign to me a number in my question. I just asked you if the threats were up. Are the threats up or not, Mr. Sullivan?

Mark Sullivan: They are not. The threats right now in the inappropriate interest that we're seeing is the same level that it has been for the previous two presidents at this point and time.

US House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton: This is very comforting news.

Norton is revealed to be an idiot in public and the best she can muster is not an apology (for her false claims -- "it is well known" or her behavior) but to insist, "This is very comforting news." We'd further note that "I was at that State Dinner" Norton, if she was as outraged in real time by security as she portrayed herself to be at the hearing, should have spoken up at the dinner. Not only should she have, but it was duty to do so.

Fear of Cooties Ruins Tom Harkin's Life


That's US Senator Tom Harkin with Partnership for Play Every Day and, as America learned last week, the February 15, 2007 event must have been a very trying and scary time for Harkin. If you study the photo closely, you can almost hear Harkin whimpering, "I forgot to get my cootie shot! Don't let them get too close, please God, don't let them get too close!"

From the Friday "Iraq snapshot:"

Senator Tom Harkin voted for the Iraq War by voting, in 2002, to authorize force. Tom Alex (Des Moinses Register -- link has text and video) reports that a 12-year-old was arrested as Harkin's office in Des Moines, Frankie Hughes. Her 'crime'? The 12-year-old refused to leave the office. The 12-year-old girl was a 'threat' to Senator Tom Harkin and his staff. The full grown senator and his full grown staff were a-scared of a 12-year-old girl. Frankie Hughes was there "sitting in a chair and refusing to leave" to protest the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. The 12-year-old girl sitting in a chair, during business hours, was a 'threat' -- apparently a clear and present danger. On top of that, Alex reports, the day after the arrest, police showed up to serve Frankie's mother Renee Espeland with a misdemeanor charge of "contributing to the delinquency of a minor."

Tom Harkin, 70-years-old and afraid of 12-year-old girls. We searched Vanity Fair's archives in vain for a Proust Questionnaire with Harkin. Since none existed, we created one.

What is your current state of mind?

Highly confident. Why? What did you hear? Who said it?

What are your biggest fears?

Republican majorities, spiders and 12-year-old girls.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Not to be immodest but I've always felt no one has ever understood or appreciated me as much I have.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?

I would say, from David Broder's Changing of the Guard: Power and Leadership in America where a young flyboy by the name of Tom Harkin flew "combat air patrols and photo-reconnaissance" in Vietnam. I found that story riveting. If untrue.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I would again say Tom Harkin. I don't think you can go wrong with Tom Harkin. In fact, that's probably going to be my 2016 re-election slogan: "I don't think you can go wrong with Tom Harkin."

What is it you most dislike?

12-year-old girls.

Back to the real world, Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive) reported on the incident Saturday.



You idiots, the press is the fourth estate, you don't even know what to call yourself, you really ought to be embarrased -- CN7@ [e-mail domain]

Hey, CN7, it's rare that we encounter anyone who uses commas as periods. We'd say you should be embarrassed (or, as you prefer, "embarrased") but maybe you're attempting to be a punctuation trail blazer?

As for your comments re: "Third Estate." Take a class in history or read the archives. We've repeatedly answered this question. Before the French revolution, there were three classes ("estates"). The first one was wealthy, the second was aristocracy and government. The third?
Peasants. We've oversimplified but feel it was necessary to do so for you to catch on. Thanks for writing.

Just listened to Flashpoints [e-mail sent on Thursday] and what happened? No Haiti. I had to stop listening because I couldn't take another moment of Kevin Pena playing Sally Struthers and crying WHY!WHY! on air repeatedly. Again: What happened? -- Marcus

What happened, Marcus, is that, like you, a lot of listeners tuned out. A lot. When they started their non-stop Haiti coverage, Haiti was already wall-to-wall on all outlets. There was no need for Flashpoints to offer 'coverage.' Especially when doing so meant that they were ignoring Israel -- one of their "beats" -- at a time when it should have been front and center. We believe guest hostess Kevin Pina was last featured on March 22nd due to the fact that you can't radicalize anyone if you run your audience off.

Flashpoints covered WikiLeaks Monday. I hope you'll give them a link. -- Mona

Monday WikiLeaks released US military video of the US assault in Baghdad July 12, 2007. To varying degrees, it was covered on radio programs such as Talk Of The Nation (twice on that show last week), Morning Edition, All Things Considered, To The Point, The Takeaway, Antiwar Radio and more. While it is true that Pacifica Radio programs largely ignored the story (Uprising was among those showing no interest -- big surprise), Flashpoints meager morsels of coverage didn't rank as anything important or worthy of note so, sorry Mona, no, we won't provide it a link this time. We're also fully aware that Flashpoints (see above) was so obsessed with Haiti that they never addressed Iraq's elections so we don't feel we owe them a damn thing.

Keith Harmon Snow has a new article ["AFRICOM Backs Bloodshed in Central Africa," at Dissident Voice] and I was wondering if you might ever cover this story? -- BGW

Check our archives, we have covered it. We warned and warned in 2008 that Barack Obama would do what the empire wanted but couldn't achieve. Bush was repeatedly turned down. Hillary would have been as well. But Barack? Son of Kenya would provide the cover for the empire to get further roots into Africa. We explained how the bases were being closed in Europe and how Africa was the new prize. We're just not interested in the story right now, it's too upsetting. We will (and did) insert the name of Keith Harmon Snow's article into your e-mail and provided a link to it. We covered the issue to begin with due to his work. He's a giant on this field and a rare brave voice in a media landscape that either goes along with the US government's narrative or willfully stays silent.

You keep claiming that something was said in a hearing that I never saw anyone write about except for you. President Obama is receiving more death threats and I'm tired of all the lies otherwise.
-- Brena

Unless you're the one making the threats, Brena (should we call the Secret Service?), we fail to grasp how you could be so sure of yourself. However, you are wrong and, this edition, we offer "Eleanor gets egg on her face" which contains a transcript of the exchange. Barack is not receiving more death threats.

"Today I Am A Ma'am" has to be the most mentioned TV episode by all of you but Ava and C.I. specifically. I've never even watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show but I could tell you key things about that episode just from your mentions of it. I'm wondering why that episode and that show gets stressed so much? -- Darlene

"Today I Am A Ma'am" is a classic TV episode written by Treva Silverman. You've never seen the episode, Darlene, but you now know it and that's actually the point here. See, what do we know? What gets passed down? Women have achieved many things in real time. And then what happens? They're forgotten. We try to do our part to make sure that doesn't happen. A number of websites hail M*A*S*H or All In The Family repeatedly. Those are good shows, no question, we'll even call them classic television. However, so is The Mary Tyler Moore Show. And this amazing episode is available for online streaming (free) at Hulu.

Most embarrassing moment

It wasn't a good week for radio.

Among the more jaw dropping moments last week was the first hour of The Diane Rehm Show (NPR) on Friday, when Diane and her guests decided the thing to do was engage in a little sex talk.

Diane may be many things and play many roles but if, indeed, sex kitten is among them, we implore NPR that no one other than Diane's husband ever needs to know that.

By all that is holy, please, let no one other than her husband ever know that.

She had on three columnists and that's what happens when you have on columnists and not reporters -- sooner or later, they start working blue. Leading up to Ezra Klein was joking (we think he was joking) about visiting bondage clubs.

Diane's motto for her show is that it's where "one of her guests is always you." Maybe so but get those Hepatitis C shots before joining her these days.


This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"I Hate The War" -- most requested highlight.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "These days, puppets pull the strings" -- Isaiah bats another one out of the park again.

"Trudy Lieberman catches Linda Douglass in a lie ...," "A What Named Linda" and "Yes, we knew she won" -- Linda Douglass resigning gave Trina, Ann and Ruth a chance to revisit how the press covered for Barry and covered for their own.

"NPR ombudsperson full of s**t" -- Amen, Ann, amen.

"New Adventures of Old Christine returns" "Boy, did I get a wrong number!," "Archer" and "One more day!" -- Betty and Mike cover TV.

"THIS JUST IN! HE'S SO VAIN!" & "Publicity whores" -- Wally and Cedric on the Obamas' decision to perform on American Idol.

"Every picture does tell a story" -- Kat keeping it real and to the poiint.

"Bully Boy Tapes a Dating Service Video" -- Isaiah dips into the archives for this one.

"book 'em friday," "Guns & Butter, Jackie Collins" and "How To Be A Movie Star" -- Rebecca, Kat and Marcia on books -- Rebecca and Marcia are covering a new biography by William Mann and will conclude their discussion next Friday.

"Sara Libby: Stupid White Girl" -- Marcia's amazing post.

"The Grifters " -- Stan goes to the movies.

"Whatever happened to . . ." -- Elaine makes the most apt comparison for the Cult of St. Barack that we believe we've encountered thus far.

"Look who got suspended" -- Betty on Devil Dave.

"Baghdad, Lynne Stewart" and "Walter Trochez" -- Ruth covering radio.

"Economy, Bond, Karzai" -- Grab bag -- including movies -- from Stan.

"Club Kids: The Ugly Side of Excess" & "THIS JUST IN! BARRY O ADVISES OTHER STARLETS!" -- Cedric and Wally chart the de-evolution of our Celebrity In Chief.
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