Sunday, May 02, 2010

Truest statement of the week I

Why have I, an avowed Peace Monger, started to get so many bans? Is it because I have changed? Is it because I am saying anything different than I have been saying for the last six years? Is it because the wars are over and I still won't stop? No, it's because [. . .] much of the country has gone insane while I remain the same.

-- Cindy Sheehan, "Our Complex" (Cindy's Soapbox).

Truest statement of the week II

No kidding you clown? Now you realize this? Only know does your brilliant "creative class" mind grasp the damage your foolishness inflicted? To build a party on ephemeral first time voters and young voters is foolishness. That foolishness is akin to a store which sells baby clothes only to virgins -- there might be some curiosity value and foot traffic but the business model will not work.

Only now does the clucking clown of the "creative class" at NothingLeft realize the foolishness of party building based on a group of political virgins and soon to grow up and change their views young people. That's not to say that those groups should not be courted, but to build a party on a one time only group of voters is monumental foolishness.

-- "Mistake In ‘08, Part V – The Revelation," Hillary Is 44.

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday and 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 how the edition got away from us!

Seriously. Reading this, you'll probably see it as one of our stronger ones this year and it is. But it's in no way what we planned. For example, next week we'll work on a parody feature. That was planned for this week. What happened?

A number of things. Mainly losing Ava, C.I. and Ann for a good chunk of the writing edition.

So let's talk about what we have:

This is Cindy Sheehan and we generally all vote on them; however, Ava, C.I. and Ann were working hard on another feature so we did both truests without them to move things along.
Same as above and this is Hillary Is 44.

Dona wanted a short editorial on Iraq. "It matters"? Editorial device Ava and C.I. proposed when Dona said one section (on minorities in Iraq) was taking the editorial in another direction and needed to go. They also came up with our new ending -- the excerpt from a song made famous by Linda Ronstadt.

Ava and C.I. had me worried. They were tired at the start of the writing edition and worked forever and a day with Ann on another feature. I was sure that they wouldn't have it in them to do a TV piece. They were planning to do Happy Town (is that the name? they aren't even answering me), a new ABC drama. But they told me upfront that if they were tired, they'd grab a PBS public affairs program. "And you'll love what we have to say," Ava promised. They were tired. I didn't expect much. Then I read this and it's incredible. While so many rush to insist that the program was groundbreaking, Ava and C.I. tell you how fake it really was.

This was planned and it wasn't planned. Some time ago, Ava and C.I. said they needed to do a one-month piece on Fresh Air with Ann. They just didn't realize the end of the month was here. Ann tried to beg off because she thought Ava and C.I. could work faster without her. Ava and C.I. said it's her terrain (Ann covers the show at her site) and they weren't doing it without her. So they had to cover 22 episodes and that required research and then writing. A lot of time.

Mike brought this to the mix. He pitched it Thursday morning and took his photo Thursday night. I loved this because I (Jim) love any and all consumer reporting.

I have no idea how often we have written about or mentioned the film In The Spirit. But it's been many, many times. And we always hear from people who love the film. Ann and Stan wrote about it at their sites, about it being available as a download, and we heard from readers insisting we had to write about it again, insisting that there was very little information on the film online and that "even Wikipedia" has very little on the film.

We wanted to do something on Peace Tea and we wanted to cover the oil spill and immigration rights. (Ava and C.I. flew to Dallas Saturday to take part in the immigration rally there. That's part of why they were so tired during this writing edition.) (Photos in El Spirito which has already gone out this morning.) Somehow, organically, they all came together for this piece.

We were editing all but Ava, C.I. and Ann's feature, Ava and C.I.'s TV article and the editorial. Editing and typing and discussion illustrations. Ty went off and did a Ty's corner and the gang went off and did Highlights.
And then we got together and wrote this (we is all but Ava, C.I. and Ann).

Mike and Elaine, Ann and Cedric, Rebecca, Ruth, Betty, Kat, Marcia, Stan and Wally wrote this. We thank them for it. And we thank Mike for the photo he took of the Coke bottles and Isaiah for allowing us to use his illustration.

And we thank everyone who worked on this edition.


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

Editorial: It matters

ICCC states that 4394 US service members have died in the Iraq War. That was the count on Thursday. Saturday, it was announced that Anthony Magee, injured in an April 23rd attack and evacuated to a medical facility in Germany, had passed away. For those past the first grade, that would make the number 4395.

It matters.

Friday on The Diane Rehm Show (NPR), Nancy A. Youssef declared:

The United States has said it is leaving even though it looks like it could be weeks or months before government is formed in Iraq, even though the election appears to have been divisive and that there's real question that Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi -- the-the, right now the winner -- and their coalitions will be able to work together. And I think the question becomes what could the United States do if it stayed? Remember, the United States is there at the invitation of the Iraqi government and-and the movement that -- the train has sort of left the station. The United States is moving towards training Iraqi forces, putting them in the lead and I'm not sure that there's anything more that the United States could do --

Nothing the US can do? Well check out this USAID page and see all the money the US continues to call "aid" to Iraq and grasp that they can, as they would with any country, threaten to pull the aid. Grasp that the US can stop giving Iraq credit. Grasp that there are so many ways -- without a single weapon being loaded or aimed -- that the US can send a message.

It matters.

And when a Pentagon correspondent thinks the only influence the US can exert is brute force?

It matters.

Iraq's Got Tyrants

When Nouri al-Maliki works overtime to subvert the results of an election, to nullify them, and the US does nothing, it matters.

The Iraq War has not ended. There's no withdrawal this year. There may be a drawdown. It hasn't happened yet even though 'reporters' 'report' it as though it has.

It matters.

And it matters that the illegal war continues and CODESTINK is sending out e-mails with "Good News" in the heading. The illegal war continues and the so-called peace groups are silent.

Now you go your way baby and I'll go mine Now and forever till the end of time I'll find somebody new and baby We'll say we're through And you won't matter anymore
-- "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," written by Paul Anka, best covered by Linda Ronstadt on her Heart Like A Wheel album

Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Iraq's Got Tyrants."

TV: Moyers even lies when quoting the classics

Friday, on many PBS stations, Bill Moyers Journal offered its last gasp before floating face-down in its own bias and prejudice. It was not an episode that qualified as "memorable" or even "informative."


He led with a "popular uprising" that you may not have seen. We've criss-crossed the country for years now and have yet to see what he claimed. But using one protest -- in Chicago, he pretended that a national event was taking place. We'd be the first to applaud a true national uprising but there's none as of yet. As usual with Bill Moyers, propaganda trumped reality.

He tries to connect a rally in Chicago with events in Iowa. You're supposed to go with the transition and not notice all the wads of scotch tape not-quite holding it together.

Then it was off to Jim Hightower. Jim is your typical Bill Moyers guest: 100% phony. It's not just that Jim Hightower is a sorry excuse for a political commentator or that his voice is so damn annoying, it's also all the stuff people in-the-know know but oh so rarely talk about. We're not afraid to talk. Here's one thing about Jimmy Hightower.

Ask him, if you're unfortunate enough to encounter him, why he would supply autographed copies of his books to LGBT bookstores but didn't do signing events at them?

Ask him what the hell was up with that?

But watch him back away quickly because that opens up way too many cans of worms. Way too many.

Jim Hightower hasn't had one of those best selling fourth-grade-reading-level 'books' since Bush was in office so we were curious as to what Hightower was doing on the program?

Then we realized: He's a man. And, after all, hasn't that always been more than enough for Bill? Hasn't he been happiest with his show coming off like a men's locker room? And, as an added bonus, at 67-years-old, Hightower qualifies as a 'youngster' on this PBS program.

He yacked away about populist movements -- well, what he considers them. The Tea Party? It's based on anger. And goodness knows, when farmers waived pitchforks in earlier times, there was absolutely no anger involved. None. Zero. Zilch. If you believe that, you just may be as stupid as Jim Hightower always sounds.

Bill asked him why he didn't refer to himself as a liberal and it was hilarious to hear the 'answer.' Poor Jim Hightower, going to go to the grave still in the closet.

The two Mouths of the South served up so much corn-pone we kept expecting Minnie Pearl and the cast of Hee Haw to show up at any second.

He mentioned the president of the United States only once. Jim Hightower lumped him in with Nancy Pelosi and others, moaned that they never worked to build the grassroots and then Jim quickly scampered away from the topic of Barack Obama.

Then it was time for Bill to deliver a meandering essay that served no purpose but if Michael Winship could write, he would have had a real career by now, wouldn't he?

Following all the gas baggery, it was time for Bill to make like Merv Griffin and talk to a book author -- a man, of course. For those who tire quickly of gas baggery, good news, Bill and Barry Lopez engaged in psycho-babble.

Finally the last show wound down with Bill self-stroking at length. You got the idea his ego was drowning in Viagra. He prattled on and on including this, "To our critics, I'm glad you paid attention; the second most important thing to journalists is to know we're not being ignored. The most important thing is the independence that enables us to do our job without fear or favor. In this I have been unbelievably blessed."

Independence? If there's one thing Bill Moyers could always deliver it was the laughs.

(Ask anyone who worked with him at CBS.)


Bill Moyers is a tired hack whose ass never should have been brought back on PBS. He had nothing to offer except sexism and everyone (but us) avoided calling him out on it.

His last show featured no female guest -- not one. Nor did his last three shows.

Women were never important in The World of Bill Moyers. Truth wasn't very important either.

"The Secret Government" is an expose he did once upon a time that's highly overrated but worth watching. He likes to plug it when speaking to groups and talk about the bravery and independence journalism needs. We don't disagree that journalism needs those two things (and much more); however, we don't feel he's ever really displayed either.

And he doesn't even try when Democrats are in the White House. That's the real dirty secret about LBJ's former henchman who attacked the press and plotted against them as part of the Johnson administration. Every time a Democrat's in the White House, Bill Moyers' palms sweat and he fondly recalls Johnson showing him the scar and remembers that all good Democratic operatives (as opposed to journalists) play the quiet game for four years when a Democrat is elected to the White House.

Which is why the show had no purpose or life once Barack Obama was elected president. Bill whored it good for Barack, used his national program -- supported with tax payer funds -- to attack Hillary Clinton (including refusing to play a clip of her eyes tearing up but making fun of her for that and then playing a clip of currently under investigation US House Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. ripping Hillary apart with lies). He wanted Barack and he got him. At which point the Journal was all about f**king over America.

Psycho-babble and gas baggery. No one polishes a Democratic knob like Bill Moyers -- what, you thought those rumors were just nasty Marshall, Texas talk?

Search in vain for the program this year about Barack's assault on the press which, yes, does including targeting New York Times reporter James Risen for exposing (in 2005) Bush's secret spying on the American people.

Billy Moyers didn't want to talk about that. Better to babble. Better to prove that there's no whore like an old whore. Better to misinform and disinform the American people if you're nothing but a Party Whore and that's all Bill's ever been.

Which is why he's never devoted a segment (let alone an entire program) to Barack's claim that, as president, he can order the death of a US citizen -- and do so without any trial to determine guilt or innocence. Barack believe he's judge and jury. That carries on Bush's claim that he can imprison any American citizen without allowing them to appear before any court -- and expands upon it

Where was Bill Moyers?

And, goodness, Bill, your homophobia? Good thing you're going off the air now because you hate gays and lesbians and now you don't have to deal with them just like you didn't have to deal with them for your last 16 episodes, which all aired this year, and not a one of them explored Don't Ask, Don't Tell or any other LGBT issue. No one was supposed to notice that, were they, Bill? The same way you hope all your queer bashing at CBS never gets noted or explored?

Bill might reply, "Those were different times."

They sure were and those are the times he belongs to. Bill Moyers ended his PBS run and we're supposed to mourn apparently. We don't see anything to mourn. And being fully aware of Bill's vanity, desperation and hatred for Republicans, we're fully aware that he'll try to come back to PBS should Barack lose the 2012 election.

"He'll never let his friends be at ease, and he'll never be at ease himself!"

That's the quote he should have closed with, the one that really applies to him. He got the wrong Bronte sister. He quoted from Charlotte Bronte's Villette when he should have quoted from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, it's more suited to his personality.

Well . . . not quite.

The quote we apply? Actual quote from Emily Bronte's work. Bill Moyers declared Friday, "We intended to be married in this way almost from the first. We never meant to be spliced in the humdrum way of other people." What page does that appear on, Bill?

Uh, it doesn't. He's fudged the quote. "Alfred and I intended to be married in this way almost from the first; we never meant to be spliced in the humdrum way of other people; Alfred has too much spirit for that, and so have I -- Dieu merci!" Page 457.

As bad as the forged quote is the false set up he provides before (mis)quoting, "To quote, once again, what Charlotte Bronte wrote of her Alfred." He implies that Charlotte's writing either of someone in her own life or of a major character in the novel. Alfred is neither and isn't even present in chapter Moyers is quoting from. Ginevra is at school speaking of him and other men who are courting her.

How telling. How very typical of Bill Moyers. Even something as simple as quoting from a classic work requires that he fudge the truth. He just can't be factual. He can't be rooted to reality. It's not just his vanity and temper tantrums that turn people against him, it's his refusal to play it straight, his urge to always take a little lie and make it just a tad larger. And that's what, in the end, caused PBS to cut Bill loose.

Terry Gross Hates Women (Ava, C.I. and Ann)

Dead, jazz or smutty.

Those are the the three categories that most easily allow you be noted on Fresh Air if you're a woman. Be dead or be smutty. Or sing jazz! Smutty, not funny, just smutty and 'cutting edge' in Terry Gross' mind. You know about as 'cutting edge' as her ridiculous haircut was . . . forty years ago.

Terry Gross

You grasp that quickly when you listen to a month of Terry's on air babbling. If you're willing to subject yourself to her garbage, you also quickly grasp that (in her mind) men are experts on everything but women can only speak about their own lives. When she wants to talk history, current events, the arts or any topic, it's usually time for her to hunt down a man. But women can be brought on to talk about something they just did -- a TV show, a movie, etc. Terry doesn't seem to know any women interested in the world around them -- possibly reflecting the type of woman Terry herself is.

In April, she had 22 hours of NPR to fill Monday through Friday. So how'd she do? How's this woman NPR's ombudsperson refused to call out, whose program she refused to include in the 'study,' doing? Not too damn good.

Let's start with the women -- mainly because Terry always puts us last and also because it's so much easier to cover since there are so few. April 1st, Terry interviewed actress Toni Collette about Toni's career for 21 minutes and 19 seconds. April 14th, Barbara Strauch, New York Times journalist and book author, joined Terry to discuss the human brain for 32 minutes and 24 seconds making her (a) the only woman brought on to discuss any topic other than herself and (b) the longest (air time) interview with a woman. Now please note, unliked minor 80s celebrity Peter Wolf, she didn't get the full show (45 minutes, 11 seconds), unlike Richard Clark (self-appointed terror 'czar), she didn't get the full show (April 19th, 45 minutes, 3 seconds), etc. But at 32 minutes, she got more air time than any other female guest. She certainly got more time than Catherine Russell, brought on to discuss her backup singing and her transition into singing jazz on April 16th (21 minutes and 1 second). April 22nd, found Terry chatting with basic cable celeb Sarah Silverman about such issues as Silverman's years of bed wetting (20 minutes and 46 seconds). And April 28th, she spoke with jazz singer Stephanie Nakasian. So to recap, the month of April, when Terry had to fill 22 daily hours of air time found Terry interviewing one actress (Collette), two singer (Russell and Nakasian) and one cable celeb (Silverman) as well as one woman (Strauch) who spoke of something other than her own experiences. Twenty-two hours and only five women were interviewed -- only one of which was given over a half hour (2 minutes and 24 seconds over) on Terry's hourly show.

Five women is shameful. Terry would no doubt insist that other women were noted. Yes, they were. The five women are not the only women who 'appeared' on Terry's show. That's just all the ones who were still alive. April 7th, she noted the death of Wilma Mankiller who had been Chief of the Cherokee Nation and the first woman who was 12 minutes and 2 seconds. Dede Allen, film editor, also passed away last month and, on April 23rd, Terry 'remembered' her with 13 minutes and 53 seconds of air time.

So five living women appeared and two women who died during the month did as well via clippings of previous interviews. By contrast, how many men appeared? And how often were they talking about their own lives? Men were allowed to weigh in on everything because, in Terry's world, men are experts on everything while women just know about their own personal lives.

April 1st, Edward Jay Epstein was a guest for 9 minutes and 20 seconds because . . . only a man can discuss the movies? April 2nd it was time to speak to three men -- two of them Iraqis -- about a documentary on their heavy metal band -- and at 33 minutes, they got more air time than the only female 'expert' of the month. April 5th saw the show devote 37 minutes and 36 seconds to two men from a TV show -- an HBO show. The human brain and its female expert (the only woman offered as an expert in April) got less air time than the 'manly' soap opera Treme. April 6th, Richard Phillips talked about (39 minutes) being kidnapped by pirates. April 7th, Terry spent 33 minutes and 9 seconds on a skinhead (male, but that should go without saying). April 8th found the show devoting 21 minutes and 9 seconds to Johnny Gimble (fiddler) and 13 minutes and 31 seconds with book author George Prochnik. Apparently needing an excuse to wear her jock and protective cup to work, April 9th found Terry granting 20 minutes and 40 seconds to former baseball players Reggie Jackson and Bob Gibson and 18 minutes and 51 seconds to author Bruce Weber (discussing umpires). April 12th found Terry speaking to Peter Wolf (45 minutes 11 seconds) who was most famous in the 70s for being Faye Dunaway's husband (Terry never asked) and in the eighties finally found a hit (the sole hit) with "My Angel Is A Centerfold." Not since she gushed a few months back over the 'levels' to the hair metal nonclassic Slippery When Wet has Terry seemed so musically stunted. April 13th, she chatted (37 minutes and 37 seconds) with Jeff Shesol about the Supreme Court. The 14th, we've already noted (human brain, sole female expert). April 15th, Jeff Goodell chatted away for 27 minutes and 9 seconds about the planet. April 16th it was time for musical history so Terry needed a man (Ken Emerson) for 19 minutes and 3 seconds. April 19th, Terry turned the whole show over to a man, Richard Clarke, as previously noted, for 45 minutes and 3 seconds. April 20th, she also turned the entire show over to a man, 42 minutes and 27 seconds, Dexter Filkins -- aka Falluja liar -- to spin on Afghanistan. With the month winding down and Terry fearful that women might have soaked up too much air time, she did her third show in a row featuring only one guest, for the hour on April 21st, and, of course, it was a man, Stephen Sondheim (46 minutes, 46 seconds). April 22nd, she spoke with Duff Wilson about smoking and the FDA. Apparently having tired herself out from doing research (as opposed to using Wikipedia, as she confessed to on air earlier this year), Terry needed April 23rd off so she re-aired her February interview with James Cameron (20 minutes and 14 seconds). April 26th, she interviewed her longtime friend, a killer who never expressed remorse or even mentioned the woman he killed by name during the 38 minutes and 32 second interview. April 27th, it was time to chat with Ken Auletta for 20 minutes and 15 seconds about the publishing industry and never-a-star Oliver Platt about his 'career' for 24 minutes and 46 seconds (most realistic onscreen moment thus far, when he enjoys 'buddy' Matthew McConaughey's bare chest in 1996's A Time To Kill). April 28th, Hampton Sides talked about his new book for 26 minutes and 43 seconds. April 29th, Will & Grace's Sean Hayes talked (21 minutes and 3 seconds) about doing Promises, Promises on Broadway. April 30th, she devoted 33 minutes, 53 seconds to Bill Moyers.

Men can weigh in on anything with Terry. They're experts on terrorism, on movies, on music, on publishing, on pretty much every damn thing. But Terry doesn't know women who can talk about topics other than themselves. How many living women appeared on the program in April? Five. How many men? 28.

That's 15%. Women made up 15% of the guests on Terry Gross' show in April. That's pathetic. Much earlier this month, this site called out the pathetic ombudsperson's 'study' of (some) NPR programming. Let's return to that pathetic 'study' (which deliberately omitted The Diane Rehm Show and Fresh Air).

Focusing on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Alicia Shepard wrote, "Those figures are equally discouraging. NPR listeners heard 2,502 male sources and 877 female sources on the shows we sampled. In other words, only 26 percent of the 3,379 voices were female, while 74 percent were male."

Only 26% was "discouraging" to Alicia?

Try 15%.

And trying doing your damn job.

Alicia Shepard wanted to grandstand on the nice and easy. She wanted to call out the news programs -- where women with the programs (pay attention men working on those two shows) had already complained to Alicia. That's why she studied those programs and she refused to take on Gross or Rehm. She knew that for every Steve Inskeep that might object on one of the two programs, a number of women would side with her (because they'd already spoken to her -- when forced, we will tell tales out of school).

As Steve Inskeep (Morning Edition) pointed out to Shepard after the 'study' was published, she was measuring every voice that appeared on Morning Edition which included snippets of Barack Obama's speeches because they are a news program and he is president. His point was that events dictated some of who would be heard on a news program. By contrast, we note that Terry Gross determines her own guests. And she determined that men would make up 85% of her guests for the month of April and that women would only make up 15%. 'Current events' did not force her hand.

Maybe you're wrongly thinking that Terry used her posse of critics to make up for the gender imbalance or to at least lessen it? If so, you're apparently unaware that the show has ten regular critics and nine of them are men such as Ed Ward who started the month off with a 9 minute and 20 seconds look back at Wilson Pickett's music. April 2nd saw Ken Tucker blather on for six minutes and 30 seconds about non-hit wonders Drive-by Truckers while David Edelstein yammered away about Clash of the Titans for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. April 5th saw David Bianculli shoot in his shorts for six minutes and 17 seconds over bad TV (Treme). April 6th, Terry's sole vagina sporting critic (at least as far as we know -- eh, Ken Tucker?), showed up and Maureen Corrigan was reviewing a book by . . . a man (Lionel Shriver, 5 minutes and 53 seconds). April 8th, Terry sprayed for any cooties Maureen might have left behind by featuring Kevin Whitehead yammering away about Paul Motian (drummer) and John Powers (5 minutes and 57 seconds on the 80s TV show Twin Peaks). April 9th found David Edelstein raving for 4 minutes and 58 seconds about the bad movie Date Night.) April 13th, Milo Miles 'reviewed' The T.A.M.I. Show. April 14th, Maureen Corrigan returned to review a novel by a woman, Yoko Ogawa, for six minutes and 3 seconds and Ken Tucker was given six minutes and 38 seconds to fondly remember the forgotten Plimsouls -- eighties group that never stormed the charts or the hearts. April 15th found Kevin Whitehead talking up Sam Newsome (sax player) and Robert Hass offering poetry about his dead brother. April 16th, David Edelstein reviewed a small film. April 22nd, Ken Tucker embarrassed himself in a review of Merle Haggard -- like most of Ken's work, this one had huge errors; however, unlike most, it would get an on air correction the following day. April 23rd, John Powers reviewed Persian Cats (5 minutes, 54 seconds) and David Edelstein gushed over Handsome Harry (6 minutes, 22 seconds). April 26th, Milo Miles reviewed Panama! April 29th, Robert Hass was back, this time to wax on about Walt Whitman's "Song Of Myself." April 30th, David Bianculli waxed on (6 minutes, 35 seconds) about Tom Lehrer and David Edelstein about Please Give (5 minutes, 38 seconds). We're counting 19 appearances by male contributors and only two by female. Who knew criticism was so 'manly'?

And you'll notice that the praising went to men. The only time a woman's work was spotlighted in the critical segments was in one book review. Now within country music, Merle Haggard is a legend. No question. But when you've got time to devote segments to 'remembering' the Plimsouls and Drive-by Truckers, you really have no excuse to (wrongly) claim that women don't reach the same level as Merle Haggard. Many woman were far more successful and influential than either of those two eighties groups.

But when 90% of your critical staff is men and male critics are on air over nine times as often as female critics, women's talents are never going to be valued. And it's why Terry's hideous show praises one male weepie after another. These are bad soap operas that Terry's TV critics gush over. Bad soap operas with male leads. And if she had female critics, maybe the work of women would have gotten noted in the last ten years?

Terry Gross is a Queen Bee and it's past time that women stopped supporting this nonsense, stopped pretending that because the host is a female, everything's fine and dandy. It is not fine and dandy and it is unacceptable to feature women as only 15% of the guests in a month. She had 22 broadcast hours to fill, Monday through Friday and she could only find five living women worth speaking to. You don't find that outrageous?

Last week, one of us (Ann) dubbed the host and the program "Testicular Gross and Musk Air" and we think that call stands. And we find it outrageous that the so-called ombudsperson wants to ignore this outrageous sub-par performance on the part of Gross. We find it outrageous that a number of women (name feminists) gripe about this in private but we may be the first to ever document just how bad it is and to do so publicly.

Coca Cola's latest consumer attack

Many years ago, Coca Cola lived through the worst marketing attempt of the 20th century. They decided that they would replace their popular soft drink, Coca Cola, with New Coke. For some insane reason -- scratch that, insanity marked the entire thing. Due to insanity, they decided the way to really hook the public into going for a product they didn't want and abandoning one they enjoyed, the thing to do was to film a commercial with a crowd of celebrities (among them Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O'Neal, Sally Kellerman) who never spoke about New Coke but were seen walking towards some sort of New Coke temple. It must have been a temple because all the celebrities were dressed in white.

New Coke failed spectacularly which is why you will not find one at any store or in any machine. That was the 20th century. We're now in the 21st and the company is apparently hopeful that they can still publicly humiliate themselves. Hence their latest move.

Diet Coke

Do you see what's happening?

On the right is the familiar 20 ounces Diet Coke bottle, the type you might find in a vending machine or buy in a six pack. On the left?

That's the 2 liter bottle. If it looks differently to you, that's because it is. They've redone it to indent on the bottom portion so that it now looks like the 20 ounce drink.

Did you lose liquid with the redesign?


But you did gain cost.

Across the country, Coca Cola's got their soft drinks in the newly designed bottles on sale (popular sales include 4 for $5) and consumers may not have caught on yet. But if you've looked at the regular price or paid non-sales price, you should have noticed that you're paying an average of 36 cents more for a 2 liter Coca Cola soft drink product then you were two months ago before the redesign.

According to America's Best Online, Coke just beats Pepsi (in diet and non-diet forms) so it might be of interest to consumers that Pepsi has not changed their bottling and has not increased the price for their two liter drinks. The same can be said of Dr. Pepper which also shows up in the top ten best selling colas.

In 1985, Coca Cola was sent a message by consumers and dropped New Coke (they try to spin the story as a success for the company here). In 2010, soft drink consumers could once again send a message, that they won't pay more for new bottling, by buying Pepsi or Dr. Pepper.

In The Spirit now available at Amazon

In The Spirit

Lureen: I better quit drinking. I've got to go do The Robin Byrd Show in an hour.

Reva: Oh really? Are you an actress?

Marianne: Yeah.

Lureen: You know Karl Percy, don't you? From Albany?

Reva: Oh yeah.

Marianne: Yeah.

Reva: We worked for him.

Lureen: You're kidding. Which movies?

Marianne: The early ones.

Reva: Yeah, the early ones.

Lureen: You mean like Finger Licking Good? 20 Laps?

Mariann: Yeah, that's right.

Lureen: Wow.

Reva: No, I-I wasn't in 20 Laps.

Lureen: Oh.

Reva: I had another part.

Lureen: Oh.

Reva: In a musical.

Lureen: You're kidding!

Marianne: She is.

Lureen: You know, Crystal was so good in Hot Sausages --

Reva: Uh-huh.

Lureen: -- but she just never followed through. She had no ambition.

Marianne: I think that she was very dumb to get mixed up with Chuckle.

Lureen: Yeah, well, Crystal was dumb. And Chuckles is smart. He is real smart. He is too smart. I get scared of guys who are that smart. You know, and he really gets off on showing you just how smart he is -- like a really mean cat with a bird.

1990's In The Spirit is one of the funniest comedies of its decade. The film, written by Jeannie Berlin and Laurie Jones and directed by Sandra Seacat, stars Marlo Thomas and Elaine May. as Reva and Mariann.

Marianne is married to Roger (Peter Falk) who has lost his job on the West Coast at the start of the film. So as he spirals into depression, Marianne tells him the answer is to move back to NYC where they still have their c-op and he can look for a new job. At a party, Sue (Olympia Dukakis) introduces Marianne to Reva who is an interior decorator, who was married to Sue's late brother Ed and who is heavily into New Age spirituality.

Reva believes in talking to her inner guides and in the use of crystals. She has a neighbor named Crystal (Jeannie Berlin) who is a prostitute. Reva attempts to help her. By suggesting she stop eating red meat. Marianne and Roger first meet Crystal when, returning to NYC, they have dinner with her at Reva's apartment.

Crystal: I'm really upset.

Reva: What happened?

Crystal: This guy I know, he stole some money from me while I was sleeping. And now he won't call me back.

Reva: Oh no.

Marianne: What a terrible experience. How long have you known him?

Crystal: A couple of hours.

Reva: Crystal has trouble distinguishing negative vibrations from positive vibrations. It's very dangerous.

Crystal: It really kills me because I just need $500 more and then I could quit the life and I could go to school.

Roger: What are you going to study?

Crystal: Bartending. I used to study acting. I did a lot of parts in some high class porno movies. I was a fluffer at first. I did some inserts. And eventually I got my name above the title, my face on the big screen. But I want to do something with more security and more respectability and a lot less narcissism. So I think bartending's probably a good place for me to start.

Crystal's clients include mobsters and police officers. And one of them decides to murder her. But Reva has something the killer wants and he comes after her and Marianne forcing them to attempt to figure out who killed Crystal which leads them to prostitute and porn actress Lurleen (Melanie Griffith) who becomes the killer's next victim after she meets with Marianne and Reva. In need of help, they go to Reva's former sister-in-law.

Sue: I don't understand. You mean you think a policeman murdered a prostitute?

Marianne: No. Well -- maybe.

Reva: That's not the point. We know she was killed and we know Lureen was killed. But we're just not sure who killed them. And we don't know who to give the book to. You see, we just have to get out of town for awhile. Just until -- well, we have to get out of town for awhile. See, our plan is to leave town tomorrow but I want to get some cash to Pamela. We don't have any place to stay and we don't have any clothes.

Marianne: We can't go to a hotel dressed like this.

Sue: Well, uh, you can't stay here.

Reva: What do you mean?

Sue: You-you came here because you wanted to stay here?

Reva: Well of course. You're my family.

Sue: I'm Ed's family. I have a husband with a heart condition and two children on drugs. I think it is outrageous for the two of you to come here and endanger us all this way because you might have been followed!

With no where to go, they go on the run, come up with a plan to lure the killer to them and debate whether or not they will kill the killer or turn him over to the police.

In The Spirit is one of our favorite movies and, thanks to Ann and Stan, we now know the never-on-DVD classic is available at Amazon -- $3.99 for streaming rental, $9.99 for digital ownership. (One warning, "s**t" becomes "sh" in Amazon's version of the film.)

It is a hilarious comic gem with amazing turns by Melanie Griffith, Olympia Dukakis, Peter Falk, Jeannie Berlin and Laurie Jones (she plays Reva's housekeeper Pamela) in supporting roles. But the film belongs to Marlo and Elaine who make an amazing comedic team. They build off each other, they accent one another and when the movie ends, the only things that harshes the giddy high the film leaves you with is the realization that no reteaming of Elaine and Marlo on film has yet taken place. Before there was Thelma and Louise, there was Reva and Marianne.

On boycotts and tea

"Who has the time or money to travel these days?" wondered Geena in an e-mail to this site. "I want to honor his call for a boycott but it's not like I was traveling anyway. Only thing I can think to do is stop buying AriZona tea."

"His call" refers to Matthew Rothschild's "Boycott Arizona" (The Progressive). It's one of many articles on the topic of a new law in Arizona where police officers can now stop anyone and ask them for i.d. (as took place in South Africa under apartheid). Those who will be targeted are thought to be Latinos and those who look as if they might be Latinos. Saturday, at The Progressive, Elizabeth DiNovella contributed "Baseball Boycott."

We haven't called for a boycott here. We're aware it's a complicated issue. The economy's already in the toilet across the country. Arizona is 58.4% White Anglo. Assuming (wrongly) that all White Anglos support the new law, that leaves 41.6% of the residents who are not White Anglo including 30.1% who are Latino. Boycotting the state will hurt the state economically, no question. But will it hurt the state legislators more than it will hurt the 30.1% Latinos? Probably not. Tourism generally is low-end work. Hotels, eateries, car rentals, taxis, etc. These are fields that Latinos are employed in. They are the ones most likely effected.

We haven't opposed the boycott here. We're not endorsing it, we're not calling it out. We think there are pros and cons to either position and we just hope that wherever you come down on the boycott, you've taken the time to consider which issues are most pressing to you.

We will, however, support a boycott of AriZona Tea because it taste like sugar-water mixed with piss. Brian Montopoli (CBS News) rushes in to insist that you shouldn't boycott "Arizona Tea" because it's made in New York and not Arizona. What does he know? He can't even spell AriZona Tea correctly.

More importantly, is Brian going to follow you around all day explaining to anyone who sees you sipping AriZona tea, "It's not really made in Arizona!" Is he going to have your back? Otherwise, you're promoting the state of Arizona by drinking AriZona Tea and, regardless of where the tea is made, the decision to name it after the state was one the company made. Bad decision on their part. Why did a New York tea company use another state in their name to start with?

Peace Tea

Instead, you can drink Peace Tea.

It's a product that notes it costs "99 cents." The flavors are Sweet Lemon, Green Tea, Razzleberry Tea and Ceylon Tea. (Those of us who drink Peace Tea recommend Sweet Lemon and Green Tea most strongly.)

You may love it as much as we do. You may love it more than we do. If it's the latter, please note you can follow Peace Tea on Facebook. Or maybe you need a product you consume to communicate with you regularly with updates? You can follow Peace Tea on Twitter.

It's amazing how easily you can follow a product when it's so much harder to follow an issue. For example, KPFA's laughable Saturday Morning Talkies found Kris Welch and two guests arguing against the Arizona immigration law on the grounds that 'the land' used to belond to Mexico and just because it became part of the United States years ago doesn't mean that the battle or legality is over. Really?

Really, that's where you want to go?


You want to push an argument that already has traction with anti-immigration types? The claim that Mexico still desires the land, should still attempt to take it? That's what you want to push? But from the 'left'? Really?

Don't blame it on Rush Limbaugh, don't blame it on right-wing radio, it was Kris Welch and her guests who pimped that claim on KPFA.

Then we had Sunsara Taylor who never can seem to keep it together long enough for the radio these days. How is she? "I'm-I'm furious like most people tight now who have any heart or decency about the recent law in Arizona." Really?

The spill in the Gulf bothers you not at all? Your chief concern is some stupid law in one state out of fifty?

(Taylor would argue that she later mentioned the oil spill; however, she was asked how she was at the start of her segment and she insisted that she was furious and she explained why. To her, one state out of 50 was the issue, not the global disaster that the oil spill is. And apparently the Communist Party no longer cares about either the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War.)

We would assume Sunsara Taylor would point out that Peace Tea is not about peace, that no percentage of profits go to peace causes, that it's just a corporation using "peace" to hawk their products. Yes, that is true. But you drink AriZona Tea in public and you'll be seen as someone associated with the state's immigration law, you drink Peace Tea in public and you'll be seen as someone who supports peace.

You know, the way the Democratic Party hopes that talking Arizona will convince voters that they're on the side of the people. But reality, as with Peace Tea, is more than a little different and you can refer to Jason Ditz ( for more on that.

Ty's Corner

"Ty," wrote Woody, "are you never going to do another Ty's Corner?" It has been two months. I had actually planned to do one twice before but both times the weekly editions featured several articles with individual bylines. Which made me fear it would play like Abby Road -- my least favorite Beatles album and one that really never sounds like a group effort to me.


But this week, with Ava and C.I. doing a TV commentary and working on a piece with Ann that will require extensive work, it seemed I could help move the edition along by doing a corner and the focus is on our illustrations.

What Sunplus camera do we use?

We've had about seven or eight e-mails on that since January and I was confused by the question. Sunplus? I was looking over roundtables to see if maybe Stan or someone not with Third had endorsed Sunplus cameras or even described them? Nope. So where was Sunplus coming from? And what is it?

The first question I can answer: Flickr.

Our photos on Flickr, photographs we take, are credited as being taken by a Sunplus camera. Flickr does that, not us.

Flickr's wrong. We use Digital Video. And the one we use allows both photos and video (with sound on video). We use those because we were in DC many years ago (2006 protest?) and some of us were using disposable cameras and some were using non-disposable, and some were using film and some were using digital -- and on the latter, some used digital that you had to take to a store and some used digital you could upload. It was a pain in the ass. And one of C.I.'s friends noticed.

Shortly afterwards, she gifted us with these cameras. We usally use a 256 MB card in them and they run on 3 triple A batteries (we use rechargable batteries). That was in 2006 and, so that we're all using the same techonology, when new sites have been started, C.I.'s supplied them with the same camera. (We also all use the same type of laptop, a Dell. I have no idea other than it's a Dell. We also use Dell PCs.)

Who takes pictures? If it's one of us, we don't generally credit. If it's shaky, it's usually Jim. Why? Jess torments him. Jim will get ready for the photo and Jess, thinking of a Giants game Jim took photos of for his own personal use and how a large number were blurry, will holler out, "Don't panic! Don't let your hands shake!" And Jim will freeze up or jerk his hand just as he's taking the picture. (You'll notice that in any book or mag piece since Jim's usually the one the photo taking for those gets farmed out too.)

This edition, we're using a photo Mike took and we'll credit him for it. But if it's Dona, Jim, Ava, Jess, C.I. or me, we don't usually credit.

Sometimes we publish an edition without the photos and then add them later that night. That tends to bother at least five readers. But a lot more readers complain when we don't publish until night time. Those are the choices. If we can't get photos to upload on Flickr, then we can publish without photos (or illustrations) or we can hold the entire edition until that night.

Some wish that we used Third Estate Sunday Review's Flickr page exclusively for our photos. Some are confused that there are Common Ills, Mikey Likes It, etc. Flickr pages.

That has to do with DIY. C.I., back in 2005, was sick of Blogger/Blogspot (which has outages all the time back then) and wrote at The Common Ills that she was going to look for a pay service to use. Oh no.

The e-mails poured in. Part of the greatness of TCI was that anyone could do it. It wasn't trying to be professional or look like this or that. It was using the elements available to all to create something memorable. C.I. took heard that input and left it alone.

Back then, Hello! was the program we used for photos and illustrations. Then, without advance warning to its users, Hello! changed its policies. We ended up going with Flickr. We have numerous accounts.


When we reach the maximum on a free account, we move over to another account to keep the DIY spirit. Which is why our illustrations (and Isaiah's comics) are spread over several Flickr accounts.

If you like what we do, you should realize that there's nothing stopping you from doing the same. Blogger/Blogspot is free. Flickr is free. You can start your own website tomorrow. (And you should.)

"I don't get it," e-mailed Michael in regards to the illustration for "Editorial: Goodbye, Quill" last week. "Is Quill [Lawrence] supposed to be the big enchilada or something?"

Actually, those were fajita tacos in the foil, not enchiladas. The illustration was mainly used because Jim was going through the photos Ava and C.I. took on the road and found that and (loving Mexican food) asked them what they had eaten. He was surprised because Ava and C.I. do not generally eat Mexican food on the road because they have it all the time already. What happened was, they wanted margaritas and went into some Mexican food place to get some and decided to split an order of fajita tacos. Jim loves Mexican food. So a few hours later when we were attempting to figure out what to use as an illustration for the editorial and no one had any good ideas or strong feelings, Jim said, "Use the taco photo."

Sometimes there may be a point to an illustration, sometimes there may not be.

Michele started reading this site in 2008 "when you guys were my only friends because everyone I knew was drinking the Kool Aid." She says she started going through the archives this year and was surprised to discover that in 2005 we rarely had illustrations.

Dona's the one who pushed for illustrations. She thinks about things like layout. She thinks about that for individual articles and for the appearance of the scroll down. She's the one who recommends short features to break up the spaces and she recommends illustrations to do the same and to enhance an article.

When Isaiah began doing his comics, we began using illustrations more (and often his work). There are some illustrations we really love. Most of the time, we don't have the luxury of deciding whether we like it or not, we just have to finish the edition and get it posted already.

Michele noticed especially how Ava and C.I.'s TV articles had different illustrations. I asked Jess about that. As he remembers it, there was an illustration we all did as a group originally when we decided to do illustrations. Ava and C.I. write a TV article every week so we knew we should do an illustration for them. But Jess hated the illustration. He wasn't the only one who hated it. So Jess began working on an illustration. He believes he came up with three finally. That were used. And then one day, he and Kat were playing with photo shop on various public domain photos when they arrived at the photo that is now used. That's a White House photo from the Bush years. Condi Rice and two others are facing a monitor that Nouri al-Maliki's face was on, they were doing a video conference (as Jess remembers it). He and Kat were playing with the photo planning to use it (in it's original form) in an article on Iraq. But when they played with the image the montior really stood out and Jess said it would be the perfect illustration for Ava and C.I.'s TV articles. It's been used for at least two or three years. Ava and C.I. check the White House website at least once a month for a new photo they could substitute. But they've yet to find one.

Rebuttal to a Butthead

Doug Henwood can be on the money. He can also be an ass and he's doing a lot of mooning lately.

On the most recent Behind The News with Doug Henwood, he decried a proposal that hasn't even been introduced to the Pacifica board. (Click here to read that commentary -- it's the third item. We're not linking to KPFA or WBAI for the show because they only archive temporarily.)

He didn't just decry it, he distorted it by insisting it "essentially require programmers to take 9-11 conspiracies seriously, it would increase airtime for truthers and deem those of us who don't buy this paranoid nonsense seriously in violation of the Pacifica mission.

That's a pretty big distortion of the motion. And Henwood knows that because he's posted the actual resolution at his own website.

1. This conflict is not in the interest of the Pacifica Foundation, programmers, staff, or governance. Management, staff, and programmers throughout the Pacifica network must explore ways of providing redress for these grievances of 911 Truth and allegations of censorship, and to initiate outreach strategies to reach those former listener/sponsors whom this conflict has alienated. This should include increasing support and air time for those programs which deal with this issue, and developing new programming for the specific purpose. 2. Programming which consistently and unquestioningly advances the “official story” of 911, by commission or omission, is not consistent with the Pacifica Mission and may be a breach of both the letter and spirit of the Mission. 3. The radio network of the Pacifica Foundation is an appropriate and important media for thorough examination of the 911 controversy. We must encourage good radio coverage by exploring comprehensively the many aspects of 911 with on-air voices expressing all sides (amendment by the late Don White).
Doug, why don't you grow the f**k up. The only reason anyone would have to mention other threads on 9-11 would be if they were bringing up the topic. You know, like you did, and using terms like "nuttery" to describe those who don't believe as you do.

In fact, while you're claiming that Condon is attempting to impose a party line, Condon's responding to a party line people such as yourself (and Norman Solomon and the freaks at FAIR) imposed. It was Norman Solomon who had a bitch-fest at Philip Maldari over the fact that KPFA was offering 9-11 Truth videos as pledge gifts. Pledge gifts, Doug.


That means a listener called in a pledge and decide he or she wanted to receive that gift.

That was too much for all of you. That anyone could choose to receive such a thing was just too damn much for you.

The only "nuttery" has been all the attacks you and your kind have launched on 9-11 Truth Movement. They have and will go on just fine without you. You could choose to ignore them.

But you've never done that and that's why the proposal has you so upset. The proposal would mean that if you trashed the 9-11 Truth Movement (as you so often do) on your show, you'd be required to give them a say on a future show. There's nothing wrong with that. We support that amendment.

We're pretty much disgusted with all the trashing and distortion on the left. We're sick of it and we're sick of people who are doing it. We're giving you a pass right now Doug, but it's not a permanent pass.

If you didn't have that pass, we'd go into great detail of how hypocritical your 'concern' that the proposal would "further isolate" the left and Pacifica was considering recent remarks (attacks) on your show that drive away listeners and are not, in fact, fact based facts, just bitchy little thoughts from your increasingly bitter mind.

And, Dougie, the melting point of steel? That's not debatable. That's physics. Physics is a true science, a hard science, not a pseudo one like economics.

You tar and feather in a way that disgusts us. And Doug, we're not a part of the 9-11 Truth Movement. We will advocate and support their right to speak as much as anyone else. Your attempts to tar and feather them, comparing the man who has made the proposal to an assassin? Does that pass for factual in your pseudo-science world? Claiming that they might be doing the work of the Pentagon because of some 1998 consulting group recommendation?

Something smells and it's not the adult diaper you're wearing.


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. And backstory on this entry, C.I. wanted to do a short entry for all of us who feel like if we do a short entry we haven't said that much or anything important. Message received.

"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts 'Iraq's Got Tyrants'" -- Isaiah's comic from last Sunday.

"Kat's Korner: My Best Friend Is Kate Nash" -- from last Sunday, Kat's latest review.

"chinatown" and "In The Spirit," "Lady In Cement," "Lady In Cement II"-- Rebecca and Stan on moives.

"Idiot of the Week" -- Mike picks the world's biggest idiot last week.

"But he breaks just like a little girl" & "THIS JUST IN! WEEPING FOR THE CAMERA!" -- Look Who's Crying!

"Baha Mousa" -- Marcia covers Iraq.

"Cougar Town and crazy Hawaii throws money away," "V and The Good Wife," "Chuck, 24" -- Betty, Stan and Mike cover TV.

"michele martin:liar or idiot?," "No Taking Aim today," "As Old As The Hills Doug Henwood,"
"Free Lynne," "Go listen to Neal Conana" and "The peace movement versus the kiddie table" -- Rebecca, Ruth, Trina and Elaine cover radio. As does Ann in the following:

"A quiz and California Greens for governor" -- Betty offers a quiz you need to take.

"Leslie Gore, Kate Nash" and "Kate Nash" -- Kate Nash posts in the community.

"Bully Boy & Lieberman" -- Isaiah digs into the archives for this one.
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