Sunday, January 02, 2011

Truest statement of the week

You are undoubtedly aware of the letter that originated with, I think his name is Paul Halle [John Halle]. He is a professor at Bard College. And this letter was sent out almost a month ago and it called upon basically the Progressive for Obama -- i.e. Bill Fletcher, Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich to look at Obama for what he is and, in fact, called upon them specifically to support the December 15th action Veterans for Peace, that was in Washington, DC, there was a demonstration in front of the White House about 131 people were arrested in that protest. [. . .] And Halle wants to get about 5,000 signators on that letter. He has close to 4,000 now. The response from Tom Hayden has been rather visceral: 'Who are you to talk to me like this?' Bill Fletcher is very upset. Yet they continue in this vein of Progressives for Obama to support his policy and not pull him back because what we need most of all for poor and working people and, in particular, African-Americans is for the blinders to be pulled off so that people can see actually what it is that we are dealing with and that President Barack Obama is no longer sugar coated as "the historic first," "he's our Black president,' 'no matter what he does, we're going to support him' when at the same time, as we see the collapse of the empire -- and I think there is an inevitability in all of that when you look at the unstatainable wars that we are engaged in, when you look at the move to the right domestically with that of the Republican agenda which means more civil rights oppression against the populace here, when you look at the economic demise of so many Americans which is why White America is so upset -- because they're standard of living has declined dramatically, when you look at the recent report, I believe, from the Center for Disease Control that now we have more than a 50% increase in the number of people who are uninsured [PDF format warning, click here]. And when you look at all of these factors and the work force has been reduced, we are expected to work long hours, we are expected to retire later in life. In fact, we are being worked to death and our kids are being sent to war, and, if you are an immigrant and if you want the Dream Act, if you want to become an American citizen, then prove to us that you are willing to die and, if you do die, then we will grant you citizenship. These are the realities, the undeniable realities that we are looking at when we look at and when we embrace the Obama administration. Now, what it is that we can do, we can support the initiatives of Halle, we can put those strattling liberal progressives on the sideline by saying, "You no longer can lull the people, or herd the people like sheep, into this nightmare of compromise which in fact is our demise from the Obama adminsitration. What we can do, and this is a big problem we have in the African-American community because upon his election, one noted activist here in New York City said, 'You know President Obama gave us a wink-and-a-nod. You know, he knows, he knows. And we can expect the best out of him. And Michelle is going to make him do right. And Michelle will do --" I mean, this soap opera scenario and day dreaming which is just incomprehensible and particularly when you look at the left, we're talking about the Marxist left, that there was no class and race analysis about this man's presidency. How can one call themselves and declare themselves a Marxist and you support President Barack Obama? How is that possible? What was the failure of the left? Why was the left so blinded by this 'historic first'?

--- Nellie Hester Baily speaking to Michael Ratner and Michael S. Smith on last week's Law and Disorder Radio. Nellie Hester Baily is the co-founder of the Harlem Tenants Council, co-host of Black Agenda Radio (Progressive Radio) with Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) and the host of WHCR's Inside Housing.

A note to our readers

Hey --

We would have liked to have been done sooner. We're still done sooner than we have been in months, so that's something at least. We started much later than normal due to end-of-the-year pieces, end of the year and the Iraq post Saturday at The Common Ills.

We thank everyone who helped with this edition. The credits for it are Dallas and the following:

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

Some of the above helped out on everything. If we miss credit in the following, it's due to being tired only. (And we'll happily correct it in next week's note.)
This was an obvious one. We tried to bring as much attention to this one community wide as we could. If you're wondering why, you must not have read it. (And going to the Law and Disorder Radio website will allow you to stream it.)

As Ava notes in our roundtable, we had no planned Iraq feature for this week. We assumed we'd have it for the editorial but had no planned topic and, honestly, started our rough draft without a topic. It was piecemeal but once we hit on the topic, we wrote an opening and think it works. Who worked on this: Mike, Betty, Kat, Elaine, Stan, Ann, Ruth and us (Ava and C.I.).
We (Ava and C.I. -- it's very confusing when we're doing the note to the readers instead of Jim) wrote this. We had no idea what we were covering but Ty had printed up some e-mails and this was also suggested to us by Stan. He actually brought the NPR segment in as a group idea and we were all for it but time ran out. When we were searching for a TV topic, we were going through Ty's e-mails (he'd told us he printed some up that were on TV) and saw this. Stan insisted we take it (we'd encouraged him to take the topic back to his site when there was no time to work on it as a group) and we thank him for it. Is it worth reading? What we (Ava and C.I.) write is never worth reading and we're honestly surprised anyone bothers.

This is worth reading but here you have Ann added to the mix. We offered a fourth byline to Dallas. He went through checking our links. Look at all those links. And grasp that the ones for shows broadcast in January, February, March, May and December all had to be individually checked. He did that for us and we thank him tremendously. (He turned down a co-writing credit but we will at least thank him here.) So, if you've read the article, you know that 18% is the number of female guests on Terry's show in 2010. Terry Gross is a woman. Sometimes our biggest sexist pigs are women. Terry needs to be called out. While we know this article will be passed around, we also know that various outlets which could echo the findings will stay silent out of fear that NPR won't book them. And that's why the feminist movement needs a lot of new life in it. Isaiah did the illustration for this and we need to go in and note that somewhere. But we've been up all night and that will have to wait.

Our Iraq roundtable. We hadn't planned that as such. Ruth and Mike turned it into that with their initial responses (and we're glad they did). Participants are listed except Dallas who hunted down all links (and we thank him).

We covered Pat Benatar's book and Belinda Carlisle's book in 2010. They are rockers. We did not cover Roseanne Cash, Natalie Cole and Dionne Warwick's books. We got e-mails about that. So we wrote this piece to make up for oversight. This was written by: Betty, Stan, Ann, Ruth, Marcia, Rebecca, Mike and us.
We try to do magazine surveys once a month. We don't always make that. One of our readers, longterm readers, is serving in Iraq and asked us to regularly provide a look at the magazines which is why we expanded it from just political magazines to music ones. The message from this piece is that there's nothing new in music in the eyes of those putting out music magazines. This was written by: Kat, Elaine, Wally, Betty, Mike, Ann, Stan and us.
Our big concern was what could we do different on this umpteenth time tackling the political magazines? We decided to emphasize the visuals. Probably had Dona in mind when that thought came to us. (Dona is the one who always pushes for visuals here.) This piece was written by: Kat, Trina, Betty, Mike, Elaine, Stan, Rebecca, Ruth and us.
Mike, Elaine, Cedric, Ann, Kat, Betty, Rebecca, Ruth, Marcia, Stan and Wally wrote this and we thank them for it.

And that's what we came up with. We tried to provide a variety of topics. We probably didn't. We did cover the Iraq War in two pieces, so that's great. We had a book feature and readers are always asking for more of those. So we think it was a good mix. While working on this note, we remembered something we forgot.

The archives.

When Dona, Jim and Ty flipped the template years ago, we lost our weekly archive. At that point, we started doing them as entries and putting them on the permalinks. Today, after the year is up, they show, for example "2009" under "Blog Archive" (as opposed to what we put in the links). If you have DSL, you can click on those years listed under "Blog Archive" and it shows week by week. If you have dial-up, it doesn't. So for that reason, next week we'll publish a "2010" to go with:

We've already copied and pasted it in but it was too late for us to add here so it'll go up next week.

If that made no sense, don't worry, it just means it didn't apply to you.

We'll see you next week and Dona, Ty, Jess and Jim will be back with us then.


-- Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Surrendering The Narrative

Not Quite There

The political stalemate in Iraq ended only if you count Nouri al-Maliki appointing himself to three Cabinet positions (in addition to Prime Minister) and leaving ten other positions empty. He was supposed to form a full cabinet, no empty seats, no appointing himself. Nearly nine months after the election, that's the best he can do. And he had practice putting together a cabinet in April of 2006. So he should have been able to handle it. The fact that he couldn't says a great deal about the state of Iraq today. But don't hold your breath waiting for the stories covering that. Last week, Michael Jansen (Irish Times) noted, "The Iraqi election campaign began with an all-out effort by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the dominant Shia religious parties to prevent the secular Sunni Iraqiya bloc from gaining an appreciable number of seats in the national assembly in the March 7th election. When polling was deemed largely fair by local and foreign monitors, Maliki refused to accept being edged out of the first place by Iraqiya. It took eight months and intervention by Iran and the US to break the deadlock, caused by his drive to stay in office. Maliki succeeded, despite accusations of being a dictator, at the exepense of the credibility of the political system. Violence escalated, and increasing numbers of foreign fighters infiltrated Iraq to join al-Qaeda." But aside from a few honest reporters like Michael Jensan, you won't find anyone raising that very real issue. Then again, you won't find a lot of reporting raising real issues to begin with.

Already today, reports from Iraq mention bombings and shootings (here, here and here). There's so much news, the cancer in Falluja, al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has allegedly issued a new dispatch, etc.. And yet the top story -- and the only Iraq story to make Google's 'front page' -- is about how 2.7 million barrels a day in oil production has been exceeded in Iraq (here and here). And yet they wonder why so many people see the illegal war as a war for oil?

The theft-of-Iraqi-oil laws have still not been passed by Parliament. Each year, the administrations of Bush and Barack have insisted that there was movement there. If the Iraq War was really about oil, you can be sure US forces will remain on the ground until those laws are passed.


Last week, Sam Dagher's byline appeared on "Iraq Wants the U.S. Out" (Wall St. Journal) and, as pointed out at The Common Ills, through selective editing of a statement and by buring facts in paragraph 13, Dagher had Nouri stating that the US military would have to be out of Iraq at the end of 2011. Now we knew that was a lie. There's the issue of the Iraqi air force still not able to defend their own airspace. There's the backup plan whereby the soldiers remain in Iraq but are umbrella-ed under the State Department and not the Defense Department. Here's Nouri al-Maliki's full quote and the italicized part is what Dagher selectively quoted:

The last American soldier will leave Iraq. Secondly this agreement is sealed and at the time we designated it as sealed and not subject to extension, except if the new government with Parliament’s approval wanted to reach a new agreement with America, or another country, that’s another matter. This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration, it is sealed, it expires on Dec. 31

So, no, Nouri did not say that US soldiers leave. He said that it would be an issue for the Parliament to decide. (Which is most likely his way of pushing the blame for the extension he's going to be working for onto the Parliament.)

Sam Dagher disgaced himself with the selective quote (the full quote appeared in the transcript of the interview The Wall St. Journal published after Dagher's article became headline news on cable and was picked up by many news outlets.

Despite the fact that the transcript has been published, few have bothered to issue corrections and some are just outright lost. Such as The Portland Press Herald which offers:

Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, told an interviewer in late December that he and his government were adamant that all U.S. combat troops should have left his nation by the end of this year.
That 12-month deadline isn't new, but working assumptions on both sides of the alliance have been that it would be extended, at least for security forces and for troops providing training for Iraqi military and police units.
That doesn't appear to be the case, however, and it doesn't seem as though al-Maliki is only conducting some hard bargaining to get a better deal.
If he is sincere, and he certainly sounded as if he was, that would leave mostly civilian aid workers and a few dozen military representatives working for the U.S. embassy to assist the newly formed government with both economic and security development.

That was published yesterday. Apparently they don't read too well on editorial boards in Maine.

Independent media long ago lost interest in Iraq. That's too bad because people continue dying over there. And it's too bad because the press continues lying over there. Dagher's only the most recent disgrace. Judith Miller's departure from The New York Times didn't end bad reporting. An ongoing war continues and the Beggar Media that made a name for itself countering the MSM coverage long ago surrendered the narrative to the corporate media.


Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Not Quite There."

TV: Reception in the Great Recession

Sometimes you just scratch your head and wonder, "How did that ever get on air?" We wondered that Wednesday as CNet's David Katzmaier spoke with Linda Wertheimer (NPR's Morning Edition) about a topic she appeared not to grasp and one even he appeared to struggle with. Katzmaier was on to discuss "cutting the chord" -- disconnecting from cable -- and Linda was telling us, in the intro, what an expert he was. But moments into the interview, listeners discover that he cut the chord for one month before he went running back.


Maybe he understood what he was talking about but suffered from guilt over the fact that he (and his wife) were so pampered and spoiled they couldn't last a month without cable? Regardless, he was full of it.

He was explaining how he and his wife tried to get by with just an antenna picking up free channels over the air and with Netflix and Hulu to have the cable-like experience and he started talking about Hulu Premium. Right away we were confused because Hulu Premium's monthly fee allows you to watch full seasons (or full seasons so far) worth of show at any time (as opposed to the last five newest episodes that Hulu for free offers) but cable doesn't allow that. What was being replaced by subscribing to Hulu Premium?

Netflix, for at least $7.99, allows you to stream online. Not everything, usually not many new films or seasons of a TV show, but it does have a large streaming catalogue. And one that alternates and changes frequently. (Example, Richard Lester's The Three Mustkateers is no longer streamable this month but Bonnie & Clyde is; 9 to 5 is no longer streamable this month but Sunday In New York is. What's available tends to rotate.) Netflix also (currently at any rate) includes Starz which you can stream online as a channel or whose month of movies you can stream individually when you want.

What really surprised us was the whining. Katzmaier was whining that he couldn't see local sports and we wondered where he lived? A suburb in New York came back the answer. And we wondered how much he or his wife knew about TV?

For example, although the digital switch has left many TV's functioning poorly (the converter boxes have not lived up to their promises -- most Third readers using them have reported missing local channels), it has finally begun to show some value. By that we mean, most major cities (and those suburbs and rural areas that can recieve those signals over their air) are no longer just offering two PBS channels -- say channel "6" and "6.1" -- they're so new channels that are coming along. (NYC has five PBS channels by counting the decimal points -- most major TV markets have at least two.) There's This, for example, in many areas. (Channel 50.2 over the airwaves in Baltimore and DC.) Clicking on that link is supposed to localize it if This TV exists in your area. What's This TV? A free channel that shows old movies and some syndicated TV shows.

And then there's the just launched Antenna TV which kicked off with a Three Stooges marathon on Saturday. Monday regular programming is supposed to start and will include an afternoon or mid-morning movie and syndicated shows such as The Nanny, Good Times, Gidget, All In The Family, Maude, Three's Company, Sanford & Son, The Patridge Family and more.

Two new over the airwaves networks doesn't happen every day. They may or may not end up successful. They may go the way of Pax. We hope not. But look what happened when Pax finally died, it was replaced with ION Television which, today, programs more hours than Pax did during the week and on the weekend. Also, if you have an ION in your area (66.1 in DC), check to see if you've got a ".1" or similar decimal channel because most IONs are offering full days worth of children's programming during the week (66.2 in DC). At a time when The Today Show and stale repeats of Magic School Bus (we loved it in the 90s when all the episodes first aired) qualify as "children's programming" on the Big Three Networks each Saturday, that's something to applaud.

In some rural areas and some suburbs, there won't be that many options and, in fact, that's how cable first started. Long before there was HBO, cable was something you paid for when an antenna on the roof -- like a fiddler -- wouldn't bring in channels.

And that really had us wondering the most about Katzmaier, how many channels do you need? We watch way too much TV and read way too many TV scripts these days but that's due to our covering TV here each week. Prior to that, we did catch TV. We're not critics who thought we were too good for it. When we're on the road -- most weeks -- we also love to turn the TV on in our bedrooms and hotel rooms to go to sleep by when we're especially tired. We're not hostile towards TV. We hope we're not addicted to it, but we're not hostile to it.

We say all that because what does Katzmaier need? He says he needed "local sports." But he only did the experiment for a month and, in fact, not even that because he was gone most of the month (meaning -- though he forgets to admit this -- he was in hotel rooms where he had cable). So those "local sports," it wasn't that he wanted to watch them live, it was that he wanted to have them on DVR to watch when he wanted.

What the hell is that?

How pampered are we?

When we come back from the road, the only thing on the DVR is the network news' evening broadcasts in case a story covered requires us writing up the coverage on all three (plus PBS' The NewHour). A good weekend is when we don't have to go through that looking for material. But the DVR is a bit like the VCR in that people seem to think they have to record everything. We can't imagine why or why people are being so stupid.

"I have to record it all so I'll have it all forever!"

Uh, yeah. We heard that in the early nineties, remember? Nick at Night was airing, for example, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and you could tape every episode! You'd have it forever! And maybe you still have those episodes . . . on videotape.

Do you even have a video player?

Point? Your DVR recordings are going to be out of date in ten to 15 years as the techonology gets refined yet again.

Further point, who wants to live in front of a TV?

How many hours of entertainment do you need in a week?

We can understand TV as a distraction, as background, as entertainment. But as an obsession?

If you're fortunate enough to get the three networks and PBS over the airwaves, we'd say you've got some solid choices. If you have Antenna TV, ION and/or This TV as well, we'd say you're saturated.

At some point, people are going to have to start realizing that the issue isn't a missing TV station, the issue is something missing within themselves and TV's not going to address that -- not even Dr. Phil.

David Katzmaier disconnected because he and his wife were buying a used car and trying to cut back on their monthly bills to swing that. They were spending approximately $100 a month on cable (actually FIOS). When they got a good deal ($35 a month), they were back to cable. So they're saving $65 a month and they consider that to be within their budget.

Many people don't have that option. And that's why we marvel over that segment. We marvel over the fact that David Katzmaier wanted attention for cutting the chord and couldn't even do it for more than a month, and that NPR wanted to put him on the air. Do they not get how many people in this country cannot afford $35 a month to spend on TV channels? Those people would include many of our readers and a few of them wonder why NPR bothered to air that bad segment, they wonder how out of touch NPR is with America and the Great Recession? Like we asked at the top, "How did that ever get on the air?"

C.I. note 1-2-11: Community member Julie caught an error. In the paragraph on ION, we'd referred to children's programming airing on the Big Three networks on Sunday when we meant Saturday. Thank you to Julie for catching our mistake. I've corrected it and my apologies. Julie, Zach and Charlie also e-mailed to say the Hulu section they understood but it was confusing. Ava and I have added two parentheticals to that paragraph to (hopefully) clarify that. And again, we regret our error of writing Sunday when we met Saturday. Thank you to Julie.

Terry Gross' new low (Ann, Ava and C.I.)

Terry Gross, the woman who hated (other) women. The Fresh Air (NPR) host makes clear her disdain for her own gender in her guest bookings as well as in the fact that she has a "posse" of critics -- ten -- and nine of them are men. Surprisingly, until we started calling her out in 2010, Terry Gross appeared to get a pass for her years and years of sexism.

masculinist terry

This year we charted the guests booked by NPR's Fresh Air and some disagree with us when we call Fresh Air and NPR show. NPR stations air the show, the NPR website features the show, Google "NPR" and you'll see "Fresh Air" as one of the results and, let's go legal, if Fresh Air isn't an NPR show, NPR shouldn't hold any copyrights on the show. However, NPR does hold copyrights (see below).


As with our earlier work charting the gender imbalance in bylines at The Nation and in guests booked for CounterSpin, we found ourselves getting positive e-mails. And we're glad that so many appreciate it when we take on sexism. However, we do draw a line between Shirely Smith and ____ of ___ (women's organization) which could chart the imbalance themselves but refuse to do so.

Apparently doing what we do takes a lot of guts -- at least that's the feedback we got when asking various names why they weren't noting the imbalance themselves. "I might never be booked on NPR again!" Maybe the ombudsperson Alicia Shephard could it make it clear that NPR does not do retaliatory bannings?

Shephard's the reason we monitored Fresh Air. In the spring, examing the guest balance 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." As we noted many times, if you wanted to look at imbalance, why would you go by soundbytes on news programs as opposed to looking at the shows that book guests?

Alicia Shepard was dismayed (maybe outraged -- we were outraged) by the fact that the two shows she examined featured women (non-NPR staff) only 26% of the time. Well it's a good thing she didn't chart Fresh Air.

We tracked the show for 2010. We ignored the critics (except in April) and don't include them in our count of guests unless they were, for an example, the guest for the hour or filing a report (not doing a review). Had we counted the 10 regular critics as guests every time they filed one of their reviews, the gender imbalance would have been even greater for two reasons: (1) there are nine men and only one woman and (2) the woman covers books -- and nothing gets less airtime than book reviews.

Terry relied on many canned interviews throughout the year -- including the last week of December when she aired repeats she passed off as best-ofs. In all, her show featured 399 guests (fresh and canned). How many were women?


Can we get a percentage?

That would be 18.546% of her guests were women. 18% were female. And the NPR ombudsperson's worried about 26% on Morning Edition and All Things Considered?

Below we'll present the guests and the links. Check our math always. But do something else, notice how women are slighted. The equivalent of Paul Lynde from Parks and Recreation is booked but Terry can't interview the star of the show (a woman, Amy Poehler)? Notice how minor musical men get intense time from her show while female musicians never do. Notice how she has many film directors on the show as guest but never with (male) screenwriters . . . unless the directors are women. The winner of Best Director at the Academy Awards was limited to 16 minutes and she had to share those with a male screenwriter. Every other director that was nominated (all male) were interviewed on their own. But Terry doesn't think women are interesting enough. Which is how the first woman to ever win Best Director at the Academy Awards gets no solo interview from Terry. And notice that if you leave sex aside, most women wouldn't be on the show. (And Terry embarrassed one actress with her sex questions. We've avoided noting that in our stats but she made it clear to two of us -- Ava and C.I. -- that she was "creeped out" by Terry's intense focus on sex during the interview -- only some of which shows up in what aired.) Notice how she can't let go of a lap dance, notice how she's devoted an hour to S&M and notice that all of this came up before her show's incessant use of the homophobic term "fa**ot" got her show pulled from one NPR station. All of this reality and more was ignored as Rachel Maddow and company rushed in to insist that Terry was pulled from the station because her (male) guest said he kept his shirt on during sex (no, it was the straight man's repeated use of the term "fa**ot" and the clip Terry played from his show of that term being used repeatedly which proved to be the final straw).

We have no idea why the woman's so smutty but she's been working blue for the last ten years and getting away with things that no one should be getting away with. Her shows are frequently insulting and her guests are often questionable. Which is how Terry presents an "expert" a few months before his paper fires him and he has to post an embarrassing I-see-this-as-a-learning-experience note online. Of course, Terry doesn't do corrections. Which is why we heard from a Saturday Night Live friend who couldnt' believe that Terry would reair an old interview with Paul Reubens and include an error that SNL had corrected them on after it first aired. (Reubens claimed on air that he auditioned for the show when Jean Doumanian was producing and that "It was the first and only year that Lorne Michaels didn't produce." From April 1981 through April 1985, Lorne Michaels was not the producer, Dick Ebersol was.) Again, the show was contacted by SNL six years ago when the Reubens interview first aired and told that Reubens was incorrect. Yet, Terry decided to air it again this year (who knows why, it was a man and that's all that ever matters to her) and included the mistake and offered no correction to it.

Here's the monthly break down.

January 1st, Ted Danson and then a musical tribute to Johnny Mercer featuring 1 male singer, 1 female singer. January 4th, reporter Bob Sullivan for the hour (on consumption). January 5th, Stanley Tucci for the hour. January 6th, George Lucas and (second segment) Al Green and Willie Mitchell (old interviews to note Mitchell's passing). January 7th, Vic Chesnutt (December interview), Michael Stipe, Guy Picciotto and Jem Cohen. January 8th, King of Queens' Patton Oswalt and SNL's Robert Siegel for the hour (and facing Terry's keen interest in lap dancing). January 11th, reporter T. Christian Miller for the hour. January 12th, Terry and Jonathan Cohn serve up progaganda for the hour. (For the reality the tired whores never got to, click here.) January 13th, T-Bone Burnett for the hour. January 14th, Aram Roston. January 15th, Teddy Pendergrass (repeat), and (together) Kathryn Biegelow and Mark Boal -- yes, she would win the Academy Award for Best Director just a few weeks after but women are never good enough for Terry so Kathryn gets stuck sharing 16 minutes with a screenwriter. No, she doesn't treat male directors that way. January 16th, Robert Schimmel. January 18th, Larry Tye. January 19th, Terry chats with America's greatest serial liar Patti Smith. January 19th, January 20th, Margert Talbot. January 21st, Randall Keynes. January 22nd, Jonah Lehrer and rebroadcast of the 1993 interview with Kate and Anna McCarrigle (to note Kate's passing). January 25th, Gregory Koger and Gary Wills. January 26th, Josephy Lynn and Barrett Lyon. January 27th, Thomas E. Ricks. January 28th, Jeff Goodell and Mark Shapiro. January 29th, Mike Judge. 37 guests, 6 of them women. Check our math.

February 1st, Scott Patterson and Randi Hutter Epstein. February 2nd, Rebecca Skloot. February 3rd, Colin Firth. February 4th, Aziz Ansari and Brian Billick. February 5th, Temple Grandin. February 8th, David Dow. February 9th, Jane Mayer. February 10th, James Lewis. February 11th, Loudon Wainwright III. February 12th, Charlie Wilson and his male stooge (from 2003) and Carol Leifer. February 15th, David Hoffman. February 16th, Ken Gormley. February 17th, Ahmed Rashid. February 18th, James Cameron and Adam Shankman. February 19th, Dan Fante, Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh. February 22, Paul Blumenthal and Gerald Imber. February 23rd, the liar David Weigel who was fired by The Washington Post turns up as Terry's trusted source -- for the hour! February 24th, Jeremy Renner and Ewan McGregor. February 25th, William Hurt (no, he's not dead). February 26th, Johnny Cash (canned interview) and Rick Rubin. 30 guests, 5 of them women.

March 1st, Carolina Chocolate Drops (2 men, 1 woman). March 2nd, Chloe Sevigny and Henry Scott. March 3rd, Siri Hustvedt and Ricky Gervais. March 4th, Kelly Kennedy and (canned interview) Barry Hannah. March 5th, Pig Terry Gross has the nerve to call it "Best Directors" -- canned interviews: James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow with Mark Boal, Quentin Tarantino, Lee Daniels, Jason Reitman. No one but the winner and only woman nominated, Kathryn Bigelow, had to share a segment and since she did such a short interview with Bigelow (and Boal), the "Best Directors" ends up spending the least time with the artist who actually won the award. Terry Gross is disgusting. March 8th, Terry only likes to talk sex so here she spends the hour with sex worker Melissa Febos discussing S&M practices. March 9th, David M. Walker and Vince Gilligan. March 10th, Deborah Amos. March 11th, Terry does her part to pimp the box office bomb Green Zone by interviewing alleged actress Amy Ryan who has a bit part in what ends up being one of the year's costliest bombs. March 12th, Bart Ehrman. March 15th, Jeffrey Toobin. March 16th, Michael Lewis. March 17th, Karl Rove. March 18th, David Albright. March 19th, 2 cannded interviews from Alex Chilton and (new interview) Bryan Cranston. March 22nd, Ben Stiller and (canned interview) Liz Carpenter. March 23rd, a female journalist on a "superbug." March 24th, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. March 25th, Terry interviews a (male) hack with the group Ken Silverstein exposed in Harper's magazine. March 26th, another male book author (writing about dogs) and Wes Anderson. March 29th, Tony Judt. March 30th, government worker Roxana Saberi. March 31st, Judith Shulevitz. 38 guests, 12 of them women.

From "Terry Gross Hates Women (Ava, C.I. and Ann):" . 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.
[. . .] 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. 33 guests, five were women.

May 3rd, Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker. May 4th, Gretchen Morgenson and selections of a 1986 interview with Lynn Redgrave. May 5th, Burt Bacharach and Hal David and Randy Frost and Gail Steketee. May 6th, Howard Fischer and David Rohde. May 7th, Sharon Jones, Gabriel Roth and LeBron James. May 10th, Daniel Okrent. May 11th, Thomas E. Ricks' little buddy (male). May 12th, Doug Glanville and Rodrigo Garcia. May 13th, a man yammering -- for the hour -- about adoption. May 14th, Gail Lumet Buckley and Woody Harrelson. May 17th, another male author and (canned interview) Hank Jones. May 18th, Scott Shane. May 19th, Lisa and Laura Ling. May 20th, Rev. Gregory Boyle. May 21st, (canned) Dick Wolf, Jerry Orbach and S. Epatha Merkerson. May 24th, Howard Gordon. May 25th, John Powers and Amy Schatz. May 26th, Walton Goggins. May 27th, Billie Joe Armstrong. May 28th, Matt Parker and Trey Stone. May 31st, Kelly Kennedy and Tim O'Brien. 23 guests, 11 were women.

From "The face of sexism (Ava, C.I. and Ann):" June 1st featured one male (Dennis Hopper), June 2nd two women (Samantha Bee and Laura Poitras), June 3rd was John Waters, June 4th was one woman (Ayelet Waldman) and one man (Paul McCartney), June 7th was Gary Rivlin, June 8th was Linda Greenlaw and Michael Hiltzick, June 9th was Joan Rivers, June 10th was Abram Lustgarten and Josh Fox, June 11th was Sean Hayes, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, June 14th was Terry cutting off Jackie DeShannon repeatedly, June 15th a man from Newsweek, June 16th was Marisa Tomei, Debra Granik and Daniel Woodrell, June 17th was Mark Moffett, June 18th was Griffin Dunne, June 21st was James Murphy, June 22nd was Lawrence Wright, June 23rd was S.C. Gwynne (male) and Connie Britton, June 24th was Henry Fountain, June 25th was Michael Chabon and Dan Gottlieb, June 28th was Linda Greenhouse and Robert Byrd, June 29th was Frank Loesser and June 30th was Michael Klare and Doug Inkley. That's 34 guests, 10 women.

July 1st was Jeffrey Gettleman, July 2nd was W.S. Merwin (male) and Stephen King, July 5rd omitted (Terry chooses not to archive this episode it's kicked out of our count -- it was a repeat of the March 1st program), July 6th was Billy Collins and Lyndall Gordon, July 7th was Louise C.K., July 8th was Lisa Cholodenko and Joel Achenbach, July 9th was Tom Ford and Colin Firth, July 12th was Robert Wittman, July 13th was Daniel Carlat, July 14th was Phil Shenon, July 15th was Billy West and Peter Laufer, July 16th was Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner, July 19th was Paul Greenberg, July 20th was Sonia Shah and Philip Furia, July 21st was Binyamin Appelbaum, July 22nd was Robert Duvall, July 23rd was Jimmy Webb and Jared Harris, July 26th was Matthew Weiner, July 27th was Mark Mazzetti, July 28th was Richard Cizik, July 29th was Atul Gawande, Jay Roach and Steve Carell and July 30th was Daniel Schorr. That's
31 guests, 4 women.

August 2nd was Gary Shteyngart, August 3rd was Brian May, August 4th was AC Thompson (male) and Fred Hersch, August 5th was Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and David Mitchell, August 6th was Rafael Yglesias, August 9th was Jonathan Eig, August 10th was Todd S. Purdum, August 11th was Ed Kohn and Tony Judt, August 12th was Michael Capuzzo and Peter Maass, August 13th was Siskel and Ebert, August 16th was Susan R. Barry, August 17th was Sue Diaz and Abbey Lincoln, August 18th was Natasha Tretheway, August 19th was Julia Angwin, August 20th was John Mellencamp, August 23nd was Scott Simon and Jack Clark, August 24th was Matt Richtel, August 25th was Eliza Griswald and Jeff Sharlet, August 26th was trivia queen Jane Mayer, August 27th was Andre Aggassi, August 30th was Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Charlie Haden and August 31st was Merle Haggard and George Jones. That's 33 guests, 7 women.

September 1st was Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, September 2nd was John Doe, Ricky Scaggs and Charlie Louvin, September 3rd was Doc Watson and a musical group (2 men, 1 woman), September 6th was Dolly Parton and Charlie Rich, September 7th was Lawrence Wright, September 8th was Michael Potter and Robert Schimmel, September 9th was Jonathan Franzen, September 10th was Timothy Egan and Hal Holbrook, September 13th was Jennifer Ackerman and Isabel Wilkerson, September 14th was Stephen Breyer, September 15th was Scott Spencer and Jeffrey Gordon, September 16th was Jon Hamm and Edwin Newman, September 17th was Theo Bleckmann, September 20th was Jim Gorant, September 21st was David Rakoff, September 22nd was Anthony Shadid, September 23rd was Jeff Sharlet and a male film director, September 24th was Tim Page and Nick Hornby, September 27th was Gary Noesner, September 28th was Terence Winter, September 29th was Robert Reich and Zach Galifianakis and September 30th was Mark Feldstein. That's 37 guests, 4 women.

October 1st was Arthur Penn and Tony Curtis, October 2nd was Jon Stewart, October 5th was James Franco, October 6th was Justin Timberlake, October 7th was Peter Stone, Ken Vogel and Lee Fang (all men), October 8th was Paul McCartney, Cynthia Lennon, Ringo Starr and Mark Wiener, October 11th was Eric Foner, October 12th was CJ Chivers (male), October 13th was Sean Wilentz, October 14th was Philip Roth and a male musician, October 15th was David Bianculli, October 18th was a male comic who wrote a book, October 19th was a male director and a male screenwriter, October 20th was Jason Schwartzman, October 21st was Harold McGree, October 22nd was Jon Stewart again (for over 45 minutes), October 25th was Keith Richards, October 26th was Oliver Sacks, October 27th was Gretchen Morgenson, October 28th was Stephen Sondheim and October 29th was Patti Smith (rebroadcast from January). That's
29 guests, 3 women.

From "Only 17% of the guests were women (Ava, C.I. and Ann):" November 1st, the male and female producers and writers for an HBO drama are interviewed. November 2nd, actor Michael Caine. November 3rd, journalist Todd S. Purdum. November 4th, documentary film maker Alex Gibney (male). November 5th, rebroadcast of 2004 interview with songwriting team Jerry Brock and Sheldon Harnick to remember Brock who passed away and comedian Mark McKinney. November 8th, a man and a woman who made an HBO documentary and a male doctor. November 9th, a female journalist and a male doctor discuss dialysis. November 10th, Loretta Lynn. November 11th, Green Zone Go-Go Boy Dexy Filkins now does his duty in the fields of Afghanistan. November 12th, Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens). November 15th, aging singer Bruce Springsteen. November 16th, up from low rapper Jay-Z. November 17th, a male doctor with his new book on cancer. November 18th, male HBO alumni makes a documentary film and gets booked by Fresh Air. November 19th, Astrid Kirchherr for sleeping with a Beatle (Terry didn't even know Kirchherr stopped taking photographs over forty years ago) and a male songwriter. November 22nd, Carlos Eire on his childhood. November 23rd, man babbles about dog. November 24th, Terry and four men who do bluegrass. November 25th, Michael Feinstein. November 29th, Anne Hathaway and the recently passed Leslie Nielsen. November 30th, Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel. 34 guests, 7 of them women.

December 1st, Eugene Robinson and Robert Hirst. December 2nd, Adam Liptak. December 3rd, (canned 1999 interview with) Dave Brubeck. December 6th, Lena Dunham and Walter Mosley. December 7th, Nathaniel Frank and Tanya Hamilton. December 8th, David E. Sanger. December 9th, another male book author. December 10th, (1996 interview) James Moody and Ray Manzarek. December 13th, Jennifer Homans. December 14th, Fred Schulte and Dr. Marisa Weiss. December 15th, Ryan Gosling and Geoff Nunberg. December 16th, Melissa Leo and Richard McGowan. December 17th, Robin D.G. Kelley and director Debra Granik and (we told you) Daniel Woodrell (Woodrell's a writer who wrote the book Granik's film is based on -- with female directors, Terry needs a man to interpret). December 20th, Sofia Coppola and Stephen Dorff. December 21st, Jim Puckett. December 22nd, David Bianculli and Terry blather away about TV for 37 minutes and neither can name one woman in a TV series the whole time. December 23rd, more of her male posse critics (no one gets the time Bianculli got so we're counting this as no guests). December 24th, 3 musicians -- 1 woman, 2 men. December 27th (canned both) Keith Richards and Brian May. December 28th, (canned all) Jon Stewart, Aziz Ansari and Billy West. December 29th, Stephen Sondheim and Matt Richtel. December 30th, Jay Z and James Murphy. December 31st, Sarah Silverman and Joan Rivers. That's 40 guests, 10 of which were women.

C.I. notes added 1-2-2011. First, Isaiah did the illustration of Gross and we thank him for it. Second, it's the second day of the new year and, in our opening paragraph, we're writing "until we started calling her out this year" -- as KeShawn e-mailed, "You mean 2010." He is correct and we are wrong. My apologies. I've corrected it to read, ". . . until we started calling her out in 2010." Thank you to KeShawn for catching that and thank you to Blake, Marisa, Joan, and Bonnie who all e-mailed to say they'd checked our math and added up. We encourage everyone to continue to check our math. We may have a mistake in there, we don't claim to be math wizzes. (We did addition and subtraction for the article on paper, we used an online percent caluclator for the percentage.)

Iraq Roundtable

Ava: Consider this our "We're exhuasted" roundtable. I don't know if we'll get to e-mails but you can send e-mails to Participating in this roundtable for The Third Estate Sunday Review is me. Others participating are Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and of The Third Estate Sunday Review so that's two of us for Third; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration.


Ava (Con't): I wanted to turn moderating duty over to Rebecca who has done many strong roundtables. However, we tend to get complaints when we do that here from some readers who feel that, this being Third Estate Sunday Review, a moderator should be from Third. C.I. and I are steering this edition, Jim, Dona, Jess and Ty are off. I'll also note that one time Jess helped steer an edition and was the moderator and we got e-mail on that. Why, some wondered, when Jim was off wouldn't we run with a female moderator? Gina and Krista moderate roundtables for the gina & krista round-robin every Friday -- Friday's when the newsletter comes out -- and Polly does the same every Sunday for Polly's Brew. Other newsletters often include roundtables but not every week. Community roundtables have been moderated by Rebecca, as I already pointed out, and by C.I. 2010 saw two "Black Roundtables" and those were moderated by Ty since they appeared at Third. But the reason I would prefer to have someone other than C.I. or myself moderate is due to the fact that she and I are the only ones who can do shorthand. We take notes for these transcript pieces and if one of us is moderating, that's putting a lot of weight off on the other. A rule I've made for this roundtable is that if C.I.'s asked a question or we know she's speaking next, we wait thirty seconds so she can finish taking notes on whomever was speaking and I'll take notes on her comments. It's 2011. I know none of us with Third expected to still be online this long. As the new year starts, I'm wondering if there are any hopes and, Ruth, could you start?

Ruth: Surely. I do not see the Afghanistan War ending. There are some who believe the Iraq War might end and US forces might leave Iraq. I do not see that happening but it would be great if it did.

Mike: I'm with Ruth, I just don't see it happening. And what else I see is less and less coverage of Iraq in the media. Doesn't IVAW have some sort of event next month?

C.I.: Yeah, I have that and one other event ready to read in. This is the upcoming Iraq Veterans Against the War event Mike's talking about:

February 25, 2011 9:30 - 10:30 am Busboys & Poets, Langston room 14th & V st NW Washington DC This report back will be to answer questions from media and the peace movement about the recent trip back to Iraq by members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The war is not over but it is not the same as it was in years past. What is the humanitarian situation in Iraq? How can we do reparations and reconciliation work? Speakers are all returning from this delegation and include: Geoff Millard (IVAW) Hart Viges (IVAW) Haider Al-Saedy (Iraqi Health Now)
Richard Rowely (
Big Noise Films)

C.I. (Con't): That's Feb. 25th.

Mike: And hopefully it will get some attention. That's a Friday. If Pacifica Radio had a functioning DC station, they could carry it live. It being a Friday and the hour, I have a feeling it's going to be very easy to ignore it.

Ruth: Which really is the problem. We do not need anymore gavel to gavel b.s. from Pacifica. We need things like this and these are the things that would become historical broadcasts. It would be really easy for them to carry this live. Gloria Minott would turn thirty minutes over to it and hand off to Jared Bell for the next thirty minutes and they could do a wrap after -- either just the two of them or the two of them plus Leigh Ann Caldwell. Possibly with members of IVAW. It would be really easy to do and Pacifica stations could carry it -- either live or later in the day.

Mike: And if that doesn't happen, I doubt very seriously it will get much attention at all. I hope I'm wrong. But that's been the pattern.

Ava: It appears this is going to be an Iraq roundtable. That's more than fine because I don't think we have an Iraq feature planned for this edition. C.I., can you read in the other press release you had for us to note?

C.I.: Sure. Okay, so IVAW has the event next month, at the end of February, the following month, A.N.S.W.E.R. and March Forward! and others will be taking part in this action:

March 19 is the 8th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Iraq today remains occupied by 50,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries.

The war in Afghanistan is raging. The U.S. is invading and bombing Pakistan. The U.S. is financing endless atrocities against the people of Palestine, relentlessly threatening Iran and bringing Korea to the brink of a new war.

While the United States will spend $1 trillion for war, occupation and weapons in 2011, 30 million people in the United States remain unemployed or severely underemployed, and cuts in education, housing and healthcare are imposing a huge toll on the people.

Actions of civil resistance are spreading.

On Dec. 16, 2010, a veterans-led civil resistance at the White House played an important role in bringing the anti-war movement from protest to resistance. Enduring hours of heavy snow, 131 veterans and other anti-war activists lined the White House fence and were arrested. Some of those arrested will be going to trial, which will be scheduled soon in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, March 19, 2011, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, will be an international day of action against the war machine.

Protest and resistance actions will take place in cities and towns across the United States. Scores of organizations are coming together. Demonstrations are scheduled for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and more.

Click this link to endorse the March 19, 2011, Call to Action.

In San Francisco, the theme of the March 19 march and rally will be "No to War & Colonial Occupation – Fund Jobs, Healthcare & Education – Solidarity with SF Hotel Workers!" 12,000 SF hotel workers, members of UNITE-HERE Local 2, have been fighting for a new contract that protects their healthcare, wages and working conditions. The SF action will include a march to boycotted hotels in solidarity with the Lo. 2 workers. The first organizing meeting for the SF March 19 march and rally will be on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2pm at the Local 2 union hall, 209 Golden Gate Ave.

In Los Angeles, the March 19 rally and march will gather at 12 noon at Hollywood and Vine.

C.I. (Con't): So those are two peace events and actions for the first part of this year.

Rebecca: And I'll jump in now to note something C.I. and I were discussing. Another action taking place in March is by Military Families Speak Out which wants to deliver 20,000 postcards to the White House and Congress on the anniversary of the Iraq War. You can purchase 10 for $1.50, 25 for three bucks, 50 for five dollars, etc. The postcards read: "Hundreds of thousand of lives have been ruined, trillions of American tax dollars wasted, and for what? These wars are not making us safer. These funds should be used to take care of the troops when they come home, rebuild our economy, and protect our communities." And Ty asked me to note that if you have an Iraq event between now and the anniversary of the start of that war and you would like it noted to e-mail Third at C.I. will also try to carry those in the week day snapshots.

Ava: Thank you, Rebecca. Betty, what about Iraqi Christians?

Betty: I am getting so sick of the petty resentments towards Iraqi Christians. They are being targeted and yet we've got Becca Heller of the Iraqi Refugee Assistant Project in the US insisting that Christians were given special treatment by France. What France did, for those who don't know, is offer medical help and asylum to the victims of the October 31st assault on Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation Church. It was an attack. It was outrageous. And France responded. They did a good thing. But little Becca Heller was whining to Nick Vinocur (Reuters) and saying, "The argument for group evacuation is that it's far more efficient: rather than negotiate each case for eight hours, you can set a criterion for everyone, like proving you are a Christian, and negotiate asylum for a group." She doesn't favor that. She claims it will result in discrimination.

C.I.: Speaking slowly --

Ava: I've got you --

C.I.: Becca Heller didn't disclose, nor did Nick Vinocur, that her group is built around the individual. They don't fight for refugees. They fight one case for one individual, over and over. That's their goal. The Baby War Hawk brags that her organization is the first to provide the individual approach to refugees.

Betty: Thank you for adding that, it does explain a great deal. I think that should have been disclosed in the article. But there she is whining and hours after her whine's all over the place, at least six bombs in Baghdad target Iraqi Christians' homes. At least two die, at least sixteen more are wounded. Bombs outside their homes. And Becca wants to whine.

Ann: I was outraged by that. I was mad when C.I. covered the woman's nonsense in "Iraqi Christians" on Thursday morning and madder when the Thursday "Iraq snapshot" went up and I read of all the violence targeting Iraqi Christians. I don't know about Becca but I'm a beliver -- I'm a Christian -- and I saw that as reality slapping Becca upside the head. I still get, at my church, I still get people complaining about the lack of coverage from US outlets on Iraqi Christians. I think they're right to complain. They're not seeing it on their evening news, evening network news. I'm tired of it too, tired of the silence. In the US, these are the only outlets that have covered this story in the last months: Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post and McClatchy Newspapers. In addition the US wire service AP has covered it. That's not good enough. This is outrageous.

Ava: When we discuss it here, someone always e-mails in to say, "Well Muslism get targeted too!" Ann, respond to that.

Ann: We've covered that, that's my response. Leave me out of it, just focus on this site, the Iraq War has been covered and covered here over and over. Every angle that could be covered has been covered in the six years -- Happy sixth anniversary to Third, it's six years this month -- this site has been around. No one's denying that Muslims are victims. But they're not being targeted because they're Muslim. Assyrians are targeted because they're Christians. Religious minorities are targeted in Iraq because they are religious minorities. That is a valid story and it's one that too many people are shying away from covering. Probably because of comments like the e-mails Ava just summed up. I'm supposed to what, say, "Oh my goodness! How outrageous of me! I never covered the targeting of Muslims in Iraq!" Sunnis were targeted. Muslims were not targeted for being Muslim. If they were Sunni, they were targeted. If they were Shia, they were targeted -- sometimes in retaliation. But it was not about being Muslim. Whereas the attacks on Christians are about their religion. That's a fact. And another fact is that the extremism in Iraq currently wants to do away with the sale of alcohol and most alcohol dealers in Iraq are Christians. Their beliefs are getting them targeted.

Ava: Stan, do you see that as the big Iraq story of 2010?

Stan: I think it's one of them. I certainly think it's the biggest story of the last third of the year. The other big story, to me, would be the fact that there is no progress in Iraq and how the world saw it this year with the political stalemate, how, in 2005, they held elections and had a government formed in about four months but this year it took nearly five months longer than that. That's not progress. And in the end, all that waiting, all that happened was that the prime minister remained the same thug. So that really showed how the months and months of struggle were for nothing. Iraq's a joke. Joe Biden looks like the fool so many comics and reporters say he is every time he tries to Happy Talk Iraq.

Ava: Marcia, do you agree with your cousin?

Marcia: Yes. I agree regarding the Iraqi Christians story and I agree regarding the political stalemate. In terms of the stalemate and it's long, long resolution, did the US government give a damn? Other than Nouri's promise to pass the theft-of-Iraqi-oil legislation and to let US troops stay on the ground in Iraq, what did the US get out of it? And look at all that the Iraqi people lost. There's no democracy. The people turned out, they risked violence, they turned out and did not throw their support behind Nouri. He was supposed to be the clear winner of the March elections but he wasn't. And yet the will of the people was overturned. So the big story of 2010 for Iraq is that democracy was never allowed to take root despite all the garbage from the Bush administration and the Barack administration.

Isaiah: And we learned that Nouri would back US troops staying. We learned that this week, though we already knew it. Even with Sam Dagher deliberately lying at the Wall St. Journal, we learned the reality. You can refer to "One pimps, the other fluffs" but Nouri's talking about how a new agreement can replace the SOFA. And I think that goes to why Mike and Ruth are not optimistic about the war ending this year.

Ruth: I would agree with that and there is also the backup plan whereby if US troops have to leave, they stay but under State Department control, not the Defense Department. The US is not leaving. I just do not feel that they are.

Mike: And, again, I am in agreement with Ruth.

Ava: Alright. Kat and Elaine we still haven't heard from you. Kat, your pick for one of the big stories out of Iraq in 2010?

Kat: I would encourage everyone to read Shashank Bengali and Sahar Issa's "2011 looks grim for progress on women's rights in Iraq" for McClatchy Newspapers. Iraqi women have repeatedly been the under-reported story throughout the Iraq War. In the early years of the illegal war, as C.I. documented so well in real time, John F. Burns and Dexter Filkins never could be bothered with quoting Iraqi women in their news stories, let alone covering issues effecting Iraqi women. The US has done nothing to ensure the rights of Iraqi women but it has done everything to ensure the destruction of their rights.

Ava: Elaine?

Elaine: I would echo Kat on her very important remarks. In addition, I would add that the reaction to "An Open Letter to the Left Establishment" was very telling. Like C.I., I know Michael Albert of ZNet and find his actions shameful. He posted the letter and then, when he got complaints from people mentioned in the first paragraph, he started this whole song and dance about how he misread it and then started whining about how unfair it was to the people named -- people like Tom Hayden, Katrina vanden Heuvel and others who have presented themselves as leaders -- and how he didn't know what those people really thought which was just b.s. And let's assume for a moment that Michael didn't know what they thought -- as he claimed -- considering their positions and their output, that's an indictment of them right there. They are useless and it's really amazing that such a mild letter -- mine would have drawn blood and not been as kind as the open letter was -- resulted in so much whining and carping and, most of all, silence as everyone worked overtime to pretend the letter didn't exist. The egos of the useless were judged more important than ending an illegal war, how very telling.

Ava: Alright. Everyone's had a chance to speak at least once and we're going to wrap up. Mike and company are going to work on highlights and C.I. and I are trying to figure out what to write for our TV piece. This is a rush transcript.

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