Sunday, February 20, 2011

Truest statement of the week

Rosen’s tweets on Logan more than crossed a line. They were more than cruel and insensitive. They revealed a perverted view of the world that has no place at any university, much less a prestigious one. Differences of opinion -- even extreme ones -- are one thing, welcome at an educational institution. Misogyny and distortions of reality are quite another.

-- Valerie Strauss, "Why didn't NYU fire Nir Rosen over Lara Logan?" (Washington Post).

Truest statement of the week II

Here’s what you do say when something like this happens. Like countless women around the world, Lara Logan was attacked in the line of duty. She was assaulted doing her job. It was a crime of unspeakable violence. And your opinion of how she does that job, the religion her assailants share with a few million other people, or the color of her hair has nothing to do with it.

-- Mary Elizabeth Williams, "What not to say about Lara Logan" (Salon).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Yeah, we're late. But it's still Sunday on the West Coast and that's where we live now . . . so . . .

We thank everyone who worked on this edition, Dallas and the following:

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),
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.

And Betty's oldest son.

What did we come up with?

  • There wree many, many nominees this week. We thought we'd narrow it down to the Nir Rosen attack on Lara Logan. That still a lot to chose from.

  • This is Mary Elizabeth Williams' second truest this year.

  • Our Iraq feature. We had hoped to do at least three Iraq War features. Sadly, there wasn't time. We tried to plug as much into the editorial as we could.

  • Ava and C.I.'s hilarious take on the new CBS crime drama. When I (Jim) read this out lout to everyone, there was a lot of laughter. An e-mail came in noting that Ava and C.I. are promoting the DC protest next month in their TV pieces. The e-mailer wondered if they or we or anyone was being paid to do so? No. They're just attempting to get the word out.

  • As I write this, 79 people have already read it according to the site stats. At least 79, Dona points out. 79 have clicked on it specifically as opposed to reading it by scrolling down the home page. This is epic and says so much. This really is a defining piece and I congratulate Ava and C.I. on this one.

  • Dona did this piece to allow Ava and C.I. to touch on some aspects they tried to squeeze into the article or hoped to but just weren't able to. This is a strong feature all by itself. However, special credit needs to go to Kat, Isaiah and Betty's oldest son. Look at that illustration. I was asking what we'd use for this piece to illustrate it and Dona said to just use the thing Ava and C.I. were using. Which would mean two pieces in a row with the same illustration. That's when Kat and Isaiah were talking and Betty's son said that a drawing like in the comic book Scarlet would be interesting. So the three of them went to work attempting to create something similar to the panels in the comic book Scarlet. I think they achieved that. I love their illustration.

  • In the what? We were reminded it had been some time since we had done a comic piece. Please, remind us before Saturday night. We rushed over to a store one of C.I.'s friends owns and got permission to stay late to grab up comics. However, we didn't need to stay late because other patrons were very vocal about what comics with female leads needed attention and which ones didn't. This was a fun feature for those of us on the West Coast. Those participating by phone relied on scans to read the bulk of the comics.

  • Ray had a real pretty story. Too bad it wasn't true. And, for the record, stand in front of me at a concert, Ray, and your problem won't be security. In fact, you'll be screaming for security if you do that.

  • Workers' World had this very interesting article.

  • Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: Yes, the war drags on

Protests continue in Iraq and the protesters continue to be targeted with water canons, bullets, secret arrests and secret detentions. But still they protest against the lack of basic services (electricity, potable water, sanitation), against unemployment, against the meager ration card system, against the corruption and much more.

Iraq youth February 25th

This Friday, they're hoping to stage the biggest protest Iraq has yet seen. This is being led by Iraq's college age citizens and, while hoping for protests throughout Iraq, they're also keyed up with hopes that Baghdad will see a huge protest.

Already "hundreds" and "thousands" is common in Baghdad and other cities. Those protesting have included widows and orphans, the disabled, the working class, the unions, the activists, the Communists, a real cross-section of Iraqi society.

And some US outlets dismiss the protesters and dismiss their demands. Their demands are very clear and go to the fact that they do not have a legitimate government, they have a puppet government. The people are demanding their rights, their most basic rights.

While they demand self-sovereignty, we learn just how much the US doesn't want to leave Iraq.

The US military will remain in Iraq past 2011 despite the lies from Barack Obam and so many others. The US military will remain. It will remain under the Defense Department if the SOFA can be extended or a new treaty can be pushed through. If neither happens, the plan is to switch the US military forces under the umbrella of the State Department to allow them to stay.

Last week at the US House Armed Services Committee, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates explained what he wanted:

Well I think that there is -- there is certainly on our part an interest in having an additional presence and the truth of the matter is the Iraqis are going to have some problems that they're going to have to deal with if we are not there in some numbers. They will not be able to do the kind of job and intelligence fusion. They won't be able to protect their own air space. They will not -- They will have problems with logistics and maintenance.

The very next day, Nathan Hodge (Wall St. Journal), John T. Bennett (The Hill) and Leo Shane III (Stars & Stripes) were all reporting that US House Rep. Adam Smith (a Democrat) had announced that he thought the US military would remain in Iraq past 2011 and he was okay with it and assumed others would be as well because "we're talking about a small number of trainers, counterterrorism operations". And that's what happens when Leslie Cagans and Tom Haydens distract you and claim -- before US forces have ever left -- that the Iraq War is over.

This is among the things the citiznes of Iraq are fighting, for self-determination, free will. It's amazing that in the US where we're supposed to have it, we ignore our rights and allow our elected leaders to go back on their words and to continue an illegal war for eight years and counting as the deaths just keep piling up. On the US side, last week Airman 1st Class Corey C. Owens and Shawn Evans died in Iraq. If Leslie Cagan, Tom Hayden and so many others hadn't sent the antiwar movement packing with the lie that the war was over, those two might still be alive. Yes, it is a case of blood on the hands.

TV: Seven Layer Bad

Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior is CBS attempt to turn CM into the new CSI but while them there CSI hills may have gold in 'em, the CM hill appears to contain nothing but pyrite. How bad is the show? It's so bad we considered taking a pass on it but it's so bad that we just couldn't.


About the only thing the show has going for it is Kirsten Vangsness who is carrying over her Criminal Minds' role of Penelope Garcia the computer genius. Despite the fact that she only interacts via a cheesy web cam, every time Penelope's onscreen, you can feel the show lift.

The rest of the time it mainly treads water.

Forest Whitaker has repeatedly demonstrated that he can act and that he can direct. What he apparently cannot do is birth a non-written character. The script says he's playing Sam Cooper, the head of this FBI Beahvioral Analysis Unit. Sam Cooper. Names are pretty much all the writers have thought of. You realize that as the rest of the cast comes into view, there's brainy Gina, atheletic Mick, intense Prophet and intuitive Beth. We kept waiting for Alexander Cabot and Sebastian the cat to show up but then were forced to admit Josie and the Pussycats had much more complex characterizations.

What the show has in Beau Garrett (Gina) and Mick Rawson (Matt) is two actors fresh enough that the scripts don't matter yet. The series can probably coast on them through May. Later scripts will hopefully provide Forest with something to do other than stand around like Mr. Roarke welcoming this episodes guest starring victims onto Fantasy Criminal Island. If and when the scripts get better, the show will rise. It will not, however, soar.

Like a lifeboat with too much weight, the show has a few things that need to be tossed over. Michael Kelly is not going to connect with most audiences. It's as though he's carbo-loaded on physical tics in order to make up for what wasn't in the script but all it's left him with is a bloated feeling and an inability to play normal. In fact, it would appear that Prophet not only got his own character background and motivation, but everyone else's as well. He's too much and when the camera goes in for a close up, it's frightening. All that busy work might work on stage but he needs to tone it down for TV.

As bad as the writing is, as bad as Kelly's wired and over-caffeinated performance is, the show's absolute worst feature is the actress playing Beth. Excuse us, the personality who mouths some words when someone asks Beth a question.

Janeane Garofalo is the personality trying to play Beth.


For months, we'd heard the rumors about the problems on the set and put it off to her dissatisfaction with the scripts. Forget the scripts, with Janeane the problem is all her.

Stand up comics don't always make for actors because actors do more than deliver lines sardonically. They have to, for example, inhabit a space. Ideally, they inhabit it realistically.

What the hell was that near the start of the first episode when Beth and the team go to the home of a family's whose young daughter has just been kidnapped? Was Beth supposed to be playing airplane as she moved across the front yard? What's with the hands and arms? Who walks like that? Certainly not the character of Beth.

Supposedly Janeane can't get along with Beau Garrett and when those rumors started surfacing, we thought, "Typical. Two women on a show so somebody has to insist that they can't stand each other." But it's not just rumors and what's really, really bad is that the conflict between the two actress -- the characters are not supposed to have any conflict between them -- made it on screen in a scene in the first episode where everyone gets out of a car and, as they walk to a crime scene, Beth and Gina bump into each other and then the actresses stiffen up and both go off in different directions. That wasn't scripted. That wasn't blocked. And there was no attempt to even offer an "excuse me" -- just two "damn her" expressions caught by the camera.

We're not sure how much that moment registers. We're willing to bet that most haven't heard about how difficult Janeane's supposedly being on the set. (Supposedly, she told one producer she walked off of her Air America Radio show and she's not afraid to walk off this. Our suggestion to the producer? Let her.) But even if CBS viewers haven't heard the rumors, they have to notice that it's not normal for two people to collide together onscreen without either exchanging a kiss or being greeted by a laugh track. Is it roller derby or yet another CBS crime drama?

While Penelope is forever communicating with the other team members via webcam, it's Janeane's Beth that seems walled in and unable to interact with anyone. In fairness to Janeane, there's no character on the page. In fairness to her, she's much better in the second episode. Sad for her, she's much, much worse in the third.

Not being a real actress, Janeane has nothing to fall back on. While Forest's training can make you wait for something to happen (something that the scripts forget to provide), Janeane's left to her own devices and all she's apparently got is to act like she did doing guest spots on Keith Olbermann's show. So instead of interacting, she lectures everyone around her. It wasn't that entertaining on MSNBC and it's hideous on this show.

When not speaking, she's like a really bad Saturday Night Live skit and, if your eyes stay on her in a wide shot, you see Janeane (not her character Beth) looking around, cutting her eyes to Forest Whitaker and exhibiting some of the most awkward facial and body movements. In fact, she's so bad in her role that the show could attract a following just as a train wreck.

She has no clue how to build a character (or a performance) but she also has no clue what to do when she doesn't have a line. This not being one of her previous projects, she's not providing narration and commentary every second and others actually do get lines. Watching her facial expression when other actors are speaking, it's not clear whether she's counting beats before her next line or if she's just visibly resenting the fact that she's not been given a monologue.

Speaking to one producer with the show on Friday, we were told that it was obvious we were going to write about the fear factor, how CBS tries to scare the audience with these shows, because what we pointed out over five years ago was all the Water Cooler Set suddenly 'discovered' last week in one review after another. Well we'll gladly link to "TV: TESR Investigates" (CSI) and "TV Review: CSI Miami" (CSI Miami) but we're not rewriting those pieces. Time does move on and if you stand still and just keep repeating yourself, you're worse than dead, you're Janeane Garofalo trying to act.

And it is bad, it is really, really bad.

It is so bad that it is layers of bad. Take the final scene of the first episode.

They've solved the case and are back at 'headquarters' (a gym) when the FBI Director (Richard Schiff) shows up to upgrade Prophet's status with a promotion. Apparently, the show exists in some alternate universe where 9-11 never happened and FBI Directors have time to drop in on every team personally when not cutting ribbons at super market openings. But before the Director informs the team of Prophet's promotion he makes it look like he's going to fire Prophet because, 9-11 never having happened in this alternate universe, FBI Directors have a lot of time on their hands and use it to work up pranks.

So the scene starts with them walking into the gym where they're surprised to find the Director who makes noises about Prophet handing in his badge. Instantly, Beth's getting off a half-line. In fact, Janeane gets it off too quickly because this scene is all about pregnant pauses. It's line. Long pause. Line. Long pause. Line. Long pause. . . . Now if the team really thought Prophet was going to be fired would they start to object and then stop and fall silent and then start to speak and then fall silent? A throw away scene that should have moved quickly instead was paced as though it were the fourth act of Chekov's The Cherry Orchard and Varya and Lopakhin still can't admit their feelings for one another.

So the premise is unbelievable (FBI Director stopping by and FBI Director playing pranks) and the execution is unbelievable but we said "layers." We meant more than just two layers of bad.

Once everyone learns the FBI Director is just funnin' and Prophet got promoted, what follows is one of the strangest non-verbal interactions you may ever see. Now they are in a gym and there is a floor mat so it might make sense -- in some tribal culture, somewhere in the world -- for everyone to start jumping on Prophet and taking him down to the mat. But should such a culture exist, we believe even those natives would find Janeane's 'acting' choice rather strange. While everyone else appears to be having fun, she's making bizarre movements as if she's wounded while grinning madly. The only thing to compare it to is when Jodie Foster's Nell first enters a grocery store.

CBS' Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior airs the last hour of prime time on Wednesday nights and be sure to bring the tortilla chips because the network's serving up seven layer bad.

The Damned Don't Apologize (Ava and C.I.)

The story could have been about women. All week you read the most inane commentaries from people about how this bad thing was being said or that bad thing was being said and it was all so wrong, so wrong, so wrong. But if they could get off their "Needles and Pins," they might have noticed that it never had to be that way. It never had to be a story about 'bad' Muslims or other Islamophobic nonsense. The answer was always right in front of them but they never saw it and, for many, the reason they never saw it is because they don't value women.

Tuesday, CBS News issued a news release about reporter Lara Logan's attack and sexual assault in Egypt, note the second paragraph:

On Friday, Feb. 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a "60 Minutes" story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently home recovering.

Those supposedly so concerned that the story would be used to portray Muslims in a bad light (and so quick to render the population of Egypt as 100% Muslim, which it is not) should have seized upon what stopped the attack: Egyptian women. Unarmed Egyptian women saw another woman under assault and with no personal knowledge of or relationship to the woman, they stood up to a mob, they stood up to a mob before the soldiers arrived, they said very loudly "NO!" putting themselves at risk.

Assuming that the woman were all Muslims (the way so many on the left rushed in to assume the men were all Muslims), that's not a story to bury. That's a story that unites, not divides. They weren't concerned about who Lara Logan was, they weren't concerned about what country she was a citizen of, they certainly weren't concerned with something as trivial and victim blaming as what she was wearing or what she was doing there. Their concern was that another woman was being assaulted. And they refused to stand for it. Those are some amazing women.

Heroic to be sure, especially when compared with the reactions of a lot of Americans to the news. Unlike the Egyptian women, they weren't risking harm when they reacted to the news. But while the women rushed to the aid of another woman, in the United States we instead saw a lot of people rush to condemn the woman.

Though some on the right tried to spin it as Muslims Behaving Badly and some on the left -- by their own responses -- clearly believed that, this was actually a case of Americans behaving badly.

Now some of you will be disappointed and may be tempted to e-mail and say, "Ava and C.I., you forgot the right wing!" We're not interested in the right wing. There's a woman who attacked Lara Logan at a blog, we thought she was just a blogger. We now know her name is Debbie something (something with an S) and we know that only because a friend insisted we had to include her and we finally stopped him after five minutes and informed him that, if he kept repeating that woman's name, it would be lodged in our minds and we'd prefer not to have it. We don't read the right wing, we don't watch Fox News. Debbie Whatever Her Name is wrote whatever she wrote for the audience that usually reads her. We do not have time to become an expert on Debbie Whatever Her Name and we don't write about what we don't know. If we don't watch, we can't review you, it's that basic.

Equally true, if you want to make a pie chart, you've got the left and you've got the right and you've got the middle. The left and right both want to influence the middle, they both want the middle to Red Rover it over to their side. If factions on the right want to embrace intolerance, then they'll reveal themselves to a public that will recoil and won't need prodding from the left to do that. By the same token, if the left can't get its own act in order, it's never going to appeal to the middle.

Our concern is the left and the middle. And let's start with the lesser lights, the tiny stars. Like Ashleigh Banfield. Last week, Banfield showed up on Anderson Cooper's 360 and declared of a man who charged Lara Logan deserved to be sexually assaulted that she (Banfield) didn't want to sit in judgment on him and let-he-who-is-without-sin -- blah, blah, blah. A lot of garbage flying out of her mouth.

Why do we say that?


A man says Lara Logan is sexually assaulted and a man -- a journalist -- says she deserved to be sexually assaulted and Banfield doesn't want to wade in?

Hey, Ash, who was it that declared this in a campus speech, "He was so taken aback that he chose to label me as a slut on the air. And that's not all, as a porn star."

Yeah, that was you.


Yeah, you rode that pony into town and back again, you gave interview after interview explaining how unfair that was to you. And now, when a man says of a woman who was sexually assaulted that she had it coming, that she deserved it, you're not going to weigh in?

You're not a woman, Ashleigh.

You're a little girl. You got a lot of wrinkles and a lot of miles on the face, but you're a little girl nonetheless because women don't take a pass when someone says anyone deserved to be sexually assaulted. That's a chicken s**t response and no adult woman would do that. Just little girls still seeking Daddy's approval via various men.

Various men and various farm animals. The Pig Danny Schechter. As Elaine pointed out, Danny Schechter Anal Sphincter did run CBS' announcement but felt the need to add: "Note: More than 100 journalists were attacke[sic] by forces loyal to Hosni Mubarak." He needed that little editorial statement cause he's not in the news business. The mere thought that any man he'd been cheer leading for weeks now might have done a sexual assault was too much for Danny. In his world, sexual assault is only done by 'bad guys' on the right. Rather strange considering the number women who talk about their experiences -- their unpleasant experiences -- at Media Channel.

Ruth found it strange too -- how to note Logan, he had to editorialize but, later in the week, when noting an attack on ABC News' Miguel Marquez, he felt no need to editorialize.

Women didn't matter to Danny, just the men, just the Egyptian men. Now Egyptian women took part in the weeks of protests as well but they don't matter to him: Women are to be disrespected. In fact, we believe Danny needle-pointed that motto on a pillow in Media Channel's waiting lobby.

No one disrespected Egyptian women or Lara Logan or the victims of sexual assault more than Nir Rosen. And you know it was big news on the left because everyone on the left ignored the topic so determinedly it was as though Spencer Ackerman re-activated JournoList and told everyone, "If we don't say anything, it will kill the story!" (Actually, it was Rosen himself who sent out an e-mail asking his media buddies to ignore the story.)

Nir Rosen -- published by so many sexist outlets on the left.

There's The Nation that didn't even want to address the gross gender imbalance in their bylines until we did the study on how few women they published. (In fact, they attempted to stop publication of that article here by insisting they were about to hire women bloggers so the story wasn't even news anymore.)

There's Harper's Magazine which is infamous for not publishing women and for hiring people like Luke Mitchell (now gone) who insisted that Keith Olbermann's on air sexism should never be called out because the left needed him on TV too much. People like Luke Mitchell say "the left" but really mean "men on the left." (We believe Luke and Danny are attempting to start their own MenOnTheLeft website similar to MenOnTheNet.)

Then there's In These Times which likes to boast that they publish Susan J. Douglas, a feminist. She's their token, if you haven't noticed. Susan's a good writer but, did you notice, Susan didn't weigh in. She's a media critic. A journalist is sexually assaulted, another journalist publicly says she deserved it and Susan J. Douglas doesn't weigh in?

Then there's The Progressive. Home of 'feminist' Matthew Rothschild. The Progressive which has now run not one but two attacks on The Kids Are Alright because, surely, a strong film with positive portrayals of a lesbian couple is the most outrageous film of the year, right?

You know where The Kids Are Alright came in on the top 100 box office hits of 2010? Answer: It didn't. There were 100 films that were seen more than the independent art house film and not one of them got slammed by The Progressive once, let alone twice. (Disclosure: We're working the party circuit lobbying for Annette Benning as Best Actress, Mark Ruffalo as Best Supporting Actor and Lisan Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for Best Screenplay; one of us can vote in the Academy Awards -- C.I. -- and they have her votes.)

'Feminist' Matthew Rothschild was tickled in 2008 by a group against Hillary whose initials formed the C-word, he was so tickled that The Progressive linked to The Weekly Standard. We're not sure whether hell froze over but our own blood certainly boiled over. More recently 'feminist' Matthew Rothschild's gone after Charlie Sheen. January 15, 2011, Matthew Rothschild 'discovered' -- in his Christopher Columbus way -- that there might be something amiss. Oh, Matthew.

Who in the world do you think that you are fooling?
Well I've already done everything that you are doing
"Two Kinds Of Love," written by Stevie Nicks, Rick Nowels and Rupert Hine, first appears on Stevie's The Other Side Of The Mirror

July 10, 2005, we noted here:

We're not sure what's going to kill the show first, the loss of a lead-in to hand viewers to them or the fact that Sheen's offscreen antics may no longer have the buffer of Denise Richards. Probably not a good idea to build a "family sitcom" (no matter how leering) around a man more famous in the nineties as a client of Heidi Fleiss than for anything he did onscreen. In fact his rap sheet is far more impressive than his filmography. Let's just deal with the most recent "hits:" Arrested for assault in 1996, arrested for battery in 1997, hospitalized for an overdose in 1998 and fresh off probation as the decade began, Sheen's colorful, not so distant past may have blotted away memories of the zombie walk through performances of Major League II, Terminal Velocity, The Arrival and the lot but they didn't make him a good actor.
How much does CBS want to get behind this show now that Swinging Sheen is single again? How much are they willing to stake the network's future on it?

And, by the way, Matthew, what we've listed? You left all of it out as you attempted to hop on your high horse and pretend you gave a damn about women while castigating Charlie Sheen. Seems to us if you gave a damn about domestic violence, you would have known and included the arrests we did above. But last month, we'll give you some credit, you did want to strike a pose that you thought assaulting women was wrong.So progressive of you!!!! (If this were 1711 and not 2011.) By contrast last week, you never wrote a damn word about Nir Rosen, now did ya? Nor did you write about the military sexual assault lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates.

In fact, we saw a pattern, didn't we? The same people who refused to write about Nir Rosen also refused to cover the lawsuit.

They're such rarefied flowers, our 'men' on the left, that tackling something as heavy as sexual assault might make them wilt right there on the veranda beside their mint julep tea.

Most of us long ago learned the lesson of The Little Red Hen -- meaning, as usual, the heavy lifting last week was left to the women. For example, it was Julie Gerstein (New York magazine) who observed of Nir Rosen's many alleged apologies last week, "And yet, in all the tweets, essays and interviews, Rosen has yet to come across and truly contrite and apologetic. Maybe he should use some of his new-found free time to work on that."

Nir Rosen did nothing but lie and lie repeatedly all last week. Everything was a lie and except for Anderson Cooper and Julie Gerstein, few bothered to challenge his lies. Salon's Joan Walsh, appearing on Anderson's CNN show declared she wasn't going to call Nir a liar. If they make a movie out of all this, someone be sure to dig Margaret Hamilton out of the grave because we'd argue she's already done an excellent job portraying Joan in 1935's Way Down East and 1940's My Little Chickadee.

Rosen's most basic lie, that he was never called on, was his claim Feb. 15th -- on Twitter -- at 11:45 PM that, "i am done tweeting. too ashamed of how i have hurt others and the false impression i gave of who i am." Ahhh. But he wasn't too ashamed to "make one last statement" and then another and another and, oh look, "An interview with me about all this" and more and more and "my thoughts on this:[. . .]" February 15th he claimed he was done with Twitter yet, while making his non-stop media rounds explaining how he'd been wronged, he was still Tweeting.

He went on Anderson Cooper's program and made a point to look tired and unshaven, thinking that would help with sympathy. Only made him look shiftless. He told a big lie that night, swearing that when he was Tweeting, he had no idea Lara Logan had been sexually assaulted, he 'just' thought she'd been beat up. Anderson wasn't buying it. Anderson pointed out that Rosen also tweeted that Logan was trying to one-up Anderson and that clearly referred to the fact that Anderson was roughed up covering Egypt.

Nir lied that he didn't know what happened to Anderson.

Anderson then pointed out that in his first Tweet on the matter, he linked to CBS' two paragraph statement (quoted at the start of this piece) which clearly noted Logan was sexually assaulted. Nir lied and claimed he never read it. Yes, he linked to it, but he never read it.

We couldn't stop laughing at that point. Here was a journalist so determined to lie that he would claim he posted multiple statements publicly on an issue he couldn't even be bothered with reading two paragraphs on. We're not seeing publishers already nervous about Rosen's attacks on Logan growing confident from his claim that he weighs in before getting the facts.


His Twitter feed contains some of what he wrote. Some. We have a forwarded e-mail from a friend of Nir Rosen's bragging that he was the one who told "Nir to keep Tweeting" because doing so would wipe out the cached copy. See, that's what got Nir Rosen in trouble. He deleted his comments from Twitter and initially tried to act like they never existed. But the cached version of his site displayed it. He needed to post more Tweets, the e-mail explained, to kick the ones about Lara on down so that a cached of the website wouldn't include those. (And clicking on "more" in the cached version wouldn't produce a copy of the deleted Tweets.)

We first heard about his Tweets when an MSNBC reporter called us and told us to check out Jim Geraghty's piece at National Review. In that piece, Geraghty provides screen snaps of the comments Rosen Tweeted. We're editing the f-word and "Jesus Christ" is used as a swear (strange choice for Rosen to invoke since he's Jewish) so we're editing that out. Otherwise we aren't editing anything. We're listing the Tweets in the order they went up and when you see a Tweet with "*" around it, that means it is a Tweet he deleted (to make himself look better, not to show courtesy to Lara Logan).

1) * lara logan had to outdo anderson. where was her buddy mccrystal.*

2) * yeah that was insensitive but i cant forgive her for taking mcchrystal's side against michael hastings, or for her 'quite professionals'*

3) * @joshuafoust it sort of depends who it happens to sometimes we have to find humor in the small things*

4) * yes yes its wrong what happened to her of course i don't support that, but it would have been funny if it happened to anderson too*

5) * yes i agree with all you stalwart moral heroes, of course its wrong to beat and sexually assault somebody, obviously, but still*

6) * incidentally, it seems like this happened to quite a few women, foreign and egyptian on friday in tahir square*

7) *@cadid no i wasnt saying that. she's famous of course it will get more reported. i was making a separate observation*

8) * @joshuafoust i wasn't excusing it. its wrong. i just think she's so bad that i ran out of sympathy for her.*

9) * @Tortured_Verse on my god now somebody wants to defend anderson cooper? risking his life? lets not be too dramatic here*

10) @Winterpool not really, its terrible, but you had millions of people on the street, its not exactly shocking

11) @joshuafoust now that wasn't nice

12) @joshuafoust look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than i'm sorry

13) @joshuafoust my wife didnt dedicate her career to promoting america's wars

14) j***s c***st, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger

15) ah f**k it, i apologize for being insensitive, its always wrong, thats obvious, but i'm rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get

16) and as a result of that i hope people remember her role glorifying war and condemning rolling stone's hasings while defending mcchrystal

Joshua Foust was one of the people calling out Nir Rosen. His Tweets aren't public but what he was doing was calling out Rosen and bringing up the sexual assault. Rosen lied about not knowing that Lara was sexually assaulted when he linked to the CBS new release. But for the cowardly idiots like Joan Walsh, please note that by Tweet 3, Joshua Foust has called him out, by Tweet 4 he's saying it would be funny if Anderson Cooper was sexually assaulted, by Tweet 5 he's using the term "sexually assaulted" himself. And yet for 11 more Tweets he will ridicule her, he will say Lara doesn't deserve any sympathy over the sexual assault and will maintain she had it coming.

Not being cowards like Joan Walsh or Ashleigh Banfield, we can say it and will say it: Nir Rosen's a damn liar.

Anderson Cooper was one of the few men who distinguished themselves last week on this issue. Two others were our own Cedric and Wally who wrote "Nir Rosen continues his non-apology tour" and "THIS JUST IN! THE NON-APOLOGY APOLOGY!" (joint-post). As they noted, it wasn't an apology. The closest it came to being one was on CNN when Anderson refused to play dumb. Even there, Nir Rosen's body language and affect made clear his reaction was "So what?" (Maybe "So f**king what?")

That was Wednesday night. By Thursday morning, he was even less 'sorry.' There he was telling NYU Local: "I think certainly my tweets have been unfairly attacked and blown out of proportion. [. . .] I find the reactions sanctimonious and silly."

Does that sound like an apology for what he wrote? No, it doesn't.

Unless you're a liar or an idiot like Joan Walsh who insisted, "Rosen has since apologized everywhere imaginable, including in the pages of Salon"! What Joan wanted to lie about, Maureen Dowd (New York Times) addressed today, "He apologized in a whiny way, explaining that he 'resented' Logan because she 'defended American imperial adventures,' and that she got so much attention for the assault because she’s white and famous. He explained in Salon that 'Twitter is no place for nuance,' as though there’s any nuance in his suggestion that Logan wanted to be sexually assaulted for ratings."

In her bad column Friday, Joan used a lot of bad words. None of them, however, told readers how much Salon's paid Nir Rosen over the years or how much they paid him for the non-apology piece Joan was praising in her column.

It's not a minor issue. He's in deep trouble for writing offensive things and readers have a right to know how much money you paid him for his most recent piece as well as for previous ones.

In his Salon piece, he continued his lies that he didn't realize Lara Logan had been sexually assaulted, then he quickly launched into an attack on Jeffrey Goldberg -- which had no reason to be in the Salon piece -- and claimed his enemies (Goldberg, Michael Totten, Lee Smith and Jim Geraghty) were using his Tweets against him and trying "to further their careers."

Who's the victim again? Reading his Salon piece, it's Saint Nir being crucified. If you miss that point, he's soon attacking Lara Logan again:

Had Logan been a non-white, non-famous journalist, this story would have never made it to the news. Ahmed Mahmoud, an Egyptian journalist, was killed in cold blood and nobody ever heard of him. Dozens of other women were harassed and nobody will ever know their names. Credible accounts indicate that the assaults on women took place largely on the Friday of the victory celebration, when millions of non-demonstrators joined the party.

Lara Logan is a famous journalist. Of course an attack on her will be news. But she didn't court it. She didn't beg her friends to help her the way Nir Rosen did in an e-mail that was forwarded to us. It's really funny that he wants to decry the fame that Lara has as unfair when he's using his own media connections in an attempt to bury the story.

As for no one knowing the other women's names?

Nir Rosen, you were supposed to be a journalist. At any time you could have ensured that the women's names were known by reporting. But, just as you didn't celebrate the women who saved Lara Logan, you didn't lament the women who were also victimsof sexual assault.

As he types and types, you begin to feel as though you're trapped not in a Joan Crawford film, but in a Joan Crawford movie marathon. You keep waiting for Nir Rosen to brush some flour off his shoulder pads, pull some pies out of the oven and snarl, "Get out of here, Veda, before I kill you," then launch into a number from Torch Song, give a nod to a choice quote from Female On The Beach such as, "You're about as friendly as a suction pump," and finish up by barking, "Don't talk to me about self-respect. That's something you tell yourself you got when you got nothing else," from The Damned Don't Cry.

He comes mighty close in his Salon piece: "So why all the focus on Logan? [. . .] Only when pretty white people showed up did Egypt really start to matter, and then, they were preoccupied with the scary Muslim Brotherhood possibly taking over, or what would happen to poor Israel now that there was a 'threat' of democracy in Egypt. This is why I wrote in a Twitter that I was already rolling my eyes. Even before we knew what happened to her, I knew how to anticipate the media response in the United States. So Logan and Anderson Cooper have become the story [. . .] I really have been outraged by Logan's stories in the past, which I feel have defended American imperial adventures that cost the lives of many thousands of people in the Middle East, glorified American special forces even while they were killing innocent Afghans, and praised Gen. Stanley McChrystal, while condemning her own colleague, Michael Hastings, of Rolling Stone (because he hadn't served his country, she said). My resentment of Logan was because I felt she was a terrible journalist who supported wars that I had covered. [. . .] I also don't think this would have become such a story if I were not a leftist opponent of American wars (even the Washington Post stressed my 'pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab political views') [. . .] But every creep I skewered or outraged in public now has the chance at a cheap revenge."

And on and on it goes.

Oh, the drama.

Oh, the melodrama.

It's all so camp we need to get Todd Haynes in for Nir's close up.

There is no apology, only Nir Rosen climbing the cross over and over to portray himself as the victim. As least Joan Crawford did it with a little sparkle.

Brad Phillips (Mr. Media Training) caught another aspect to the non-apologies:

In an interview with Fishbowl DC today, Rosen made at least two more mistakes. He said: "Like many men, I made a tasteless joke, more than tasteless of course, deeply offensive and hurtful when perceived to be sincere or when read by victims." Instead of taking full responsibility, he lumped himself in with other men, hoping to inoculate himself from criticism. He also blamed misinterpretations on people who "perceived" his words "to be sincere."

And, of course, a number of men lumped themselves in with him because they did see themselves in him and didn't see anything really wrong with what he did. Take Thomas E. Ricks. What journalist would 'grapple' with the 'dilemma' of whether or not to continue highlighting a journalist (Nir Rosen) who verbally attacks and mocks another journalist (Lara Logan) who was hurt, attacked, assaulted while doing their job?

Why Thomas E. Ricks of course.

Thomas E. Ricks who wants to act as though Nir Rosen just told a dirty joke in mixed company when, in fact, he voiced the very thoughts that allow sexual assaults and rape to flourish in this culture -- the notion that the victim had it coming because of something s/he did.

This is the same Thomas E. Ricks, blogging at Foreign Policy magazine's website who thinks it is okay to post photos of nude women there. And that's why we don't have time for the right wing. They'll have to police their own. The left and the mainstream are screwed up enough as evidenced by the excuses and silences offered last week

Follow up on Nir Rosen


Dona: This edition, Ava and C.I. have written "The Damned Don't Apologize." Last week, CBS News revealed that Lara Logan was attacked and sexually assaulted in Egypt. This led to a number of attacks on Logan. We're the left and we focused on the left -- instead of being Joan Walsh and trying to cover for left attackers -- so this site's biggest concern were the attacks so-called lefty Nir Rosen launched on Lara Logan. That's the topic of Ava and C.I.'s piece. It is a lengthy piece, it's a brilliant piece, but it's a lengthy one. As always, Ava and C.I. are the worst judges of their own work and, among the reasons they dislike the piece, is because of what they feel had to be forced out due to the lack of space and time. So this is just a brief follow up, a brief conversation with Ava and C.I. about the piece they wrote. First off, Ava, there's one thing you point to as a huge disappointment.

Ava: Right. We wanted to really tie in last week's lawsuit with the treatment of Logan's assault and the silence on it from the left. Susan Burke is representing survivors of military sexual assault and they announced their law suit last week. They are suing at the very top, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Dona: And though some may not realize it, since 2001, those are the only two Secretaries of Defense the US has had.

C.I.: Correct. And the lawsuit argues that a culture exists in the structure itself and that those at the top repeatedly refused to address it. A strong discussion of the lawsuit took place last Thursday on the first hour of The Diane Rehm Show (NPR) -- and that can be streamed for free or, if you have streaming or hearing issues, Diane's also now providing a free transcript of her shows so you can listen to it or you can read it. Diane's guests were Susan Burke, the Service Women's Action Network's Anu Bahgwati, attorney Burke and military sexual assault survivors Mary Gallagher and Rebekah Havrilla. I think it's important to point out that when Susan Burke handled a case against Blackwater, left outlets couldn't shut up about it -- print, radio, blog, Free Speech TV. By contrast, last week, few had time for it. In the mainstream, you had Diane Rehm, you had CBS News, NBC's Today, The New York Times and a few others. And on print publications? It was more reporting on the press conference.

Ava: And this silence has really been something because you should also think about all the attention Amy Goodman and others on the left gave when the Center for Constitutional Rights sued Donald Rumsfeld a few years back. But when the issue is sexual assault, the left goes squishy.

C.I.: And the news factor, just the news factor, of a sitting Secretary of Defense and a former Secretary of Defense being sued in a sexual assault case? The silence is appalling.

Dona: You were in Congress last week for several hearings, one of which found Robert Gates testifying to the US House Armed Services Committee. C.I., you reported on the hearing in Wednesday's snapshot, Kat reported on the hearing with "Freedom hating Buck McKeon," Wally reported on it at Marcia's site with "Loretta Sanchez came prepared (Wally)" and, Ava, you reported on it at Trina's site with "Gates and the absurd hearing (Ava)." The hearing found Robert Gates expressing his belief that US forces needed to stay in Iraq past 2011. It also found at least three House members asking Gates about the lawsuit.

Ava: Correct. And C.I.'s the one who really covered that, noting US House Rep. Silvestre Reyes' questioning Gates about the lawsuit -- she's got the full in exchange in her snapshot -- and Niki Tsongas as well -- C.I.'s got Tsongas' full exchange in the snapshot as well. Michael Turner was the third House member who raised the issue.

Dona: And what was the response?

Ava: There was none. There was no direct response. That's why, Friday in "The fallen (Shawn Evans), the embarrasment (Bob Gates)," C.I. was talking about the Senate hearing we'd been at Thursday -- Senate Armed Services Committee -- and how Gates could present himself as an expert on the State Department, such an expert that he can advocate for another department before the Congress, advocate for and vouch for their budgetary 'needs,' but he's named in a lawsuit and asked about it by Congress all he can do is back peddle?

Dona: C.I., I'm looking at your report in the snapshot and Congress member Niki Tsongas is questioning Gates and noting that she's asking Gates why his department, the Department of Defense, did not include the "provisions which guarantee all victims the right to legal counsel and protect the confidentiality of conversations between victims and victim advocates" as the House had been led to believe would be in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act? And his response is "I hadn't realized the Department had resisted it" and then stumbles around. He's the head of the Department.

C.I.: Right. Yeah. That's why he needs to stop advocating on behalf of the State Department and if he can't even keep track of what's going on in his own department, he needs to stop announcing he's about to retire and actually retire. And, to be clear, this happens over and over. He is the master of I-don't-know.

Dona: Okay. Someone reading this is going to say, "I see that this is important news." Hopefully, they'll grasp that we've discussed it when we're dead tired because it is important news. But they may wonder, "Why not just write a quick feature of some sort on this?"

Ava: We're exhausted. C.I. still has to do "And the war drags on . . ." at The Common Ills. And we've done it. We've written two pieces for this edition already. We don't have it in us for a third. We are wiped out. And on this topic, while others were silent, we addressed. We addressed the military sexual assault lawsuit over and over in every one of our talks on campuses last week starting Tuesday. And C.I. wrote about it at The Common Ills over and over. We have done it and done it and done it. And we'll be back out on the road this week doing it again. So the idea that we're got it in us to -- having already written a lengthy piece on sexual assault this edition -- do another is just not feasible. To write the piece we wrote for this edition we had to put up some barriers to protect ourselves because it's a very hard subject to cover over and over and over. And that's why I have no respect for those who refused to even tackle the subject once.

Dona: To that, I want to add that this was a very long writing edition and that we took a very long break of many hours due to the fact that I didn't feel well. Which meant that we said, "Fine, make Iraq the editorial and we'll squeeze everything into that" -- everything on Iraq. We had planned three Iraq stories now we're shoving everything into the editorial. "The Damned Don't Apologize," let me go lighter for a moment. That's the title Jim gave your article and he took it from a section where you mention The Damned Don't Cry, a Joan Crawford film.

Ava: Yeah. We had to go lighter. We just can't do this over and over. We're not sexual assault counselors. We don't pretend to be. But they will tell you the importance of taking a break and not letting the news and the statistics wear you down. And they're right. And by the time we sat down with each other last night or this morning to write that piece, we were raw nerves and we had to put up some distance in the article so we went with some humor. This is a subject that if you actually care about it, if you really give a damn, you're going to end up crying. We both cried in public -- I'll let Kat and Wally speak for themselves -- but C.I. and I both cried repeatedly each day in public last week. We'd be addressing the military sexual assault lawsuit and usually women, but sometimes a man, would share that they were sexually assaulted. It was a very rough week emotionally. And that's why I'm so enraged that, for example, Amy Goodman couldn't make time for this story, not even a headline, when it demanded a segment. We're busting our asses and we're not paid journalists or trying to be them. Goodman's a millionaire as a result of her extortion of Pacifica and she can't cover the story?

Dona: In what could have been the slot the story went into -- because Goodman rarely touches on any issues related to women -- she instead went to Planned Parenthood and, C.I., you called that out.

C.I.: There's news and there's begging. News is Planned Parenthood announcing a new program or service they're offering, new locations they're opening. Cecile Richards was brought on to beg for money and beg people to write Congress for her organization. Times are tough. I'm not saying Planned Parenthood should or shouldn't lose funding. I'm just saying don't waste my time calling this news. NPR is also looking at lost dollars. Many people are. It's just amazing that Amy and Cecile couldn't do a segment on women but could do a segment of "Don't touch my budget!" As someone who's donated a lot of money to Planned Parenthood in the past, I'm really not into their using their limited media time to beg for more money instead of using it to advance reproductive rights. And you're correct, Dona, there's a token and limited spot that Democracy Now will give to women's issues -- and it's even smaller when it comes to domestic women's issues -- so to see skin magazine contributor Amy Goodman give that segment to We-Need-Our-Money Planned Parenthood and not to the news story that is the lawsuit against military sexual assault was disgusting.

Dona: Back to "The Damned Don't Cry," you both cite many, many things left out. As we wind down, can you each give me one example?

Ava: Just one? Okay. We ditched the "We know Andersoon Cooper" disclosure. We were well into the piece, trying to come up with the conclusion, in fact, when we realized we didn't note that. We've included it before. We looked through it and couldn't find a place where it could easily be inserted without breaking the flow. Our take was (a) this isn't an article about Anderson, (b) we've disclosed it before and can get Jim to note it in his note and (c) C.I. just again disclosed it at The Common Ills repeatedly last week. Ideally, that disclosure would be in there.

Dona: Just to be clear, you don't know Lara Logan?

Ava: No.

Dona: Okay, C.I., same question, one thing.

C.I.: Laura Flanders did step up to the plate. I'd love for that to be in the article. There wasn't room and it would have twisted the piece into another area. She did a commentary for her TV show Grit TV. At a time when no one wanted to talk about the sexual assault, she did and she deserves credit for that.

Dona: I thought we were going to wrap up quickly but I can tell you'd like to expand on this and I agree it needs to be. Let me help, a woman wrote a piece for The Nation about the sexual assault. As you pointed out in a snapshot, it was the most read piece at the website for three days in a row yet no one else at The Nation bothered to follow up. When you have a piece that is that popular and you have all these blogs at The Nation and no one's following up, why is that? The obvious answer, the woman wrote it before Nir Rosen attacked Logan and, after he attcked her, The Nation drew the curtain and no one wrote of the topic.

C.I.: Exactly. So credit to Laura Flanders. Not to The Nation. All they did was repost it and of course they would, it's video footage and they really don't produce their own video footage too often despite trying to be a multi-medium platform.

Dona: Now you note two e-mails that were forwarded to you, Jim was upset that a third and a fourth didn't make the article. But a lot didn't make it. Some of it you were okay with. Ava, give me one example of that please.

Ava: A woman, at a media 'watchdog' site wrote a very insulting piece and we were going to call her out but we saw that, in the comments, sexual assault victims had already called her out for her grudge against Lara Logan. "Lara got a call from the president! Most sexual assault victims don't!" Just such petty little -- I don't even want to get into it.

Dona: Watchdogs were silent. CJR didn't call out Nir Rosen, Mother Jones didn't call him out, there were so many. And of course these outlets were happy to repeatedly praise him at other times. And then they want to wonder why people find them to be such hypocrites. So these were some of the topics that couldn't be squeezed into "The Damned Don't Apologize" and this is a rush transcript. Our e-mail address is

Barack's love child and other pressing issues

There are a few things effecting the country. For example, Barack Obama's love child to be and the people he has sent to address it who realize they can't ice the woman without ensuring the child is never born. Instead, the people sent to kill the mother are now dead and that's on Barack's head and Bomb Queen is one crazy clone who has confessed she's thought about strangling the child with its umbilical cord. If you're confused, Barack's also bragging about ending the Iraq War and people aren't questioning that lie -- Oh wait, we were trying to explain this was fantasy but on that last sentence we gave you a real detail -- one that just so happens to be included in "The #1 Villain Comic In America," Bomb Queen. The Image comic book is drawn and written by Jimmie Robinson and has quickly became one of the most talked about comics.

Bomb Queen

In her latest limited edition comic (for "MATURE READERS"), Bomb Queen's pregnant and it's most likely not Barack's child; however, she's telling everyone it is and he's sending various people into New Port City (a city composed of crooks) to take her out. It's a vulgar and ribald comic and, as we rushed through the comic store last night, it has incredibly devoted fans. When other comic book patrons learned we were focusing on comics with female leads, they insisted that we could not miss out on Bomb Queen.

Bomb Queen's is a limited edition (currently three of four of the latest edition has been published), Marvel Girl is a one shot. Marvel Comics gives Jean Grey a comic and it's a one shot? Of course it is, hasn't Jean Grey always had to battle the sexists at Marvel who've repeatedly been frightened by her leading them to kill her off or take away this power or that? In fact, has any other character been so repeatedly betrayed by the writers? Probably not. Jean's not Phoenix or Dark Phoenix here, she's Marvel Girl. We're back in the past, a few years after she's been taken to Professor Charles Xavier by her parents. In the issue, Jean's anger is considered to be out of control -- so, yeah, another male writer -- this one is Joshua Hale Fialkov. You short of picture the men who've written Jean over the years to be more modern equivalents of Woody Allen.

Marvel Girl, Batwoman

This is the month that Batwoman's comic was supposed to start. That's been pushed back to April But the teaser "ZERO ISSUE" remains available. Will it create interest in the forthcoming series? We thought that's what the last two years of her being the lead in Detective Comics was about. We've written about Batwoman before and back then Greg Rucka was in charge of the comic, a writer who actually likes female characters. J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman are in charge of writing now (and Williams draws the Batwoman sequences while Amy Reeder draws the ones where Kate Kane isn't wearing her costume) and the "ZERO ISSUE" raises a number of concerns. For example, the comic is called "BATWOMAN." SO why is the entire issue told by Batman? Why, in a comic about a woman written by two men do we also need a man's gaze (Batman) in order to 'understand' Batwoman? Maybe someone thought it would add interest to the title, like when Mary Richards showed up for Rhoda's wedding? If so, they might want to remember that when Mary Tyler Moore's guest shot was over, Rhoda had to find another way to hold onto the audience. Seems to us if you do a "ZERO ISSUE" to raise interest in Batwoman, you take readers inside the head of the character.

Birds of Prey, Batgirl

Batgirl has her own title again. She's a blond but one who otherwise looks remarkably like Yvonne Craig's portrayal of Batgirl on the Batman TV series of the sixties. In the latest issue of her self-titled comic (issue #17), Bruce Wayne's narration doesn't stand between her and her readers; however, not only does she have to basically babysit Robin, she has to share point of view with him. Which makes for a very erratic comic written by Bryan O. Miller. Pere Perez's artwork and Guy Major's colors are so much more than the writing and, near the end, when Batgirl and Robin on a police squad car sipping coffee, almost make up for the writing which plays out like an Electric Company version of Spiderman. The original Batgirl was raped (by Joker, no less) and ended up paralyzed. Yeah, a man was behind that story too. But what puts Barbara Gordon one up on Jean Grey is that she's Oracle and now a team leader. The team? Birds of Prey. The latest issue is "THE DEATH OF ORACLE! PART THREE OF FOUR THE SOUL AND THE SACRIFICE" written by Gail Simone and drawn by Inaki Miranda. Black Canary's battling internal demons due to evil Mortis while Dove, Huntress and Lady Blackhawk have been captured by Mortis' colleagues in an attempt to lure Oracle to the criminals. When Oracle (apparently) arrives in a helicopter, Current fries the helicopter and Oracle is dead.

Or is she? Hawkman and Batman may have been on that helicopter if Oracle was. All three are dead? (The cover features Dove inspecting Oracle's wheelchair badly mangled while Huntress, Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk and Hawkman look on -- no such panel exists in the issue whose story ends with reactions to the explosion of the helicopter but no scenes of its wreckage.)

Wonder Woman

And you can't talk comics based around female characters without noting America's longest running lead super heroine, Wonder Woman. Issue 607, finds Princess Diana up against two goddesses of war who wants her to operate out of hate the way they do. Barring that, they'll kill her. While Diana attempts to rescue a child from a minotaur in the Morrigan's temple, many of her Amazonian sisters are slaughtered by the newly risen Cheetah, Artemis and Tisiphone in the ongoing saga.

Scanning the racks at any comic store will demonstrate that there's an eagerness to bring back super heroines who used to have their own titles. Along with the already noted Batgirl, there's also Wonder Girl and Supergirl. But what of titles starring newly created super heroines? One of the few new super heroines to show up in recent years and actually have a considerable following is Terry Moore's Echo. Published since 2008, each issue adds new levels to the story. Julie has gone through a great deal since the comic started and she was pelted with liquid metal which adhered to her body leading her to go on the run from whomever was chasing her -- Ivy among others. Now Julie knows that the government is behind it all and Ivy and she are no longer at cross purposes but they do have other problems: Ivy's growing younger and Julie's growing taller. And in the midst of this, as the government kills one man unable to bring Julie in, Ivy tells Dillon -- Julie's boyfriend -- about their sleeping together -- "Actually, it doesn't have to be sex. Just intimate. You know, the kind where your hearts beat in sync. I held her breasts, that's how I did it. We slept like that, and, when I woke up, I was ten years younger . . . and, yes . . . they're real." You never know what twist that comic will take next.

Echo, Frenemey of the State, Scarlet
One emerging title that's generating a lot of talk is Scarlet, a bi-monthly from Icon Comics written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Alex Maleev. When you write about Scarlet, you're supposed to talk about how the characters 'break the fourth wall!' and talk to the audience. Detective Angela Going does that in the latest issue (issue four) but if you didn't know that's what she was doing, you'd probably just assumed she was talking to herself while walking down stairs. The unique thing about the comic is the look which looks almost rotoscope. That and the storyline. Scarlet's not a superhero. She's a teenager who's shot and killed, by her count, four police officers. The comic is set in Portland and Scarlet's determined to bring the corrupt cops down. The issue ends with her showing up at a huge flash mob rally with the police surrounding the mob.

Another emerging title is Frenemy Of The State from Oni Press which is written by Rashida Jones, Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis and illustrate by Jeff Wamester. Yes, the same Rashida Jones who co-stars in Parks and Recreation. Ari Von Holmberg is a socialite (a very young one, just out of deb status) who is working for the CIA. In many panels, she looks a great deal like Rashida Jones. In issue four (the one we picked up), she has an argument with her parents and leaves on a plane with frenemy Haven Douglas for a party where she'll be tagging a nuke.

If you haven't picked up a comic book in a while or if you've never picked up one, now might be a good time to start. And remember, May 7th is Free Comic Book Day. That doesn't mean you can just walk into 7-11 and grab a comic. But there are stores across the country who do participate in it and now's a good time for you to look into determining if there's one in your area. May 7th will be here before you know it.

Ray McGovern violated others right to assembly

Somedays, the crazy never ends. Last week, you saw so many at their little so-called lefty blogs and so-called lefty websites bend over backwards to ignore (a) the military sexual assault lawsuit brought by survivors of military sexual assault who are suing Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates and (b) ignore the attack by 'lefty' Nir Rosen on CBS News' Lara Logan in which he observed she deserved to be sexually assaulted.

The Honey Pot

Possibly in an attempt to save their own, Lefty Pigs turned to Crazy Ass Ray McGovern. We don't note Ray here, he lies too much, he lies too often. As Ava and C.I. have observed, it honestly appears his mind is going.

Last week, he insisted he was assaulted. And how the Crazy did turn out.

Jess, Jim and Dona are among the people working the public e-mail account of The Common Ills and people send things all the time wanting their stuff to be highlighted.

Last week, a large number of crazy on the topic of 'poor Ray McGovern' was sent.

Registering how much was coming in on Thursday, C.I. had a section of the Thursday snapshot which included, "In fairness, I did call two friends at the State Dept to ask what happened in the room where Hillary was speaking. McGovern's account doesn't match with what I'm told." But that section was junked because there were more important things to cover.

Ray McGovern, a longterm sexist who has repeatedly and consistently attacked Hillary Clinton while offering excuses and conspiracy theories for why Barack Obama hasn't done this or that, declared that he went to see Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak last week and he was assaulted!


In one piece he's quoted stating, "The height of irony, of course, is that was her tragic flaw that let Obama beat her. She supported the war and Obama didn't. She is the height of hypocrisy." No, Ray, that would be you. Still unable to tell the truth about Barack.

He's far from alone. Rory O'Connor was one of the sexist pigs who has to 'improve' on facts. He declares Donald Rumsfeld better than Hillary: "At least the lying SOB former Secretary of Defense didn't stand by and do nothing as his critics were beaten, arrested and taken away in chains!"

In front of Hillary, Ray was escorted out by police. He was not put in 'chains' or 'beaten' in front of Hillary Clinton. Rory yabbers away before getting to this, "And shame on Hillary Clinton, who as McGovern rightly points out, 'is the driving force, together with a few others, behind the wars in Afghanistan'."

Sexist with small prick says what?

Check your Constitutions, gentlemen, it's much, much longer than your penises and, in it, you will find that the commander in chief of the military is the president of the United States. Only one person is responsible for the continued war in Afghanistan and the continued war in Iraq and the continued war on Pakistan via the drones: President Barack Obama.

We'll guess that Rob Kall, David Swanson, Rory O'Connor, Libby Liberal and so many other LIARS enjoyed writing about the 'attack' on Ray McGovern because it allowed them to stay silent on the military sexual assault case and on their hero Nir Rosen attacking Lara Logan and the victims of sexual assault.

But just because Ray McGovern provided their fat asses with a lot of cover didn't mean Ray or they were telling the truth.

Ray himself wanted to compare it to when he 'stood up' to Donald Rumsfeld in May 2006. No, they weren't the same. Southern Center for International Studies in Atlanta was where Rumsfeld appeared. It's a private non-profit. Ray wanted to make a scene at Hillary's speech was was held at a university.

Rob Kall wanted to insist, "Four years ago, McGovern attended another speech and made national news. The speaker was Donald Rumsfeld and the talk was being broadcast live on CNN. During the Q&A, McGovern took his turn at the mic and asked the former Secretary of Defense why he had lied about weapons of mass destruction. Security immediately approached McGovern, but Rumsfeld stopped them choosing instead to attempt to outwit the seasoned analyst."

McGovern himself insisted, "I have been comparing what happened during Clinton's speech Tuesday with my four-minute mini-debate with Donald Rumsfeld on May 4, 2006 in Atlanta (and YouTube is a good help to memory). Halfway through, Rumsfeld gives the nod to a black-hatted security fellow to elbow me away from the microphone. I shout, 'So this is America?' Rumsfeld takes one look at the TV cameras streaming live, makes a snap decision, and tells the security fellow to let me stay. During that same speech in Atlanta, one fearless witness stands dead-center in the audience with his back to Rumsfeld for the entire speech and is not bothered, much less beaten, arrested, and jailed."

McGovern, Kall and Rory lie about what happened because if they told the truth they couldn't alarm anyone. Ray McGovern was among many who went to the microphone (in Atlanta, in 2006) to ask questions. Ray was among many who were allowed to ask questions. More importantly, people were ejected from that event:

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Atlanta on Thursday to speak at the Southern Center for International Studies. Minutes after he began speaking, a protester held up a yellow banner that read "Guilty of War Crimes" and then began to shout. Moments later, Rumsfeld was interrupted several times by other members of the audience. By the end of his speech, security had escorted three protesters out of the building.

That's Democracy Now! from 2006. Ray-Ray's never been known for honesty -- maybe it's a carry-over from his day as a CIA agent or when, before that, he was in 'military intelligence' and peeping into the windows of service members' bedrooms to out them as 'subversives'?

Last week Crazy Ray was at Georgetown University. He was a guest there because he's not a student. And Georgetown has strict and written policies on protests. You'd think someone who spent so many years in "intelligence" -- even if he's now lost his own -- would have bothered to brush up on The George Washingt University Guide To Student Rights And Responsibilities" (PDF format click here).

The George Washington University is committed to the protection of free speech, the freedom of assembly, and the safeguarding of the right of lawful protest on campus. Therefore, student organizations and individual students shall have the right to distribute pamphlets, collect names for petitions, and conduct orderly demonstrations provided these actions are not disruptive of normal University functions and do not encompass the physical takeover or occupation of buildings, offices, classrooms, hallways, or other parts of buildings
without authorization of the University, whether or not University functions are performed in them at that time.
While all students have the right to dissent and to protest, the limitation exists that these rights shall not be exercised in such a manner as to infringe on the rights of other students, or of faculty members, to conduct class, hold their own meetings or hear another speaker, or in such a manner as to be disruptive of normal University functions. No one group or organization holds a monopoly on dissent or on freedom to hear all sides. Further, the fact that students may pursue their interests through speech and assembly on campus does not abrogate their accountability as citizens to the laws of the larger society, and the University is entitled to reflect these constraints in its own regulations.

And that's what got Ray in trouble. He wouldn't sit his ass down. He stood up in front of people, blocking their view. They complained -- that's all the whispering back and forth and hissing you can hear on the video -- and when Ray refused to take his seat, Georgetown University security approached him and told him it was time to leave.

He immediately began jerking away (ensuring his injuries) and fighting with them. That behavior might be excused in a student, but a former CIA agent surely knows you cooperate with the police when they are arresting you and, that if you don't, they will use force.

They took him out of the event and handcuffed him.

Ray McGovern wants to claim this was free speech but he was blocking the view others had and Georgetown is very clear that your free speech rights do not include the ability to interfere with someone else's.

There's so much that still needs to be said including why a man over 70-years-old is going to a college and trying to hijack an event?

While we may not know all the lunatic reasons in his head, we do know he did it for attention. He was trying to recreate his Donald Rumsfeld moment -- even again yelling "This is America!" as he did at the Rumsfeld encounter.

Hillary Clinton's security were not involved. Hillary Clinton was giving a speech, Ray McGovern stood up in it blocking people's view, people told him to sit down repeatedly and he refused to do so, security approached and took him out. That's what happened.


Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Honey Pot." For more on this topic, see Stan's "More lies from Libby Liberal."

African-Americans and the struggle for Socialism

We are reposting this from Workers World.

African Americans & the struggle for socialism, 1901-1925

Published Feb 19, 2011 9:12 AM

In 1901 the Socialist Party of America, after much ideological and political struggle, emerged as a coalition of various factions within the socialist movement. It had conservative, moderate and revolutionary tendencies within its ranks. Eugene V. Debs, an organizer of workers in the railroad industry, emerged as a charismatic figure, the party’s political candidate and a public spokesperson for the socialist movement.

Debs ran numerous times for presidential office and opposed wars of imperialism waged by the U.S. ruling class. He served prison terms for his outspoken opposition to war and U.S. foreign policy.

African-American figures like W.E.B. DuBois, Hubert Harrison, Chandler Owens, A. Philip Randolph and W.A. Domingo joined the Socialist Party after its founding in 1901.

Within the Socialist Party there were two main currents of thought about the role of African Americans in the working-class struggle. One tendency thought it could broaden the socialist movement by downplaying the racism and national oppression suffered by the African-American people. But a more left-wing position spoke directly to the race terror faced by African Americans and demanded that the socialist movement condemn racism and commit to the fight for its eradication.

In an essay published in the International Socialist Review in November 1903, Debs reflected on his experience in Yoakum, Texas, when he came upon a group of white men at a railroad station who made disparaging and racist comments about African Americans.

In this essay, entitled “The Negro in the Class Struggle,” Debs described these racists as “the foul product of the capitalist system and held in the lowest contempt by the master class,” who nevertheless deemed themselves superior and in this reflected “the hatred of their masters.”

Debs went on to proclaim: “The whole world is under obligation to the Negro, and that the white heel is still upon the black neck is simply proof that the world is not yet civilized. The history of the Negro in the United States is a history of crime without parallel.”

He concluded the essay, “I have said and say again that, properly speaking, there is no Negro question outside of the labor question — the working class struggle. Our position as socialists and as a party is perfectly plain. We have simply to say: ‘The class struggle is colorless.’”

In this quote it can be seen that Debs, while to the left of other white socialists who wanted to ignore racism, failed to acknowledge the importance of the Black struggle for national self-determination. He fell far short of revolutionaries like Karl Marx who, much earlier during the U.S. Civil War, wrote that white workers could never emancipate themselves from wage slavery as long as Black workers were held in bondage.

Within a few years of the founding of the Socialist Party, the capitulation of the social democratic parties in Europe to national chauvinism at the outset of World War I led to the collapse of the Second International. Out of the war came a profound workers’ revolution in Russia in 1917 that led a number of African Americans to lean toward communism.

African-American militants who formed the African Blood Brotherhood in the period after World War I, when there were race riots in various parts of the United States, looked toward the early communists as allies. Many members of the ABB joined the party during the early 1920s.

Communism & the national question

In 1919 a series of race riots broke out, the violence in Chicago being the most severe.

White mobs and law-enforcement agencies had often invaded African-American communities to rob, loot, rape and murder scores of Black people. However, in the race riots of 1919-1921, African Americans militantly fought back against the white racist elements seeking to inflict terror on their communities. It was during this period that groups such as the African Blood Brotherhood came into existence.

There was also the growth of nationalism and pan-Africanism in African-American communities throughout the U.S. The movement led by Marcus Garvey grew exponentially after World War I, obtaining millions of adherents during the early 1920s. The so-called “Harlem Renaissance,” fueled by this new militancy, also found a strong base among African Americans who had migrated from the South during the war.

The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the formation of a Third International increased the desire among more militant elements within the socialist movement to intensify the struggle for fundamental change in the United States.

In 1919 several of the currents within the socialist and communist tendencies sought recognition from the Third International, which encouraged the left-wing tendencies to consolidate and form a workers’ party.

During this period there was tremendous persecution of communists in the United States. Many were imprisoned, deported and driven underground. The communists emerged above-ground in 1921 with the formation of the Workers Party, later to become the Communist Party in 1928.

The rise of the Garvey movement and other political and cultural currents within the African-American community drew the attention of the communists. In 1920 the Second Congress of the Communist International developed its thesis on the right of oppressed nations to self-determination. Soviet leader V. I. Lenin noted that the right of self-determination applied both to the Irish in Ireland and to African Americans in the United States.

During the 1920s the early African-American cadres in what was to become the Communist Party came from the ABB and the Socialist Party. In 1925 the American Negro Labor Congress was launched in an attempt to enhance communist work inside the African-American community.

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