Sunday, August 21, 2011
-- Betty, from this week's "Roundtable," on the lying whores who keep getting booked as experts by lying whores who place their sexual desire for Barack Obama ahead of peace, ahead of ending wars, ahead of the civilians being killed and wounded by the empire's military.
-- Bruce A. Dixon, "It's Too Late To Save The Obama Administration. Can We Still Save Ourselves?" (Black Agenda Report).
Another Sunday. And we're late again.
First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes 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,
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.
And what did we come up with?
That's all we got.
-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
Still Friday hit like a sucker punch to the gut.
That's when US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (above), speaking with Stars and Stripes and Military Times, declared of US troops remaining in Iraq beyond December 31, 2011, "My view is that they finally did say yes, which is that as a result of a meeting that Talabani had last week, that all of the, it was unanimous consent among the key leaders of the country to go ahead and request that we negotiate on some kind of training, what a training presence would look like, they did at least put in place a process to try and get a Minister of Defence decided and we think they're making some progress on that front."
The denials from the Iraqi government were instant.
And the press responded by burying the story.
The Secretary of Defense says it's a done-deal and where's the damn coverage?
Would pursuing the story interrupt American Princess Barack Obama's vacation?
Who the hell cares, Panetta spoke the truth.
That scoop was broken at The Common Ills on Saturday ("Nouri's spokesperson confirms Panetta was correct") as C.I. translated two Arabic newspaper reports:
Al Mada reports on Panetta's remarks and on Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh denying an agreement has already been made. But while denying it, Ali al-Dabbagh also stated that when "the polical blocs met, they approved the need to train security forces and the Iraqi military" which would be Panetta's point that it was now a done deal. So despite his denial, Ali al-Dabbagh's actual remarks back up what Panetta said. Dar Addustour also offers Ali al-Dabbagh's quote and, in addition, they report that the only perplexing issue in the negotiations is how many US troops remain.
But not everyone speaks or reads Arabic.
For those who don't, you can refer to Aswat al-Iraq which quotes Ali al-Dabbagh stating that "the meeting of the Political Blocs had approved the need for training the Iraqi Security and Military forces, but official negotiations have not started yet to decide the type, period and number of the needed (US) training forces, according to which the need for the presence or non-presence of such training forces in Iraq is decided."
Read the above. Panetta was correct. They did say yes. It's right there in al-Dabbagh's statement ("the meeting of the Political Blocs had approved the need for training the Iraqi Security and Military forces"). Panetta said details still needed to be worked out but that the agreement had been made to extend beyond 2011.
Panetta told the truth. Where was the media?
Covering for Barack as usual. And that's pretty much All Things Media Big and Small. Though Panetta's remarks came Friday, by midnight Saturday, 'antiwar' David Swanson still hadn't found time to post on it -- though he'd done many posts already at War Is A Crime.
You know what's a crime, David Swanson? Being a spineless suck-up to the administration, being too damn scared of your shadow to tell the truth.
He's far from alone.
But the reality is, Panetta was correct, it's a done deal. Even Nouri's spokesperson said so. All that remains is working out the amount of so-called 'trainers.'
Love Bites aired from the start of June to the middle of July. NBC wanted sympathy for this show. See, the actress they cast as a lead, Becki Newton, she was supposed to play a virgin but the actress ended up pregnant. Oh, boo hoo. Reality, Becki Newton was lousy on the show. That had to do with the writing, yes. Her trying to pick up men -- to 'gina block her friend -- by announcing she was carrying her sibling's child as a surrogate wasn't funny in the least. But it also had to do with Becki Newton. She was lousy.
And NBC can whine all they want about how Becki's pregnancy hurt the show and pretend that was the problem but that wasn't the problem. The problem was no one -- including NBC -- knew what they were doing. This was evident in the ever shifting tone of the show from episode to episode. But more than anything else, it was in the fact that they had a comedy star and didn't even know it.
"Firsts" kicked off the show and, yes, it had Jennifer Love Hewitt playing herself and willing to have sex with a stranger on a plane. Jennifer was very funny but we're not talking about her. She was a guest star and a strong one -- "Firsts" was the highest rated episode of the show's run -- but we're not talking about her.
Pamela Adlon played Constance. She was 'the wife' and not much more in the first episode. She was the better half of Judd (Greg Grunberg). Though the role was grossly underwritten, Adlon played it geniously. She was amazing. Doubt us? That stranger who was going to sleep with Jennifer Love Hewitt? That was Judd. And if Adlon had played her part wrong, if she'd blown the jokes, the entire set up would have been destroyed and the whole time Judd was attempting to hook up with Jennifer Love Hewitt, you would have hated him.
Aldon was comic gold.
And she didn't get pregnant but she did get replaced. By Constance Zimmer who was not funny and couldn't do a thing with the role. Zimmer played a generically written role in a generic manner. Aldon played the same generically written role in an offbeat way, with timing shifts that gave the role life.
To replace her demonstrates sheer incompetence.
And it left the show with nothing worth watching except for Greg Grunberg. And the writers seemed to realize that. So when one episode in the sitcom anthology focused on the gay couple living next door to Judd and Colleen. When the visiting father had problems adjusting to a gay son in a relationship, it was Judd he sought out, not Colleen.
The show really could have been something but NBC never realized what they had from the start and the more they mucked with the show, the worse it got. The network did not know what they were doing and, some would argue, that included putting the show on this summer.
We wouldn't argue that and hope NBC offers at least one new sitcom next summer. And maybe it can be like Friends With Benefits?
Fitz: Aaron, we got to get my mama some ass. Call every middle-aged lesbian you know.
Aaron: Wow. What circles do you think I run in?
The lines should be funny just when you read them. But what makes them even funnier is Andre Holland's single-mindedness as Fitz and Zach Cregger's serious discomfort as Aaron. For that episode, Fitz' mother arrives and seems sad to Fitz who thinks she needs to be in another relationship. In other episodes, Fitz and Aaron will celebrate their roomaversary -- roomate anniversary only to see Fitz explode over Aaron's attempt to big dog him. "We always fight on the holidays," Aaron will explain. But they're best friends and the always make up as well.
Danneel Harris plays their friend Sara, Jessica Lucas plays their friend Riley and Ryan Hansen plays their friend Ben. It's the story of five friends, two of whom are sleeping together and keeping it from the rest of the group.
That would be Sara and Ben. Sara's supposed to be the closest thing to the normal person on the show. She's a doctor, she's forever trying to find a guy worthy of a relationship track so she can get her life on schedule, etc. And if that ever happened, she might be boring as hell. Fortunately, in addition to sleeping with Ben, she's also fretting over her performance in bed (with guys other than Ben) and, when she and Riley try to get to know each other outside the group, she spends a pot-induced evening making out on a couch with a hobo.
She's not the wet blanket, she's part of the comedy. And there's a lot of comedy. For example, she finds Riley trying on bras.
Sara: What are we doing here?
Riley: I have a date with this hot eco-guy.
Sara: You're doing fine up there, why are you stressing about this?
Riley: Well I really like Derek and he's a hardcore breast man.
Sara: God, it must be nice to find a guy who knows what to do with them. Most of them are just squeezing them like they're produce or --
Riley: Batting them like they're cat toys.
Sara: Or the old classic, tuning in Toyko.
Riley: Well Derek's not like that. He treats them with incredible respect. Like they're religious artificats.
But she's not that lucky. Derek, played by the always hilarious Mikey Day, isn't just interested in her breasts, he's interested in all breasts. And goes into slack-jawed awe when they observe a mother nursing in the park.
Riley's attitude is that everyone has a kink and she just needs to know what the kink is. She explains that to the group of friends when she has Aaron utilize his computer access (a CIA program) to find out more about Derek. He's into La Leche League. Sara points out that's a good thing, breast feeding is normal, though there aren't a lot of single men without children who are strong supporters of breast feeding. Aaron tries to explain what he thinks is going on and no one understands so he has to just spit it out.
Aaron: He posts a lot on breast feeding boards. And his handle is The Great PUMPkin.
Aaron: I think this guy's a lactater.
Aaron: He's a feeder.
Aaron: I don't want to describe this anymore. He wants to latch onto your boobs and make milk come out of them.
Riley, Ben and Sara (in unison): What?
Aaron: Come on, that was clear!
It's a bit more of a kink than Riley was planning on but she decides she should at least try it before ending things with the otherwise perfect Derek. She goes over to his place to tell him and he's very excited. What do they need, she wonders? Derek informs her, "We could use a pump to induce lacation and then we could feed directly." Then he's off to get the breast pump and Riley begins unbuttoning her blouse. Derek returns with the pump and tells her to stop, that she doesn't need to take off her blouse. Riley's confused as to how they're going to do this. "Just make yourself comfortable," Derek says unbuttoning his own shirt and attaching the breast pump to his right nipple, "and I will see if I can get these puppies going."
That's a lot bigger of a kink than she was expecting and she's out of there.
Ben's got multiple problems. He's got a once-a-year hook up that's been going on for over four years and each year the woman arrives promising sex but each year she only takes off one more item of clothing (one year, that was a bracelet). There's also his inability to get phrases correctly which really causes a problem when he's attempting to befriend a co-worker and they argue over the eclairs leading him to suggest that they "bury the beef." She files sexual harassment charges on him.
And when things get too tense, count on Fitz to come to the rescue (of the others and of the laughs). When Aaron can't make headway with a woman that's into Ben, the two guys can't stop arguing leading Fitz to propose that if Aaron's really mad at Ben, that he decides Ben dies. Oh, they're on a dock somewhere in Chicago for this scene and Fitz has gotten Ben to tie a cement block around himself. So if Aaron wants Ben dead, say the word and Ben's in the water drowning. Fitz tells Ben not to worry, this always worked in the Navy. And, sure enough, Aaron decides he can't order Ben into the water. Of course, right after that, the part of the dock where Ben's been standing finally breaks under the strain and Ben -- and cement block -- are sent into the water.
Friends With Benefits is a really great show, funny, alive, different and so worth watching. And though it's very hard to believe that they will ever top the comedic high that they established in "The Benefit of the Unspoken Dynamic" when Riley pulled Sara off the couch and off the guy she was making out with to whisper in her ear only to have Sara exclaim in disbelief, "I'm making out with a hobo!", they actually do top it in "The Benefit of Mentors" (one of two episodes airing this Friday, August 26th during the first hour of prime time).
If the suits knew anything, NBC would have been airing this mid-season (as planned) and not that dreadful show, the worst show of 2011, the so-unfunny Paul Reiser Show. But it's not just NBC that didn't grasp what they had, it's also ABC which originally picked up the show. ABC can rightly argue that the original pilot wasn't as funny as the pilot NBC aired and NBC can rightly argue that they had two actors dumped from the cast and replaced with funnier ones. But that this hilarious show wasn't aired during the regular fall - spring season is just further proof that there is nothing scientific to what makes it on the air and the networks are flying blind.
We're not big fans of Drew Westen (above in his Emory University faculty photo) for reasons that should be obvious but tend to instead leak out to the public slowly.
Westen wrote a column earlier this month entitled "What Happened To Obama?" (New York Times). While many on the left praised it through the roof, community wide we avoided it for numerous reasons including that an unrepentant whore is not a whore you can trust.
But give them time and whores will expose themselves.
As usual, Tom Hayden wrote with the brain turned off and ended up giving up more than he intended.
Lashing out at anyone who would challenge the Corporatist War Hawk, Unckle Crakker (as we like to think of Tom-Tom) wrote, "When I asked Westen about this omission, he replied in an email today that it was 'mostly space' that caused him to ignore a 'great question.' Westen, a white professor at Emory University, helped Obama with the renowned speech on race he delivered as candidate in Philadelphia in 2008."
We don't like whores. We don't like whores because they lie. We don't like whores because they have no ethics.
We don't like Drew Westen.
Though the take-away from Unkle Krakker's piece was supposed to be why Westen avoided a topic, the really important point was that Drew Westen "helped Obama wih the renowned speech on race he delivered as a candidate in Philadelphia in 2008."
Remember that speech?
We weren't impressed. But a lot of people were.
Let's note some of the praise for the speech Drew Westen helped write:
"Obama delivered a message that spoke to the conflicts and contradictions around race that have existed since the earliest days of this nation, and he delivered it in a personal way that spoke to his own history and his own complex response to his pastor's messages over many years."
"The speech brought to mind a passage written by the psychoanalyst Erik Erikson a half century ago in his psychobiography of Martin Luther, which could just as easily have been written last night."
"As numerous commentators described it, Obama led us to our better angels."
"Is he a moving orator who speaks pretty lines but lacks substance? No one can seriously ask that question today, after Obama offered the most eloquent, intellectually penetrating, and most moving description of the complexities of race in America of any politician in recent history."
"He offered a progressive vision of patriotism, integrating a more traditional view -- referring to his grandfather's service under General Patton, and the military service of Reverend Wright -- with the notion that love of country is not blind love, that forming a more perfect union -- the essence of progressivism -- is part of what it means to love one's country."
"Yesterday, he led us as a nation, and he showed a firm, steady, and unflinching hand."
"Not only did he utter words most Democratic politicians don't speak in polite company but should have spoken years ago, but he refused to take the low road -- to denounce and cast aside someone who clearly matters dearly to him simply because he had become a political liability -- displaying both courage and conviction."
Are you gagging yet? Cracking a window to let in some fresh air?
We forgot to cite the source on each of those quotes.
Those quotes praising Barack's speech?
They were all from the same person.
Want to guess who that was?
Drew Westen wrote all that and much more at The Huffington Post in "The Meanings of Obama's Speech" the day after Barack delivered the Philadelphia speech.
Westen wrote much, much more in praise of the speech. In fact, in that column, he goes on for 1261 words.
But none of those words are ever used to disclose, "I helped write this speech."
He never lets the reader know, in all of his 1261 words praising the speech, that, "I'm praising a speech I co-wrote."
Ward Churchill was run off for supposed ethical violations.
Emory University is going to look the other way when one of their professors is unethical enough to write a 1261 word column praising a speech they co-wrote without ever informing readers of that fact?
That says a great deal about the university and none of it good.
And if Emory University can't grasp that, maybe they ought to take a look at this news release they issued, THEY ISSUED, on Westen adding a chapter to the paperback edition of a book, a chapter on Hillary Clinton -- a chapter and a news release that both fail to note he was working for Barack's campaign. Generally, universities frown on such conflicts of interests even when there is disclosure. But Drew Westen and Emory University offered none.
Again, it says a great deal about Emory University and none of it good.
Who were they talking about?
The GOP candidate who's raised 1.7 million and counting in online donations since yesterday, Ron Paul.
The GOP candidate who came in second, a very close second, in the Ames, Iowa GOP Straw Poll. We think way too much media time is wasted on that Straw Poll (see Ava and C.I.'s "TV: The PBS FluffHour" from last Sunday); however, if you're one of the many outlets obsessing over it, then you report the winners.
That did not happen as Adam Kokesh documented last Monday night on his program. POLITICO's Roger Simon noted on CNN's Reliable Sources:
Roger Simon: He lost to Michele Bachman by 9/10s of 1 percentage point. In a straw poll that doesn't -- isn't supposed to pick winners but is supposed to tell us which way he wind is blowing, that's a good as a win. So we had a tie for first. But where is he on the morning shows this morning? Where are all the stories analyzing what it means that Ron Paul essentially tied for first place at Ames?
Keach Hagey (POLITICO) quoted Ron Paul's campaign manager Jesse Benton stating, "We were turned down by all the Sunday talk shows, including 'Fox News Sunday,' which promised us an interview. And we were turned down by all the shows today." And NBC's Today cancelled the Monday appearance they had booked Paul for though they insisted -- as if this justified the cancellation -- that his actually being on the program was always 'iffy.'
Beginning to understand why so many people on the streets of DC would have no idea who Ron Paul was? They knew reality TV's Snookie, they didn't know the sitting member of Congress running for the GOP presidential nomination.
Why the media blackout on Ron Paul? Justin Rainmondo (Antiwar.com) explored how Paul's refusal to get on board with perpetual warfare hurts him with a blood thirsty media:
I think Ron himself had the right analysis of how and why the media blackout is so brazen: As he told Simon:
"'They [the media] believe this guy is dangerous to the status quo,' Paul said, 'but that is a reason to be more energized… In his interview with me, Paul stressed his 'peace' message -- he wants our troops brought home from foreign soil -- and believes that and his fiscal conservatism will gain him supporters. 'We are trying to reverse 100 years of history, the change from a republic to an empire, the change to tax and spending, who wants to admit that?' Paul said. 'Who wants to admit we don’t have to be policeman of the world?'"
Paul is correct to home in on his foreign policy views to explain why the "analysts" and Washington know-it-alls insist he "has no chance of winning the Republican nomination," as the Wall Street Journal averred. The conventional wisdom is, as Aaron Blake put it so succinctly in the Washington Post:
"Despite his strong showing at Ames, Paul is still given virtually no chance to win the Republican nomination as his libertarian-leaning brand of politics and distance from most Republicans on foreign policy matters make it difficult for him to win over mainstream GOPers."
A few lines down, however, and we read:
"Paul's vote total was also three and a half times as large as his showing four years ago and almost 40 percent of the total vote he got in the 2008 Iowa caucuses -- where turnout is usually more than 10 times as high as the straw poll. Paul also appears to be benefiting as the most full-throated opponent of U.S. involvement abroad from an increase in anti-war sentiment in the GOP."
Either Paul's anti-interventionist views virtually rule him out as a potential GOP presidential nominee, or else his views benefit him -- Blake can't have it both ways. That he’s desperately trying to is evidence of some confusion, as well as an ingrained bias. Confusion because journalists are not omniscient: they're just ordinary people, who often don’t have the foresight to see new trends developing even as they are occurring -- although you'd think that would be the core of a reporter's job, especially one who specializes in politics. The breakdown of the right-left, red-blue, Fox-MSNBC paradigm is an ongoing process, one bound to take unexpected turns -- and take many by surprise, up to and including those, like Paul, in the forefront of this trend.But again, he came in a close second, a virtual tie, in the poll the media obsessed over. And this weekend, he's raised over 1.7 million dollars online from small donors. Real small donors. Not the faux small donors the media pimped in 2008 for the Empire's Candidate Barack Obama.
Ron Paul truly is a grass-roots candidate. And while the media may pass off marketing brands like Barack as 'grass-roots,' they run from the genuine grass-roots, they run from that which cannot and will not support non-stop war.
What the media doesn't want to tell you, you can find out on his campaign website. We'll note his position on defense:
A PRO-AMERICA FOREIGN POLICY
As an Air Force veteran, Ron Paul believes national defense is the single most important responsibility the Constitution entrusts to the federal government.
In Congress, Ron Paul voted to authorize military force to hunt down Osama bin Laden and authored legislation to specifically target terrorist leaders and bring them to justice.
Today, however, hundreds of thousands of our fighting men and women have been stretched thin all across the globe in over 135 countries – often without a clear mission, any sense of what defines victory, or the knowledge of when they’ll be permanently reunited with their families.
Acting as the world’s policeman and nation-building weakens our country, puts our troops in harm’s way, and sends precious resources to other nations in the midst of an historic economic crisis.
Taxpayers are forced to spend billions of dollars each year to protect the borders of other countries, while Washington refuses to deal with our own border security needs.
Congress has been rendered virtually irrelevant in foreign policy decisions and regularly cedes authority to an executive branch that refuses to be held accountable for its actions.
Far from defeating the enemy, our current policies provide incentive for more to take up arms against us.
That’s why, as Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Paul will lead the fight to:
* Make securing our borders the top national security priority.
* Avoid long and expensive land wars that bankrupt our country by using constitutional means to capture or kill terrorist leaders who helped attack the U.S. and continue to plot further attacks.
* Guarantee our intelligence community’s efforts are directed toward legitimate threats and not spying on innocent Americans through unconstitutional power grabs like the Patriot Act.
* End the nation-building that is draining troop morale, increasing our debt, and sacrificing lives with no end in sight.
* Follow the Constitution by asking Congress to declare war before one is waged.
* Only send our military into conflict with a clear mission and all the tools they need to complete the job – and then bring them home.
* Ensure our veterans receive the care, benefits, and honors they have earned when they return.
* Revitalize the military for the 21st century by eliminating waste in a trillion-dollar military budget.
* Prevent the TSA from forcing Americans to either be groped or ogled just to travel on an airplane and ultimately abolish the unconstitutional agency.
* Stop taking money from the middle class and the poor to give to rich dictators through foreign aid.
As President, Ron Paul’s national defense policy will ensure that the greatest nation in human history is strong, secure, and respected.
Jim (Con't): There is a rule for this roundtable proposed by reader Jagger, "C.I. speaks and speaks often." C.I. and Ava often don't speak in these roundtables, they always take the notes for this transcript piece. Their argument is that they write the TV columns and so they've already got their own space here. In addition, C.I. always points out that she can weigh in on things at her own site. But that frustrates a lot of readers who write in about TV or some comment made by C.I. or a question to C.I. So for this roundtable, what we get to in our allotted time is what we get to and we're not going to shy from leaning on e-mails for Ava and C.I. We do have a mix but we will be asking them a great deal. So let's get started. Ty?
Ty: Reader Dorothy notes that she has three times asked this question for Ava and C.I., "Why have you never taken a week off?"
Ava: Okay. I'll answer that one. Third has published new content every week since January 2005. In the first two or three weeks, everyone worked on the TV articles. But then it got turned over to just C.I. and myself. With the exception of a week when we were asked to instead address a film, we've covered TV every week. When this site started, Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and I were in college, journalism students. And we wanted our breaks. I won't lie. We wanted them. In the early days, C.I. helped on every edition but tried to refuse a regular credit. Her attitude was she had her own site, this was our site and she was just helping out. It was a Christmas, I'm going to say 2006 but it could have been 2005, when that especially became a joke. I had gone back East to visit my parents for the holidays and I hate New York and prefer California so I flew out here to be with my family. And C.I. lives in the same area. And I popped over. At which point I learned that C.I. and Kat were trying to sort out an edition. Dona had taken off, Jim had taken off, Jess had taken off, Ty had taken off and I had taken off. So I helped with that edition. Prior to that, I think it was a Thanksgiving -- probably 2005 -- when all I did was co-write the TV piece with C.I. and otherwise was off. C.I. has worked on multiple features every edition. Why don't we take off? Because so many readers enjoy the TV pieces. That's not my vanity, I have no idea why they're so enjoyed but suspect it's because we all know a great deal about TV so it's fun to read about TV -- we all is "America." America knows a great deal about TV -- if nothing else. So that may be why they're popular. But we know that if we took a week off there would be complaints.
Dona: And we've toyed with the idea of giving them a week off, of doing a cutting of some of their best pieces. A greatest hits where we list shows and quote a sentence from their review of it, like Supernatural and their review where they said it was like watching gay porn where the actors forgot to take their clothes off. Why haven't we done that? We talked about it forever and then we started thinking, "We may need to do that one week when they're sick." They've written when one of them was sick, they've written when both of them were sick. There was one piece, was it Cougar Town? Whatever it was, it was one of their most popular pieces and to read it you'd never know that they had the flu and were throwing up non-stop while they wrote. In the end they had their legal pad in the bathroom and they were just on either side of the toilet, writing between hurls. After that, we especially felt we needed to save the best-of idea for when we really needed it.
Ty: A question for Elaine, Mike or C.I. Jorge wrote Saturday night that, "It appears the Libyan War is all but over and the rebels won." He wanted a response.
Elaine: I'll go. I'm really not going to believe the corporate media coverage without verification from some trusted sources. Also reading over Damien McElroy's "Libya conflict: RAF jets attack Gaddafi strongholds" in The Telegraph of London does not suggest that the so-called 'rebels' won the civil war, it suggests that British forces were much more important.
Mike: I'll add that I know it's difficult for Americans to know what military victory looks like because most of us haven't seen it in our lifetimes; however, until one side -- the Libyan government or the CIA mercenaries -- surrenders, nothing's been won. France, after all, was once occupied. That didn't mean Germany won WWII.
Stan: And if I could leap in here, I'd add that the under-reported story on the way the CIA backed mercenaries popularly known as rebels are targeting Black Libyans, targeting and killing them, in some 'racial purification policy' is disgusting. C.I.'s addressed it at The Common Ills and last week she highlighted Glen Ford's piece on this at Black Agenda Report. I cannot believe how little attention this has received. It is the under-reported story of the Libyan War. But Barack better watch out because it will not stay under-reported.
Jim: Thank you for jumping in, Stan. We encourage everyone to jump in. If you haven't participated by the end of the roundtable, you're on your own. C.I.?
C.I.: Stan, Elaine and Mike raise good points. I have no idea what's happening this early Sunday morning. Ava and I just finished watching and reading scripts of 10 episodes of a sitcom for our piece this week. So I can't comment in any 'up to date' manner on the Libyan War. I would add that is it surprising that CIA-backed exiles could -- with the help of the goverments and military of England and France as well -- overthrow a government? Not at all. The Bay of Pigs was a failure but the US ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti twice, the US ousted Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Once, Aristide was able to return to power and the same was true of Chavez. In both cases, the US government and the media pretended it was the will of the people but the people weren't done and weren't going to be silenced. Should Tripoli fall later today -- and it may or may not -- that doesn't mean the story's over -- a point Mike was making -- nor is it surprising that CIA backed exiles with the military force of several nations was able to overthrow a government.
Jim: This one is about Ann, Ava and C.I. Roxie e-mails to lament that it was May when the three of you wrote "Diane Rehm manages to book even fewer women (Ann, Ava and C.I.)" and she's upset that there's been no article updating.
Ann: Okay. First off, I update that five times a week at my site in that I cover the balance on the show every day. Second, Roxie's not the only one asking that question. On a break earlier, I was talking about this on my Facebook page. It's going to take some time to do an update. We had planned to do a piece several times. One time, Ava and C.I. had too much to do, Jim was asking them to write two or three pieces that edition. Another time, I was sick. Another time, I had to bail early on the edition. There are a variety of reasons but we do plan to do an update before December though we also plan to do a full year tabulation.
Ty: Ann mentioned her Facebook page. Jonas e-mailed wondering a) why we're not all on Facebook and b) "Don't you feel out of touch not being on Facebook?"
Elaine: I know I spoke but can I answer the out of touch question? No, I don't feel out of touch because I'm not on Facebook. See, I'm on something better. It's called life. Look into it.
Cedric: Amen. I work full time, I'm married, Ann and I have a new house that we've spent the last two weeks repainting and re-wall papering, I'm active in my church and Wally and I work together on five posts for our sites a week. I just don't have any more time to give. Sorry.
Marcia: I like that Ann's on Facebook so that one of us is. But I have no desire to Facebook, sorry. I've got my own site where I can write whatever I want. I look at Facebook and it's links plus people giving thumbs up. I'm not trying to be rude but I really don't see the point. It's like saying you're reading and flipping through a book of cat photographs.
Rebecca: I'm not on Facebook and I'm glad. It's a sexist site started by sexist men. I have no desire to engage with it. If that makes me out of date, yea for me. Like Marcia said, I have my own site and I can write whatever I want there.
Ty: Okay. Bill e-mails, "Last week Ava and C.I. wrote 'TV: The PBS FluffHour' and they've done hard hitting pieces like this for several weeks in a row. So I'm guessing this week they'll just focus on entertainment. I'm further guessing that they'll focus on a USA show."
C.I.: Ava and I already wrote our piece earlier in this writing edition. Bill is right that we focus on entertainment. He is wrong that it is a USA show. We focus on two NBC sitcoms, one of which is Friends With Benefits. We did that in part hoping people would watch Friends With Benefits and give it chance because it is a funny comedy. And, as Bill no doubt knows, we do try to break up the newsier pieces by doing strictly entertainment every few weeks.
Jim: Rhoda e-mailed to note Trina's been noting the Verizon strike at her site. She writes, "The strike's over and I'm dying to know Trina's thoughts."
Trina: As Rhoda knows, workers are supposed to return to work either Monday or Tuesday -- depending on the news outlet. I think they were undercut by the White House and I think they were betrayed by their unions. I'm glad to hear that the strike helped competitor Time-Warner. I think it's a shame that so many ignored the strike. I don't mean in this community. I carved it out for my site and Rebecca and my son Mike both noted it at their sites as well. But I did a post where I noted all the magazines of the left or 'left' that were ignoring the strike. The workers needed help and support. Outside of WSWS, I didn't see much being done to cover them. I praised WSWS for doing so many articles and for repeatedly finding fresh ways to cover the strike.
Ty: Trina just brought up how she carved out that as part of her beat, she covers the economy at her site. And that goes to a question for Kat and Ruth and Marcia. Lavonne e-mailed saying, "I really do like their sites but I am just not very clear on their topics. While C.I. always covers Iraq, sometimes they do and sometimes it is something else."
Kat: I cover Iraq if I think it is a big story. Friday it was. C.I. had said everything that needed saying in that day's snapshot but the news was so big -- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta saying US troops in Iraq beyond 2011 was a done deal -- that I had to write something at my site. Otherwise, I'll write about music or something that catches my attention on the road. I also cover Senate hearings but they're on vacation this month.
Ruth: Like Kat and Marcia, I tend to vary what I cover. Marcia and I, in fact, are on the phone with each other every night before we blog. I comment on Iraq, I comment on John Edwards, I comment on Social Security. There are some topics I cover. I also cover whatever catches my fancy in the news that day. If, like Kat, I were on the road with Ava, C.I. and Wally every week, that is probably all I would write about. And I enjoy her road pieces when she does them.
Marcia: Ruth also tackles LGBT issues as do I at my site. I don't have a single topic. Ruth and I tend to discuss the news and then decide what we're going to write based on our interest in the day's news. Oh, and I love Kat's road pieces too. Especially when she writes about fast food and you learn a difference -- regional -- in some place or learn that they're all the same all over the country.
Jess: Awhile back, C.I. wrote about how if the war were over, she'd be thrilled, offline and spending several weeks or months on the beaches in France -- especially if it were the winter. Jamie e-mailed wanting to know about Ava's plans when that day comes?
Ava: Well, as C.I. noted in that entry, she and I often talk about this on the road, especially if we're tired and think we can't make it through the week. And we're both in agreement that if the war ended tomorrow, we'd be headed for the coast of France and spending six weeks there. That's our ideal. And the plan is, no cell phones, no laptops. We write postcards and letters and nothing more. We relax on the beach reading fiction. We don't listen to the news, we only listen to music. We don't read a newspaper. We have six weeks where we're not forever trying to be up to date on the latest developments while rushing here, there and everywhere. And some weeks, focusing on that is all that gets me through.
Ty: Which is Lucy's question. She wants to know if Kat, Wally, Ava and C.I. get tired of going out on the road and talking to groups about the wars? Wally, you want to start?
Wally: Yeah, it gets tiring. It gets tiring that all this time later we've still got an Iraq War and an Afghanistan War. And it's a real shame that we have to go out on the road and talk about this instead of doing other things. Lots of people do other things now, lots of people -- Danny Schechter -- don't even give a damn about the war. They made their documentary or they wrote their book and now they don't give a damn. They made their money and they ran. I'd whether be one of the few who still talk about Iraq.
Jim: Ava, C.I.?
Ava: Well I mean Wally said it. A lot of people made money off the illegal war. They pretended to give a damn. Where are they today? The Nation magazine ran an editorial which started on their cover -- just text -- where they insisted they would not support any candidate who didn't want to end the war. Now days they just don't give a damn. They used the Iraq War to pump their circulation. They really didn't give a damn or they'd be covering it on the cover now and calling out Barack Obama for continuing it. They're liars and whores. I have no use for them.
Jim: And C.I.'s writing down Ava's remarks -- again, Ava and C.I. take notes during these -- so I'll move on to to Wynette's e-mail. She wants to know -- she didn't name anyone but I'd like to go to Betty and Isaiah since they haven't spoken -- if they thought the war would still be going on all this time later, the Iraq War?
Isaiah: No. I'll be honest, I didn't. I didn't think it would last eight years and be about to hit the ninth.
Betty: My answer's a little more complex. I knew, by 2007, that it wasn't ending under Bully Boy Bush. That was pretty much obvious. The Democrats had the power then to end it and refused to do so. When Barack became the pet of choice of Panhandle Media, I knew that it wouldn't end if he were president. And it hasn't. So I'm not surprised by that. I am surprised by the liars. I'm surprised that more people don't take on Amy Goodman and her garbage. And let's deal with that. I know we're limited on time, but let's deal with it. FAIR and all of alternative media love to say, "Pundit X was wrong! Why does the media still listen to him or her?" Raed Jarrar was wrong about the SOFA. Not a minor point. He was wrong for over three damn years. He swore it meant the end of the Iraq War. It damn well didn't. Not only did he swear that everywhere, but he argued with people like C.I. who knew better. And on Friday, there's the Goody Whore chatting up 'expert' Raed about the Iraq War. There's the Goody Whore basically finger f**king Raed's ass on live TV while Raed tells the world that, in effect, his Wet Dream Barack doesn't want to stay in Iraq and the Iraq War would end if only they'd let Barack speak clearly. Hump the mattress, Raed Jarrar, you f**king freak, hump the mattress and see if your useless little dick can shoot a load but don't ever pretend, you dirty piece of s**t whore, that you have done a damn thing to end the war. We all know you'd swallow any load Barack would pump into you. But your desire to go down on Barack doesn't equate: Antiwar. So sorry, you sack of s**t.
Jim: I was -- I was actually going to ask another question but I think Betty just gave us the can't-be-topped moment of the roundtable. So we'll close there. This is a rush transcript.
We're not talking about your alley. We're talking about northern Iraq, the mountains of northern Iraq, where the rebel group PKK has long set up a camp. Others do live in the mountains of Iraq. The media works hard to avoid telling you that. They want to pretend like no one's in that area except the PKK.
Turkey can't stop bombing northern Iraq. They started again last week. The Turkish military was sent in because the PKK had reportedly killed some Turkish soldiers the week before.
And so what?
One week the PKK 'scores' some kills, the next it is the Turkish military. And this has been going on forever and ever.
The PKK is one of many Kurdish groups which supports and fights for a Kurdish homeland. Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described them in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk." The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has been a concern to Turkey because they fear that if it ever moves from semi-autonomous to fully independent -- such as if Iraq was to break up into three regions -- then that would encourage the Kurdish population in Turkey. For that reason, Turkey is overly interested in all things Iraq. So much so that they signed an agreement with the US government in 2007 to share intelligence which the Turkish military has been using when launching bomb raids. However, this has not prevented the loss of civilian life in northern Iraq. Back to Aaron Hess, he noted, "The Turkish establishment sees growing Kurdish power in Iraq as one step down the road to a mass separatist movement of Kurds within Turkey itself, fighting to unify a greater Kurdistan. In late October 2007, Turkey's daily newspaper Hurriyet accused the prime minister of the KRG, Massoud Barzani, of turning the 'Kurdish dream' into a 'Turkish nightmare'."
[KRG President Masoud Barzani pictured above with US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey.]
Because they want to be in the European Union, the Turkish government has offered token 'rewards.' For example, the long outlawed Kurdish language? Turkey's now offering a TV channel in Kurdish. They even let some Kurds run for the Parliament, and some of the winners got seated (and one got tossed into prison).
Reality: The Israeli-Palestinian conflicts is mirrored in the Turkish-Kurd conflict. The Kurds have been denied their rights for years. Now, in an attempt to prove that they are 'a new kind of Turkey,' not the Turkey that committed the Armenian genocide -- not that they will allow anyone to use the term genocide for that genocide, but they are a new kind of Turkey and, European Union take notice, they're letting Kurds have a channel in their own language! It's a regular glasnost!
Reality, the struggle between the PKK and Turkey has been going on for years. Reality, Turkey air bombs northern Iraq. Reality, any Turkish troops being killed are on Turkish soil. Reality, Turkey's never learned to protect their border.
Instead of bombing Iraq, instead of bombing the Kurdish region in another country, they need to get off their fat asses and protect their borders. That's a bit like leaving your front door unlocked while you're off on vacation and then being shocked when you return home and your home's been cleaned out.
Iraqis are put at risk of being wounded or killed by this non-stop air bombing and it's not safe or helpful for children to grow up forever hearing these bombs falling in their own country. Turkish war planes need to patrol the Turkish border if they're going to patrol anywhere. And the message needs to be made clear to Turkey that the bombings of northern Iraq are harming the region and the population so they need to stop.
Each week, Law and Disorder Radio kicks off the week on WBAI and airs around the country throughout the week. The hour long program is hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) and provides coverage of many topics that are otherwise ignored on the radio. This is an excerpt of last week's program.
Michael Ratner: Heidi when I opened the New York Times blog last week, I was pleased to see an article called "Courthouse Confidential." And there was our own Heidi Boghosian, sitting in front of a window with all kinds of law books in front of her and talking about a new initiative of the National Lawyers Guild and Heidi Boghosian which is to get lawyers for the people who the US is going after, the government is going after, for Anonymous and LulzSec which has to do with "hackers" or something like that. What's this about, Heidi?
Heidi Boghosian: Well --
Michael Ratner: Great picture and I advise --
Heidi Boghosian: (Laughing) Thanks, Michael.
Michael Ratner: -- everybody to go the New York Times and look for Heidi's picture if you want to see what the hostess of the mostess looks like.
Heidi Boghosian: Aw, gosh. Anyway, this is --
Michael Ratner: Heidi, that was really made up. You don't really think [I think] that?
Heidi Boghosian: No. Okay. Look, when WikiLeaks happened, a lot of activists went on line when PayPal and other banks denied access to money to WikiLeaks, people protested. You know, the way over the centuries people have protested things, in the streets. Now we have the internet. And we have stort of cyber-activism. And what they did was they downloaded software that lets you go to a corporate website and sort of hit it multiple times so what it does is it slows it down. And I think if people go and read some of the comments on the blog, you'll see a little debate going on about whether this constitutes a criminal activity. And the Guild thinks it doesn't.
Michael Ratner: In this case, it was PayPal. And I think it was PayPal because they had cut off, through Mastercard and Visa, the funding of Wikileaks.
Heidi Boghosian: Exactly.
Michael Ratner: And that's a big deal because here you have 95% of the market for donations is controlled between Mastercard and Visa, PayPal is the door, and private companies just decide on their own. Let's remember, there's no criminal indictment of WikiLeaks or Julian Assange at this point.
Heidi Boghosian: Exactly. They -- Corporations made a decision.
Michael Ratner: And they made a decision to just cut them off from any funding. Very dangerous. So what did you do, Heidi, as a result? There were these protests to which the Guild to its great credit and people ought to hear it again, what is it again, what does the Guild think of these kind of --
Heidi Boghosian: The Guild supports -- We are supportive of people's decision to engage in what we call civil disobedience, this being what we see as kind of the new frontier. Since so much of our daily communication, personal business -- and not just financial business, but personal information is floating out on the web. And corporations honestly don't listen to you if you write them a letter or do a little picket somewhere. They're creating laws like the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act to punish people who try to boycott a business.
Michael Ratner: So what did you set up, Heidi?
Heidi Boghosian: We set up a website called anonlg.com. And it's for activsts to go to have basically a repository of Know Your Rights information including a lot of information from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, CCR's book is on there and some Know Your Rights --
Heidi Boghosian: It's When An Agent Knocks.
Michael Ratner: The Guild has one that you've been involved with.
Heidi Boghosian: We do. You Have The Right To Remain Silent. And then we have sort of scenarios of what could happen, cautioning of course that this is not a replacement for sound legal advice and so what we've also done is set up a hotline and there's a number to call or an e-mail on the website and we are trying to match individuals with pro bono attorneys around the country so if they've received a subpoena or if they've been arrested in the rash of recent raids that happened a few months ago where the FBI and Dept of Justice went after individuals they think are connected to this. And they face some harsh sentences.
Michael Ratner: This is a serious thing.
Heidi Boghosian: This is serious stuff.
Michael Ratner: And I think what you guys did on the website and what you've said is: 'This is really the equivalent of First Amendment type speech.' So when I came up to the office today to do this recording with you, there's a huge picket going on outside Verizon by CWA. A union picket because of legitimate labor grievances with Verizon. This is no different except on the internet.
Heidi Boghosian: Right.
Michael Ratner: And you've coined a great term for it. What do you call what's going on? We've had the Commmunist Scare --
Heidi Boghosian: The Red scare.
Michael Ranter: The Red scare. We had the environmental --
Heidi Boghosian: Green scare.
Michael Ratner: Now what do we have?
Heidi Boghosian: The nerd scare!
Michael Ratner: Oh my gosh. I hope all the anon people listening don't get offended at the "nerd scare."
Heidi Boghosian: We think it's a high compliment actually.
Michael Ratner: It is. In this day and age, the Nerd Square --
Heidi Boghosian: Nerds are the best.
Michael Ratner: Nerds have replaced the half-back for my football team. Yea! Go Nerds! Anyway, again, the website is www.anonlg.com . We really want to thank the Guild, Heidi, etc. Anything else you want to add Heidi?
[May , 2008, Isaiah's "Sunset Campaign."]
One e-mail (I've only read 40 so far, we just got off the plane a little over an hour ago) asked about: "Go down the list of all the people who swore that Barack Obama would end the Iraq War, that US troops would no longer occupy Iraq, that US troops would be gone. They lied and then they lied again. Over and over." How was it a lie?
There are two ways.
First, there's what was always known and that is the Senate voting records. Barack Obama didn't get sworn in until 2005. So he avoided the 2002 authorization vote on Iraq (which some say approved the war and some -- such as the late Elizabeth Edwards defending her husband's vote -- insisted was calling for more time and inspections). It is a fact that in 2004, he was telling the New York Times (during the DNC convention in Boston) that he would have voted for that authorization had he been in Congress. But he wasn't there. But what you did have was how he voted once he got in. For war, war and more war. His votes were identical to Hillary's.
And yet the liars presented Hillary in the most vile and sexist terms while buffing and lapping at St. Barack. And if you need to do research, you should use links in entries. So much of what happened in 2008 was covered in "The Year of Living Hormonally" and that is named and linke to in the snapshot.
It is there that you will find out about how the record on the war was repeatedly distorted by the likes of Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) and Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive, Progressive Radio Show, etc.). You bring on a Barack supporter and let them rave and you join them in the raving and you never ask a critical question about the war or Barack's votes to support it and continue it. You bring on a Hillary (supporter, rare for them to do but they needed to 'instruct' their audiences in what was the 'wrong path' so they did from time to time) and you immediately began asking them how they could be against the Iraq War and support Hillary? Barack and Hillary had identical records when it came to voting on the Iraq War. Any journalist should have known that. Amy Goodman and Matthew Rothschild lied to advance Barack Obama and lied repeatedly. (Matthew's badgering of novelist Sara Paretsky for her support of Hillary made for especially uncomfortable listening.)
In addition, Barack's advisors weren't trashed while Hillary's were. Hillary's were mocked, laughed at, sneered at, etc. They were supposed War Hawks. Barack's own War Hawks -- including the Carr Center -- were never questioned or mentioned. The entire counter-insurgnecy movement figure heads were publicly backing Barack and that concerned no one. Despite the fact that during the days of Vietnam we damn well knew that counter-insurgency -- a war on the native population -- was wrong and illegal. But the so-called 'left' press didn't want to be bothered with it.
And, let's stay on The Progressive for just one more moment. A right-wing group had initials that formed an ugly term that can't appear in newspapers or be said on broadcast TV (at least it's not supposed to be said). Matthew Rothschild loved Hillary being called this word -- c**t -- and he loved it so much that he linked to The Weekly Standard. Grasp that, The Progressive linked to The Weekly Standard. Not only that, grasp that they did so with a heading of recommended stories. The Progressive recommended The Weekly Standard. Socialist Matthew Rothschild linked to the ultra-conservative, pro-war Weekly Standard. Ethics were trashed, belief systems sold out in order for the Cult of St. Barack to preach their gospel.
[August 3rd, 2008, Isaiah's "Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels." Barack's with Cult of St. Barack members Katrina vanden Heuvel, Matthew Rothschild and Betsy Reed.]
The Cult of St. Barack pretended to still have a standard and they applied it to Hillary while giving Barack one pass after another.
Time and again. And, note, Jim's reading over my shoulder and carving out some things for Third including a paragraph that followed "no standard for Barack," so (a) refer to Third tomorrow for more on this topic and (b) if this entry is more disjointed than usal, that's why.
Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richards had real plans for leaving Iraq. Not pie in the sky, not airy statements. How real were those plans? In September 2009, there was a debate of the Dems vying for the party's presidential nomination.
You can refer to Isaiah's "Bloody War Hawks" (above), Rebecca's "craven dems and disgusting peter pace," Kat's "Obama, Edwards & Clinton okay with US trops in Iraq until 2013" and this"Iraq snapshot" for how Hillary, Barack and John Edwards refused to promise to have troops in 2013.
If Barack were the sainted hope of peace that the Beggar Media promised us, he could have taken that pledge. He refused to do so.
All of that and much more told you Barack was not serious about ending the Iraq War.
But maybe people in Beggar Media are just that stupid? I mean, there's got to be a reason that, at her age, Amy Goodman has to beg for dollars on air, right? There has to be a reason that these people are unemployable in real media, right?
So maybe they are just that stupid.
Even if they were that stupid, on March 7th, an event happens that changes everything. How you responded to that event if you were media or a commentator or gas bag determined whether you were lying or telling the truth.
As noted in that day's snapshot, the BBC was airing an interview with Samantha Power (who had quit the Barack Obama campaign that morning, the interview was taped prior to that) where Samantha Power revealed that Barack would decide what he'd do about Iraq if he got elected. But he was promising to have troops out in 16 months? Well, Samantha responds, you can't make that decision until you're in the White House and have examined all the facts.
That was a mind blowing moment.
A candidate's closest advisor had gone on camera to declare that the promise Barack was making to votes wasn't, in fact, for real.
Samantha wasn't just an advisor to Barack after he announced his run for presidency. The War Hawk (who supported the Iraq War though she tries to obscure that today) became Barack's advisor right after he got to the Senate. In fact, the entire War Hawk population of the Carr Center would claim to have Barack's ear. We covered all of this in real time here and at Third Estate Sunday Review. It was possible to cover it.
And it was possible to ignore it.
[June 22, 2008, Isaiah's "Wheel of Greed." Barack's with Cult of St. Barack members Katrina vanden Heuvel, Matthew Rothschild and John Nichols.]
When the BBC aired the interview with Samantha Power and when the US press picked up on it,that's when Beggar Media lost plausible deniability on the charge that they were deliberately lying to put Barack Obama in office and that they would apply no standards to their coverage of Barack and that they would trash their ethics and belief systems in order to whore for Barack.
We covered it in real time, check the March 7, 2008 snapshot. I'd already finished dictating most of the snapshot when Ava was handing me her cell and telling me I had to take the call. A friend in the news division of an American network was explaining what was just breaking and we immediately worked into the snapshot including a rush transcript of Samantha Power's remarks in full.
Samantha Power quit the campaign because of the BBC interview. Not due to the controversy where she had called Hillary a monster. She reviewed all the times in the last week -- in one interview after another -- where she had shot off her mouth and how each could be damaging but she concluded that the not-yet-aired BBC interview was the most damaging and she quit the campaign. She quit, she was not fired.
Her remarks that the promise on Iraq wasn't a promise should have been huge news at The Nation and The Progressive and all the others using the Iraq War to pimp Barack as the 'hero' emerged to save us all.
We didn't get that truth. What we got instead was silence or more lies.
[March 9, 2008, Isaiah's "Kamikaze Sammy" featuring Samantha Power's remark to the BBC.]
As usual, John Nichols chose to go the more lies route. Poor Samatha, he whined in more sentences in a single column than Carrie Bradshaw managed in an entire season of Sex in the City. But he never got around the BBC interview. He had plenty of time to lie and did so repeatedly; most infamously, he lied that Samantha and Hillary were great friends -- at that point the two had met twice and only twice by Samantha Power's own admission. We called it out here.
That column was nothing but lies and distraction from what may be Beggar Media's biggest liar.
In 2008, Barack's campaign was talking tough on doing away with NAFTA, remember? And then it turned out that Barack's campaign was also telling Canadian officials that this was just talk and not to worry. (That statement? It applies to every supposed stand Barack's ever taken. When you wonder why he 'caved' over and over regardless issue, it's because he never meant his words. The pattern was clear with NAFTA.) The Associated Press got ahold of documents proving the meeting took place February 8, 2008 between Canadian officials and Barack's economic advisors. Faced with Barack outright and clearly lying, what did John Nichols do?
Ava and I tackled it -- we were the only ones who did. See "TV: Goodman and Rose 'honoring' bad TV past" and, as you read of John Nichols going on Democracy Now! and insisting that it was a lie, that Hillary's campaign was the one who had met with Canadian officials, not Barack's, and that he had the explosive story and would be publishing it, ask yourself where that story is?
It. Never. Existed.
It was a lie that was tossed out to give the delusional something to hold onto until they could forget. "Oh, it was Hillary! Not our beloved Barack! Oh, I can't wait to read that story!"
[March 4, 2008, Isaiah's "Pinocchio Obama."]
The story never was written because John Nichols was lying. At the end of 2003, for those who've forgotten, John Nichols joined Amy Goodman to explain how his sources knew what was planned for the 2004 DNC convention, how Wesley Clark wasn't really running, just holding things up so that Hillary could take the nomination -- without ever running -- at the 2004 convention.
The two psychos should have been laughed off the air.
But at some point, either the left start's enforcing standards or it doesn't.
[Isaiah's "I Am The War Hawk You Have Been Waiting For" from December 1, 2009 featuring Barack and Cult of St. Barack members Alice Walker, Tom Hayden, Phyllis Bennis, John Nichols and Amy Goodman.]
Norman Solomon's fond of screaming "conspiracy" at the 9-11 Truth Movement. But it wasn't the 9-11 Truth Movement that acted unethically. It was Norman Solomon who, in February of 2008, pursued becoming a pledged delegate to the DNC convention for Barack Obama. And it was Norman Solomon who made a point to note that in his syndicated column because failure to do so would be unethical and, most importantly, lead to his column being pulled from the tiny number of newspapers that carry it. But it was also Norman Solomon who continued to go on the air on KPFK and KPFA radio as an 'independent' analyst from February to the end of June, never telling listeners that he was pledged to Obama while trashing Hillary repeatedly. That's unethical.
In July 2008, under pressure from endless phone calls, e-mails and letters, KPFA was finally forced to start identifying Norman Solomon on air as a pledged delegate for Obama. They should have been doing it all along.
If we had a functioning left, none of this would have happened. But we don't have a functioning left.
It's bad enough that The Nation magazine did not fire John Nichols for his endless lies. They hired Lie Face Melissa Harris-Lacewell who's on yet another marriage and now signs "Melissa Harris-Perry" but will forever be known as Lie Face. Lie Face did so much to help the Barack campaign -- a campaign she began working on in 2007, traveling all over to do campaign work (the state of California in the summer of 2007, for example). Yet somehow she was on Democracy Now! and The Charlie Rose Show in 2008 as an objective and impartial analyst and neither she nor the hosts ever revealed to the audience that not only she was supporting Barack Obama, she was working for the campaign.
If you're working for a campaign -- and Norman Solomon knows this, and FAIR knows this, and The Nation knows this, and, sad for Melissa, Princeton University knows this -- you're required to disclose that fact if you're going on air and commenting on the campaigns. Melissa failed to do that. And she's no longer at Princeton. Lucky for the students because she was so fond of attacking them and deriding them in the press. She's a real hate monger that one and it goes to her own self-identify and her own self-hatred.
And let's put it out there. Ava and I teased in January 2008, thinking the Whore might get honest. We just marveled over her hatred of White women, her foaming at the mouth hatred and her ridiculous statements of "sitting here in all my Blackness." See Melissa had a little personal secret as well.
The woman running from one outlet to another insisting Barack was Black and not bi-racial (he self-billed as bi-racial until he lost his first election, but never mind the facts, when have facts ever been applied to Barack), insisting that she was the authority on this and that she had spoken so the question was no more . . .
That little liar was leading her own little Imitation of Life subplot. See, the woman hating White women in public and sitting there in "all my Blackness"? That woman had a White mother. It wasn't a detail she wanted the press to know. It's difficult to present yourself as THE authentic voice of Black America, to launch the campaign to throw Tavis Smiley off The Tom Joyner Show (Tavis refused to blindly worship Barack, a crime in Melissa's eyes), if you tell the truth.
I was always so afraid that
The uptown friends would see her
Afraid one day when I was grown
That I would be her
In college town away from here
A new identity I found
-- "I'm Living In Shame," written by Berry Gordy Jr., Pam Sawyer, Frank Wilson, Henry Cosby and R. Dean Taylor, recorded by Diana Ross and the Supremes
Poor Melissa. Those consumed with self-hatred and shame never get far. And, again, she's no longer at Princeton. Poor Melissa.
From Lie Face back to the lie being exposed by Samantha Power's remarks to the BBC. There was silence from Beggar Media (though Real Media did report it). We called out the silence in "Editorial: The Whores of Indymedia" in March 2008 and among the people we called out for being silent? Tom Hayden.
Months later, July 4, 2008, Tom suddenly agreed with us writing:
The most shocking aspect of Samantha Powers' forced resignation earlier this year was not that she called Hillary Clinton a "monster" off-camera, but that she flatly stated that Obama would review his whole position on Iraq once becoming president. Again, no one in the media or rival campaigns questioned whether this assertion by Powers was true. Since Obama credited Powers with helping for months in writing his book, The Audacity of Hope, her comments on his inner thinking should have been pounced upon by the pundits.
But, of course, it had been questioned. ABC News reported on it, the Boston Globe reported on it, the Washington Post reported on it (repeatedly). Maybe Tom -- writing at the Huffington Post -- should have held his own Beggar Media accountable? But that would require honesty. And Hillary's campaign called it out in real time -- which led to them being trashed by Greg Sargent and David Corn who insisted the issue didn't matter. We covered this at Third in our reply to Tom's July 4th column (see "Letters to An Old Sell Out: Iraq").
And, honestly, Tom knew about it in real time and was confronted on it in March 2008. He chose to stay silent.
Only because Barack said a little more than "We want to end the war! And we want to end it now!" did Tom finally, months later, write about the March 2008 revelations. And he didn't have the decency to give credit to ABC News, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe or Hillary's campaign. He wanted you to believe that no one had covered it. It was covered and those covering it were attacked for covering it.
So that's why they're liars. The March 2008 comments -- by Tom's own admission -- were news. And they weren't covered as such by Beggar Media and all of the Cult of St. Barack.
They didn't give a damn.
Now it would appear that the Iraqi children will suffer for their lies. I have no tolernace for unrepentant whores. Throughout the 8 years that Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, these people were so very good about instructing on ethics and what was a conflict of interest and how awful the mainstream media was and how unaccountable it was and blah, blah, bulls**t.
Given the first chance to whore, they hit the streets running. And for what? A corporatist War Hawk who always publicly promised more war on Afghanistan.
[February 8, 2009, Isaiah's "Little Dicky Breaks It Down" and yes, that is the little dick from The Great Orange Satan.]
They want to prove they've got anything else to offer, they're going to have to get accountable. Until they do, no one should consider trusting them. If they get away with this, they will try it over and over again. Either we have a functioning alternative media or we don't. If we do have a functioning one, then people need to start taking accountability for how they slanted their coverage, betrayed their ethics and more and how the result was that a War Hawk who cares more about serving the corporations than serving the people got put into the White House.
I hope the above explains for those confused. I do realize that (a) this story was largely avoided by many, many outlets; (b) 2008 was three years ago and some people paying attention today may have been too young or focused on other things back then; and (c) how difficult it is to grasp that those who preach to us over and over about ethics were the first to betray their own.