It would seem then that the interaction between the CIA operatives and Cole was long standing and sufficiently intimate that the CIA spooks could be expected to know things about Cole's lifestyle and personal life. It is not that anyone should give two figs about Cole's personal life which is more than likely is every bit as boring as he claims. But his relationship with the CIA is of interest since he is an unreconstructed hawk. What was remarkable to me at the time is that Goodman did not pick up on any of this. Did she know before of Cole’s connections? Was not this the wrong man to have as a "frequent guest," in Goodman’s words, on the situation in the Middle East?-- John Walsh, "Juan Cole, Consultant to the CIA, Et tu, Amy Goodman?" (Antiwar.com).
Sunday, September 04, 2011
-- Cindy Sheehan, "If a=b, then b=a" (Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox).
This writer does not get to listen to Democracy Now every day. But I have not in recent weeks heard a full-throated denunciation of the war on Libya from host or guests. Certainly according to a search on the DN web site, Cynthia McKinney did not appear as a guest nor Ramsey Clark after their courageous fact finding tour to Libya. There was only one all out denunciation of the war -- on the day when the guests were Rev. Jesse Jackson and Vincent Harding who was King's speechwriter on the famous speech "Beyond Vietnam" in 1967 in which King condemned the U.S. war on Vietnam. Jackson and the wise and keenly intelligent Harding were there not to discuss Libya but to discuss the MLK Jr. monument. Nonetheless Jackson and Harding made clear that they did not like the U.S. war in Libya one bit, nor the militarism it entails.
If one reads CounterPunch, Antiwar.com or The American Conservative, one knows that one is reading those who are anti-interventionist on the basis of principle. With Democracy Now and kindred progressive outlets, one is not so sure where some segments of the "Left" stand, especially since the advent of Obama. In his superb little book Humanitarian Imperialism Jean Bricmont criticizes much of the Left for falling prey to advocacy of wars, supposedly based on good intentions. And Alexander Cockburn has often wondered aloud whether many progressives are actually quite fond of "humanitarian" interventionism. Both here and in Europe this fondness seems to be especially true of Obama's latest war, the war on Libya. It is little wonder that the "progressives" are losing their antiwar following to Ron Paul and the Libertarians who are consistent and principled on the issue of anti-interventionism.
-- John Walsh, "Juan Cole, Consultant to the CIA, Et tu, Amy Goodman?" (Antiwar.com).
Another Sunday. And we're way 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?
Ann, Ava and C.I. wrote this and we thank them for it. They plan to continue tracking the program to study its continued gender imbalance.
Hope everyone gets some rest this Labor Day. See you next week.
-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
September 11, 2001, the US was attacked by someone for some reason.
Never ask why.
Last Thursday On the Point with Tom Ashbrook (WBUR, with Jane Clayson filling in for Ashbrook) claimed they wanted to explore "Conspiracy Theories and the September 11th Terrorist Attacks." That should have made for a lively hour. It did not. James Megis, whose scientific background is in question (he has none and he was a moody little bitch who pissed off many writers for Premiere magazine when he was briefly in charge there -- and he knew nothing about movies when he was in charge at Premiere), was allowed to pontificate endlessly as was Jonathan Kay so you knew they were in attack mode. Kevin Ryan was granted little time (approximately 6 minutes) and attacked before and after his brief appearance.
Jane Clayson isn't a scientist, Jonathan Kay isn't a scientist, James Megis isn't a scientist. But all three worked to tear apart the only scientist brought on the program.
We have no idea the who and why of 9-11 and haven't made it a point to research it. Our position is that the 9-11 Truth Movement deserves credit for focusing on a serious issue and for the drive and determination behind the research as well as what the research will unearth.
And it seems to us that if you're going to do a program on the issue and to do it fairly, you don't attack a guest and you don't pretend that you or your guests are more knowledgable on science than a scientist. It also seems to us that you don't stack the guests to one side if you're trying to provide a fair look.
But that is how it goes. It's how it went on WBUR, it's how it went on Democracy Now! when Amy Goodman brought on the turncoat Chip Berlet (a pig who feeds at a trough and then turns on the trough is also an ass and Berlet showed his ass when he joined in on the right-wing attacks on the Christic Institute he once worked for) and allowed him to attack Dr. David Ray Griffin. Griffin gets challenged and mocked but a whore like Chip Berlet is treated with respect? A dirty whore who took money from Christic, made his name via Christic and as soon as the push-back on Iran-Contra targeted Christic, cheap whore Chip Berlet attacks Christic with a ridiculous article and that little whore is treated as a trusted source?
In a functioning world, that CIA puppet used to discredit the realities of Iran-Contra would be forever banished by the left.
We honestly don't believe any program has to do a broadcast on 9-11. But if you do and you say you're going to explore it, you explore it. You do not stack the deck. You do not whore. You play it fair or you find another topic to cover.
Instead, it's ridicule, ridicule, ridicule.
The search for truth is a natural human response to any incident. Someone dies, someone wants to know why. Stocks go up, someone wants to know why.
Sadness is also a natural human response to some incidents such as death and loss.
The media is determined to steer the American people on a pity trip using the 9-11 annivesary as their pretext.
Wallow in grief.
And the tacked on messages of (a) powerlessness and (b) unity will be sold as subtle undercurrents.
Well that certainly keeps the downtrodden down, doesn't it?
If we're all powerless, then 9-11 had to happen and, just as surely, everything else had to happen and we are all victims of what Gore Vidal calls "a sky god" and whatever he decrees. We lack free will or the ability to influence or, to be sure, the ability to rebel and cause real change.
Unity we deal with elsewhere this edition.
But the search for truth is not to be scoffed at. It has a long, historical tradition. Those who scoff at the pursuit of truth are either so anal that they believe they themselves are never wrong or they've got something to hide.
Whenver anyone tells you not to ask questions, make a point to ignore them. Without questioning, the entire American experience never would have happened.
The show began in 1979 with the Iranian hostage crisis and tracking the number of days of "America Held Hostage." Quickly, the show ditched anchor Frank Reynolds and installed Ted Koppel in front of the cameras. Also rather quickly came accusations of bias against the Carter administration. The accusations only grew louder the following year when Jimmy Carter became the first elected president since 1932 to run for a second term and not be re-elected. Bias or not, the program is now credited with taking down the Carter presidency. As PBS' American Experience observed:
On November 4, 1979, an angry mob of young Islamic revolutionaries overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 Americans hostage. "From the moment the hostages were seized until they were released minutes after Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as president 444 days later," wrote historian Gaddis Smith, "the crisis absorbed more concentrated effort by American officials and had more extensive coverage on television and in the press than any other event since World War II."
[. . .]
Relatively little happened during the summer, as Iranian internal politics took its course. In early July, the Iranians released hostage Richard Queen, who had developed multiple sclerosis. In the States, constant media coverage -- yellow ribbons, footage of chanting Iranian mobs, even a whole new television news program, ABC's Nightline -- provided a dispiriting backdrop to the presidential election season. As Carter advisor and biographer Peter Bourne put it, "Because people felt that Carter had not been tough enough in foreign policy, this kind of symbolized for them that some bunch of students could seize American diplomatic officials and hold them prisoner and thumb their nose at the United States."
It's not just PBS offering that interpretation, the federal government's White House Historical Association includes this in their lesson plan:
The Iranian hostage crisis contributed greatly to Jimmy Carter's loss of the presidency in the 1980 election. Americans had lost confidence in their leader. It wasn't difficult. Each night television newscasts relayed images of angry anti-American mobs outside the embassy in Tehran, shouting "Death to America," "Death to Carter."8
The creation of the television program, Nightline, devoted strictly to discussion of the crisis, was a blatant reminder of Carter's failure to secure the hostages' release. Each night TV news commentators posted the number of days the hostages had been held in humiliating, terrifying captivity, their president impotent in finding a way to bring them home. "This is the 325th day of the Iranian hostage crisis," the journalists would say, and on and on it went. Election day was the anniversary of the seizure, an irony that wasn't lost on the American people, who voted for Ronald Reagan by large margins.
In addition, James Fallows (The Atlantic) noted:
To Jimmy Carter and senior members of his administration, [Ted] Koppel's famous Nightline program on ABC was a dramatic example of the way media sensationalism could distort, or at least affect, public life. On November 4,1979, exactly one year before Carter would stand for reelection, Iranian radicals seized 66 American hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Within a few days, ABC had launched a nightly 11:30 p.m. special report on the crisis, which soon was called "America Held Hostage: Day 15." Then it was "America Held Hostage: Day 100," and the night before Americans went to the polls, "America Held Hostage: Day 365," with Koppel anchoring the news each night.
There are many reasons Carter lost that election to Ronald Reagan; a prime interest rate of 20 percent during the spring symbolized economic problems that might have been sufficient to do him in. But "America Held Hostage" surely played a part. It was an early illustration of the way in which a choice about news coverage -- namely, to offer a daily countdown of America's humiliation -- converted a problem into an emergency. Koppel told me that years after the hostages were released, he met Jimmy Carter at a ceremony in Washington. "President Carter said there were two people who were better off because of the hostage situation," Koppel told me. "The ayatollah. And me."
Jimmy Carter's presidency was a one-term presidency due to a number of variables and while we would include Nightline, we'd also note that Carter repeatedly sounded alien to American voters (the idiotic Playboy interview where he confessed to lusting after women other than his wife in his heart, his word usage such as malaise, etc.), there was the vast and unchecked paranoia of Zbigniew Brzezinski on all matters big and small (one example, Shirley MacLaine has long told the story of returning from Cuba with a box of cigars Fidel Castro was sending as a gesture to Carter's Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan and of the massive hysterics and drama from scared bunny Brzezinski who just knew it had to be a bomb and all but peed his pants as the box was opened) and, among other things, Carter's failure as a politician. Failure as a politician?
When you run for the presidency, you are the top of the ticket. You are supposed to be a draw that helps your party win other races. In November 1980, with the West Coast still voting for at least another hour, Jimmy Carter delivered his resignation speech thereby likely supressing turnout on the West Coast.
So Nightline wasn't the only variable, but it was a variable and it was an important one.
The show has many great moments to look back on; however, they all tend to come before Koppel left the show in November 2005. There were interviews that stood out (such as with Desmond Tutu, a rare African-American guest for the program), surprising choices (an episode covering D-Day as breaking news) and basic news decisions that others weren't making (such as listing the names of US military personnel killed serving in Iraq).
The show also has many embarrassments to endure. Most cite the Madonna episode, where Nightline became an informercial for Madonna, playing the MTV-banned "Justify My Love" and helping its home video sales. It was a bizarre moment but not the worst by any means. This was the show that booked War Criminal Henry Kissinger more than any other guest, that showed Ted repeatedly and publicly fawning over Kissinger. (Had Ted continued as anchor, War Criminal Colin Powell might have overtaken Kissinger. If so, it would have at least helped Nightline be less of an all White program.) This was the program that thought providing a right-wing expert and a centrist expert as well as the right-leaning Ted Koppel made for balance. This was the broadcast featuring interviews with people who couldn't see Ted (they stared into a camera) while Ted saw them and made all sorts of facial expressions as they spoke, undercutting any point that they might make.
Many called out the above but, for our money, the best critique of Koppel came on the sitcom Ellen, when Ellen (Ellen DeGeneres) had lunch with Audrey (Clea Lewis) ("The Anchor" written by David S. Rosenthal).
Ellen: So, um, did you see Nightline last night?
Audrey: Oh, don't you hate Ted Koppel? He's so superior. It's like there's only one opinion in the world and Ted has to have it.
Yes, he could be pompous. But it wasn't really Ted's opinion, it was the opinion of his 'betters.' As Gore Vidal's noted, ". . . if you want to know what the ownership of the country wants you to know, tune in to Nightline and listen to Ted Koppel and his guests" (Vidal, The Decline of the American Empire, p. 44).
Koppel's departure from the program could have been liberating and provided the show with new life. The decision to utilize different anchors (currently Cynthia 'Lockjaw' McFadden, Terry 'The Moron' Moran and Bill 'Picture Me In Just A Jock Strap' Weir) could have meant different points of view. But that was not to be. The show still has the same pompous and single voice.
The only real surprise is that it uses this voice not to cover the news but to serve up pop and trash culture.
To watch a week's worth of Nightline is to enter a world where there is no Iraq War, there is no Afghanistan War, there is, in fact, no world beyond the US borders other than "sea world" and the only disasters are natural ones like hurricanes and not economic ones like unemployment.
Last week, this program that brags "from the global resources of ABC News" served up such important "news" stories as "What's Susan Lucci like when she's not working," "hilarious big screen bloopers," "Marc Anthony speaks [. . .] in his first interview since their break-up," "plus baby for Beyonce."
At least the Marc Anthony segment was broadcasting for the first time. The show's been cut from 30 minutes down to 25 (17 without commercials) and it still can't fill a show with new material. So you got "an encore presentation" of the interview with soap opera star Susan Lucci and an "encore presentation" of a segment that was part of their "Faith Matters" series -- Christians who kick box.
In fairness, we should note there was a health story last week. Are you worried that, as Verizon is currently doing, your employer will drop your health plan (possibly as a result of ObamaCare in 2014)? Well they didn't address that. Maybe you're concerned about the continued rising costs of health care? Well they didn't care about that either.
But they did find a health story they cared about, one that apparently effected them deeply and personally. Cynthia McFadden breathlessly announced "a health crisis in a billion dollar business" and explained that a porn actor had just tested HIV-positive. And, such the news woman!, McFadden even provided context, reminding viewers that this also happened in 2004 before continuing, "Here's David Wright for our series 'Modern Sex in America'."
That's what passes for a news story on Nightline. For that, they'll interview a public official or two and squeeze them in between repeated shots of women's breasts -- on those repeated shots, were they attempting to imply that contact with female breasts promoted the spread of HIV infection? And, most of all, they'll get all cutesy.
David Wright, possibly worried that since porn can only be legally filmed in California or New Hampshire audiences were wondering why this was even a news story and not just a headline, suddenly insisted near the end of the segment, "It isn't just porn stars at risk. Many adult performers supplement their income by escorting on the side."
He means prostitution.
He'll go on to ask the ex-porn actress about "escorting" and how many people you could have sex with in one month by "escorting?" She'll provide him with a double-digit answer and he'll attempt to look simultaneously thoughtful and aroused. (He'll succeed only in looking stupid.)
Friday the latest economic report was released. Job growth was zero and the official unemployment rate remained at 9.1%. In the midst of ignoring this economic disaster, Nightline decided to focus on a natural disaster -- one they admitted they'd heavily over-advertised: Hurricane Irene. It wasn't the disaster they expected, Dan Harris informed you, as he was mainly videotaped on the streets of Manhattan. In the same story, he also 'informed' viewers, "Only in Manhattan do they have 24-hour McDonalds."
We're not big fast food fans, but we seem to remember being in downtown Dallas in February 2008, having finished speaking to a group at 1:30 in the morning and joking to the cab driver that we wished we could have chocolate malts and his informing us there was an open-all-night McDonalds just a few streets from our hotel. And his taking us there. And our ordering chocolate malts at a 24-hour McDonalds. Closer to home, we were also aware of the 24-hour McDonalds in San Diego. So we wondered over Dan Harris' 'fact' that, "Only in Manhattan do they have 24-hour McDonalds."
In a 2007 Businessweek cover story, it was reported, "Since 2003 more than 90% of the 13,700 McDonald's in the U.S. have extended their hours beyond the basic 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. day. Nearly 40% operate nonstop, up from 0.5% in 2002. Breakfast is busting out of its old boundaries. It now stretches up to seven hours at many locations, and the company is considering making it an all-day option. Next on the agenda: snack foods and fruit smoothies for between-meal refuelings and late-night munchies." So in 2007, a little less than half of all McDonalds were open 24-7? 'News' program Nightline decided to offer fluff and couldn't even offer fluff that was correct? It's not just that they want to wallow in trash, it's that they don't even care enough to get their trash correct.
We noted there is a world beyond the US borders that gets covered . . . sea world. So we got "Happy Feet," a stranded penguin. Who mistook sand for snow and made himself sick eating it. And was then given non-stop medical care and surgery. Love to know who footed that bill. Now he was headed back to the South Pole and, how very holistic!, he'd been implanted with a GPS tracker. In addition, Matt Gutman offered a story last week where he reported from an undisclosed location "somewhere in the Bahamas" and spoke with a woman who estimated that in a few decades, people will be able to speak with dolphins. This was intercut with footage of Matt frolicking in the water as dolphins swam.
Other stories (don't call them 'reports') included an infomercial for travel agencies, an 'expose' on cheese cake ("It's not all sugar & spice! Just how many calories are in those portions?" -- well, actually, sugar would account for many of the calories), the chance that science might one day erase fear from your memory (presented as a good thing, forgetting that fear is a natural response that is hardwired into mammals for good reason), Brian Ross attempting to do an actual news report without the time needed or the resources (he was left posing the question of whether no US planes being hijacked since 2001 was due to "good security or good luck" -- that would be an investigative series and not a brief segment) and a look at the Libyan War.
Not a look at the Libyan War. That's beyond the show these days and might harm the feel-good mood that demands Marc Anthony swear he and Jennifer Lopez still love each other and nothing went wrong they just decided to divorce because . . . To garner headlines? Who knows? His answers made no sense but Nightline lapped them up as reality.
So 'Libyan War coverage' was nothing but a bash-the-bitch segment by Nick Watt (who specializes in hatred of women) in which he trashed Ayesha Gaddafi. Strange Tricia and Julie Nixon never received this treatment from Nightline and there father was responsible for many more deaths than Watts said Muammar Gaddafi was.
Ayesha Gaddafi was trashed. She was trashed for the living quarters her father provided her with (while Marc Anthony and Susan Lucci were praised for their spacious and palatial homes). She was trashed for representing Saddam Hussein in the trial that saw him sentenced to death. (Ayesha's part was mentioned quickly in order to move on to recounting the evils of Saddam Hussein. Staying too long on Ayesha Gaddafi might have forced Nick Watt to admit that she was at least a smart woman since she had a law degree and was a practicing attorney.) He mocked her looks repeatedly as he brought up that she was called, by some, "the Claudia Schiffer of North Africa." He then declared, over a series of unflattering (but not unattractive) photos, "Claudia Schiffer? I don't know."
He 'forgot' to mention that she didn't call herself that which was strange since this part of the story took up more time than all but the section where he made her out to be a coward.
He did that by reading a statement she made decrying NATO's bombing of Libya. He didn't read it, sorry. He 'enacted' it. In violation of every policy ABC News has, Nick Watt did a heavy dramatic reading of the statement. Then he noted that she had left the country.
"Oh the coward," viewers were to conclude.
He added that allegedly she had recently given birth, a single sentence, a fleeting thought.
Ayesha Gaddafi is the mother of four children -- the last was born August 30th. The children's father is Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi. Nick Watt wasn't concerned with that. We doubt he was trying to imply Ayesha was the Virgin Mother and instead think it was another attempt to trash her. But where is the father now?
Oh, that's right. He was killed at the end of July.
A pregnant Ayesha Gaddafi remained in Libya through most of August, despite the fact that her country was being bombed, despite the fact that her husband was killed in the war and despite the fact that she was now nine months pregnant. As her father's regime fell, she left the country and gave birth. Hardly the way Nick Watt chose to portray her.
It reminded us of the lurid stories about Condi Rice that have emerged as "Libyan War" coverage. Muammar Gaddafi kept an album with pictures of Rice. There are many reasons to call out Condi Rice and over the years we've touched on most of them.
Rubbing your legs together and making snide remarks and insinuations about her because some man chose to keep an album filled with clippings of her says far more about the jerks salivating over this non-story than it does about Condi Rice. By the same token, Ayesha Gaddafi is being singled out to be trashed because she's a woman.
Nick Watt offered up Libyans for about 30 seconds. Maybe a little less. He toured Ayesha's quarters with them and then asked them what they thought about her living conditions when they lived in poverty?
No one brought poor Americans into Susan Lucci's home or Marc Anthony's to ask them that question.
But hey, the 'news' report on Susan praised gluttony as it took us expensive shoe shopping and informed us that "she can afford them because she is, after all, the most famous soap star of all time."
As Nick Watt's bash-the-bitch finished, there was Terry Moran, all glassy-eyed, declaring, "Thanks to Nick Watt for that," demonstrating that the biggest idiot ever working for ABC with the surname of Moran was not, in fact, Erin.
9-11 changed everything, we're falsely told. On the ABC News front, all it's done is taken a conservative-leaning half-hour news program, trimmed 5 minutes off it and turned it into fluff -- fluff so inaccurate that Entertainment Tonight is harder hitting and more factual. The anchors take their turn in the chair, one-by-one, but offer the viewers insipid happy talk as though they're hosting the morning shows and speaking to someone paid to find them delightful.
There is nothing delightful about this program and, if this is what Nightline is going to be, cancel it and bring Jimmy Kimmel on right after the local news. There's more honesty in five minutes of Kimmel than there is 25 minutes of Nightline.
Conversations were disjointed and worst of all was Diane The Scold, Our Miss Priss, surfaced to condescend to a caller.
Returning from the break, Diane declared, "Welcome back to the international hour of our Friday News Roundup this week with Anne Gearan, national security correspondent with the Associated Press, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, James Kitfield, senior correspondent for National Journal. You can join us by phone, you can send us an e-mail, join us on Facebook or send us a Tweet. James Kitfield, the fact that there were no US troop fatalities in August, how come?"
Presumably, the answer would be: Because none died.
It's not a great mystery.
But which country Diane was speaking of was a mystery.
So eager to rush through the topic of Iraq was Diane that she failed to even identify which war zone she was speaking of.
The fact that zero troops died in Iraq was seen as a success and reason to move on over to Afghanistan after that factoid. No mention was made of the 395 Iraqi civilians who died in August, as counted by Iraqi Body Count, or the 800 injured.
Diane would later claim in the show that she wanted a civilized conversation. We think a civilized conversation about war has to include Iraqis.
We think an informed and civilized conversation about what took place in August 2011 includes the fact that 56 US military personnel have died in the Iraq War since August 31, 2010. That's when, pay attention, Diane, Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations. After the end of 'combat operations,' 56 US service members have died.
That ugly reality was ignored in what can only be described as a Barbara Bush moment on Diane's part.
She and her panelists engaged in the lie that US forces are leaving Iraq at year's end. No one knows if that's happening. August 2nd, the Iraqi government announced they were in negotiations with the US government to extend the US military stay (but to call any who stayed "trainers").
It was the biggest waste of air time and the most unintelligent discussion NPR may have yet aired and that's truly saying something.
It was so bad that we were reminded of Antiwar.com's Kelley B. Vlahos' observation about a CNAS Conference:
On the contrary, the morning alone was akin to driving around in the car listening to the Friday round-up on NPR's Diane Rehm Show. You know, the kind of radio banter for which you're not likely to miss anything if you pop outside to pump gas or pick up the dry cleaning. That's because it's about all about the title and the self-important tone, and not about depth or nuance, or what they call "value-added" knowledge. Watch out CNAS, you're practically there.
And Diane's program was born there.
It's become such a parrot of conventional wisdom that facts no longer matter and you can 'cover' an 8-year and counting illegal war with just a few sentences. It's become so boring that only Diane getting all fussy in her old age on air can pass for an 'interesting' moment.
From Friday's show:
Diane Rehm: All right. Let's go to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Good morning, Lewis. Go right ahead, please. Lewis, are you there? Okay, to St. Louis, Missouri. Let's go to Darrell.
Darrell: Good morning, how are you doing?
Diane Rehm: Fine, thanks, sir.
Darrell: You wouldn't think that after 9/11 and after Iraq that anybody would believe what my government, the American government says about anything. These are total lies about Gadhafi. You got him to get rid of his weapons, which he had none and now you're bombing the crap out of the country so you can do the same --
Diane Rehm: I appreciate your not using that word on the air. I recognize it's not one of the seven deadly ones, but if you had something to say?
Darrell: You're a coward, lady.
Diane Rehm: I'm a coward? Well, I am a coward in terms of trying to help our audience hear a civilized program. Let's go now to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Good morning, Jose, you're on the air.
Diane's a coward in many ways most days. But she was an idiot as well Friday.
Not just because she banned "crap" from the same airwaves that Terry Gross uses to spew "fa**ot" over and over again. But because she never informed Darrell what word was bothering her. For all he knew, she was offended by lies?
We realize Diane was born during the Great Depression and that computers, microwave ovens, cell phones and, yes, even toaster ovens were new 'developments' in her lifetime, but "crap" is said on TV, "crap" is said on the radio. And if she's going to impose her own little ruling, she might need to start posting those rules.
For example, she could write on her website: "My show is crap but you can't say 'crap' on my show."
Doubt that her show is crap?
May 1st, we published "Diane Rehm's gender imbalance (Ann, Ava and C.I.)." As we noted in that study, in the United States, women are said to make up 50.1% of the population. We began our study of Diane's show with the month of April when she featured 79 male guests and 40 female ones.
Despite being over half the population, in April, women only made up 34.48% of Diane's guests.
May, June, July and August have passed. Did Diane do better?
For those four months, she had 323 male guests on the program and only 165 women.
The total numbers from the start of April until the end of August?
402 male guests, 205 women.
That's not a surprise because we've done these studies before. For example, Terry Gross' Fresh Air made it through 2010 with women making up only 18.546% of the guests. This site has also previously documented the gender imbalance in bylines at The Nation and in guests booked for CounterSpin. One thing that we've quickly learned is this: There is no catch up.
Shows and magazines that feature very few women do not suddenly make room for broadcasts or print editions that feature nothing but women in order to even things up, in order to play catch up. No, the numbers just get worse as the years go along.
So from 34.48% in April to the current percentage of 33.77% is not a surprise to us.
33.77% is the percentage of female guests Diane has had on her show since April.
Yes, that does mean that over 66% of Diane's guests have been male.
No, that does not live up to the diversity claims NPR likes to make -- especially at pledge time when they want your money.
Instead of fretting over terms like "crap" that can appear on the airwaves with no problem (what's next, Diane, barring the use of "ain't"?), we'd suggest Diane Rehm concern herself with her inability to book an equal number of female guests.
We'd argue that, in the 21st century, that's the more pressing issue.
Please feel free to check our math (let us know if you find a mistake -- we're far from perfect). May through August figures can be found in the following posts at Ann's site:
- ► 08/07 - 08/14 (5)
- ▼ 06/19 - 06/26 (5)
- ▼ 06/12 - 06/19 (5)
- ▼ 06/05 - 06/12 (5)
- ▼ 05/29 - 06/05 (4)
- ▼ 05/22 - 05/29 (4)
- ▼ 05/15 - 05/22 (5)
- ▼ 05/08 - 05/15 (4)
- ▼ 05/01 - 05/08 (5)
Weep, America, weep!
And that's only one special planned.
As we're encouraged to wallow in being powerless, we'll be preached to of the wonders of "unity." And how we were all together on September 11th.
Is that true?
If so, that was our biggest mistake.
And we say F**k Unity.
Unity gave us no questions asked. Unity gave us the PATRIOT Act. Unity gave us 'look the other way as flights are grounded but the government gets certain individuals flown out of the US.'
Heaven forbid something similar to 9-11 takes place again, but if it does, be sure to shout "F**k Unity!"
Shout it because if you don't you are an idiot.
Do you really believe that the bailed out bankers share your concerns?
Did 9-11 cause "American" corporations to stop setting up offshore tax havens or cause them to stop sending manufacturing jobs overseas? Or call service jobs overseas?
The cry of "unity" is nothing but pablum for the patsies being taken advantage of. Submit at your own risk.
[Image from White House video of speech -- click here for White House page.]
Barack so enjoyed his trip there, he explained, that it had him reflecting on how he and Michelle Obama had honeymooned in the area (Napa Valley) seventeen years prior.
But, as S. E. Hinton titled a book, that was then, this is now.
"George Kaiser is not an investor in Solyndra and did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan," the George Kaiser Family Foundation claimed in an announcement last week.
Besides an emerging scandal for the White House, what is Solyndra? It's a company founded by Dr. Christian Gronet in 2005 which set up headquarters in Fremont, California in 2006. Gronet took part in a September 22, 2009 White House meeting that the White House scheduled off property to conceal and then billed the meeting as "ENERGY-ORIENTED SUMMIT." The visitor logs may cause some confusion because the White House says the meeting took place at the "OEOB." It took place at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building which is the building that used to be known as Old Executive Office Building.
No surprise, what took place last week isn't on the company's official timeline.
Robert Evatt (Tulsa World) reported Friday, "A spokesman for Solyndra LLC, the large, Freomont, Calif.-based solar panel maker that shut down Wednesday, said the George Kaiser Family Foundation had been an unwavering supporter of the company." Yes, that does appear to conflict with the statement George Kaiser issued Thursday. The Solyndra spokersperson is David Miller ("director of corporate communications") who is quoted stating, "The Kaiser foundation has been a tremendous backer. They were very forward-looking in their investments." And the George Kaiser Family Foundation placed their own "Steve Mitchell, managing director of Argonaut Private Equity, one of the Kaiser family's investment companies, on Solyndra's board of directors".
Among the many losing money as the company prepares to file for Chapter 11 (the filing is expected to take place shortly after Labor Day) are the US taxpayers. Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Ronnie Greene (ABC News and iWatch News) reported Thursday, "Prominent Republican members of the House energy committee accused the Obama administration of 'wasting' more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer money by making a federal loan guarantee to a 'troubled' solar power company that collapsed in bankruptcy Wednesday. "
How did half a billion dollars allegedy get wasted?
The White House gave the company $535 million dollars as part of the "Recovery Act."
The White House proclaimed May 26, 2010, "Today, President Obama visited Solyndra, Inc. in Fremont California -- a solar panel manufacturer that is building a new facility (and creating new jobs) thanks to funding from the Recovery Act. So far, construction of the new facility has created over 3,000 construction-related jobs and the new factory could create up to 1,000 long-term new jobs. And this is just one of countless stories that together account for the up-to-2.8 million jobs the Recovery Act is responsible for by the CBO's count. "
The $535 million was supposed to be a loan.
How did they get that loan? As Robert Evatt explains, in the company's best days (2008, a year before the loan) its estimated worth was $1 billion and in 2010 (when Barack spoke at the company) its estimated worth had fallen to $250 million or less. How do you get a loan that's more than half what your company is estimated to be worth in the best of times?
Ties to Barbara Boxer donor Christian Gronet have gone largely unexplored. But the media has shown interest in George Kaiser. C.J. Ciaramella (Daily Caller) reported Thursday:
Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a key Obama backer who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the president's election campaign, is one of Solyndra's primary investors.
Kaiser himself donated $53,500 to Obama's 2008 election campaign, split between the DSCC and Obama For America. Kaiser also made several visits to the White House and appeared at some White House events next to Obama officials. Campaign finance records show Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to Obama's election campaign.
Thursday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent [PDF format warning] a letter to the Counsel to the President, Kathryn Ruemmler, "seeking documents and information regarding the role of the White House in the review of loan guarantees issued by the Department of Energy (DOE)" and the Committee stated:
We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra's application, and communicated with DOE and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials during the course of their review in 2009 and when those officials were restructuring the Solyndra deal this year. Documents received by the Committee also show that DOE and OMB officials were aware of the White House's interest in the Solyndra loan guarantee. In addition, we are also aware that a major investor in Solyndra, George Kaiser, was a bundler for President Obama's 2008 campaign. President Obama and other Administration officials have repeatedly touted Solyndra and its prospects in visits to its manufacturing facility and in speeches. Vice President Biden appeared via satellite at the Solyndra groundbreaking on September 4, 2009, to announce that DOE had finalized its loan guarantee to the company, stating that the Solyndra deal was "part of the unprecedented investment this Administration is making in renewable energy and exactly what the [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] is all about." DOE Secretary Steven Chu attended the groundbreaking event as well, and stated that projects like Solyndra would be the start of the "second industrial revolution" in clean energy technology. When President Obama visited the company in may 2010 to tour its manufacturing facilities, he noted that "the true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra."
Which, again, closed its doors last week and is expected to file for bankruptcy shortly this week, leaving US tax payers to foot the bill for the $535 million loan.
How does that happen?
In May 2010, the White House insisted:
President Obama is in Fremont, California today to visit Solyndra, Inc, an innovative solar panel manufacturer that is building a new facility with funding made possible by the Recovery Act. The direct benefits of this investment are easy to see. The plant expansion now underway has already enabled the creation of over 3,000 construction-related jobs and Solyndra estimates that the new factory could create as many as 1,000 long-term jobs in operations and supply. Likewise, a formerly empty field will soon be home to a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that produces clean energy products that can be exported to the world.
There will be no "1,000 long-term jobs" and the "formerly empty field" will now be a field with an unused building on it. $535 million dollars wasted. $535 million tax payer dollars wasted.
Well Barack's never been the genius the press tried to make him out to be. We were never fooled. And it's been obvious from his first month in the White House that he doesn't know the first damn thing about business or the economy.
He has learned anything since then and continues to make stupid remarks. As Terry Moran observed Friday night on Nightline (ABC), "Even President Obama recently used travel agents as an example of a dying profession. But the fact is there are still 14,000 travel agencies active in the United States and 94% of them expect to make a profit this year."
So maybe it was just stupidity.
Then again, there has been a pattern of the White House rewarding their campaign supporters with US tax payer dollars over and over again.
Strong turnout at rallies against Libya war
By Workers World bureau writers
Continuing a nationwide tour to report on her fact-finding visit to Libya, former Georgia Congressperson Cynthia McKinney spoke at Philadelphia’s Calvary Church on Aug. 26, writes Dolores Cox. More than 200 people, mostly from the city’s oppressed Black communities, filled the room to capacity.
WW photo: Joseph Piette
McKinney and her international delegation put themselves in harm’s way in order to uncover the truth about the imperialist war and disprove the many lies emanating from the White House and corporate media.
The International Action Center is organizing her North American tour, with endorsements from many grassroots organizations. Betsey Piette and Berta Joubert-Ceci of the Philadelphia IAC coordinated the evening’s program. Speakers included Sara Flounders, IAC national office co-director; Pam Africa, MOVE and the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; and representatives from various anti-war organizations, community groups and independent media.
WW photo: Joseph Piette
Philadelphia supporters rallied against the U.S.-NATO war on Libya with the goal of building unity in support of the Libyan people’s resistance to the daily bombings that have gone on for 159 days as of Aug. 26.
The meeting’s chairperson, Joubert-Ceci, introduced McKinney as a fiery, true revolutionary, worthy of receiving a Che Guevara award and one who put herself on the line for the people. Not only was McKinney’s trip to Libya risky, she stated, but here at home she also needs protection from her own imperialist government.
Photo: Ric Urrutia
Pam Africa referred to McKinney as an international warrior for peace. Africa made the connection between the U.S. domestic war on African Americans, using Cointelpro to murder leaders, and U.S. terrorism against the African continent and the Middle East, aimed at destroying anti-colonial governments.
Flounders gave a global view of U.S. terrorism and military interventions. The U.S. has hundreds of military bases throughout the world in order to enrich the wealthy. While the U.S. is attacking oil-rich Libya, it is also planning its next war, with carte blanche to murder leaders and their family members.
Photo: Ric Urrutia
People everywhere have an enormous hunger for the truth, but get lies instead, she added. Demonization of targeted leaders is a propaganda strategy used. Libya’s government provides free housing, health care and subsidized higher education for its people. Yet they’re living in hell due to the attacks. U.S. and NATO have no shame! Gadhafi is a threat to the U.S. due to his country’s wealth and aid to the rest of Africa and to other “interests” of the U.S. and former colonial powers.
Flounders made the connection between budget cuts, homelessness and unemployment here at home, and the cost of militarism to U.S. residents, whose taxes pay for the wars. This is a crime against us by our own country. An attack on Libya is an attack on all of us.
Cynthia McKinney described the vast destruction of Libya’s infrastructure and innocent civilians injured and murdered. Graphic video slides accompanied her talk. She said she has a heavy heart when she thinks of the trapped Libyans and journalists, surrounded by rubble and unable to leave the country, and of the assassination/capture attempts of Col. Gadhafi and his sons.
Merciless, unrelenting bombing has had an effect not only on the people, McKinney added, but on the environment as well. Dark clouds and the sky are laden with black grit, ash and depleted uranium from the bombings. She made a comparison with the destruction of Gaza, which she witnessed after days of nonstop Israeli bombings. Targets were similar: homes, schools, hospitals, factories, sewerage systems and electric power installations — war crimes under international law. McKinney stated that she’ll be against U.S. man-made wars every time and continue to raise awareness.
U.S.-NATO interventions, McKinney related, have also created a climate of racism in Europe against African descendants, leading to increasing attacks, and have fostered attacks and killings of dark-skinned Libyans.
It will take unity and solidarity movements to end aggressions and all wars. We must struggle for peace. At the ballot box we must vote for peace and liberation from war mongers in both political parties. Libya has a right to self-determination. Libya for the Libyans!
Full house in Detroit
Kris Hamel reports that it was a full house in Detroit on Aug. 27 as McKinney spoke truth to power about her recent trip to Libya and her defense of that African country from the brutal machinations of NATO and U.S. imperialism. An audience comprised of people of many nationalities, ages, abilities and struggles cheered McKinney and other speakers, including Mark Fancher of the National Conference of Black Lawyers; Maureen Taylor, chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization; Fred Vitale of the Green Party of Michigan and Detroit Greens; and Abayomi Azikiwe, a contributing editor of Workers World newspaper and a Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice organizer.
The program also featured wonderful revolutionary music and song from Siaire Reign and the group Black Reign. The meeting was initiated by MECAWI in conjunction with the IAC national tour.
Denver: Brother Jeff’s packed
McKinney spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center and Cafe in the heart of the historic Five Points Black community of Denver on Aug. 28, writes Larry Hales. One hundred people packed the room in protest against the U.S.-NATO war on the Libyan people and to hear former Congresswoman McKinney, who ended her North American tour here.
The crowd was multinational but primarily made up of activists and members of the Black community. There were also members of the Nation of Islam, students from Libya, immigrant rights activists from Latin America — including Mexico and Peru, from East Africa, West Africa, and one from Algeria.
Speakers also described the struggle for immigrants’ rights and, in particular, that of a coalition of workers from the Swift meat packing plant in Greeley, Colo., that is made up of immigrants from Latin America, Somalia and other communities. An activist from Comité en Defensa del Pueblo spoke, as did two IAC activists, including people’s attorney Mark Burton. Local musician Ietef performed a spoken-word piece. Brother Jeff emceed the event and gave a warm welcome to McKinney, whom the crowd greeted with a standing ovation.
Broad community support in Baltimore
Some 300 people packed the Union Baptist Church on Aug. 24 to hear McKinney speak, writes Steven Ceci. The meeting was initiated by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the All Peoples Congress, Job Is A Right Campaign, Black Think Tank, Ujima Peoples Progress Party and Workers World Party. A coalition of over 17 groups and individuals helped ensure the success of the meeting.
National speakers at the meeting, besides McKinney, included IAC co-director Sara Flounders and Dr. Randy Short. Important community leaders from Baltimore participated, including Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway of Union Baptist Church, Eartha Harris of the Millions More Movement, reparations writer Dr. Raymond Winbush, Pres. Maryland/D.C. AFL-CIO Fred Mason, David Johnson of Black Think Tank and representatives from the Green Party, Answer, All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party, Workers World Party and Ujima Peoples Progress Party. The event was co-chaired by Rev. C.D. Witherspoon, president of the SCLC and Sharon Black of the All Peoples Congress.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2011
Contact: Fred Fedynyshyn
FREEDOM NOW WELCOMES CALL OF 26 MEMBERS OF U.S. HOUSE
FOR RELEASE OF RENOWNED HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE FILEP KARMA
Today, a bipartisan group of 26 members of the United States House of Representatives, led by Reps. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and James Moran (D-VA) requested that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia release Papuan human-rights advocate Filep Karma. In the letter, attached, the Representatives declared:
Mr. Karma’s case represents an unfortunate echo of Indonesia’s pre-democratic era, when Indonesia regularly imprisoned political activists on unlawful grounds…. We urge your government to uphold its commitments to international law and to its own domestic law and immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Karma.
Other signatories to the letter included members of the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chris Smith (R-NJ), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS); and co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA).
Freedom Now attorney Sachi Jepson stated: “We, along with an international community of supporters, are heartened by the House’s efforts to restore justice and health to Mr. Karma. We sincerely hope the Government of Indonesia will bring an end to Mr. Karma’s unlawful detention and that he can return to his family at long last.”
Mr. Filep Karma, 52, is a prominent Papuan political activist and former Indonesian civil servant who is serving a fifteen-year prison sentence for his peaceful human rights advocacy. He was arrested on December 1, 2004, for organizing and participating in a ceremony at Trikora Field in Abepura, Papua, where hundreds gathered to raise the Papuan Morning Star flag and celebrate the anniversary of the 1961 Papuan declaration of independence from Dutch rule. Although Mr. Karma has explicitly denounced the use of violence, he was charged with treason and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. His wrongful arrest, detention, and trial violate Indonesian law and Indonesian obligations under international law. Mr. Karma is an inspirational leader of nonviolent human rights advocacycurrently suffering respiratory infections and abdominal pains while being denied medical attention.
Freedom Now welcomes the support of these Representatives and joins them in calling on President Yudhoyono to release Mr. Karma and urging the Indonesian government to comply with its commitments under international law and its own constitution.
1776 K Street, NW, 8th Floor • Washington, D.C. 20006 • +1 (202) 223-3733 • www.freedom-now.org Our mission is to free prisoners of conscience through focused legal, political and public relations advocacy efforts.
Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515
August 19, 2011
Dr. H Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President of the Republic of Indonesia
As Members of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, we write asking your government to release Filep Samuel Karma, a Papuan political activist and former civil servant, who has been unlawfully and arbitrarily detained since 2004.
Mr. Karma is a prominent non-violent Papuan political activist. He is currently serving a 15- year prison sentence following his raising of the Papuan Morning Star flag at a 2004 political rally celebrating the 1961 Papuan declaration of independence from Dutch rule. U.S. policy towards Indonesia supports the advancement of universal human rights and the fair and nondiscriminatory treatment of all people, which includes the peoples of Papua and West Papua. As a strategic partner, we remain concerned that your government meet its fundamental obligations to protect the rights of its people, as respect for human rights strengthens democracy.
Mr. Karma's trial violated international standards of due process of law. For example, the judge made several plain statements indicating a bias against Mr. Karma. Additionally, Mr. Karma's appeal was rejected on unfounded procedural grounds. And during his incarceration, he has suffered degrading and inhumane treatment, including the denial of necessary medical treatment. Recently, Mr. Karma has been placed in an isolation cell that is causing respiratory problems and has been denied adequate food and water. Additionally, Indonesian authorities have repeatedly threatened to move Mr. Karma to Nusa Kambangan Prison, which reputedly has the worst prison conditions in Papua.
Mr. Karma's case represents an unfortunate echo of Indonesia's pre-democratic era, when Indonesia regularly imprisoned political activists on unlawful grounds. Indeed, Mr. Karma's case was cited in the United States State Department 2009 Human Rights Report as an example of Indonesia's detention of political prisoners. Accordingly, Mr. Karma's release would be a welcome indication of the Government of Indonesia's otherwise robust commitment to democracy and human rights.
We urge your government uphold its commitments to international law and to its own domestic law and immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Karma.
Joseph R. Pitts
James P. Moran
Frank R. Wolf
Henry A. Waxman
Carolyn B. Maloney
Michael M. Honda
Janice D. Schakowsky
Steven R. Rothman
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
Edward J. Markey
Maurice D. Hinchey
Eni F.H. Faleomavaega
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Thank you for your support.
John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668 Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: john.m.miller
"Turkish government still caught by surprise," "The Turkish government, not the PKK, is losing,"
"'A bunch of damn Jews'," "Nouri is a trusted source?" and "Dan Choi (and First Amendment Rights) on trial" -- with no "I Hate The War" last week, the field was wide open for most requested. The above all received within 3 votes of one another. In them, C.I. takes on attacks on civilian populations, how rebels are created, anti-semiticism, the use of Nouri as a reliable source and the attack on Dan Choi and freedom of speech.
Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Great Billy Carter's Ghost!" -- Isaiah's very popular comic on the latest Obama scandal.
"Kat's Korner: It's not easy being assembly lined" -- Kat takes on the Muppets tribute album.
"Bell Pepper and Corn Casserole in the Kitchen" -- Trina covers food and the economy.
"Somerby and other things" -- Betty notes Bob Somerby.
"barack stabs the left in the back again" -- Rebecca highlights Barack's decision to stab the left, the environment, science and the EPA in the back.
"Movie, movie," "The movie marathon continues," "Movie marathon" and "Candle shoe" -- Ruth and Stan go to the movies while Ann covers radio:
"Barack's full of it" -- Kat breaks it down.
"Arianna's latest boondoggle" -- Marcia wonders how Arianna keeps getting away with it?
"State of Misunion." -- Isaiah dips into the archives for this one.
"Idiot of the Week" -- Mike hands out this week's award.
"The Great Recession" -- Trina on the never-ending Great Recession.
"An apology is needed" and "Andre Carson needs to apologize immediately" -- Betty and Marcia weigh in on a ridiculous charge.
"Tomorrow the price hike" and "Netflix" -- Stan on Netflix.
"Every thing he touches" -- Elaine notes what should be obvious to all.
"No spine, but a new hair style!" & "THIS JUST IN! WHO CALLS THE SHOTS!" -- Cedric and Wally take on Barack's awful new hair style.
"eugene mcdaniels" -- Rebecca notes a passing.
"Good for Daryl Hannah" -- Kat praises activist and actress Daryl Hannah.
"Glen Campbell" -- Elaine covers music.
"AbFab Monday?" -- Mike notes two of his sisters' favorite show.