Sunday, July 15, 2012

Truest statement of the week

News for black audiences? Forget about it. A look at the web page of the Chicago Defender on July 11 shows the pattern. In the “our city” section there are ten stories. Seven are Associated Press stories. Only 3 are written by local reporters. On the site of the Atlanta Daily World, the five top stories contain one AP piece, two press releases from local government, one press release from another source, and a single story by a local reporter. The black print press exists to sell ads, nothing more and nothing less.
It means that among the most generous sponsors of last month's NABJ national conference, was British Petroleum, the homicidal and ecocidal corporate criminal conspiracy responsible for what may have been the worst oil spill in history just offshore from New Orleans less than two years earlier. BP got to host its own “career development breakfast,” a panel of black execs from Chevron, BP and Exxon-Mobil “moderated” by a CNBC reporter. (Comcast-NBC was also a major sponsor of the conference.)
NABJ also thumbed its nose at black New Orleans in a session that presented the closing of more than a hundred New Orleans public schools and the firing of all staff, the wet dream of charter and privatization advocates, as “educational reform.” One could take a look through the conference program book and doubtless find several more examples of the distance between the professionals of NABJ and the lives led by ordinary African Americans in New Orleans as elsewhere.

--- Bruce A. Dixon, "The Black Press Is Dead, Get Over It" (Black Agenda Report).

A note to our readers

Hey --
Another Sunday.

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),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

Bruce Dixon got it.  If we'd had more time, there might have been a second one.
As always, the editorial is the last thing written.  By the time we wrote this, we were all exhausted.  It should be better but it is what it is.
Ava and C.I. yet again set standards for reporting.  This is a really good piece and it looks at the way other platforms are progressing or not in the race to reach eyeballs.

Ava and C.I. teamed with Ann for two pieces this edition.  Two published pieces.  They had already agreed they'd cover the Green Party convention.  And they went off and wrote the article.  Only to learn that Roseanne Barr, who lost the Green Party presidential nomination to Jill Stein, was stating that now she was going to run as an independent candidate.  That meant that Ann, Ava and C.I. had to start all over on a new piece.  And that's what they did.  This is really something and probably the strongest piece of the edition.

Mike, Marcia, Betty, Stan, Isaiah, Ty, Jess and me (Jim) went to parts or all of Comic-Con.  Isaiah also did the illustration for our piece.  We really do feel it's become TV-Con.  Even more than that, we're really troubled that the ideal actor to play Superman in a film made by US studios is a British citizen.

We saw the cover of the movie on Flickr and couldn't stop laughing about how much Rand looked like Christopher Walken.

We roundtabled on the Green Party convention to ensure that we'd have two pieces.  We could have had three but Jill Stein's campaign and the Green Party 'forgot' to post her speech.  It should have been posted Saturday as she began delivering it.  Next week, we'll probably do more on that.  (And if the speech is ever posted, we'll also include it in full.)

As they waited for their piece to go up, someone (Rebecca?) wondered if any other feminists were tackling the issues Ann, Ava and C.I. do in "Roseanne: The Green Party's greatest gift in 2012?"  A quick check showed that three major feminist outlets weren't even noting Jill Stein, let alone Roseanne's decision to run as an independent.

Betty had promised we'd be tackling this feature at her site last week.  And we did.

This year will be the first year that every country participating in the Olympics sends at least one woman as part of their team.  That's a historic moment.

Repost from Workers World.

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


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

Editorial: The media's continued silence on Iraq

Last week came the news of another soldier killed in the Iraq War. KFMB (video) reported:

Marcella Lee: 26-year-old Army Specialist Carl Hall III was from Harbison Canyon near Alpine, where his parents still live.  Hall was injured back in November 2011 when his convoy was hit by an IED.  Hall sustained injuries to his head and more than 40 shrapnel wounds to his leg but doctors were able to save his leg with multiple surgeries.  Hall was brought back to recover in North Caroline.  His parents say he was doing well and was able to enjoy the birth of his son.  But ended up dying due from complications related to his injuries.

Elizabeth Hall:  It was the miracle of just him being able to come home.  I was there when his son was born so he seen his son born, so he was there for that.  His son was born February 23rd so he had the four months with spirit and that was pretty much what was keeping him going.

Did you hear about the death?

We do have a free media in the US, right?

A US death from the Iraq War should be news in the United States.

There was no statement from the White House which played it as silent as the bulk of the media.

Death's are so messy and isn't it so much more fun to report on fluff?

Iraq fell of the page repeatedly last week with one exception: When a Syrian Ambassador to Iraq defected, that stayed in the news cycle for three days.

In the meantime the GAO found USAID failed it's Iraq audit, Ahmed Chalabi accused Iraqi government officials of stealing billions, it emerged that Nouri al-Maliki's close buddy Ammar al-Hakim was actually the one who'd pushed the no-confidence vote,  and Human Rights Watch issued a major report entitled [PDF format warning] "Iraq's Information Crime Law: Badly Written Provisions and Draconian Punishments Violate Due Process and Free Speech."

With all the billions the US taxpayers have poured into Iraq, you'd think the media could do some reporting.  But it appears they're as eager as the White House to vanish Iraq and pretend the illegal war never happened.

While at the same time, the same media can't stop screaming for war on Syria.  The media is a spoiled child forever demanding.  It wants a new toy!  Now!  And when it gets the new toy, it quickly breaks the new toy and then immediately starts demanding another.

If the country had a mature media, imagine how much better off we'd all be.

TV: On other media

As the way Americans view content changes, so will the providers.  The summer has seen that some old dogs can learn new tricks while others may simply need to be put down.

The success story is Yahoo! which really hasn't had an image -- let alone a brand -- since the late 90s and the cowboy yodel of "Ya-HOO!"  Their 14 episode Burning Love series concludes Monday and it's created a lot of buzz.  Oh Boy It Never Ends, Wet Paint, NBC Chicago's Scott HuverBruceBlog, and the  Houston Press are just some of the places it's popped up in the last two weeks.

These days, the Sunnyvale-based internet company generally only gets attention for bad news like the revolving CEO-door or the just-use-12345-because-we-can't-protect-your-password problems.  So the success of Burning Love is something of a surprise for the company which shut down Yahoo Buzz three months ago and has little to promote their success on.

But the Ken Marino and Erica Oyama web-comedy announced Yahoo is more than trying to compete with YouTube, it's really in the original content business.  While YouTube continues to flounder with its own offerings.  Not only does the promise that they'd deliver 100 new channels of exclusive content this year seem laughable but so does the one thing they've learned: Attractive shirtless men increase video views.  It's taken them half a year to grasp that and you have to wonder if they really thought the nearly 20 million views of Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!" official video on VEVO was all because of the talented and attractive Shania?  VEVO only launched at the end of 2009 and, in less than three years, "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!" -- a 1999 video -- has been viewed nearly 20 million times?  We'd argue the eye candy (below) didn't hurt.


 YouTube's far from the only one struggling.

Hulu launched in March 2008 and by now they know damn well that, come summer, over half their audience tunes out.  Somewhere you can hear proud parents thinking, "Well Jill and Johnny are getting some fresh air and going outdoors for a change!"  No, they're still inside, they're just using something other than Hulu for entertainment.

Summer has always revealed Hulu's weakness -- and we say that as two (check our archives) who've frequently been asked each summer to note that there is new content at Hulu.

Hulu's real popularity comes from being able to catch Revenge the day after or to watch a Parks and Recreation episode several times, enjoying the laughs non-stop.  In addition, there are the bored who web surf looking for something and come across Hulu.  During the commercial broadcast TV season, that's not a problem because they offer many of the shows on NBC, ABC, Fox and the CW.  But when summer rolls around and those networks stop airing (for the most part) new episodes of anything (or worse, airing episodes of Wipe Out!), Hulu struggles for 'hits' and 'clicks.'

It's hard for us to work up sympathy this go round because this problem comes up every summer.  This year things are worse than usual because they don't have In Plain Sight.  The USA Network's long running show wrapped up a brief fifth and final season with only eight episodes -- and they wrapped up while network TV was still airing new episodes of hit shows.  In the past, In Plain Sight aired over much of the summer and allowed Hulu to have a show that brought in viewers.  Now they've really got nothing.

But this is something they should have planned for.

They didn't.

That became clear when this summer's round of please from Hulu started.

'We've got a new Hulu exclusive,' we were told more than once.

They're referring to Prisoners of War.

Prisoners of War is about what happens when imprisoned military members are released by the 'enemy.'

If it sounds familiar you may be thinking of Showtime's Homeland.

If it sounds familiar, it's because Homeland is based on Prisoners of War.

Prisoners of War was known as Hatufim when it aired in Israel in 2010.   Before you think, "Oh, Hulu's gotten the rights to remake it," stop yourself.

Hulu's just re-airing a two-year-old foreign series.  Sky TV is re-airing it in the UK.  It's a syndication deal and it was never going to air over the air in the United States.  In fact, Hulu demonstrated real stupidity in streaming this show.

Israel?  Prisoners of war?  For a number of  Americans, Hulu just took sides in the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The reality is that Hulu was just too stupid and too starved for content to think clearly.

But reality will be lost by those who stream even a few moments of Prisoners of War.

That's because the series isn't entertainment, it's propaganda.

In the early sixties, when liberal artists felt shunned by the mainstream, they used films like Dr. Strangelove to convey messages.  In this decade, it's conservatives who felt shunned and they've resorted to shows like 24 and Homeland.  While the earlier group used humor to show what could go on, the newer group has only fear to offer.

So Homeland tells American audiences that the US Marine who is finally back home, he may actually be a sleeper for Muslim terrorists.  The X-Files warned you to "Trust no one," but really meant, "Don't trust the government."  Howard Gordon worked on The X-Files and 24 and copied (though he prefers "created") Homeland.  And with each new series, Gordon gets closer to the ugliness inside him that he wants to pretend is inside the United States.

In Israel, Prisoners of War was an immediate hit and is now considered an Israeli-TV classic.  That's not at all surprising for a country whose people are encouraged to hate and/or fear neighbors.  Gordon apparently wants to do something similar within the US.  It's not really working.  Americans with Showtime have looked at Homeland and found it wanting.

21 million people legally have Showtime and yet the average Homeland episode couldn't even break 1.5 million in viewers -- despite repeat showings.  And despite the usual idiots of the Water Cooler Set praising Claire Danes' bad performance which is all eye make up and grunts -- it's like sitting through The Mod Squad yet again.  And that's good.  It's good that the Howard Gordons haven't yet figured out how to sell hate and fear to a mass market.

Prisoners of War has figured it out.  And watching it, you have to wonder if Triumph of the Will were only two or three years old, would Hulu be eager to grab it for summer viewing and promote their 'exclusive' showing of it as well?

Hulu is the screw up of summer and Yahoo, which has everything else seemingly falling apart, can take pride in the success of Burning Love.  However, Yahoo being Yahoo, they screwed that up as well.

A ton of new eyeballs watching a Yahoo original series and Yahoo forgets to use that moment to promote their other shows?  So this summer's success may be a one off.  Even if it is, it's one more than Hulu or YouTube can point to.

Roseanne: The Green Party's greatest gift in 2012

written by Ann, Ava and C.I.

"The Green New Deal ends unemployment in America," declared Dr. Jill Stein Saturday as she gave her acceptance speech at the Green Party's national convention in Baltimore.

Before that came the delegate voting.  294 votes were offered, 17 for Kent Mesplay, 72 for Roseanne Barr and over 190 for Jill Stein.  Roseanne Barr, in fact, loomed over the convention with her absence and derogatory remarks she made starting Wednesday and continuing through Saturday.

The actress, stand-up comic and author was not pleased with the Green Party, with Jill Stein or with Jill Stein's choice of running mate.  (For more on that, see  "Roseanne Barr's sour grapes" and "Stein's choice is Honkala" from last week.)

"You're a woman," says Diana Prince (Lynda Carter) to an intruder (Jessica Walter) on "The Return of Wonder Woman," season two's first episode of Wonder Woman.  "We shouldn't be enemies."   Possibly not, but political rivals don't have to get along and, in May, Roseanne made clear she didn't get along with Jill Stein.  This was in contradiction to her earlier stance.

In February,  Christie D'Zurilla (Los Angeles Times) reported Roseanne had Tweeted, "I will run until the convention in July in Baltimore-I fully expect Jill Stein 2b the nominee& I will support her, but til then-I'll serve."  That clearly changed on Wednesday when Roseanne targeted the Green Party and Jill Stein with non-stop Tweets slamming both.  The sudden switch, on the day Dr. Stein was to announce who her running mate would be caught many by surprise.  For example, The Washington Post was only one of many outlets running articles that day about how Stein might pick Barr for her running mate.  When Stein announced Cheri Honkala (pictured below) was her running mate, The Post and others had to update their earlier reports.

cheri h

And after that announcement was made, Barr Tweeted she would not be attending the Green Party convention where she was scheduled to speak on Saturday.

"You're a woman. We shouldn't be enemies," Diana Prince said.  But that's a cartoon.  In the real world, political rivals often don't get along.  Politics is a competition and there's no reason for candidates to 'play nice.' That's especially true of women where the dictates to get along stems not from sisterhood but from sexist images of what women should be (genteel).  Hiding behind 'sisterhood,' a number of women trashed former US House Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman in 1992 when she decided to run for US Senator.  To get the Democratic Party nomination, she would first have to face a number of challengers and it wasn't the male challengers that had a number of women in a tizzy, it was Geraldine Ferraro.  Cries of 'how can she do that to Gerry?' became common place throughout the primary.  Why couldn't she run a serious campaign?  And if she had questions about Ferraro's ethics, why couldn't she and shouldn't she put them front and center?

Ferraro didn't have a great deal of success in Congress when she served in the House of Representatives when compared to Holtzman's tenure (Holtzman served eight years, Ferraro served six) but Ferraro had been the first woman to be named a vice presidential candidate by one of the United States' two dominant parties (in 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale named Ferraro as his running mate).  For her loss in 1984 and her historical first, some argued that every woman needed to step aside and let Gerry stroll to the nomination.

That's not politics.  No one expected the men to play that way but Holtzman was repeatedly attacked within the press for not being 'ladylike.'

So we say, "Good for Roseanne."  She's not happy and she's not going to pretty it up.  This isn't a beauty contest and everyone doesn't have to be all smiles and hugs.

Some will argue Roseanne's doing damage with her comments about racism in the Green Party.  The one doing damage?  A presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate who are still uncomfortable responding to the charges.  They better get used to it.  Roseanne announced today she's still running for president -- an independent run -- and has dubbed her campaign the Green Tea Party movement.

Why is Roseanne running?


Maybe for similar reasons that Jill Stein pictured above) gave Saturday.

Dr. Jill Stein:  I keep fighting because when it comes to our children, mothers don't give up. [. . .] In fact, the politics of fear has brought us everything we were afraid of.  What democracy needs is not fear and silence but voices and values.  It's time to answer the politics of fear with the politics of courage.

Roseanne was the story going into the convention and she remains the story now.

What is Jill Stein's Green New Deal Program?

We don't know and we won't know if Jill Stein doesn't know how to campaign.

In accepting the vice presidential nomination on Saturday, Cheri Honkala declared, "I stand here today as a formerly homeless mother, a single mother of two children, Mark [Webber] and Guillermo Santos."

[Disclosure C.I. loosely knows Mark Webber and finds him impressive. C.I. also knows Roseanne and finds her "inspiring and insightful."]

That's an interesting story.  It's one that goes to her experience and her qualifications.

She continued, "Something just didn't seem right to me, especially that day when I had to tell my nine-year-old son Mark that we were no longer going to be living in an apartment.  Instead, we would have to move in to our car.  But on a cold winter night in Minnesota, I lost my home the car when I parked my car and a drunk driver hit and totaled it.  Unable to find shelter in the dead of the winter in Minnesota, I faced an important decision: Occupy a heated, abandoned house or risk freezing to death on the streets of America."

Campaigning is getting your message out and you have to do that beyond a political convention attended by your supporters.

The problem every four years for the Green Party and other third party and independent candidates is that the media has no real interest in them.  Roseanne's given the Green Party a huge gift.


Roseanne is very popular and has a large fan base.  They're aware of Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala as a result.  Roseanne also is a name who has to be covered.  That benefits Stein-Honkala as well.  Add in that, as Roseanne herself will admit, there are members of the media who just don't like Roseanne (witness the creation of a scandal out of her performance of the National Anthem during Poppy Bush's presidency).  When the media's hostile to one side, the other side starts out ahead of the game.

For the second time, the Green Party has nominated an all woman presidential ticket.  That's good and it's good for women.  What Roseanne's doing is also good for women.  She's showing that you don't clutch the pearls, you don't run and hide, it's not the woman's job to smooth things over.  Yet again, Roseanne's advancing the notions of women before a nation wide audience.  

As a result, this could be the Green Party's most visible presidential race.  But that only happens if Stein and Honkala learn to pick up the ball.  Roseanne's out on the court, shooting hoops while Stein and Honkala are sitting in the bleachers.  All their pretty words at the convention don't mean a damn thing if they can't compete with Roseanne.

That is what they're in right now, a political competition.  If they want to be taken seriously, we don't need a repeat of 2008 when certain non-Democratic Party and non-Republican Party candidates walked away from events that would have garnered serious attention (including an announced debate that Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney walked out on for a set of reasons that differed depending upon what outlet she was speaking to).  You're a third party, you need to be tough and you need to be strong.  You need to be out there with your message every day.  (Yet they can't even post the text to Jill Stein's acceptance speech at the Green Party's website or Stein's own website over 24 hours after she's given the speech.)

Accepting her nomination, Jill Stein declared, "Without our voices, there will be no real debate.  We intend to drive that debate forward."  But Roseanne threw down the gauntlet on Wednesday and Stein and Honkala still have no ready response to Roseanne's remarks and challenge.  If Stein and Honkala can meet the challenge Roseanne's offering -- and run a more visible and stronger campaign as a result -- or they can continue in the current fashion and make Roseanne's argument for her: That they're nor really ready to run for office, let alone be elected to run one.

Comic-Con 2012: The Comics Vanish

written by Jim, Jess, Ty, Betty, Marcia, Stan, Isaiah and Mike.

The big shocker at Comic-Con in San Diego was that American studios don't like American actors.  No, we're not talking about Olivia D'Abo.  The British actress is best known for The Wonder Years but her voice over work also includes Black Widow in Ultimate Avengers II: The Rise of the Panther and she'll again be the Justice League's Star Saphire in the upcoming animated film Justice League Doom.


Though we're not talking about her, she was at Comic-Con on Thursday, meeting fans, signing autographs and either having the time of her life or just acting like she was.  She was a huge hit.  So was another person and that's who we're talking about.  Henry Cavill showed up Saturday with footage from the upcoming Superman flick and director Zach Snyder.

It was sometime after the weeper and the man with the fake mustache and others asked questions that actor Cavill was finally asked a question.  He babbled on, "It is pretty intense. I'm not going to lie."

And you sort of just stared.

The too-old and too-tired stand-up comic Chris Hardwick was and he rushed in to insist, "It's the face and the voice that gets you. ' Hey! Hey! These damn Brits are coming over and taking superhero jobs from Americans!'"  He did the last part in a mock southern accent that only made Hardwick sound stupid.

And though others fawned (including a young woman who asked for Cavill's name card on the table), the mood of the room really didn't recover.  After, as people filed out, you could hear the carping.  "Batman's British" (Christian Bale), one said with another rolling his eyes and nodding before a woman noted Andrew Garfield (the new Spider-Man) was British (he's also American).

Batman and Spider-Man?  Who really cares?  But Superman is supposed to be the red-white-and-blue, the American superhero.  It would be like casting Tom Hardy as Captain America.  We like Tom Hardy, he's a great actor.  And we wouldn't mind him playing any Marvel superhero except Captain America or any DC hero except Superman.

If that was the shocker, the big stand out was TV.  Or rather, how many TV shows were represented.  Everyone wants to promote their shows.  Some did better than others.

True Blood was more of a thank-you to fans and less of a promotion.  It was also a very genteel or dull event.  Creator and show runner Alan Ball was game and tossing around the f-word while discussing  sex scenes on the coming season.  Maybe following The Vampire Diaries on Saturday sucked out the energy.  Or maybe sex really isn't a fun panel subject in a roomful of people?  Or maybe teases who won't even flex their muscles bring down the energy of the room?

Once Upon A Time had the perfect fit of panel and audience -- both were boring.  But that's to be expected of the Richie Rich of sci-fi shows.   The crowd appeared to have wondered in from a Peter, Paul and Mary concert and they all showed appropriate concern as child actor Jared Gilmore emoted in a clip of the coming season.  Breaking Bad was also a case of panel matching audience as the small story-ied show congregated with its small-minded viewers to the point that we feared that they might all start chanting, "'One of us.  One of us."

The two clear winners were Nikita (CW) and ABC's upcoming 666 ParkNikita found the show ready to hint about the future and a panel that was relaxed and ready to have fun.  666 Park showed their entire pilot and then started the panel.  Vanessa Williams received a thundering ovation which was all the more surprising since she's not done comics or sci-fi. Consider the actress and singer to be the genre cross-over actress and she had the best smile of anyone at the convention.

TV-Con, er, Comic-Con had little to do with comics unless you counted all those how-to seminars (Marvel had the worst).  In fact, the only thing really putting the comic into Comic-Con were the fans.

We saw ninjas and turtles, Batmans and Black Widows, Green Lanterns and Iron Mans, Supergirls and Spider-Mans.  And tons and tons of Wonder Women.  Wonder Woman easily remains the most popular dress-up choice for the convention.  It's worth remembering that NBC -- attempting to sell Grimm and a new show Revolution this year -- shot down a Wonder Woman 2011.  If only half those Wonder Women were to watch an NBC show of their favorite comic book hero, the show would easily outpace Awake and 30 Rock in the ratings.

Comic-Con concludes today in San Diego but the convention's best panel took place Friday.  Hasbro put on a a one hour panel about their Star Wars toys including an advanced look at some upcoming toys.

Movie In A Minute, Quick Review

netflix walken

Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged is a 2011 film which begs the question: Is there any role Christopher Walken won't take?


Jim: It's roundtable time and this will address the Green Party mainly and possibly only.  We're all face to face for a nice change.  Our e-mail address is Usually participating our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; 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; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. That's true today except for Ava, C.I. and Ann who are working on a piece about the Green Party convention.  Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.  No one's taking notes, we're recording it and I've asked people to try to speak slowly so whomever loses the draw and ends up typing can do so easily.


Jim (Con't): The Green Party is a third party in the United States.  Jess and Ann are Greens.  Betty and others are planning to vote Green.  I'll start with Betty.  You remain a Democrat, you're going to vote for the Green Party presidential candidate.  Give me one reason why anyone else should.

Betty: The Green Party is on the ballot in 21 states.  To maintain their position on the ballot, they need votes.  To get on the ballot in new states, they need votes.  I can't vote for a War Hawk like Barack.  I have a vote and my using it on the Green Party helps the ballot access issue.

Jim: Alright.  Jess, you didn't vote Green in 2004 or 2008.  In both of those elections, you voted for Ralph Nader.  This year?

Jess: I'll be voting Green.  Ralph Nader was demonized for the 2000 election -- and no matter what bitchy Bob Somerby wants to whine, Nader didn't cost Al Gore the election.  If Ralph were running this year, I'd consider voting for him just because I can't stand liars like Bob Somerby.  Ralph's not running so the Green's have my vote.

Jim:  Jill Stein became the Green Party's presidential nominee on Saturday.  Wednesday, she announced her running mate.  Trina covered it with  "Time for some brave move," Ruth with  "Roseanne Barr's sour grapes," C.I. with "Stein's choice is Honkala" and Elaine with "Big Day for the Green Party."  Let me start with Ruth.  Roseanne Barr.  Explain it to us.

Ruth: Roseanne Barr is the comic and actress, very talented, I am a big fan.  In an earlier roundtable, I expressed that I liked her as a candidate for president.  I noted that Trina knew Jill Stein the candidate because she'd run for governor in Trina's state.  Roseanne said she was running just to help the Green Party get attention and that Jill Stein would be the candidate and make a great one.  Dr. Stein went on to win the delegates required, that made her the nominee.  There was speculation that Roseanne would be her running mate.  I want to bring Kat in here.  In that earlier roundtable, Kat and I both wanted Roseanne to run for real.  We would both have chosen her over Jill Stein at that point.  Kat, Roseanne as running mate, your thoughts?

Kat: That would have been ridiculous. Not because Roseanne couldn't make a great vice president, she could.  But having gone on the record that her run wasn't for real, if Stein had chosen her, it would have made Stein's run a question mark.  I like Roseanne.  But she eliminated herself.

Ruth: And I agree with Kat.  So Wednesday, as I noted in my piece, Roseanne took to Twitter with one remark after another, announced she would not be at the Green Party convention and much more.

Jim: And what does this mean?  Why was she mad?

Rebecca: She was mad, study the Twitter feed, because she wasn't picked.  She was upset.  I think she was upset that she wasn't picked for the running mate and I think she was upset that Jill Stein bested her in the delegate race.

Jim: And if the media follows this is it what?  The media creating a catfight?  The media doing what?

Elaine: No, it's not a catfight.  I understand why you ask that and I'm glad that you self-check but that's not what's happened.  Two people ran for the same slot and only one can get it.  The one who didn't isn't happy.  And?  This has nothing to do with their gender.  Just yesterday, CNN was reporting on Rick Santorum 'burying the hatchet' with Mitt Romney.  That's two men.  Their race was bitter and it took time for Santorum to come around.  That's two men, why can't two women be the same?  It might take Roseanne time to come around for Jill Stein. Then again, she may never come around.

Jim: You really think that's possible?

Elaine: Absolutely.  She was implying that they were racists, the entire Green Party leadership.  She was trashing the entire party in her Tweets on Wednesday.  There's no real reason for her to make peace and I don't think it's a given that she will.

Jim: If she does, will it be news?

Stan: Yes.  If she comes around, it should be big news.  I'm with Elaine, I don't think she will come around.  I think she's staked out ground that it's too hard to walk away from.  When she floated racism, she made it really hard for her to have anything to do with the Green Party anytime soon.  What I find especially interesting is that Amy Goodman discovered the Green Party on Friday's show.

Dona: Absolutely.  Let's give credit where it's earned: That's Ava and C.I.  While so many Green Party members were happy to take morsels from Amy Goodman, Ava and C.I., in their roles of media critics, called out the crap and slop Goodman's offered every four years for the Green Party.

Jess: Agreed.  The party should have pushed back.  Instead, they were happy to have their entire convention reduced to a brief headline in 2008.

Wally: While Goodman devoted a week to the Democratic Party's political convention and a week to the Republican's.  And expanded each daily show during that week to two hours.

Dona: An hour, minus headlines.  That's what Amy gave.  And she wouldn't have done that if Ava and C.I. hadn't put on the pressure for the last four years.

Jess: Right.  The Green Party should have been pressuring her.  Should have been pressuring PBS as well.  But they didn't.  And they took what they got.  Ava and C.I., two non-Greens, were more than happy to call out the imbalance and make demands.  They roused a lot of people with their critique of how, in 2008, the GOP convention got 10 hours of coverage, the Democratic convention got 10 hours and the Green Party got a single headline for their entire coverage. About ten lines of text.  That's all they got.

Dona: So give credit to Ava and C.I. that the Green Party finally got an hour.  It's still not equal to what the Dems and Republicans get.  But it's a huge improvement.  Hopefully, this will continue on Monday with the broadcast of Stein's acceptance speech.

Jim: Okay.  Dr. Jill Stein chose someone else.  Who did she choose, Isaiah?

Isaiah: Cheri Honkala.   She's an anti-poverty advocate.  She's been homeless.  She was a single mother.  She's currently the National Cooridnator of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.  And to drop back to Roseanne, it needs to be noted, she hasn't stopped Tweeting.

Jim: Oh really?  I wasn't aware of that.  Anyone?  Nope, just you, Isaiah.  Tell us what's going on.

Isaiah: Prior to Jill Stein's being announced the candidate on Saturday, Roseanne was Tweeting for Stein to chose someone else as her running mate, specifically "Farheen" who I take to mean Farheen Hakeem.

Jim: Who is he or she?

Isaiah: She.  She's from Minneapolis.  She's been running for office since 2005, she's 36-years-old.  She's currently running for the legislature in her state.  I wish her well with that but I'm not seeing how she surpasses someone with a life long history of activism on poverty.

Ty: I don't --

Jim: What, Ty?

Ty: I think Roseanne's a great artist and I'm not trying to pick on her but I'm going to say this.  Certain White people are people of color's biggest champion when they can use us as a club to hit someone else over the head with.  I pulled up Farheen Hakeem.  She's as unqualified as Rosa Clemente.  One of the reasons I supported Nader in 2008 and not Cynthia McKinney was that idiot Rosa Clemente.  Now Farheen Hakeem might be a nice person and might believe in all the right things.  But Honkala's long history of activism is real work that people can point to and say, "Look what's she spent her life doing."

Jim:And you're saying there's a chance that Roseanne's fixating on her because it backs up her "They're racists!" claim and also makes it look like she's on noble ground.  Cedric, your thoughts on that?

Cedric:  Roseanne has a history of speaking out for people of color.  Like anyone -- White, Black, what have you -- she can make comments and structure them so that she comes out pure and her opponents don't.  That could be true here.  It could be false.  I'd give her the benefit of the doubt because of what she's done in the past.  But I also agree that Honkala's the better pick.

Jim: Marcia, where you are standing on the ticket?

Marcia: Stein is my dream candidate.  I need to find out where the Green Party stands in my state in terms of ballot issues.  Is my vote really necessary?  If so, I'll vote for Stein.  If not? If the race looks close, I may end up voting for Mitt Romney.  I'm not taking another four years of Barack Obama.  If I'm going to boo and hiss the asshole in the White House at least let him be a Republican.

Wally: Or one who admits to being a Republican.

Marcia: Exactly.  Barack's awful for the party.  He makes Democrats compromise and accept things they never should.  For the people he's killed in the Drone Wars, for everything he's done, he needs to be gone and the Democrats need to regroup and figure out what they stand for because since Barack's been in the White House, the Democratic Party stands for exactly what the Republican Party did when Bush was holed up in the White House.

Wally: I agree with Marcia.  And that's why I've switched my voter registration back to Florida.  I just bought a house there and I'm aware that Florida's going to be an important state.  It's my home state, it's where I grew up and my mom and granddad live there.

Jim: So, like Marcia you could vote for Mitt Romney?

Wally: For the reasons that Marcia just gave, yes, I could.  And to be clear, this is an argument that Betty's been advancing for some time.  She's the one who got Marcia and I seriously thinking about this.

Jim: That's right.  I forgot that.  Betty, closing thoughts?

Betty: I hope this is going to be a serious run.  In Jill Stein's acceptance speech Saturday, she didn't pull punches and she didn't act like she was a kid hoping to be seated at the adults' table.  She called out Barack Obama, she called out Mitt Romney.  If that's the kind of campaign she's going to run, I can support that.  If not, I can either not vote or vote for Mitt Romney.  

Jim: Okay.  Ava, C.I. and Ann just finished their piece and have rejoined us.  C.I. passed a note to me asking if Ann could speak for just a moment.  So Ann's going to be our last word.

Ann: There's a candidate running that hasn't been mentioned: Roseanne Barr.

Jim: No, we covered that she lost the Green Party nomination.

Ann: Right, but she's launched an independent run.  She's calling it the Green Tea Party movement.

Jim: We did not know that.  Is it dealt with in the piece you wrote?

Ann: It is.  We were going to focus on the convention in our report.  But Roseanne's announcement meant we rewrote the piece.  We think she's now the most important player on the field.

Jim: Alright.  We all look forward to reading it.  That's going to be it. This has been a rush transcript. 

We're sick of this s**t (Ann, Ava and C.I.)

We wrote two pieces about Jill Stein's presidential campaign for this edition.  The first one focused on Saturday's Green Party convention.  Then we found out Roseanne Barr was still in the race, announcing she was making an independent run for the presidency and that made our completed article seem dated (to put it mildly).  So we quickly went to work on a new article that factored in the Roseanne equation.

And after we did, we wanted to see if we'd been 'scooped' by any other feminists so we went to various feminist outlets.  We started with Women's Media Center


It was there that we found, "In the wake of hints from the Romney presidential campaign that it may be considering a woman for the vice-presidential slot on the ticket, Women's Media Center board member Gloria Feldt was on America's Radio News Network to talk about media treatment given to female political candidates, and what kind of effect it may have on other women considering a run."  Media treatment given to female political candidates?

Where's the write up on Roseanne -- who's been getting major press since February? -- or on Jill Stein?  We remember 2008.  It took criticism here -- non-stop criticism -- to finally get WMC to do one report on Cynthia McKinney, the only woman running for president in the general election in 2008.  And one article is all WMC could ever offer.  So, Gloria Feldt, you look a little stupid and Women's Media Center looks a little whorish talking about how other outlets treated "female political candidates."

We went to NOW -- the National Organization for Women -- which still has scabs from the scars of 2008.  We found out that NOW PAC had endorsed Obama and Biden -- why not, global cuts in reproductive funding are something any whore for the Democratic Party can get behind, right? We wondered where Jill Stein was?  It was known weeks ago she would be the Green Party's presidential candidate.  She received coverage from The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, and much more in the last days.  But not a damn word from the National Organization FOR Women?


Nobody's asking NOW or WMC to endorse Jill Stein.  Two of us (Ava and C.I.) don't even plan on voting in the presidential election at this point.  We assumed other people can make up their own minds.  It's a shame supposed outlets for women think or treat their audience like mindless little girls who can't think for themselves.

Did someone say Ms. blog?

 ms. blogger

There we can find A Zodiac Lesbian poets and find out about women in other countries.  But any women running for the White House?  Oh, forget it.

In 2008, feminist 'leaders' demonstrated that they could be little bitches.  It's that offensive?  So was your behavior in 2008.  You need to get over your damn selves.  You've made your endorsement, you've whored your asses like good little tools of the patriarchy.  Unless you now intend to go on sabbatical until after the 2012 elections, you need to start covering women.  You don't have to like them, you don't have to endorse them, you don't have to vote for them.  But if you're going to self-present as feminists, you better damn well find a way to cover women running for the highest office in this country or accept the fact that 2012 is going to be another embarrassing year for women.

Remember kids, it's Crapapedia

As Betty noted last week, there's a reason Ava and C.I. call it: "Crapapedia."

Annie Hall can rightly be called an American classic.

annie hall

Crapapedia calls it something else.  From the Paddy Chayefsky entry: "Sidney Aaron 'Paddy' Chayefsky (January 29, 1923 -- August 1, 1981), was an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He is the one of only two people to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay (the other being Woody Allen). The other three time winners, Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, have all shared their awards with co-writers.[1]"


Woody Allen has won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay?

In what world?

Woody won an Academy Award for Best Director (Annie Hall).  He won three other Academy Awards for screenplays (Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters and Midnight in Paris).

Do you see the problem?

Crapapedia and it's jerk-off boiz have yet again created an 'accomplishment' for one of their favorites -- an accomplishment that doesn't exist.

Marshall Brickman performed with John and Michelle Phillips in The New Journeyman.  While John and Michelle became Papa John and Mama Michelle (the Mamas and the Papas), Brickman became a screenwriter. 

Annie Hall was written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman.  See the first illustration above (back cover of Annie Hall DVD) above or look at that section enlarged below.

annie hall credits

Which means Crapapedia is wrong.  Currently Paddy Chayesfsky is the only screenwriter to win the Acadamy Award for Best Screenplay three solo times.   Woody Allen, like Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, has won three times but not three times solo.

Women go to the Olympics

11 days until the London Summer Olympics.

Dania Hussein, Iraqi sprinter will be competing in the 100 meter run.

Dania Hussein

This will be her second Olympic appearance, she also competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Bejing.  Hussein will be part of a historic moment as   Emily Alpert (Los Angeles Times) reported last week, "For the first time in Olympic history, every country will have a woman competing on its team, including longtime holdout Saudi Arabia, the International Olympic Committee announced Thursday. Brunei and Qatar will also send female athletes to the London Games for the first time."

Turkey puts progressives on trial (Workers World)

Repost from Workers World:

Turkey puts progressives on trial

Published Jul 6, 2012 6:23 PM
Ayşe Berktay coordinated worldwide mobilizations in 2002 and 2003 trying to stop the U.S.-British war of aggression against Iraq. This writer met her at the European Social Forum in Paris in November 2003. She was representing the Turkish peace movement; I was representing the International Action Center as part of the U.S. anti-war movement.

Ayşe Berktay
We had been unable to stop the imperialists from launching the war and occupying Iraq. We would at least make sure their media weren’t the only ones writing the war’s history. The movement organized a series of people’s tribunals pointing to the governments and generals of the U.S., Britain and their allies as the top war criminals of the 21st century.
Berktay came across during the Social Forum as someone who would defend her ideas, but would also be aware that a united front of organizations would be needed to carry out the actions. And she would make sure to hold it together. One imagined she might play that role also in Turkey, where the last of the tribunals found George W. Bush, Tony Blair and the others guilty of war crimes.
Thus, it was with anger and dismay that we learned that Berktay was one of many political activists that the Turkish authorities arrested in October 2011. That the Turkish government is repressive is no surprise; there must be thousands unjustly arrested and imprisoned in that NATO country. Remember, the Turkish regime is right now threatening its neighbor, Syria, in collaboration with its imperialist senior partners in Western Europe and North America.
Below are excerpts from a statement issued by those who participated in the 2004-2005 tribunals. We fully support their effort to send a delegation to Turkey to observe the trial of Berktay and others and to show their solidarity with the political prisoners:
“During the past three years, the Turkish state has imprisoned some 8,000 citizens under the guise of fighting terrorism. In a wave of detentions known as the ‘KCK operations,’ it has targeted activists, academics, journalists, lawyers, students, elected officials, translators and publishers on account of their democratic activities in support of the rights demanded by Kurdish citizens in Turkey.
“In particular, numerous members and supporters of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) — which has 36 elected representatives in the Turkish Parliament — have been criminalized and imprisoned on the pretext that they are alleged members of the Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), a group which the Turkish state claims to be the urban branch of an armed organization known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Professor Busra Ersanli is the best known of those who were thus imprisoned in 2011, together with the publisher Ragip Zarakolu, who has since been released.
“We now wish to focus public attention on Ayşe Berktay (Hacimirzaoglu), a respected translator, researcher and global peace and justice activist. Since her arrest in October 2011 during the ‘KCK operations,’ she has been held in pre-trial detention in Bakirkoy Women’s Prison in Istanbul. Nine months after her initial incarceration, Ayşe Berktay’s trial, along with others, is scheduled to run from July 2 to July 13 in Silivri, near Istanbul.
“As participants in the former World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) network, we have now formed an international delegation to observe the trial of Ayşe Berktay. She helped found the World Tribunal on Iraq in 2003, and was a principal organizer of its culminating session in Istanbul. We know Ayşe Berktay to be a person of great integrity and honesty. She is not a terrorist, but an idealist who is committed to peace and democracy.
“We will return to Istanbul to register our solidarity with Ayşe Berktay and others who have been targeted as alleged terrorists for democratically challenging the Turkish state’s violent handling of the ‘Kurdish issue’ in Turkey. We recognize that the ‘KCK operations’ are used to spread fear among activists, silence public dissent, and normalize the arbitrary arrest of citizens.
“We urge the Turkish government to stop suppressing democratic efforts in support of rights demanded by Kurdish citizens in Turkey. We urge the Turkish government to stop criminalizing activism under the guise of counter-terrorism. We demand the immediate release of Ayşe Berktay and all political prisoners in Turkey!
“The delegation includes Italian attorney Fabio Marcelli, International Association of Democratic Lawyers; Spanish attorney Maria Louisa Martin Abia, IADL member; Lieven De Cauter, professor at Leuven University, Belgium, president of the BRussells Tribunal, co-founder of the WTI; Tony Simpson, director of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation; Paloma Valverde, coordinator of the Spanish antiwar organization CEOSI; Pedro Rojo, coordinator of CEOSI; Ayça Çubukçu, assistant professor in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science; and Patrick Deboosere, co-founder of the BRussells Tribunal and the WTI.”
See the petition at See Ayşe Berktay’s letter from prison at


This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"Hejira" -- most requested highlight of the week.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "I Want Four More Years" -- Isaiah on Barack's wants.
"Corn and black eyed peas in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers a simple recipe that can be a salad or a dip.

"7 men" and "7 men" --  Ann had two posts entitled 7 men and, for those e-mailing, neither she nor Ava and C.I. have forgotten that they're going to do a piece on Talk of the Nation shortly.

"green jobs?" -- Rebecca notes that the definition is rather elastic.

"Stevie Nicks" -- Kat weighs in on favorite Stevie music.

"Serenity"  and "This Means War" -- Marcia and Stan go to the movies.

"Burning Love" -- Stan also weighs in on the web comedy.

"Al Distraction" -- Isaiah dips into the archives for when Al Sharpton declared war on comics.

"ObamaCare still unpopular" -- Even after the verdict, Elaine shows us, ObamaCare is still not popular.
"Not the way to talk about your fans" -- Mike goes to Comic-Con.  And, yes, we have an article on Comic-Con for this edition.

"He tells you what he wants, what he really, really wants" and "THIS JUST IN! WHAT A GIRL WANTS!" -- America was denied their first woman president but they appear to have gotten their first girly-man.

"Mitt's speech," "Romney and the NAACP," "Talk about embarrassing" and  "4 men, 2 women" -- Betty, Marcia, Stan and Ann weigh in on Mitt's NAACP speech.

"oh, speak up, joe biden" and "oh, shut up, joe biden" -- Rebecca on Biden's campaigning.
 "Time for some brave move," "Roseanne Barr's sour grapes," "Stein's choice is Honkala" and
"Big Day for the Green Party" -- Trina, Ruth, C.I. and Elaine on Jill Stein's announcement of her running mate.
 "Crapapedia" -- Betty weighs in on that website.  (And, yes, we have the feature she spoke of for this week.)

"I Miss America" -- Ruth's thoughts on the landscape.

"Spying and sushi" -- Mike's grab bag post.

"THIS JUST IN! HE STILL STRUGGLES!" and "The deadlock" -- Wally and Cedric point out that the race remains tight.

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