Sunday, February 05, 2017


Jim: Roundtable time.  Remember our e-mail address is  Participating in 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. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't):  We're in the age of Trump.  Thoughts?

Trina: I agreed with Michael Wolff on CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES today.  The media's battling Donald Trump and losing.

Jess: That was an interesting conversation, wasn't it?  Host Brian Stelter just didn't seem to get it.

Rebecca: I think the show greatly suffers due to the fact that Stelter is a baby.  Howard Kurtz wasn't a kid.  People think, because Stelter's bald, that's he's old but he's only 31-years-old, he has no sense of history -- not even media history -- and it leads him to jump to ill informed conclusions and to be grossly melodramatic.

Cedric: I would agree completely with that.  He's too young to be hosting the program he hosts.  He's too young to be making those weekly pronouncements -- "to the camera," as Wolff said -- and he comes off like an idiot.

Isaiah: He's 31.  That means, what?  8 years of Barack?  That takes him to 23. 8 years of Bully Boy Bush and that takes him to 15.  That's his whole world.  He's not experienced enough to be hosting a program on the media.  He lacks the wisdom and the insight.

Ruth: I could and did disagree with Howard Kurtz when he hosted.  But I could understand where he was coming from.  Mr. Stelter is just so over the top about the least incident that it is too much to watch him.

Trina: He's the Mountain Dew X-Tream Sport version of a media gadfly -- gadfly, not critic.  CNN would do well to dump him.

Rebecca: And that's before you factor in the fact that he's highly unphotogenic in a visual medium.

Ty: And his immaturity on camera is reflective of the hyper knee jerk atmosphere of today's media -- especially in their dealings with Donald Trump.

Jim: Is the media winning the war with Trump?  Or are they losing like Wolff argued?

Trina: I'd say they are losing over and over.  I'd say they're embarrassing themselves.

Ann: I'd agree.  And it goes to the Stelter approach.  Let's just deal with lying.  If Donald Trump is wrong, it's lying.  It's lying, lying, lying.  If Barack Obama claims to have visited all 57 states -- when the US has 50 states -- the media shrugs.  SNOPES will even offer a so-called 'fact check' that includes "an obviously tired" -- what?  Who cares if he was tired?  He said it.  It was wrong.  You don't offer those excuses for others but you do for him.  It's always been a biased system.

Wally: Right, they're playing favorites.  Anyone honest can admit that.  Joe Biden was a gaffe prone disaster but they liked him so the media didn't go out of their way to humiliate him the way they do to name call Donald Trump.  They're damaging themselves in so many ways.

Marcia: Including their own images because they don't look fair or impartial.  They come off like partisan activists and not journalists.  And every time some disgraced idiot like Dan Rather takes to the talk shows to talk about how now the times are different it just reminds you that Dan Rather was fired by CBS and left in disgrace.

Dona: And it's sickening -- this talk of 'now it's different' or 'now more than ever.'  I'm sorry where were you the last 8 years?

Marcia: Exactly.  Again, they don't look at all impartial.

Jim: Okay, into the e-mails.  Last week's "Media Collapse (Ava and C.I.)" got a ton of e-mails and requests that Ava and C.I. do that every week.  Which they won't do.

Ava: No, we won't.  We're not a juke box, we don't play the same song over and over.

Jim: But there was a huge appreciation for what they did.  FYI, their response to that is always to go another direction.  As Ava said, they aren't a juke box.  C.I. usually says she's not going to stand on stage and perform greatest hits.

Elaine: And they're right to take that approach, it's why they have a body of work.  I'm really blown away by their body of work over the last 12 years.  They've done humor, they've done hard hitting analysis and reporting, they've done parody.  They've got this huge body of work and the impact they've had can be felt and noticed.

C.I.: Spoken like a true friend, thank you.

Elaine: And I am but I'm also being honest.  Sunny and I ended up talking twice last week just about the writing Ava and C.I. have been doing.  It is amazing.

Jim: I would absolutely agree with you, Elaine.  They register and make an impact and that's evident every week in the e-mails alone as well as in what's being read.  Stan, you cover movies and TV at your site and we have an e-mail from Martina who says thank you for that because she's so sick of politics.

Stan: I think we all are.  I think we're also all sick of awards shows being turned into political party conventions.

Betty: Amen.  And I agree with Stan's "The award goes to . . . SOUTHPARK" that SOUTHPARK is really the only political humor worth applauding.  Maya Rudolph destroyed her own chances of being a variety star with that dreadful one sided MAYA & MARTY.  I didn't know we were going to bring up Ava and C.I.'s writing, which is great, agreed, but I did grab their "TV: MAYA & MARTY" and sorry, I'm doing a long excerpt.

Rosie O'Donnell loves the format but she bombed in November 2008 because she mistook YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS for political satire.

It's a mistake Lorne Michaels again made last week when MAYA & MARTY debuted on NBC.

The mistake NBC made was letting Lorne Michaels produce to begin with.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is a struggling staple that's been airing since 1975.  Other than a break in the 80s, Lorne's been responsible the entire time.

Maybe a 71-year-old isn't the best bet for producing a variety show?

He's built up so much ill will over the years and being given THE TONIGHT SHOW and moving it to New York City did not help.

Now he's done his one trick dog and pony show yet again and a smarter network would be easing him out and turning to some of the talent that's been putting on their winter live theater events instead.

Maybe a non-elderly man who wasn't cloistered in Manhattan would've realized last week's skit mocking Melania Trump was crossing a line?

Melania Trump, for those who do not know, is the latest woman unfortunate enough to be married to Donald Trump.

For some reason, she was mocked by Maya Rudolph in a skit whose 'humor' revolved around the fact that Melania has an accent because she was born in Slovenia.

That's progressive humor?

Mocking someone because of their accent?

Turning them into "the other"?

It's amazing how often, on the left, we drop our beliefs if we think it will help us.  It's why so many will quickly traffic in racism (hello, David Brock) or sexism (Keith Olbermann, you are never forgotten) to attempt a takedown 'from the left.'

It was a disgusting moment.

It was also a puzzling one.

If you needed to do political -- and we honestly do not believe a summer variety show needs to -- skit, last week it would have made more sense to do a skit about Hillary Clinton's e-mails since all of her public statements were rebuked by the report from the State Department's Inspector General.

So a skit on that would have at least passed for timely.

Even stranger still, the skit featured Kate McKinnon.

That would be the same McKinnon whose been getting laughs this year and last on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE for her impersonation of candidate Hillary Clinton.

But McKinnon didn't play Hillary.

She just participated in a tasteless skit making fun of the fact that a foreign-born person had an accent.

It was offensive and it wasn't funny -- not even in a so-crudely-offensive-you-laugh-in-shock manner.

Betty (Con't): It was one-sided humor.  It's why the show sucked.  They're making fun of Trump by attacking his wife's accent and it's the week that Hillary's claims about the e-mails were shown to be false by the IG report.  But even though the hideous Kate McKinnon appeared on the episode, there was no Hillary skit.  It's been one-sided and the world has noticed.  SOUTHPARK went after everyone.

Jim: Great point.  Another e-mail asks about Wally and Cedric.  You two do joint-posts and it appeared to some that you were dropping to one post a week?

Cedric: We're just tired.

Wally: Last week we got five.

Cedric: We're going to try for that this week.  Our big problem goes back to the point earlier about the press.  Everything about the presidency turns into a OMG moment, an it's-the-end-of-the-world time.  Exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point.

Wally: We're parodying and mocking.  It's a little hard to do that when the press is making a mockery of journalism in their own actions.

Ty: On another e-mail, Christina asks why some artists on our "This edition's playlist" get a link and some don't?

Dona: We link to living artists.  We do link to Cass Elliot but she's the only one who's dead that we link to.  In terms of the albums themselves, if Kat's reviewed them or someone's written about the album at their sites, we usually include that link.

Jess: Wendy wants Mike to answer why there are "Highlights" some week and some week there are not?

Mike: Every week, we try to do that but we're tired -- like Cedric and Wally were saying -- and sometimes too tired.  Now at least once -- when Ruth wrote something -- we made the decision to just repost what she wrote because we thought it was so strong and right on.  I don't think we're gong to get to the topic a number of us wanted to talk about -- supposed interest in protecting Muslims.  I want to point out that these same 'concerned' people were no where to be found in 2014 when THE INTERCEPT was reporting that 5 Muslim Americans were being spied on by the NSA: Faisal Gill, Asim Ghafoor, Hooshang Amirahmadi, Agha Saeed and Nihad Awad.  For more on that, you can read Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain's July 8, 2014 report for THE INTERCEPT.

Rebecca: On Glenn, I wanted to note a Tweet:

You literally spent years on TV screaming that George W Bush was a fascist and a Nazi

Kat: I have no idea why the limp Keith Olbermann has been welcomed back by some.  He's a sexist pig and he's a blow hard.  He's nothing but a fancy boy -- Ben Affleck nailed him in that SNL parody.
If we can't make it on the left without the divisive and mean Olbermann, maybe we shouldn't survive. I can't stand him or the people who praise him.

Jim: And many would rush to agree with you Kat.  On that note, we're going to need to wrap up.  This is a rush transcript.

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