Sunday, January 13, 2008

TV: The Surreal Life stages comeback!

With writers striking for their fair share, TV has resorted to a number of tricks to provide 'content.' We had to rub our eyes last week as it appeared that they'd pulled the 'reality' TV disaster, The Surreal Life, out of mothballs to combat the strike. But as we finished rubbing our eyes, we grasped that it wasn't The Surreal Life we were watching, it was just surreal. And alleged news programming.

On ABC's first hour of prime time programming Tuesday night, Charlie Gibson offered the sort of thing that used to be known as "news breaks" and, once upon a time, the networks actually did that. Tuesday was the New Hampshire primary and Charlie was on to talk about that. Note that he said John McCain had won the GOP primary (with less than 70% of the precincts then reporting) and said he was "predicting" Obama as the winner of the Democratic primary. As Gibson was winding down the logo "Just For Laughs" appeared in the upper right corner of the screen. Though it was to promote the next program (Just For Laughs), we thought it also provided an editorial comment of the 'news break.'

Gibson was back for a regular slot of time in the second hour of ABC's primetime. Though he had predicted Obama the winner earlier, he was now stalling furiously. As viewers waited and waited for comments on the Democrats, Gibson finally said, "And I'm going to talk about the Democrats . . . after this commercial break with George Stephanopoulos." We waited eagerly to see what George Steph had signed on to hawk. Maybe a male hygiene spray? Maybe Just For Men hair coloring? Sadly, Gibson meant that, after the commercial break, he'd be talking with George.

Steph was on the defensive, growling about "people at home" who have these paranoid theories that "we know things we're not telling them or the campaign knows things they're not telling them." Actually, George, the campaign should know a lot that they're not telling, that's just a given and not even open to dispute. But Steph was having an on air meltdown and the only thing to do was sit back and enjoy. At this point, Charlie was still singing the praises of polling -- "the polling is so good."

The polling was all they had and it backfired on them on live TV which more than proved Peter Hart's point on Friday's CounterSpin that MSM journalists need to stop acting like they screwed up because the polling was wrong -- they screwed up because they refused to cover the issues and the policies. [Those preferring or requiring text can click here for a column by Peter Hart on the same topic.] As Gibson lost it repeatedly on air, it was a wonderful indication of just how unqualified he is to be the 'voice' of ABC news. His contributions largely amounted to clarifying a comment an ABC reporter made by stating "with a movie reference," helpful to all those who didn't catch the reference to the apparently obscure art house film The Empire Strikes Back. He grew more nervous through out the half-hour. So much so, that at the end he was signing off by noting that the West Coast (we were on the road, and, in fact, in New Hampshire on Monday and Tuesday) would soon be seeing Good Morning America before correcting himself that he meant World News Tonight.

As many laughs as Gibson provided, it was more shocking what was going on at NBC/MSNBC. Correspondent Lee Cowan confessed on air to Brian Williams that it was "hard" for him to be objective about Barack Obama, whom Cowan was assigned to cover. Now in the world of a functioning mainstream press, Cowan would have immediately been reassigned. And should have been. Reporters are supposed to be objective and just the hint that you aren't, forget confessing on air that you find it "hard," is enough to damage the credibility of the news organization. At NPR, Michelle Norris has a set list of things she can do and cannot do in election cycles due to her husband's work. It's not that Norris couldn't be objective, most assume she could be, but it's that they don't want even the appearance that they're not being objective. Brian Williams, who bragged of his desire to censor the news before he took over as anchor (bragged on air to Jay Leno -- which is where all the really great news anchors go, right?), embarrassed himself by posting to his blog, "Lee was talking about the swirl of excitement that has hit the Obama campaign after Iowa -- the crowds, the hoopla -- all of it. Today we learned that rival political efforts were spinning this as some kind of 'bias' on the part of either Lee, or me, or this News Division, and that's just ridiculous. My response is as it always is in these situations: look at it again, listen to what's being said, and judge us by the quality and fairness of our journalism." Guess what, in a functioning news organization, you're biggest complaints wouldn't be coming from candidates, it would be coming internally. The fact that NBC didn't grasp the problem, didn't immediately pull Cowan off the beat and reassign him, goes a long way towards explaining the destruction of news standards in the MSM.

"Lee was talking . . ." only follows an announcement that, "To avoid the appearance of conflict, Lee Cowan will now be covering the Mitt Romney campaign after having stated on air that he found objectivity 'hard' when covering Obama." But we don't have a functioning press, do we?

PBS seemed bound and determined to demonstrate that fact repeatedly on Friday. And they did so rather well. First up was Washington Weak. Which featured clips of spokesperson Gwen talking to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama before the New Hampshire primary. Gwen was blown away -- when the show was taped on Friday -- that Obama hadn't predicted himself the winner, something she admitted she herself had. Was that why she offered no footage of Bill Richardson (still in the race on Tuesday, he would come in a distant fourth and then drop out of the race) or of John Edwards (who had a strong third place finish -- by weak and strong we're referring to their number of votes and not their rank)? Or maybe the Great Gwynnie just didn't think she could spare a second of gas baggery to note Edwards? Well who would want to miss Time's Michael Duffy declaring, "John McCain was written out of this movie"?

While true that McCain placed first on the GOP side and that was a huge improvement over Iowa, it's equally true that a political campaign is not, in fact, a movie.

Then came NOW with a half-hour look at Latino voters. It should have been Latino and Latina voters but, if you watched the program, you were aware that all sit down interviews were with men and clips from public events showed Latinos speaking and no Latinas. Apparently Latinas are shy and spook easily around cameras. (That is sarcasm and one of us, Ava, is a "loud and proud Latina.") Equally disturbing was to hear that Bully Boy got 40% of the Latino vote in 2004. That figure is contested, as was the original inflated claim of 44%. NBC put out the 40% figure. We had to wonder why PBS was using that mainstream figure instead of the Velasquez Institute's finding of 35%? When there's a difference wouldn't a Latino organization most likely be the best source for information on Latinos?

But then we also had to wonder why it was necessary to interview only Latinos and only Republican ones at that? If you buy the dubious figure of 40%, that still means 60% of Latinos voted for John Kerry or someone other than Bully Boy. So the 40% (really 35%) were not the majority. But they were the only voices that got on air? And when PBS friends complain to us, and they will, we'll let them bicker and dicker about the percentage in 2004 but we will not let them off the hook for airing a 30 minute program allegedly about how Latinos and Latinas will vote that didn't feature one Latina voice as an interview subject?

Just as we thought it couldn't get any weirder Bill Moyers Journal popped up. We've been trashed. We're not sure we would have caught on to the hurt feelings if the calls hadn't come in, but it was obvious that Moyers was trying to make Kathleen Hall Jamieson aka Dr. Kathy more presentable. Boo-hoo, grow the hell up. Among the many complaints was that our criticism wasn't "helpful."

Helpful? Do you really think gas baggery between Moyers and Dr. Kathy about televised moments ('Tell us what we saw, Dr. Kathy!') serves any purpose? How about going into what we didn't see instead of Dr. Kathy doing the equivalent of flipping through a children's picture book? "On this page, the bunny is walking through the woods . . ."

You want helpful? Dr. Kathy looked better in the colors Friday; however, she should wear a silver, white or grey shirt when she's on TV. She will come off better. The blazer should be a solid, of any color. The lighting of her was better this week and the cuffs were a nice touch. Is that helpful enough for you? (We doubt it and are sure our phones will be ringing from PBS friends opening with, "You'll never believe what just got said about you . . .")

Moyers tried to inflate Dr. Kathy's talents/credentials by declaring in his introduction, "Her calling is to mine the facts hidden in all the spin." That would be great, if she ever provided it. However, she doesn't. Now maybe that's Moyers' fault due to his questions or maybe she just lacks that gift. Instead of providing anything hidden she yammers on about the most obvious details that any person lucky enough to have the gift of sight already saw. And we're not sure how detailed discussions about John McCain's age (71-years-old) qualify for "facts hidden in all the spin." McCain's been in Congress forever, so his date of birth is hardly a secret. But was the point of the discussion to "out" McCain's age? Had he shaved a few years off recently?

As McCain doubters, we found the prospect of that delightful and quickly checked to see if The Show Boat Express was trying to appear younger than he was? At his official campaign site, we went to his timeline and were about to click on the photo of him as an infant in an oversized dress but the page finished loading and right under that photo is the heading "1936-1957" -- covering his first 21 years. It didn't appear to us to be hidden but you know the MSM and how they see the "youth" as MySpace obsessed? So maybe he was trying to hide it on his MySpace page? Right at the top, no clicking necessary, was "Male 71 years old Phoenix, Arizona United States." We weren't seeing how McCain's age qualified as "facts hidden in all the spin."

We're not saying there weren't moments we enjoyed, we're just saying that we're not sure any of it qualified as hidden facts. And we're not really sure how the program can afford to carp about us (although we know they will) when the segment put forward the lie that Social Security needs to be 'fixed.' Social Security is solvent and will remain so. And maybe a public affairs show could be devoted to that topic or something of real value?

After Moyers declared, "Clinton is hoping that showing that other side will bring women in particular to the polls, almost as if she had done it deliberate. We don't know whether she did or not," Dr. Kathy, to her credit, noted, "Mm-hm. But what's also interesting to me is you're not sure whether she did it deliberately or not." What's interesting to us is that after two consecutive weeks of praising Obama in various segments, Moyers has never noted that he's not sure whether or not Obama does thing deliberately. Skepticism is still the alleged hallmark of the press, right? What's interesting to us is that gender discrimination is a topic you'd have to search hard for in all the broadcast hours of Moyers.

Yeah, we went there. And we would have even if we hadn't been trashed.

In the longer segment (much, much longer), Moyers sat down with Shelby Steele, conservative, and noted how he was tired of always talking race with African-Americans. We're tired of watching those superficial 'discussions' but are fully aware that, were they not brought on to discuss race, African-American would rarely factor into the Moyers TV universe with the possible exception of those 'religious' discussions.

The Steele segment was built around Obama. Of course. Moyers was raving the episode before about Obama's "preacher" qualities (never a complaint in The Book of Moyers). Now it was time to again 'explore' Obama. But it's really funny that on the same episode when Dr. Kathy actually made sense saying the press needed to be reporting on the policies (she'll be back this Friday and should give a report on that), we weren't really talking about policies in the lengthy segment.

The segment was a promo for Steele's new book. Since we "never say one damn word positive" (a quote, we're told), let us note that we hadn't seen Steele in his new glasses. We're not aware of how long he's had them but they are very attractive on him and make him look much better than he did a few years back.(With those glasses, he should be National Review's pick for Sexiest Conservative Alive this year. With a hot, hot drooling essay from Midget Decter or Jonah Goldberg. Steele's book is built around a PEW "study" -- we haven't read his book so we're not sure the study is credited, it wasn't on air. Steele's thesis is that there are two kinds of African-Americans: bargainers and challengers. We think it takes twelve kinds of stupid to ever reduce more than two people to two kinds. To steal from the late, great Molly Ivins, "The world is full of two kinds of people -- those who think there are two kinds of people and those who don't."

Dr, Kathy had said in her earlier segment, "What I'm watching for next week is whether the substance of the candidates' positions will get through." We doubt anyone would mistake the Steele segment for "substance of the candidates' positions" discussion.

Though it could have been. Steel repeatedly alluded to the cypher nature of Obama and warned what happens to those who attempt to be 'pleasers' when they express actual opinions (he used Bill Cosby as an example) but Moyers never went there, never made the leap on any specific issue. He noted we see Bambi and hear about Bambi for hours and hours of television each week -- certainly true on The Journal -- and it was allowed to pass.

Bill Moyers: What do you mean invisible? Because he's all over television.

Shelby Steele: He's all over television, but if you listen to his speeches, "change," "hope." I mean, it's a kind of-- it's an empty mantra. I mean a surprising degree of emptiness, of lack of specificity. What change? Change from what to what? What direction do you want to take the country? What do you mean by "hope"? There's never any specificity there because specificity is dangerous to a bargainer.

That did not lead to a discussion of Obama's 'policies.' Repeated attempts were available and all passed by. Possibly Moyers didn't feel it was appropriate to allow Steele to weigh in since Steele is conservative? If so it's an Obama-only rule (we've seen many right-wingers on the show weigh in on politicians and policies) and Moyers is the one giving Steele air time.

The segment was a lie. The entire segment. When Steele reveled how he, like Obama, had a White mother and an African-American father, but how two decades prior it was different ("Well, and this is I think a difference in my case than Obama's, in segregation, you didn't get the choice. It was the one drop rule that applied. One drop of black blood and you're black. That was the rule. That's what kept the wall between whites and blacks was this one drop rule. So I was raised with absolutely no ambiguity about that."), a real segment would have gone on to discuss the realities of bi-racial and multi-racial but the closest Moyers got to that was a single-sentence about "children of inter-racial unions". There is a very real racism going on in the continued repetition of "Black" to describe Obama.

If he were the son of an Asian-American mother and a Kenyan father, would he be allowed to self-describe "Black" and would the media run with it? We're champions of self-description. We avoid, repeatedly, ever noting someone's original name. We've never felt the need to go to town on, for instance, Bob Dylan or Muhammad Ali by bringing up their birth names. Many can't get past details like that. They claim that it goes to 'authenticity.' Which it may or may not. But our own observations include many men and women who were the victims of physical and mental abuse (both) and restart their lives with a name change so we tend to honor the self-narrative chiefly for that reason. (We're not stating that's the case with either Dylan or Ali.) The only time either of us haven't respected a name change was when Prince was attempting to use a symbol -- one not found on the average keyboard and one that did not have a known pronunciation -- as his name. Otherwise, even with someone like Bo Derek, whom we loathe, we didn't feel the need to refer to her repeatedly (or even once) by her birth name.

We also fully realize the importance of allowing someone to tell their own story and are perfectly comfortable with accepting that psychological truths may conflict with other truths.

But we don't give that wide berth to the world of politics. And though Barack Obama wants to self-describe Black, we don't see him as such. We think it's pathetic that the bulk of media rushes in to back up his wish. We especially think it's pathetic and dishonest that independent media does because bi-racial and multi-racial people began telling their stories and claiming their own histories in that media. But all that gets brushed aside to honor the desires of a politician.

We don't think that's right or truthful. Just his repeated claim to be "Black" should result in the sort of "Truth Squading" we get on politician's statements. And Moyers decided to 'explore' race (again) and did so dishonestly.

As a private person, if Barack Obama identified as "Black," we wouldn't raise an eyebrow. As an entertainer, we might roll our eyes and offer a comment or two (and have certainly noted those who have tried to pass by publicly claiming White -- hello, Paula Abdul) but an entertainer is selling themselves. A politician is supposed to be representing a great deal more and the words "authentic" are supposed to matter.

In a laughable meltdown online last week, Robert Parry slimed and trashed Gloria Steinem, accused women of playing the "gender card" and yet repeatedly referred to Barack Obama as "Black." Barack Obama had two parents. One was White. Do we need a children's book called Heather Has A White Mommy to illustrate the point? By calling Obama "Black," Parry was playing the same race card the press has repeatedly played.

Could a politician running for office, let alone the highest office in the land, lie like that of any other area of their life and get away with it? Probably not. But people like Parry and Moyers are certainly old enough to have lived during a time when being even one-eighth Black got you labeled (officially labeled) octoroon and your birth certificate stamped Black. And, intentionally or not, they back up that racist system -- that had died -- when they refer to Barack Obama as "Black."

Barack Obama, the politician, is certainly allowed to say, "I'm bi-racial but I identify with the Black culture." He would never say that. We doubt it's true (most who identify with the Black culture -- of any race -- wouldn't invent a tale of a man who tried to peel off his own African-American skin and pass it off as factual), but we wouldn't make a big deal out of it. But it is a big deal when half of who he is, as he runs for the national office in the land, is swept under the rug by both the politician and the press.

They willfully buy into the racist system that if you have any African-American immediate descendents, you are only "Black." They completely disrespect the very real experiences and the very real pain and joy that bi-racial and multi-racial persons have educated our society about.

Barack Obama's Chicken Sop for the Soul campaign results in many lies and distortions and that's probably true of a number of campaigns in lesser degrees. However, the issue of race is the most offensive. In the 90s and earlier this decade, society had finally made enough strides that the terms "bi-racial" and "multi-racial" weren't just in popular usage, weren't just the terrain of left, independent media but could (and were) used on the front page of The New York Times (with a variety of people pictured such as Mariah Carey) and not only were they being acknowledged as a part of the population, they were portrayed as a sign of change and something our society would see far more of in the future due to the fact that so many stigmas against race had been exploded.

In one political campaign, all of those achievements are destroyed. In one political campaign, we find that the views of race have narrowed -- and that the press has willingly gone along with it. We're reminded of the outrage over a Columbia professor in the 90s, a visiting professor, who insisted upon identifying as "African-American." She was born and raised in Scotland and spoke with a Scottish brogue. That caused tremendous tensions for those working on the issue of bi- and multi-racial identity. As it should have. The easiest answer would have been for her to bill herself as Scottish-African-American. She didn't do that. She lectured using a ton of MLK -- in fact, there were classes that in which MLK was all she cited -- and there were serious questions coming from students as to how much denial she was in that she lectured repeatedly on events she didn't live through. As they repeatedly raised their genuine concerns, the professor -- rightly or wrongly, we believe rightly -- became seen as a phony while she lectured on 'authenticity.' As one bi-racial student who confronted her on the issue of self-labeling back then told us last week, "It disgusted me as much as Barack Obama disgusts me today. I am the product of three races. It's who I am and I honor all three. Thanks to Barack, I now work in an office where I'm referred to behind my back as 'Black.' Before his decision to run for the national spotlight, I was 'multi-racial,' but, and this has been said to my face, he's changed that."

He's changed that? That's really not his right. He can self-identify however he wants. He can self-lable however he wants. But, to use Moyers' term, "children of inter-racial unions" have faced stigmas and conflict, joy and love, and their experiences are very genuine and very real. Rendering them invisible does society harm.

Why doesn't Barack Obama just tell the truth? One bi-racial friend believes that he sells himself to White people as "a good Black" and that using the term "bi-racial" would be too off-putting, would note the very real and fluid nature of race relations in this country and scare off White voters. He can lie all he wants, there's no reason for the press too.

As feminists, we had to wonder how quickly the feminist movement could be vanished and who would call it out? Those working for recognition of bi-racial and multi-racial categorization and recognition thought they had finally had their break through and that American society had finally agreed (with a few hold outs on the cranky right) that they do exist. They thought their time had arrived. They found out that all it took was one charasmatic figure for the press to go ga-ga over and all their work was pulled.

If Obama elected to self-identify White, we seriously doubt the likes of Moyers, Parry, et al would repeat that claim without question; however, it is just as valid as their repeating that he's "Black." In fact, since he was raised by Whites, some might argue that it was more valid.

We are seriously disturbed and bothered by what has been done to bi-racial and multi-racial persons all in the name of a political campaign.

We found Moyers' 'exploration' of race both racist and simplistic. We believe that "cultural diversity" isn't a dirty term or one to run from. We think it's amazing that someone running for national office as a Democrat would do more damage to a multi-cultural society than the right could ever hope to.

America has not moved "beyond race." That's the lie that Barack Obama attempts to sell in his run for the presidency and it's the lie that has led throngs of Whites to gather around him in wide-eyed wonder as though he's a modern day Aimee Semple McPherson. We think the press has revealed their own racism repeatedly and endorsed earlier racist beliefs that society had presumably, if not overcome, agreed to address.

But the term "bi-racial" was never used in the overly long 'exploration' Bill Moyers provided viewers with on Friday. How do you do that? How do you do a segment on race, focused on one person who is the child of a White mother and a Kenyan father, and never explore the terms bi-racial or multi-racial?

Maybe the same way race is only an issue in the Moyers canon when it involves African-Americans. Take that, all other racial minorities. Inauthenticity is not unique to the Obama campaign, certainly two generations of Bush 'cowboys' demonstrates just how taken in by a good yarn the press can be. But Obama's campaign has done real damage and caused real pain and that an alleged discussion on race can't address that, can't even use the correct terms, goes a long way towards explaining how it's not just the right that's screwing up the country.

Loving v. Virginia was a breakthrough, a legal landmark, for the United States. In a debate, Barack Obama was asked, "Senator Obama, the laws banning interracial marriage in the United States were ruled unconstitutional in 1967. What is the difference between a ban on interracial marriage and a ban on gay marriage?" Obama mouthed a lot of nonsense about 'equality' and then went on to state it's a decision for different denominations to make. There should have been a gasp heard round the country.

Barack is a lawyer, a trained legal mind. Though we find it difficult to believe he's never studied Loving v. Viriginia (as difficult to believe as Clarence Thomas Senate testimony that he'd never thought about Roe v. Wade), we'll allow that maybe it fell into some gap in his education. But as a trained legal mind, he does grasp court billing. "v. Virginia" means versus state. Not versus a denomination.

In that historic case, the Supreme Court of the United States found the laws of the state of Virginia to be unconstitutional and illegal. That finding meant that all states could no longer refuse to issue marriage certificates to couples of different races. Obama's weak-ass response should have been considered weak ass. (John Edwards also embarrassed himself in that debate noting he was against "gay marriage" and "I do not" support it leading us to shout back at the screen, "Gee, John, we weren't aware you were being inundated with proposals!") But it was also dishonest. A law student, forget the former president of the Harvard Law Review, grasps that Loving v. Virginia was not about whether "denominations" could make a decision, it was about what the government could do. To provide perspective, imagine the issue was illegal search and seizure on the part of the government (forbidden by the Constitution) and Obama had responded, "I think it's up to denominations." The government was discriminating and the Supreme Court stood up for the rights of all. A trained legal mind should grasp that. If Obama didn't, he's either not much of a student or he's a really bad liar.

Obama denies a lot. For instance, that debate, YouTube/CNN, took place at South Carolina's Citadel and we wonder how many are aware that the institution's history, it's very creation, resulted from the desire to enforce slavery? In a society really concerned with racism, Democrats holding a 'debate' there would have been called out in real time (and we did call it out in real time). But the media creation of Bambi doesn't exist to explore race let alone the racial tensions in so much of today's United States.

And that's what's really scary about the Obama campaign -- that the desires of (and for) one person have been judged as more important than the realities for so many. Robert Parry and others rush to assert that Barack Obama has never played the 'race card.' That requires ignoring the many times it has been played but why don't you tell it to someone who's been working on getting recognition for multi-racial persons. It is a movement and it is one that gained governmental recognition in the 2000 census. For the first time, people could check off (from over sixty-classifications) their categories. (Earlier, the option was allowed to the ethnic category "Hispanic," it took intense advocacy for that to be extended in the 2000 census.) Go back to real-time reports that year and you'd see the mainstream media proclaiming that the move would "forever alter the way Americans look at race". As the song goes, "What a wonderful world that would be." It did seem like a significant moment for the multiculture movement; however, in one person's bid for presidency, all of that has been erased. The Center for Disease Control noted:

Multiracial Americans are those people who belong to two or more of the federally designated racial categories.1
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 6.8 million Americans -- 2.4 percent of the total U.S. population -- self-identify with two or more racial categories.
The Census Bureau has not made any projections about the rate of growth of Multiracial Americans in the coming decades.
The highest concentrations of Multiracial Americans live in Alaska, California, Hawaii, and Washington.

6.8 million people rendered invisible. So don't offer us your gas baggery and claim that you in any way explored 'race' when what you and your guest offered was largely something that PBS could have aired during its initial years. (And in fact, the claims offered were on public radio long before NPR came into being. See WBAI's historic debate between Malcolm X and Bayard Rustin in November of 1960.)

A real discussion on race is needed in this country. We didn't get that from The Journal. It's also worth noting that last week's attacks were on women and that The Journal repeatedly shies from topics of sexism. Online viewers get something very curious as well. We haven't checked the Dr. Kathy segmentout online but we saw it and our notes taken during the broadcast include Jesse Jackson Jr. stating the following the morning after the New Hampshire primary of Hillary Clinton's eyes moistening:

Not in response to voters -- not in response to Katrina, not in response to other issues that have devastated the American people, the war in Iraq, we saw tears in response to her appearance. So her appearance brought her to tears, but not Hurricane Katrina.

Cedric brought this up in the roundtable but went to check the transcript to get a direct quote. It's not in the transcript. There's a brief moment noting that Jesse Jackson Jr.'s clip was played and it's briefly quoted. Cedric asked us, "Did you see it?" We checked our notes and it's in there. We've noted everything we caught on TV this week in this review. We also listened to Democracy Now! But we remember seeing the clip, not just hearing it. Washington Weak is the only other place that could have popped up for us to have seen it. (And we were not even watching local television the morning after the primary.) We have pages of notes on Washington Weak but the Jackson quote pops up in our notes on Moyers and Dr. Kathy. So what's the deal? And if it wasn't included in the broadcast, it should have been included -- subtext: a woman cries about her appearance. Vanity, thy name is . . . it's not women according to CBS friends.

We didn't get a real discussion on the sexism from Dr. Kathy and Moyers and we won't hold our breath for the program to provide prolonged time on that topic. Repeating, what we caught on TV last week weren't the latest installments of The Surreal Life, they just played like it.
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