Sunday, August 31, 2008

Truest statement of the week

"The party is 'worried' now about mass defections by Clinton supporters to John McCain. Well, what in the hell did they expect? After the May 31 charade effectively handing Obama the nomination, they lost what little chance they had in the fall. Don't expect Clinton supporters to 'get over it' any more than Gore supporters when the 2000 election was stolen."

-- Susan, "Democratic Convention" (Random Thoughts From Reno)

Truest statement of the Week II

That tends to be how Clinton does things. The public Clinton doesn't usually show hints of the private pain that burns inside.
The same cannot be said of some of her supporters, who can be expected to stage at least a few demonstrations of their fury at the outcome of the race, and at what they perceive as repeated displays of disrespect Obama has shown their hero. It is not lost on them that in selecting Joe Biden to be the vice presidential nominee, Obama has chosen a Washington insider who voted in favor of the Iraq War -- two of the sustained attacks on Clinton that Obama used to devastating effect during the primaries.
The television cameras will linger on angry and tearful Clinton delegates in the convention crowd. The commentators will no doubt take this as a demonstration of disunity -- and not a few will, of course, blame Clinton. But it is usually the job of the party nominee to build unity once a vanquished rival has conceded and made the right gestures. Unless the loser happens to be a woman. Then it's just like high school, and she must do the work.

-- Marie Cocco, "The Cheerleader in Chief" (Washington Post Writers Group)

Truest statement of the Week III

Despite the merits of selecting Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., as his running mate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., made a huge tactical, strategic and political error in snubbing the most obvious candidate for vice president, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.Obama looks surly, petty and selfish -- and Clinton looks like a gracious loser who will live to fight the political game another day. The convention has been consumed by gossip about just why Obama didn't even consider her for the second slot. All the public excuses are lame, and the inside story as it is coming out does not indicate the serious thought that he should have given to such an important decision. Senior Obama strategist David Axelrod said that Clinton would not be a "good fit" for the presidential candidate, as though Obama were merely trying on a pair of gloves.

Others repeated the standard mantra that she was too emblematic of the status quo that Obama seeks to shatter. So we are to believe that Biden, a six-term senator who himself ran for president this year but got whipped in the Iowa primary, is a really fresh face with fresh ideas who embodies political change?

No, something else was going on here. And it's probably not pretty. It looks as though Obama simply didn't have the courage to compete any more against the star power of his chief rival -- and her husband. This is not a good omen for standing up against tough world leaders with their own power and congressional leaders of both parties who are not inclined to march to his orders.

-- Marianne Means' "Obama's first big mistake" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer):

A note to our readers

Hey --
That anything went up at all is a miracle and readers know why.

Along with Dallas, the following worked on this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,

We thank everyone for their work.

Here's what we came up with:

Truest statement of the week -- There were too many truests so we went with three. We think you'll agree that in a strong week, Susan had the strongest.

Truest statement of the Week II -- Marie Cocco continues to make some fearless observations.

Truest statement of the Week III -- And a surprise entry in the Truest sweepstakes.

Editorial: Ignoring the only news out of Denver -- Ralph Nader made news, instead the media served up junk. Delaying the posting allowed us to come up with a stronger editorial. The original one was effected by many things. Obviously.

TV: The endless non-news -- It needs to be noted that Ava and C.I. didn't falter. When everything fell apart this weekend, they finished their piece and did it on time. Some read it Sunday morning after 1:30 a.m. PST when it posted. We assumed we'd be done in a few hours. When we weren't, we took this down to put up with everything else. This commentary stands with the strongest of Ava and C.I.'s body of work. Dona: "I will repeat. I would save every one of Ava and C.I.'s TV commentaries. It is always our strongest piece each week and it always the most popular. The rest of us were falling apart. I will never forget how Ava and C.I. were able to keep to their heads down focused on the work. I think we all learned a lesson from them this weekend."

Sexism -- As Ava feared at TCI, this got destroyed. Tomorrow Hilda's Mix publishes C.I.'s original first person essay ("I am a feminist"). I (Jim) called it for Third. We reworked and it's nothing like what it is. It's hard for me to realize how powerful it was and like this. I'm told I'm being too hard on it. Thanks to Cedric and Betty who pointed out that not all African-Americans weren't able to vote until the Voting Rights Act. A little bit of history that had passed us by.

MSNBC's Weiner Dog -- This was handed to us for two reasons. One person attending the MSNBC Friday meeting wanted it out and the second reason was personal. (Not related to MSNBC or anything covered in this. Related to C.I.'s cancer.)

The overview of Gutter Trash's attack -- Ava and C.I. walked out on this before a word was written. They didn't write this. We did and we will probably be writing much more next weekend.

How it started and who started it -- Again, no Ava and C.I. We (Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Rebecca, Betty, Mike, Cedric, Elaine, Wally, Marcia, Ruth and Kat) wrote this.

A rare moment when John Edwards told the truth -- Dona cried short feature. She cried it early on. Nothing was working. Ava and C.I. suggested this.

Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Kat, Betty, Rebecca, Marcia, Ruth, Cedric and Wally wrote this and we thank them for it.

That's what we managed.

See you next weekend.

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

Editorial: Ignoring the only news out of Denver

About the Democratic Party, Ralph Nader declared Wednesday in Denver, "This party is sick. It's decaying. It's lost its soul. And its leaders can't ever get up on the stage like at the Pepsi Center -- the Pepsi Center, imagine after you say 'The Pepsi Center' -- I'll bet you the tax payer built that center."

While Nader addressed issues, the Democrats vouched for Barack as 'dreamy.' Over and over. Guess what made it on air and was passed off as 'news'?

Nader continued Wednesday night:

You never talk about the poor. That's a no-no in Democratic Party dictionary. You talk about the middle class, which they've helped shrink through NAFTA and WTO and all the way they've crushed opposition to corporate power. Corporate power has crushed so much of its opposition they've brought trade unions to their knees. They've made it almost impossible for industrial or commercial workers to even form a trade union because of the Taft-Hartley Law and other obstructive laws that no other western country puts before it workers.
The Democrats are dialing for the same dollars, the same corporate dollars the Republicans are dialing for. And they don't even bother covering it up. They're being winded and dined by the corrupters, the corporate predators, the corporations who have ripped off American consumers and workers that depleted their pensions who are outsourcing your jobs when you get out of college. Who are saying to you when you get out of college, "You got a skill but try getting a good paying job, try getting affordable housing, try getting affordable health insurance, try getting anything that your forebearers were able to get." You know what you're doing? I'm talking to young people in the audience, you're the first generation that's ever polled and said they aren't going to be as well off as their parents.
And the indicators are all coming down. More and more, millions of Americans, not making a living wage, not even close. Wal-Mart wages. K-Mart wages. Millions and millions of people who have to get sick or become sicker or even die because they can't afford health insurance. Just think of that.

And the 'news' never talks about it. Not the Real Media, not Panhandle Media. Oh sure, Amy Goodman brought Ralph on for a few minutes on Thursday. She didn't play his speech. Michelle Obama's running for no office. Amy Goodman had time to play that crap. "At six-foot-six, I've often felt Craig was littler looking down on me too. But the truth is, from when we were kids and today, he wasn't looking down on me -- he was watching over me." As Ruth Conniff would have said if she had any guts or common sense: "Yuck!"

It wasn't news but Goody had time for that garbage. She just didn't have time for, you know, democracy. A rally took place in Denver Wednesday night and Goody was all about 'going to where the silences are' and yet her audience never saw it because Goody enforces the silences. Cynthia McKinney's running mate, Rosa Clemente, spoke at that Nader Super Rally. If only Rosa could have poured herself into a really tacky evening gown, got some additions and talked about how helpless she was and how BArack was just another in a long line of men who protect her, Rosa could have gotten time on Democracy Now!

Did we mention the program expanded to two hours? Monday through Friday. Ten hours. They couldn't show the rally. They couldn't report on it.

4,000 people turned out.

It wasn't news to Goody.

Going to where the gas bags are is now Goody's motto because that's all she is. The same gas bag you see on the MSM but with bad lighting, less make up and a cheaper wardrobe.

Panhandle Media no longer just re-enforces silences, it's creating them.

This Thursday (September 4th), the second Nader Super Rally takes place. It will be held at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis as the GOP convention takes place. Ralph will be there, his running mate Matt Gonzalez will be there as will Nellie McKay, Ike Reilly, Justin Jeffre, Cindy Sheehan and Jesse Ventura. And many more. Maybe the rally will see 4,000 turn out again? Maybe it will double the number?

But Real Media has never been interested in covering the Super Rallies (drop back to 2000) and Panhandle Media has decided to join them in that conspiracy of silence.

"Lies of omission," Amy Goodman says sinisterly, eyes going crossed, when speaking of The New York Times not covering something. What's her own excuse?

Two hours on Thursday. Not one report on the rally and we're supposed to be thankful she decided to allow Ralph on for a segment? Maybe we should also be thankful that, unlike his previous appearances, she didn't badger him about why he thought he had a right to run?

News happened in Denver. Goody went to Denver and offered ten embarrassing hours that added up to nothing.

It was never news, it was a cheap and tacky pageant and nothing was going to interfere with the pageantry, certainly not real issues.

A protest that was about to become news got punked. As Team Obama was being asked about the protest taking place Thursday, they quickly realized the media (Real Media) was noticing the protest. They sent a rep outside to make some mealy-mouthed statement and promise a lot of garbage. None of the promises held up. They were never going to.

The position of strength was tossed aside because Barack's going to meet! No, Barack just wanted to ensure you didn't become the front page story on Friday and not him. You were punked. You say, "We're not stopping our protests until we see some action." You don't believe the lies of a politician's staff, the vague promises.

The protesters aren't journalists. It's no surprise they were taken in by the same song and dance Cindy Sheehan once was taken in by. But supposed journalists in Panhandle Media reported it as fact Thursday and Friday.

A lot too much love and way too little reality came through last week. Journalist skepticism? Apparently on a summer break.

TV: The endless non-news

Should anyone bother with covering political party conventions? That's long been a question the press has grappled with. Last week, the answer was a resounding "no" as the Democratic Party made clear that news is not being produced.


PBS' The NewsHour and Democracy Now! elected to extend their broadcast time all last week with what they declared was "coverage." It wasn't.

Each failed repeatedly on the most basic issues. They failed in different ways, they failed in similar ways. But the failure was loud and clear to anyone bothering to reflect on what they saw.

Though they were at an alleged political convention, neither offered reporting. They offered sit-down "analysis." Though it can be argued a tiny offering from Democracy Now! qualified as reporting (those segments done by Jeremy Scahill), by the time Democracy Now! was airing their sit-down 'analysis' with the actress Daryl Hannah, the problems should have been obvious to all.

The most obvious problem throughout the week was the lack of respect for women. Women were silenced or ignored. And if you're wondering how that applies to Hannah, it's not just that her sit-down was "brief" (Amy Goodman appears to lose interest when Hannah states she's not attending the convention), it's how Goodman chose to represent Hannah. For those not familiar with Hannah, Goodman offered at the start of the segment, "Daryl Hannah has starred in dozens of films over the last twenty-five years, including Blade Runner and Splash and Wall Street and Kill Bill." As the segment ended, Goodman declared, "Her feature films, well, include many, like Wall Street and Kill Bill."

Yeah, Hannah's films have included many (though she had one of her largest audiences for the TV mini-series Paper Dolls). Where's Steel Magnolias?

Where is Steel Magnolias? That's a film starring women (Hannah, Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton and Olympia Dukakis). It remains a popular film on video and you may think our noting it is nit-picking.

If that's what you're thinking, ask yourself when the last time you saw an actor or actress on TV and, when the host listed their films, he or she failed to list their biggest box office success?

That is what Steel Magnolias is. It is the top grossing film on Hannah's filmography. It outgrossed her bit part (even when Sean Young's big scene was stolen from her and handed to Hannah on the set) in Wall Street. At $82,759,091, the US box office for Steel Magnolias is basically twice that of Wall Street ($43,848,100). In fact, in real time, Wall Street was considered not just a bad film but a bust. Nothing Hannah has ever appeared in made it across the one-hundred-million mark. Steel Magnolias came closest with nearly $83 million. (Splash took in $62,599,495. Though not noted by Goodman, at $70,172,621 and $70,172,621 respectively, Grumpier Old Men and Grumpy Old Men are the next biggest box office for a film Hannah's appeared in.)

Can you imagine an interview with Leonardo DiCaprio today or ten years from now that didn't mention Titanic when listing his films? No. That's his biggest grosser. When listing a number of films your guest has appeared in, you always list their highest grosser because you are trying to remind people where they have seen the guest and, if they still don't know, leave them with, "Ah, yeah, I never saw that, but I heard about that movie." Steel Magnolias is Hannah's Titanic and it has had a longer life than any film she's made.

It's amazing that Hannah's highest-grossing film at the box office and her largest renter and seller on home video (VCR and DVD) is ignored until you grasp that Steel Magnolias is about women and Amy Goodman's the woman who decided to publish in Larry Fl**t's H*tler magazine -- apparently to make clear that she had no affinity for women. Message received, Goodman.

And message amplified all last week. Along with Hannah, Goodman's sit-downs only included women three other times. Though you could see the likes of Danny Glover, John R. MacArthur, Michael Eric Dyson, Ralph Nader (link goes to his segment, click here for Nader's campaign website), Bill Chandler, Chris Chafe (for two different segments), Steve Clemons & Stephen Zunes (billed that way because they appeared in a debate -- all other men had their own individual segments) and others, women didn't fair so well.

You had the brief segment with Hannah, a segment with mother-daughter duo Jean Carnahan and Robin Carnahan, a segment with Lie Face Melissa Harris-Lacewell (who started the year on Democracy Now! by playing objective but managing to rave over a speech by Barack Obama that she just happened to catch -- and neither Goodman nor Harris-Lacewell felt the need to disclose to the audiences that Harris-Lacewell was and had been campaigning for Barack) and, for one brief roundtable, (compare it to MacArthur's segment) Dolores Huerta, Sacha Millstone and the fact-free Patricia Wilson-Smith. Fact free?

Fact free Patricia Wilson-Smith got caught in an on-air lie. Not that Goody was paying attention:

Can I just say one thing to the point that you just made? I've heard over and over again from Hillary supporters that basically the media didn't treat her very well. I think the argument could be made for Senator Obama, as well. He definitely took his hits in the media also. But having said that, you know, nobody's more conflicted about this than I am. At the beginning, I was very much a Hillary Clinton supporter, at the very beginning. But the time has come for us to basically--

No, Barack didn't take any real hits. That's a lie. But it's not the lie we're speaking of. Read her statement above closely. She was "very much a Hillary Clinton supporter, at the very beginning"?

Patricia Wilson-Smith is a questionable character in our eyes and we say that because she is not a young woman and so her mother is also not a young woman. That would be the mother she states, on air, just had surgery. A political convention or your mother who just had surgery? Wilson-Smith didn't appear troubled in deciding to leave Georgia for Denver. But she wasn't troubled by the fact that she lied on air.

Patricia Wilson-Smith was lying to the audience. She was supposed to present herself as a Hillary supporter who came to Barack and, as such, her lie is supposed to encourage other women to do the same. She certainly claimed she supported Hillary early in the broadcast. But when she couldn't succeed in convincing Hillary supporter Sacha Millstone with her propaganda, Wilson-Smith grew frustrated and went off script declaring, "And secondly, of course, because I've been working so tirelessly over the last year and a half for Senator Obama, I wanted to make the trip and complete the cycle."

Did you catch it because Amy Goodman let it slide by. She's "been working so tirelessly over the last year and a half for Senator Obama." Earlier she asserted, "At the beginning, I was very much a Hillary Clinton supporter, at the very beginning." Now people have claimed it was a long primary process (it wasn't) but it did not last a year and a half. Before the primaries even began (in January of this year), Wilson-Smith had already logged a year working on Barack's behalf.

A year and a half, she states, she worked "tirelessly" to get Barack the nomination. Yet she wants people to believe she's a former Hillary supporter? And not only does Barack supporter Amy Goodman (who has turned her show over to the cause of electing Barack since 2007) avoid confronting Wilson-Smith on that statement, Goodman does damage control by ignoring it and immediately declaring:

I wanted to go back to this issue--although, Sacha Millstone, you say, "I'm not thinking about this at all"--I think this is shocking like to someone like Jose Serrano, the Congress member, who a long time supported Hillary Clinton, now supporting Barack Obama, the issue of, how could you come out of the convention and then conceivably, possibly, sort of leave it open to vote for John McCain? If you could just say whether or not yet you've decided at this point, which clearly you haven't, what appeals to you about him?


First off, listen to the show, read the transcript, Sacha Millstone has never used the words "I'm not thinking about this at all" so Goody's wrong right there.

But Goody's attempting to suggest that Sacha is supporting John McCain. Sacha had already made clear she was at the convention to vote for Hillary and that's as far as she's decided.

But listen to Liar Goody as she rushes in to cover up for Wilson-Smith exposing herself by pulling out of thin air the claim that Sacha has stated or implied she'll vote for John McCain. (Sacha has mentioned neither the GOP nor McCain up to that point.) Sacha attempts to reply and gets cut off at "I never said" at which point Amy jumps in (covering for herself and Wilson-Smith). Amy Goodman cuts her off and snaps, "So, how could you vote for him?" "Him" being McCain. Sacha manages to get a response before being cut off by Goodman again ("I never said I would. I never said that I was considering voting for John McCain. The question is, am I going to vote for Barack Obama?").

In the Cracked World of Red Diaper Baby Goodman, there's no greater offense than voting for John McCain. So when Wilson-Smith outs herself as a fraud, Goody chooses to jump in and smear Sacha with that in an attempt to distract everyone.

She begins insisting that Sacha said she would or might vote for John McCain when Sacha's never even brought up McCain or the Republican Party. When Sacha attempts to point that out the first time, Goody cuts her off. If you're remember Amy Goodman's embarrassing performance with Thomas Friedman (she let him walk all over her), you may find that especially striking. If you're remembering any of the times Amy's allowed a right-wing guest or centrist to walk all over her, you might find her behavior with Sacha shocking. What you're forgetting is that Sacha is a woman and Amy's not going to let one of those step all over her. (Funniest moment all week was when a Barack supporter spoke of disagreeing with her husband and said to Goody, you know what that's like. No, Goodman doesn't.)

It was all garbage. There was no point in wasting the time (or money) to broadcast from Denver. Any reporting done was done by Jeremy Scahill. (Monday included a 'report' that wasn't a report. The guests were the ones who experienced the 'drama' on Sunday, not Goodman and, naturally, she was more interested in the male blogger than the female one.)

We need to leave the gender issue for a moment to note another glaring fact in Goodman's coverage. Sacha is the one who has to bring up the fact that the choices go beyond voting for Barack or McCain. Amy Goodman, the Queen of 'Alternative' and 'Independent' Media, is pushing (strongly and repeatedly) that voters only have two choices.

You need to remember that because Goodman expanded her hourly show to two hours last week for the DNC convention. The convention ended Thursday but she was still at two hours on Friday. So that's ten hours of broadcasting last week for the DNC. What did she offer the Green Party during their four day convention in July?

Nothing while it was ongoing (it started on a Thursday, it ended on a Sunday). But after it was over, she offered the following:

And the Green Party has nominated former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney to be the party's presidential nominee. The Greens also nominated hip-hop activist and organizer Rosa Clemente to be McKinney's running mate. McKinney spoke on Saturday at the Green Party convention in Chicago.
Cynthia McKinney: "And when I got to Washington, I saw that public policy is really made in a room at a table. There were real seats at the table. Well, imagine what has happened to public policymaking now. There is a real room with a window and a door, and there's two seats at the table. The window is for us to look through, while our representatives make policy for us, so we can see what they're doing. At the table, one seat is for the Democrats, one seat is for the Republicans. Now, we don't know who did it, but one of them put a lock on the door and slipped a key to the corporate lobbyists who can come and go at will and whisper what they want to Democrats and Republicans, and the result is that we the people, who pay for those seats and determine who sits in them, want one thing, but because the corporate lobbyists can come and go at will, our values get overridden and our representatives give us something else. That's how we end up with everyone saying they're against the war and occupation, but war and occupation still gets funding. That's how we end up with everyone saying they're against illegal spying on innocent people, yet end up with a telecom immunity bill being signed into law. That's how we end up with everyone saying they’re in favor of universal access to healthcare and no one supporting what the physicians, nurses and healthcare really want, and that’s a single-payer healthcare system in this country."

That was it. That was Democracy Now!'s entire coverage of the Green Party convention. A headline on Monday, July 14th. Not even, the lead headline, mind you. It was the seventeenth item. Before she could get to it, she had three items on Barack. In fact, even playing the clip of a section of McKinney's speech, Barack got more time and words in her headlines that day.

A clip? Cynthia McKinney's acceptance speech of the Green Party presidential nomintaion in Julywas not judged as worthy of a segment on the show. Last week, Amy offered up Barack's speech, Hillary's speech, Joe Biden's speech, Al Gore's speech . . . everyone including Michelle Obama who is not running for public office and we're having a hard time remembering when Democrats last let a spouse not holding elected office speak at a convention. (The Republican Party infamously let Marilyn Quayle speak in 1992.) But Cynthia McKinney wins her party's nomination and Goodman doesn't even think her speech is worth playing as a segment on the show? She thinks "breaking the sound barrier" is offering a tiny sliver of what Cynthia said during headlines? Not only did Goody play Democratic speeches as their own segments last week, she brought those same speeches into other segments, into sit-down 'analysis' segments where she would replay portions of the speech.

If you're a Green -- a real one, not a play one like PDA's Medea Benjamin -- you really need to start complaining and start expressing your outrage. A four day political convention was reduced to a headline. And on that day (July 14th), when the convention was over, not only was it reduced to a headline but Cynthia got less time in headlines than Barack did.

Amy Goodman is not breaking the sound barrier, she's not breaking the silences, she's not going to where the silences are. Where were the silences? One media silence was on the Green Party convention. Amy didn't break that silence, she reinforced it. She never took her ass to Chicago for any of the four days of the convention. She never interviewed Green Party candidates or delegates at the convention. She didn't feel the need to expand her show to two hours or provide ten hours of coverage for their political convention. For Amy Goodman, a tiny headline was more than enough coverage of the Green Party's four-day political convention. If you're a Green, that should really bother you.

As long as you accept it, as long as you don't call it out, that's what you're going to get from the so-called largest, grassroots, independent media collaboration in the country. We're not Greens. We're objecting because it's not fair and what Goodman offered last week wasn't journalism.

The NewsHour didn't offer journalism either. Night after night. For our critique, we skipped The NewsHour proper. That is PBS' weekday, hour-long newscast. They continued it as such last week. After it went off the air, The NewsHour team remained on the air (we believe on all PBS' stations -- but maybe some had the good sense to re-run an old movie) for hours and hours each night. Well after eleven p.m., you could still catch them yacking. And they plugged additional "coverage" at their website.

With over fourteen hours of live coverage by The NewsHour team, what did Americans actually learn? Nothing of value.

Unless you find value in wondering how long it takes the gas-bag team of Mark Shields and David Brooks to get it together and dress appropriately? Answer: Day three. The first day, Brooks is wearing a spotted tie (the spots look like water stains) and a shirt in a color that men generally don't wear on TV. Tuesday it was Mark's turn to embarrass himself as he wore a checkered shirt whose lines distorted on TV (with a tie in a hideous shade of green). By Wednesday, both men appeared to know how to dress on air. That really was all the news that PBS could be proud of.

News that they couldn't be proud of? It was embarrassing to hear John R. MacArthur offering Amy Goodman the sort of crackpot theories one usually finds at right-wing websites (and usually not even the respected ones) about the Clintons. PBS managed to outdo that.

As always, when the really big shudders come on PBS, they come when Gwen Ifill's pontificating. Last week was no different. Senator Hillary Clinton gave a speech that had people cheering, on their feet applauding, repeatedly. You knew Gwen had to snark it up. She did not disappoint.

Instead of commenting on Clinton's speech, Gwen headed for the gutter. Her never-ending remarks included that some people just continue to believe "every thing's a conspiracy against Hillary." Had Hillary said anything like that in her speech? No.

Jim Lehrer tried to remind Gwen she was at the adults' table and not on her gas-bag show by stating that, from over the convention, he'd seen people on the floor "hugging each other" at the end of the speech. He also noted that when the speech began, he saw "some people were holding their breath." Gwen's reply, "We were."

Gwen's remarks (gas bagging from the convention floor) really should be put on DVD and provided to all journalism college programs across the country as an example of what not to do. First off, a reporter is never nervous that conflict may appear. Conflict drives the news. For Gwen, as she made clear repeatedly on her gas bag weekly show, it was personal. For Gwen it was all about Barack. That's not reporting. Her on-air remarks following Hillary's speech are a moment of shame for journalism if you consider Gwen a journalist (we don't).

Gwen generally appeared at the end of each convention night to offer her 'analysis' briefly. When time permitted, they'd work her during the proceedings. Thankfully, time didn't permit that too often.

Time was permitted for many mistakes. Jim declared that, like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama gave a keynote address at a Democratic Party Convention and then went on to become the party's nominee. At that point, Barack had not been declared the nominee, but Jim wasn't worried about that. He did come back later to issue a correction. Bill Clinton had not been the keynote speaker, he informed, but both Barack and Clinton spoke at a Democratic Party convention and went on to become president.

Excuse us?

We though the election was in November. Jim's telling us that Barack's president. It's in comments like that (rightly or wrongly) that people find the grounds to continue to argue that Barack receives more favorable treatment than McCain. No, Jim didn't issue a correction to his correction. He did make many more mistakes and he found them so amusing.

We like Bill Richardson. We didn't know the governor of Mexico was Elvis. Jim was gas bagging like crazy, hyping out of the world, playing Bill like the most wronged man in the country ("he suffered from the wrath of the Clintons" -- Jim didn't feel a citation was necessary) and now he was going to speak on the convention floor! "I've just been told," a sheepish Jim declared, "he's not going to speak." Sadly he needed to give another correction, informing the audience at home that Richardson would speak the following day. It was all a lot of heady drama from above the convention floor . . . which added up to nothing back home. (We were present Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night -- the mad-dog enthusiasm Jim was offering on camera was never reflected in the hall.)

It was gas baggery at its worst and reminded us of the endless 'analysis' on ESPN which never leaves the joking aside. Jim was declaring boastfully, "I said Harry Reid [was about to speak] and he didn't speak. That shows you the power of television." Jovial Jim, just don't call him Newsman Jim. He wasn't done. "Senator Reid finally heard me! Here he comes!"

What followed was a semi-strong written speech delivered meekly by Reid, no surprise, it is Harry Reid. Milquetoast is the only word for him and, as if to prove that, the signs from Nevada supporters on the floor read: "Give 'Em Heck, Harry!" Yes, because Harry could never raise even a little hell. A new word entered the lexicon during Reid's speech: "tirrible." "The most tirrable irony." He said "terrible" at other points so we'll assume he knows that word and was, indeed, coining a new one in his speech. By the time he was meekly declaring that Bully Boy has been "sleeping on duty," Reid was gesturing non-stop and looked like a mechanical figure of Abraham Lincon.

Let's share some notes on other speakers while we're at it since we were there in person for most of the events. (We skipped Barack's speech and Thursday events.)

A woman, excuse us. awomanspokeandreadherspeechfromapieceofpaper . . .

Does that capture the monotone nature? She's with a labor group (yes, we know her name, we're being kind). She stood at the podium (while the convention was being broadcast during primetime) and read her speech in a monotone and never bothered to look up once at the large crowd gathered, as she rushed through her flat reading. From certain angles (we were moving around), you couldn't tell that she was looking at a piece of paper and people were asking, "Is she praying?" They couldn't hear her and some people stood up and bowed their heads briefly when they wrongly thought a prayer was being said.


It didn't seem like it would it ever end. When it did and Anna Berger spoke, you realized things could get worse. We'll assume Berger, when not working on labor issues, is a mean dancer and, no doubt, will soon be featured on So You Think You Can Dance? We base that conclusion on her speaking manner. Cha-cha. Cha-cha-cha. Slow, slow. Fast, fast, fast. That's how she alternated constantly. The first words in each sentence were held for full beats, the next words were quarter notes. Cha-cha-cha.

Then we had to suffer from Janet Napolitano throwing her speech out of the right side of her mouth. Looking like a mixture of Tyne Daily (the later years) and Oliver Platt, Janet argued that John McCain can't win the presidency, that no one from Arizona can win the presidency. We'll remember that should she, the governor of Arizona, ever attempt to seek the presidency.

Wednesday the podium offered (during primetime) a woman who seemed to think that persuasion came from yelling. In case that alone didn't do the trick, she waived her hands around so widely that a mayor next to us asked, "Is she signing her speech?"

We're going to note Mark Warner as a positive. We don't care for Warner. His speech has been criticized -- but from the floor, his speech was well received and when we watched The NewsHour coverage of it later (PBS Real Friends provided us with DVDs of the entire NewsHour live coverage), he came off well on the screen as well. Again, we're not Warner fans. And our limited personal interactions with him haven't done anything to change our aversion. However, his speech was alive. We're not calling it the best speech of all time. We have no trouble saying it was one of the best delivered speeches during the convention. Others delivering well were both Clintons (Hillary and Bill), Beau Biden (Joe's son) and . . . that was really it.

What about the substance of the speeches?

The substance? Hillary and Bill spoke about the issues that make people Democrats. One of the loudest applause lines during Hillary's speech (or during the convention period) was when Hillary mentioned one of the elephants in the room that no one wanted to touch: LGBT rights. The uproar was huge.

After the speech, we spoke with three people who were among those cheering its inclusion very loudly. The man, who identified as straight, stated he couldn't believe that was, "the first acknowledgment in the entire convention that this is the 21st century." He noted that Barack's campaign had done "nothing" on LGBT issues and he found that surprising. He was not aware that Barack had put known homophobes onstage in South Carolina and allowed homophobia to be expressed at that campaign even (from the stage). He said he was looking into that and, if true, "I'm not voting." You're not voting for Barack? "I'm not voting in November." If true, he said, he wasn't voting. He found that "so disgusting" that he would stay home.

The two women were a lesbian couple. They had heard of Barack's use of homophobia in South Carolina. They stated they had reservations about coming because they didn't think Hillary would get a roll call vote "and she clearly won." Were they affiliated with PUMA or any other group? No and they thought PUMA was shoe gear. They enjoyed Hillary's speech and were planning to either leave tonight or come tomorrow for "Bill's speech but, to be honest, our heart isn't in it. We were here tonight to applaud Hillary and make sure that she had support. And if you ever wonder why that is, she did it. Up there, she recognized us. We're Americans too."

Both women made clear that they were not voting for Barack in November. Due to McCain's respect for Mark Bingham (who died on 9-11 and was openly gay) and "his sacrifice, we are open to McCain, but we will not vote for Obama." Revealing that we weren't voting for Barack, we explained that some say people who won't vote for Barack aren't really Democrats.

"Clinton did it," the quieter of the two said very upset. "He pushed our rights further. That was Bill Clinton. What did Al Gore do? What did [John] Kerry do? In 1992, Bill Clinton advanced our rights. None of the [Democratic] nominees have bothered to do a damn thing for us since Bill. I'm a Democrat. Bill Clinton's a Democrat. I don't know about these other people. They scare the hell out of me because they're willing to sacrifice us [LGBT community] to get votes. Remember, the Republican Party used to support women's equality. I think we're seeing a real change in the Democratic Party and anyone tells me I'm not a Democrat, they better tell me what they've done for gay rights!"

It really is one of the elephants in the room. The media will now acknowledge that feminists ("women's right activist," to use Jim Lehrer's term during the broadcast) point to the sexism and the media will quickly dismiss that. But the homophobia is not even acknowledged briefly. It was all over the convention and never noted by the media.

After Bill Clinton's speech, as we were leaving the floor for another area, a man we passed asked, "Wasn't he great?" We replied Bill's speech was powerful and he said, "You know, I voted for him and I have never regretted it." He went on to talk about his son who was gay and had come out of the closet during Clinton's second term and how "the country's acceptance then" now seems to have vanished. Is he voting for Barack? No. He's not and his son's not. Why? Barack's use of homophobia and refusal to make a statement early in June (Hillary made a statement the first day, and the man knew that) about Gay Pride Month. "The country's on the wrong course," the man told us, "but Barack's not going to take us to a better place." Was he attending the Big Speech tomorrow? No.

The big speech was of course Barack's speech. Though why anyone needed to hear it, who knows? (We did review The NewsHour coverage of it.) Hadn't the entire convention, with the exception of Bill and Hillary, been all about Barack?

Earlier in August, Nancy Pelosi declared that Barack was a 'gift from God' ("a leader that God has blessed us with"). The convention played like she and others actually believed that. We are struck by Pelosi's remark and remember when the White House tried to float that Bully Boy was put in place as 'God's destiny.' We remember the outrage over that assertion. (We also remember that Laura Bush rejected that claim in a televised interview.) When the people at the convention we spoke with, who will not be voting for Barack, talk about a change for the worse, it's that sort of thing they're talking about.

The convention did nothing to dispel the notion that Barack was God's gift to America. The Christ-child. The Second Coming. Our personal savior. Gee, we just thought he was running for president.

Michelle Obama chose to stand at the podium so we'll choose to critique that. It was an awful speech. Could you imagine Joan Kennedy (the only woman with sense Ted ever married) delivering that speech? We couldn't even recall Nancy Reagan making similar remarks. Barack Obama wants Americans to vote for him and there was Michelle up onstage (with lovely hair additions that no one ever noted in all their rah-rah) giving a speech that sounded like she was attempting to set America up on date with him. There she was jabbering on about Barack "bringing us together and reminding us how much we share" blah, blah, blah. Possibly Michelle thought she was at a ceremony for the Nobel Prizes and not at a political convention?

It was a bad speech. Grassroots feminists are still angry with her for her remarks (that if Hillary can't run her own house, how can she run the White House, that she's not sure she'd vote for Hillary if she got the nomination, etc.) and there was nothing in her endless yammering that was going to change their opinions of her. Her "mentor"? Her brother. Her other heroes? Her father. It was Helpmate Hell and Michelle couldn't stop babbling. If there was a strong woman in the country during her life, Michelle never encountered her. A young self-identified feminist, mocking her lines about her brother ("my mentor and protector"), shouted (during the cheering), "Liberate yourself, Michelle!"

We just rolled our eyes at the garbage while it was being spoken. It was only after, when we read the text, that we saw Michelle was not just the ultimate Stepford Wife, she's also a woman who places little value on women. The first eight sentences of her speech mentioned and praised her brother in seven sentences. Her father gets his own paragraph. Her mother doesn't. (And she doesn't acknowledge that her mother worked. She refers to her as "a mother who stayed at home" as if she was lying around on the couch being waited on.)

It was an awful speech. So of course, gas bags praised it. One PBS' 'historian' compared Michelle to Rosa Parks on the basis of the bad speech. No, she's not Rosa Parks. For one thing, Rosa usually wore a girdle at public functions and she certainly wouldn't wear a dress without a slip under it which, for the record, Michelle did. (Showing America, when the cameras took a shot from behind, that she wears Granny Panties.) She stumbled and fumbled and it was all rather surprising since she kept looking to the tele-prompter.

Interviewed the following night by Judy Woodrfuff, Michelle would score some points with us for admitting her speech wasn't all of that (she'd also admit that it was heavily rehearsed and based on speeches she'd given throughout the campaign: "a more polished version of . . . what I've been doing for the last year and a half"). Any thoughts of, "Okay, Michelle can cut loose, she's not all about herself" vanished as she went on and on about herself and Barack and not about the country. (Prompting Isaiah's comic.) Someone should have prepped her that it wasn't all about her ("When people hear my story . . .") We'd also suggest Michelle's old enough to have lived many years as a tall woman. Slumping your shoulders throughout an interview does not change your height and does not make you look shorter.

Judy Woodruff did sit-down interviews. Woodruff on-air during the coverage is the only thing PBS can point to with pride and we'll come back to her.

But let's back up to that 'historian.' Might we first suggest that if you can't pronounce "speculate," you don't say it on air when you're trying to present yourself as an expert? He couldn't pronounce the word. He.

Did you know that there are no female historians in the US?

PBS apparently thinks that.

Each night they offered the same three males in a roundtable. (Margaret Warner generally moderated.) If you didn't naturally notice that women were being excluded, you should have gotten that point after Michelle's interview when PBS moved on the 'historian' roundtable where the three male 'historians' explored women's voting.

Apparently PBS thinks they can get away with that crap under some mistaken belief that "The Ladies Love to Hear Us Men Talk about Them." It's probably cheaper than picking up a check.

Night after night, we heard the 'historians' and it wasn't any history we knew of. Two of the men regularly left the world of facts to invent. Maybe they took their cues from what went on above the floor? Maybe the gas baggery floated downward?

Jim felt the analysis could be offered (non-stop) by Dave Brooks and Mark Shields. The boys would get off a joke about how they were all Jews. We doubt anyone laughed at that but maybe, for a moment, viewers thought, "Yeah, and you're all men."

PBS women were the worker bees. They were on the floor. They were interviewing. The gods above it all, the only ones allowed to present opinions passed off as facts, were three men.

And the men weren't experts. We have numerous notes on their lies and falsehoods presented as fact but we think just one sums it up. This flew out of baby-teethed David Brooks' mouth, "When Hillary Clinton says if you don't pick me, you can't pick any woman . . ." Stop the feed. Hillary never said any such damn thing. No one corrected Brooks (and he didn't correct himself). So you've got non-stop lying about Hillary and Jim declaring Barack president already. Want to still pretend there's been no bias?

Judy Woodruff had many strong moments. When interviewing citizens, she was respectful and allowed them to finish their statements. When interviewing elected officials, she questioned assertions. Gwen, study what Judy did, even you may be able to learn.

For example, US Senator Chuck Schumer was asked about the polling which consistently does not look the way it should for a sure thing Barack win in November. Schumer insisted that it would change as people got to know Barack. Judy Woodruff rightly responded, "But he's been campaigning, with all due respect, for a year and a half."

While the boys gas bagged from above, the women were the worker bees on the floor. Gwen obviously didn't like it and she was openly hostile to other women (she was also hissed by several women on the floor Tuesday night and looked around to see who they were hissing it -- it was you, Gwen). She's more than earned it. Feminist 'leaders' may not have called out her crap but women are more than aware what went down, what stunts Gwen pulled over and over. She continues her disrespect and demonstrates it's not Hillary she disrespects, it's all women. That was most obvious when Gwen 'hosted' a three-person panel composed of military members. It was two men and one woman. Want to guess who spoke the most and who spoke the least? Want to guess who Gwen tossed to? Do we need to point that she asked both men three questions and the woman was only invited to speak by Gwen twice.

Does PBS really not notice this? (A friend on the CPB told us it was noticed and it's "going to be addressed." We've heard that before.)

The convention and the coverage pointed to why Barack still can't close the deal. Guests repeatedly turned the issue of America into an issue of Barack.

The Thursday speech was a whimper (and as we feared last week, no one taught Barack to modulate). The entire week was a Love-In. Only, unlike past love-ins, it wasn't about "us" (however, you define the noun), it was about Barack.

Try to get it if you support Barack (we don't) because you (his supporters and the media) continue to hurt his chances of winning in November. Americans want to elect a president to work for them. Americans aren't electing a Love God, a Second Coming, a Homecoming King. James Carville has famously (and rightly) called the first night as a disaster. It was a disaster. The disaster continued all week, with few exceptions.

The convention was supposed to bring America on board. What was being sold? It wasn't the Democratic Party. It wasn't a need to make the country better. It was Barack, Barack, Barack, Barack. Over and over.

Here's reality that the campaign better start accepting: Barack is not experienced.

That's a reality. America will gladly take a chance on a candidate if they believe the candidate has something to offer them. You need to accept the reality and you need to drop the testimonials. If you're serious about getting Barack into the White House (we plan to offer advice when we cover the GOP convention as well), you need to start making it about America and not about Barack.

It was a vanity parade. It was grown adults embarrassing themselves like Baby Soxers. It was never about where American can go, only that Barack could lead.

"Change to what?" was the question created during the primaries by the campaign refusing to be specific. "Lead us where?" is the question they replaced it with as a result of the convention. And, just like during the primaries, they had no answer to the question their actions raised. Four nights of non-stop infomercials told you there was a product named Barack and that you should buy it. But no one could ever tell you what Barack could or would do. Now people may buy a number of things from infomercials. They might buy a treadmill or a hair care product or anything else. But the infomerical has to tell you what it does. Repeating "It's great!" over and over doesn't sell the product.

And the convention didn't sell to America. It may have picked up a few converts. It didn't provide what Barack needed or anything he could build on. Four percent is what we're told the 'bounce' was. Four percent isn't a bounce and isn't even beyond the statistical margin of error. In other words, four four days, a non-stop infomercial ran and it didn't sell a damn thing.

And it didn't provide any news. Even when actual news took place, there was no coverage of that. Who would be the nominee? Would there be a roll call vote?

We found out that answer mid-week. Strangely PBS had no gas baggery to offer on that. (All 'experts' were supporting Barack and that may be why they didn't question it or it may have been they feared being falsely charged as "racists" if they did.)

There was no roll call vote. It started and it was halted. There was Nancy Pelosi looking like a loon and acting like one as PBS showed her yelling, "All in favor of the motion to suspend the rules and nominate by acclimation!" A vote is going on and the Speaker of the US House stops it to propose suspending the rules. A news organization filling endless hours of airtime doesn't find that news worthy? Their gas bags don't find it worthy of commenting on? Then there's Nancy laughing right after, "I have been asked to inform you Senator Biden has accepted the nomination."

Maybe pointing out that moment would have required them pointing out that they had been duped into airing a non-stop infomercial for a candidate and nothing resembling news? The broadcast networks have been cutting back on their coverage and greatly reduced it in 2004 to loud hisses from some quarters. The 2008 Democratic Party convention demonstrated that it is not a news story and no more requires round-the-clock coverage than an Amway convention. Both may offer a few 'human interest' stories, but there's no hard news to be found there.


The Democratic Party primary revealed it was open season on all women.

It was never just about Hillary.

She wasn't attacked with one sexist insult after another because she was Hillary.

There were no examples of Hillarist statements.

It was sexism pure and simple.

And in the face of these attacks, women like Betsy Reed and Laura Flanders not only added to them, they offered that women shouldn't be bothered by it.

Can you imagine the same two women telling African-Americans that they shouldn't be bothered by racist attacks? (Stick with African-Americans because The Nation hasn't done s**t for Latinos or Asian-Americans and, in fact, shortly after winning an award from the Arab-American community, they were running propaganda against Arab-Americans that Katrina vanden Heuvel finally had to 'defend' as 'If they pay for it, we'll run it!')

But to allow the sexism to run free, Sell Outs had to step up to the plate and declare it didn't matter because it was just Hillary, don't worry, it's just Hillary.

And any woman who dared to stand up for all women had to be trashed and smeared. So Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan were viciously and repeatedly trashed. They were far from alone but it was really important to put question marks by both women's names. If they couldn't do that, they couldn't 'win' it for Barack.

He had no qualifications (and he still has none). So they had to ridicule and dismiss Hillary's experiences. They had to take her out for Barack to win.

Which goes a long way towards explaining why various outlets (The Nation, Bill Moyers Journal, The Progressive, et al) could wax on and on in 2008 about the breakthrough of the first Black (he's bi-racial) man throughout the primaries while the first women couldn't and wouldn't be treated as anything to celebrate.

How many bad segments on race did Bill Moyers do? It started to feel like it was every week.

How many segments did he offer on gender? Zero.

But they weren't tilting the scales, they insist, they weren't showing any bias or favoritism. They weren't pulling for any one candidate but, hey, let's talk about race again and maybe we can all laugh as Bill Moyers refers to Hillary Clinton as "moisty"?

That s**t didn't cut it.

The warning sign for all should have been when BuzzFlash's Mark Karlin launched an attack on women after Hillary won New Hampshire. (Yes, Mark Crispin Miller and all you other nut jobs, she won New Hampshire.) Mark Karlin wrote an editorial for the 'little ladies' telling them they shouldn't vote their gender. He was never concerned about 'identity politics' when it came to race, but gender bothered him.

Few bothered to call his crap out.

Which brings us to 'feminist' Katha Pollitt. Consider her women's sometimes and reluctant champion.

As one of the most high profile 'feminists' in the country (it's not difficult to be that, just get a job at a non-feminist mag and keep your mouth shut about the mag's sexism, you'll go far) Katha decided to come out for Barack. And apparently that ended her concerns with sexism. When Tom Hayden's sexist garbage went up, Katha did call him out. But read that post she wrote and grasp how it's all about how she didn't want to have to deal with this and blah blah blah. Tom-Tom ''pushed her over the edge" after she had already decided, "I want to do my bit for Obama, so I vowed I would give up attacking Obama-supporting progressives for the duration of the presidential campaign." Golly, gee, Katha, we didn't realize feminism was like a water faucet, that you could turn it on and off.

We thought feminism was what a person lived. But there's 'feminist' Katha confessing she didn't want to tackle it.

How fortunate the movement is to have her -- between her stalkings.

Katha thought Hillary attacked launched "vile" "attacks" on Barack "for guilt by associations with Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers". Did she really believe it or was those lies she tossed out to say, "Hey, go easy on me, I got in some false slams on Hillary." (When asked, Hillary stated she would have left Wright's church if it had been her church. Bill Ayers has admitted to activities that are illegal and criminal. He stayed undergound for over a decade to avoid prosecution. For the crowd that wanted to scream "Marc Rich! Marc Rich!" over and over, their sudden cozyness with Bill is rather strange.)

But there was Katha confessing to her own actions: Deliberate silence.

Not by accident, not because she'd found another dull topic of little interest to America but fascinating to her. She made a deliberate decision to stay silent. She made the choice to not call out the sexism.

And she wants to be considered a feminist?

Previously, we thought the biggest laughs Katha could get were from here photo at The Nation. She topped herself.

Feminism no longer was the issue to Katha, as she admits. It was all about doing her "bit for Barack."

Remember that. When women need support and Katha's not there, remember that.

Remember it and check to see if there's some man she's yet again decided trumps feminism.

To be clear, her deciding to support Barack was her decision (a misguided one, read her own reasons in her Feb. post and see how wrong she was -- hindsight, like her ass, can be huge). It was not acceptable, as a feminist, to make the decision that she wouldn't call out sexism. It wasn't acceptable and she knew it which is why she didn't reveal her decision to her readers when she made it. Only when it was time for her to have her brief Popeye movement ("I can't stands no more!") did she inform that it had been a deliberate decision.

And, thing is, most people never noticed and Katha probably didn't grasp what she was revealing either.

The first half of 2008 was all about disrepecting women. And a number of women joined in. (Michelle Obama's comments at the end of 2007 were sexist and they have not been forgotten.)

The sexism couldn't have worked without some women selling other women out. Which is how you got two butt-ugly non-Democrats writing "Feminist Ultimatums: Not In Our Name." (Eve, Lee Grant wants her hair back and Elvira asking that you return her make-up.) The two faux Democrats, Eve Ensler and Kimberle Crenshaw, wrote an attack on Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan and so many other women which included:

In seeking to corral wayward souls into the Hillary Clinton camp, the new players of this troubling game are no longer the hawkish Republicans but "either/or" feminists determined to see to it that a woman occupies the Oval Office. Drawing their feminist boundaries in the sand, they interrogate, chastise, second-guess and even denounce those who escape their encampment and find themselves on Obama terrain. In their hands feminism, like patriotism, is the all-encompassing prism that eliminates discussion, doubt and difference about whom to vote for and why.

Yep, that's Gloria, rounding up women on the streets and interrogating them. We're surprised Eve and Kimberle didn't invent detention centers since they were already being so creative. (Far more creative than anything Eve's offered in her 'artistic' life.) Here's an either/or for the writers, you're either a Democrat or you're not. So how about letting America know the truth on that?

The non-Democrats (writing Feb. , 2008, early in the Democratic Party primary season) continue:

While denying any intention to square off racism against sexism, the "either/or" feminists nonetheless remind us that the Black (man) got the vote before the (white) woman, that gender barriers are more rigid than racial barriers, that sexism is everywhere and racism is not, that a female Obama wouldn't get nearly as far as a Barack Obama, and that a woman's vote for Clinton is scrutinized while a male vote for Obama is not. Never mind of course that real suffrage for African Americans wasn't realized until the 1960s, that there are any number of advantages that white women have in business, politics and culture that people of color do not; that all around the world women's route to political leadership is through family dynasty which is virtually closed to marginalized groups, and that the double standard of stigmatizing Obama's Black voters as racially motivated while whitewashing Clinton's white voters as "just voters" constitutes the exact same double standard that the "either/or feminists" bemoan.

First off, African-Americans in the US were not disenfranchised "until the 1960s." The United States is fifty states, ladies. Jim Crow laws on voting were then in existance in the south. It is a historical fact that African-American males got the vote before ALL women. The non-Democrats are playing their race card, it feels like the 1940s all over again. Voter disenfrachisment continues (2008 may have taught us more about that than 2000 did). It is true that "white women" sometimes have a leg up. For example, we can't imagine a man producing the stitched together, badly written Vagina Monologues and getting praised for it. Then again, maybe if he had 'movement' comrades to do his advance work in the press, he might have?

By the time the two get to "whitewashing," they aren't even concerned with facts or appearing sane. African-American voters were never lectured not to support Barack by the White press. The White press had no problem lecturing women who supported Hillary.

The "either/or" crowd surprisingly claims that the two Democratic candidates are more alike than different, yet those who gravitate to Obama find their motives questioned and their loyalties on trial. Even long standing allies of the women's movement have been unable to escape the label of "traitor" for opting to support Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton.

The two "candidates are more alike than different"? Then why did you both support Barack? That's your decision but if there's a reason for the support, you never outlined it. And, Eve, you are a traitor. You're a dumb traitor on top of that.

You wrote a bad, bad play. But it finally gave you, the failed actress, a minute or two of fame. Your follow up efforts have provided you with nothing and will provide you with nothing. It's really hard for you to energize a lot of women into coming to stare at your plain face for hours as you dither on stage at this point. The selling point of your awful play was that "This is women supporting women!" And you not only attacked Hillary, you went after Gloria and Robin and so many more. Women are aware of what you did. Your V-Movement is about as wanted these days as a bowel movement. Flush it down, Eve, flush it down.

The Two Politically Closeted Writers sure toss "racism" around but never stumble across "sexism." How is that? How do you write what feminism means to you and what it means you are against and never use the word "sexism"?

You do it because feminism isn't your first concern. You do it because you're a fool. Eve and Kimberle can't shut up about Afghanistan and they're left having carried the water for the candidate who can't shut up about sending more troops to Afghanistan. Ladies, you said "Not in our name!" But your actions brought it about. Soap won't wash away the blood on your hands if Barack's elected but we might suggest you use it on your mouths.

The two fakes try to sell not voting for the female candidate as a sign of feminism. Yeah, we heard that talking point repeatedly. We just never heard any similar point made to African-American voters about Barack.

Why didn't we hear it? Because it's offensive, sell-out device.

So there were the two useless 'writers,' offering their 'useless' 'thoughts' and indicating their sell-by-date had long expired. Probably explains the curdled look to Eve's face.

Or maybe that was due to the press silence on her last 'big' event?

Could a feminist have supported Barack?

If she knew the record, it's doubtful that she could have acting on feminist principles. But it is possible. And, for those who did so with no more acknowledgement than, "I'm supporting Barack," we think it's possible.

But for idiots like Eve and Kimberle who felt the need to flaunt their crap in public, no. Barack Obama put homophobes onstage in South Carolina. There's nothing feminist about that. Barack Obama (despite the right-wing meme today) did nothing to support abortion rights while in the Illinois legislature. We knew where Hillary stood on both of those issues.

Here's where the logic always fell apart. They would put pressure on Barack to make him into who they wanted him to be. Female, male, all the loons said it, sounding like the stereotype of a woman who's going to change a man. Their illogical argument was that they could bring to pressure to bear on Barack.

They were never asked why they felt pressure couldn't be brought on Hillary?

Were they saying they believed Barack was so weak-minded they could push him around?

They say they want to end the illegal war. (Eve's own actions in 2007 and 2008 demonstrate little to bear that out and Kimberle's too busy covering state Republicans to write about Iraq.) If Hillary is all the evil they think she is (they seem to forget the talking about those 'polling Clintons, always watching the poll numbers!') and they wanted to kick start a real movement in this country, why not elect Hillary?

The alleged movement wouldn't need to regroup after Barack disappointed them. It would be in place (fueled by sexism) and ready to take on Hillary from day one.

If their actions were supposed to promote their strategic capabilities, all it demonstrated is they lack the skill to even plan a child's birthday party.

So the men attacked and you had Queen Bees joining in and never was it supposed to be noticed that gender would never be celebrated.

Now the sexism has bit the Barack campaign in the ass. And you see women coming forward to the public sphere with talking points (lies) that they did support Hillary early on but then decided to go for Barack. They beckon (like ugly sirens) saying, "Come on, girls, I did it. You can too! It's so soft and comfortable crashing on these rocks!"

That's really not working either.

So last week, the point was to try to corral feminists (all Hillary voters but especially feminists who have been overly loyal to the Democratic Party) as much as it was to shore up Barack. They failed at both aims.

As Ava and C.I. point out, Michelle Obama couldn't stop loving that man -- whether it was Barack, her father or her brother. And that was pretty much all the primetime speeches from the 'beloved.' (The Clintons were not beloved by Barack or Nancy Pelosi.)

This was where the party was going to finally note the historic run by Hillary. And yet . . . they wouldn't even allow a roll call vote. And yet . . . Barack didn't know about the enacting of the 19th Amendment. We were surprised by that. Usually, he comes up with a good lie for anniversaries. Like how he was conceived due to the Selma March . . . conceived five years before. We were expecting to hear a tale of the courtship of his parents at Seneca Falls!

They threw out sop. And it was often aimed solely at women. It was as bad as the GOP 'strategy' that Dan Quayle would be on the ticket because he'd appeal to women due to his 'good looks.' It was insulting, regardless of whether it was coming out of the mouth of his wife (he's still the man I love, 19 years later!) or out of the mouths of a bunch of women the feminist movement really doesn't need to hear from. (You know who you are.)

But to have speakers (not Barack) repeatedly note "the 88th anniversary of women winning the vote" in the same convention in which you deny Hillary's roll call vote? It was sop. It was crap.

Feminists aren't buying it. And they're already calling out the garbage aimed at John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin. Not because they're going to vote for her but because we're all damn sick of a woman being unqualified because of her gender. We're all sick of the gender attacks against women in order to disqualify them.

The device used was not Hillaryism. It was sexism. And it hurt all women.

Palin's got numerous areas to hit upon. Attacking her for her gender? Not one of them.

And not one that will work.

Now the useless and stupid (see Eve Ensler) convinced themselves that women were supporting Hillary because they were "either/or" -- if the useless and stupid really believed that lie, they should especially be worried about the attacks on Palin. They should fear that these attacks would fuel the same 'non-thinking women' that they think only supported Hillary's run out of 'solidarity.' They should fear unleashing those 'unthinking women'.

Support for Hillary, those eighteen million voters and those voters who chose someone else when it was still more than a two-candidate race but came to Hillary after (check the donations, a lot of people in states that had already held their primaries began donating to Hillary for the first time long after their state held the primary), was about a great deal more than gender and, for many, gender didn't even factor in.

But you all told your lies of how Hillary was evil and unlikeable and unqualified so often, you started to believe in them and never grasped just what a powerful candidate Hillary was.

Attempting to be a good sport, Hillary asked last week if her supporters were just in it for her or what the Democratic Party stood for? It was a good pitch. It wasn't successful, but it was a good pitch. And you had bullies pick up on it and start repeating it.

For Hillary's base, Barack is not the Democratic Party. He does not stand for anything. He never has. He has no specifics. He has no plans. He is airy and gossamar. Fine, toss him back on the cover of Men's Vogue. But don't turn around and pretend he represents what Democrats are supposed to stand for. Hillary stood up for MoveOn, Barack condemned them. Hillary stood for fighting for what was right, Barack wants to hold hands from across the aisle. Hillary stood for equality, Barack stands for sexism and homophobia. Hillary stood for working class Americans, Barack ridiculed them in San Francisco.

Barack ridiculed small town America. It caused a huge uproar. Demonstrating just how inept the campaign is, all these months after that error, when Palin was announced, they insulted her for once being the mayor of a . . . small town. Still making the same mistakes all this time later and still sliming a woman.

People supporting Hillary's run were supporting what she was proposing. Barack's not proposing that. Barack and Hillary were never just alike. And those who supported Hillary were supporting what she stood for and proposed.

Last week was supposed to be the damage control for the rampant sexism. But all it was attack Hillary, attack Bill, attack them again and again and again. No lie was too far of a reach. People could peer both inside Hillary's head and the future. Or so they'd have you believe.

It was insulting to listening to the gas bags. It was insulting that all this time later, they still only had one way to build up Barack: Tear down Hillary.

He and his campaign are not just getting stale, they're damaging him with all the leaks and whispers to the press about the 'evil' Hillary. She conceded publicly in June. She was never going to have a floor fight, she was saying that privately in June. Hillary's race ended with another stunning win (Puerto Rico). All these months later, it was still drag the woman through the mud to justify why Barack's non-experience, non-qualifications warrant a vote for him. It's become pathological.

Forget Barack and the DNC convention, where was the coverage of the 88th anniversary? Where was the celebration of that? There was no time for it because it was Barack, Barack, Barack and then Hillary Won't Go Away! Lot of public affairs programs (radio and TV) and who thought the anniversary was worth discussing? Who did a segment on it? Who celebrated that moment?

And they still want to pretend the media wasn't sexist. And they still want to pretend it was about Hillary only and not about women.

They disrespect women. They hissed "gender card!" and "identity politics!" over and over. And now they want to push Roe v. Wade as a reason to support Barack?

Do they not see how laughable they are? BuzzFlash was posting their a vote-for-Barack-is-support-for-Roe V. Wade on June 3rd. Considering the low number of men who ever have abortions (that would be: zero), what exactly do they think they're pushing?

Wouldn't that be the same "gender card" and "identity politics" that they screamed against when Hillary won New Hampshire?

How stupid do they think women are?

Start putting together all the lies they told in the primaries and there's no reason to support Barack. African-Americans couldn't vote until the 1960s! News to African-Americans outside the south. But, hey, abortion? It's not available everywhere. In fact, for most of the country, it's really just a right on paper and not in practice. What's Barack planning to do about that, besides insult women who have abortions and hob-knob with anti-abortion fundamentalists?

So if the Constitutional Amendment giving African-American males the right to vote is meaningless and inaccurate to raise because Jim Crow denied votes to African-Americans in the south, then certainly a Supreme Court case verdict that no longer allows women access to abortions in their own areas of the country is pretty meaingless as well.

In attacking Hillary and her supporters over and over, they acted like Republicans. And having presented all these arguments for why someone shouldn't support Hillary, those same arguments not only go to why someone shouldn't support Barack today, they also reveal how empty a candidate he is.

In the primaries he had nothing to run on but "I'm not Hillary." Now he wants to win the presidency by arguing "I'm not Bush." All this time later and he still hasn't established who he is or what he stands for. It's pretty damn embarrassing, but not at all surprising. Hillary was winning the electoral college. Team Obama was saying, "We will remake the map!" Those plans long ago got shelved and the reality is the campaign's in a panic because the 'new math' doesn't add up and he never closed the deal.

'Dynasty' hissed Eve and Kimberle (along with so many others); however, they never took offense to Ted and Caroline Kennedy trying to rub whatever's left of their images onto Barack in order to shore up his thread-bare credentials.

MSNBC's Weiner Dog

"It is analysis that strikes me as having borne no resemblance to the speech you and I just watched. None whatsoever. And for it to be distributed by the lone national news organization in terms of wire copy to newspapers around the country and web sites is a remarkable failure of that news organization. Charles Babington, find a new line of work."

Charlie Babington is a reporter for the Associated Press. He is a reporter with a lengthy resume, one who has worked for a variety of publications (including The Washington Post -- and as long noted here, Ava and C.I. know Babington). The critique above may not bother you.

You may think it was made at a blog or on talk radio. Standard fare for either.

But it was made on a cable network. And it wasn't a guest making it.

It was Keith Olbermann, on MSNBC.

In making the remarks above, he explained to anyone still confused why he is not on the short list to host NBC's Meet The Press.

In making the remarks, he also demonstrated why MSNBC is becoming increasingly leery of The Mouth That Bored.

Those are not the remarks of an anchor. Those remarks are, in fact, completely unacceptable.

MSNBC is the sewer but even NBC news honchos were startled by the latest swill Olbermann issued on air.

For far too long, Olbermann (who is not a trained journalist) has been egged on and petted. His keepers (General Electric) thought he was a good mammal because he brought in ratings. Foolishly short-sighted 'lefties' (such as Katrina vanden Heuvel at The Nation) applauded him (and, in fact The Nation made him a cover boy).

Some on the 'left' saw him as the left's answer to Bill O'Reilly.

And that goes a long way towards explaining the rot of the left in this country.

For those who have forgotten, the problems with O'Reilly including his blovating, his blustering and his fact-free approach.

The idea that the left needs an O'Reilly goes against everything the left believes in.

We don't want to shout our arguments louder, we want to make them better and sound. We want to enlighten, not bully. We want to persuade, not terrorize.

As Olbermann continues his descent into Howard Beal madness, it may be time for the left to reconsider the idea that he's the public face needed.

Nothing has changed.

You're not supposed to notice that, but nothing has changed. 'Fresh' faces have popped up in the last few years but there is nothing new about what they offer. They are either more fact-free right-wingers or they are the 'left' equivalent.

They are major images of one another and demonstrate that the fabled media project (that so many Soros dollars built) was never about anything of importance.

War Hawk Rachel Maddow, under a ton of makeup, can be seen on the screens. She's gay! So what. She's a blood thirsty War Hawk who, in 2004 and 2005, spent hours and hours badgering callers and guests who stated the US needed to leave Iraq. Rachel Maddow was not "change you can believe in." Rachel Maddow was more of the same damn thing.

To her credit, Maddow badgers. She's yet (that we're aware of) taken it to blovating.

(Although reports that she call Hillary Clinton a "vain bitch" on MSNBC Tuesday night, if confirmed, would have us rethinking that call.)

Maddow is the Chachi to Olbermann's Fonz. In their minds. He took her under his wing and did so because she was happy to make sexist attacks on Hillary. No one's supposed to notice that.

All this time after, no one supposed to question Olbermann. MSNBC is increasingly questioning him and questioning exactly how out of control he's going to be next? A risk assessment meeting was held following the Thursday night nonsense.

We think it's doubtful Olbermann would be canned (that was discussed), but we know he's a time-bomb and think it's past time the left started acting like a "bully for our side" was something to take pride in.

Olbermann has demonstrated that the center-left can be as insane as the right-wingers on Fox.
Last week, he also had an on air altercation with another MSNBC personality and, at the meeting on Friday, it was pointed out that the other personality is on the rise, with higher approval ratings than Olbermann currently. It was pointed out that if some money was invested into promoting him, MSNBC would be in a stronger position when Olbermann next goes nutty on air.

MSNBC has lousy ratings. It has always had lousy ratings. It may continue to have lousy ratings. Olbermann struts around because he's the highest rated thing on the network. We never saw Vicky Lawrence swagger around when Mama's Family was the highest rated program on the former Pax Network. There's a reason for that, the ratings weren't impressive. In the real world, outside of MSNBC's pondscum, Olbermann's aren't either. (Especially when you factor in what he's being paid to 'produce' those ratings.)

Olbermann didn't like Charlie's report. So he felt the need to scream and hiss on air and to end it by suggesting Charlie find another line of work. Charlie's profession is journalism.

Olbermann strangely assumes he and Charles Babington are doing the same thing. They are not. Charlie is a reporter, Olbermann is a cable mouther. Olbermann's background is in sports (where you can yell like a loon and few will notice). Olbermann depends on the actual work that people like Babington do. It's not as if Olbermann's ever reported a single story, let alone known how to.

Earlier, Olbermann made an ass of himself (it happens so often) that had people at all three network news divisions laughing. That's when he went to town on Katie Couric for Couric daring to note that a reporter who states on air that he can't be objective about the topic he's assigned to cover needs to find another line of work. Real journalists (not Olbermann) agreed with Couric. You are supposed to be objective in the MSM. Not only are you supposed to be objective, you are not supposed to anything that even makes your objectivity suspect.

Declaring on air that you can't be objective about your topic (Obama), demonstrates that you need to, at the very least, ask to be assigned to another topic and, at most, consider getting another job.

Couric was right.

Olbermann screamed and hissed at her. As usual, our watchdogs played dumb.

CounterSpin (which hates CBS News but hates Couric even more) refused to call Olbermann out. They refused to call the journalist Couric was referring to out when he stated he couldn't be objective.

The left is not just losing the high ground, it's surrendering it to wallow in a cesspool.

When CounterSpin (FAIR's weekly radio show) refuses to call out a MSM reporter confessing on air that he can't be objective, there's a serious problem. When Olbermann screaches at Couric (yet another woman he's screamed at non-stop this year) for making a very valid point, CounterSpin better be there. It refused to do so. (Olbermann is also a CounterSpin pet and FAIR co-founder Jeff Cohen finds him 'groovy.')

Do we have a media critique or don't we?

If we have a media critique on the left, why aren't things being called out?

Earlier, we noted the reporter in question was confessing on air not to have any objectivity about his subject ("it's hard"!!!!) and we noted his subject was Barack's campaign. Olbermann's attack on Babington? Also over Barack.

FAIR, CounterSpin and many more watchdogs have proven that they are not interested in a media critique. They have no journalistic objectives or, if they once did, they surrendered them to try and put Barack in the White House. It wasn't always that way. It is that way today and it's damn embarrassing.

The damage FAIR is doing will last beyond an election. Regardless of the outcome, FAIR has made it very clear to the MSM that they are not about truth or a journalistic critique. Week after week, they are about spinning Barack. That's not why the organization was found. When you abandon your principles, it's difficult to pick them up later.

Even if you manage to, no one's going to trust you for a very long time.

Barack or John McCain in the White House could very well mean war with Iran. If there's a new war coming and the time comes to call it out, it's going to be very difficult for certain Panhandle Media outlets to do so because they've sold their souls to Team Obama and that has not gone unnoticed.

The first step to reclaiming the principles the left used to hold dear is publicly rejecting Olbermann's antics.

Olbermann's antics can be read about in Greg Mitchell's "MSNBC Host Rips AP Reporter's Analysis" (Editor & Publisher).

The overview of Gutter Trash's attack

[This article is written by Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Rebecca, Ruth, Marcia, Betty, Cedric, Wally, Mike, Elaine and Kat.]

Remove the damage done to C.I. kids by Gutter Trash's posting (and set aside the feelings of Jim, Dona, Jess, Rebecca, Mike and C.I.) for a second and look at the rest of what she Gutter Trash did last week.

A judge would wonder, "She found this upsetting? She really found this so upsetting that you broke the law?" A jugde might recommend she get an evaluation to determine her mental health.

Those e-mails from Jess, Dona and Jim are not threatening. Those e-mails do not express violence. The most Gutter Trash can argue is that they disagreed with her. Disagreeing with her sends her into rages? Again, a judge might recommend she receive an evaluation and might also sentence her to counseling.

The judge would also point out the very obvious fact that if she found Jess' e-mail so upsetting, why did she continue e-mailing?

She broke the law by posting Jess' e-mail and it apparently brought her no satisfaction. She continued e-mailing and she never notified that she was posting those e-mails.

That's where, if e-mails fall under the regulations for telephone calls and not letters, she is in serious trouble because her actions would be the equivalent of taping a conversation without informing the other party they were being taped.

Did we all miss something and she's actually part of the police force or a federal agency? We're having a hard time believing she got a warrant for that sort of behavior.

Most likely her boring, little life got too much for her so she decided she needed some self-created drama. That's how it plays on the outside. Her comments she posted to her own entries express very clear malice. That's not good for her either.

The judge would wonder, "All of this because someone didn't rush to praise you?"

Read the e-mails.

Don't read them with all the vective she has surrounding them. Just isolate the e-mails, without her interpretations. She broke the law. But if you just read the e-mails themselves, you'll wonder what had her so outraged to begin with. Someone doesn't like her? Was this the first time someone didn't like her in her entire life? Someone didn't want her to e-mail?

On that point, a judge would ask her why she continued e-mailing when she was told not to?

A judge would say, "You were informed that they didn't have time for your e-mails but you wrote how many times before Dona responded? And then, after you posted her response, you continued to e-mail. Ma'am, could you explain to me what you were thinking when you were doing that?"

Because clearly, if you don't like an e-mail response, if it so upsetting to you that you break the law, you don't keep e-mailing.

Clearly, if you're as outraged as you say, you don't keep e-mailing. You say, "Well screw them." And you get on with your life. (Of course, there is the possibility that Gutter Trash has no life to get on with.)

If you look at the difference in comments from when she first posted Jess' e-mail to when she posted Dona's, you see a serious decline in the quality of comments and that those who were exploring the issue (in agreement with her or opposed to her) disappear. You're left with only her tiny cheering section. Why do you think that happened?

We know she refused to allow Rebecca's comment (Gutter Trash moderates comment) up at her site and possibly she received many complaints (we know she received some from the e-mails that have come in to all sites). But equally true may be that those willing to explore the issue of whether she was right or wrong with regards to posting Jess' e-mail (she was wrong) no longer felt it was worth it to even bother with her site anymore because there was no longer even her pretense of being torn about posting.

She posts the first e-mail (from Jess) and plays injured party. Then it's time for Dona, then it's time for Jess. From the outside, it becomes a question of, "Why did you keep e-mailing them?" Even with all her lies, it's very clear that each e-mail she posts is in response to what she's been sending out.

She wasn't harassed. No one (that includes Rebecca and Mike in 2007) ever initiated contact with her. If she's truly so outraged and insulted why does she keep e-mailing?

And what lunatic excuse does she make for herself for posting Mike's e-mail (from 2007!) at her site without his permission?

There is no excuse.

When the cat's finally out of the bag about what she did, she proposes the novel defense of 'I have an evil twin.'

That may just be the voices in her head or possibly her sock puppets.

She is asked to take it down and she refuses to do so.

She plays injured party even after she is aware of how much pain and suffering she has inflicted.

She treats it all as a joke at her site.

Even after she can't claim to be unaware of what her actions caused.

Sociopath is the term that should be applied here for how Gutter Trash comes off looking.

The 'organization' depends upon confidientiality when exchanging e-mails with anyone in the US. If the 'organization' can't guarantee that, they aren't a great deal of help in their single issue.

But the 'organization' has expressed no concerns or remorse that their representative is posting private e-mails without permission that were sent to their representative in her role as their representative.

One of the people they 'help' became 'concerned' on Saturday. He had joined in on the trashing. He has trashed on Saturday. He has blogged at his own site on Sunday. He should have been concerned the second private e-mails went up if he gives a damn about his organization.

For the 'organization,' that's where the damage starts.

It certainly doesn't help that they're not involved in attacking a woman with cancer. It certainly doesn't look good that, even after being requested to take down the posts, they haven't.

What it looks like is the 'organization' refuses to take any responsibility.

Not surprising when they allow complaints on this to be 'handled' by Gutter Trash's boyfriend.

No, that doesn't look 'good' or 'professional' either.

Nor do his responses attacking people who e-mail the 'organization' to complain about what Gutter Trash has done.

The 'organization' depends upon making a plea for sympathy and justice.

Their actions last week (which are still ongoing) are likely to create a backlash against them.

That's THEIR actions.

We didn't create this problem. They did.

And no judge will see it any different.

Of Gutter Trash, the question he will ask himself is, "Even after she knew the harm her postings had caused, even after she knew the woman had cancer, she refused to take her posts down? She broke the law, she created a scandal for the 'organization' and none of that bothered her?"
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