Sunday, February 14, 2010


Jim: Roundtable time -- on e-mails and news topics. Participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude -- back with us and fresh from London; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. This is a rush transcript. First e-mail is from regular reader Mary who writes that she has e-mailed on this topic "several times" and her issue is what lets something become a story and what doesn't? Dona, provide a summary of the writing for each week's edition.


Dona: Each week, we know that Ava and C.I. will write a commentary and we know that Mike, Elaine, Rebecca, Betty, Wally, Kat, Ruth, Marcia, Stan, Ann and Cedric will do the "Highlights" piece. We also know that we will have to cover Iraq. Sometimes our "Iraq" feature doesn't work out or we're pressed for time and we'll fold it into our editorial. In addition to that, we're pitching multiple ideas. Many of which will never be worked on but some of which will be. Of those, some will result in something we think we can publish and a larger share will not be worth publishing. That's the overview. The only thing written so far this edition is a piece that Jess did on consumer scams. So I'm going to toss to Jess to explain the basics for Mary on that.

Jess: This wasn't a piece that would work as a group writing piece and I'm very aware that everyone at Third -- Third is Jim, Dona, Ty, Ava, C.I. and myself -- has done individual writing and that I've been lagging there since the early part of 2009. So I was bothered by two scams that had come through to me in the last week and I was mentioning that to Jim and Dona. I knew I could write it on that level. I wanted to give a thank you to C.I. in the article but C.I. nixed that. However, when I was done with my article, I mentioned what I liked and what I didn't like. C.I. immediately gave me additional resources which take it from me to a larger realm. Had this been a group piece, it would have been easy to do the second part but the first half would have been lost and the first half is what will most likely pull readers in. We believe in group writing, however, there are times when writing by committee destroys a piece.

Jim: What was the big learning thing?

Jess: Honestly, that the FTC has a Valentine's Day quiz. It's PDF format, but you can click here. There were two scams I learned of that are in the article and they were shocking but I'll leave those for the article and just note the quiz.

Jim: Thank you. Now to Haiti. Mike may end up with a "truest" this week. He's nominated for the following: "You've exhuasted not only our compassion but our patience as well." That's on the never-ending media coverage of the Haiti earthquake and the aftermath. And several readers suggested that statement as a truest and several more suggested we address Haiti.

Betty: Mike's exactly right. That coverage is non-stop and important stories are not being covered. Also, as Kat has noted and as many other people have noted -- including Ava and C.I. in a piece so powerful that Sad Sirota ripped off parts of it -- the coverage is nothing but "Oh the humanity! Oh the humanity! Let's all wallow and be powerless!"

Kat: Actually, I'm going to disagree with you, Betty. There's another aspect: Evil Bill Clinton.

Betty: Thank you. You're correct. That's all over the Pacifica coverage. It's an embarrassment and I'm glad you pointed it out.

Elaine: If I can jump in before we get to the type of coverage to point out one factor. I'm listening to the BBC yesterday and they devote an entire hour to Haiti and note that it's one month since the earthquake. One month. One month and we still have to have non-stop coverage. I'm so sick of it. As Mike said of this media coverage, "You've exhuasted not only our compassion but our patience as well."

Rebecca: Here's my problem with the glomming by Pacifica, et al. I'm so sick of the fact that regularly real news is ignored because it's the day this person was killed or that person was killed or this tragedy or that tragedy. Do you realize how many days of Pacifica programming are the same each year? And I'm sure that the Haiti earthquake will now take up a day on the calendar as well. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of all of it. I want to deal with what happens today and history is not to consume us, it is to inform us of what happens today. I'm so sick of the memorial days and the days of observance and blah blah blah.

Marcia: I agree. Think of all the days we've already got where nothing else happens. Well there's MLK day. There's Malcolm X's death, Fred Hampton's death, various Civil Rights events, there's the Brown versus Board of Education anniversary, Hurricane Katrina anniversary, there's East Timor day, there's the nuking of Japan anniversary, you name it. I'm sure Haiti's earthquake will now be added to it. Betty mentioned an article by Ava and C.I. and I want to quote from another one by them, this is about the day after Howard Zinn's death, "Focusing just on KPFA, listeners got 80 minutes on Zinn and his death as a result of the fact that Democracy Now! is aired twice each day. But that wasn't all the Zinn coverage they got on Thursday. In addition to that one hour and twenty minutes coverage from Goody, they got 30 minutes of the two hour The Morning Show devoted to Zinn, they got at least 20 minutes of Zinn from an old interview on Letters To Washington, the full hour of Living Room, two minutes and thirty-four seconds on the half hour Free Speech Radio News, Flashpoints Radio gave Zinn over 13 minutes on Thursday -- despite having spent 20 minutes on his passing the evening before. At some point the question needs to be asked: Did listeners really need all of that?" Is Pacifica unable to grasp that they drive away listeners with this and other saturation coverage?

Rebecca: Haiti, of course, has been much more coverage than the examples Ava and C.I. gave on Zinn's passing. I'll point out the obvious, Haiti's long been an American Communist dreamland. You get the whole "Mother Courage" contingent and you get them rubbing their thighs excitedly as they say "imperialist!" and if you caught them in an unguarded moment, you'd hear "brothers and sisters" --

C.I.: That actually was done on WBAI last week, on Taking Aim. "Brothers and sisters," repeatedly and also "Mother Courage." Tuesday on WBAI.

Rebecca: See. And I was in London and had no idea but that's so typical. And there's nothing wrong with Communism, but step out of the closet all damn ready. There is something seriously wrong about offering your Marxist critique while posing as a Democrat or as an 'independent.'

Ava: For example Naomi Klein. One has to wonder, having ripped off various economists as well as Ira Levin, whom Little Nomi will rip off next. But how pathetic that she wants to play brave and she can't even get honest about what she believes in.

Rebecca: And that's a woman who can't even talk about war resistance and acknowledge that her father was a US War Resister during Vietnam and that's why her family went to Canada.

Kat: Here's my problem -- on this theme -- here's my problem. They Closet Communists hiss and piss at the "mainstream media" and the "corporate media" in their angry commentaries on air at Pacifica, for example, but they never want to admit it's not that simple -- a point Elaine made on Friday -- they never want to admit it's not that simple. There is a corporatist view, there is an imperialist view, there is a Socialist view, there is a Communist view, there is a liberal view, a left view, all these views. But they continue to insist, these Closet Cases, that there are only two views: The corporate media view and their view and their view is correct and 100% accurate. It's not that simple. I'm sick of the blinders. And to address one more point, the saturation coverage? It's not accidental. It's planned. My opinion.

Mike: I agree with Kat. It's planned. It's planned because it's part of an echo chamber. Meant to give a radical view passed off as the normative view and the factual view traction and to indoctrinate. That's all it is. I'm not opposed to a radical view. But don't cover up what you're offering. And let's get really honest here, the Closet Communist -- often Jews, but not only Jews -- is obsessed with the Black man.

Betty: I would say, "Obsessed with the Colored man." I would say that because they are so trapped in the past.

Mike: I'm laughing but I agree. Okay, so they are obsessed and as a result they will not critique Barack. I'm so f**king sick of them. I'm so damn sick of them. And if you're ever listening to a Pacifica radio program on Haiti and you're not sure whether you're hearing Communists or Democrats or whatever, here's how you can spot the Closet Communist: They slam Bill Clinton, they slam Hillary Clinton and they either ignore Barack or they offer a mild critique. Barack Obama is president of the United States. Anyone unhappy with the current US policy towards Haiti would loudly criticize the president. Anyone who instead slams Bill and Hillary and ignores the president of the United States? That's a Closet Communist for you. That's how you can know them. When Naomi Klein's bitter and fat face furrows as she hisses and pissed about Bill Clinton but she refuses to loudly call out Barack -- the way she did Bush, for example -- that's your clue. They're all so fake and so phony and it's impossible to trust any of them anymore. This isn't about being opposed to Communist critiques or to Socialist critiques, it's about being opposed to closet cases. Be honest about what you believe in or stay off the airwaves. I'm tired of it and I'm tired of the tricksters. And if you look at the 'big' Panhandle Media stories, time and again, it's the Closet Communists leading the way.

Stan: Which is why race always dominates. Or the Black race. With an emphasis on the African-American male. My cousin, Marcia, used to regularly call out Amy Goodman and how she inflamed tensions and I agree that she did and I honestly believe that is what Amy Goodman sets out to do. I believe she wants a race war. Look at just her Jena coverage. She interviews a mother who tells her X and then two days later, Goody's acting like she never heard that and creating a false story instead. These aren't accidents, these are intentional and deliberate attempts to inflame tensions.

Cedric: I would agree with that and I would agree, as Betty's father has so often pointed out, that when the powder keg goes off, it won't be Amy Goodman being in danger, it'll be African-Americans, it'll be me, it'll be Ann, Betty, Stan, etc. Not Amy Goodman. She just tosses the match and then runs. And Marcia, you may want to explain why you stopped that coverage at your site of Goody.

Marcia: Because it was so depressing and so never ending. I'm so sick of it and I'm so sick of her. And whether it's her or the lying Laura Flanders, I've realized that African-Americans would be a lot better off if these busybodies just butted the hell out of our lives.

Ann: I think the takeover that took place of independent media is why the US is covered so little. And I think people at Pacifica need to grasp a few things including the fact that those of us living in the US, where Pacifica broadcasts from, do not need a month long Haiti report. We have our own issues and our own concerns and a month later you can damn well start addressing them. But it is an echo chamber and it does exist to indoctrinate us. It's not about informing, it's not about helping. And it's so hateful. That crap that Kevin Pina and Dennis Bernstein is so hateful. And they just pour the hatred on Bill Clinton and, of course, avoid calling out Barack Obama. What a powerful man Bill Clinton must be to still be in charge of US policy all these years later! They need to grow up and they need to grasp that they sound flat out crazy.

Wally: I hear a Pacifica-er, in the midst of so-called Haiti coverage last week, start ranting about Mena and all those conspiracy theories. You need to grasp that even when he applauded and cheer led the Iraq War, Christopher Hitchens wasn't kicked out of Pacifica circles because so many of them believed his crazed and drunken lies about Bill Clinton. They do not have a picture of Bill Clinton that's balanced or rational and they're really letting their hatred out these days. It's as though they were the aliens on V and they can't help but show the world their lizard faces.

Trina: What's really coming through, my opinion, is how little value Pacifica actually offers. They have no news program. They read headlines. That's pretty much all they do besides the occasional report from Max Pringle. Don't bring up Nora Barrows-Friedman because the non-stop Haiti coverage means we don't get her reporting from Gaza or else her reports treated as an after thought. So you've got Max Pringle and that's really it. There is no investigative reporting and they really offer nothing but headlines and interviews with book authors and journalists. That's not reporting. Since they don't report, they rant and do so repeatedly. And do so loudly. And there's a special kind of self-hatred starting to gel, my opinion, that's leading them and their MSNBC counterparts to really wallow in the ugly.

Jim: Interesting.

Trina: I participated in a lengthy conversation late Friday night and early Saturday morning with Ava, C.I., Elaine, Mike and Rebecca on this topic. So some of what I'm saying may be cribbed from them. But there's no value. They're not reporting. They're reading headlines and they're doing interviews. And they're self-promoting. There's a segment that we'll be highlighting in at least two ways -- an embarrassing one -- from KFPA that I won't go into here but that's the perfect example of how Pacifica has just hit rock bottom. But they ask you to give money and give money and what are you giving it for? You don't know the orientation of the hosts -- the political orientations -- but you do know that they're doing programming on the cheap. And you have to wonder where the money goes. I'm tired of it. I'm not giving a dime. They've shown their ass one time too many.

Ann: What I don't get is why each of the stations works so hard to marginalize themselves. You can look at what Trina's talking about and see it there. But I'm talking about the music and the on air intros. Not hosts, mind you. And to deal with the music, what is that crap? I'm Black and please, it's a White person idea of Black music. A non-rhythmic White person's idea. And why are they playing that to begin with. Picture for a moment that you don't listen to WBAI. You don't know it's out there. So you're flipping the channel and you come across that awful music they play -- that they think makes them soulful -- you'd switch to another station. And there's this message that WBAI especially sends. Despite the fact that the bulk of their on air hosts are White, with their hourly intros and their music, and that spot featuring the kids, to hear any of that, the average listener would think, "Oh, this is a station for Blacks." And Blacks listening past those moments would be grossly disappointed because, again, the bulk of the hosts are White. And White people thinking, "Oh, this is a station for Blacks," might move on to a station for Whites or a station for all races. They self-defeat in the way they represent themselves and I'm honestly surprised that that's never been addressed but then I think back to college and this White woman who thought she was soulful because she knew some reggae. Some bad reggae.

Trina: WBAI just did several hours yesterday featuring the music of Bob Marley, by the way.

Ann: Why? So a bunch of whiney White folk who are in their sixties can grin while they roll up another doobie? See, that's what I'm talking about. That's not going to grab White audiences or Black audiences. Black audiences rejected reggae in real time. It never had a foothold in the Black community. It was hugely popular with the White stoner which might have been a larger grouping in the seventies than it is today. Who do they think they're pleasing? Who do they think they're attracting?

Cedric: Let me add to my wife's comments regarding reggae that for a lot of the I-Know-It-All Whites on the left -- that's not a grouping of all Whites who are left, to be clear, they see a Black person performing reggae and think, "Oh, this is the Black experience!" It's not for most of us.

Betty: I'm sorry but when Cedric said the I-Know-It-All Whites on the left, I immediately thought of Kris Welch and how she always thinks she's so soulful with her music choices but they're just laughable and how it's hilarious that KPFA attacks religion in one program after another but plays gospel music on Saturday mornings. Of course, the gospel music is performed by Blacks. So it's patronizing from the Whites in charge of KPFA. It's "oh, they're soulful and they came up from slavery and they make such cute music." It's not about religion for them -- despite it being gospel music -- it's about "listen to our pet Blacks." It's very insulting.

Cedric: It is and it is "listen to our pet Blacks." You always get that sense, for example, from Amy Goodman. And I keep waiting for someone to point out that she is 'primary' host of Democracy Now! which has three other hosts and none of them are Black. For a show supposedly so concerned with Blacks, the 'concern' only exists if White Massa Amy can control it. Black is the only race on her show, if you watch it, that's the impression you get. So I find it very telling that she has three other people who either fill in for her or co-host with her and not one of them is Black. She's hired these people. She's chosen to hire and who not to and it's very obvious that Amy Goodman doesn't hire Black people. So "listen to our pet Blacks" is very appropriate.

Ty: Dona's going to call time in a moment. I haven't spoken because I had e-mails picked for this roundtable but we ended up in an intense discussion on other topics. That's fine, by the way. But Dona's going to call time in a moment so I need to speak. I want to actually go to what Trina raised but noted would be dealt with elsewhere because sometimes that doesn't happen. I think Ava and C.I. will either address it themselves or bring Ann in for a joint piece and we have two other possible pieces on it, on the same topic, but I just don't see us writing all of them or writing all of them and deciding all are worth publishing. So I want to bring up what Trina was alluding to. Ann wrote about it on Friday and I'll just take Aimee Allison's comment, "Can you just shut up and play guitar." I find that so offensive and so appalling that it aired on Pacifica and I want to be sure that's on the record.

Jim: Ty, I honestly thought the topic would pop up in here. Do you want to comment? Does anyone? That appalling remark was uttered in a trash John Mayer segment. I know there was huge agreement with Ann's post and if you want to cover it?

Ty: John Mayer? I actually like his music. Probably more than most here. I don't mean anyone hates him. I mean that he is someone I listen to a lot. I didn't find his remarks racist and let's just deal with that aspect because I think Ava and C.I. and Ann can carve out -- in fact I know they can -- additional territory if we just focus on race. Dona, how much time do we have?

Dona: I'm adding five minutes just for this.

Ty: Thanks. John Mayer gave an interview. I want to know where the racism was because I keep hearing that it was racist. Mayer rejected the idea that he was an honorary African-American and stated he hadn't faced the prejudices that African-Americans do. He used the n-word in that remark, once. I don't use the n-word, we all avoid it here. John Mayer isn't the only one using the n-word and he wasn't calling anyone the n-word, he was being frank about what the Playboy interviewer was calling a "hood pass." I don't get where the racism was.

Betty: I agree with Ty. Let me first though point out that I'm going by Ann's post and that segment on KPFA's The Morning Show Friday -- which I did listen to after I read Ann's post. I have not read the interview, I don't buy Playboy. I don't read Playboy. The Morning Show elected to devote an entire segment to a Playboy interview and I found that offensive. But having made that decision, they should have conveyed the interview. Based on what they conveyed, I heard nothing that was racist.

C.I.: Can I jump in here for one point?

Betty: Absolutely. I think I know what you're going to say.

C.I.: You do. I know Holly Robinson-Pete and I didn't appreciate the garbage from Aimee and her guest aimed at Holly. I found that disgusting and I want to be on record about that. I know Michael Franti and found their comments disgusting on him as well but I especially found the Holly remarks disgusting.

Betty: I thought that's what you were going to say. And I agree with you. Two Black people, Holly from 21 Jump Street and Hanging With Mr. Cooper and Michael Franti, defended John Mayer and the response is to insist that they are "house slaves"? That's the response from KPFA? I think it was incredibly racist that KPFA went there. I don't think it was fair to either Holly or Michael and I think it's very telling that when others disagree with Aimee, she immediately rushes to that.

Ann: I found the whole thing so disgusting and so disappointing. I'm going to table any other remark because Ava, C.I. and I are hoping to take on that segment in an article here.

Stan: Well I'll jump in. I can't take Aimee Allison's airhead personality so my attempts to listen to the segment ended four minutes in. Can someone tell her to stop laughing at her own jokes? Can someone tell her that she's not funny and she's not amusing? Other than that, let me point out that Ty hit it on the nose. Racism is the charge. Who was hurt, who was targeted in the interview? I'm not seeing anyone. I'm seeing, from the quotes Ann included, the only ones KFPA found racist apparently, that Mayer's castigating himself. I'm not seeing any hate aimed at anyone. I would have preferred he didn't use the n-word but he didn't popularize the use of it.

Cedric: I listened to the segment because Ann asked me to and what I found so interesting was that a caller, Sharon, brings up that she blames -- she says she blames -- Jay Z and Naz for letting the genie out of the bottle, for using the n-word and making it popular. And it's really interesting that Aimee Allison and her guest wait until Sharon's off the line and then immediately start saying, paraphrase, 'Sharon is so right! John Mayer did let the genie out of the bottle!' That's not what she said. And Aimee and the guest refused to explore Sharon's statements. That was not an oversight or a mistake, that was a deliberate choice on their part. Now we were talking about the n-word in a roundtable not all that long ago. Marcia was sharing the first time she heard the word. We're all opposed to the n-word. But as we explained then, it's on all of us not to use the word. It's not just Whites that need to stop using it, it's African-Americans and other races too. We need to stop using the term. And Jay Z and all the others who use the term need to stop right now.

Jim: And John Mayer?

Isaiah: I believe John Mayer apologized for using the term. And I found it disgusting that Aimee and her guest made fun of him for that as well. They played the clip and thought it was funny that he was crying. Then they started calling it an "unpology." I'm so sick of them. I think you have to be pretty filled with self-hatred to mock someone who is crying. John Mayer didn't declare war on Iraq, he didn't launch nukes. He's a person who offered an apology and it sounded sincere. And I thought Aimee and her guest revealed how hateful they are that they would laugh at someone for crying. I think they're the worst bullies on the playground and that, as Ann's so often pointed out, Aimee Allison needs to stop trying to be so macho.

Betty: Amen!

Marcia: I hate these women who live for men. Granted, I'm a lesbian. But I'm not talking about sex here. I'm talking about these women whose entire lives are wrapped up in trying to act like a man and seek male approval. I'm so sick of it. And that's all Aimee Allison is. That's her entire life: Her Life As A Man. But I do think that the segment had some educational value. Unintentional, but it was there. As Aimee and her guest sneered "White boy" as John Mayor over and over, it made me realize how I may come off. I try to be very specific about who I am calling out and try not to offer blanket statements on White men or other groupings. Hearing those two sneer "White boy," their voices dripping with hatred, made me think I need to take extra care in the future to ensure that it was clear who I was speaking of when I use that or "Cracker." I have periodically had to clarify at my site who I was talking about. And I didn't get that because to me it was obvious who I was talking about. But I would clarify because I didn't want anyone to wrongly think I was raging against them or attacking them when I wasn't. Listening to Aimee and her guest, I got how it could sound because their hatred oozed through.

Ty: That's a good point and I have a request here. I know that most people don't know the male comic who was Aimee Allison's guest. Don't know him, never heard of him. I'm sure Ava and C.I. know his name and my request is that we say "male guest." I do not want to promote his sorry ass here. So when Ava, C.I. and Ann write their article, please do not identify him by name. He's worthless and I don't want him promoted at this site. I also want to add that not this edition, but next edition, I may do a Ty's Corner on that segment. I'm too upset now to do it.

Jim: Okay. There's an e-mail to Ava and C.I. that I've held for the end. A reader who doesn't care for this site but keeps reading and keeps e-mailing to say how much he hates it has e-mailed again. He just finished reading a new book on Warren Beatty and he's convinced that, quoting Wilson, "You two" Ava and C.I. "hate on Robert Redford and others" at the bottom of his list is a list of 30 people -- "because you're friends of his" Beatty's "and you take your orders from him."

Ava: Yes, that's absolutely true. It makes the weekends so much easier to call Warren, or if he's out, Annette [Benning] and say, "Hey, Human Target. That's the show this week. Warren, dash off six hundred or so words on it. We'll put our names to it. Thanks!" I've never heard anything more stupid. I'm not friends with Warren Beatty. I know him socially. I actually know Annette better than I know him. I haven't read the book and we're not naming it here. It's written by a sexist pig and most women refused to cooperate with the book because of the author's previous gargage. I haven't read the book. We didn't slam Robert Redford. I don't know Robert Redford. C.I. does. Ruth had written about Redford and she did it very well but got one thing wrong. C.I. raised the one thing with me and did we need to cover it or not? We hadn't written it but it had appeared in the community and it was incorrect. Do we need to address it? And so we did. But we did it late in the article and that was intentional. If we wanted it to stand out or if we wanted more 'eye views' of the piece, we would've used it at the start. I have no idea if Warren Beatty, as Wilson's e-mail claims, hates Robert Redford. In my limited time around him, I've never heard him mention Redford one way or another.

Jim: C.I.?

C.I.: First off, one of the 30 names on the list is Glen Gordon Caron. I don't think Warren spends any time thinking about Caron. I have called out Caron here but that goes to Moonlighting and has nothing to do with the film Love Affair or Warren's opinion of Caron. Ava and I have offered praise to Caron's shows and will again. But I will never, ever act like what was done to Cybil didn't take place. And Caron was a party to that. As for Redford, Ava's already gone into that. But in terms of the others on the list, I'm having a hard time thinking of ever commenting on the other 28 that the book apparently says Warren hates. I don't take marching orders from Warren. I think he's very talented and a friend who sticks by his friends no matter what. But I don't take orders from him or anyone else.

Jim: It states, Wilson's e-mail, that you would never criticize Warren Beatty.

Ava: If Warren does a TV show, we'll review it and if it's good we'll say so and if it's bad we'll say so.

C.I.: And I don't see him doing a TV show ever -- which probably means he'll announce next week that he's going to do one. But I'll share, which I've shared with him, that I think Dick Tracy is a piece of crap.

Jim: Really. We're doing a movie feature, hope to anyway, this edition and that's at the request of two readers. Can you go into Dick Tracy? I know it would please two long term readers.

C.I.: Okay. I think Warren's made some amazing films, some classic films. Shampoo, Bonnie & Clyde, Reds, Bugsy and Bullworth are all classics in my opinion. There are other films that are good. But I think the worst film he ever made was Dick Tracy. I do not care for the look of the film -- especially what I'll call the "piss yellow." The colors were glaring onscreen and I said then, and stand by it, that they bleed and will bleed for home viewers. They were an ugly color scheme. In addition to that, I don't care for Madonna, I'm on record as not caring for Madonna, but I think she was badly misused in that film. I don't think she's much of an actress but I do think she was up to that role and feel she was betrayed by camera angels and by improvs. There's a scene in the film that I truly find disgusting and it's the one that Madonna still complains about to this day. It was not scripted and it's disgusting. She's correct on that. Then we have Tess and, sorry, but that actress isn't a leading lady and will never be one and was never one. Sean Young was fired from the film and that was a mistake because whatever problems she may or may not have, she can hold the camera. She was replaced with a dishrag. The battle for Dick is between Madonna's character and Tess. You can't have a dishrag in that part. It threw the whole balance of the film off and that actress is just awful, I'm sorry. I've never thought she did a good job in anything. She's a bad actress, she's never been a star and never will be, she's not even a leading lady. As a film, it's theme is the most reactionary of any film Warren's ever made and it's portrayal of women is insulting and offensive. I can watch and enjoy Town & Country. I can watch and enjoy every film Warren's ever made except Dick Tracy. I can't stand that film. It's an ugly film and Warren was getting too much help from too many women haters. And it looks like s**t. All that money spent and it looks like crap. It's like watching an eye test. You keep waiting for it to be put in focus.

Jim: Okay, the author of the book -- which we're not plugging -- is a sexist. That's what you said, Ava.

Ava: He is. He writes dreadful books. And women are never equals in the book. He wrote a book about seventies directors and producers and actors and had to work double time to strip women of their credit. I actually should pass this over to C.I. Neither of us have read the new book but C.I. was handed it at a party and did a hilarious riff on it's 'end notes.'

C.I.: I won't do my comedic riff, it would take too much time. I will note that the book is a joke and if you don't get that, you haven't looked at the end notes. The author's done a clip job, nothing more and the end notes makes that clear. You are supposed to use primary sources. Looking at the end note, one thing that stood out was a 90s interview Warren Beatty gave. I know about that interview because the writer called me asking, "What am I going to do?" Because Warren's a frustrating interview. So I listened and listened and gave some comforting words and my friend wrote the article. My friend wrote it for a magazine, it was a cover story. So I found it interesting that the quote from that article isn't credited to the article but to a website. To the magazine's website? No, to a website, to a musical artist's website. And you see that over and over, a lack of primary sources and secondary sources. In addition, Elaine May comes off very poorly in the book according to friends who read it. I found it interesting that at least two insults to Elaine May were from . . . drum roll, please, Wikipedia. Yes, the sexist Crapapedia is 'source material' for this supposedly well researched book. And, get this, the two quotes? No longer in Elaine's Wikipedia entry. Because? They couldn't be sourced. But this asshole has put them into a book and now they'll be considered 'real' even though even Wikipedia no longer stands by them. It's a cut and paste job and those who doubt it should peruse the end notes before purchasing that bad book.

Jim: Okay and that's going to be the end of this roundtable. Our e-mail address is This is a rush transcript.

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