Sunday, March 09, 2014

TV: A week of putrid and puerile

It was a week of never ending disappointments TV wise., comedy wise, 'news' wise and just basic interviews.


For one thing, there was Saturday Night Live with one of the worst episodes in the last 14 years.

In the past, when SNL has sidelined a female host, you could blame sexism.  Demi Moore really was given nothing to do when she hosted Saturday Night Live.  The male dominated show only wanted to use her as the straight woman in all their funny boy sketches.  During the 80s and the 90s, one of the few women to break through as a host was Heather Locklear. The '00s saw advances and Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan were among the breakthrough hosts who benefited from a writing staff that realized they couldn't continue to say, "I can't write female characters!" -- not while also churning out one skit after another where Adam Sandler and other men dressed in drag to play female characters.

Lena Dumham is a writer.  So the SNL writers and Lena should have been able to come up with something. Instead, they repeatedly struck out.

And it was sort of anti-feminist throughout -- surprising only if you haven't grasped Lena's not all that to feminism.  (She's more an adherent to Lena-ism.)

Scandal was parodied.

Can Lena explain why?

If you were Lena Dumham and you were called out in season one of Girls for failure to feature people of color and you swore that would be fixed in season two but 'fixing' was only a limited guest spot (Donald Glover) and you quickly announced you couldn't write African-American characters because you didn't know any African-American people, should you really be parodying Scandal?

The first hour long show an African-American actress has carried?

We're not saying Scandal shouldn't get the same treatment of other shows.

We are questioning why the Whiter Than White Lena The Albino Dunham is going after the show?

The joke her was that Lena would do her 'character' from Girls (the only part she can play) only in Scandal. We can think of many shows she could have inserted herself into in order to parody and, yes, mock.  But we think of shows like NCIS where women are either tokens or invisible.

Instead, Lena goes after Scandal.

As a former SNL-er said to us over the phone while we watched, "Oh, she really hates Black people."

That is how it appeared.

And that's not funny which was in keeping with the lack of humor that appeared to be the theme of the episode.

There was a stupid sketch about a men's right activist that had no laughs or even intelligence.  He shut down two Planned Parenthoods?  We'd guess that was due to abortion.  But the skit couldn't even say the word. Most annoying, he (Mike O'Brien) looked like Senator Lindsey Graham and we were left wondering why that didn't result in a skit instead of the mess we were viewing.

It was a complete disaster and viewers who thought there wasn't worse than a near nude Dunham playing Eve, were quickly corrected as Dunham rushed across the stage repeating "Charlie" over and over while looking like Rachel Maddow (face only, Maddow's body is not the disaster that Dunham's body is) and supposedly portraying Liza Minnelli.

What was the point of that?

First off, Black America does know who Liza is (the skit was a Katt Williams talk show where people unknown to Black America speak to Katt).  Her late friend Michael Jackson was not the only African-American who had been impressed with Liza's dancing and singing skills.  As the daughter of Judy Garland alone, she's known to pretty much every American who's ever been a child and seen The Wizard of Oz.

Second, that outfit.

We still shudder.

Liza wouldn't have worn it and we wondered why Lena did.  Sack of potatoes.  We've heard that punchline repeatedly but never really grasped it until the lights hit Lena and her outfit and emphasized every fat roll there was -- and there were plenty.

She was so awful, viewers were no doubt grateful for things like the office e-mail skit which didn't feature Lena once.

She demonstrated not only how unattractive she could be -- does no one notice how small her head is in relation to her shoulders (let alone body)?  Well, clearly Vogue did, hence the photo shopping.  But she also demonstrated how unfunny she truly is.  She can't do characters (her "Liza" reminded us of a child actor who attempted to 'sparkle' on an episode of Will & Grace -- only Lena came off even more butch).  She lacks a comedic rhythm.  She's basically the loud mouth who hopes she says something shocking otherwise there will be no laughs.

Rachel Maddow.

Her awful MSNBC 'special' aired last week.  We could rip it apart but, if you caught Randi Rhodes Friday, you know Randi already did and then some.  Randi's critique was specific and dead on.  She was thanked on air for it repeatedly by listeners including one man who pointed out that he appreciated the honesty especially since Rachel and Randi are both former Air America Radio hosts.

We're not Randi fans but we'll give her a link.  An MSNBC friend -- in news, not talk shows -- called us on Friday to say, "Turn on Randi Rhodes right now!  You will not believe it, she's making the same critique you did!"

We tuned in.  Our critique was primarily about Rachel doing her second special 'about' Iraq and yet again failing to include the Iraqi people.  Our secondary critique was about the useless official-dom talking heads she served up.  Our third critique was about her inability to grasp the basic facts.

Randi was not making the same critique we did.  Our third critique was what Randi was hitting on but she went much more in depth than we did.  She called out Rachel's stupidity or silence with regards to the base in Saudi Arabia, the issue of 9-11 (Osama bin Laden wanting Americans off Saudi soil), former-Senator Bob Graham's comments about the 9-11 attacks, and that was just her warm up.  It was vintage Randi, footnoted and factual, the way she used to be all the time.

One priceless moment may have been when Randi, laughing, declared, "I couldn't wait to see it [the special] and find out why does Rachel think we did it [started the Iraq War]?  Why?"

"Why?" was a question we also asked while watching Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf.  The show airs on NBC's Cozi TV and generally has someone like Tony Danza sitting on the stoop with Cat.

This week, it was director Oliver Stone.

The topic of whistle-blowers came up and Cat let it play out until Oliver offered the fact that Barack "Obama's cracked down most on whistle-blowers" and that's where Cat cut him off.

No unpleasant truths about Barack can be uttered.

But what bothered us more than Cat was the reality that Oliver was not recruiting support but pushing it away.

Why are you sharing your opinions unless you want to win someone over to your point of view?

He patted Cat on the knee repeatedly, he called her "sweetheart" at least twice -- a point she would raise -- and referring to romantic comedies, he insisted he wanted to direct at least one before he goes but he couldn't be 'politically correct' and would show women as they really were.

We're sorry, what film -- of any genre -- has Oliver ever done where he showed women as they were?

And what's even sadder is, while talking about the female lead in a romantic comedy -- roles that have been played by Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts and others -- he did not use the term "woman," he said "girl."

Girl?  Sweetheart?  Patting the female interviewer repeatedly on her knee?

Was Oliver stoned?

A man in his sixties leering about "girls" and romance?

We couldn't help but think of Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister and chief thug of Iraq, who, last week, sent a bill to Parliament that would strip mothers of any legal rights to their child (giving it all to the fathers) and make it legal for Iraqi girls, with their father's permission, to be married at the age of nine.

Oliver's nothing like Nouri but, to demonstrate that to others, he's going to have to work on lowering the ick factor when he sits for an interview.


Amy Goodman, such a Christopher Columbus, yet again discovered Iraq last week.

December 29th, we covered Amy's latest 'discovery' of Iraq:

Raed's a blogger and he lasted blogged about Iraq December 15th . . .
Only Goody Whore would bring on the man who fled Iraq physically, emotionally and mentally as an expert.
It was so bad, it was embarrassing.
It was like sitting in an English Lit grad course where the topic was Edith Wharton and Raed's entire contribution was what he had gleaned from watching Martin Scorsese's film of The Age of Innocence.
It was Friday.  Protests in Iraq.
Never mentioned.
Even though the previous Sunday Nouri had threatened the protesters.
Even though he had attempted to attack them on Tuesday but a flurry of political meetings forced him to pull his forces out of Ramadi's sit-in sqaure.
Even though on the Friday Raed 'shared,' Nouri had already gone on Iraqi TV and announced that this had been the last Friday protest and that he would burn down the protest tents in Anbar.
W.G. Dunlap didn't talk about it either.

You think we were wrong to emphasize how important the undiscussed protests were?

That was December 29th when we wrote that.

If you don't get how right we were to call them out for ignoring the protesters -- them being Amy Goodman, Raed Jarrar and WG Dunlop.  On December 27th, three laughable 'journalists' pretended they knew enough to discuss Iraq.

They didn't know one damn thing except how to whore.

The protests mattered and if you doubt that, let's go to Human Rights Watch, "Government security forces had withdrawn from Anbar province after provoking a tribal uprising when they raided a Sunni protest camp in Ramadi on December 30, killing 17 people."  This is the assault on Anbar.

Having screwed that up, Amy Goodman ignored Iraq for two months until last week when she did a really bad segment with Dahr Jamail.

She's never covered the ongoing assault on Anbar.  Darh's written an article about it now that he's joined Truthout. But Human Rights Watch, BRussells Tribunal and so many others have been covering it for weeks and weeks -- that would include this site.

And Goody Whore ignored the topic.  When she finally found 'time' for it, it first had to wait for I-Need-Attention-Benjamin.  CodeStink's Medea got into an altercation in Egypt.  This was news to Democracy Now?

We ask that because Goody Whore never noted Lara Logan's rape in Egypt but did bring on a whore -- we use the term intentionally -- who explained she herself was sexually assaulted but it was no big thing.  (Rebecca called the b.s. out in real time.)  Rape is "miniscule," that's a message the Goody Whore broadcasts and promotes but let con artist Medea claim she was roughed up in Egypt and it's time to spend over six minutes with Medea.


It got seven minutes.

Deaths, refugees, hospitals attacked and so much more is only worth one minute more than Medea's latest drama.

Not only that, the focus wasn't on the Anbar assault.

No, it had to compete with 2004 Anbar.

Approximately 630 words went to the ongoing and current crisis.

Approximately 520 words went to Anbar in 2004.

Does that really sound like Goody Whore addressed Iraq?

No, she didn't.  Like Cat Greenleaf with Oliver Stone, Goody Whore got real nervous when Dahr Jamail mentioned Barack and rushed to cut him off.

Proving infotainment provides neither information nor entertainment seemed to be the big message last week.

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