Sunday, June 29, 2014

TV: The useless huffing and puffing of flaccid men

It was a week that saw Jack Bauer throw a woman to her death (24), Dr. Karen Kim appear  to take tips from her patient on how to be an escort (Mistresses), the us versus them divide  pushed hard (Big Brother), Cat and Vincent fail in suburbia (Beauty & the Beast), Tara suffer an attack (True Blood) and Tituba declare John Alden a witch (Salem).

Yet the most bizarre moment had to be the return of Cenk Uygur to The Young Turks.


There was Cenk huffing and puffing, railing in a rather weak mannered and ill informed way that some may have bought but only reminded us of our "TV: The Brave New World?" which took on the nonsense of a week's worth of The Young Turks without Cenk.

For those late to the party, The Young Turks ignored Iraq for the entire week we watched.  They were covering more pressing 'news.'  Like a high school prom.

Wait, it was weaker than that.

They were covering invitations to a high school prom.

See, Ellen DeGeneres' photo was featured on the first invitations and then pulled from the next round.  Ellen was never going to be at the prom, it was never insinuated that she would be.

But this sort of thing -- and a lot more fluff -- passed as 'news' on The Young Turks in May while Iraq was ignored.

Yet there was Cenk  railing about people not paying attention to Iraq?

He was calling out his co-workers?

Hell no.

Baby Huey was hopping a soapbox to wail and pretend he cared about Iraq.

But the more words he used, the more clear it was that he hadn't paid attention to Iraq at all in the last few years.  He had no idea what had been happening, he had no examples to offer post-Bully Boy Bush (which is five years and, yes, they have mattered in Iraq) and he really had nothing to offer.

Which is why Baby Huey quickly moved over to the pressing issue of "fashion photography."

It's not art, he railed.

Or maybe it was, he offered.

Clearly, he hadn't bothered to think through a thing.

But there were allegations -- his female partner did note they were allegations -- against a photographer.

There are presently no charges against the photographer.

But Cenk wanted to defend 'girls.'  He and his co-host referred to these young women as 'girls.'

We're not sure whether it made Cenk feel 'manly' to refer to women as 'girls' or if this was an attempt to ape the right-wing attack on Bill Clinton by shaving years off Monica Lewinsky's age back in the days of that scandal.

The photographer's alleged behavior was puzzling.

But if no one's filing charges and these remain nothing but allegations and whispers, there's not really a news story there -- no matter how many times Cenk repeats allegations as if they were fact.


Cenk was all brushed up on that.

And the 'fashion photography' 'story' allowed him to rage loudly and repeatedly.

It had a 'freshness' that Iraq apparently lacked -- to him anyway.

It's been funny to listen to Iraq 'coverage' offered on radio and TV by lefties and faux lefties.  The Rachel Maddow Show, FAIR (and it's TV and radio offshoots) and even Law &  Disorder Radio have all felt the need to whine that the voices who got it right about the Iraq War have been shut out of the conversation today.  They've made this argument while . . . they themselves shut out the voices who got it right about the Iraq War.

They refuse to book these voices on their own shows -- Diane Rehm can and did book Phyllis Bennis (a voice who got it right) on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show -- but these supposed left programs aren't able to do the same for some reason.

Maybe it's because they don't know what a voice calling out the illegal war before the war started -- that would be the people who were right -- sounds like?

Take serial liars Sam Stein and Michael Calderone at The Huffington Post.

The two confused gas bags offered "If You Were An Iraq War Critic, You're Probably Not Being Asked To Go On TV."

It succeeded as sexism, revisionary 'history' and non-stop lies.

It just failed on the factual meter.

They started with former US Senator Kent Conrad.  He, they informed you, was one of 21 senators to vote against the Iraq War.

They then thunder over the refusal of networks to book Kent!

Oh, the horror.

Poor Kent Conrad!

Not booked for TV because he took a stand against the Iraq War.

Or maybe not booked because he's off putting on TV?

His voice irritates.

But the Huff Post never wants to offer facts, mind you.

So they pretend that Kent's being overlooked because he was right.

Was he right about Countrywide Financial?

Because that is why he left the Senate, didn't run for re-election, remember?

Yes, a Democratically controlled ethics panel did say he hadn't broken the law.

But the financial scandal touched him since he was pro-Countrywide and they'd been so very generous to him with loans.

It's called corruption and most hosts would be leery booking someone like Kent Conrad as an 'expert.' That'd be like booking pedophile Scott Ritter.

And then there's that other detail: "former" senator.

Today, on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and CNN, Iraq will be addressed by the following officials:  US President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey, Senator Joe Manchin, Senator John Barrasso, US House Rep. Peter King, U.S. House Rep. Mike Rogers, and former NSA director and CIA director Michael Hayden.

Please note, all members of Congress?

They're currently serving.

No Congressional member invited on is a 'former' member of Congress except maybe Barack who is, after all, a sitting president.

So Kent Conrad, who left the Senate in disgrace, who chose not to run for re-election because of the Countrywide scandal?

He's really not the ingredients for a solid argument.

Senator Patty Murray?  She is.  She's still in the Senate and she used to chair the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee -- a very important committee.  She is now the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee -- also seen as an important post.

Stein and Calderone could have made an argument with Murray.

They didn't though.

In fact, their rank sexism resulted in their using no women to make an argument and not only did they not spend paragraphs pontificating on Murray (or any other woman), they didn't even mention Patty Murray.

Sexists drown in their own stupidity.

Stupidity is whining that Jonathan S. Landay (they leave out the "S.") was only invited on CNN's Reliable Sources.

What program should he have been on?

Because he didn't 'get it right.'

As a reporter for Knight Ridder, he filed many important pieces (usually with co-writers).  But these pieces? They were reports.  These were not opinion pieces or columns.

Landay was a reporter, he took no public position on Iraq.

If he had, Knight Ridder would have pulled him from covering Iraq.

Landay is not someone who called for no war on Iraq.

He's a reporter who had a beat and covered it well.  Applause for him on that, but let's not pretend he was publicly saying, "No war on Iraq!" -- because he wasn't.

They want you to know that former US Senator Gary Hart hasn't been invited on to speak about the Iraq War.  Gary voted against it?


Gary's political career ended in the 80s on a boat called Monkey Business as he was photographed with Donna Rice sitting in his lap and Mrs. Hart not present.  He spent the night on the boat with Rice.  His 1988 run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination ended the next day.  As did his political career.

He's being kept out of the broadcast discussion because he was a critic of the impending war on Iraq?

Or because he made himself a media joke some time ago?

Huff Post's Twits then want to bring up Andrew Bacevich.

The military historian (they forget "military" in their description) was a critic of the impending war on Iraq?


No, he wasn't.

And only untruthful liars would suggest otherwise.

After the war started, long after, Bacevich had some criticisms.

Not only was he not an I-got-it-right voice, he's an uncomfortable voice for many in the media.

They either tiptoe around the elephant in the room out of respect for him or they try to get him to talk about the topic he attempts to make off limits (Amy Goodman tried to ask him about it and he shot her down -- as he's done with so many).

What are we talking about?

His son died in the Iraq War.

Whether or not that impacted his opinion on the illegal war (he says "no"), his refusal to explore it makes many interviewers uncomfortable.  Not because they're gossips, it makes them uncomfortable because not asking and exploring this angle leaves them open to charges that they didn't do their job.  Bacevish has every right to wall off any topic he wants.  But if it might be pertinent to the discussion and hosts can't broach the topic, then he's not a guest worth having because the audience response will include, "He's biased! And you didn't even ask him about it!"

The Huff Post idiots then want to get giddy because Lawrence Wilkerson (one of the "critics of the war") "has been on NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, ITV4, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, CTV in Canada" . . .

Has he been on QVC selling ornamental flag draped coffins?

He's not an Iraq War critic.

He's a Colin Powell apologist.

Wilkerson didn't speak out against the illegal war in 2002 before it started or during the lead up in 2003.  He only found the 'strength' to speak up after public sentiment had turned against the Iraq War and Cindy Sheehan had staged Camp Casey among other peace actions.

Wilkerson is a mouth piece for Colin Powell.  He acts like the devoted (and lovelorn) secretary of Colin Powell.

He has nothing to offer and the blood on his hands will never wash off.

He was part of the team that sold the Iraq War, he's lied repeatedly for Colin Powell -- we've called it out repeatedly -- and he never spoke out against the impending war.

He did not get it right.

And he had nothing to say until years into the illegal war, when the majority of the American public had turned against the Iraq War.

It must be hard to be a whore like Sam Stein.  It must be harder to be one like Michael Calderone because the physically ugly always have it more difficult in society.

But that doesn't excuse their lying.

Or their cobbled together nonsense where they insist the media's shutting out people who were right when in fact the people they offer as examples either didn't speak out before the start of the war or have one or more issues (often scandals) which discredit them to the media.

We get this is confusing for the stupid.

Unlike the rag tag band of the faux left, we were calling Scott Ritter out before the latest conviction that sent him away.  We were saying that a man twice busted for seeking out sex with underage females didn't deserve to be invited into the discussions.  We were slammed for that and told that Ritter was a victim.

Then he got busted under Barack.

And it became much harder to pretend it was a Bully Boy Bush plot against him.

Then he admitted to what he'd done in court and he got convicted and sentenced.

You may happily stand next to him but, if you do, we hope you at least have the good sense to do so without your daughter or your niece beside you.

Cenk never called out Scott Ritter.

To this day, he hasn't called out Scott Ritter.

A pedophile, but Cenk won't call him out.

But a fashion photographer who may or may not have licked an adult woman's ass during a photo session?

That has him outraged.

We don't know what happened and we don't know if that allegation's true or not.

We do know that often, in entertainment, things are done to get a reaction, an expression, a mood.

These things may or may not be right.

One of us (C.I.) once had a director pull her aside and break the news that her father had died.

He hadn't.

The director was trying to manipulate to get an emotion.

The world of art is not the world of retail.

The photographer may be a sleaze or pervert.

He may not be.

All of the charges against him may be true.

None of them may be.

Some of them may be but they may have taken place to get a reaction.

That's not an approach we favor.  One of us (C.I.) walked off the set over the earlier stunt a director pulled.  And, in the world of art, where you're expressing moods and emotions, someone will always try to manipulate.  If you're not comfortable with it, you make it known.  If you think something criminal happened, you file charges.

At present, the photographer is the victim of a whisper campaign.

The Iraqi people?

They're suffering real damage.

It's a shame Cenk couldn't address that.  It's a shame he couldn't do the work required for that.

It's a bigger shame that so many whiners want to make the Iraq War about Americans being denied media attention.

When Nouri al-Maliki bombs another Falluja residential neighborhood, as he's being doing for six months now in spite of international law which defines that as a War Crime, whether or not Gary Hart got booked on Crossfire really isn't an issue.

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