Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Truest statement of the week

Before Trump became president bad behavior at the top was usually sanitized with public relations. The corporate media and others among the ruling elites hid atrocities in plain sight with appealing narratives and good photo opportunities. They excused politicians who routinely benefited the 1% and disadvantaged everyone else. The end result is an ugly system that is made to look pretty with the right amount of marketing.
This phenomenon was especially true during the Barack Obama administration. He had the all-important buy-in from corporate media. They turned the Obamas into an American version of a royal family and then used his personal popularity to make the case for war crimes and bank bailouts. They worked hand in hand to make dirty deeds look clean.
Obama and his predecessors undermined climate change agreements and made them toothless. Trump did one better by opting out but tremendous damage was done by a president who was called an environmentalist. Obama was called the peace candidate when he expanded wars. He fought hard to ratify the undemocratic, job killing TPP trade deal which was stopped only by Trump’s white nationalist ideology.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: America’s Embarrassment" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

The corporate media’s campaign against Trump has been conducted on the most right-wing basis, employing the methods of McCarthyite-style Russia-baiting, in which “news” has been replaced by the direct channeling of propaganda and lies from the intelligence agencies.

-- Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore, "Trump’s attack on the press" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another week.

We are shocked.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

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),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

 And what did we come up with?

Margaret Kimberley gets another truest.
Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore share a joint-truest.
After the slog?  When?
Ava and C.I. take on the topic of MSNBC -- specifically MORNING JOE.  They were actually planning to cover GYPSY and music videos before I (Jim) asked them to tackle this topic instead.
We dip into the mailbag.

Ava and C.I. contribute two pieces this edition.  When they offered this one up it became obvious this was going to be an edition about the media.

So I offered this up.
And we covered the topic we didn't want to cover.
The drone footage shows the real destruction.
The media is dysfunctional.

What we listened to while writing.


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

Editorial: When does the truth emerge?

ISIS faces defeat in Mosul in northern Iraq, but a growing humanitarian crisis looms for survivors of the battle.

Can they set their pom poms down finally?

The media?

It's largely been left to foreign outlets to offer reality about the (ongoing) Iraq War.

The never ending Mosul Slog has especially made that clear.

(In fairness, Brian Ross has managed to get some bits of reality out to the public via ABC NEWS.)

At some point, will the US media acknowledge that the Iraq War wasn't ended, that Barack Obama did not keep his pledge and that many continue to die in this war?

TV: MSNBC, the sewer as soap opera

"I'm not your friend."

It's a brutal moment in GYPSY, NETFLIX's new series starring Naomi Watts.  A patient (Brenda Vaccaro) tells Dr. Jean Holloway (Naomi) that she's her friend and is corrected with, "I'm not your friend."

It's a cold hard reality.

Here's another one: The press is not your friend.

Too many idiots make the mistake of assuming otherwise.

a new illst

Journalism is a profession.

And not only do they have to please bosses, they have to please consumers.

Smart people grasp that.

Carly Simon, for example, can talk with great authority about how the press loves you until they're out to get you and then can fall in love with you all over again once they've torn you apart.

Joni Mitchell, to cite another, can explain how it's a four year office.

Oh the power and the glory
Just when you're getting a taste for worship
They start bringing out the hammers
And the boards
And the nails

The entertainment industry has long attempted to glamorize the seedy profession with numerous pieces of bad drama -- often starring bottle blond Robert Redford.

Reality, when told, usually came from real artists like Ben Hecht who knew the tawdry profession having started in journalism.

It was a tawdry profession and it remains one.

No where is that more clear than on MSNBC.

If TV has a sewer, it's MSNBC.

The faces may change -- may -- but the garbage remains.

The loons preaching Russia hacked the election on MSNBC today are predated by the crazy of Gennifer Flowers and Chris Matthews dishing about the death squads working for Bill Clinton.

Rachel Maddows never-ending monologues aren't all that different from Don Imus' earlier MSNBC rants.

Last week, MORNING JOE was a news topic.

The MSNBC program wasn't in the news for anything resembling journalism -- MSNBC is about talk shows, not reporting -- just for a spat between US President Donald Trump and the whorish hosts Joe Scarorough and Mika Brzezinski -- two sluts who broke their vows and left their spouses for one another when living on the down low became too much.

Some might point out that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton created a scandal for similar behavior in the 60s but the lack of scandal over Joe and Mika just telegraphs the reality of how little anyone expects from talking bobble heads these days.

That's good.

The shattering of illusions is good.

And Donald Trump's Tweets?

They're great all on their own.

They're a running commentary that will provide insight in the near future when historians tie them -- time wise -- to policy decisions.

It might be personally smart for Donald to stop Tweeting but it's historically important that he continues.

What did he Tweet last week?

Emily Jane Fox insisted it was "horrific" but, of course, she no longer works for CNN or writes about the economy.

No, now she runs with a rabid -- albeit non-prolific -- pack at Graydon Carter's VANITY FAIR.

Graydon used to be infamous for having the second worst media hairdo (David Brock possesses the ultimate hair don't).

Then he went after Gwyneth Paltrow.

Went after, yes.

We've read his nonsense -- and are shocked by how much sexism worked its way into that piece including referring to Gwyneth's reasonable response as "a hissy fit."

He allowed rumors of a 'takedown' piece on Gwyneth to circulate (and it was more than rumors as anyone present at the original story conference could tell you).

Gwyneth responding by asking those she knew not to speak to the publication was not "a hissy fit."

It's standard procedure when you know someone's out to get you.

Back in 1954, Joan Crawford didn't see it coming when Roby Heard was putting together his hatchet piece ("Joan Crawford: Queen or Tyrant? The Star Thrives on Feuds") and was completely caught off guard.

Since then, people have learned.

And, let's be honest, Gwyneth's actions were why the piece was killed.

Graydon felt serious push back.

And quickly learned he can't bite the hand he'd like to party with.

So he backed down.

And that's what he's known for now.

Emily Jane has finally found her true home -- where one can waste oodles of space venting over non-issues.

Trump has Tweeted that he'd bumped into Mika a few months back "bleeding badly from a face lift."

This was "horrific."

To idiots, it was horrific.

Mika wanted the world to know that (a) she wasn't bleeding and (b) it was to deal with her turkey neck.

No shame in her game that she'd sought plastic surgery.

Interestingly, none of the coverage noted any of Mika's recent comments -- including that Mika had implied on air that Donald was gay and that Joe had cut her off and moved the show to commercial.

Now, sure, that flies on the waste bin that is MSNBC.

But Mika trying to portray Donald Trump as a closet case?

In what world is that journalism?

Maybe in the same world where she can declare the Donald Trump's presidency failed -- declare that on air -- before he's even six months into his first term.

Is no one bothered by this commentary she provides?

And is no one bothered by the reality that once a cheater always a cheater?


Mika and Joe left their spouses for each other.

The pattern indicates that, at some point, they're likely to cheat again.

What happens to Mika then?

The show, after all, is called MORNING JOE, not MORNING MIKA.

And not only is Joe more popular with viewers, he's also more popular with the suits.

One of the reasons Mika had her cosmetic surgery was because the 50-year-old has been getting notes on how she looks "tired" on camera and she's been rejecting a regular woman joining the gang because she knows -- from suggestions made to her already -- that such a woman would be significantly younger than Mika.

All of these are media issues.

But they all got ignored by rally-round-Mika pieces because that's what the rabid pack does -- circles to protect itself.

Years ago, Barbara Walters own role in Iran Contra was briefly exposed.

Her passing on information of weapons sales in two different documents (passing on to then-President Ronald Reagan) could have ended her career (it was a clear violation of ABC's news policies).

She should have been held accountable but journalism's not about accountability.

It's about pack mentality.

They attack everyone else but they circle the wagons for one of their own.

Which is why the larger story of Mika isn't covered.

It's why people aren't asking about Mika telling IN STYLE magazine that Donald Trump's wife really wants to leave him.

The First Lady has rejected this charge.

We have no reason not to believe her.

But even if she were planning to leave her husband, what business would it be of Mika's?

What is it about this  sewer rat that makes her think she can say Donald's a closeted gay man and say that his wife is planning to divorce him and all this other s**t that doesn't hold up?

Mika is the sewer.

Donald is a celebrity.

He understands that the media is not your friend.

It's a concept foreign to many.

Did the media, in the recent presidential campaign coverage, press the candidates to address poverty?

Did they demand answers for how to end wars?


And no.

They don't care.

They're not part of the people.

Part of the reason Seymour Hersh is a legend is because he is something so rare: a reporter trying to tell the truth.

They don't get rewarded, people like Sy Hersh.

They struggle to get their stories out.

It's not a US outlet that's published Hersh's latest investigation.

Despite these and so many more realities, last week the criticism was of Donald Trump.

There was no attempt at self-reflection, there was no self-critique.

That alone said a great deal about the media.

It also made clear that in the sewer of what passes for journalism, Mika is the overflowing toilet.



Again into the mailbag.  Our e-mail address is

Pete e-mails asking if we've given up our feature Film Classics of the 20th Century?


There are many films we plan to cover.

It's a long running series, please note.

There are many films we plan to get to including one of Bob Hope's films.

That's noted because Jonnie insists that we only support films of people whose politics we agree with.


We're not, for example, familiar with the politics of Hayley Mills but that didn't stop us from noting her in the series.  Bob Hope?

We're not too concerned about his politics.

We are concerned that, if he's making a comedy, he's making us laugh.

And there are many films he's made that do just that.

One of those films even qualifies as a classic.  C.I. and Jim have been calling for it to be noted since the series first started.

Having read some books on Hope since that time, we're all surprised that the film is seen as minor or unimportant in the minds of biographers.

Are comics gone from our orbit?


It wasn't planned.

But as comics went everywhere, we lost interest.

Our magazine reviews?

We're not overly interested in the topic these days and don't feel there are many magazines worth reading these days.

Most missed magazine by us?  CLAMOUR.

It was everything a magazine should be.

There are websites worth reading.

But there are also websites that became useless.

General rule for us, you start acting like the Iraq War ended, you've lost us and you're probably never going to get us back.

"Will Ava and C.I. ever return to doing straight reviews of TV shows?" wonders Arthur B.

As opposed to what?

Gay reviews?

Seriously, no one -- including Ava and C.I. -- know from one week to the next what they will be doing with their writing.

They have two pieces this week.

Neither is what was planned.

Their pieces, more and more, are conversations they have with one another.

They've covered pretty much everything in the last 12 years and done so in every way and manner.

They don't do greatest hits.

They're not going to sing the old tunes.

So what they're going to be doing next is an unknown.

When Arthur's question was presented to them for comment, they cited last week's "TV: CLAWS" as an example where they were trying to do what Arthur B. wants.

But what they're doing now is a conversation that starts with the two of them, gets written up and then becomes a larger conversation as it goes up here.

Are we bothered by Congress these days?

Genie wondered that.

We're always bothered by their refusal to confront the Iraq War.

We're always laughing at Barbara Lee's attempts to present herself as anti-war.

US House Representative Jamie Raskin is currently pimping Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity.

We've been appalled by that ever since it made the front page of YAHOO NEWS.

Congress, per the Constitution, already has oversight of the executive branch.

This proposed legislation seems nothing more than an attempt to overturn an election.

That bothers us.

Cleo e-mails because she's bothered, "It's been way too long since you have done a 'Mailbag.'"

We agree and we'll try to do them more often.

That whorish media (Ava and C.I.)

Katharine Hepburn had repeated affairs with women.

Not just one woman, women.


And yet . . .

Spencer Tracey was the love of her life, Barbara Walters declared in a 1991 20/20 'report.'

Diane Sawyer repeated the same lie in her 1992 PRIMETIME 'report.'

Reality: Katharine Hepburn was a lesbian.

Great love of her life?

Wouldn't that be Laura Harding?

What can make it in print apparently can't make it on air to this day.


Or maybe it would be Claudette Colbert?

Triva: Name the then teen queen whose career ended when she had the temerity to shred the illusions of Claudette to Claudette.

Spencer Tracy?

The great love of Kate Hepburn's life?

Hey, Bo Derek, you got a comment on that?

Don't worry, Bo knows why we're asking.

Many people do.

No, we're not accusing Bo of sleeping with Tracy.

He had a lot of affairs though.

He beat up a lot of women.

But, after he began lodging on George Cukor's estate, he found a sort of calm, if not acceptance, with his inner demons via male tricks.

Two years ago, Larry Kramer told THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, "Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were both gay. They were publicly paired together by the studio. Everyone in Hollywood knows this is true, but of course I haven't seen it printed anywhere."

The media is perfectly comfortable repeating Hepburn's lies.

They're far less comfortable about exploring what really happened and what sort of internalized homophobia Hepburn operated from.


Jim's World


Let's not kid, the press blackmails and bullies.

A video became popular after President Donald Trump Tweeted it.

CNN didn't like the video, harassed the creator, threatened him with public shame until they got an apology and then insisted, "CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change."

Please note, they've never gone after the government for the lies of the Iraq War.

They never held Barack Obama accountable in eight years, but they will blackmail and shame an individual.

They're pieces of s**t, nothing more and nothing less.

Chuck Todd pretends that he's impartial and laments that he has to be this week.

NPR's embarrassing David Folkenflik insisted they were just trying to do their job but, as Folkenflik's demonstrated in the last years at NPR, he views his job as running with a tribe, not being a reporter or impartial.

They're liars and they're whores.

They have nothing to point to because they've accomplished nothing other than being paid money that they've never earned.

At the end of every damn day, they've accomplished nothing but self-stroking.

Currently, whores like Todd and Folkenflik insist it's a threat to democracy that someone slams the press.

No, what passes for the press in this country is the real threat to democracy.

The next time Todd and Folkenflik spend time on air whining about themselves and how hard they've got it, grasp that neither has done a report on poverty in America nor will they.

Trump dies in office


Donald Trump makes the elite and the effete explode.


We're not as spastic in our response.

That's for a number of reasons.

First, it was obvious that Donald Trump (the candidate) was connecting with voters while Hillary Clinton was not.

Realizing that, the outcome of 2016's presidential election didn't shock us.

Second, we grew tired of the media outrage early on.

By the time the press was insisting Trump said he grabbed women by the p**sy, we just didn't give a damn.

Yet again, the press was lying.

Donald didn't say that.

He said that when you were a celebrity, you could get a way with anything.  He offered that as an example.

This led to the media distortion that has yet to go away.

(Credit to Dave Chappelle for being one of the few to challenge the media lie in real time.)

What does worry us?

Kathy Griffin, Johnny Depp, et al.

The hatred.

The calls for death.

The flirts with assassination.

They can all say whatever they want, they have that right and freedom.

But in that climate, anything can happen.

What if Donald Trump is killed in office?

For eight years, that was our big fear with regards to Barack Obama.

Barack turned out to be the War Hawk we warned you about.

And our greatest fear became him dying in office because of the hagiography that would result.

He made it out of office, thankfully, alive.

But what happens if Donald Trump dies in office -- especially if he's killed in office?

A lot of people should think about this.

In fact, the media should specifically think about this.

There's no denying the media has broken the rules with regards to coverage of Donald.

They have not played fair, they have not held others to the same standards.

We didn't vote for Donald.  If he runs again in 2020, we doubt we'll vote for him then.  We are not his fans.

But we're also not dishonest.

Which is why we can be can be appalled by the coverage he's received.

If we can feel that way, what do you think his supporters feel?

If Donald dies in office, there's a damn good chance that he will be seen as the voice of the people and the victim of the establishment.

People need to grasp that, the media especially.

The climate they are contributing to isn't just dangerous for Donald Trump, it's dangerous for them.

Tweet of the week

some of Felipe Dana’s amazing drone footage of Mosul today - our full story w here:

They brought it on themselves


It's not plentiful today.

Who used Depleted Uranium weapons on the Iraqi town of Fallujah in 04 causing more deformations than Nagasaki? You guessed it! USA!

The US media can't shut up about how 'victimized' they are as a result of Donald Trump's refusal to kiss their ass, but they can't give you even a minute of straight talk about Iraq.

A long the way, they keep struggling with the truth.

NYT retracts claim that ‘17 US intelligence agencies’ verified Russian DNC email hack

Yes, THE NEW YORK TIMES has finally corrected their lie.

Following the NYT, posts a correction of its circulation of a widely repeated myth about Russia hacking

And then AP did as well.

The media pushes propaganda.

Like the duopoly political parties, it doesn't concern itself with issues that matter to the people -- issues like jobs, war, housing, etc.

It's talking with itself in an endless circle jerk.

And then they fret that Donald Trump's critiques of the media resonate with so many.

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