Monday, December 31, 2018

Truest statement of the week

Many of Relotius’ articles deal with topics that are particularly sensitive from the point of view of bourgeois propaganda, such as the background to Trump’s rise in the US and the wars in Iraq and Syria.
To justify the Western military interventions in the Middle East, a fairy tale by Relotius about two young brothers (“lion boys”) kidnapped, tortured and trained by the Islamic State (ISIS) to become suicide bombers proved much more effective than a carefully researched piece into the real background to the wars. Such an article would have to admit—if it were honest—that ISIS and other Islamist militias are, above all, a product of the intrigues of the US and its allies in NATO and in the Middle East.
Relotius’s fabrications fit seamlessly into a stream of disinformation that has lasted for nearly 16 years—since then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell gave his infamous speech at the UN on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Although the entire speech was based on lies and forgeries, it was largely accepted uncritically by the international media and served as a justification for the bloodiest war of the 21st century, which continues to this day.
Freedom of the press is an achievement of the bourgeois revolution. The bourgeoisie upheld it as long as it was fighting against the supremacy of the aristocracy, and later enshrined it in its constitutions. While capitalism remained capable of social compromise, such freedoms retained a spark of life. But freedom of the press is not compatible with war, militarism and a society based on intolerable levels of social inequality.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who exposed the Watergate scandal, were still being celebrated and honoured in the 1970s. Today, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, who have uncovered incomparably more serious crimes of US imperialism, are isolated and living in forced exile, and must fear for their lives. Outrageous counterfeiters such as Relotius, on the other hand, are awarded prizes.

The incestuous relationship between the world of politics and the media has taken on a dimension that defies description. Billion-dollar media conglomerates dominate the press. Journalists and leading politicians know each other, mingle at the same bars, and frolic together alongside film stars and other celebrities at annual press galas.

-- Peter Schwarz, "Der Spiegel’s counterfeit journalism and the campaign against 'fake news'" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

Of course phony concern for black people is the last refuge of many scoundrels.Now that there has been no evidence presented of Russian government collusion with Donald Trump, the rehashing will be more frequent. The Democratic Party and the corporate media cannot let this story die. They depend upon it and they must keep covering up their own lies. Russiagate is the gift that keeps on giving.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and their establishment supporters are responsible for the Donald Trump presidency. They were more concerned with covering up her scandals, attracting Republican voters and raising corporate money than they were about getting out the black vote that they always rely upon for victory. Despite raising more than $1 billion they presided over one of the worst debacles in American political history. Any outrage about the Trump presidency must be pointed in their direction.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "UK and US PSYOP Collusion" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday and New Year's Eve.

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, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
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?

A new voice for the truests as the year comes to a close.
Margaret Kimberley gets another truest.
Iraq needs a real prime minister.  Maybe some day, it will get one.
Ava and C.I. tackle the disappointment that is broadcast TV.  And explain to me (Jim) why Ava and C.I. do the heavy lifting yet again?  The ARROW-FLASH-SUPERGIRL cross-over was endlessly written about.  Why does it take these two to point out that Supergirl gets sidelined even in her own show?
We pick the worst and it was a tough selection -- we could have easily made it the thirty worst shows.
These people just need to be retired from TV already.
It's a simple one.
Throughout 2018, BLACK AGENDA RADIO has been the standout.
We're confused.
Looking for something to stream?  (Remember Diana Ross performs on tonight's NBC New Year's Special hosted by Carson Daly.)

Happy New Year, everybody!


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

Editorial: No, he's not qualified to be prime minister

At the end of October, Adil Abdul-Mahdi became prime minister.  The following month, he threatened to resign. It's a threat he should follow through on.

All this time later, he still can't put together a complete Cabinet (he was supposed to have done that before being named prime minister but the Constitution doesn't seem to matter in Iraq).

Even now, as ISIS continues to carry out attacks in Iraq, the security posts (Minister of Interior and Minister of Defense) remain empty.

Last week, Adil seemed quite pleased with himself for finally finding someone for Minister of Education .  As an added bonus, it was a woman.  So maybe the critics would finally stop pointing out that his Cabinet was all men?

But any good news from Thursday's action was out the window on Saturday:

For a little over two months now, Iraq's Prime Minister Adil Abdul al-Mahdi has struggle to form a Cabinet.  After the disappointment of his failure to appoint people to head the security ministries (Minister of Interior and Minister of Defense), the big criticism was his failure to appoint a single woman to his Cabinet.  Last Thursday, he managed to finally find a woman who he was comfortable working with:  Shaima Al-Hayali.

The Parliament was comfortable with her as well and she was confirmed to the Cabinet as Minister of Education.

That was Thursday.  Today?  She resigned. (Or offered her resignation.  Presumably, it's accepted).

RUDAW reports she came under criticism because her brother worked with ISIS.

Accused of?

Normally, we would say "accused of."  But in her resignation statement she acknowledges that he did work with ISIS (she states he was forced to).

Which goes to just how inept the prime minister is.

How do you miss that?

How does your background check miss that?

And if you don't miss it, how do you not anticipate the uproar that will greet this nomination?

Yet again, we are confronted with the reality that Adil Abdul al-Mahdi is not qualified to be prime minister.

He really needs to follow through on that resignation threat.

How stupid do you have to be to nominate someone who's brother was in ISIS?

Pretty damn stupid.

And that's how the US government likes their puppets in Iraq.  And that's why things never improve in Iraq.

TV: Does TV ever change?

We know it does because it gets worse -- worse and worse and worse.


We realized that when ROSEANNE was replaced with THE CONNERS.

Roseanne Barr is a comedian.  She goes where few go.  We're not talking about her Tweets.  We're talking about storylines.  She wanted ROSEANNE to matter in its original run on ABC and made sure it did.  The same was true with the revival.

The revival tackled many real issues -- the trouble many Americans have affording the medications they need to take, the economy and the lack of strong paying jobs, the challenging of gender constructs, the opioid epidemic, Islamaphobia -- Go down the list of the topics and grasp that this was in a nine episode season.

THE CONNERS?  That weak-ass, stand for nothing, generic nitwitcom dispensed with reality in the first episode by having Roseanne die of opioid addiction.  With Roseanne buried, so was any social responsibility.

Instead, it was back to the whoredom of TV land where reality never intrudes.  Sara Gilbert's never been attractive and has never convincingly played opposite a man in a romantic relationship (yes, that includes with Johnny Galecki's David) but in the eight episode season so far, there's the mannish Sara attracting not one but two new beaus.  One of them, Justin Long's Neil, is kicked to the curb by Sara Gilbert.  That's a bit of a reach, isn't it?  Cute little Justin Long sent packing by Sara Gilbert?  Next up, Rachel Dratch announces she was dating Antonio Sabato Junior but broke it off because she just knew there was someone even more physically beautiful waiting for her.

In the even more unbelievable world: Jay R. Ferguson Jr.  Not as pretty as Justin Long, but Jay's character of Ben was even more of a joke.

He's Darlene's new boss.  At the factory?  Oh, please, Sara Gilbert's mannish hands aren't going to do any hard work.  She's a journalist!

Only on TV could Darlene, in the year of our Lord 2018, get a job writing for a magazine in Landford.  Lanford -- the hole in the wall.  It's got a magazine that it produces that can afford to hire writers?  In what world?

But there's Darlene not only getting a job as a magazine writer -- because Sara Gilbert, a child actor, has never had to deal with the real world -- but also deciding, after getting the job, that the way to really make a name for herself is to sleep with her boss Ben.  She makes a pass at him, kisses him -- this in the era of #MeToo?

Is there a reason Sara Gilbert's ashamed of being a lesbian, by the way?  The most obvious growth for Darlene is for her to realize that she's gay.  But Sara's too tied into her only claim to fame: Darlene Conner.  If you think it was difficult for Ellen DeGeneres to come out -- and it was -- apparently it's even harder for Sara to let Darlene come out.

Sara is the token female producer of THE CONNERS and it's really important to her that she play a woman who has an ex-husband David who still has feelings for her and a new beau, the highly good looking Neil, that she tosses aside and a new boyfriend Ben, the boss she makes it with -- again, all in eight episodes.

Why is Sara so ashamed of playing gay?

One of the most ridiculous moments on TV took place a little over ten years ago when Sara played Fern for six episodes on THE CLASS -- Fern, the ex-wife of Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Richie.  She plays straight exclusively, apparently.

She played it in real life too.  Her son was six and her daughter was three before Sara could say the words "I'm gay" publicly.  How f**ked up is that?

The year is 2010, the year she finally goes public.  She's lived with her wife for ten years, they have two children together, one as old as six and she can only then come out of the closet?  What a self-loathing lesbian, no wonder she'll only play straight characters.

Darlene Conner is a joke and Sara Gilbert (who defended Leslie Moonves, please remember) is a psycho.

When losers like Sara won't use their power to pull TV into the 21st century, it's really an indictment of broadcast TV.  But then again, so much that takes place is an indictment.

Yeah, we caught Elseworld -- the three episode crossover event of sexism.

If you missed it, you didn't miss much and it's really past time that THE CW seriously addressed the sexism in their 'Arrow-verse' of programs.  It's going to take more than developing a show for Batwoman to fix it.

Did no one notice that Supergirl -- the strongest of the three superheroes -- did nothing on the crossover?

The crossover kicks off with THE FLASH where Barry and Oliver are in each other's bodies -- in each other's bodies -- not into each other's bodies (though that, at least, would have made sense).  Then it moves on over to ARROW where Kara (Supergirl) shows up only to conclude on SUPERGIRL.

The middle episode?  It's nice that they had Supergirl fly through the facility for the criminally insane since they gave her no other chance to show her powers.  There was plenty of Barry and Oliver learning to use each other's powers and there were a lot of action scenes for both men.  Not for Supergirl.

And it got worse on the final crossover when, on her own show, Supergirl is locked away and kept away from the main story -- she's the damsel in distress, you understand.

In the seventies, Jamie (Lindsay Wagner) could, and did, do crossovers with Steve (Lee Majors) after THE BIONIC WOMAN began airing.  And, back then, Jamie could use her powers -- especially during the Big Foot crossover.

All these years -- all these decades later -- we've gone so far backwards that a character with no superhero powers (Arrow) is involved in more action scenes on SUPERGIRL than is the title character herself.

If what had taken place had only taken place on ARROW and FLASH, that would be bad enough but to cow SUPERGIRL on her own show?

And while it's so very easy to point out that only one woman was involved in the writing of the three episodes (and she only did "story" for one episode, not an actual script) the reality is that ROTTEN TOMATOES sports a lot of rotten people which, yes, does include women.  A big hella-hello shout out to bitches (yes, bitches and we use that term to avoid using the c-word) Sarah Fields, Tori Preson, Laura Hurley, Lizzy Buczak, Sara Netzley, Caroline Siede and especially dumb bitch Amelia Emberwing who loved the episode and never once noted that imprisoning Kara and having not one but two Supermans -- as well as Oliver and Barry -- helped ensure that women looked feeble and unable to stand for themselves.

For dumb bitch Amelia Emberwing, it was all about "sisterhood" -- no, we're not making that up.

These are action shows, but dumb bitches who get paid to write poorly don't grasp that removing Supergirl from all the action is retrogressive and offensive.

Don't expect Sara Gilbert to do anything to improve the lives of LGBTQ people without being called out and don't expect dumb bitches like Sarah Fields, et al to ever stand up for women when it's so much easier for them to continue to be useless and refuse to own their own power -- it's always easier to go along to get along.

Which brings us to the liars covering Channing Dungey.

NETFLIX tossed her a job -- out of pity.  And she's being praised for it.

Channing hits 50 in March, this is nothing to be proud of, she's basically a hostess at TGIF.

She has gone from President of ABC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP to . . . what?

She's gone to what we reported she would.  NETFLIX had no opening for her or any need for her.  Susan Rice pulled strings and Channing's got a pity job.  As we reported some time ago, NETFLIX would have to create a position for Channing and it would be one of humiliation.

The press wants you to know they created a vice presidency for her -- excuse us, her friends in the press want you to know that.  A vice presidency at an entertainment company?  That's something you aspire to in your late twenties and earlier thirties -- again, she hits 50 in three months.

They created a vice president title for her.  It has no real power.  Doubt us?  From Joe Flint's MARKET WATCH report:

Netflix Inc. has tapped former ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey as a vice president of original content, the latest evidence of the growing rivalry between the streaming-video giant and ABC-parent Walt Disney Co.
[. . .]
Netflix created a new position to land Dungey. She will report to Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president of original content. 

Did you get that?  Channing is a Vice President!  Of Original Content!  And she reports to?  Cindy Holland NETFLIX's Vice President of Original Content.

Surely, America isn't as stupid as Channing hopes they are.  Surely, America grasps that Channing is in  a position of no power with a meaningless title.  She reports to vice president Cindy Holland.  She's nothing but a glorified gopher -- which, if you'll think back, is what our NETFLIX sources were telling us would happen if she managed to get hired.

From the president of ABC to . . . a vice president reporting to a vice president at NETFLIX.  There is justice.

And Roseanne Barr will be on the winning end of it.  She's now Lenny Bruce.  She was victimized, fired and run out of the business for a joke.  Right?  It had nothing to do with a joke, it had everything to do with her public support of Donald Trump.  Trump will be gone (hopefully, in January 2021) and when he's gone, the rhetoric will hopefully die down.  At which point, the outrageous decision by Channing to fire Roseanne for a Tweet and the mob mentality of so many -- Whitney Cummings, we especially mean you -- will be seen for the injustice it was.  If you watch THE CONNERS, if you're one of the few who do, you can already see what an injustice it was as the show that had something to say about the world we live in morphed into MAYBERRY R.F.D.

The Worst Shows of 2018

All of these shows should never have aired.  They are garbage.


Leading the list is this bad garbage that makes THE HOGAN FAMILY look like FRIENDS.


But never as bad as the people who actually watched the show felt.


Old people try to pretend they understand the teen mind and fail.


So awful that the star ended up on THE CONNERS.


Maybe a star shouldn't be known for hating her fans?  Maybe when she is, viewers don't find it funny and don't want to indulge her b.s. in her latest bad TV show?  Oh, Julianne, we used to just talk about your fake hair.


Has HBO ever cancelled a show so quickly?


A show so obvious that it felt like a computer wrote it.


Oh, look, this was new . . . around the time Jodie Foster starred in CONTACT.


NETFLIX tries to make TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE look like a classic by comparison.


Yes, let's punish a character for not having cancer!  Who thinks this s**t up?


When you are as ugly as Christine is, maybe you should just find a rock to hide under?  Especially if you can't act and insist on delivering every line as though you just finished sucking on a lemon (which is probably what the scripts for this show actually taste like).

10 Most Useless Talkers On TV


1) Rachel Maddow

As the saying goes, "Maddow owns this thread!"  You could watch fifty hours of her hideous MSNBC show and learn nothing except how cute she thinks she is (she's not cute).  Illustration is Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hogwarts."

2) Sean Hannity

Sean's a lot like Rachel's drunken aunt.  Like Rachel, Sean finds himself endlessly amusing.  Like Rachel, Sean's not cute.

3) Amy Goodman

Her pinched face is matched with a sliding ethical scale that's allowed her to spend the last years promoting and egging on war.  She's the biggest disappointment to come out of Bay Shore, New York -- and, yes, we are aware it's also Judith Regan's hometown.

4) Christiane Amanpour

As ugly on the inside as she is on the out, Christiane never met a war she didn't want to egg on.  "Menace To Society" should be the name of her program.

5) Don Lemon

Shrill.  "Stooges" may be the kindest term ever applied to Don.  At least he'll always be able to agree with Bill O'Reilly, right?

6) Samantha Bee

It's not just that she's lazy (though there is that, new episodes of her talk show will start back up January 23rd, it last aired a new episode December 5th) there's also her annoying sing-song voice that wouldn't be attractive even on a woman who was still pre-menapausal.

7) Stephen Colbert

It's not just that he's so creepy, it's also that he can't shut up long enough to let a guest speak.

8) Conan O'Brien

The ravings of his lunatic celebrity friends convinced TBS they really had something with this show.  Which is why, in 2017, they renewed the show through 2022.  Then the ratings came in which led TBS to announce that the hour long show (that so few wanted to watch) was going to drop down to a thirty minute show.  They had to do something after he bled nearly 700,000 viewers from 2012 to 2015.

9) Jane Pauley

TODAY kicked her to the curb in 1989 so why are we stuck with her on CBS SUNDAY MORNING?  She is the equivalent of MUZAK and about as timely as yesterday's mashed potatoes and delivers such must avoid segments as interviews with Art Garfunkel and discussions on Laurel and Hardy.  She'd be the gal of the century . . . if this was 1929.

10) Bill Maher

Speaking of geezers, Bill Maher's done the same show since 1993 -- whether it's called REAL TIME or POLITICALLY INCORRECT.  It's tired and it's dated -- both the format and the host.

Our wish for 2019

All US troops home and all wars ended.

Radio broadcast not to miss

BLACK AGENDA RADIO covering Russia-gate (with Margaret Kimberley) and the Syrian war (with Sara Flounders).


Make of this what you will . . .

Things to catch

IT’S OUT! Go, go, go watch the Taylor Swift reputation Stadium Tour on now 🙌


Things to catch?  First and foremost, Taylor Swift's concert (recorded over two nights in Arlington at The AT&T Stadium.  It's a lively and, yes, special concert film.

After that?

How about zooming over to AMAZON where PRIME members can stream LENNY (Dustin Hoffman and Valerie Perrine in this film about comic Lenny Bruce) and maybe it will prompt PRIME to offer another Bob Fosse film -- SWEET CHARITY which you cannot rent or buy as a stream currently.

While at AMAZON, you might also check out HAMMER FILMS' THE LADY VANISHES starring Cybill Shepherd, Elliott Gould and Angela Lansbury.

Maybe go to CRACKLE (a free streaming channel) and check out the underrated 30 MINUTES OR LESS and, while you're there, enjoy both CHARLIE'S ANGELS and CHARLIE'S ANGELS FULL THROTTLE.

Over on HULU, check out the "New Year, New You" episode of INTO THE DARK.


Over on THE ROKU CHANNEL, you can check out Drew Barrymore's EVER AFTER, Penny Marshall's BIG, Amy Heckerling's LOOK WHO'S TALKING, THE TERMINATOR, THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, BABY BOOM (again), CAT BALLOU, John Waters' HAIRSPRAY and THE NET.


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