Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Jim: Roundtable time.  Remember our e-mail address is  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim;  Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;  and C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review.  Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim: This is a quick roundtable.  In the Tuesday "Iraq snapshot," C.I. responded to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi -- to e-mails about his death.   We're not going to have a piece on that, or we're not planning to at present.  I thought that was a topic -- one of many -- we could discuss in this roundtable.

Jess: I don't see why.  I think C.I. said it all.  We're not talking a hero here.  We're not talking anyone who made lives better.  How did you word it, C.I.?

C.I.: He managed to tap into rage and resentment.  And what did he do with that?  He harnessed it into violence. I don't see him as a revolutionary.  I don't see any grand vision to improve lives.  I just see him as a thug who harmed many, many people and whose end goals included stripping women of their rights.  I don't see him as an important figure in life or in death.

Dona: I would agree with C.I.'s take, like Jess did, and I'm honestly confused as to why we're calling a roundtable due to this topic.  Jim.  That was directed to you.

Jim: I just found the snapshot interesting and I thought it was worth exploring further.

Ava: Well C.I. and I did speak Sunday evening about this and wondered if there was a media piece in it.  The most we could think of is Donald Trump.  The media is much more underwhelmed by this death than by Osama bin Laden's and is that a story?  Maybe.  Butit's also true that bin Laden is supposed to be the person behind the 9/11 attacks -- attacks on US soil.  That would make him a bigger concern to the US press.

Betty: Meaning this is a man that's not really on the radar for most Americans or most US media outlets.

Jim: But would it be different if Barack was still president when this happened?

Betty: I'm sure it would be.  Maybe not a lot different.  But, yes, the media would be doing victory laps for Barack.  In some form or another.

Jim: But you think it would be differently?

Betty: Yes, but not significantly.  I don't think this would be wall-to-wall.  I do think the tone, however, would be different -- it would be more respectable and less questioning.  And, let me be clear, I don't think we need that.  I think we need a media that always questions.  But I hope the second Donald leaves the White House, the media doesn't fall back into submission.

Ty: That's a real issue for me.  There are a few things the media is doing currently that I would love to applaud.  But I didn't see them do that when Barack was president or when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House.  I don't support a rule for Donald and then a rule for everyone else.  Has the media morphed into a stronger presence?  I'm not sure.  And the Russia nonsense doesn't help make the case that it has.

Dona: I would absolutely agree with that.  They showed no skepticism there even though the whole was nonsense or farce.  It wasted our lives, it kept us from focusing on real issues -- as a country, it did.  I know no one participating bought into the crap.

Jim: In part because the shift against Russia began under Barack and C.I. wrote a long piece on how that was happening back in 2015.  So we were predisposed to question nonsense charges if they involved Russia.

Jess: Well, I understand what Ty's talking about, but I don't think we need to wait to see if the media's changed -- wait for Donald to be out of the White House.  I would argue that it clearly hasn't changed and would point to the press' nonsense regarding Hunter Biden.  What he did was wrong.  It was unethical.  And yet, from Anderson Cooper to every other media pipsqueak, we hear that he did nothing wrong.  Yes, he did.  As C.I. has repeatedly pointed out, it is one thing to say that Hunter did nothing illegal as far as we know and in saying that he did nothing wrong.  With just what is already publicly known, he did something wrong.  Unethical is wrong.  Sarah Chayes gets it.  Why does she get it when others don't?

Ty: A very good question and I was really shocked by how Sarah was treated when she was on NPR's MORNING EDITION.  I can't remember who she spoke with --

C.I.: David Green.

Ty: Thank you. He was a disappointment.  His whole attitude was a disappointment.  It was like, 'Okay, she's a famous journalist who was with PBS so we have to interview her but notice how I detach and put up a wall when normally I would be all over with 'So good to talkto you' and 'I see'."  It was embarrassing.  He treated her like she had small pox.  Why?  Because he didn't want to break from the pack on Hunter Biden.

Jim: I give Sarah huge credit for breaking from the pack.  Who's the other one?  C.I., we were talking about him.

C.I.: Jonathan Turley.

Jim: Yep.  And, Jess, you're right.  If this was really a new stage for the press, they'd be going after Hunter.  This is not about the press growing or morphing, this is just about them hating Donald Trump.

Dona: Can I bring up a point here?  The press is its usual timid self.  It's not going to change.  This is about hating Donald Trump and that's really become a sick obsession for so many.  Donald Trump will hopefully be out of the White House after 2020.  But even if he isn't, this hatred is rather surprising when you consider that Barack set the record for deportations, that Barack said he would end the Iraq War and he didn't, it continues.  Go down the list.  You're unhappy with Donald?  Guess what?  I was unhappy with Barack.  And I was not obsessed with him nor am I obsessed with Donald.

Betty: I loved C.I.'s point about don't let him steal your joy or your power.  I really cannot believe how many people have become raving lunatics and turned their entire lives over to real time response to Donald Trump.  Talk about letting someone steal your power.  And, let me add one more point, people really need to read Ava and C.I.'s piece this week.  It's really important and gets to real and serious issue.

Jess: Iraq.  I want to point out that Barack did exactly what he told the press he would do -- which was pull troops out of Iraq and then send them back in.  He didn't say that in his campaign speeches.  But he did say it privately to two NEW YORK TIMES reporters who refused to put it in the article they wrote.  C.I. found it in the transcript and here we did an article on it.  That was 2007.  We weren't psychics.  We just did the job -- the job THE NEW YORK TIMES should have done.  The job others should have done.  The press is going to change?  Not a chance.  They were useless in 2007 and are useless today.  They sell lies.  They wanted the war to continue -- I'm not talking about the two reporters, I am saying the paper -- so, in 2007, they didn't report what Barack told the paper.  They just lie and lie over and over.

Betty: Over and over and always.

Jim: It really is something, to look around the web today and wonder what happened.  Mary what was her name?  Pretending she gave a damn about the Iraqi people. Maryscott O'Connor.

Ava: She's a nut job.  She's morphed into an online beggar.  She's one of those idiots who attacked Hillary in 2008.  Remember all the sexist attacks in 2008? Yes, she was part of it.  And she stated that if Hillary got the nomination, in 2008, she would not vote for her.  Then in 2016, she's a Hillary groupie.  F**k her.  I did not support Hillary in 2016 but I share the scars of her 2008 supporters and I have no problem with those who continued to support her in 2016.  I do have a huge problem with those, like MaryBigBullyScott, who trashed her over and over in 2008 and then wanted to show up in the very mild 2016 and pretend Hillary was the victim of sexist attacks.  MaryScott's a lot of things, mainly vulgar.  I have no respect for her.  Beg some more, Maryscott, beg some more, I need a good laugh.

Betty: Just to add, I agree with Ava.  Those who called out the sexism of 2008? If they supported her in in 2016 or didn't, I do support them regardless.  But these Janet Come Latelys who did nothing in 2008 but show up in 2016 and pretend to care about sexism?  I have no use for them.  I don't take them seriously.  If you care about sexism, I don't know how you could have stayed silent -- or taken part in it -- in 2008.

Jim: Good point.  We're going to go ahead and wrap up.  You are reading a rough transcript.  Thank you to Ava and C.I. for taking notes.  Our e-mail address?  We're actually going to just move to for new e-mails.  If you're already writing us at the old one, you can continue.  Trina's locked out of her e-mail currently so she's moving over to and announcing that today.

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