Sunday, May 17, 2020

Media: Lies and liars all around

Lies.  That's all so many ever offer.  They lie, they cover, they distort.  They attack.  They rarely report, they rarely offer honesty.  That's true across the media, whether you're talking what's passed off as news or what's passed off as entertainment.


"It wasn't Dad!"

Saturday, we participated in a feminist roundtable online.  It's not for hacks like Gloria Steinem with their well known CIA connections.  It was for the women who do the real work, day after damn day.  Not the Glorias who, as Betty Friedan rightly noted, were created by the media and had done nothing for women's rights before being anointed a 'leader' by the media.  No, Susan Faludi, it wasn't just the natural fascination with a younger woman that led to Gloria replacing Betty.

BACKLASH is a tremendous book and we applaud Susan for so much of it but Susan lied.  She flat out lied.  She doesn't want to address Gloria's CIA past?

Fine.  But don't lie that it was just about age.  Gloria had many media buddies (such as Clay who was also CIA, but not all were CIA) and that's what the media does, it promotes itself.  It's very incestuous and very disgusting.  Susan knows that, she was a reporter for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

Does it matter?  We believe it does.  Some feel it's minor.  Some with HOT IN CLEVELAND felt we were "nitpicking" when we slammed the show for having a character destroy an Abraham Lincoln letter to "protect" the dead president -- to protect him over 200 years after he was assassinated.  We disagreed then and we still disagree.

What is served by a character destroying historical evidence -- a letter from Lincoln in which he writes about an affair he had -- or by a TV show promoting that?

Who is served?

That's the question we ask.

We ask that now that AMAZON's offering the film SEBERG for free to AMAZON PRIME subscribers.  We ask that now as PBS' THE NEWSHOUR does a dumpster dive and tries to call it journalism.  We ask that as a supposed left supposed media watchdog is repeatedly silent on issues -- including Tara Reade -- or else flat out lying to protect a corrupt government.

Let's talk Tara Reade.  She's accused Joe Biden of assault.  We've noted that week after week here.  We've noted it.  We've noted that we find her credible.  We've noted that we don't what happened.  We've got to note a lot more now that she's being attacked by, among others, THE NEWSHOUR.

"It wasn't Dad!"

Saturday was a private roundtable.  If you weren't invited to participate or to watch, you weren't considered a core player.  We got permission to quote from it as needed for this piece.  We are not identifying or naming anyone quoted.

"It wasn't Dad!"

A woman brought that up.  Tara Reade is a liar, we are told.  She is a liar because she has offered praise for Joe Biden.

It's a stupid b.s. claim.  If you've been assaulted -- we both have -- you know that guilt is a big part of the aftermath.  We tend to splinter to survive a trauma.

"It wasn't Dad!" drove that home.

The woman speaking was assaulted by her own father.  Her mother was terminal at the time, cancer, and discovered her daughter had been raped.  "Why didn't you come to me?  Who did this?"  Before she even got to the point of trying to reassure her mother that she was okay, the first words out of the woman's mouth were: "It wasn't Dad!"

We survive so much in life and we do that in many ways.  Post-Traumatic Stress is not a 'disorder.'  It is how the body and mind respond to serious issues -- you are, for example, in a war zone and to survive you have to be hyper-vigilant.  Understanding that basic reality can and should remove any stigma someone dealing PTS might feel.

Trauma's can cause splits.  We can, for example, deaden the pain.  We can do that with medication or drink or we can do that by removing ourselves from the situation.

If you've been assaulted, you know how much time you spend removing yourself from the situation.  You go through life taking on whatever in the day and then, boom, something puts you back into that situation -- the assault or the immediate aftermath.

In recent years, we've used the term "trigger" to apply to those situations when the distance or detachment that we use to get through life shatters.

We can compartmentalize our lives to make sure we make it through.

Tara Reade's life reads like compartmentalization.  The call her mother made to LARRY KING LIVE in 1993 goes to that -- her mother talks about how Tara wanted to protect the senator she worked for.  By the way, one of the things disgusting trash likes to do is to insist that there is no proof that it was Tara's mother making that call.  They insist it could have been some other woman.  Because how many women from San Luis Obispo had a daughter who was working for a US senator that had just left that job at the start of August 1993?  It's Tara's mother and the fact that liars can't even admit to that basic truth goes to how trapped in lies they actually are.

If your rapist is someone you know and trusted?  You often have a need to defend him.  Defending him is defending yourself.  If he's not all bad, if you emphasize his good qualities?  Well you're a good person and you're rising above the assault.  And if he's not all bad, that also means you weren't an idiot.  Being assaulted means reliving the assault over and over -- often at night when you're trying to sleep.  You blame yourself.  You ask yourself how you missed the obvious.

Those are just two reasons why a survivor may offer kind words about their attacker.  There are many other reasons.  And it's a shame that 15 of us, 15 feminists who have been assaulted, could provide countless reasons why someone would, from time to time, offer praise of someone who assaulted her.

"It wasn't Dad!"  She spoke to the fact that she said that to protect her father.  She said it so that her mother, who only had months to live, wouldn't be dealing with that reality.  We cover for our assailants often, sometimes to protect the feelings of others.

We talkeda bout that and talked about a great deal more.  As one participant noted, in doing so, we'd provided more facts and more information and background than the media ever has -- not with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, not with Tara Reade.

As we've noted, C-SPAN -- not CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or PBS -- brought on an expert on assault to speak to this subject.  The guest was Heather Drevna, the vice president of RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

Heather Drevna: What I can say is we shouldn't dismiss someone's allegations of assault merely because their story has changed or what they have told audiences has differed at times.  You need to take into account her explanation for why the details she described last year don't all match what she's alleging now, why the complaint might not match what she's alleging now.  You also need to take into account that she told some friends and family members at the time of the alleged assault.  It's not unusual for a survivor to take years to process the trauma that they have experienced and just because they've not come forward publicly immediately after events may have occurred doesn't mean that they did not happen. 

Reporting on assault should include experts on assault.  A lot of people think they know about assault even if they haven't been assaulted.  But if they truly knew about assault, they wouldn't be embracing rape culture by attempting to discredit a survivor.

Well . . . Not all of them.

There are some hateful people who wouldn't give a damn even if they actually understood assault and how it can impact survivors -- you know, men whose egos are so much bigger than their tiny penises, men like Michael Tracey who Tweeted:

You can't just say the magic word "trauma" and then think that suffices to explain every factual discrepancy, outright lie, financial scam, or manipulative behavior in a person's background. Sorry!

He Tweeted that after he published his essay trashing Tara.  Tara has accused Joe Biden of assault.  The assault is not proven or disproven by alleged financial scames or alleged manipulative behavior.  No, the assault does not go to character.

Michael Tracey's legal knowledge is as tiny as his micro-member.

The issue is an assault.  Deal with the issue.

Unless you can't.  In which case, you assassinate the character of the woman making the charge.  That, for the record, is what rape culture is.

And there are so many willing to use rape culture because, for them, the issue isn't about Tara being assaulted.  Tara doesn't matter.  Women don't matter.  The only thing that matters is that the Democrats retake the White House.

Ron Placone offered:

Imagine being a journalist who decides “today I’m gonna write a character assassination piece on a woman who came forward with a rape allegation against my King.” This is complete garbage.


And if you're not getting how incestuous it all is, grasp that POLITICO published an attack on Tara Reade Friday and they thought they could hide the fact that they'd been working on the story with a Biden supporter -- a fact that they failed to disclose.

It was for this reason that Mike named POLITICO "Idiot of the Week" and wrote:

Oops, you're the f**king idiot POLITCO because you were worked with a man who can't stop bragging online.  He goes by the name "Biden_Brigade."  His Tweets are things like this about today's smear by POLITICO:

You can thank me later (Marc Caputo contributed to this article, i have been sending him info for a long time) Tara Reade left a trail of aggrieved acquaintances via


Oopsie.  You forgot to note that in your article, POLITCO.  And you little Biden bitch can't stop Tweeting.  You're not just a liar, you are someone who farmed your ass out for whoring.

So remember that.  POLITICO publishes a piece that attacks Tara Reade and they got help on it from "Biden Brigade" who was "sending" Marc Caputo "info for a long time."

Let's call that journalism, okay?

Allowing someone with a personal vendetta to shape the coverage and not even disclosing that fact.

As far as we knew, PBS' THE NEWSHOUR wasn't working with the Biden campaign or one of its surrogates when they published their 'report' -- it's disgusting and laughable.  They should all be ashamed for it.

The co-author Lisa Desjardins Tweeted this nonsense:

We spoke with a former coworker of Reade's, Ben Savage, who sat next to her. He says she was fired for performance issues that he witnessed and spoke up about. Reade's attorney says this is not true, that she was pushed out as retaliation.

Ben Savage?  Well he wasn't as cute as a child as his brother Fred and, as an adult, he lacks Fred's sexy chest and sexy voice but he still gets work -- he just had a role on HOMELAND, for example.

What's that?

Different Ben Savage.

Yeah, no f**k.

Who is Ben Savage?  Like so many in the article, we're not informed of that fact.  He says he worked with Tara and maybe he can back that up, maybe he can't.  Maybe he's part of Joe Biden's current campaign, maybe he's not.

But all of Tara's witnesses had to come with slug lines explaining who they were and what they did.

Little Ben shows up with nothing but an accusation and we're supposed to believe him?  This is what PBS considers reporting?

1993 was not a year known for equality.  We were, after all, supposed to applaud the US Senate for having the most female members at one time ever: Six.  For those who skipped civics class, there are 100 seats in the US Senate.  In 1993, we were supposed to be grateful that six were held by women.  That left 94 held by men.

Things aren't a lot better today -- as the US Senate notes, there are only 26 female members currently.

So a man -- one working for handsy Joe -- in 1993, didn't like Tara's work ethic and we're supposed to believe that's based on what?  Because it could easily be based upon Ben's jealousy of a co-worker, Ben's jealousy of a co-worker based on gender, Ben's need to die for his hero Joe like a good little soldier.  Who knows?

But in what world is Ben Savage to be presented in a report that PBS can't stop self-applauding without them bothering to tell us one damn thing about Ben Savage?

We've told you it's not the Ben Savage who starred in BOY MEETS WORLD -- that's more than PBS bothered to tell you.

They want you to be thrilled that they spoke to 74 people who worked for Joe.

We think it's far more telling that they attempted to speak to 200 people who worked for Joe but only 74 were willing to speak to them.

But you know what we found more interesting?

Tara Reade worked for Joe Biden.  Her personnel files might have the complaint she states she filed.  They may not have it.  Where is it?  Joe went on MSNBC and told the world it had to be in one place but that was a lie.  He refuses to open his own records at the University of Delaware.

Remember that?

So, help us out, how did PBS get employment records to contact 200 people?

A random survey of 200 workers, on the part of PBS, found nothing.

That's strange isn't it.  No one even had a beef.  How did that happen?

Don't wonder, it's right there in what PBS is calling a 'report:'

In all, the NewsHour tried to contact nearly 200 former staffers of Biden’s, based primarily on public records of his time in the Senate and White House and also from interviews with current campaign advisers.

Are alarms not going off yet?

They should be.

When THE NEW YORK TIMES did their expose on Harvey Weinstein, did they go to Harvey and ask for a list of witnesses who would back him up?

No.  But that's what PBS did.

Tara Reade makes an accusation and, instead of conducting an independent investigation, PBS went to the Biden campaign to ask for a list of people to talk to.

Are you really surprised that people the Biden campaign referred PBS to didn't have anything but kind words for Jo-Jo?

And what are the public records the sentence refers to because when this stood out to us today, we worked the phones and the best any PBS friends could offer us was "public records" were published news reports.  So when Joe's office liked a worker enough to get them publicity by engineering press, there's a record of that person and that's who PBS contacted.

This isn't journalism.

Shame on everyone who has endorsed PBS' 'reporting' which is nothing more than them taking dictation from the campaign of Joe Biden.

That's who they spoke to -- friends of the campaign who referred PBS to . . . friends of the campaign.

We think it's very telling that they failed to speak to experts on assault.  We think it's very telling that they refused to speak to journalists.  For example, a real report would require them to speak to Jeffrey St. Clair.  Why Jeffrey?  Because Jeffrey was the co-editor of COUNTERPUNCH, along with Alexander Cockburn, from 1999 to 2012.  This matters because of what the late Alexander Cockburn wrote in 2008:

Biden  is a notorious flapjaw. His vanity deludes him into believing that every word that drops from his mouth is minted in the golden currency of Pericles. Vanity is the most conspicuous characteristic of US Senators en bloc , nourished by deferential  acolytes and often expressed in loutish sexual  advances to staffers, interns and the like.  On more than one occasion CounterPunch’s editors have listened to vivid accounts by the recipient of just such advances, this staffer of another senator being accosted  by Biden in the well of the senate  in the weeks immediately following his first wife’s fatal car accident.

PBS is full of it.  They didn't do a real report.  In 2008, Alexander Cockburn was reporting on Joe's harassment.  If PBS were doing a real report, they would have spoken to Jeffrey about this report -- one still up at the magazine's website.

They tried to dredge up dirt on Tara Reade while avoiding an actual lead that needed to be pursued but this lead would likely not have helped Joe Biden.

This wasn't reporting, it wasn't advocacy journalism.  It was being an arm of the Joe Biden campaign -- brought to you by Dupont and viewers like you.

This wasn't reporting.

And SEBERG wasn't a film -- not one worth watching.

Jean Seberg was an American actress.  She found fame early on and, by the time of the French New Wave classic BREATHLESS, she was an international star.  In the late sixties and early sixties, she and Jane Fonda were actresses who were international stars and who successfully managed careers in France and the US.  Both were also married to French men -- Jane to Roger Vadim, Jean to Romain Gary.  Another thing they share in common?  Activism, yes, but activism that allowed a crooked US government to abuse their rights and try to destroy them.

Jane survived gray listing.  She was a child of Hollywood (Henry Fonda was her father) and she knew the system and she was formidable.  She deserves applause for that.  Jean wasn't so lucky.  The US government destroyed her and eventually Jean was dead from what was ruled a probable suicide.

Jean's is a story worth telling and we've long told it here.  One of us (C.I.) knew Jean and Romain.  We called out Jodie Foster for talking about the need to make the film and then not doing it.  The world didn't need the garbage that was HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS or the bad, basic cable nonsense that LITTLE MAN TATE amounted to.  A film about Jean Seberg?  That would have been a topic that actually mattered.

We thought we'd applaud SEBERG.  And then we saw it.

The film had a limited release in the US, coming out December 13th.  It was an AMAZON film and is now up on AMAZON PRIME.  There are only two reasons to watch.  The chemistry between Anthony Mackie and Kristen Stewart is solid and should lead to the two being reteamed in another movie -- in a better movie.  The other reason to watch is Kristen who is perfect in this role.  Imagine how incredible she could have been in a good movie -- or even just a truthful one.

There's so much to talk about here but we have to start where we always start when we discuss Jean here.  Joyce Haber.  We sure are proud of our work online.  When we first started covering Jean, the US believed that Joyce Haber was responsible for Jean's death.

Here's the lie: Joyce Haber carried water for the FBI.  The FBI was smearing Jean and they knew she was pregnant by a Mexican she met while filming MACHO CALLAHAN in Mexico.  They spread the lie that Jean, married to Roman, was pregnant by a Black Panther because they believed this would destroy Jean's career -- pregnant by a Black man!  It was 1970.  To provide you some context, THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT had been a hit on Broadway starring Diana Sands and Alan Alda from 1964 to 1965 -- Sands was African-American and Alda is White Anglo.  When made into a 1970 film, there was talk of Sidney Poitier being cast in the film after Ray Stark turned it into a property for Barbra Streisand.  Barbra nixed that idea and made sarcastic remarks about how, if it were an interracial couple, "We'll have a Negro play the White and you'll see we're all equal!"  The idea of equality among the races was a joke to Barbra -- which does explain the lack of African-Americans in the three films she's directed.

At the time she filmed THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT, Barbra was the number one female film star in the world but she and Ray Stark were scared of an interracial couple, of how it might turn off audiences in 1970.  That's the year that the FBI thought spreading the lie that Jean was pregnant by a Black Panther would destroy Jean.

Joyce Haber didn't identify Jean.  She ran a blind item in her column after her editor, Bill Thomas, passed the information onto her -- in writing -- including his remarks -- in writing -- that he vouched for the source.

It did not destroy Jean -- not professionally, not personally.  It was a blind item and readers might have thought it was Jean -- they most likely would have thought it was Jane Fonda because Jane was the bigger star and would more likely come to mind.  They might have thought it was about Barbara Hershey who was being ridiculed at the time (a seagull had been killed while she was filming 1969's LAST SUMMER and Hershey had changed her last name to Seagull -- never under estimate the stupidity and hatred of the press).  It could have been about any number of actresses.

In the film SEBERG, they have Jean being hounded after the blind item runs -- reporters trying to get her to offer a response.  That never happened.

In a comic moment, they have Dorothy Jamal, a revolutionary, confronting her husband at the breakfast table with Joyce's item on the front page of THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.  Dorothy wouldn't read that rag -- and no gossip column ran on the front page of THE TIMES. THE LOS ANGELES HERALD-EXAMINER is the mainstream paper that would have been read in the Jamal's home.  Know why that is?

Hakim Jamal often worked for that paper.  It's not in the film because it's not in a WIKIPEDIA entry.  Equally true, Hakim is not a "cousin of Malcolm X."  That's a lie and CRAPAPEDIA needs to remove it immediately.  The distant cousin of Malcom X was Dorothy Jamal.  She was the blood relation.  Hakim only married into that family.

And if everyone behind the scenes weren't so White, they might have known Dorothy was most likely to read THE LOS ANGELES SENTINEL -- an African-American weekly and it would be the Black press that she'd most likely confront him with -- for example, Hillard Hamm's blind item in Compton's METROPOLITAN GAZETTE about a Black leader who was sleeping with a White woman.  (The item was about Hakim and Jean.)

Joyce's item ran in May of 1970.  It came and went and not much happened (a related gossip short may have run in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER right after Joyce's column -- it implied Jean Seberg had a secret she was keeping from the public -- it didn't say what secret but it did name Jean).

Now this is where the story used to end.  It's certainly what FAIR and Steve Rendell loved to pimp -- this lie that Joyce Haber, working with the FBI, falsely reported Jean was pregnant by a Black Panther and that "soon after" Joyce's item, Jean miscarried.


May 19, 1970 is when Joyce's blind item ran. It was August 23rd that Jean miscarried.  This was right after NEWSWEEK ran the following written by Edward Behr and published by his editor Kermit Lansner:

Can a small-town girl from Iowa find happiness in Paris?  It seems so, despite the ups and downs of her marriage.  "It's wonderful," smiled movie actress Jean Seberg, 31, when reporters looked in on her in a hospital in Majorca, where she was recuperating from complications in her pregnancy.  "We are completely reconciled -- ironically just when our divorce papers are finally coming through."  She and French author Romain Gary, 56, are reportedly about to remarry even though the baby Jean expects in October is by another man -- a black activist she met in California.

For the record, Jean never spoke to Edward Behr.  The quotes in the paragraph above are lies made up by NEWSWEEK's Edward Behr.

Now we consider it to be a success that CRAPAPEDIA and the film acknowledge NEWSWEEK.  It would be better if they would the writer -- Edward Behr -- and the editor -- Kermit Lansner -- of the piece.  They have no problem naming Joyce Haber.

The movie has to name NEWSWEEK because they use the press conference Romain held where he announced the lawsuit -- they sued NEWSWEEK -- not THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.  They sued NEWSWEEK and the publication was order to pay a hefty sum and to run an apology.

NEWSWEEK is a key moment to the attacks carried out on US citizens by their own government.  The movie includes NEWSWEEK but two idiots who wrote the script can't grasp the importance.  FAIR and Steve?  We think they knew the importance.  Were they too scared to comment on it or were they covering?

The CIA.  That's the news value here.  The CIA was part of the plot against Jean.  Now for those who feel Jean was murdered, that it wasn't suicide, the CIA is the best explanation for who would have killed her.  They're international and Jean lived in France.

The NEWSWEEK reporter?  Edward Behr?  He was filing from France.  He was part of the operation to destroy Jean.  Are we to believe the FBI was leading the assault on Jean in France?  The CIA was doing it.  Their hands have been presented as clean all these years.  There is blood on their hands with regards to Jean and shame on anyone who pretends to care while at the same time refusing to connect the very obvious dots.

'B-b-b-but Ava and C.I., films do take liberties to condense and blah blah blah.'

Yes, they do.

But why did this film need to condense so much?

Oh, that's right because it's the good FBI.

This piece of s**t film creates a character based on complete fiction.  This is a man working for the FBI.  He's the co-star of the film.  He appears to fall in love with Jean while spying on her. This causes him to 'feel' for Jean throughout the film.  We also get a lot of scenes where he's with his wife who wants to be a doctor.  None of this has to do with Jean and the character is not a framing device.

What is he?

An attempt to rewrite history, to present the FBI as caring and concerned.

No, that's not the FBI and it wasn't the FBI in 1970.

It's a white-wash of what took place.  How dare you pretend to make a film about Jean Seberg and try to make an FBI agent the good guy.  He's the young guy, by the way.  Everyone else in the FBI is much older than the young boy -- which is supposed to indicate to us that a new FBI was being born at this time.

Again, this is hideous.  It is turning the criminals who destroyed Jean into good guys.

It's outrageous.

So is FAIR and it's radio program COUNTERSPIN.  Week after week, they have refused to cover the media's silence on Tara Reade which was followed by the media's attacks on Tara.  Is it just women who are under attack that FAIR doesn't care about?

We've long noted how women are absent from the program.  Yes, Janine Jackson is now the host -- the sole and the inept host of COUNTERSPIN.  We loved that Janine had time, while ignoring Tara Reade (even in the ''now a look at recent press") but she did have time to interview Jim Naureckas.  It was a lengthy interview but, apparently, not long enough because she didn't have time to inform listeners of the program that she was interviewing her husband -- Janine and Jim married in 1997.  It's all so tacky and incestuous.  By the way, this was the second time Janine had interviewed Jim so far this year.  While Janine's playing footsie on air with her husband, it's clear that COUNTERSPIN is never going to live up to being the left media critique it's always promised to be.  It's just as hollow as anything you could find in the corporate media.  And when that passes for a 'media watchdog,' no wonder the media thinks they can publish a 'report' that's nothing but stenography for the Joe Biden campaign.

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