Friday, September 11, 2020

TV: Leftists seeking public affairs programming

 Where do you go?  If you're a feminist and  you support Black Lives Matter, if you're against the wars and pro-immigration, if you believe in a better world, where do you go?


Sure, we're asking it now.  But Cher asked it years ago.

Where do you go
When it starts to rain
Where will you sleep
When the night time comes
What do you do
When your heart's in pain
Where will you run
When the right time comes

Like Cher, we wonder.


From time to time, someone pops up and we're told to embrace them.  We're bullied if we don't, shamed.  For example, our refusal to embrace Keith Olbermann resulted in so many e-mails that only stopped once JOURNALIST went public and the world learned that it wasn't just the two of us bothered by the rank sexism Keith trafficked in.  


The same group that pimped him now tries to pimp Bill Maher.  We don't embrace Islamaphobia and we don't hate Muslims so we would never get on board with Maher -- even if you set his sexism to the side which we would never do. 


Before Amy Goodman got her foundation money, she was against wars.  Starting with the war on Libya, Amy was on board with anything.  From 2000 through 2004, she was out front and a leader but then she caved a little each year to the point that she was an embarrassment.  In 2003, for example, could you imagine Goody staging a black out on the Green Party?  Refusing to even note in a headline when Howie Hawkins won the Green's presidential nomination?


She no longer goes to where the silences are, she now creates them.  MSNBC was supposedly a channel for the left.  But it was a sexist sewer.  Rachel Maddow publicly criticized MSNBC for that to THE ASSOCIATED PRESS and was immediately rewarded by MSNBC provided she shut her mouth.  Shut her mouth?  Rachel learned that at AIR AMERICA RADIO.  When she and Lisz Winstead were informed their show (with Chuck D) UNFILTERED was being taken off the air in a month and would be replaced with a talk show from Jerry Springer, Lizz walked.   



She went on air and lied that Lizz was sick.  For a month, Rachel lied to listeners and did so to be rewarded -- not just paid, understand, but rewarded.  Though UNFILTERED would be no more, Rachel was given an early morning talk show.  She was pathetic -- and we're being kind and not bringing up how she had her father be a sock puppet on the UNFILTERED message board.


As Cher sings in "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves," "But every night all the men would come around and lay their money down."


And Rachel was there to serve and service them.  


Back in December, Connor Kilpatrick (JACOBIN) insisted, "Krystal Ball is the anti-Rachel Maddow Bernie Fans Have Been Waiting For."  We were left gagging.  


For starters, why would anyone want to be an image of Rachel -- mirror image, photographic negative image, what have you?


Rachel is a clown.  No one who knows the news takes her seriously.  She's a clown who's made herself that.  She's this generation's Bill O'Reilly.  


We're not 'Bernie Fans' -- and weren't when he was running.  We did support his campaign but that was not out of some 'fandom' of Bernie.


We don't fall in love with politicians -- we're not that desperate.


Or that pathetic.

And we don't just pretend someone's good at whatever they do because we happen to share political beliefs.  A lot of complaints over the years have had whiners bringing that up: 'But we're on the same political side!!!!'

Actually, we're not.  Sorry, NPR ombudsperson, we're not.  Sorry, David Corn, we're not.  Sorry to so many, we're not.


We call out sexism and that includes at NPR.  Just because you think the NPR staff is 'woke' and 'aware' and cares about women doesn't mean s**t to us.  We look at the numbers and we see women as less guests.  That's the fact.  Your statements are hopes and dreams that aren't translating and we'll call NPR out no matter how much it distresses you.

And we're not on Krystal's side.  If she wants to come over to our side, great and fine.  But she's not a feminist.  A feminist would be appalled that RISING features so few women as guests.  (We can print the number but we'll be kind -- this time -- and leave it out.)  It really shouldn't be our job or anyone else's job to point out that Krystal's show RISING -- like so many 'progressive' shows (Thom Hartman, for example) feature a ton of men and very few women.  How do you not notice that?  You do the show daily and you don't notice it? 


Of course, you notice it.  You just don't give a damn.


And that's really the point of RISING -- not giving a damn.

Krystal hosts the show with Saagar Enjeti.  He represents the conservative side, she represents the liberal side.  When we were discussing RISING with friends, they kept asking us why we didn't have criticism of Saagar?


Why would we?


He's representing the right-wing.  He does that effectively.


Are we supposed to be fuming that he's effective at his job just because he's on a different side?


If he were a hypocrite, we'd call him out.


But Krystal's the hypocrite.  


She's not really that left to begin with and her scope is very narrow -- as is her knowledge base.


She's really good at popping her eyes and speaking in what we call "potato voice" (pretend you have a hot potato on your tongue and watch the roof of your mouth rise).  She thinks she's good at mocking but she's not.  She's like Trevor Noah these days.  He doesn't have jokes.  With no studio audience, he's just been offering observations and they weren't funny and they weren't original and he kept pausing for laughs (from home viewers) but it just made him look stupid. If Trevor, a professional comedian, can't pull it off, what makes Krystal think she can?

She can't.  But even if she could, you'd think she'd want something more, something beyond portraying someone slightly to the left of James Carville.


Instead, she's just the hollow TV Democrat who surrounds herself with more of the same.


Where is Margaret Kimberley?  Ann Garrison?  Glen Ford?  Lucy Flores?  


Over and over, every guest on the 'left' on this supposedly free wheeling show tells you they're voting for Joe.  Where's the Green Party?  Where's the Libertarian Party?  Where are the Socialists?


Tepid guests make for tepid TV.  Take Marianne Williamson's recent appearance.  What was the point?  We like Marianne, but what was the point?  It was lousy TV and little more than indoctrination.  Marianne wants to tell viewers to vote for Joe Biden.  The Democratic Party's primary just wasn't fair, it's observed.  Marianne rushes to agree with that call and she's got stories.  But when pressed for a story -- you know something that would give you a reason to watch the interview, Marianne explains she'll tell but after the election, Krystal rushes to agree that she understands that delay.


No.  If something went wrong, if something was unfair, if Marianne saw the belly of the beast, she needs to discuss it now.  Not months from now.  Not after the election, when we'll be told, well the DNC's changed since then.  If Marianne has something to share, she needs to share it now and anyone conducting an interview would grasp that.


But Krystal's not there for that, she's there to whore for a party.


RISING is not interesting TV, it's not interesting anything.  We came to that realization long ago but it was driven home last week when professional liar Jeffrey Goldberg published an article in the pro-war bible THE ATLANTIC.  It was a hideous article that insisted Donald Trump called US troops -- living and dead -- various slurs -- a hideous article that had no one on the record, just a ton of anonymice.


We know Donald Trump and  we don't care for him. 


But the story makes no sense.  Instead of questioning it, RISING and Krystal were immediately on board.  (Earlier this week, Saagar did a commentary rejecting the article.)


The attempt to portray Donald as someone who loathes the troops comes eight weeks before the election, comes from a noted War Hawk liar (check Goldberg's Iraq 'reporting') and a press that has made the last four years about taking Donald Trump down.


It was a hideous article and it was a desperate one.


Instead of addressing that, Krystal amplified it.


Repeating, we know Donald Trump.


That story made no sense.  


RISING rushed to insist it had to be true, why, he said awful things about John McCain!!!


Krystal and her buddy Colin Rogero just knew it was true.


Did her parents bounce her on her head?  Is that why she's so stupid?


Yes, Donald insulted John McCain.  He's insulted many people.


That doesn't prove that he said insulting things about US troops.  In fact, his pattern there would argue he didn't say them.


Donald has a huge ego, can we agree on that?  We're trying to move slowly here for the idiots like Krystal and, just in case it's possible, and anyone even more stupid than Krystal.


Donald's ego has him the best this and the best that and the most loved this and that.


When does Donald get mad?  When does Donald insult?


We know this because it's one of the reasons we don't like him.  He gets very angry whenever anyone insults him -- or questions one of his many boasts.  He gets enraged.  Then suddenly, no matter what he said about you before, you're the worst this and the worst that.


War Criminal John McCain was defended on the show and that's bad enough.  But equally true, the idiots didn't grasp this isn't Donald's m.o.  If troops had insulted him, he very well would have something similar to what was 'reported.'  But which dead troops suddenly insulted him resulting in his hair-trigger rage?


Donald rages, no question.  In response, though -- in response to what he perceives as an insult. 


THE ATLANTIC article had no one who provided a name and that really should have kept it from being printed.  What the article alleges is repugnant and if you're going to make that charge, you better step forward.


That's the other thing that doesn't make sense: Four or so people want to make this charge but are too scared to come forward?  It might be painful, Donald might Tweet about them, we're told by Goldberg (in a CNN interview).  In what world?  Disgusting nothings have been embraced by the media and the faux resistance for revealing much less.  A trashy memoir comes out -- this is the first time in this community that book has ever been alluded to -- and instead of recoiling in disgust over a family member trashing their family and offering up garbage, the media and the public embrace the author.  No, if you're going to make a charge like that, you're going to go public -- either for the acclaim or because you feel a duty -- like the duty you felt to share the story in the first place.


It never made sense.  If you played it out, Goldberg's story never rang true.

And maybe that's why Krystal Ball and Colin Rogero had to really start lying.  Krystal's fronting to be about truth and to be left gets old real quick but never as quick as it did in that segment.


Not only did she defend that man responsible for the deaths of so many, she then allowed her 'friend of the show'  Colin Rogero to LIE and pimp the known falsehood that Russia was paying Afghanistan people to kill US troops.


She let him lie and she rushed to agree with him.


Unlike Krystal, Abby Martin is on the left.  Here's Abby Martin noting how ludicrous the 'report' of Russia paying Afghans to kill US troops.


That video was over a week old when Krystal decided to start pimping it.


It was also from JACOBIN and Ana Kasparian.  We'll come back to her later.


But can Krystal tell us who was served by that segment?  The Goldberg story doesn't ring true.  To prop it up, Krysal and her guest have to resort to pimping a discredited 'report' that US troops were being killed in Afghanistan -- a war zone -- because Big Bad Russia was paying Afghans to kill US troops, where does the lunacy end?

This isn't a public affairs program, it's a dumpster fire.  

To the original question: Where do you go?

If you're looking for attempts at honesty, there's not a great list of programs waiting out there for you.  USEFUL IDIOTS?  You know our main problem with that one?  Bringing on a guest to attack Joe Biden when the guest isn't identified.  He's not going to vote for Joe, he'll vote for someone else, why he hasn't voted for a Democrat at the top of the ticket and blah blah f**king blah.


We have no problem with anyone holding Joe accountable.


But this guest, this guest speaking of voting?  Why weren't people told that in elections, he'd run on a ticket.  He'd been a vice presidential nominee at least once (it appears the second attempt was killed because people objected since he wasn't old enough to hold the office of president).  He was on the ticket with Gloria La Riva.  


Why weren't people told that this guest talking about voting was actually a politician who'd run for the office of vice president?


Why was that a secret from the viewers?


Just him saying that he would vote for someone else should have led the USEFUL IDIOTS hosts to ask him, "Oh, who are you going to vote for?"  They weren't curious (because they knew who he was going to vote for).  And they brought him on as some objective observer.  If he was objective, then the hosts should have told the viewers which party he belonged to (the Party for Socialism and Liberation) and that he had run for the office of Vice President of the United States.


These are basics.  We're not inventing new rules here.  These are basics of journalism.  You bring on a guest to weigh in on Joe Biden, you explain who the guest is and what they've done so that the viewers can factor that in.


So where do you go? 


Reality, there's not one program.  There can never be one program.  We need multiple points of view -- even from our own side.  Jimmy Dore serves up politics with humor and hits it out of the park while Trevor Noah continues to struggle.  JACOBIN is often criticized by WSWS and we usually do agree with the criticism WSWS offers.  But (a) where's WSWS' program?  And (b) JACOBIN produces a lot of strong content for their YOUTUBE channel and Ana's program is a strong one that deals with real issues.  (Try to find a serious discussion of any of the ongoing wars that the US is in on RISING.  You won't find one.)  Yes, JACOBIN has a viewpoint.  That's why there's never going to be one program.  Every program is going to have a point of view these days, the notion of presenting as unbiased is gone, long gone.  On the left you can pick up WEEKENDS WITH ANA KASPERIAN and you can pick up BLACK AGENDA RADIO (on YOUTUBE now at THE PROGRESSIVE RADIO NETWORK), you can listen to Katie Halper (whose solo work is usually stronger than her other program USEFUL IDIOTS).  You can probably think of a few others.  It's a very tiny list and that's very sad because there is so much out there but astroturf wasn't worth reading in the '00s and it's not worth watching in this decade.  It's a real shame.


And it's a real shame that despite all the applause Krystal Ball has received, her work on RISING is superficial and, honestly, harmful.  When you're pimping MSM lies that have been exposed for weeks as lies, you're not helping anyone.  There wasn't an easy answer years ago when Cher asked where do you go and, decades later, there still isn't one. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }