Monday, February 17, 2020

Truest statement of the week

The people who treated Avenatti as a credible, serious individual deserve all the ridicule and scorn they get, and then some. The attention and praise the news and entertainment industries heaped on the then-lawyer for a porn star far outweighed the news value of the lawsuits he championed, which alleged Trump paid off adult performer Stormy Daniels to keep an illicit affair between the two of them a secret.
But what do you expect from the same people who built up the infamously unreliable author Michael Wolff only to have him self-immolate with ludicrous, lurid claims about U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley? News anchors and commentators who had previously downplayed the factual errors in Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury, with amended versions of “fake but accurate” were left with the embarrassment of trying to disavow the very person they had turned into a national star.

The Avenatti case is a lot like the Wolff episode. If you have something salacious and negative to say about Trump, then all the standards go out the window. It may be great television for the anti-Trump “resistance” faithful, but it is poisonous to the credibility of the organizations that promote this stuff, especially when it involves the elevation of individuals who are obviously untrustworthy. 
Like Wolff before his implosion, Avenatti was ubiquitous in American media. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC hosted the disgraced attorney for a combined 147 television interviews between March 7 and May 15, 2018. That is an average of two interviews per day. This is to say nothing of Avenatti’s many other appearances at the height of his media-promoted stardom, including at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Association dinner and the MTV Video Music Awards.
By the way, after all the hype, all the interviews and late-night appearances, both of Daniels’ lawsuits were dismissed in federal court in 2019. Daniels, who alleges now that Avenatti stole nearly $300,000 from her, was ordered by a judge to pay $300,000 in Trump's legal fees. It is hard to lose a case much worse than that.

-- Becket Adams, "The media elevated Michael Avenatti to stardom; his felony conviction reflects on them" (WASHINGTON EXAMINER).

Truest statement of the week II

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has spent more than $300 million on television and internet ads that present “Mike” as an up-from-poverty, self-made fighter for progress and decency, a friend of the common man.
The marketing of Bloomberg involves distortions so grotesque that one commentator recalled the massive advertising campaign by Ford Motor Company, in the early days of television, to promote an exciting new model named the Edsel, arguably the ugliest and most unsuccessful car ever produced.

-- Patrick Martin, "Bloomberg’s billions and the politics of oligarchy" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday night.

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?  

Becket Adams gets a truest.
Patrick Martin gets another truest.
Who will protect the protesters?  Anyone?
Ava and C.I. take on the Bidens and the media.
Praise and applause for the Iraqi women and their actions.
Jonathan Turley nails it.
If you don't even know the basics, why would you write a story?  And if you're an editor, why can't you nail down the facts.
Brief but true.
What we listened to while writing.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: The attacks on the protesters continue

In Iraq, protesters continue to be targeted.  XINHUA notes:

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on Monday condemned the use of hunting rifles with birdshot in recent protests in Baghdad, which caused high number of casualties.
A statement by Hennis-Plasschaert, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), said that UNAMI received "credible allegations" that peaceful protesters have been targeted by hunting guns on the road between the squares of al-Tahrir and al-Khalani in downtown Baghdad in the evening of Feb. 14 to 16, injuring at least 50 people.

KURDISTAN 24 notes, "The UN Special Envoy has often expressed concern about violence against peaceful protestors since the demonstrations began late last year, but violence has continued."  And ARAB NEWS reports, "There was no immediate comment from Iraqi authorities."

There never is.  Since the start of the protests months ago, over 600 protesters have been killed.  And no one has been held accountable.  Murder is a crime in Iraq.  But somehow no one's gone on trial for these murders -- not for a single one.

Nothing gets accomplished in Iraq, does it?  THE NATIONAL points out, "On Sunday, Iraq’s deputy health minister said politicians in Baghdad have failed to address years of corruption and mismanagement, acknowledging the frustrations that have fuelled months of anti-government protests."

  1. Pretty sure that will express their concerns about Iraqi government forces use of hunting rifles to shoot peaceful protesters 🤐


  1. Comment - ‘Sadr's attack on protests brings out his true colours‘

TV: Where are the grown ups?

It's hard to watch Joe Biden make the media rounds without thinking of A&E's DAVID CASSIDY: THE LAST SESSION.  For any who missed it, the project was supposed to revolve around David's last days as he battled dementia.  Early on, we see him with one of his doctors and he explains to her that he hasn't done drugs in years or even had a drink in over five.  Then his doctor sends him for testing and there he shares that he hasn't had a drink in months.  Then, at the end, we learn that the reality was that he had been drinking the entire time and didn't have dementia.


The producers had filmed him over a period of time but condensed this all into one two-hour special.  Can America wait for so-called journalists to start doing their jobs?

Joe and Jill Biden showed up last week on ABC's ridiculous gab-fest THE VIEW and all the hosts fawned.  Joe's got a long history of trying to cut and gut Social Security.  Is there a reason that not one of the hosts could raise that issue?

Joe wanted to talk about the kind of gay man that they didn't like in Delaware at one point and even Joe grasped that was a story he better not share ("I shouldn't say it").  The hosts should have called him out but didn't.

Instead, as Matt Wilstein (THE DAILY BEAST) pointed out, they offered nonsense:

"We get it, we understand," Goldberg said as the other co-hosts laughed nervously. Did they really?

Where were the hard questions?  Where was any rush to offer support for LGBT rights or, for that matter, support for 21st century values?

No where to be found.  The hosts weren't there to interview, they were there to coddle.

Into this environment sailed Jill Biden.  We try to avoid criticizing Jill but it gets harder and harder.

Bad enough that Joe was telling the hosts about his son Hunter, "This is a guy who has done nothing but good things his whole life, my son. He ran a food program WFP USA, a whole range of things."  But to then hear Jill lament that children should be off limits?

Grow the hell up, Jill.

Hunter Biden is 50 years old.

This isn't Amy Carter being a kid in the White House while her father's president.

Hunter's a grown ass adult and, with his actions, you damn well better believe he is fair game.

Joe says, "This is a guy who has done nothing but good things his whole life, my son."

The crack addict Hunter Biden was kicked out of the reserves for using drugs.

The crack addict Hunter Biden left his wife Kathleen and their three children to shack up with the widow of his brother Beau.  He couldn't keep it in his pants with the widow which is how he ended up with his fourth child.  This is the 18-month old that Hunter has insisted wasn't his, couldn't be his because he never slept with the mother.  DNA said otherwise and now, this month, he's finally paying some form of child support.

"This is a guy who has done nothing but good things his whole life, my son."

The hosts just ignored the obvious.  What they should have done is ask when grandparents Joe and Jill plan to meet their newest grandchild -- the one they've ignored all these months?

Don't go grandstanding on family when you're ignoring your own grandchild.  That's trash and while Joe's not above it, Jill used to be.

Anytime the press covers the Bidens, you have to wonder, "Where the hell are the grown ups?''

Over the weekend, Joe did campaign events with 'celebrity' Sully Sullenberger.  You remember Sully, right?  The captain of the soccer team who, when there was a problem on a plane, managed to -- What's that?  Sully's a pilot?

Sully's a pilot.  Who landed a plane.  And the media made him a hero?  He's a pilot who landed a plane.  And he's a hero and a celebrity?

That's the kind of crazy world we live in these days.

LITTLE WOMEN is a bad movie.  It's a book that's been filmed way too many times and this go round it was worse than anyone could expect.  Amy Pascal produced the film and decided to market it by saying that men not wanting to see it was sexism.

First off, some men did go to see the film.  Some boys as well.  But, yes, a lot did not.  A lot aren't movie goers.  And there's the reality, which Amy knows, that men like action films and a boring tale of growing up centuries ago that has no sex in it isn't going to interest most men.  It's not going to interest a lot of women either.

But that didn't stop Amy from screaming sexism.

The same ridiculous press that lets Joe get away with pretending to be all about the family let Amy get away with pretending to be someone who fought sexism.  When Amy ran SONY, actresses were paid less than actors.  And when confronted on that, after the e-mail leak, Amy's response was that actresses should know how much to ask for and it wasn't her job to ask them if they wanted more money.  Not only were actresses paid less, female execs working under Amy were paid less than male counterparts.  And there was the attitude, remember, that female superheroes couldn't have movies built around them because there was no audience for them.

All of that and so much more while Amy headed SONY PICTURES and now she wants to pose as a feminist concerned about sexism?

And the press has let her.

She's stated that men have "an unconscious bias" against LITTLE WOMEN.  And the press doesn't turn around and ask, "What about your conscious bias against women when you paid them less than their male counterparts?"

Time and again, the press refuses to do its job.

Which is how you get NBC's MEET THE PRESS airing their interview with Joe Biden.  And Joe gets to say that Bernie's never accomplished anything and Chuck doesn't bother to challenge it.

Others weren't so scared of Joe Biden.

"Bernie hasn't done anything" introduced 0 bills introduced2743. 237passed.132became law introduced 3184. 562passed.275became law introduced 2203. 647passed.321became law introduced 8178. 882passed.444became law

Why is Chuck even there if he's not going to challenge?  If Joe can say whatever he wants, just put on an empty stage with a microphone.

We also got this nonsense.

Joe Biden: There's a lot to talk about with Michael Bloomberg. You all are going to start focusing on him like you have on me, which I'm not complaining, like you have on me the last six months. You're going to focus on him.

"I'm not complaining"?  All Joe has done is try to bully the press.  "Why! Why! Why!" Anyone remember the way he exploded at Ed O'Keefe.  Or when he snarled at the reporter who asked about Hunter Biden's child that Hunter wasn't claiming?  Or when Savanah Guthrie -- or anyone really -- dared to ask about Hunter?  Or how he and his campaign tried to tell the press how to cover anything to do with Ukraine?

"I'm not complaing"?  All Joe has done is bitch.

On MEET THE PRESS, we also got Joe in a tizzy over Tweets that some people supporting Bernie posted.


Yet, two Fridays ago, in the televised New Hampshire debate, Tom Steyer raised the remarks made by Joe's personal friend Dick Harpootlian that a number of South Carolina lawmakers found to be racist.  Joe refused to denounce the remarks or Dick.

That somehow flew over Chuck Todd's head as he let Joe rail against Bernie over . . . Tweets.

Again, is there a point to the press these days.  They just sit there and nod along as a liar says anything?  They don't question, they don't offer perspective, they just sit there doing nothing that remotely resembles journalism.

Iraqi women refuse to be intimidated

Goon Moqtada al-Sadr attempted to tell Iraqi women what to do.  They took to the streets last week to tell him they don't need his advice.

  1. Women of Iraq take to the streets defending freedom. Revolutionary Women who will change the history of Iraq.

  2. Todays womens march in Baghdad. Today our womens voices echo across every province in Iraq. If you look closely- the men have created a wall surrounding the women as protection.


  1. 📸 Gallery: Thousands of women pour into the streets of Iraq to oppose government cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's calls for segregation

  1. Huge women’s march through the streets of today to call for women’s rights + denounce Shia leader Muqtadaal-Sadr’s calls to segregate men and women in protest hubs.


  1. This is HEROIC. Iraqi women continue joining the protests DESPITE calls for segregation from Muqtada Al Sadr and his militants. They also launched hashtag This is the type of energy that keeps me optimistic about the future of Iraq and the middle east. Please RT

  1. Iraqi women of different cultural & religious beliefs united by their love for Iraq. The male protesters supported & protected them. Today Iraq proved it will never become another "Mullah State" كد كيدك و اسعى سعيك فوالله لا تمحو ذكرنا 💜

  2. Hundreds of Iraqi women gathered in central today, to defend their role in the four months long anti-government protests, waving ’s flag and vowing to continue
  3. I expected Women in Baghdad to have a big March but the South , now that’s the real revolution Nasriyah and Basra. We don’t need to look anymore at old pics of Iraq and state it was better back then . I would rather have this Iraq were change is coming from the people .

  1. More photos are being sent and uploaded on the same hashtag on both facebook and Twitter translates to Show your support for these amazing women by using both hashtags and let them know they are not alone. Media coverage will be great too!

  2. The people of Iraq are just not giving up, despite 100s of deaths, intimidation and who knows how many arrests. They were out in force in Iraqi cities today. Women led the march in Baghdad. Feel the anger.

  1. Hundreds of women marched in Baghdad, calling on the United Nations to support their protest against alleged corruption, discrimination and gender-based segregation. Protesters demanded the end of the current political system in Iraq.
  2. More on 's march calling for 's freedom

  3. An Iraqi women holds a red rose as she takes part in an anti government demonstration in southern city of#basra on February 13,2020

In pictures| Iraqi women take to streets defying government and conservatives. A woman carries a poster saying "we are the home, who are you!". My photo gallery story with the great photographer , for

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