Monday, May 11, 2020

Truest statement of the week

Amid scenes of disease, death and hunger not seen since the Great Depression, the Trump administration and Congress are, in Trump’s words, “in no rush” to pass a “Phase IV” stimulus bill to provide aid to bankrupt state and city governments and relief to desperate working class families.
With today’s reconvening of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, following that of the Republican-led Senate last Monday, the largely stage-managed political wrangling over a new stimulus bill begins in earnest. But it is already clear that any bill that emerges will further enrich the financial aristocracy at the expense of the jobs, the wages and the very lives of the working class.

At the end of March, Congress passed, in record time and by a near-unanimous vote, the biggest corporate bailout in world history. Since then, tens of millions of American workers have been laid off, bringing the number of unemployed and underemployed workers, according to Friday’s Labor Department employment report, to at least 47 million, or nearly one-third of the labor force.
Millions of those laid off during the lockdown have received neither jobless pay nor the one-time $1,200 stipend promised by the government. Studies show that 40 percent of families with children are unable to buy enough food and mile-long food lines are springing up cross the country.
Despite rising coronavirus infections and death, concentrated in work locations such as meatpacking plants and logistics facilities (Amazon, the US Postal Service, UPS, etc.), the Trump administration and state governors, Democratic and well as Republican, are ordering workers back to work without any safety precautions and under pain of being cut off of jobless pay.

Meanwhile, the stock market, buoyed by the flood of cash from the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve, is roaring back and poised to surpass its record heights before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in March.

-- Barry Grey, "As US House returns to Washington, Democrats signal readiness to grant companies immunity for worker deaths" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Early Monday morning. 

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?

A lot of stuff that's not finished and that we (Ava and C.I.) are not in the mood to wait on.  Sorry.  The pieces published are timely and need to go up now.  Consider this a stripped down edition.

Here's what you're getting:

See you next week,

Ava and C.I.

Media: Pig Boys continue their war on women

Three little pigs playing in the mud, pig boys Michael Tracey, Bob Somerby and Bill Maher.  The belief system that they all share?  Hatred of women.  This allows them to attack Tara Reade, the woman who states Joe Biden assaulted her in 1993.

Let's start with the littlest pig of the bunch.  Most people don't know Michael Tracey -- and for good reason.  If you do know him, you know him because he accused US House Rep Maxine Waters of assaulting him in 2017 -- when Maxine was 78.  78-year-old and five-feet-and-five-inches Maxine Waters assaulted big boy Michael Tracey -- the original member of the Clean Your Plate Club.  Back then, Michael was with THE YOUNG TURKS.  He isn't anymore.  When he made his claim, Kyle Neubeck (COMPLEX) noted, people believed him and then they saw the video and Michael became a joke.  No one took him seriously.  It's been the default position his entire life.

In December, when Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, his glee was noted in the December 4th "Iraq snapshot:"

Let's close this discussion with numbers.


That's the number of Tweets Michael Tracey has done about Kamala Harris since the news broke that she was dropping out of the race.


That's the number of Tweets Michael Tracey did about Steve Bullock since the news broke that he was dropping out of the race.

24 and 1.  It's an obsession and, yes, it's Bash The Bitch.  As Ava and I noted when Katie Couric was the target in 2006:

For some of the left, though not all, that's at the root of their pursuit of Couric. It's the gift of impunity that allows them to operate in a fact-free environment as they compose the charges against Couric. But those who hear such a statement and nod agreeably are also engaged in the national pastime of bash-the-bitch.
Bash the bitch is as American as apple pie and rush to judgement, so who are we to complain? If it makes us "America haters" to say "Just a minute now" then so be it. Let all the ones partaking in bash-the-bitch wrap themselves in Old Glory, we'll call it the way we see it.
Here's what we see. A woman's trashed. For what she did?
Oh cookie, please, it's for being a woman. Read the commentaries. "Cheerleader" is a trumped up charge -- as usual, the true crime is gender.

Michael Tracey and a lot of others need to look at their actions in the last 24 hours.  There's a lot of latent sexism bubbling up.

Michael is a pig-boy who lives to attack women.  He's now set his sights on Tara.  And he feels he can say or do anything.  He feels he can even get away with this Tweet:

Has anyone noticed that
still has not reported directly on Tara Reade's rape claim? It's been six weeks since she went public with the latest version of her story, and they haven't done an investigation into the claim itself -- only on ancillary issues. Curious.

Ryan Grim broke the story at THE INTERCEPT about how Time's Up strung Tara along, keeping her silent when she was attempting to come forward.  That was March 24th.  That's 'ancillary issues' according to Michael.  And if that were all THE INTERCEPT had offered, Michael Tracey would be telling the truth.

But when does Michael tell the truth?

April 24th, Ryan reported for THE INTERCEPT:

A new piece of evidence has emerged buttressing the credibility of Tara Reade’s claim that she told her mother about allegations of sexual harassment and assault related to her former boss, then-Sen. Joe Biden. Biden, through a spokesperson, has denied the allegations. Reade has claimed to various media outlets, including The Intercept, that she told her mother, a close friend, and her brother about both the harassment and, to varying degrees of detail, the assault at the time. Her brother, Collin Moulton, and her friend, who has asked to remain anonymous, both confirmed that they heard about the allegations from Reade at the time. Reade’s mother died in 2016, but both her brother and friend also confirmed Reade had told her mother, and that her mother, a longtime feminist and activist, urged her to go to the police.
In interviews with The Intercept, Reade also mentioned that her mother had made a phone call to “Larry King Live” on CNN, during which she made reference to her daughter’s experience on Capitol Hill. Reade told The Intercept that her mother called in asking for advice after Reade, then in her 20s, left Biden’s office. “I remember it being an anonymous call and her saying my daughter was sexually harassed and retaliated against and fired, where can she go for help? I was mortified,” Reade told me.
Reade couldn’t remember the date or the year of the phone call, and King didn’t include the names of callers on his show. I was unable to find the call, but mentioned it in an interview with Katie Halper, the podcast host who first aired Reade’s allegation. After the podcast aired, a listener managed to find the call and sent it to The Intercept.

In addition, on the April 30th podcast of THE INTERCEPT's DECONSTRUCTED Ryan and Mehdi Hasan discussed Ryan's own reporting and the reporting of others to address the Tara Reade allegations.  Michael's devotion to falsehoods is built-into his DNA.

Here he is revealing he can't answer, he can only be dishonest.

He Tweeted:

A 1996 court document from Tara Reade’s ex-husband makes no mention of rape, and doesn’t even implicate Biden directly. Like most other evidence in this story that’s falsely spun as “corroboration,” this undermines Reade’s case rather than bolsters it

Krystal Ball responded:

Biden denied harassment as well.

Katie Halper pointed out after Michael went on and on:

Did you respond to Krystal’s point?

No, he didn't.

Michael, Bob and Bill want to question Tara's integrity.  Who's raising questions about Joe Biden?

Joe's abusive relations with women isn't new to us.  We've been writing about a woman he left crying in public repeatedly.  But we're not the only ones who've been writing about Joe's actions for over a decade now.  In August of 2008, Alexander Cockburn (COUNTERPUNCH) wrote:

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.

We're a little confused why we're the ones noting Alex.  We knew him, we liked him. But we aren't his niece -- that would be journalist Laura Flanders who hasn't said one word about Tara despite her uncle's earlier reporting.  When Laura wants to deride Hillary Clinton's efforts to win elected office, Laura is happy to present herself as a feminist.  At other times?  Just silence.

After Hurricane Katrina hit, Laura devoted a Saturday edition of THE LAURA FLANDERS SHOW (AIR AMERICA RADIO) to the claim that the flooding was due to explosives having been set up in advance and that the damage actually resulted from a conspiracy to harm the people of New Orleans.  Now we didn't buy that argument but we didn't slam her for it.  We thought that possibly she was about to become a strong voice like her uncle Alex and this might be how she gets there.  We were wrong.  She serves up prattle, over and over.

Tara's being smeared and Laura's own uncle has writing going back over a decade that backs up Tara's claims but Laura won't say a word.

Thanks for your service, Laura.

Bob Somerby is a blogger who had, he says, some success as a comedian.  Some people, he insists, found him not just funny looking but actually funny.

We've long noted Bob's sexism.  We've noted how he vilifies women.  Men that he critiques are given passes.  Women are slammed and trashed and he never rehabs their image.  Ceci Connolly is only one example and, of course, Maureen Dowd is an even stronger example.  When we noted Bob's rank sexism and his male-defined world he tried to respond online by citing two sisters who had sung together.  They played the virginal waif as well -- the same thing he loved about Joan Baez.  (We're not aware of him ever writing about Joan's music.  We know of his worship of her in college via people who knew him.)

When we were taking Bob on over the years, we were taking him on for what he was doing then.  We avoided noting his sexism going back to the 90s.  Now we have to.  He's all about tearing apart Tara and that's bad enough but we knew he was going back to the trash can he previously lived in.

What are we talking about?  He made his name online smearing women.  He was James Carville as blogger, attacking this or that woman who came forward to complain about Bill Clinton's behavior.  He attacks Kathleen Wiley, for example, based on the fact that Kenneth Starr didn't believe her.  Now Bob doesn't believe Kenneth Starr.  But he doesn't present it as "not even Kenneth Starr believed her."  No, he just runs with Starr's opinion.  He also believes Linda Tripp -- when it helps his argument to do so -- only when it helps his argument to do so.

He's inconsistent and that's because a rank sexist.  He pretends to do a form of a Platonic debate and some people are stupid enough to believe that's what he's pulling off.  (Those people would do well to take a grad class or two in Plato before reading Bob.)  Last week, he went where we feared he would: Juanita Broaddrick.

Juanita, for those who don't know, came forward to say Bill Clinton raped her.  We believe her.  Bob doesn't and he ripped apart for a long time and started doing so again.  Last week, he offered Gene Lyons as support.  Who?

Exactly.  Gene's a regional writer who never achieved much of anything but who is known, as his WIKIPEDIA entry states in the first sentence, "an American political columnist who has defended from U.S. President Bill Clinton."  Bob wants you to know that Gene's exposed Juanita.  What the hell is the pig oinking about?

Juanita Broaddrick did not want to relive her rape in public.  (We believe she was raped.)  So she refused to get involved in other cases.  On the day of the rape, Norma Rogers found Juanita afterwards in the hotel room they were sharing.  Her pantyhose were torn, her lip was swollen and she was traumatized.  Norma says Juanita told her right then that Bill had raped her.

Despite this, because their wet dream Bill Clinton was being accused, people like Gene and Bob have tried to drag Juanita through the mud.

Little boys can't handle the truth.  Michael Tracey, you may remember, issued threats in the wake of Kobe Bryant's death -- threats against anyone noting the allegations that Kobe raped a woman.

It's very upsetting for pig boys when their heroes get exposed.

The hero is exposed when
His crimes are brought to the light of day
Won't be feelin' sorry, sorry, sorry
On the judgement day.
It wasn't me who said
There'll be a price to pay
And I won't feel bad at all
When the hero takes a fall
When the hero takes a fall
(Hero takes a fall) oh no.
-- "Hero Takes A Fall," written by Susanna Hoffs and Vicki Peterson, first appears on the Bangles' ALL OVER THE PLACE.

That's what it really comes down to.  Women are suspect, women aren't equal.  They're bitches who bring down men.  That's how the Michaels, the Bobs and the Bills see women.  They make it clear over and over.  It's a woman's job, in their minds, to put up with whatever abuse a man dishes out.  

Bob loves Bill Maher.  Bill's a racist but that doesn't bother Bob and you know Bill's rank sexism over the years doesn't bother Bob.  Here's an example of Bob vouching for Bill:

We knew Louis a tiny bit a long time ago in Boston. (Good decent feller. Most people are.) We are giant fans of Bill Maher, by far the best of a generation. 

That example is from 2012.  And Louis, by the way, is Louis C.K.

Bill Maher is a hate merchant.  That's all he's ever been and all he ever will be.  He used his hideous HBO show to attack Tara Reade on Friday.

Not gonna RT the Bill Maher clip but you’d think if he’s gonna a segment on “why didn’t Tara Reade come forward before Super Tues” he could idk have browsed 1 of the many articles showing she’s been trying since last April. If anyone is to blame for the delay it’s the media.

Tara discussed the assault with AP back in April of 2019.  AP chose not to run the story.  Tara hasn't been sitting on it.   Sarah Ann Mass offered:

Dear Bill Maher, Your entire segment is riddled with victim blaming and rape mythologizing. I don't know anyone who takes your hate filed opinions seriously but you do have a big platform so learn to use it responsibly or kindly shut tf up about survivors.

Katie Halper noted:

If Bill Maher had said what he said about Tara Reade about anyone else, every single progressive, feminist, and/ or survivor organization would have released a statement and organized a campaign demanding an apology or the cancelation of his show.

It's also a segment of lies.  He calls Tara out for accusing Joe Biden and saying that she was fired for bringing a complaint against Biden when last year she was saying she had left because she loved Putin.  He knew that was a lie.  He just wanted to bring in Putin to try to smear Tara.

Vladimir Putin has nothing to do with Tara's accusation against Joe Biden.

Nor does most of what passes for 'coverage.'  Tara is put on trial while Joe is given a pass.

Joe Biden would never assault a woman.  This despite the decades of whispers that he has assaulted and harassed many women.  This despite that he is responsible for the deaths of many Muslims.  He didn't just vote for the Iraq War, he supported it and he ran it when Barack Obama was president.  He took part in overturning the votes of the Iraqi people in 2010 in order to give US puppet Nouri al-Maliki a second term.  Nouri was already persecuting the Iraqi people.  He would get so out of control in his second term that ISIS would rise in Iraq and would be able to insist that they were a defender of the people because they would, they insisted, protect the Sunnis who were being persecuted by Nouri.

Joe has a lot of blood on his hands.

He's also got a lot of lies on his tongue.

His most recent lies include his 'arrest' in South Africa (that never happened) and his standing up for Nelson Mandela (also never happened).  He loves to lie that he was against the Iraq War immediately.  He lies that he was part of the Civil Rights Movement.  He lies that he respects the military -- Joe dodged the draft over and over.  In fact, 'asthma' kept him out of Vietnam.

Asthma kept him out of Vietnam.  Didn't keep him from playing football and baseball in high school.  Asthma kept him out of Vietnam but he was able to play football in college.  When student deferments could no longer keep him out of Vietnam, Joe discovered his asthma.  How lucky for him.

[We don't believe anyone should have gone to Vietnam.  But those who sent others to the illegal war on Iraq?  If they're draft dodgers we're going to call them out as the Chicken Hawks that they are.]

For years, Joe got sympathy because a drunk driver killed his wife and daughter.  Oops.  The driver wasn't drunk.  Oops.  Joe's late wife was the one who steered into the wrong lane.  But Joe spent decades demonizing the driver with lies.

Here's some more lies.

He lied that he "went to law school on a full academic scholarship."  He lied that he "ended up in the top half of my class" (he came in 76th in a class of 85 -- watch the clip).  He lied that he graduated with three degrees.  He has a public history of lying.

Why isn't he on trial?

Peter Daou Tweets:

Congratulations, Democrats. You're in league with
as he trashes the #MeToo
movement. What a shameful moment for my former party. When #Biden said he wouldn't attack #TaraReade, he meant he'd let a mob do it for him.

And that's exactly what's happened.  He claims that there should be a safe place for the charges to be examined but behind the scenes he's either leading the attacks or staying silent as people rip her apart.

Tara Reade could be lying.  We believe her but she could be lying.

If she is lying?  We'll say we were wrong.  But we won't apologize for refusing to bow to power.  Shame on those who do.  Women should have a space to come forward and make an assertion like Tara has made.  And she should be able to do so without being ripped apart and smeared.

Bill Maher and the pig boys who nurse at his teats are sending an ugly message to survivors.  That needs to be called out.

Natalie Wood: The lies that remain repeated (C.I.)

Natasha Gregson Wagner.   Let's start with that lie.  It's Natasha Gregson.  She's not been adopted by Robert Wagner.  Her father was Natalie Wood's second husband Richard Gregson who passed away in 2019.  After Natalie Wood died, Wagner became her legal guardian.  He didn't become her adopted father.

Why does it matter?

Well a tacky 'documentary' and Jill St. John -- also not a real last name -- make it matter.

Natasha had a troubled life after her mother died in 1981.  In the HBO 'documentary' NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND, you see a damaged Natasha.  And I feel for her.  And I didn't want to write about it.  Then it became apparent it would have to turn up in a piece Ava and I wrote together.  That was going to create another problem because I knew Natalie and Ava didn't so, throughout the article we'd write, we'd be using the construct "one of us knew Natalie" repeatedly.

Natasha's Natalie's daughter as is Courtney and I'm fine with them having their fantasy of their mother.  What does it really matter?  Let 'em say whatever they want, they lost her.

That was my attitude before I watched the program.  And then I watched and it was one lie after another.  Does Mart Crowley think this or that?

Who gives a f**k?  He was paid by Robert Wagner and he was attracted to Robert Wagner.  In the last years of her life, Natalie couldn't even stand him anymore.  Apparently that's one of many details that no one bothered to tell Natasha about.  I saw Natasha last in the '00s when she was doing a play.  By saw, I mean spoke with after the performance.  So maybe a good portion of the blame goes to me because anytime I've spoken to Natasha or Courtney, I've just spoken of the positive.

The 'documentary' is pure garbage.  It's one lie after another and, clearly, those lies originate with Robert Wagner.  "RJ" -- little Robert Junior.

At one point, Natasha's ripping apart her grandmother -- Natalie's mother.  Was Maria Stepanovna Zakharenko a bit of a drama queen?  Yes, she was.  No one who knew "Mud" would deny that.  Natalie was aware of it as well and that she took Mud's drama with a grain of salt.  She also happened to love her mother.  That's a detail RJ wants to erase.  I had no idea his venom and hate was being transferred to his daughters as truth.

RJ didn't like Mud the first time he married Natalie.  He loathed her the second time and he loathed Lana Wood, Natalie's sister.

He had a reason for loathing them and it's not in the documentary but we'll get to it in a moment.

Right now, let's note Jill St. John -- professional arm walker.  A woman who had many acting opportunities and managed to fail in each one.  She's by far the worst Bond girl ever (DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER) as she starts out as tough and brittle Tiffany Case and that lasts for all of two scenes.  She never has a handle on the character -- but isn't that the hallmark of her non-performances which include EIGHT ON THE LAM and TONY ROME.  It's not that she didn't have the chance to shine, it's that she blew every chance she was ever given.

By contrast, Lana Wood walks away with DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER in her brief scenes.  She's real, she's believable and she's likable.  Maybe that's why Jill's always hated Lana?

In the 'documentary,' Jill sneers that Lana's name really isn't "Wood."  No, it's not.  But that doesn't make Lana a liar.

It does make Jill a liar.  When did "Lana Wood" become her name?  Her parents gave her the name when she was ten years old and making her film debut in THE SEARCHERS.  In the John Wayne film, Natalie played Debbie and Lana played Debbie as a young child.

That's a detail Jill runs past because she's bitter and she's angry.

Watching NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND, anyone who actually knew Natalie knows that Jill and RJ should be thrilled.  Their lies have been bought by Natasha.

Crazy "Mud" just a fanatic that Natalie couldn't stand, right?


Natalie loved her mother and she loved her sister.  Did that mean she always liked them?  No.  They had plenty of conflicts -- especially true of Mud.  Natalie had far less conflict with Lana and she enjoyed being big sister and indulged Lana in many things.  Lana was not the perfect little sister.  Her lively love life was only one of the things that frequently stressed Natalie out.

Stressed her out because she cared about and loved her sister.

RJ and Jill work overtime to pretend that love never existed.

RJ has told the tale -- true or false -- that Lana took all the clothing left her by Natalie in the will and sold it.


If it's true, what does it matter.  Lana and Natalie didn't wear the same size.  Lana was taller than Natalie, Lana's hips were wider than Natalie's, Lana's breasts were bigger than Natalie's.

Lana wasn't starring in HART TO HART and making dime from CHARLIE'S ANGELS.  If Lana chose to sell clothes that she could not wear to have money that she needed, no one should blame her and certainly Natalie wouldn't have blamed her.

But it's that sort of thing -- or, in the 'documentary,' Jill hissing that Wood isn't Lana's real last name -- that is used to discredit Lana.

Lana loved her sister and Natalie loved Lana.  She trusted Lana and she trusted her a lot more than she trusted RJ.

Mud didn't trust RJ at all.

Why don't the girls -- Natasha and Courtney -- know their aunt and why didn't they know their grandmother after Natalie died?

RJ couldn't stand for them to be around.

RJ didn't want Mud around at all even when Natalie was alive.

We're told, in the 'documentary,' that Robert loved Natalie so much that there's no way he could have killed her.

That's cute.  Not true, but cute.  And a number of us who knew Natalie avoid weighing in publicly because we know how important fantasy was to Natalie.  She didn't have the picture perfect life.  She worked hard to convince herself that she had it but part of the return to work was dealing with the reality that marriage number two to RJ wasn't shaping up to be worth all she was putting into it.

Now grown ups can feel that way and grow through it, absolutely.  But that reality did exist and it's obvious that in the fairy tale Natasha's been raised with, reality never included it.

She spews at Mud, laughs about that stupid grandmother who foolishly thought Natalie would die in dark water.  And, Natasha wants you to know, that fear is so stupid and her mother was in the pool all the time and who isn't afraid of dark water?  Ha ha ha ha.  Right?


Natalie didn't like going on Robert's boats -- big or small -- and she was haunted by water -- non swimming pool water -- her entire life going back to 1952 when she was tossed in the ocean by a director.

It's rather obvious that Natasha hasn't bothered to learn about her mother.  She says she tries to figure out her mother when she watches one of her mother's films.  Otherwise?  She just listens to what "Daddy Wagner" tells her.

The 1952 incident was spoken of often by Natalie.  And that includes to me.  I've also noted the time Natalie dragged me along for a visit with Bette Davis.  In that visit, the incident was mentioned and discussed at length because that was Bette Davis' movie and she screamed at the director for terrifying Natalie.  I had heard the story from Natalie many times before but I heard it with them overlapping this time, Bette and Natalie sharing details and disgust over the director.

That Natasha doesn't even appear to know of this speaks to a huge well of ignorance about her own mother.

Did RJ kill Natalie?

I hope to hell not.

But all NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND did was convince me that he might have.

If you told a certain lie, you were included in the 'documentary.'  Mia Farrow's included.  Natalie couldn't stand Mia and Mia couldn't stand Natalie.  But there's Mia prattling on and on.  They were never friends.  Mia was friendly with RJ -- especially while Natalie was married to Richard Gregson.  That's one of the many reasons that Natalie couldn't stand Mia.  How does Natasha not know this?  Because she's been raised in lies, she's been kept from anyone who wouldn't repeat the official lies that paint Robert Wager as Prince Charming.

Robert has many good qualities.  He is not, however, Prince Valiant, let alone Prince Charles.

Robert Wagner's film career is an embarrassment.  He has three films to be proud of.  THE PINK PANTHER features him being a good sport -- the exact same type of acting he'd utilize on on the TV shows IT TAKES A THIEF, SWITCH and HART TO HART.  For serious acting?  He has two films that he can point to with pride: HARPER and A KISS BEFORE DYING.  In both films, he's a charmer whose charm hides that he's someone who will kill.

That's acting.  And you can argue that when some feel Robert killed Natalie, they are responding to the talent he demonstrated in those two roles.  And that may be.

But why was Mud a problem in marriage number two to Natalie?

Because Mud wasn't going to censor herself.  Natalie and RJ were about fresh start on their second marriage and don't look back or talk about what happened before; however, Mud wasn't going to pretend that her daughter wasn't suicidal the night she caught RJ having sex with a man.  That's what ended marriage number one.

Henry Wilson's little boy RJ liked the fellows.  But let's pretend that didn't happen and let's also pretend that RJ landed Henry as his agent but somehow was the only actor Henry represented that he didn't have sex with.  It takes a lot of pretense to buy into the fairytale Robert Wagner's created.  A fairytale that also includes Robert having a four year affair with closeted lesbian Barbara Stanwyck.  Yeah, that's one not mentioned in the 'documentary' but it's one that inspired everyone in the industry to laugh even louder at Robert Wagner's efforts to come across as straight.

What happened on the boat the night she died?

Who knows?

But the garbage served up in NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND is so rank and vile, so dishonest, that it doesn't argue for Robert's claims that he was innocent.  He doesn't even come off very well when he's supposedly remembering what happened. And what he's confessing -- grasp this -- is that the marriage wasn't happy at that time.  It wasn't Christopher Walken's first meeting with Natalie.  He and Natalie had been filming together for weeks.  They'd had this conversation -- the one Robert leaves her out of -- the one about acting versus coasting.  Natalie wasn't happy with her life, wasn't happy with Robert and wanted to get back to real acting (hence her desire to make the film with Timothy Hutton as her lover and her desire to do the play ANASTASIA).  This was what she and Christopher had discussed on the set of BRAINSTORM.  Now their conversation was brought to coaster Robert Wagner and he was furious.  He admits as much but somehow leaves Natalie out of the conversation.  It's Christopher bringing this up, it's Christopher trying to convince Natalie -- according to Robert.  No, it doesn't make sense.  None of Robert's lies make sense.

I watched and was appalled over and over by what I saw.  But I had no plan to write about it until Jill St. John started telling the camera about Lana Wood, started trashing Natalie's sister on camera.

Jill wants you not to believe Lana and the reason is because?  Lana changed her name.

And, Jill, what name were you born with because it wasn't "St. John."

Equally true, Jill and RJ may be married but that doesn't mean that those of us who were Natalie's friends don't see her as a whore -- we've seen her that way since February 1982 when she first began seeing RJ -- not even a full two months after Natalie died.  Actually, we saw her that way before.  Lance Reventlow died in 1972.  He had been married to Cheryl Holdridge since 1964.  Despite this, Jill told the press for years and years and years that Lance was her late husband.  Now, yes, Jill was briefly married to him.  They were together for two years before separating (they married in 1960) and then, in 1963, they divorced.  Jill walked away with $86,000 which was a huge sum for 1963, especially for a two year marriage (which was her second marriage).  ($86,000 in 1963 would be about $727,000 today.) 

Cheryl Holdridge was Lance's wife when he died.  They had been married eight years at that point.  Jill St. John elected to divorce Lance (and said he bullied her and worse) and yet wanted to claim -- sometimes still does -- that he was her "late husband"?  That tells you everything you need to know about Jill St. John and honesty.

The only thing that angers me more as a friend of Natalie's?  Robert Redford.  We've noted for years how he stabbed Natalie in the back.  There he is in the 'documentary,' still wearing a bad wig and pretending he's not bald, pretending that's his hair and that, at 83, he's still a strawberry blond sassy stud.  Robert Redford goes on and on about how Natalie got him his first part in movies, the studio didn't want him for INSIDE DAISY CLOVER and Natalie had seen him in a play and she demanded that he be hired to play opposite her.  He even noted that she demanded him for THIS PROPERTY CONDEMNED.  He forgot to mention that she also got his friend hired as director: Sydney Pollack.

Both owed her.  But in 1975, they didn't think to ask her to play a role in THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR.   In 1978, she didn't hint, she asked to be considered for the role of the love interest in their next teaming, THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN.  They had other plans and gave the role to Jane Fonda.  (Jane was then top at the box office and she gives the film the only tension it has.  Without her, it's just Robert Redford doing his pale imitation of Warren Beatty yet again.)  Shortly afterward, she also asked Robert for the role of Lillian in BRUBAKER.  He gave it to Jane Alexander.

In other words, Natalie married his friend and agent (who became his producer) Richard Gregson and he never helped her.  She got him two film roles -- his most prominent roles -- and got his friend Sydney Pollack hired as director.  And he goes on about how nice and wonderful that was of her.  But he leaves out that when Natalie returned to acting, he didn't help her -- not even when she asked.  She was a three time Academy Award nominated actress who had just hit forty and was returning to film after taking off several years to give birth and raise children.  But he couldn't do her a favor?  Yet when he needed her for THE CANDIDATE (1972) she didn't balk, she said, sure, she'd do a walk-on in his film to help get it made.

NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND makes it clear that Natasha was told a great deal about her mother.  It's a shame that the bulk of what she was told were lies.



October 17, 2010, Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Crazy Thursday" went up.  The 'ladies' of THE VIEW (ABC) had again disgraced themselves by walking off the stage during an interview with an invited guest, Bill O'Reilly.  Ava and C.I. covered it, made the hard calls, and provided this context:

At which point Whoopi stood and she and Joy walked off the set. In the midst of an interview. Leaving Barbara to declare, "I want to say something. I want to say something to all of you. You have just seen what should not happen. We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking off stage. [Applause from the audience.] I love my colleagues, but it should not have happened. Now let me just say to you [Bill] in a calmer voice, it was extremists. You cannot take a whole religion and demean them because of what some --" And that's as far as she got before being interrupted.

Joy and Whoopi walked back out onto the set at some point. Joy taking Whoopi's seat far to one side of Bill, folding her arms in a closed and confrontational manner and refusing to look at anyone but staring off to the side while Whoopi grabbed Joy's former spot next to Bill and gave him dirty looks as he spoke. During the break, they switched back to the original places. After the break, Whoopi continued to give dirty looks and roll her eyes as Bill spoke and Joy was smutty. (Smutty? The world didn't need her judgment of Marilyn Monroe.)

They were like two spoiled brats and both of them need to be fired.

As the host, you do not walk out on an interview. Many, many years ago, Lily Tomlin walked out on a talk show. Chad Everett was referring to his wife as "my property." Lily found it offensive. She walked out. We applaud her for that. The difference isn't that Lily was protesting sexism. The difference is the show wasn't The Lily Tomlin Show. (It was The Dick Cavett Show.) She was a guest. A guest can walk out.

A host? ABC pays all five hosts to be present and do their jobs. You don't have the luxury of storming out. They're very lucky -- as one ABC exec noted to us -- that Barbara was present because if she hadn't been, this wouldn't have been one of those moments when Barbara can show up the next day and smooth things over. They need to learn their jobs.

There's no excuse of they found Bill vulgar. O'Reilly is no more and no less vulgar than he always is. They knew what they were getting into. They refused to allow him to answer questions and that's the point that's really not being discussed.

Is The View going to be used as a Democratic Party organ to attack? If there's a reason to ask any guest a question, there's a reason to hear their answer. Badgering a guest? That shouldn't be allowed. Sherri asked a question and it was too much for Whoopi to wait for that question to be answered before cutting and demanding attention.

Joy and Whoopi need to learn, as two ABC execs noted, to shut up.

If a guest has been asked a question, allow the guest to answer. That's not just a basic courtesy in any host-guest relationship, it's important for the audience which expects that questions asked will lead to replies.

Lily walked out on the interview because of something some TV guy said?  I love Lily but I had never heard that story.  That is why I love their writing so much, Ava and C.I. provide so much in each piece they write.  This week, on YOUTUBE, THE DICK CAVETT SHOW put up the clip.

The TV idiot was an idiot and I am glad Lily walked off.  I am glad she did not come back on the set.

I'm also glad that I found out about this ten years ago when Ava and C.I. used it to provide needed context.

Thank you all and be safe,

Tisha Moore


Podcast of the week

Shira Lazar and Ryan Mitchell (CHANNEL Q's LET'S GO THERE) speak with Rose McGowan.

Video must stream

Megyn Kelly interviews Tara Reade.

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