Thursday, March 04, 2021

TV: Clark Kent reported the truth but then he was fictional

Is Tyler Hoechlin a weapon of the government being set loose on the domestic population? 


We wondered that while watching SUPERMAN AND LOIS because Tyler Hoechlin could be turned loose anywhere to pacify a population.  In fact, if TIGER BEAT published a dictionary, we're sure an illustration of Tyler would be found under "dreamy."

He plays Superman and he is a first rate Clark Kent.  When Superman appears in film or on TV, he tends to work if the actor can project humanity.  If the actor comes across arrogant or mocking, he tends to fail with people (see Brandon Routh).

Tyler Hoechlin fairly drips -- sweats? -- humanity.  You just want to reach out and give him a hug.  You root for him and that is especially important in SUPERMAN AND LOIS because Clark and Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) are the parents of a set of twin teenage boys.  To care about Clark's struggles as a dad, you really need an actor in the role who makes you want to root for him.

There's not a great deal to root for these days.  US President Joe Biden was only a month into his presidency when he bombed Syria at the end of last week.  It's not that the western press ignored it, it is that they ignored reality.

They spent the start of last week fretting over the lack of a 'response' to bombings in Iraq said to be targeting the ongoing US presence in the country.  Lack of response?  The US government immediately blamed the attacks on Iran.  Allow us to explain to the glorified general studies majors who try to pass themselves off as journalists, blaming Iran is a response.

The morning after the bombing, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki declared, "We are sending -- the President is sending an unambiguous message that he’s going to act to protect Americans.  And when threats are posed, he has the right to take an action at the time and in the manner of his choosing."  The US media immediately accepted the parameters the White House set on the discussion.  But this is, after all, the same media that applauded their nemesis Donald Trump when he bombed someone.  They're always thrilled when others die.

That is what happened, please note.  

Credit Connor O'Brien (POLITICO) for being the first to note members of Congress -- led by Senator Tim Kaine -- asking questions about legality and authority, but interest in deaths cause by the US bombing 'response' just wasn't forthcoming from the US corporate press.

So much is missed by the media these days.  Even the non-news media struggles with fairness.  Last week, Stan noted Joe Piscopo's remarks about how Joe Biden was an untouchable on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

It wasn't always that way.  When he was Vice President of the United States, SNL could offer some good humored jokes at Joe's expense.  Our favorite would be this one from December 2013's Weekend Update sketch.


Vice President Joe Biden this week visited China and urged young students there to challenge their government, teachers and religious leaders.  Then his punk band finished the rest of their set.
-- Cecily Strong, Weekend Update, Saturday Night Live (Saturdays, NBC)

Though the jokes often missed, SNL was once and equal opportunity offender.  They stopped being that when Barack Obama was running for president in 2008.  Suddenly, SNL's sharp edge was dulled and 'jokes' were about how cool and wonderful Barack was.  It was as though every class clown in the writers' room had come down with a deadly case of kiss-ass.

Again, SNL is non-news.  Unlike US House Rep Marc Veasey we grasp the difference between entertainment and news.  CNN is the news media.  Krystal Ball (RISING) pointed out last week that the fact checks so popular while Trump was president are now put on hold with Joe Biden in the White House. 

It's not fair.

Think how actions like that impact discourse in this country.  For example, a number of Americans believe Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Per Pew Research, 76% of Trump voters feel that he won or that he "probably won."  When the news media doesn't play fair, when they pile on one politician while giving a pass to another, people notice.  The behavior of the media from 2016 forward was appalling.  And we all saw it whether we choose to be honest about it or not.  What took place sewed division and distrust

So if you're bothered that so many people believe Donald Trump won the 2020 election, ask yourself what role the media played in furthering an uneven playing field -- one that many, many people noticed.

Ask yourself also what role the media played in the dog piles on women.  No we're not talking about Tara Reade.  We could but we're talking about that fey sprite Justin Timberlake.  BLACK SNAKE MOAN should have never been made but, if it had to be made, there was no reason to cast castarati Justin Timberlake.  Long before Lance Bass came out, the big rumor about NSYNC was that Justin was gay.  He wasn't gay.  He was effete. In our society, thanks to the narrative popularized by Hollywood (to protect in the closet money makers), effete equals gay. So Justin went through the early '00s with a chip on his shoulder and another one on his smug ass.  As a result, he felt the best way to shore up his questionable manhood was to objectify women.

Last month, Timberlake realized he could no longer ignore his past actions -- because people weren't letting him anymore.  In 2018, he suffered the first significant wave of backlash over what he did to Janet Jackson.

That year, his poorly received Superbowl performance came on the heels of weeks and weeks of outrage over how he'd progressed just fine, after Nipplegate (the 2004 Superbowl performance where he ripped off Janet's top leaving her breast exposed).  

Janet was banned from the Grammys that year, he performed.  Les Moonves ordered all CBS radio stations to stop playing her songs, Justin's continued to be played.  While Janet was banned and lost out on one opportunity after another (including the lead in a TV biopic about Lena Horne), Justin had endless opportunities and people endlessly applaued him -- endlessly applauded his theft and appropriation of Janet's brother Michael's musical style.

What changed last month? Britney Spears.  Justin's ex-girlfriend received attention over the unfairness that is her currently life situation.  Justin was part of the anti-Britney drama, using her to advance his melodramatic "Cry Me A River" single.  A lot of people used Britney.  We didn't.  We noted at one point during her struggles that we don't do do pile ons and we had other things to cover. Britney's life has been difficult in the last two decades as she has fought for the basic right to run her own life.  And Justin has coasted.

As the outrage grew, Justin finally issued an apology or 'apology' last month.  

Too little too late? How about: Not one damn bit believable?

The media should have told everyone that -- should have, but didn't.  Kylie Minogue.  Those two words were missing from most of the coverage. (One notable exception here.)  In 2003, he made a big point to grope and cup her ass.  Again, he felt the world saw him as gay.  So what to do, what to do?  Demean a woman, objectify her.  That's all he's offered his entire solo career -- that and trying to rip off Michael Jackson.  It was disgusting, please note, in 2017, when THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER did a musical roundtable and Tori Amos (who knows better) was making nice with Justy

So much that takes place these days is disgusting which is why we have to wonder if Tyler Hoechlin is being deployed  to distract us from reality?  Who knows but he's really something and SUPERMAN AND LOIS is one of 2021's better TV shows.

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