Monday, October 24, 2022

TV: The media that begs for criticism

Joy Behar is paid seven million dollars a year by ABC for co-hosting THE VIEW.  Hey, if they're willing to give it to her, more power to her.  But these outrageous salaries?  


They go a long, long way towards explaining why legacy media is out of touch with the country.  




Last week, Joy raged at voters over a new poll conducted by THE NEW YORK TIMES and Siena College which found most would-be voters citing inflation and the economy as the number one issue. The poll also found that this issue was sending 18% of self-described independent women over to the GOP.  


The poll was released Monday, Joy was exploding on THE VIEW on Tuesday.  She wrongly declared that the poll had come out that day and then she expressed dismay over those prioritizing inflation and the economy.  She does get that not everyone pulls in $7,000,000 from a job, right?


It wouldn't be THE VIEW without everyone wrestling in the mud.  That happened after conservative Alyssa Farah Griffin declared, "I want to say this respectfully: I worry there might be a blind spot about at this table is the fact that the average American family lost $6,000 in annual wages last year due to inflation. Blame Biden or don't,  but there is a reason that Tim Ryan is running in Ohio away from Biden and away from Nancy Pelosi."


 Instead of admitting that was true, the ladies of THE VIEW came on like wrestlers in The WWE.  Joy and Sunny Hostin tried to body slam Alyssa, insisting that she explain what Republicans were going to do about inflation?

That's not Alyssa's role.  Her role is to interpret the poll.  


Joy is a comedian.  She's gas bagged for years but she's not an expert on anything and she's also not a journalist.  She doesn't understand journalism.   Nor does Sunny.  Nor does Whoopi.  Nor does Ana Navarro.  Alyssa is the only one of the group who studied journalism.  It's really sad how far from journalism the show has gone.  It's just a professional wrestling match among nit wits.  Gone are the days of Barbara Walters, Meredith Vierra, Debbie Matenopoulos and Lisa Ling.  Gone are the days of trained journalists.  Now it's just basically an hour of big mouths.

By Thursday, Whoopi was screeching on air, blaming the media for the Democratic Party's messaging.  "Blame the media!" echoed Joy sounding crazed and unhinged as she egged her on. "Blame the media!"


Joy Behar has now spent two weeks on air fretting over the state of democracy.  We fear what will go down on THE VIEW this week when Joy learns of Monmouth University's poll where 46% of the respondents stated inflation was their main issue.  Democracy is not in danger but sanity is.  Helping Joy spread the insanity was the always overly dramatic Jonathan Capehart who showed up last week on MSNBC to confess to US President Joe Biden, "Mr. President, I'll be honest, I'm scared.  Millions of Americans are scared.  they're concerned about the concentrated attacks on democracy, on voting and how that's going to impact the midterm elections."


We groaned as Joe tried to talk Jonathan down from the ledge -- why didn't Joe just let him jump?  Joe said there were reasons to be optimistic.  He all but gave Jonathan a hug as he informed the MSNBC talking head:


We're the only nation that is not built on ethnicity, geography, whatever.  It's on a notion that we hold these truths to be self-evident: That all me and women are created equal.  We have never fully lived up to [but] we have never walked away from it.  And it's a core of all this -- that concern.  It's a concern that, you know, the soul is sort of the breadth and essence of who we are.  And it ultimately gets down to not supporting violence, not supporting -- making sure that you have -- that you count the votes when they're cast, not intimidating anyone at the polls, not intimidating anyone who wants to vote.  And I still think that's rock bottom core issue in America.

It's rather amazing that fraidy cat Capehart babbles on MSNBC, THE NEWSHOUR (PBS) and scribbles opinions for THE WASHINGTON POST despite never offering anything of value.  To his credit, unlike Joy Behar last Tuesday on THE VIEW, Capehart thus far has not confused the Iraq War with Ukraine.  


But he's confused his many positions with head cheerleader for the Democratic Party. It's a post many in the media are in competition for.  Which is why they prop up Joe even though he's increasingly angry and rude due to the meds being pumped into him to keep him awake and semi-alert.  


Or that's what the meds do when they work.  They didn't work that well on MSNBC because later in the interview with Capehart, Joe appeared to doze off

President Biden appeared to zone out after he was asked in a new interview whether his wife, Jill Biden, wants him to run for reelection in 2024.

“I have not made that formal decision but it’s my intention . . . to run again and we’ll have time to make that decision,” Biden told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart when asked whether he plans on running again.

“Dr. Biden is for it?” Capehart asked as a follow-up — but was met with a long, awkward silence as Biden appeared to glance toward the floor in the sit-down interview that aired Friday night.

“Mr. President —,” the interviewer eventually interjected.
“Dr. Biden thinks that — my wife thinks that I, uh — that we’re doing something very important,” Biden finally said.

It has not been a good period for Joe Biden.  Melissa Willets (THE LIST) observes:

Consider that in recent weeks, Joe Biden's gaffes have seemed especially cringeworthy. Not only did the POTUS appear to forget that lawmaker Jackie Walorski had passed away this summer in a grisly car accident, but he heartbreakingly misspoke in talking about his son Beau's death.

Now, with Biden zoning out during his interview, not surprisingly, Twitter is wondering if he's up to the task of running the country for another four years. "Nothing to see here, Biden nearly fell asleep and forgot he was being interviewed on National TV," one critic tweeted.

Indeed, watching the clip of the Democrat seems to even show Jonathan Capehart startled by his subject nodding off, with the MSNBC alum prodding, "Mr. President?" 

"Really, really sad," someone commented on the viral moment, while another critic said about Biden's sleepy declaration he plans to run again, "Hell no."


As we noted in 2009, Barack Obama was our first method president:

We watched Monday in full as Barack uh-uh-uhed and spoke in that robotic manner that allows him to find more unnatural pauses than Estelle Parsons and Kim Stanley combined. "He's our Method president!" we quickly gasped while wishing we could have one president this decade capable of normal speech. If he gets any worse, he'll be Sandy Dennis.


And Joe Biden?  He's the MGM star at the end of his rope and at the end of his contract.  Created decades ago when the studio could boast "more stars than there are in the heavens," he's a dying breed, on his last gasp.  And the studio pumps him full of pep meds to keep him awake and ready for his public -- he's our 21st century Judy Garland!


 Sometimes it appears that the only worse thing than our media is the media 'reformers. 

That was brought home yet again last week when alleged Green Party members had Katie Halper (THE KATIE HALPER SHOW, USEFUL IDIOTS and, until recently THE HILL) on his program.  



The segment was entitled "The Need For Independent Media."  It should have been called "The Need for an Educated Host."


We knew we were in trouble the minute Matthew Hoh started invoking AIR AMERICA RADIO.  


At this late date, to be unaware of what killed AAR repeatedly is just not acceptable -- especially if you're the host of a program and you choose to bring it up.


Matty wanted you to know that we needed something like AAR.  


No, we don't.  


We never did.


And we're not talking about content yet, we'll get to that in a minute.  We're talking about the money fiasco that was AAR.


It was a never-ending, money sink-hole.


Now at the start, that could be excused.  Any business is going to face serious start-up cost issues.  But this went beyond that and exposed the real problem: The world had changed and the 'minds' at AAR couldn't recognize and couldn't keep up.


They just knew they would find influence and respect -- with legacy media -- if they could take the cheapest mass market available -- radio -- and score a hit there.  They never really did.  Their programs weren't available over the airwaves in enough markets for that.  But they kept pursuing that dream and wasting their money -- or the money of investors.


The answer was obvious by the first weekend AAR was on the air.  Early Saturday morning -- pre-dawn hours -- they crashed REAL PLAYER.  It had been around for years and was popular.  But AAR listeners were listening via REAL PLAYER on air.  While they struggled for listener over the airwaves, there were enough listeners online to set and break records.  


That should have led to a realization: Hey, we've got a new business model we should be exploring.


Instead, like Sam Seder caving when NYT threatened to pull their advertising (he immediately shut down his AD NAGS site -- yes, it was his), they apologized to REAL PLAYER and REAL PLAYER imposed a limit on how many hours you could stream.  


AAR listeners were putting it on and letting it play through their day.  


That's an amazing audience.  They could have listened a la cart, but they believed in the project so much that they were willing to listen to the whole schedule.


Time and again, a changing landscape was influencing the listener rate and AAR execs could never figure it out.


Well the grass is always greener

But I wish you could have seen her

Drunk and lying with the gutter in her face

-- "Take Me As I Am," written by Carly Simon, first appears on her COME UPSTAIRS album


It was enough for Matthew to have a stupidity slip, he then had to pull his ignorance out and wag it in front of the camera.  It's a big ignorance so maybe that's why he was so proud of it?


The left, he wanted you to know, needed to be more like the right.  Why?  The right falls in line.


Okay, we'll get to how frightening that desire is in a moment but for right now, let's point to the grass on the other yard.  The GOP, which is part of the right-wing, is still conducting a mini-war among their members who support Donald trump and their members who do not support him.


And the evangelical wing of the GOP has long been at war with the older GOP set.  Nancy Reagan, for example, found them disgusting.  She thought that they were uneducated morons.  She found their anti-abortion and anti-gay stance offensive (Nancy's godmother was Nazimova, among her best friends were William Haines and Jimmie Shields). Her empty-headed husband roped a warm arm around any idiot who'd vote for him -- kind of precursor to Matthew Hoh?  Those divisions still exist.  

The GOP establishment holds a large number of members hostage because where else are they going to go?  That's the same theme song the Democratic Party establishment likes to hum when the rank-and-file get too loud in their objections.

In addition, the GOP is only one aspect of the right-wing.  There is also the Libertarian Party and many other smaller parties.  

Matthew Hoh doesn't know much about history but he fancies himself a Sam Cooke who can sing us into a wonderful world.

If only.

Now let's deal with the nonsense of needing a media where we can all fall in line.

"Gatekeepers" -- that's how many see legacy media.

That's what he wants to recreate.  

AIR AMERICA RADIO had some infamous moments.  No, not just when Al Franken showed his ass by doing a show on a college campus, bringing on Meg Ryan who spoke of the need for the US to leave Iraq and, as soon as she was off the stage, Al said she didn't know what she was talking about, but wasn't she a great actress?

If Al hadn't gotten into the Senate, he still would have left AAR because besides the problems he caused for his co-host, there was also the Meg incident -- ignored by the fan base but infamous in the industry and the reason that name guests stopped showing up for his show.

But again, we're not talking about that.  We can define the infamy by focusing on one host: Randi Rhodes.

Rock legend Patti Smith dropped by AAR to tape an episode of the weekend show Steve Earle was hosting.  She was accosted in the hallway by Randi Rhodes -- a talk radio host popular in parts of Florida who was now getting a chance at a national audience (via streaming).  Insisting that she was a huge fan, Randi begged her to come into the studio right now and join Randi's live show.  

Because she's a nice person, Patti said yes.  

It started off smoothly enough with Randi talking music.  She wanted to know why, oh, why, weren't there good songs against the war like there were in the sixties.  Contrary to Randi's drug-soaked memories, there really weren't endless top ten hits on sixties radio about the Vietnam War.  But Patti tried to be kind and play along and she talked about the artistic process.

Then Randi let her have it.  In the 2000 election, Al Gore lost to Bully Boy Bush.

This was Pattie's fault, Randi screeched, because Patti supported independent candidate Ralph Nader.

Reality, it was never Patti's fault.  Randi didn't call out Joe Lieberman who tossed the rules aside for military ballots on NBC's MEET THE PRESS. Randi didn't call out Gore's failure to campaign in his own state.   She didn't call out the Democratic Party ordering Rev Jesse Jackson not to come to Florida during the recounts (Donna Brazile proudly delivered that news to Jesse).  She didn't call out the Supreme Court or, for that matter, the lousy legal team Al Gore had.  

She called out Patti Smith.

In other words, long before Susan Sarandon was turned into The Cult of Hillary's scapegoat, Patti was already being slimed.

It was shameful and embarrassing.  But Matthew Hoh thinks we need a one-voice media on the left?

We're not done with Randi.

In 2008, she'd curse and rage on stage about Hillary Clinton.  In 2016, she was acting as though Hillary were her personal god and savior but in 2008, she wanted Barack Obama to get the party's presidential nomination, so she slammed Hillary onstage -- in sexist terms, no less.

Randi got suspended and fired.  She says she quit.  She says that.

At any rate, that's the kind of media Hoh wants?

She uses free speech off the air and she's fired for it?

It reminds us of how THE HILL fired Katie Halper for noting -- in a segment THE HILL refused to air -- that Israel is an apartheid state.

So that's the kind of media Matthew Hoh wants?

He felt the need, in the segment, to brag on Grover Norquist.  He and Grover got to work together and that's what he wanted.  Why couldn't the left do the same?

Uh, because you sound like a racist and sexist idiot.

Norquist wants to dismantle Social Security and Medicare, he's behind the nonsense lie about "welfare queens."  He doesn't believe in a safety net.

When we streamed the video, we called some Greens to ask what the deal was with Hoh and are we misunderstanding him?

No, we were told, he's a vapid idiot and the national party isn't behind his Senate run for that reason.  They're also bothered by his stance as 'anti-war' when it's really just Afghanistan.  He didn't just get stationed to Iraq, he was part of the team stateside thinking up and implementing Bully Boy Bush's Iraq War program.

You'd think something like that would force a person to explore themselves and their actions.  Hasn't happened for Matty.

Maybe someday.

But right now, he is worthless.  He wants a left media where everyone says the same thing and, most importantly, falls in line.

Let us be the first to say this to him: F**k the hell off.

There are numerous programs right now, claiming the left, that are bringing on registered sex offender Scott Ritter.  We will never go along with that.  These host present a convicted pedophile as someone to listen to.  They're apparently not aware of legal implications should Ritter act again.  If he gets his hands on an underage girl then he's not just responsible.  A lawsuit can be brought against Jimmy Dore, Jackson Hinkle, Danny Haiphong, Richard Medhurst, THE CONVO COUCH and assorted others who have glorified Scott Ritter on YOUTUBE while refusing to tell their audiences that Ritter is a convicted and registered sex offender.

They've promoted a sex offender and, yes, should a victim sue, that victim can also sue them.

We'll never go along with promoting a pedophile as someone to listen to.

And look as these same programs -- they make time for Scott Ritter, it's just men of color and all women that they don't make time for.  Danny Haiphong would rather chat on YOUTUBE with a convicted pedophile than with an African-American woman.  Despite this, he gets a paycheck from BLACK AGENDA REPORT.

No we do not need one media for the left and we certainly do not need one that all 'falls in line.'  We need more voices not less.

If Matthew had his way, the media he wants would not only fire Katie Halper, it would work to make sure that the reason for her firing was never known.

Again, he glorifies AIR AMERICA RADIO.  

Lizz Winstead created their programming models.  In addition, she co-hosted UNFILTERED with Chuck D and Rachel Maddow.  One day, Lizz and Rachel were called in and informed the program was ending in one month and Jerry Springer would be replacing them.  Lizz rightly walked out.  Suck up Rachel stayed.

For a month on air, Rachel lied to listeners, insisting Lizz was sick and that's why she wasn't on.

That's the kind of media the left would have if Matthew Hoh were king of media.  

Though Hoh is new to media criticism, media criticism is nothing new.  On the left, for decades now, the biggest critique of the media has been over consolidation and how it results in less and less differing voices.  Maybe if Matthew brushed up on  a topic before 'discussing' it, he wouldn't be so stupid as to propose that we do what has already been identified as the problem?  The.  Problem.

Mary Evans has noted how reinventing the wheel -- or, worse, the mistaken belief that you've just invented the wheel -- has been a setback for feminism repeatedly.  To really build on what came before, we have to know that history.  And if you actually want to be a media critic and make any kind of an impact, you just can't drone on in front of a camera. You need to know the issues raised long before you were paying attention.  You need to know the work of media critics like Nora Ephron, like Edward S. Herman, like Michael Parenti, like Eric Deggans, like John Stauber, like Sheldon Rampton, like Margaret Kimberley, like Bethonie Butler, like George Seldes, like Alice Walker, like Ellen Willis, like Susan Faludi, like . . .  There's a long, long history.  Matthew Hoh is a problem because he thinks he's intelligent enough to ignore all the work that came before.  No one is that intelligent.


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