Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Media: The shell game continues

Misogyny and the Democratic Party?  

We wonder about it.  Like when failures can't shut up?  Al Gore thinks someone needs or wants to hear from him:

Former Vice President Al Gore reacted to the congressional testimony of Claudine Gay, President of Harvard.

Gay appeared before the House Education and Workforce Committee on Tuesday, when she avoided questions regarding students who advocate the "genocide of Jews" and whether they are violating the school's code of conduct. Instead, she said she thought any reference to genocide was "abhorrent." Gore is an alumnus of Harvard University.

"Well, I was shocked by the tone-deafness of those comments, and I think they got bad legal advice in putting together what they were going to say," Gore said on State of the Union Sunday.

On Thursday, Gay issued an apology to the campus newspaper following her congressional testimony. She assured students that she felt regret and that "words matter."

Gore agreed with the statement, saying that Gay and the former University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill, who also testified before the House committee on Tuesday, "certainly do need to clarify that."

He was shocked.  We weren't shocked when a Portland massage therapist accused him of harassment in 2010.  Because we know how sordid his personal life is and has been -- going back to his affair with E who picked out his tie for the 1992 debate and who picked up and touched a lot of other things.  When we noted that here many, many years ago, it confirmed what Tipper suspected but he had forever denied.  That's why they separated,  

We were shocked that three women were targeted last week and that numerous Democratic males joined Republicans in attacking the women.  Then we read Ryan Grim's new book THE SQUAD: AOC AND THE HOPE OF A POLITICAL REVOLUTION and we were mad at ourselves for being shocked.  

Among other things, Ryan details AOC's rise as first term member of Congress.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018.  Two years prior, a presidential election, found her endorsing Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  He ran again in 2020.  AOC debated whether or not to endorse him again.  Among the things that concerned her for 2020?  Bernie's supporters.  Most of them were focused on real issues -- such as Medicare for All -- but some of them were annoying.

Now, this is us speaking, not Ryan's book, there will always be annoying supporters.  We can support a candidate and be annoyed by other supporters.

But what was concerning AOC was something we noted in real time.  Bernie's most vocal supporters were often attacking women.  They wanted to pretend otherwise.  Michael Tracey, for example, would insist he covered all the Dems fairly.  But he didn't.  And by the time he wanted to note Kamala Harris dropping out, we were tired of his b.s. and made a point of noting that when men dropped out in 2020, it was a tweet from Michael.  When Kamala dropped out, it was 24 Tweets.

The numbers don't lie.

For the record, we weren't (and we aren't now) Kamala supporters.  And we made that clear long before she dropped out.

So this wasn't us protecting 'our own' or standing up for 'our beloved.'  

We were also vocal about Tracey, Glenneth Greenwald and others attacks on Elizabeth Warren.  More than once, for example, at THE COMMON ILLS, it was noted that Elizabeth was not going to get the nomination and that all these attacks were doing were making it that much harder for Bernie to draw Elizabeth's supporters to his campaign when she did drop out.

So reading Ryan's new book THE SQUAD, we were glad to learn that the attacks on women had bothered AOC as well.

Like us, she was getting tired of the White man brigade (we'd say Tracey and Greenwald and their supporters) constantly dismissing real issues with their non-stop pretense that only class matters.  It's easy for certain White men to argue that because they've never been outside the focus.  But if you're a person of color or if you're a woman (of any color) or you're transgender or Muslim or another category, you know very well that the focus imposed by Tracey and Greenwald is limiting and reinforces divisions.  

Yes, economy needs to be focused on -- but let's expand beyond the White male property owners that certain White men know damn well have always had their needs addressed.

From Grim's book, let's quote AOC, "Bernie's supporters have been very, very damaging to him, and it's really frustrating to see and experience.  They don't realize how influential they are.  It's frustrating to feel like they are hurting him. I feel like Warren is scooping up LGBT, progressives, women, and progressives of color because of how they [Bernie Bros] isolate."

And we've seen the same nonsense from White men in the Democratic Party during the last days.  Men like Senator Bob Casey, Josh Shapiro and so many more including Al Gore.  

Three women appeared before a House Committee last week.  Republicans attacked them at the hearing.  And distorted them. And the bulk of the media ran with it.  An exception?  

Writing about Magill, Harvard University President Claudine Gay and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth, Moustafa Bayoumi (THE GUARDIAN) noted:

The question is a trap, of course, and for several reasons. The first and most important reason is that there’s no evidence anyone since 7 October, or even in recent history, has called for the genocide of Jews on any American campus, public or private. Stefanik’s question implies that such calls are commonplace, but she offered no proof.

The second reason this is a trap is that the question can’t be answered with just “yes” or “no”. Public universities, as state actors, are bound by the first amendment, as are private universities which receive federal funding. And the vast majority of private universities guarantee freedom of speech and academic freedom as part of their core mission. The American university is, by tradition and design, precisely where abhorrent ideas can be uttered. So, if someone had called for the genocide of Jews, which they haven’t, that would be extremely disturbing but still protected speech.

The utterance alone does not constitute harassment. In fact, the utterance should be an opportunity to debate and debunk – and not silence – the worst ideas of our day. To rise to harassment, such conduct must be targeted at an individual and, as a 2019 supreme court case decided, be “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit”. Context makes the difference, or as this 2011 article, published by the American Bar Association, says, “It is the context that matters, and the context helps to make the determination about whether conduct is actionable under school policy or protected by the First Amendment.”

The third reason the question is trap is that the situation is complicated by the overarching codes of conduct many universities have adopted, codes that I believe do often (wrongly) cross over into limiting speech. But here, too, Stefanik seems confused. Writing in the Wall Street Journal after the hearing, Stefanik ridiculed Harvard for requiring incoming undergraduates to take an online training session to help them identify language and behavior that could be considered hateful to others. But, while mocking Harvard’s approach, Stefanik – a rising Maga Republican – is at the same time demanding to be included in it. So, which is it?


The media didn't care about complexities or, in fact about what was said at the hearing.  They were interested in promulgating a lie. That's why they didn't bother to correct the record. That includes two idiots -- Jonah Miller and Emily Scolnick of the college paper -- who were eager to misreport and someone might want to ask them how that qualifies as journalism?  From the two 'reporters':


During the hearing, Magill said it was "context dependent" when asked whether individuals calling for the genocide of Jewish people violate Penn’s code of conduct. Penn Hillel, the White House, Pennsylvania’s governor and United States Senate delegation have joined the chorus of criticism of these remarks, with many donors, students, and politicians calling for the president to resign.

The scrutiny follows a now-viral exchange between Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Magill during the hearing.

Stefanik asked whether individuals who call for the genocide of Jewish people violate Penn’s policies or code of conduct, describing calls for "Intifada revolution" among some protestors on campus as calls for genocide of Jews.

“If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment,” Magill told Stefanik, later adding, “It is a context-dependent decision."

This response prompted Stefanik to continue probing.

“This is the easiest question to answer, 'yes,' Ms. Magill,” Stefanik said. “Conduct meaning committing the act of genocide? ....This is unacceptable, Ms. Magill.”

Magill ultimately reiterated that calling for the genocide of Jews "can be harassment."

Yes, she did say that.  She said a lot more, but, yes, she did say that.

Senator Bob Casey Junior took to Twitter to share, "President Magill's comments yesterday were offensive, but equally offensive was what she didn't say.  The right to free speech is fundamental, but calling for the genocide of Jews is antisemeitic and harassment, full stop."

Fool, stop.

Let's note the following remarks at the hearing:

Let me begin by saying that I, and the University of Pennsylvania, are horrified by and condemn Hamas’s abhorrent terrorist attack on Israel on October 7th. There is no justification --none -- for those heinous attacks. The loss of life and suffering that are occurring in Israel and Gaza during the ensuing war are heartbreaking. The pain extends to our campus. I know it from my daily conversations with our students, faculty, and staff, as well as parents and alumni. This hearing was called to discuss antisemitism on college campuses. I value this opportunity to reaffirm my and Penn’s unyielding opposition to antisemitism and to outline the urgent, university-wide actions we are taking to combat this centuries-old and resurgent threat. As President, my first priority is to members of the Penn community and, above all, to their safety and support. I must also ensure that our academic mission thrives; that academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas endure; and that we swiftly address any violation of the law or our University’s policies. These are the priorities Penn is seeking to achieve in the actions I will discuss today

The vibrant engagement of Jewish faculty, students, staff, and alumni has long been an integral part of Penn. To see this sense of belonging shaken by recent events is deeply troubling. We trace our history back to 1772 with the enrollment of Penn’s first Jewish student, Moses Levy, who later became the first Jewish Trustee of the University. The Jewish Students’ Association at Penn was established in 1924. In 1970, Martin Meyerson became the first Jewish Ivy League President. Since 2012, we have partnered with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive to make available to students and researchers more than 50,000 video testimonials of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses. We -- and I -- are proud of our history and the prominent role our Jewish community plays in campus life and, broadly, in Penn’s academic excellence. Under my leadership, we will never shrink from our moral responsibility to combat antisemitism and educate others to recognize and reject hate.

Prior to October 7th, antisemitism -- a pernicious, viral evil -- was already rising in our society, and global events have dramatically accelerated the surge. No place is immune, and campuses, including ours, have recently experienced an unacceptable number of antisemitic incidents. We are combatting this evil head on with immediate action. I have condemned antisemitism publicly, regularly, and in the strongest terms possible and today want to reiterate my and Penn’s commitment to combatting it. For decades our Division of Public Safety has learned from and worked with the Anti-Defamation League office in Philadelphia, and we are working closely with them, as well as local, state, and federal law enforcement to promptly report and investigate antisemitic acts against any member of the Penn community. Where we have been able to identify individuals who committed these acts in violation of existing University policy or law, we have initiated disciplinary proceedings and referred these matters to law enforcement where appropriate. We have also acted decisively to ensure safety throughout and near campus. We have expanded the presence of Penn Public Safety and Allied Security at our religious life centers including Penn Hillel, the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and the Lubavitch House. We also enhanced security at every event, rally, protest, and vigil on campus. Penn Public Safety works in close collaboration with law enforcement, including the Philadelphia Police Department. Like many communities around the world, Penn has also experienced protests, rallies, and vigils related to the terrorist attack and the subsequent war. Protest  -- and all it entails -- has long been a feature of university life. Penn’s approach to protest is guided by the U.S. Constitution, outlined in decades-old open expression policies, and supported and upheld by trained Open Expression Observers. We recognize the right of peaceful protest and assembly, and we give broad protection to free expression—even expression that is offensive. At the same time, we have zero tolerance for violence or speech intended to incite it. Our public safety officers are present at every protest, rally, or vigil, trained in de-escalation techniques, and, if necessary, they are ready to act. Protests playing out on campuses and in cities worldwide demonstrate the challenges of fostering robust debate during difficult times. In addition to respecting the right of protest, Penn is offering many ways for students to come together in classrooms and in small groups to discuss these issues. Making space for this sort of debate is in keeping with the best traditions and educational missions of institutions like Penn. Educating citizens requires engagement with real-world challenges and hard topics—topics that often inspire passionate responses. University leadership must provide guardrails that encourage free and open expression while also ensuring a secure environment, and that is what I am seeking to do. These immediate actions are only the first step. I am also committed to lasting change and laying the foundation for a Penn that leads on these issues. On November 1, 2023, I announced Penn’s Action Plan to Combat Antisemitism, which builds on our anti-hate efforts to date and is anchored in the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. Developed in collaboration with faculty, staff, students, campus leaders, alumni, and national organizations like the American Jewish Committee, our Action Plan centers on three key areas: (1) Safety and Security, (2) Engagement, and (3) Education. In each of these areas, we announced both immediate and medium-term actions. As part of that Action Plan, I have convened and charged an Antisemitism Task Force, with membership across Penn’s schools and communities, to identify concrete, actionable recommendations. I have directed the Task Force to provide me with their recommendations in real time and to deliver their final report by this spring. We are making certain that all our educational efforts aimed at addressing bigotry include antisemitism and other forms of hate. To ensure our Jewish students have a direct channel to share their experiences with me, I have invited and received over 80 applications for membership to a new Student Advisory Group on the Jewish Student Experience. I also sent a delegation of university leaders to attend the Brandeis Leadership Symposium on Antisemitism in Higher Education. They have reported back to me and are already contributing best practices and lessons learned toward our efforts. As these efforts progress, I know we will have more to report.

Who made those remarks?  Liz Magill.  In fact, they were her opening remarks for the record.  

You'd never know it because those who should have defended her were instead rushing to condemn her.  Bob Casey Junior wasn't at the hearing but he didn't care to be or to review the hearing before commenting.  He ran with one snippet of the hearing that GOP members worked with FOX "NEWS" to promote.  

Her full testimony in the hearing was distorted and even the college paper distorted it.

John Fetterman participated as well.  He's the emotionally unbalanced senator that lied to the country about his health so that he could get elected to the Senate and then, after being sworn in, was unable to serve for months (plural).  He's always try to play the Big Man -- a sure indication that he's not packing much (including any real courage).  So he joined in with Casey Junior and others to attack the women.  He's so stupid that it might go to his emotional problems.  We question the comprehension of an adult who Tweets this:





There is no proof that women and girls were raped by Hamas on October 7th.  That is a claim which cannot be backed up.  As for Goldie?  It's not just a "Jewish restaurant" and is Fetterman a liar or does he need to return to the facility for additional mental health?  

And before anyone whines that we're mocking his illness, we're not mocking it, we're pointing it out.  And we argue that he shouldn't be in the Senate because of it -- it goes to fitness and competency.

In fairness to him, he's not the only one confused about Goldie.  

They lied about Liz's testimony and, before that, they lied about Goldie.  As Barbra Streisand sings in YENTYL, "Look at this/ The way one lie begets another."  Indeed.

At WORKERS WORLD, Betsey Piette took on the many lies about Goldie's including that CNN and FOX NEWS skipped off into The Land of Falsehood to lie in unison.  Michael Solomonov is the co-owner, the chef and "a prominent campaigner for the Biden presidency" which really means that Joe Biden shouldn't have spoken publicly on this because it looks like he's doing favors, at best, but when his remarks are lies, it looks like he's lying for a friend -- a friend who is Israeli, please note, not a US citizen which does make us wonder about Solomonvo's help with Biden's 2020 presidentcial campaign. Joe called the protesters, who included Jewish-Americans, "antisemitic." The corporate media insisted that this "mob" had "surrounded the restaurant" even those Piette notes the reality that that's "impossible to do given that Goldie is in a storefront, not a stand-alone building."  But when did facts ever matter to cable "news" or, for that matter, slimy politicians?

Piette writes:

One of the planned protest stops was at Goldie, described as “an Israeli-style falafel shop” co-owned by Israeli-born, celebrity chef Michael Solomonov, and part of a larger restaurant group CookNSolo. Solomonov was appointed by the Israeli government as a “culinary ambassador” for Israel. According to The Grayzone (Dec. 7) Solomonov “appears in Department of Justice Foreign Agent Registration Act documents as an official propagandist for the country’s Ministry of Tourism.”

Solomonov is also well known to Biden, having been, as Grayzone notes: “a prominent campaigner for the Biden presidency.

CookNSolo restaurants became targets of boycotts after Solomonov donated 100% of the Oct.12 sales from several of his restaurants, amounting to $100,000, to Friends of United Hatzalah, a nonprofit emergency medical service partnering with the Israeli Defense Forces. Solomonov’s restaurants are being targeted because he is raising funds to aid IDF soldiers who are killing Palestinians.

Second, Fetterman, "Jewish restaurant"?  You mean, of course, the cultural appropriation of the Palestinian falafel by the Jewish chef, right?  Because the falafel in Israel (and in the Philadelphia eatery) is a cultural appropriation.  They can lie and pretend otherwise, but the world knows it -- hell, even WIKIPEDIA knows it.

Touchy little tykes, aren't they?  When someone criticizes them or tries to hold them accountable, they whine antisemitism.  They sound a lot like the idiots in the GOP whining about SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE's skit over the weekend.

Did you miss that?  Because the same group of liars are half-truthing and inventing all over again.

Barbra Streisand -- and Alan and Marilyn Bergman -- knew what they were talking about with "No Wonder" in YENTL.

So SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' cold open was of the hearing and that cold opening didn't get reposted at THE COMMON ILLS.  Other SNL content has and, stuff from the weekend before went up an hour after.  But that skit didn't get posted.  It was the exchange that got transcribed but not reported -- reporting requires context -- and we felt sorry for Liz who's already been lied about repeatedly by the press.  

By the same token, we didn't produce any strong critique of SNL.  It's a comedy show.  It's a comedy show that needs a new duo behind the news desk on WEEKEND UPDATE (five years is more than enough for any team -- when you go beyond that, they're aged out of the show's intended audience).  And, in the scheme of things, it wasn't all that important.  We have lives and things to focus on.  

As the country knows, GOP members of Congress and their allies in the press do not have lives -- certainly not productive ones -- and live to whine and stir things up.  They've already got FOX NEWS and THE NEW YORK POST minions trying to stir s**t up.  

Grasp what this really is as 'Doctor' Sara Yael Hirschhorn sticks her ugly nose into it -- FCC needs to investigate, she insists.  What is this really? An attempt to allow anyone to stray from the government narrative.  Free speech no longer exists for those in the US who see themselves as agents (paid and otherwise) of the Israeli government.

We're getting to the point where SNL's comedy requires an FCC investigation -- according to a piece of trash tool for the government of Israel.

This is the United States, hag, we don't respect anything.  We slaughter sacred cows.  We make fun of everything.  Take your calls for an investigation to the country you love because it sure as hell isn't the United States where we do have freedom of speech -- even if various Democratic senators aren't willing to fight for it.

Why are they lying about college presidents and calling for the FCC to investigate the variety show SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE? 

Because they're trying to distract you.  As Amy Goodman noted this morning on DEMOCRACY NOW!, "United Nations Palestinian aid agency UNRWA is warning society in Gaza is, quote, 'on the brink of full-blown collapse' as Israel continues its devastating assault that’s killed 18,000 Palestinians in Gaza, including over 7,000 children."

That's what they're scared of and that's what they're trying to distract from.




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