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So Long, Keith

Wow – this was a total shocker.  While I’m working, I have Twitter open online to catch breaking news, etc., and suddenly it was all about Keith Olbermann & MSNBC.

I haven’t watched Keith Olbermann with any regularity for quite some time.  It definitely coincides with what I thought was an intense barrage from certain folks on the left aimed at President Obama who were either too stupid or too self-absorbed to realize the fuel it provided.  Perhaps not as intensely as those who went the way of Jane Hamsher’s firedoglake or other blogs who apparently couldn’t get beyond Hillary Clinton losing the Democratic nomination, it was enough to cool my interest.  The only one who I watch more than periodically is Rachel Maddow.  It’s her “keen intellect” that’s the draw for me.

All in all, this tweet from John Cole at Balloon Juice sums it up perfectly.

Johngcole Christ. Cenk Uygar at 6 pm and Ed at ten pm,. Where do I petition MSNBC to just say fuck it and show LOCKUP all week?

Cenk?  Oh, hell NO! Never!  Here’s Keith’s sign-off if you’re interested.

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TVcTV, Channel 11 with Cable One has Free Speech TV with Democracy Now! at 10:00 pm, Monday through Friday which I’ve been watching regularly for well over a year.   There’s a few places on the web I ‘tune in’ for news and other stories.   FLYP media, Radical Radio (undergoing ‘remodeling’ currently), but most often by far, Al-Jazeera with several programs focused on ‘the West’ as in the northern hemisphere – Europe and North America – Faultlines with Avi Lewis (husband of Naomi Klein); and the ole’ standbys NPR and PRI.

It’s not the end of the world . . .  yet.

Progressive Shrills

One of the many things I find worrisome about some of the pundits, bloggers, et al who claim to be progressive are the number who were once shrills for the ReThugs.

The primary one who apparently has the most ‘pull’ (money) is Arianna Huffington.  And it shows.  There’s nothing she delights in more than showing up President Barack Obama.   This latest fiasco involving Shirley Sherrod from the USDA has brought out some despicable headlines.  Here’s the latest screen grab from Huffington Post.

That headline ‘Obama Blames “Media Culture” For His Administration’s Firing of Shirley Sherrod’ truly demonstrates their cowardice (the MSM ass-kissers of whom there are plenty).   They cannot admit they are part-and-parcel of the very thing President Obama was describing.

Matt Taibbi is REALLY Pissed This Time

Back during the run up to our attacking Iraq on the manufactured bullshit of the Bush administration, I happened to find an internet home at ‘The Agonist.’  One of the wildest things happened there.  Somehow we found open lines, feeds that the various news organizations used to report from atop the Palestine Hotel (I believe) in downtown Baghdad.  We saw some amazing things.

Not all of the reporters were American nor were they all famous.  It’s where I first ran across Richard Engel, and Lara Logan.  I don’t recall her reporter’s prowess; I do know the men on the board were truly gaga when it came to her.  But being gorgeous in someone’s eyes and having a cute accent doesn’t make you a reporter.

Apparently she’s pissed off Matt Taibbi, who I find spectacularly sexy in his own right besides being a damn good investigative reporter.  Lara Logan has ‘gone after’ Michael Hastings who wrote the oh-so-revealing interview with General McChrystal, formerly in charge – now not.  It’s the ole’ longstanding argument/back-n-forth those of us who care have about the news media in this country.  Basically, they’re bought-n-paid for corporate hacks who don’t shit about ‘reporting.’  But, here – let Matt get it out of his system.

As to this whole “unspoken agreement” business: the reason Lara Logan thinks this is because she’s like pretty much every other “reputable” journalist in this country, in that she suffers from a profound confusion about who she’s supposed to be working for. I know this from my years covering presidential campaigns, where the same dynamic applies. Hey, assholes: you do not work for the people you’re covering! Jesus, is this concept that fucking hard? On the campaign trail, I watch reporters nod solemnly as they hear about the hundreds of millions of dollars candidates X and Y and Z collect from the likes of Citigroup and Raytheon and Archer Daniels Midland, and it blows my mind that they never seem to connect the dots and grasp where all that money is going. The answer, you idiots, is that it’s buying advertising! People like George Bush, John McCain, Barack Obama, and General McChrystal for that matter, they can afford to buy their own P.R. — and they do, in ways both honest and dishonest, visible and invisible.

They don’t need your help, and you’re giving it to them anyway, because you just want to be part of the club so so badly. Disgustingly, that’s really what it comes down to. Most of these reporters just want to be inside the ropeline so badly, they want to be able to say they had that beer with Hillary Clinton in a bowling alley in Scranton or whatever, that it colors their whole worldview. God forbid some important person think you’re not playing for the right team!

Meanwhile, the people who don’t have the resources to find out the truth and get it out in front of the public’s eyes, your readers/viewers, you’re supposed to be working for them — and they’re not getting your help. What the hell are we doing in Afghanistan? Is it worth all the bloodshed and the hatred? Who are the people running this thing, what is their agenda, and is that agenda the same thing we voted for? By the severely unlikely virtue of a drunken accident we get a tiny glimpse of an answer to some of these vital questions, but instead of cheering this as a great break for our profession, a waytago moment, one so-called reputable journalist after another lines up to protest the leak and attack the reporter for doing his job. God, do you all suck!

Spot on, Matt….spot ON.

Sadly reminiscent of Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 409’ where firemen now start fires, preferably those of books, rather than putting them out.

Oh – it’s about time for ‘Media Whores’ to rise from the dead blog file as well.

The 20th Hi-Jacker…..Oxy-Rush

Just to help along the exploding heads of the ReThugs…..

Amongst the biggest slams had to be directed at Michael Steele….. and the man STOOD UP!

…. “in the hezzy” =heezy = house for wiggers.  (same dictionary, different page)  Yu’ll know about ‘wiggers’ correct, ‘cuz it’s not nice?   #7 is below –

A derogatory term against black people, but is used to be directed toward white people offensively.  The word wigger comes from the word nigger.  Most people associate the word wigger with white people “acting’-or-‘dressing black”.  Being black is a skin color, not a course of action or choice of clothing.  There is no such thing as dressing “ghetto” you either live in one or you don’t.  So all you racist assholes please find a cliff to jump off of.   Stop abusing this site to put your racist views forward.

The Demise of Pajamas Media

According to Media Bistro – who catches the story from The Village Voice:

Pajamas Media, a consortium of mostly rightbloggers founded in 2005, has announced that it will wind down the baby-pak-in-pjs1Pajamas Media Blogger and advertising network effective March 31. The group’s originally stated goal was “to replace the established media sources with a network of … ‘citizen-journalists.'”

Their latest ‘big name’ citizen-journalist was that jackass made infamous by John McCain.

Apparently, it has something to do with revenue – money, to the rest of us.

But as with all things, eventually money talked and bullshit walked. Last week Simon told Pajamas affiliates that “we have decided to wind down the Pajamas Media Blogger and advertising network effective March 31, 2009,” and thereafter they would be free to hustle up ads as best they could.

Walking bullshit.  Now THAT’S a picture.

Keeping Up with Gaza

In trying to keep abreast of what’s going on in Gaza, I’ve been reading blogs – mostly sympathetic to the Palestinians, along with some books.  Yesterday I watched Saree Makdisi on C-SPAN’s Book TV. He wrote the book ‘Palestine Inside and Out: An Everyday Occupation.’   His presentation is from May of last year, but is certainly just as timely. (Makdisi’s book is on the way from the library.)  He talks about the one-state solution rather than a two-state solution and presents a convincing argument.

dividerThe Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has an appeal out for funds to help. The BBC and Sky have both refused to air the video.  The DEC is an umbrella organization with the following members: Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, and World Vision.

Sky News made the announcement Monday, citing its need to remain objective in its coverage of the conflict, two days after the BBC declined to air the appeal, claiming it would damage its impartiality.

ITV, Channel 4 and Five in Britain will air the video. That video is below.  I didn’t find it political; I found it heartbreaking. Continue reading

First News Conference Blogging

I’m watching Barack Obama’s first news conference.  Can I just say – it is so freakin’ wonderful to have someone articulate and enunciate.  Wonder what I’ll say in two years? The other day I was thinking about the possibility of news conferences again, and found I’m actually excited about the that possibility – again.  Obama has been pretty forthcoming thus far.  He’s actually answering the questions.

Now – look at all those men on the stage……. men.  Oh wait, I just saw a woman behind Obama.  Ah – his economic transition team.  It’s over – not too long, not too short.  Can I just say – I still cannot stomach Candy Crowley – Jezzus!

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Mike Simpson (R) this morning credits Obama in his selection of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff.

But Simpson says the 48-year-old former investment banker is also a savvy pragmatist who knows he needs GOP minority allies to get work done in Congress.

My first thought:  An asshole always knows other assholes.  I could be wrong about Simpson; I’m pretty sure I’m not about Emanuel.

On NPR yesterday afternoon someone was going over the duties of the chief of staff and actually Rahm may be just the man to say ‘no’ to people.

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And celebratin’ elsewhere….

Attacking the Messengers

So Donna Brazile somehow managed to get pepper sprayed.

“I got a strong whiff — just toxic — and my head and throat are still hurting,” said Ms. Brazile, who appears on CNN as a political analyst. “I’ll avoid the protesters tomorrow.”

Yeah, I’ll bet.  She doesn’t strike me as the protesting type anyways.

But Amy Goodman was arrested when attempting to get the scoop on two producers for Democracy Now! who were arrested, as was an AP photographer.

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

They are urging journalists and concerned citizens to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (651-266-8535) and the Ramsey County Jail (651-266-9350) and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.

I had watched this episode of Democracy Now! last night on the unlawful detention of another Democracy Now! reporter/correspondent, Elizabeth Press, in a house raid by the police departments of St. Paul/Minneapolis and the feds.  And nothing, nothing! pisses off a fellow unruly more than suppression of free speech and of the press.   He doesn’t disappoint either.

A Misfit in Society?

I heard this interview on PBS this morning – Fresh Air – apparently it’s a rerun.  Political comedic satirist – Mort Sahl.  I don’t know if I’ve known about him and simply forgotten or never knew.

About his ideology: “I’m not a liberal, I’m a radical!”

About liberals and conservatives: “Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they’ve stolen.”

‘I’m not a liberal, I’m a radical.’   Perfect, just perfect.

He also discussed the latest in fashion, the McCarthy jacket. ”It’s a lot like the Eisenhower jacket except it’s got one extra zipper that goes over the mouth.”

Simply put, Mort Sahl reinvented stand-up comedy.

And, he found the press compliant in 2003…. he was also on the teaching staff as a visiting professor at Claremont McKenna College in the fall of 2007, teaching a class entitled, ‘The Revolutionary’s Handbook.’  I’ve actually heard of this particular college having looked into the Claremont School of Theology a bit ago which is also under the Claremont colleges umbrella.

Aaron Brown is Back!

Quirky Aaron Brown on CNN was one of my favorites, and I just happened to stumble across this news recently.

Brown is now at the helm of ‘WIDE ANGLE’ on PBS. The first episode will be about Darfur – “genocide in slow motion” – entitled, ‘Heart of Darfur’ and will air July 1st – today.

WIDE ANGLE was created in 2001 as a response to the lack of in-depth international news coverage in the United States. Six years later, WIDE ANGLE is the only program exclusively dedicated to international current affairs documentaries. For each broadcast, producers and journalists from around the globe report on an event, issue or trend through the eyes of the people who are living it day to day. In its first six seasons, WIDE ANGLE traveled to more than 50 countries to explore the forces that are shaping the world today, presenting global stories on a human scale and offering Americans uncommon and invaluable insight into today’s interconnected world.