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Friday, November 30, 2007

O'Reilly to debate .... ALF??



I saw this earlier today on YouTube, but I thought it might be a joke. Apparently not. O'Reilly tonight is debating .... ALF? Yes, ALF of the old NBC TV series?
It looks like Bill has finally found his intellectual equal.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Brokaw cuts through the talk radio spin zone

Veteran NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw put conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham on the defensive earlier this week when he appeared on her radio talk show to plug his new book, "Boom!"
isn’t a huge fan of talk radio, saying it has a “mob mentality.” He said talk radio inevitably has “a lot of wannabes” and that, eventually, “you don’t have civil discourse, you don’t have a forum, then, for this country to come together and make decisions and hear each other. ... My big issue in 2008: We all have to re-enlist as citizens. ... In 100 years when they look back on it, what are they going to say about the role of citizens in this country?”
The conversation turned to Rush Limbaugh.
“A lot of people, Tom, make a lot of money trashing [President] Bush or trashing faith. I just resent the whole — you mention Rush Limbaugh in the book, but you kind of have a throwaway line about Limbaugh and it’s in the drug section, and without a doubt Rush Limbaugh is the most influential [baby] boomer, I think, in the media today. There is no person who has had more of a profound impact on the way people think about politics than Limbaugh, and he gets a line in the drug thing, which I thought was ... I don’t think that’s right,” Ingraham said.
“My problem with the whole spectrum is, you know what Rush’s whole deal is. He doesn’t want to hear another point of view except his,” Brokaw replied.
Ingraham said, “I disagree. He talks to all sorts of people. He doesn’t interview people like I do ...”
“He doesn’t interview people. And he mocks people,” Brokaw retorted.
“He’s not an objective person; he doesn’t say he is. That’s the difference between him and anchors on some of our networks who have a political agenda but then pretend that they’re objective,” Ingraham crowed back.
Brokaw, finally put a lid on the debate, saying, “Oh, Laura, we’re never going to resolve this — you have your point of view and I have mine. ... My problem with talk radio is they mock anybody else’s point of view, and they do it often in a mindless fashion.”
Brokaw hit the nail on the head. The majority of talk radio, especially conservative talk radio, is a rooting section. There's little or no dialog taking place.
And people wonder why the political divide is getting wider.


Monday, November 26, 2007

An inconvenient moment: Bush to honor Gore's Nobel Peace Prize today (Monday) at White House

From: ABC News's website:

Forget the Mideast peace talks. A meeting that may require even greater diplomacy will take place Monday in the Oval Office, when President Bush receives America's Nobel Prize winners — including his one-time rival, Al Gore.


Ah, the irony. Bush has to suck it up and honor Gore for a prize Bush isn't likely to ever win. Gore's star is rising while Bush's is falling. If you believe in karma coming back to bite you, this is it.
Congrats, Al Gore.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fox News is biased ... if you believe Fred Thompson

I love the irony here.
Fred Thompson's presidential campaign is barely keeping people awake. It's sinking in its own quicksand. So when you need to do something to get some attention, don't lay the blame where it belongs. Lay it on an easy mark.
This morning on "Fox News Sunday," Thompson suggested that Fox News is biased against his campaign.
Fox News ... biased?
"This has been a constant mantra of Fox, to tell you the truth," he told host Chris Wallace.
"...for you to highlight nothing but the negatives in terms of the polls and then put on your own guys who have been predicting for four months, really, that I couldn't do it, kind of skew things a little bit. There's a lot of other opinion out there."
Wallace denied that "Fox has been going after you" and asked him, "Do you know anybody who thinks you've run a great campaign, sir?"
"It's not for me to come here and try to convince you that somebody else thinks I've run a great campaign," Thompson retorted.
Nice deflection. Thompson had the chance to give a solid answer. He hasn't done it so far in his campaign. Why start now?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Coalition of the Unwilling has a new member

Australia's contribution to fighting the Iraq War was small, but now likely that it'll be a lot smaller.
Its newly elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd of the Labor Party, had campaigne on the promise that an elected Labor government would bring all Australian troops in Iraq home next year. The Land Down Under would thus becomes the latest member of the Coalition of the Unwilling.
The man he defeated, John Howard, is unlikely to retain his seat and will become the first Australian leader to be voted out of parliament since 1929. You think the Iraq War had anything to do with this?
Rudd campaigned on a fairly liberal platform, also promising to address climate change, restore workers' bargaining power, in addition to withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq.
It may not be easy. According to Bloomberg, Rudd, 50, takes control of an Australian economy that has grown for 16 years. He managed, however, to keep his spending pledges to less than Howard to convince voters he was better-equipped to keep down borrowing costs at a time when the country was facing inflation.
Rudd has said one of his first moves will be to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to counter climate change with mandatory greenhouse-gas reductions, which Howard wouldn't do.
It seems as though the Coalition of the Unwilling's newest member is willing to make commitments his predecessor wouldn't.
He's ready, willing and able, you might say.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Obsessed, they are!

So I'm sure everyone knows about Conservapedia, the right-wing's answer to Wikipedia. The site is an encyclopedia filled with right-wing skew, supposedly negating the imaginary left-wing bias of Wikipedia.
Well, here's something very interesting. What are the most viewed pages on Conservapedia? Information on President Bush? BUZZ! Dick Cheney? BUZZ! Nancy Pelosi? BUZZ! Bill Clinton? BUZZ! Hillary Clinton? BUZZ!
Well, look at the statistics. The top 10:

1. Main Page‎ [1,902,789]
2. Homosexuality‎ [1,542,606]
3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis‎ [516,739]
4. Homosexuality and Promiscuity‎ [420,162]
5. Homosexuality and Parasites‎ [387,874]
6. Homosexuality and Domestic Violence‎ [351,403]
7. Gay Bowel Syndrome‎ [343,110]
8. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea‎ [331,085]
9. Homosexuality and Mental Health‎ [276,967]
10. Homosexuality and Syphilis‎ [265,037]

Fixated, you say?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Eighteen minutes missing forever

On Nov. 21, 1973, J. Fred Buzhardt testified and made the first relevation that 18 minutes of taped conversation between Richard Nixon and H.R. Haldeman was found to be missing. Rose Mary Woods testified she erased five minutes of tape by accident, but no explanation was ever found for the rest of the missing discussion.
It's one of the big mysteries of the Watergate scandal, but what could those 18 minutes add? The speculation all through the years has been pointing more of a finger at Nixon's role.
Ironically, the existence of the taping system was originally revealed by Senate Counsel Fred Thompson, who was questioning White House Aide Alexander Butterfield. Yes, that Fred Thompson. The Republican running (some say walking) for president.
Apparently the National Archives is still making an effort to reveal the 18 minutes. Would it do any good?
Hardly. Nixon's role in Watergate is well known. There really isn't much more trouble he could have gotten into than he already did.

Scott McClellan tears the roof off the (White) house

In his new book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and What's Wrong with Washington,"
to be published next year, he lays a devastating truth out for the eternally optimistic supporters of George Bush to see.
Here's an excerpt from the book:

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the President himself.


Read more here. All we can say is wow.

Conservative talk radio -- dumb and dumber

In the debate over why conservative talk radio outdraws liberal talk radio, I've found the answer and it's incredibly simple.
Conservative talk radio is very simplistic and dumbed down. Dumb and dumber. It's easier to instill fear in your listeners by saying things shouldn't change or they should revert back using old prejudices than to promote intelligent solutions.
They don't call liberals progressives for nothing. Conservatives aren't.
Conservative radio is a mental comfort zone. It's easier for people to lay back and not move forward in their thinking. That, of course, is the weakness of conservatives as a whole.
Look at the debate over immigration and how talk show host have used the logic of prejudice to make their point.
Look at the whole recent "Redacted" controversy manufactured by Bill O'Reilly, who isn't a true conservative talk show host, but more like a sideshow clown. O'Reilly did a cheerleading act to get his audiences to hate "Redacted" before it was released and before even he saw it. Don't bother suggesting your audience judge for themselves. Just tell them it's bad. Easy way out. No work on their part. Dumb and dumber.
Liberal radio, on the other hand, isn't dumbed down. Actually, if there's one thing liberals probably do too much of on the radio is they intellectualize. You don't see a lot of conservative show hosts do that. Their audiences would turn them off in a millisecond.
Conservatives follow the old axiom Keep It Simple, Stupid. Keep 'em entertained. Conservatives wisely keep their ideas in basic terms even a child could understand. Most liberal talk show hosts don't. Conservative ideas generally don't challenge. They rely on existing ideas and prejudices. That's why it's so easy to listen to conservative talk radio. It doesn't take any brainpower.
Most of all, conservatives want to dictate everyone's values. Don't criticize the president. Fund the war and shut up. Marriage is reserved for heterosexuals only. And the most outlandish of all: I got mine, so the hell with everyone else. All too simple answers to complex questions. Conservatives have no compassion, no soul and no values -- unless it benefits them.
Liberals, however, will ultimately triumph in the end. Conservatives may apply the brakes, but liberals supply the propellers. You can't move forward without them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Redacted" -- the rhetoric and the reality


Director Brian DePalma got somewhat of an early Christmas present thanks to Bill O'Reilly's venting over DePalma's new film, "Redacted," which O'Reilly criticized without seeing. He said it was unAmerican and would endanger the troops.
Well, we have seen it and O'Reilly, as usual, is wrong.
O'Reilly's overreaction has certainly boosted the visibility of the film. "Redacted" may not do what DePalma hopes -- end the war -- but it delivers a powerful message about the war's effect on its soldiers.
"Redacted" is actually a combination of several stories merged into one film. It's the account of Angel Salazar (played well by Izzy Diaz), who spends a lot of time taking video of his fellow soldiers. Patrick Carroll as Reno Flake and Daniel Stewart Sherman as B.B. Rush also figure heavily into the story and both do a great job.
The big question, though, is is O'Reilly's criticism valid? Does it do an injustice to the troops?
Well, if you are one of those who believes anything that makes the troops look less than perfect is an injustice to them, well, needless to say you won't like it. But despite the less than rosy picture it paints, "Redacted" basically allows that war is hell and soldiers are human, even despite the ugly events depicted in the film.
Do these events and the film itself cast a shadow on the troops? We say no.
We all know war is hell. War movies are hell. "Redacted" isn't the first movie to show the ugly side of war. It won't be the last. It does, however, reveal the injustice of American occupation in a land where we are not always welcome.
But this isn't the fault of the troops, who are there to do a job. It's the fault of our government, who never should have gotten us there in the first place.
"Redacted" is a film that makes a good point, but it certainly isn't enough to make it the be-all, end-all at getting us out of Iraq. That will take the enlightenment of the politicians in Washington, D.C. -- either this administration (unlikely) or the next one.

  • The "Redacted" official movie site

  • Bush -- "Come fly with me"



    So Bush, floundering at the polls, make a pre-Thanksgiving attempt to get on the good side of the American people. He ordered the Pentagon to open unused military airspace from Florida to Maine to create "a Thanksgiving express lane" for commercial airliners from Wednesday through Sunday next week, for the busiest days of Thanksgiving travel.
    While this make it look like he's doing something significant, this really accomplishes nothing.
    For one, it doesn't reduce the number of planes at airports. There will still be as many or more than last year.
    It also doesn't reduce the passengers. In fact, there will probably be more people wanting to fly.
    And last, it doesn't add any hours to the day to give planes more time to fly.
    The "express lane" only affects East Coast flights, not West Coast. So right away, a significant part of the country is excluded.
    This is just another case of dumb Bush logic. A move that overall probably won't accomplish much if anything.
    Kind of like that search for weapons of mass destruction.

    More smut from Fox



    Brave New Films has created a new site called Fox News Porn to show some of the sexy footage that seems to run rampant on Fox News Channel. Their reaction to all this: "Can you quote us so not giving a shit?"

    If all this bothers you, you can find a list of Fox News advertisers at http://foxattacks.com/attacker/?utm_source=rgemail.

    Limbaugh implying threats to Blitzer from Clintons


    Rush Limbaugh will do anything to kiss up to his audience. And, unfortunately, the dittobrains that listen to him will agree with just about anything he says.
    So when he implies that the death of Vince Foster somehow involved the Clintons, the conservative idiots eat it up. And when he further suggests that Wolf Blitzer may be in danger for hosting the debate tonight, the Limbaugh lambs love it.
    Republicans, as Media Matters shows, will bend over to any level to take a pot shot at Hillary Clinton.
    Anyone who thinks for themselves and isn't a dittobrain knows the real truth. It's that Republicans are a sad and desperate lot.

    Thursday, November 8, 2007

    Gratuitous sex? You'll probably find it breaking on Fox News



    The folks that brought you "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price" and "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" have just released
    "FOX Attacks: Decency," which, according to their description, "shows how Fox News routinely peddles explicit
    sexual content for ratings, even while Bill O'Reilly and other FOX
    personalities moralize about how popular culture is degrading
    civilization with wanton sexual imagery."
    Alongside the video is a petition to the FCC, asking the agency to
    require cable operators to offer an "a la carte" subscription option
    so that subscribers are not forced to pay for Fox's smut.
    "FOX News shows more sexualized violence and humiliation than probably
    any other network -- all in the name of condemning it -- while
    under-showing violence in Iraq, all in the name of supporting it,"
    said Gloria Steinem after watching the video. "After this video, smart
    viewers and advertisers will boycott FOX."


    Here, by the way, is a more complete version of the spring break story you see in the above clip as shown by Jon Stewart. Fair and balanced?





    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    Rosie O'Donnell blurts out a scoop

    In this link on MSNBC.com, in contrast to the story elsewhere on MSNBC that says talks are ongoing, the story quotes O'Donnell as saying the deal is done and her MSNBC talk show will be happening. She apparently will be directly competing against Hannity and Colmes and Larry King.

    Also during her trip, O’Donnell attended a book signing in Miami, where she revealed she had just signed a deal to host a TV talk show, according to podcast LyingOnTheBeach. O’Donnell reportedly said her show would rival Larry King’s, though she did not mention the CNN host by name, merely alluding to him with a reference to his trademark suspenders.



    From LyingontheBeach:

    She was dishing pretty hard at her so called “family” on The View when all of a sudden she blurted out that she just signed a deal (the ink is still wet) to host her own TV talk show competing with the guy with the suspenders and the long face. She couldn’t go into more details because her PR handlers were trying to shut her up.


    You can hear more in a podcast on their blog.

    Edit add: The deal is dead, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times Thursday.

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