Monday, 26 July 2010

WHAT IF IT WERE JOE BIDEN'S CHILD?

Ken Berwitz

Here's a little something mainstream media have had exactly no problem with --- because it's Sarah Palin's family in the crosshairs.

From www.popwatch.ew.com:

'Family Guy' to further bait Palin by bringing back character with Down syndrome

by Jennifer Armstrong

Categories: Advance Advancement, Comic-Con, Family Guy, News, Politics as Entertainment, Television

You know the best way to get Family Guy to bring back a guest character? Protest vociferously in the media it helps if youre a publicity-magnet ex-VP candidate so as to create a rather grand controversy. Remember that girl Chris went on a date with during a February episode, the one who has Down syndrome and whose mom is the former governor of Alaska? And remember how Sarah Palin, in real life the mother of an infant boy with Down syndrome, fought back with a Facebook post and media appearances, calling the episode a kick in the gut? And how her daughter, Bristol, called the Family Guy writers heartless jerks?

Well, congratulations, Palins youve earned Ellen, the demanding girl with Down syndrome, a repeat performance on the topical Fox hit. Creator Seth MacFarlane told a Comic-Con audience that shed be making an encore at some point despite all the Palin business. Oh, that coy MacFarlane, pretending it isnt precisely because of the Palin business that Ellens getting more screen time! Though I still think the episode in question was Family Guys twisted version of inclusiveness, it also clearly set out to bait the Palins and got exactly the publicity it wanted. The question is whether Palin will respond again, or leave well enough alone this time. Say what you will about Palins politics, but youve got to respect her for speaking her mind and if theres ever a time to be on her side, its when shes defending disabled kids.

So I ask you, PopWatchers: Are you Team Palin or Team Family Guy if the show brings Ellen back? And is it better to speak out against such controversy-courting shows, or let their offensive moments pass without public incident?

Tell me:  What if "Family Guy" were a right wing-oriented show and the disabled child was Sarah Palin's 2008 opponent Joe Biden's?

Would mainstream media collectively yawn and look the other way?  Would there be no editorials about how repulsive and heartless this is?  About how disgustingly unfunny it is to use a disability for cheap laughs?

We both know the answer, don't we.


THE JOURNOLIST (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Here, from dailycaller.com, is an excerpt of Johnathan Strong's latest expos of how the "journolist", comprised of hundreds of leftward media people, conspired to manage the news by making it more amenable to their political favorites.  (As with all other excerpts from this increasingly important web site, I urge you to go to the link I've provided and read every word.) 

Journolist debates making its coordination with Obama explicit

By Jonathan Strong - The Daily Caller | Published: 3:12 AM 07/26/2010 | Updated: 10:22 AM 07/26/2010

 

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., talks with reporters after leaving Puerto Rico aboard his plane en route to Chicago Saturday, May 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Sarah Palins speech to the 2008 Republican convention impressed more than a few doubters, including even some members of Journolist, an online community for liberal journalists.

This speech is gangbusters, wrote Ari Melber of the Nation. Her tone is pitch perfect. Adele Stan of the Media Consortium agreed: Palin is golden.

The exuberance appeared to unnerve the Guardians Michael Tomasky. People get a hold of yourselves! Tomasky wrote to his fellow Journolisters. Its a very good speech with good lines. But theres very little substance.

Rebecca Traister of Salon wrote to say she was grateful for Tomaskys message. (This is a reassuring sentiment, since at the moment, I feel like were in End Times.) But the rest of the country apparently didnt agree. Polls a few days later showed Obamas lead in the race had narrowed to virtually nothing.

Palins speech had been remarkably effective. This troubled members of Journolist. On Sept. 8, 2008, five days after Palins national debut, some members of the group discussed producing coordinated propaganda designed to wound Palin and boost Obama.

At an appearance in Colorado immediately following the convention, Palin had remarked that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had gotten too big and too expensive for the taxpayers, a point that seems commonplace now, but that at the time struck some as controversial.

Ryan Avent, then a freelance blogger for the Economist, now an editor there, complained that Obamas supporters were missing a chance to attack. If we were the GOP, wed be taking this opportunity to shout long and loud how unprepared Palin isShe doesnt even know what Fannie and Freddie arein the middle of a housing crisis!.Thats the difference in the game as played by us and by them.

Michael Tomasky responded: So why arent Dems doing that? Just wundrin.

Luke Mitchell, then a senior editor at Harpers magazine, asked Tomasky if his paper would be able to help: Michael Isnt this something that can be fanned a bit by, say, the Guardian?

Tomasky didnt think it would work. The Guardian? Youre kidding right? Remember the Clark County letters? he wrote, referring to a failed attempt by the Guardian to elect John Kerry in 2004 by asking Britons to write letters to voters in a pivotal Ohio county.

Mitchell replied: Fair enough! But it seems to me that a concerted effort on the part of the left partisan press could be useful. Why geld ourselves? A lot of the people on this list work for organizations that are far more influential than, say, the Washington Times.

Are you still wondering why, after a week of unbelievably devastating information like this, mainstream media are moving heaven and earth to prevent the general public from knowing about the journolist?

I hope not.  It seems to me that the answer - self-preservation -  is self-evident.


E.J. DIONNE PLAYS THE RACE CARD (AGAIN)

Ken Berwitz

E.J. Dionne, the Washington Post's columnist - and, all too often, delusionary race-baiter - is at it again.  This time he is using Shirley Sherrod as his vehicle for invoking racism, and going after the seemingly countless number of bogeymen who torture him.

As you may gather from this, I have a problem with what Mr. Dionne is saying. 

Let me show you why, by commenting on what he has written.  Dionne is in rust, I am in blue:

Enough right-wing propaganda

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

Monday, July 26, 2010

 

The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics. This is not, as the now-trivialized phrase has it, a "teachable moment." It is a time for action. Who smeared her?  The Obama White House which had her fired?  The NAACP which, though in possession of the entire speech tape, attacked and condemned her?  You have to be referring to them, because both events occurred before the clip was ever shown on Fox News.  Ill read on, E.J., but somehow I doubt that these real culprits will be the focus of your attack.

 

The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its propaganda to be accepted as news by convincing traditional journalists that "fairness" requires treating extremist rants as "one side of the story." And there can be no more shilly-shallying about the fact that racial backlash politics is becoming an important component of the campaign against President Obama and against progressives in this year's election.  Ahh, now I see.  The Obama administration dumped Sherrod, which means President Obama has been the victim of racism.  I suppose that makes lots of sense to you and certain elements of the Bizarro world.

 

The administration's response to the doctored video pushed by right-wing hit man Andrew Breitbart was shameful. The obsession with "protecting" the president turned out to be the least protective approach of all.  Doctored?  Hit man?  Are you claiming that Andrew Breitbart edited the clip and what it showed is not what Shirley Sherrod said?  Uh oh, youre in a bit of trouble now, since that isnt at all what happened.  But rant on. 

 

The Obama team did not question, let alone challenge, the video. Instead, it assumed that whatever narrative Fox News might create mattered more than anything else, including the possible innocence of a human being outside the president's inner circle.  Reminding you again:  Fox did not run that video until AFTER the Obama administration had Shirley Sherrod fired.  That makes you a liar, an ignoramus, or an ignoranus.  (In case you dont know, E.J., ignoranus is my word for someone who is both ignorant and an asshole.)

 

Obama complained on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack "jumped the gun, partly because we now live in this media culture where something goes up on YouTube or a blog and everybody scrambles." But it's his own apparatus that turned "this media culture" into a false god.  Finally a smidgen of factual material. President Obama did toss Vilsak under the bus to cover his backside.  Congratulations. 

 

Yet the Obama team was reacting to a reality: the bludgeoning of mainstream journalism into looking timorously over its right shoulder and believing that "balance" demands taking seriously whatever sludge the far right is pumping into the political waters. Whoops, back to BSville again.  Sherrod said what she said.  And the NAACP audience was clearly pleased when she talked about discriminating against a White farmer based on his race before she said it was a transformational event that moved her away from racism (and into class warfare, but we wont go there).  Somehow you overlooked the fact that Breitbart said he put up the clip to show that, for the Tea Party movement and the NAACP, a few people being ok with racism should not be used to define the entire group.

 

This goes way back. Al Gore never actually said he "invented the Internet," but you could be forgiven for not knowing this because the mainstream media kept reporting he had.  Gores exact words:  During my service in the United States congress, I took the initiative in creating the internet.  Ill leave readers to decide if that can fairly be described as saying he invented the internet.  But, while were on the subject, how come you used such a questionable example?  Why not use something more decisively untrue - like, for example, the claim that President Nixon said he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam or that President Bush stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared "mission accomplished - neither of which ever happened?  I guess examples that in any way exonerate the hated other side of the aisle dont make the cut.

 

There were no "death panels" in the Democratic health-care bills. But this false charge got so much coverage that an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll last August found that 45 percent of Americans thought the reform proposals would likely allow "the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care to the elderly." That was the summer when support for reform was dropping precipitously. A straight-out lie influenced the course of one of our most important debates.  Death panels refers to rationing of health care for the elderly which inherently will occur because, in order to pretend ObamaCare saves rather than costs us money, $500 billion dollars was taken out of Medicare and applied to it.  With $500 billion less for Medicare, decisions will have to be made as to which life-extending procedures will and will not be provided for elderly people.  That is what the death panels claim - correctly - references.  Nice try.

 

The traditional media are so petrified of being called "liberal" that they are prepared to allow the Breitbarts of the world to become their assignment editors. Mainstream journalists regularly criticize themselves for not jumping fast enough or high enough when the Fox crowd demands coverage of one of their attack lines.  Yeah, ok, right.  Mainstream media skewers Fox News every day, because they are petrified of Fox News.  Er, when you're scared you don't answer back.  By the way can you really believe Fox is controlling the news?  Does it control the news at the Washington Post?  Do you also think that Jews control the world?  Let's find out just how far and deep your paranoia goes.

 

Thus did Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander ask this month why the paper had been slow to report on "the Justice Department's decision to scale down a voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party." Never mind that this is a story about a tiny group of crackpots who stopped no one from voting. It was aimed at doing what the doctored video Breitbart posted set out to do: convince Americans that the Obama administration favors blacks over whites.  How exactly do you know how many people were stopped from voting?  Do you know how many people saw three Black men in paramilitary garb, one holding a weapon guarding the voting location, and never even started up those steps?  Would you have sloughed this off if it were three KKK members in their robes and hoods too?  What a hypocrite and fraud you are.

 

And never mind that, to her great credit, Abigail Thernstrom, a conservative George W. Bush appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, dismissed the case and those pushing it. "This doesn't have to do with the Black Panthers," she told Politico's Ben Smith. "This has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration." Instead, the media are supposed to take seriously the charges of J. Christian Adams, who served in the Bush Justice Department. He's a Republican activist going back to the Bill Clinton era. His party services included time as a Bush poll watcher in Florida in 2004, when on one occasion he was involved in a controversy over whether a black couple could cast a regular ballot.  Ok, now J. Christian Adams is a racist too.  Add him to the list, folks.  FYI, the Florida incident refers to Adams telling a couple for whom there was no record of their change-of-address forms, to fill out a provisional ballot something any poll watcher would tell anyone of any color.  The problem was that Democrats had told Black voters not to fill out provisional ballots because they wouldnt be counted.  In other words, Adams acted properly, but Democrats had insisted Black voters not follow the law.  So which side does E.J. Dionne come down on?  I rest my case.

 

Now, Adams is accusing the Obama Justice Department of being "motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law." This is racially inflammatory, politically motivated nonsense -- and it's nonsense even if Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh talk about it a thousand times a day. When an outlandish charge for which there is no evidence is treated as an on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other-hand issue, the liars win.  You are actually complaining about someone being racially inflammatory after writing this column?  Thats a little like BP complaining that someone wasnt careful enough drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  But at least you worked in Limbaugh and Hannity, two more of your many, many bogeymen.

 

The Sherrod case should be the end of the line. If Obama hates the current media climate, he should stop overreacting to it. And the mainstream media should stop being afraid of insisting on the difference between news and propaganda.  That would put you out of business, E.J.

MDC Mr. Dionne is correct, factually and otherwise. (07/27/10)

Harry Pool I believe Gov Palin originated the "death panel" phrase in an early discussion of 0bama's health care bill. Dionne's literally right: the bill creates no group entitled "death panel." The bill clearly has organizations with different titles doing exactly the same thing Gov Palin said those orgs would do, but that cuts no ice with Dionne. He still maintains Palin was lying. What an irresponsible hack Dionne is! (07/27/10)

Harry Pool One question I haven't read anyone discussing is why Shirley Sherrod should have been hired by the USDA at a salary well over $100K in the first place? From what I've read about her, she's been (and still is) a socialist all of her adult life. She may well no longer be dedicated to taking from white taxpayers to give to black and not white receivers, but she's still perfectly happy to take from tax producers to give to "have not" tax consumers. (07/27/10)

Zeke ... ... .... Andrew Breitbart commented on the video, after he published it. ... .... 1) He DID include the portion that noted the transformation of Shirley Sherrod's outlook, and that today, she does not support the racist view. 2) Breitbart's point was the video DID SHOW RACISM on the part of the NAACP audience.... who voiced their approval of Sherrod's description of her racist actions (before she stated that in the 24 years since the "farmer" incident, she has disavowed that pov.). .... .... Breitbart emphasized the purpose of publishing the video was to illustrate the RACIST VIEWS of the NAACP. ... ... .... (07/26/10)

Zeke .... (07/26/10)

Zeke ... MDC ..... Would you care to support your contention, or must we assume you merely flipped a coin to arrive at that conclusion. .... .... Please note you responded to a devastating point-by-point rebuttal with a "The Sky is Green" reply. ..... .... Do try harder to effectively debate your views. (07/27/10)


IS IT OVER FOR CHARLES RANGEL?

Ken Berwitz

After a career riddled with corruption, plus increasingly bizarre comments and behavior, is the game finally up for charles rangel?

Excerpted from today's New York Post:

Democratic Party insiders predict that many top New York Democrats will abandon embattled Rep. Charles Rangel if the veteran lawmaker doesn't admit to several ethics violations before the charges against him are outlined on Thursday.

"Democrats will start heading for the hills -- distancing themselves from Charlie once those charges are out -- so if he wants to keep a modicum of support, he better reach a deal with the House over the next few days," one of the state's most senior Democrats predicted.

State Democrats, already nervous about a series of ethical and legal scandals involving Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada of The Bronx, now-ousted Sen. Hiram Monserrate of Queens, and several other legislators and City Council members, were described by one senior elected official as "biting their nails over the Rangel situation.

"How would you feel right now if you're one of our [five primary] candidates for attorney general, claiming you're going to be fighting state corruption, [and] you're asked how you stand on Rangel once the charges are outlined?" the official wondered.

"If the House Ethics Committee accusations are that Charlie cheated on his taxes, did favors for contributors, and gamed the rent-control laws, as we all expect, are you, a candidate for attorney general, going to back him up? I don't think so," the official continued.

Similarly, national Democrats are keeping arm's length from Rangel.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," former DNC Chairman Howard Dean said Rangel is owed a "fair process," but applauded Democrats in Congress for pursuing charges against their longtime colleague.

"He did some things that look like they ought to get him thrown out of Congress, and if it turns out that he did them, he's going to get thrown out of Congress," Dean said.

Ironically, rangel came to power by charging his predecessor, Adam Clayton Powell, with corruption and beating him in the Democratic primary (which, in Harlem and all too many other primarily Black congressional districts, is tantamount to winning the election).  Look at him now.

The sooner we are rid of rangel, the better off we will be.  All of us.

Let's hope he resigns forthwith.


OLIVER STONE'S EXPLANATION OF HITLER & JEWS

Ken Berwitz

Oliver Stone, the formerly-successful filmmaker, best known for taking real events and loading them with his politically-driven personal hatreds, is putting together a ten-part series for Showtime. Its working title is "Oliver Stone's Secret History of America".

Given Stone's only occasional acquaintance with historical facts, and given that he is half Jewish (yep, another self-hater), I thought you might be interested to know how he views Hitler and Jews.

Excerpted from yidwithlid.com:

Back in January there was a warning. American Hating/Chavez loving director announced his ten-part documentary for Showtime, called "Oliver Stone's Secret History of America," by promising a different look at Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin:

 

Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply," Stone said at the conference. "Stalin has a complete other story. Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any person.I've been able to walk in Stalin's shoes and Hitler's shoes, to understand their point of view. You cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate."

 

Today, the other shoe dropped. In an interview with the Sunday Times of London, he blamed the Jewish-Dominated media for preventing Hitler from being portrayed in context.

 

Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Dr Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support.

He also seeks to put his atrocities in proportion: Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30m.

Why such a focus on the Holocaust then? The Jewish domination of the media, he says. Theres a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years.

Enjoy your empathy with stalin and hitler, Oliver.  I think I'll stick with my ingoing belief that they were sick, mass-murdering subhuman monsters.  And that you are a pathetic clown who, more and more, needs to pump out this kind of idiocy to sell your crap.

Congratulations on sucking Showtime in.


PAUL KIRK'S DECIMATION OF CHRIS MATTHEWS

Ken Berwitz

I don't watch "Hardball" much anymore.  I avoid it because the show's host, Chris Matthews, has combined his pathological inability to let anyone else get a word in edgewise with a level of partisanship that suffocates any possibility of serious discussion.

So unless you agree completely with what Matthews is saying (which, I assure you, I don't), you're not likely to enjoy the show very much. 

But, despite all this, I did put the show on for a few minutes this evening.  And in those few minutes I caught Matthews trying to run roughshod over Rep. Paul Kirk (R-WI). 

Did Matthews start up with the wrong guy?  Are you kidding?  That's like asking whether Gladys Knight had Pips. 

I was going to blog about how completely Kirk took Matthews apart.  But Noel Sheppard of newsbusters.org beat me to it, and did such a good job (video and transcript both) that I don't have to bother. 

Just sit back, click on this link, and enjoy the fun.


IRAN UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

So what's new in Iran - particularly about the woman sentenced to being stoned to death for adultery (whatever that means in Iran -- don't make any assumptions).  And how is her lawyer making out in trying to overturn the conviction?

Here, from the always-worth-reading Steve Gilbert, of www.sweetness-light.com, is your answer:

Iran Jails Lawyers Family In Stoning Case

July 26th, 2010

From the UKs Guardian:

Iran stoning case lawyer Mohammad Mostafaeis relatives arrested

The lawyer defending Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani himself faces re-arrest as his wife and brother-in-law are held by Iran authorities

Saeed Kamali Dehghan
Monday 26 July 2010

Authorities in Iran have issued an arrest warrant for an acclaimed Iranian lawyer and arrested his wife and brother-in-law over his involvement in the case of a woman sentenced to death by stoning.

Lawyer Mohammad Mostafaeis office in Tehran was ransacked, and he was interrogated in Evin prison for four hours on Saturday over his human rights activities and involvement in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the 43-year-old mother of two who was convicted of adultery and whose plight in Iran has drawn international attention since her children launched a campaign for her release almost a month ago.

Mostafaei called Sakinehs stoning sentence "a bogus conviction" and "absolutely illegal" in an interview with the Guardian earlier this month.

He was released, then called back for further questioning before being set free. Authorities then issued an arrest warrant.

When they were unable to find him the authorities arrested his wife, Fereshteh Halimi and her brother Farhad Halimi to try to force him to surrender. However, it is still unclear whether Mostafaei has been arrested or he has managed to evade officials.

"It is ridiculous that they [officials] have taken Mostafaeis family as ransom, they have somehow taken them hostage. This confirms what Sakinehs son wrote in his public letter, that theres no justice in Iran," said Mina Ahadi, a human rights activist for Iran Committee against Stoning (ICAS), based in Germany who spoke to Mostafaei after he was interrogated.

"Mohammadi Ashtianis sentence is not Mostafaeis first stoning case, he has defended many others against execution by stoning but it was Sakinehs story which took world attention and made the Iranian authorities angry," she said.

Mostafaei initially wrote an open letter about Sakinehs death by stoning after her sentence was handed down. He then tried to publicise her case by giving interviews to international media and helping her children launch the campaign for their mothers release

We sure hope these trivial arrests and their quaint insistence on stoning women doesnt get Iran thrown off the UNs Commission on the Status of Women. The UN commission, which is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women.

Naturally, we are just kidding. Of course, it wont.

There you go.  Don't like the lawyer defending a woman you want stoned to death?  Then ransack his office and arrest his relatives.  And when you get your hands on him, be sure to grill him for hours.  How dare he defend a woman against being stoned.  What makes him think he's out of the 10th century anyway?

And, as you certainly know if you read this blog, Steve's comment that Iran is on the UN's commission on the status of women?  100% true.

It's hard to tell which entity is more appalling:  Iran or the UN.

Harry Pool Explain to me again, why is the US in the United Nations? Why should we be listening to dictatorships lecturing us about how terrible we are? Most of the 100+ nation members seem to be there only to demand handouts while they insult us and our allies. (07/27/10)

free` Do you know what UN delegates call a day without a resolution against Israel? A day off. (07/26/10)


MY ATTEMPT TO STOP THE LYING ABOUT FOX

Ken Berwitz

If I had a dollar for every "journalist" who has told me that Shirley Sherrod was fired because Fox News aired a clip of her speech at an NAACP gathering, I would be very rich.  And very misinformed.

Let me say this loudly and clearly, so maybe they'll be embarrassed by their lies:

FOX NEWS DID NOT AIR THE VIDEO CLIP UNTIL AFTER THE OBAMA

 ADMINISTRATION FIRED SHIRLEY SHERROD.

Was that loud enough?  Was that clear enough?  I'd say so.

Now:  will it stop them from continuing to lie to the public about what happened?

There's a bet you don't want to make.

 


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