Fight the Real Enemy

I called my Granny last evening and got her answering machine, but I wanted to be sure she knew I was happy she got to vote yesterday. I was. It’s a nice thing that my 80-something year old Gramma gets to vote for a woman for prez.

I’m weary of this whole thing. There’s no more pretending that this infighting will be good for the Democratic contender. It’s time, it’s past time, for the party elders to step in and present the math, or demand that the candidates double-team John McWeirdsmile, which they could instead of kicking each other in the nuts. Stop saying that you’re the one who can beat the Republigoat. Do it.

Hell, today I like McWeirdsmile better than any of them—including my man Obama.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Wednesday demanded the North Carolina Republican Party withdraw an advertisement critical of Democrat Barack Obama over his controversial pastor.

“We asked them not to run it,” McCain told reporters on his campaign bus as he rode to an anti-poverty event in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky.

“I’m sending them an e-mail as we speak asking them to take it down. I don’t know why they do it. Obviously, I don’t control them. But I’m making it very clear that there’s no place for that” in his campaign.

I for one think the New York Times got it right:

The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.

Voters are getting tired of it; it is demeaning the political process; and it does not work. It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.

But they don’t let Obama off the hook, oh no.

Mr. Obama is not blameless when it comes to the negative and vapid nature of this campaign. He is increasingly rising to Mrs. Clinton’s bait, undercutting his own claims that he is offering a higher more inclusive form of politics. When she criticized his comments about “bitter” voters, Mr. Obama mocked her as an Annie Oakley wannabe. All that does is remind Americans who are on the fence about his relative youth and inexperience.

It’s time to listen up to Mother Bernadette Mary: Fight The Real Enemy.

Jackass: The Debate

Every other Leftblogistan blogger is probably mentioning how utterly goddamned stupid was last evening’s debate. So I’ll just ask the one question I don’t think people are probably asking enough of: What in the wide wide world of sports was George Stephanopoulos doing as a moderator? Does everyone at ABC News forget what he did for a living before he succeeded Sam and Cokie?

Why not just have Geraldine Ferraro moderate? Or Mark Penn? I hear he’s free.

Don't Let The Door Bounce Your Boobies On Your Way Out

I was far far away from Leftblogistan last week. I was in Las BlahBlah, Nev., schmoozing and conventioneering for my day job. So. Did anything happen in radioland while I was gone? Artie Lange tried to kill his assistant? You don’t say.

Seriously. I am utterly proud of Randi Rhodes; I was last week and I am today as I anticipate her first Nova M broadcast (note in this updated entry that I had hoped she’d go to Nova M and give the stealth upstart network a shot in the arm).

Too often these days our media darlings, who make livings spending hours a day in front of live open microphones, say things that go against the grain and are expected immediately to repent or die. Too often, they repent, as if society at large has the pinkies in a thumb-lock. I am the last person in the world to defend Don Imus, for example, but I don’t think the man had to meet with Sharpton, I don’t think he needed to cry, I don’t think he needed to hire black people for his new show. I think every step Imus made after the NHH incident was only so much “I have lots of black friends.” I don’t think David Shuster needed to apologize. I don’t think broadcasters should have to apologize for accidentally saying “shit” into a mic they didn’t think was live. And I certainly don’t think Randi Rhodes owed anyone in the universe an apology for things she said on a stage before an audience in San Francisco that was * not for air *.

Air America Radio has really painted itself into a ceiling corner here. When AAR first started, it created, owned, and/or vigorously branded its programs. Now, it hardly owns anything it broadcasts. Lionel was its own show before AAR grabbed it, and half the listeners don’t like it anyways. The Thom Hartmann Show is owned and operated solely by the broadcaster. Randi had honed her craft for years in Florida, but AAR had branded her show, giving her the national syndication and prominence she wanted. AAR created TRMS, but the Doc has her eyes on a career in television.

So now today AAR will broadcast The Celebritard Hour with Det. Munch (shocked, I’m just shocked that the network doesn’t have a new program together and ready to go and/or that they don’t use the most obvious solution, to give the spot to Sammy Seder, about whom most AAR listeners are rabid and fiercely loyal), and the Nova M stream will get absolutely slammed at 3 p.m. The network’s Founders Club will grow by leaps and bounds, helping the network prosper and become downright competetive with the increasingly corporate and punchdrunk Air America Radio, which will continue to strip down its programming schedule until it’s just Richard Greene and his “Every Breath You Take” bumper music 12 hours a day. Greene will go mad and rip out his own eyes, but it will make very interesting radio for a minute.

I have figured out how to stream Nova M on my Treo, so I will be listening to Randi on Nova M today. I think it’s the beginning of something really great.

4:06 p.m. I have this to say for Nova M’s flagship: Their ad department is certainly on the ball; more on the ball than any AAR affiliate I’ve ever heard. They’ve clearly used enterprise and creativity to grab advertising dollars in their community, and they do it with an awareness in mind of their intended audience.

Editor’s Note: This entry was updated since April 10.


  • I am glad to have been away and very busy last week because I still do not know what the hell Barack Obama said or why some people think it’s bad, and I do not care. The week has disconnected me from the presidential race, and for that I am thankful and wish to remain so for as long as is possible. I am so sick of it I could vomit. Screw it: Larry Craig for President!


I have just been reminded of these lines of poetry, lines of poetry I would like to write down on an index card and place in front of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and ask him to read into a tape recorder. Because it would be funny.

Do I contradict myself?/ Very well then I contradict myself,/ (I am large, I contain multitudes.)
– Walt Whitman

I Like To Wear Men's Underwear

Every blogger in the known universe will quote the famous title and eighth track of of Steve Martin’s third comedy album, released in 1979 and certified gold, in discussing the most recent explosion on the part of Air America Radio host Randi Rhodes. I thought we’d be a little different and quote from track #3 of the same album to title this post.

But it is true, comedy is not pretty, especially so when a famous person in another field but a rookie at this paticular sport takes a stab at it. Geraldine Ferraro, one of the unfortunate victims of Randi’s attempt at standup March 22 in San Franscisco, compared this incident to Don Imus’, but it more closely resembles the Michael Richards fiasco. Richards made his name in sketch and sitcom comedy and post-Seinfeld tried his hand at standup, losing the crowd miserably and then his own self-control and common sense in the end. Any unknown rookie in the same boat would have been long forgotten, but Richards found himself all over the YouTube. As did Rhodes.

What I have said previously about both Imus and Richards applies to Randi as well here. It wasn’t that what she said was offensive. No, what was wrong here was that what she said wasn’t funny. And what I can’t understand regarding this business is what the hell Randi Rhodes was doing attempting standup comedy in the first place.

In “Left of the Dial,” Rhodes makes a big deal about her bona fides in radio. She complains often of lack of support from the network despite that she’s the veteran and the others are radio amateurs. She mocks their rehearsals prior to launch. On launch day, she yells down Ralph Nader and sits through the commercial break with a shit-eating grin on her face. The documentary lights this scene as the plucky unknown radio pro showing these dumb amateurs how it’s done, by gum. And I really like that part of the film. But in context of this, it just falls flat.

Howard Stern doesn’t do standup. You’d think the two communications forms would translate, but they don’t necessarily. Marc Maron is a brilliant standup comic who happens to be brilliant on the radio. Randi Rhodes is good on the radio. What I don’t understand is how someone who feels so strongly about the blood sweat and tears she’s shed pursuing her radio chops would imagine she could just stand up and have six minutes of gold. Watch Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedian sometime. You’ll see how hard these people work just for six minutes, how much they fail at first, how many clubs they play nightly.

At the very least, Randi, why not bother with a punchup session with Maron? He is, truly, one of the best working comics out there today. He would have told you, hands down, Randi, take the “fucking whores” line out. It’s not funny. It’s not fun. Lisa Lampanelli could sell it. Kathy Griffin could sell it. But they’re comics. All it might do is take you off your day job for awhile, as it has. The meek Air America Radio has, as usual, instead of standing next to its talent, suspended Ms. Rhodes for crap she didn’t even say on the air. That’s a stunner, really, but the silver lining is that you’re really nothing in radio unless you’ve been fired or suspended a time or 12. The suspension is a feather in Ms. Rhodes’ bonnet, actually.

At least this incident has offered confirmation that Ms. Ferraro still doesn’t get it. Ms. Ferraro, let me explain this to you. Randi Rhodes is not an old white dude, and you are not the Rutgers women’s basketball team, and she did not call you nappy-headed, and she did not do so on the radio. You are a well-known public figure and a white lady, which means you would be much better served to shut the hell up on the issue of race and, for gods’ sake, STOP. APPEARING. ON. FOX. “NEWS.”

Off to pack for Vegas, to gird my loins for a Maddow-centric “Countown” tonight and the final season premiere of “Battlestacked Galactica.” God bless America.