Katie, You Got Spunk…

Katie Couric was recently quoted as thusly:

Unfortunately I have found out that many viewers are afraid of change. The glory days of TV news are over, and the media landscape has been dramatically changed. News is available now for everyone, everywhere, all the time, and everybody fights for the last pieces of the shrinking pie. The corporate pressure and the ratings terror are intensifying all the time, and the situation is not simple. I find myself in the last bastion of male dominance, and realizing what Hillary Clinton might have realized not long ago: that sexism in the American society is more common than racism, and certainly more acceptable or forgivable. In any case, I think my post and Hillary’s race are important steps in the right direction.

So why not kick television news in the head while it’s down? WTF, let’s CHANGE A BROADCAST INTERVIEW OF A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SO AS TO COVER UP A SERIOUS GAFFE ON HIS PART.

I can never figure out if Katie Couric has accepted The Suppository, or if she is just a dolt. I’m just glad that Olbermann’s staff apparently has the time and forethought to dig through transcripts of the evening news programs.

Have some more old hash

Everytime I listen to the radio I feel like I have to dig up some old crap that should long ago have been accepted as common sense and waive it around for people to remember.  That’s what the work of speaking truth to morons is all about but sometimes its annoying.  Twice today:

John McCaine says “I would rather lose an election than lose a war.”  In short, his position  on winning the war is so right and Mr. Obama’s is so wrong that he would rather be right and lose than be wrong and win.  OK, actually, he will surrender the entire Army Reserve, bend over and grab his ankles for Prince Abdullah and that lying scumball Dik Chaney if that’s what it takes to get to be President.  This statement is a rhetorical lie, intended to make him look like an honorable war hero and Obama look like an opportunist.  Truth is he has never had a position on winning the war.  He took the position that it would be a good strategy to put more troops over there for a while.  He supported the SURGE, which is not necessarily “winning the war.”  There is no definition of what it means to win the war.  There is no proof that we can reduce the SURGE (UNSURGE?) without the violence renewing itself.  And is that what we went there for? (there was no civil war until after we got there.)  What is  winning?   What about beating all the terrorists? Getting control of all the oil that Mr. Wolfowitz said would pay for this?   Stabilizing the MIddle East?  McCaine has not supported winning the war.  He does not know what winning means.   (Style Note:  Hencefourth I’m spelling it McCaine as in Caine Mutiny.  Give that weasel a couple of marbles to play with and he will look just like Captain Queeg.) 

And later, NPR, which is sounding more and more like a propaganda machine for that moron George W. Busch, worked hard to convince us that the moron is some kind of an energy genius.  On today’s news, it dug up his quote from the Inaugural speech about how we are addicted to oil as proof that he has warned us but we just won’t listen.  Then it used his quote about how market forces are at work,  to prove that if we would just listen to reason and drill for more oil, we could solve this problem.  No mention of that Moron George W. Busch’s refusal to support fuel economy standards legislation, reduction of research for alternative fuels etc.   NPR.  Put it on your shit list. 

Damn I'm Good

On Nov. 8, 2007, KIAV made the following prediction.”I predict that Rachel Maddow of the Air America Radio will have her own television program within three years.”

If you’ve been watching MSNBC this week, you know we’re a step closer to seeing my prediction bear fruit. Ms. Maddow has filled in for David Gregory on “Race For The White House” and for Keith on “Countdown.” In the latter role, she has been nothing short of leviathan. I always enjoyed Keith’s former favorite sub, Allison Stewart, and not just because Allison is, well, damned hot. Allison didn’t just show up and read, she understood the show and reflected its core character the best she could. Ms. Maddow, though, takes that a step further, infusing Keith’s chair with her own awesome broadcast personnae. Months ago, she initially took the gig and was obviously finding her TV legs. After this week, it is safe to say that she is very comfortable in the TV anchor chair. It was a joy to watch.

Even a greater joy:

For clues about who might be next to get a show on MSNBC, viewers need not have looked further than “Countdown” earlier this month. For eight nights beginning just before the Fourth of July, Rachel Maddow, the host of a program on Air America, the liberal talk-radio network, served as a substitute for the vacationing Keith Olbermann.

“At some point, I don’t know when, she should have a show,” said Phil Griffin, hours before he was promoted on Wednesday to president of MSNBC. “She’s on the short list. It’s a very short list. She’s at the top.”

At the moment every slot at night on MSNBC is taken, with David Gregory at 6 handing off to Chris Matthews at 7, and with Dan Abrams at 9 following Mr. Olbermann at 8. But some shuffling could be in the offing; Mr. Matthews’s contract, for example, is up next year.

For her part, Ms. Maddow, who has been a ubiquitous presence as a political analyst on MSNBC this campaign season, said she is ready whenever the call should come. To hasten that process, she recently hired Mr. Olbermann’s agent, Jean Sage.

“They know I would love to do it,” Ms. Maddow, 35, said over a recent lunch below 30 Rockefeller Plaza. “I’m going to let them decide what they want to do about me. I’m saying yes every time they ask me to be on television.”

Except of course when Fox “News” wanted to ask her about the Madonna/Britney smooch. Heh.

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.

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.

Thank You, Pat Buchanan

For awhile, several group house incarnations back, I had my Tivo upstairs (I refuse to capitalize the “v” on sheer principal). I thought I could share the glory of the thing with the group of the group house, you know? So it was an odd comment by that then sort of dumb housemate, who chided me for having “that show with those old guys on it talking politics” on my season pass. That show, “The McLaughlin Group,” has been must-see-TV for this amateur wonk for many, many years. You should have seen me when the Group came to my college campus to speak to our journalism class one year. You’d have thunk even Freddie ‘The Beadle’ was Lou Reed. It was awesome.

And it is still so. My lady friend, she can’t watch it because all the yelling sets off her epilepsy. But of all the talking pundit puppet head shows every weekend, it’s gotta be The Group. And, often when I’m watching it, I register a great deal of surprise about how reasonable Pat Buchanan—who at the 1992 Republigoat Convention declared religious and culture war in America—seems. Mostly, he seems reasonable because he agrees that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was and is foolish.

Occassionally, though, Buchanan reminds me of exactly what he is. Yes, there’s been fire on these internets regarding his column about how much better off black people are and that “they” should thank “us” for throwing their great grandaddies into the slave ships in the first place. That was friggin’ awful, but he did himself one better on The Group this week.

They were of course discussing Rev. Wright. He was arguing that Obama should have more harshly denounced Wright. Eleanor asked him if he had denounced all the priests involved in the child abuse scandal. Buchanan replied: “All this gay stuff? Sure!”

You see, what bothered Buchanan about that episode—for which I still think America owes Sinead O’Connor an immense apology—wasn’t that men of the cloth usurped the power of their positions to exploit and hurt children. Nor was his problem that the Catholic faith forces its clergy into the unnatural state of sexual repression, making said pedophillic adventures somewhat of an eventuality. No sir, Buchanan’s problem with it is that he thinks it was, well, gay.

So if the priests had been hitting up 12-year-old girls in their congregations for ass, that would have been okay, Pat?

Thank you, Pat Buchanan, for occassionally reminding me of just exactly what it is that you are. It is indeed a fantastic public service.

Re: 'He May Be Unwelcome, but We'll Survive'

Mr. Hoyt,

Thank you for responding publicly to the opinions expressed to you regarding the hiring of Bill Kristol, including an e-mail I sent you. I certainly do appreiciate your comments and am glad to know that you are a conscientious ombudsman for your organization.

I will say, though, that comparing Kristol to Saffire is like comparing O’Reilly to Walter Cronkite. You referred to a time at which Saffire had bent to the truth about Watergate. The difference is that Mr. Kristol would never have the dignity to exhibit such character. Kristol is a lobotomized idealogue who cares not for the facts or for practical policy. While I often disagreed with Mr. Saffire, I at least respected him, but I have no similar respect for Mr. Kristol. He is no William Saffire.

The problem with Kristol isn’t that he supports the idiotic occupation of Iraq, nor is it that he fancies himself a “conservative.” The problem is that he is either wrong all the time, or he lies all the time, and his long, well-documented career of being wrong and/or lying should in a world that hasn’t lost its mind make him one of the least qualified candidates in the universe to write for the New York Times. I’m more qualified than he is. My dog is more qualified than he is. That’s what’s wrong with this. That’s why you might find that not many are going to “take a deep breath and calm down” about Kristol.

I must also say that I find it a bit troubling that you have no problem with Kristol writing the Times while continuing to be a mouthpiece for the Fox Noise Channel. Are you too deep in the industry to understand what that organization actually is, and that his work there while he pollutes your pages certainly at least approaches a conflict of interest?

I will stop bugging you about this now; I think I’ve added enough to your headache. And, again, thank you for addressing this issue publicly. I just wonder if you’re perhaps not seeing the forest for the trees.

Sincerely,
Brady Bonk
Arlington, Va.

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say 'Michelle Malkin?'

From Editor and Publisher via The Huffington Post, it’s certainly one of the most beautiful, delicious news stories I’ve ever seen.

Here. Enjoy.

“Eight paragraphs into his new stint as a New York Times op-ed columnist, William Kristol, it turns out, has already made an embarrassing error.

“His column, which suggests that the Democrats not underestimate Mike Huckabee’s chances to win it all, includes a graf just past the midway point, in which he quotes the ‘conservative writer Michelle Malkin’ as saying, ‘For the work-hard-to-get-ahead strivers who represent the heart and soul of the G.O.P., there are obvious, powerful points of identification.’

“There’s just one problem: She never said, as she was quick to point out herself on her michellmalkin.com site: ‘Since I never usually appear on the New York Times op-ed page unless someone’s calling me a fascist, I was pleasantly surprised to see the quote. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I didn’t write what Kristol attributed to me. A different MM–Michael Medved–was the author.'”

Mr. Kristallnacht. Did you not learn in J-School that misattribution is a fatal error?

Let me repeat: Bill Kristallnacht should not be asked his opinion about Coke versus Pepsi, much less about domestic and international politics. He is a very stupid person. It should always, always be remembered that, in the month after the Untied States invaded Iraq, Bill Kristallnacht looked Terry “Fresh Air” Gross squarely in the eyes and said this with a completely straight face: “I think there’s been a certain amount of, frankly, Terry, a kind of pop sociology in America, that, you know, somehow the Shia can’t get along with the Sunni, or the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of fundamentalist regime. There’s almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq has always been very secular.”

Please remember the next time you hear someone, anyone, extol the many virtures of this idiot, to remind them that Bill Kristallnacht has trouble distinguishing the difference between this person

and this person.

I’m just saying.

Seriously?

Sunday’s New York Times published an editorial that would ordinarily merit a thorough reading. It starts: “There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.”

This would ordinarily have been an excellent commentary, except that it comes from the same newspaper that just last week offered an employment opportunity and a soapbox to Bill Kristallnacht. It’s like a restaurant hiring a guy with a famous past of making brown, shitty omlettes and then bitching about brown, shitty omlettes.