Report from Sitemeter In the past two days, I have had two links to my site based on a Google search with the words " nude Erika Christensen." These web surfers were undoubtedly disappointed with my site. Here's the scoop: in the commercial for Swimfan, it shows a quick flash of an ostensively nude Christensen photo-email (the Christensen character e-mailed a nude photo she had taken of herself in a mirror). In the film, the picture is more explicit, but there is a conveniently placed camera that avoids any nipple action (they wanted to keep the PG-13 rating). I have video of Christensen at the premiereand after-party--but none of it is nude.
I would like to thank all my fellow bloggers who wrote articles on the errors, distortions, and misrepresentations in Slander. The hard right is on notice that it can’t get away with what it had gotten away with just a short time ago. As had been the case with previous right-wing hatchet jobs, Slander got a free ride from much of the mainstream media which, by and large, was too lazy to check the footnotes—or they assigned partisan hacks to review the book (as was the case for the Los Angeles Times). In the past, the offending author would have gotten away with it. Well, those days are over. As the John C. Cotey article pointed out, the blogosphere took over and did the media’s job. The Daily Howler, as usual, was on top of things. Tapped and Dr. Limerick got into the act. I was able to catch some major problems with the book. In addition, many in the blogosphere publicized the Slander meltdown (a few notable were Atrios, The Rittenhouse Review, and In Arguendo). The situation now is that if an unsuspecting Internet surfer googles the words “Coulter” and “Slander,” one of the web sites critical of the book is usually one of the first sites to pop up. This is of great importance.
Next project: Sean Hannity’s Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism which is number two on Amazon.com. Right now, my schedule is a bit clogged, so I will leave it to others to research and critique this screed. I had read the first chapter and, to no surprise, the book is nothing more than a tired rehash of the kind of crap that Hannity peddles on his show (which is little more than Moonie Times and WSJ editorial page propaganda). I let you know on HorowitzWatch (see my 8/3 post) about Hannity’s Clinton/Georgetown smear. What I can offer is a link site (so far, my list is just the Spinsanity article). It is my hope that others will read the book and write witty critiques of Hannity’s propaganda so that the site will have numerous links.
One objection that people have is that they have to shell out money to Hannity in order to read the book. Unfortunately, Let Freedom Ring is not yet in most libraries, but there are other options. Most chain bookstores will allow you to buy the book and return it for a refund if 1) it is in kept in like-new condition; and if 2) you have the receipt. Check the bookstore’s policy. Also, another way is to spend a couple hours at a big chain store, read the book there, and take copious notes. E-mail me any links you think are relevant.
Spinsanity Redeems Itself Last week, I was rather critical of Spinsanity for its treatment of Media Whores Online (see my 8/21 post). I couldn't stay mad at them for long (actually, I wasn't really mad at them, just a bit peeved). The guys at Spinsanity more than redeemed themselves with their analysis of Sean Hannity and his new book Let Freedom Ring (A subscription is required--which is another good reason to subscribe to Salon). Ben Fritz and Bryan Keefer tear apart Let Freedom Ring, calling it "a poorly researched effort
full of blatant falsehoods and highly distorted versions of the truth." It's a must read.
Must Read John C. Cotey's article on me and other internet writers who were doing the mainstream media's job when we scrutinized Slander. The article is very good—except I wished I hadn’t been characterized as “30-something” (I’m in my early thirties). It’s refreshing considering how it contrasts with how the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times treated Slander. If you want to read my critiques of Slander, scroll down to my posts—starting on 6/29. Also, check out my Slander links—this includes a long article on the pathological misrepresentations in Slander’s first chapter.
For the past couple weeks, I missed reading Peggy Noonan’s columns (for purposes of ridicule, of course). My first thought was that she was whisked into Heaven by fundamentalist Christian dolphins (a la Left Behind). Then I checked her last column for Opinion Journal and discovered that she is on vacation. Mockers can get their next Noonan fix on the 30th.
My Break is Over I'm going to write some things today. I spent all day yesterday on the set as an extra for the upcoming TV series American Dreams. It was a fun shoot, but my production expertise was unappreciated. In one scene in which the setting was a lecture for a book, there were copies of the book on a table accompanied by a large sign for the book--the title of which was Autarchy and Its Alternatives: A Sociological Perspective. The problem was that the sign had "It's" instead of "Its." I pointed this out to an AD who looked at me as if I were from another planet. I hope someone in post-production catches this error (the apostrophe can be deleted in editing).
A few days ago, Brendan Nyhan of Spinsanity wrote an article critical of Media Whores Online for “crude ad hominem attacks on the media, all-encompassing good guy/bad guy ideological dichotomies and inflammatory rhetorical attacks linking conservatives to dictatorship, Nazis, radical Islam and al Qaeda terrorists.” This is of particular interest to me because I read both sites on a regular basis. Both sites have mentioned me favorably and I have both on my “Sites That Rock” list of links.
Nyhan does have an impressive list of examples of MWO’s invective. However, these MWO statements, while not as thoughtful as they could have been, are tame compared to a typical hour of right-wing talk radio. While Nyhan has some points about MWO’s rhetoric, his comparison of the Horse to Rush Limbaugh is specious at best. Certainly the rhetoric on MWO does get vitriolic but Limbaugh, on the other hand, is a consummate smear artist. To compare the Horse to Limbaugh is a gross caricature. If and when MWO becomes one percent as unfair as Limbaugh, then I believe it would be worthy of comment.
In addition, there is one small but important criticism of the Horse that I emphatically dispute: Nyhan criticizes the Horse for mocking “the sordid personal problems of the Wall Street Journal's John Fund” (I also have made similar criticisms of Fund in the past). Nyhan certainly is correct to consider the mention of the private lives of political opponents as unseemly. No disagreement here. I concur not only on ethical grounds but aesthetic ones also. Thinking about naked Republicans doing the nasty evokes mental pictures that disgust me (I once clicked onto a progressive web site that had a nude picture of Dr. Laura—way too much information). Are Fund’s private affairs an unpleasant subject? Certainly. Are they fair game? Hell yes. Fund made his personal life an issue.
Let me elaborate. Fund was a major player in the effort to pry into Bill Clinton’s personal life. The viciousness of the effort was mind-boggling. This largely involved Scaife-paid “journalists” who reported the tall tales of Scaife-paid road cops and unreconstructed racists (such as Judge Jim Johnson) not only about Bill Clinton’s personal life but also the sex lives of his wife and Vince Foster’ (mind you, this was after Foster died). When these initial reports came out, various local and AP reporters found serious holes in the troopers’ stories (confirmed by their depositions in the Paula Jones case). This was no problem with Fund’s Wall Street Journal editorial page, which self-righteously repeated these charges as fact (without disclosing that Fund was part of this elaborate smear campaign). These charges were also treated as fact on talk radio--another reason why Nyhan’s comparison of MWO to Limbaugh is inapt. Fortunately, the Cosmic Foot of Karma placed itself up Fund’s hindquarters. Author John Connolly disclosed that Fund had been playing a little game of hide the salami with his ex-girlfriend’s daughter—among other things (Fund had initially asked his former girlfriend if he could show her daughter around town). What a user.
The moral of this story is that when you dig up dirt on a man who had admitted that he had made mistakes in the past and you don’t care about the truthfulness of the accusations, then your own personal life is a valid issue. Fund got the scrutiny and ridicule he deserved. I can’t speak for MWO, but observing and commenting on karma-in-action is a part of my religion.
In sum, Nyhan has a point that MWO sometimes does cross the line and that it should avoid some of its more inflammatory language. However, the transgressions Nyhan cites are minor compared to the disinformation and smears found on sites on the right such as Newsmax, FreeRepublic, the DrudgeReport, WorldNetDaily, as well as talk radio. The goal of Spinsanity to be impartial, at times, has led to a false moral equivalence. Overall, MediaWhoresOnline is a reaction to, not a cause of, the breakdown in political discourse.
UPDATE: I realize this is a bit dated. I was going to post it earlier, but it's just that I was busy at the Swimfan premiere and I was doing other stuff. Erika Christensen is not only a good actress (she was Michael Douglas's daughter in Traffic), but she is hot. I probably won't post again until Thursday night because I have a gig as an extra for the upcoming show American Dreams.
A "Ha Ha" (a la Nelson on The Simpsons) to National Review National Review published an article claiming that "the California governor's race remains Bill Simon's to lose, and absent major mistakes, he will win."
So Busy with Stuff I'm sorry for not writing much recently. There's just some much "stuff." I am currently working on some other writing projects and I have several other projects that I'm trying to get off the ground. There are some compelling topics I would love to write about, but I just don't have the time right now. Plus, I started reading an intriguing novel, Boomeritis by Ken Wilber, which I can't put down. I should have some more stuff to put in this blog by the end of the week.
Thanks for the Link, Freepers Someone on the Free Republic web site linked to my web site. Whenever I read comments on that web site, it reminds me of why it was a good business decision for Hooked On Phonics to advertise on right-wing talk radio.
Red Bull Is Powerful Stuff I had a few too many Jagermeister's (I don't drink much) at the world premiere after-party for XXX (which has some good reviews such as this one). I vowed not to make that mistake last night at the Blue Crush world premiere. I had one drink--aptly called the Blue Crush (two parts coconut rum, one part pineapple juice, and a little bit of blue curacao for coloring). I had a couple Red Bulls--that kept me up all night. It was just as well. I had a blast.
Critiques of Coulter Many of you who are reading my blog site are doing so because Joe Conason mentioned my "interview" with Ann Coulter. If you want to read more of my critiques of Slander, scroll down. I have been posting critiques of some of the more egregious howlers in the book since it was released in late June.
Contest Winner To Be Announced Tomorrow I have already picked a winner for the David Horowitz "Name That Punishment" Contest (For more information on the contest, go to HorowitzWatch and scroll down to the 7/24 post). There were many hilarious entries and I had a difficult but great time choosing a winner. Check out this site tomorrow. Note: I will try to have it posted tomorrow; however, I have to prepare for the Blue Crush World Premiere and after-party. If it isn't posted by 5:00 PM Pacific time, I'll post it on Friday. I'm stoked!
Must Read Every Democrat should read Michael Tomasky’s article, "Dem’s Fightin’ Words", in the American Prospect. If more Democrats took Tomasky’s advice, they would be the majority party for the next 20 years, something that John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira say is inevitable. Tomasky points out how Democrats can win only if they fight back against the right. Tomasky mentions how one of the right’s mucky-mucks, Grover Norquist--quoting Lenin—tells cadres to “Probe with bayonets, looking for weaknesses." However, there are plenty of GOP weaknesses that Democrats have not probed. For instance, we have the GOP's coziness with false messiah Sun Myung Moon, a criminal, theocrat, and fierce anti-American (he called the US “Satan’s harvest”). Another area not broached by progressives is the right-wing talk radio medicine show. The content of talk radio is bad enough, but the sponsors are worse. Listen to talk radio and hear the ubiquitous ads for baldness cures, expensive and questionable weight-loss potions, expensive supplements, real estate “no money down” scams, and gold as an investment. The left should exploit these weaknesses of the right.
Be Back Tomorrow I'm recovering from the after-party for the World Premiere of Vin Diesel's flick XXX. UPDATE: I have recovered. I missed the screening but the party was a blast. ANOTHER UPDATE: The party was boss. Of all the studios, nobody touches Sony/Columbia when it comes to the quality of their premiere parties. I saw Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson there but I didn't really have anything to say to them. I saw Laura Prepon of That 70's Show and briefly chatted with her. She is very down-to-earth.
Article on David Horowitz's New Book I'm starting to critique David Horowitz's new book How to Beat the Democrats. My first installment is on HorowitzWatch. It deals with the Moonie Times' smear of Clinton's Georgetown speech last November.
Updates Over the weekend, I will announce the winner of the David Horowitz "Name That Punishment" Contest (see the 7/24 post in HorowitzWatch). I planned to do it today but I got a gig to be an extra for an upcoming TV show American Dreams. Expect more contests soon. In his latest blog, Horowitz called me "the half-wit named Scoobie who threw up on me verbally..." I enjoy cheesing off Horowitz.