On "Fox News Democrats":The Two Variants of “Balance” in the Media Worldview of Roger Ailes This is the second in my series of requests to alleged Democrats to get their lame asses out of the party. It’s time for Susan Estrich to leave the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. We’re better off without her because she is worse than worthless to the progressive cause. I’m choosing Estrich because she and Tammy Bruce (who was the target of the first article in my series telling people to leave the Democratic Party and/or the progressive movement) represent the two variants of ideological balance in the mind of Roger Ailes, the chief political operative of Fox News, an entity that Ailes hypes not only as a legitimate journalistic outfit, but one that is “fair and balanced.” (both Bruce and Estrich are sucking on Ailes’ man-tit as Fox News commentators). They earn their money because they provide Ailes with valuable cover.
Let me elaborate on this. Ailes wants the appearance of balance without any true balance—Fox News is a rigged game; there is one type of progressive he keeps from appearing on Fox News as much as possible: the progressive who knows the score and knows how to cut through the right-wing horseshit. By having ostensible progressives like Estrich and Bruce, he can make the claim that Fox News allows fair debate. Ailes likes Bruce and Estrich—but he likes them for very different reasons--they serve different purposes. Bruce represents the variant of “balancers” who pose as Democrats but who slam true progressives and applaud the lowest of the low on the hard right (the post I previously cited elaborates on this point) (Update: another example is Pat Caddell). Fox News shills like Estrich are more common; Estrich--like Juan Williams and, of course, Alan Colmes—has no clue and serves as a punching bag for more accomplished debaters on the right. Both the Bruce and Estrich variants of media whoredom [see addendum] are disastrous in their consequences to people searching for the truth.
Ailes is a serious douche bag, but he’s nobody’s dummy. When Estrich was the campaign manager for Michael Dukakis in 1988, Ailes and company clubbed her lame ass like a baby seal. Ailes knows she doesn’t have the will and/or know-how to put up a good offense or defense. Let me give a personal anecdote: prior to blogging (2000-2001), when I was a well-paid administrator at USC, my office (yeah, I had my own office) was a stone’s throw away from the law school where Estrich is a professor. One might have thought that someone interested in politics as much as me might have stopped by her office during office hours and introduced myself. Never happened. The reason: what could she teach me about politics other than being a loser?
I think another reason that Ailes likes someone like Estrich is that she is so personally grating. Estrich is shrill and longwinded. I think Bruce is a treacherous sellout, but at least I could probably have an interesting conversation at a coffee shop with her. Not with an irritating yenta like Estrich. She reminds me of some former co-workers. A few years ago, I got an administrative gig in San Diego; it was in an office full of women. That doesn’t sound bad, but the women were a bunch of mother hens. All day they would talk to each other about their families, their shopping trips to the Pottery Barn, and Heloise kind of talk. Once there was a 50-minute conversation about somebody’s flower garden (at the half-hour point, I was thinking they were putting me on, but they weren’t putting me on). It wasn’t an office; it was a fucking sewing circle. I’m sure an annoying windbag like Estrich would have fit in there.
Write Estrich at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her that Ailes is using her like a Led Zeppelin groupie and that as long as she’s been rubbing elbows with Republicans by working for Arnold and being Ailes’ shill, she should stay there.
Addendum: by using terms like “whores” and “whoredom,” I don’t intend to impugn people who sell sex for money. I would never use a term like “whore” to describe such a person. I believe “commercial sex worker” is the proper term. With prostitution, a guy pays for sex and the commercial sex worker gets money. On the other hand, what is particularly insidious about media whoredom is that the media whores are the ones getting paid, but it’s the American people who are getting screwed.
Busy Busy Busy I should be writing about the New Hampshire primary but I have so much work to do... My e-mails are piling up--sorry...Tonight I found "Why is Mary Crying?" in the doorway of my apartment building... One thought: I am glad that Dean is no longer the frontrunner, not because I don't like him but because I love winning. Kerry can beat Bush but Clark has a better chance. Plus, I really like Clark...Is it wrong to lead a dharmic life, yet like bullfights? At least the bull has a fighting chance to win (see Talk to Her for some good cinematic bullfighting scenes).
Music To Jam To My personal list--not exhaustive and in no particular order (by artist):
1. 10,000 Maniacs "Because the Night" 2. The Godz "Gotta Keep A-Runnin' " 3. Hole "Violet" and "Malibu" 4. Cheap Trick "Stop This Game" 5. Coldplay "Clocks" 6. Young MC Busta Move (it was in the Dude, Where's my Car? soundtrack) 7. Smashing Pumpkins "1979," "Tonight,Tonight," and "Disarm" 8. Natalie Merchant "Carnival" 9.Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know" (she is so sassy) 10.Chumbawumba "I Get Knocked Down" 11.Rammstein "Feuer Frei" (this was the first song played in the film xXxa film I have an odd affinity with--plus, the premiere after-party for this film totally slammedI crashed it).12. The Bollywood song that plays during the opening credits of Ghost World 13. ACDC "You Shook Me All Night Long" 14. The Cranberries "Zombie" 15. The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony" 16. The Doors "LA Woman," "Light My Fire," and "Roadhouse Blues." 17. Todd Rungren "Bang on the Drum All Day" 18. Meatloaf "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" 19. Frankie Smith "Double Dutch Bus" 20. Led Zeppelin "Kashmir" 21. Sum 41 "Still Waiting" 22. KISS "Detroit Rock City" 23. Anything by Dick Dale 24. Propellerheads "History Repeating Itself" 25. Midnight Oil "Beds Are Burning" 26. Bob Marley "Jammin'" 27. "Choli Ke Peeche" (this is translated from Hindi as "What's behind my choli?" (A choli is the sports bra-looking thing that a woman wears under a sari). It's a song from the Bollywood film Khal Nayak 28.Joan Jett "I Love Rock and Roll" 29. Boz Skaggs "Breakdown Dead Ahead" 30. Tommy Twotone "867-5309 Jenny" 31. Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule The World" 32. The Bay City Rollers "Saturday Night" 33. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under The Bridge" and "Aeroplane" 34. REM "Losing My Religion" 35. Burton Cummings "Never Had a Lady" 36.ELO "Mr. Blue Sky 37. Cheech and Chong "Earache my Eye" 38. That Mozart song they used in the bike/truck scene in Breaking Away 39. Counting Crows "Mr. Jones"
Addendum: Actual quote from Nooner herself (no, I didn't make it up): "I first saw President Reagan as a foot, highly polished brown cordovan wagging merrily on a hassock. I spied it through the door. It was a beautiful foot, sleek. Such casual elegance and clean lines! But not a big foot, not formidable, maybe a little ...frail. I imagined cradling it in my arms, protecting it from unsmooth roads."
Was I Right or What? I knew I was right last week when I chose Susan Estrich as a person whom I'd love to see leave the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. I just read on The Horse that Estrich's column is now carried by NewsMax, run by the odious Scaife monkey-boy Chris Ruddy. Write Estrich at email@example.com tell her to get her raggedy ass out of the progressive movement.
What to Make of this? I was in Gold's Gym the other day. I was in the changing room. There was a guy there with a lot of hair on his back. I thought: This guy is either married or is not seeing any women. Am I wrong?
Clark on Meet The Press Wesley Clark looked strong on Meet The Press this morning. Russert was trying to pin Clark down on comment made by Clark supporter, director Michael Moore that George W. Bush was "a deserter." Clark responded well but one thing he should have said was, "I don't think the Bush campaign is going to try to make an issue of the comment."
Question Whenever I ask questions like this, I get a deluge of e-mail, so thanks in advance if I don't respond to your e-mail. I'm one of the demographic that embraces new technologies but is weary of cell phones. One of the main reasons for this is that many in this demographic see so many people act like a-holes on their cell phones (this is especially the case in LA). Anyhoo, I am making the switch and getting rid of my regular phone. Does anyone have any advice about cheapest and most reliable cell phone plans. I don't talk a lot on the phone but I make a lot of long distance calls.
One More Round of E-mails for Good Measure Just a reminder: scroll down to my 1/20 post and read my post on Susan Estrich. In case you haven't sent Susan Estrich an e-mail, send her one today. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org Important note: if you really want to cheese her off, in the subject heading of the e-mail, write something academic or legal sounding; doing this will increase the likelihood that she reads your e-mail.
Will It Make The latest DSM? I have a couple quirks that concern me. One is that I love crappy songs from the 70's and 80s [see addendum]. However, I think I have it under control because I draw the line at "Don't Worry, Be Happy." I'm also a Chick tract fanatic (though not for the reasons Chick intends). Another quirk is that sometimes after I say something, I realize that I had unwittingly paraphrased something from an episode of The Simpsons. (Maybe I can ask Dr. Krauthammer about whether this is a mental illness; I plan to take a trip to Washington and spin him around in his wheelchair until he throws up if he makes any more armchair diagnoses of Democratic presidential candidates).
The most recent occurrence of this phenomenon was when I got back to the LA Greyhound bus station late at night after a trip to San Diego. The Greyhound bus station is by skid row so it?s best to take a cab. Plenty of regular cabs were there--plus some gypsy cabs (they were the only way to get around during the transit strike). I was approached by a gypsy cab driver who asked me if I needed a ride. I responded, "You are fully licensed and bonded by the city of Los Angeles, aren't you?" Right then, I realized I has paraphrased Bart from the ?Mr. Plow? episode.
Another noteworthy occurrence involved a former roommate who had been a problem drinker (not The Autonomist; he doesn't drink). He quit drinking and was working out. I helped out by making massive amounts of juice in my top-of-the-line juicer. However, as his body was detoxifying, his pores released toxic sweat that got unbearable--especially when he worked out. One day he smelled like a cross between skunk and vinaigrette. I wanted to use tact and kindness so I told him the following: "Dude, that is so nasty! You are totally funking up the place with that evil sweat! You ought to go to a doctor because that kind of smell shouldn't come from a human being!" After I said this, I realized that I had paraphrased Carl from the ?And Maggie Makes Three? episode. Am I the only one who does this?
Addendum: Crappy songs I love: Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died," Charlene's "I've Never Been to Me," Rupert Holmes' "Answering Machine" (if you thought Holmes' Pina Colada song was bad...), "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks, "Afternoon Delight" by The Starland Vocal Band, "Africa" by Toto, "My Girl, Bill" by Jim Stafford, Three Dog Night's "Black and White," Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods' "Billy, Don't Be a Hero," and Mary Wilson's "Telephone Man."
Just Wondering I noticed when I checked sitemeter today that a few people got to my site by doing a Google search of a famous talk radio host's name plus the words "wife" or "girlfriend." Is something going on?
Happy MLK Day The Pickering placement by Bush was typical for Bush on MLK Day weekend but what do you expect--that's why I deface five-dollar bills (scroll down to my 1/16 post). I'll have a big post tonight telling another person to leave the Democratic Party--this time, it's personal.
LA Stuff 1. Pastries at Mexican bakeries around here are good and inexpensive. There's a supermarket at Pico and Alvarado called the Liborio Market. Their bakery has a pastry known as the borracho. It is big (I weighed one on a post office scale and it was 7.7 ounces), cheap ($1.29) and tasty. It is round (It looks like a boob with a cream nipple--I'm not trying to be lewd, that's what it looks like), it is covered in pineapple sauce, and the bottom of it seems to be soaked in some kind of sweet liquid. Delish!
2. When I went to Canter's deli the other day and went upstairs to the restroom, I noticed that someone had placed an Obey Giant sticker on the arrow pointing to the restrooms.
The Scoobie Makeover I’m meeting up with a couple of women over the next week and I assessed my current wardrobe and accessories and found them wanting. I felt it was time for a new outfit and a mini-makeover. Here’s what it involved:
1. Black Brassboot dress shoes ($1.50 at the Salvation Army on Pico).
2. A pair of Structure jeans ($2.00 at the Two Dollar Clothing Store on Pico).
3. A black belt ($2.00 at the Two Dollar Clothing Store).
4. One Flip Flop pullover shirt ($2.00 at the Two Dollar Clothing Store).
5. Navy blue and white Nautica (Yacht Club) jacket ($1.50 at the Salvation Army)
6. One bottle of black edge dressing--$3.50 at the local cobbler’s shop on 7th (don’t use shoe polish on the side of your heels unless you don’t have any edge dressing). The cobbler’s shop had a sweet pair of new ankle boots with buckles for $65.00; however, my budget didn’t justify the expenditure.
7. Two pairs of sunglasses ($3.00 a pair) from an Alvarado Street swap meet store.
8. Rayon Hawaiian shirt from Aardvark ‘s Odd Art in Venice for $6.00 (Rayon, overall is not a good fabric for too many things other than Hawaiian shirts). I don’t plan to wear it when I meet either woman but I just had to have it. It reflects several archetypical dimensions of my personality: The Ironic Guy, The Surfer, and The Party Animal. I just thought about this: Hawaiian shirts have been in style for fun-loving people since at least the early 1950’s when Harry Truman was wearing them. Can anyone envision a future when they are out of fashion?
9. I went to the Quiksilver store at the Grove. I wanted an embroidered red hooded pullover but the fifty-dollar price tag was too much.
The savings from the clothes shopping allowed me to splurge on my grooming needs:
1. One haircut at a real barbershop on Alvarado ($10.00 plus $2.00 tip; there’s a beauty salon on Alvarado that only charges $5.00 but the barbershop does the thing with the straight razor on the back of the neck and sideburns areas—well worth the extra $5.00).
2. One 5.1 fl. oz. tube of Sebastian Potion 9 wearable hair treatment for $14.00. A bit pricey but well worth it. This stuff makes hair lustrous. It only takes a couple little dabs to coat my hair. It gives instant sheen I need--uh oh, am I now a metrosexual?
Boehlert's piece provides some interesting examples of the "media echo chamber" and of the press's double standard in reporting on Bush and his Democratic opponents. However, I think Boehlert does Democrats a disservice to the extent that he seems to make light of Dean's gaffes.
Dean has not exactly run an airtight campaign thus far -- he does have troubling knowledge gaps, and his apparent need to be right at all times leads him to misspeak and box himself into awkward corners (such as on "Meet the Press," or in his off-putting 'innocent before proven guilty' take on Osama bin Laden).
I agree with Boehlert that the media's coverage of these shortcomings is unfair when compared to the "Get Out of Gaffe Free" card Bush seems to enjoy, but I don't think this means that Democrats should lower our own standards for our candidate. If anything, it means that the Democratic candidate must be all the more poised, knowledgeable, and prepared, and Dean's limitations -- though exaggerated by the RNC echo chamber -- are real.
I will, of course, support whichever alternative to Bush the Democrats nominate, but I hope that the candidate is better prepared and more composed than Dean currently appears to be. I'd prefer to see a candidate who is smart and charismatic enough to avoid these missteps altogether -- not one who can compete with Bush gaffe for gaffe.
It's Not Just Sick; It's Pathetic Using Sitemeter to find out how people stumbled across my web site, I found out that someone, apparently looking for stroking material, did the following Google search: "Katherine+Harris+hottie" Yuck!
Don't Contribute to This Site I'm no longer poor. In fact, I joined Gold's Gym (I got a great deal; my goal is getting back down to 8 percent body fat by spring break--college women, watch out!). No longer do I have to add thousand island dressing to my macoroni and cheese (three boxes for 98 cents at the 98 Cent Store at Wilshire and Alvarado) because I couldn't afford the soy milk. Thanks to all who have contributed in the past but I don't need your money anymore.
Ay Carajo! I'm sinking in the ratings. According to Blogstreet, I've gone from the 149th most influential blogger to 166. I need to post more.
UPDATE: I just found out there's a blog named Ay Carajo! It's in Spanish, so don't ask me what it's about ( I took one year of Spanish in high school). Whenever I go to Mexico, my attempts at Spanish evoke laughter because I make up words--e.g., when I was looking for the post office, I asked, "Donde esta le offico de posto?" Also, I use French words sometimes ( I had three years of French in high school and two intermediate college courses--BTW, I fucking hated reading Camus but enjoyed Guy de Maupassant).
Though unintended, Walsh's examination of the ad controversy plays right into the GOP's hands.
She paints an accurate picture of the right wing's smear tactics in her article: They lie again and again until the media is bullied into accepting the lie as common wisdom. Yet, oddly, Walsh's advice to progressives appears to be that we spend an inordinate amount of time screening and censoring ourselves to avoid giving the Right anything to use.
Given the Right's willingness to make up stuff out of thin air, the last thing progressives should do is invest more time in trying to be safe from GOP attacks. There is no "safe." Let's hit back instead. At least we don't have to lie.
Note: sorry for not posting regularly; gotta pay the rent. I will post over the weekend.
Reminder Today is the last day to call Tammy Bruce toll-free (scroll down to 12/31). Call between 3 and 6 PM pacific time at 1-877-995-2779. Also, you can e-mail her at email@example.com Tell her that she is a right-wing shill, not a progressive Democrat.
You know... If Miami of Florida loses to Florida State today in the Orange Bowl, then it will be the first time since the 1970's that Miami of Ohio is ranked higher than Miami of Florida.
UPDATE: Miami of Florida 16, Florida State 14