Blast From My Columbus Past I turned on the TV and there was a show with Columbus evangelist and faith healer Leroy Jenkins. He's offering a free vial of miracle water. Call 1-800-390-7234 for your vial. Tell me if it heals you.
The last I had heard of Jenkins, Faye Dunaway was doing a film about him (The Calling; alternate title: Man of Faith). Has anyone seen the film?
"What Are You People--On Dope?" Those words, uttered by the late, great Ray Walston as Mr. Hand in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, sum up my opinion of the dominant media culture (I have discussed the wit and wisdom of Mr. Hand in previous columns). Robert Parry has a great article in Consortium News titled, "Freedom From Reality." Parry concludes, "Perhaps the one freedom most fundamental to Bush and his many admiring columnists is the freedom from reality." Read the entire article here.
Synchronicity Yesterday when I went to the New Beverly Cinema, they had a trailer for On the Waterfront, which is one of my favorite films. Also, yesterday I received North By Northwest (also one of my favorite films) in the mail from Netflix. Both star Eva Marie Saint. When I saw the On The Waterfront trailer, I thought: "I wonder if Eva Marie Saint is doing any projects now?" I didn't remind myself by writing this in my journal and checking out her profile on IMDB when I got home. I forgot about it because I have so many other things to research. Today when I was reading LA Weekly, they had an ad for the upcoming film Because of Winn-Dixie that features her. I'm glad she's still working.
Sweet Camera I was hanging out at the Starbucks in Westwood Village (I recycle my coffee cups and make my own coffee at home so I don't have to pay exorbitant prices for the Starbucks coffee). A guy from Bel Air Camera was testing a camera across the street. I had an intuition that is was Sony's HDV Handycam camcorder. I was right. I would love to have one.
I Tore This Quote Out of One of LA's Free Weeklies (I Don't Remember Which One) Michael Moore speaking at Diesel bookstore in Santa Monica 11/30/04:
I think it's absolutely disgusting that people have to rely on a guy in a baseball cap without a high school education to tell you these things. Something is wrong with this picture. You should not have to pay $9 at a move theatre to see what you should be able to see for free on NBC and ABC evening news every single night.
Cinema I saw Tarnation at the New Beverly Cinema last night (along with Overnight-- I saw it in November and gave my highest recommendation to it). I meant to see Tarnation at the Los Angeles Film Festival (where it won the best doc award) but I missed it then (Quick note: a doc I saw at the LA Film Fest I loved was Up For Grabs). I don't know what to think about it other than it really creeped me out and isn't my kind of doc. I find it hard to believe that it was edited on iMovie.
More Reasons To Stick It to Fox News I didn't hear about this court case until an alert reader let me know about it:
In 1998, [two former Fox News affiliate reporters] filed a civil court lawsuit seeking employee protections under the state Whistleblower Act that resulted in a $425,000 jury award to Akre [one of the reporters]. That verdict was overturned in 2003 when an appellate court accepted Fox's defense that since it is not technically against any law, rule or regulation for a broadcaster to distort the news, the journalists were never entitled to employee protections as whistleblowers in the first place.
we've changed the business a little bit. I mean, I can't speak to why they hate me. I don't know -- you know, hate is something that you have to get over in your life, and some people haven't gotten over it. I can't think of anybody I hate, but -- I think Fox News has come on the scene and identified itself as "fair and balanced." We try to do that every day. I think others, instead of trying to get more fair and balanced, probably are offended by that or worried about it.
Is Talon a news organization or an arm of the Republican Party? Media Matters asked this question the other day. I first became acquainted with Talon News when I was googlebombing the phrase "most liberal senator" in order to debunk the charge made by Republicans that John Kerry and John Edwards were the first and fourth most liberal members of the US Senate. When I initially did a Google search of "most liberal senator," a slanted Talon News article came up as one of the top sites.
Yet, the new documentary conveniently overlooks the harsh victimization of Lovelace, or Linda Susan Boreman, who in 1986 testified before the Meese Commission on Pornography that she was forced to perform in the movie.
"When you see the movie 'Deep Throat,' you are watching me being raped," she said. "It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time."
In other words, this was a kind of "snuff film," but instead of the actor being murdered for the camera and the voyeurs who would pay to see it, Lovelace was just repeatedly raped.
Of course, that story is not addressed in "Inside Deep Throat." Instead, it is portrayed as "good, clean fun."
The only problem is that it just ain't so. Unlike Farah, I have seen the film (I went to a marketing research screening for the film a few months ago). Anyone who saw Inside Deep Throat would know that the film uses a clip of Boreman's testimony before the Meese Commission that included the quote that Farah wrote wasn't mentioned.
Also, I don't think that anyone who saw the film would come out of the theater with the notion that Deep Throat and porn are "good, clean fun." The film portrayed the basest people I could imagine who were involved with the film. The film didn't gloss over the seediness of the porn industry. There was very little that was erotic about the film. I recommend it.
I Forgot to Link to This Last Week On the day it appeared, O'Reilly had a cow. From the LA Times:
President Bush stood at the apogee of his life Thursday, and he rose to the occasion. A small man (in our view), who became president through accident of birth and corruption of democracy, he has been legitimized by reelection, empowered by his party's control of all three branches of government and enlarged by history (in the form of 9/11). His second inaugural address was that of a large man indeed, eloquently weaving the big themes of his presidency and his life into a coherent philosophy and a bold vision of how he wants this country to spend the next four years.
Stoked, Baby!!! Media Hacker 1, Roger Ailes 0. Fox News Gets Scoobied Talk about synchronicity. Everything fell into place last night. On Thursday, I was talking to a friend and I told her about how dope it would be to disrupt a live Fox News broadcast. Well, it didn't take long for me to actually do it. Yesterday, I disrupted a live broadcast for the Los Angeles Fox News affiliate, Fox11. It was as if God came down from high and presented me with the Cosmic Foot of Karma to apply to Roger Ailes' ample butt.
First things first: let's discuss ethics and karma.
The Ethics and Karma of Disrupting a Live Fox News Broadcast
Fox News (also click here, here, here, and here) is an entity owned by Rupert Murdoch and run by Roger Ailes. Murdoch and Ailes are a disgrace to journalism. These are hollow, soulless men who don't care one iota about journalistic integrity. The idea that they want anything even faintly reminiscent of a fair and balanced exchange of ideas on their network is laughable. Mantras like "We Report, You Decide" and "Fair and Balanced" don't reflect any serious attempt by Ailes or his crew to provide fairness or balance on their network. The Fox News Channel is a complete and utter assault on American journalism.
Let me elaborate about Ailes. Ailes has no journalistic education. He was a producer for The Mike Douglas Show when he caught the eye of Richard Nixon who made him a media advisor. Later, Ailes worked with Lee Atwater as a Republican attack dog and flack; Ailes' own friends said that he had two settings: attack and destroy.
During the Clinton presidency, Ailes was part of the eight-year ratfucking campaign against Bill and Hillary Clinton; as executive producer of Rush Limbaugh's television show and as head of MSNBC and Fox News, Ailes engaged in hatemongering and the spreading of the worst kinds of rumors against the Clintons (click here and here for just two examples). Ailes' words and activities exemplify what the late historian Richard Hofstadter called the paranoid style in American politics.
During the 1990's, I didn't have any power to respond to Ailes--all I could do was to sit and stew. Those days are over. Now I have a voice and I'll be damned if I stand around and let pass an opportunity to stick it to Ailes and his pseudo-journalistic outfit. It is the duty of those who care about journalistic integrity to expose, confront, and jam the Fox News propaganda machine when given the opportunity. As a media hacker concerned with journalistic integrity, I would have been derelict in my duties had I not disrupted the broadcast when I had a chance to do it. I owe it to the readers of this blog to confront operatives posing as journalists.
I realize that Fox News affiliate stations tend to be better than the main Fox News Channel. I have watched the Los Angeles affiliate and they are probably no different that the network affiliates. Still, the Fox News affiliates repeat the fraudulent "fair and balanced" mantra and they are part of the larger machine controlled by Ailes and Murdoch. Ailes and Murdoch think the American people are idiots; they laugh when they have their lackeys recite cant such as "We report; you decide." Disruption of the Fox News Channel and their propaganda is fully justified--at both the national and the affiliate level.
One final note, after I disrupted the on-location broadcast, the angry reporter told me I was rude (several times). Certainly a case could be made that I was rude. When Ailes and Limbaugh called 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton the White House dog on national TV, that was really rude. When Ailes has his toadies present their operation as an objective news outlet to the American people, that's really rude. When Fox News operatives pass off right-wing mindrot as reporting, that's rude. Ailes and Murdoch represent an assault on American journalism; that's rude.
It was about 10:30 PM and I was hanging around the Sunset Strip--as usual--up to no good and checking out the scene. I had planned to see the midnight screening of Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation at the Laemmle Sunset 5. I approached the House of Blues on Sunset and saw that Journey was performing. I noticed a news van was parked nearby and the satellite antenna was up so I knew it would be a live broadcast about the Journey show. I saw a cameraman making preparations and I noticed that attached to the microphone was a Fox News 11 logo. I was stoked. This would be a perfect opportunity to disrupt a Fox News broadcast. I had to think of a short and provocative thing to say. I thought about mentioning falafel but decided against it. As 11:00 PM approached, I hid behind a tree near the Fox News van. At a couple minutes after eleven, I noticed the reporter talking to the studio anchors. That's when I made my move. I moved directly to the reporter's right and the following conversation occurred (I had a mini-recorder to record the conversation):
[As the reporter spoke to the studio anchors] SCOOBIE: "Fair and balanced my ass, you media whore!"
FOX NEWS REPORTER [moving away a couple feet]: "Excuse me, sir--"
SCOOBIE: "Roger Ailes is a disgrace to journalism!"
It was about then that the Fox news 11 reporter had the cameraman cut. The reporter and cameraman were furious. They yelled at me and told me I disrupted the broadcast. I was ecstatic but calm and told them, "That's the way it's going to be" and began to berate Ailes and Murdoch. I then took off. It was one small victory against the Ailes and Murdoch propaganda apparatus.
Exclusive: I Disrupted the LA Fox News 11 Live Broadcast Friday Night at 11:00 PM It was the Los Angeles affiliate, not the main Fox News Channel that I disrupted at 11:00 PM PST on Friday night (1/21/05). Email me if you saw it. I will give full details later; stay tuned. Teaser: I slammed Roger Ailes and his phony "Fair and Balanced" meme on their live broadcast and there wasn't a damn thing they could do about it. I have been laughing my ass off since I did it.
Over the past decade or so, I have noticed a pattern among Bible-beaters--especially Bible-beaters who want to beat the rest of us over the head with their Bibles: the conspiratorial view that popular culture is sending cryptic messages to seduce the youth of America. Just a few examples:
1. Backward Masking. This was a big bugaboo in the 1980's. There was the fear spread by fundies that rock and roll was corrupting American youth not only by overt explicit lyrics but--as Chimp would say--"subliminable" messages that can be detected by playing records backwards. In fact, it got to the point that former Limbaugh guest host, former Congressman Robert Dornan (R-Bedlam) introduced a bill in the House to label all suspect records with the following message: "WARNING: THIS RECORD CONTAINS BACKWARD MASKING THAT MAKES A VERBAL STATEMENT WHICH IS AUDIBLE WHEN THIS RECORD IS PLAYED BACKWARD AND WHICH MAY BE PERCEPTIBLE AT A SUBLIMINAL LEVEL WHEN THIS RECORD IS PLAYED FORWARD."
Indie/Hollywood Yesterday, I was at the Coffee Bean on Wilshire in Santa Monica and thought I saw the actor who plays Turtle on HBO's series Entourage. On closer examination, it turned out to be a Turtle look-alike.
I've only seen two episodes of Entourage but I like it. I don't particularly care for the characters (I've met a lot of wannabes who remind me of them and I got along with them, but no lasting bonds). What makes the show is good acting and a tight script. I like Entourage for the same reason I liked Ghost World (the comic slammed, too). I can't sympathize much for Ghost World's Enid (if I ever met an Enid-esque character in real life, I would be tempted to bitch-slap her) but the story, acting, score, and writing make it a great film.
Let me segue into film news: Ghost World's Terry Zwigoff and Dan Clowes are teaming up for Art School Confidential. I can't wait (I remember reading a Clowes strip about his ordeals in art school).
I saw the Constantine film adaptation graphic novel. I heard about the film adaptation (which stars Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz) a long time ago. They filmed part of it near the dump-apartment I rented last year near Alvarado and 8th in Pico Union. Whenever a studio films at a location, there are in the general area (usually on telephone polls), yellow signs with black lettering and arrows telling the crew where to go. They had them for Constantine. As far as I'm concerned, if a sign is left in a public area, then the doctrine of finders-keepers-losers-weepers kicks in so I took a sign. There were plenty of signs so I don't think any working people got lost because of me.
I hate to end on a sour note but I just heard about this.
Funny Atrios didn't think this was funny. I found it amusing. Of course, I'm a big fan of Hard Drinkin' Lincoln. Note: I'm a big fan of Abraham Lincoln; in fact, I think the Democratic Party should call itself "The Party of Lincoln" since the original party of Lincoln turned its back on Lincoln and started letting neo-Confederate trash into their leadership positions. Click here for more on me, Lincoln, and the GOP.
I Kicked My Own Ass Ever since I lost my flunky job, I have accomplished a lot. One thing I wanted to do was get back into shape (not that I got too out-of-shape, mind you). I recently started an intense yoga & weightlifting regimen (plus I got my skateboard out of storage). I am very sore.
One Thing About LA I Forgot To Mention Yesterday One pimp thing about LA is that your movie dollar goes far in this city. Tickets are expensive (no one dollar second run places here), but there are free marketing screenings here. Let me give you the lowdown: The AC Nielsen Company has screenings of Hollywood films months before they're released so that they can gage audience reactions (through questionnaires and focus groups) and make editing changes. This week I'm seeing My Summer of Love starring Natalie Press and Emily Blunt. I'm actually not supposed to attend these because I'm in the entertainment industry but I do it anyway--so bite me Hollywood and Nielsen Company.
Disclosure: I briefly worked for AC Nielsen as a flunky phone rep who would call people around the country and ask them about the movies they've seen recently and if they liked them. The job paid shit and I felt like a cog in a machine.
And then there was the president. Though George W. Bush's military record was arguably less impressive than [Kerry's], the Republicans never misrepresented who he was. Mr. Bush never pretended to be a war hero. He never pretended to be anything but a ne'er-do-well who turned his life around when he became a born-again Christian. His life story made sense; it was recognizable and easy to understand. There was no point in attacking him about his war record (or lack of one): he had already conceded the point. He had never claimed to be a hero. John Kerry had.
How Bad Does Los Angeles Suck? Let Me Count The Ways A blog reader asked me to check out this post on Kos and give my take on The City of Angels. Here goes:
What are some of the reasons? I don't have the time to flesh out every reason but here are just a few reasons (in no particular order):
1. LA People, in general, have attitudes--not just people who have valid reasons for having attitudes. I'm not the type of person who has an attitude but there are people who has such a high level of accomplishment that I can overlook an attitude; but there are people who have no serious accomplishments, but have attitudes: they're called pricks--and LA has a lot of them.
2. It's so decentralized. Getting around sucks.
3. LA is a nightmare of urban planning. It is full of concrete and ugly strip malls.
4. The downtown is just a business district and after 5:00 PM on the weekdays, everyone leaves and downtown transforms into a giant no man's land.
5. This criticism isn't limited to LA but I think LA has a lot of this phenomenon: What the fuck is the deal with this redneck chic? These urban hipsters who wear John Deere hats and shit? Quick aside: what is the deal with Lucky Brand Jeans? They sell ripped jeans for 80 bucks. (Disclosure: I'm a Quiksilver man and I know their stuff is a bit pricey but it's good quality; recent acquisition: Quiksilver boardshorts for $1.50 at a Fairfax district thrift store).
6. LA has little sentimentality.
7. It's one thing if you have an attitude; Attitude + Action = Prickdom/Bad Karma. I was a bit hasty on the previous slam against LA; there is a tradition is LA: screwing the talent. I have met many people who have been screwed in the industry. I'm big on win-win and paying it forward but these are not the attitudes for many in the industry. What gets me the most about the horror stories is that, in most cases, it would have been easy for them not to be pricks.
9. I'm not a dork. These fucking surfers have attitudes--okay, it's not just an LA thing. The thing about being a surfer is that it's about being free and cool. Do your thing but respect other surfers. Localism sucks.
10. There is so much flakiness in this town. So many people are unreliable.
11. I have never been in a club I liked in this town.
12. If you don't have a car, you're a pariah. I once went on a blind date and made the mistake of putting my cards on the table and told her that I was currently without a vehicle. Her response: "Even my cleaning lady has a car."
13. The bus system sucks and the people have attitudes. One public transit phenomenon that is particularly pronounced (and fucking annoying) in LA are the people who sit in the aisle seats and leave the window seat empty. They will do this even though the bus is filling up. So you have to ask people if you can sit down. One way I deal with this is to put myself in the role of an affected foppish character (I'm an actor) and ask, "May I have the pleasure of sitting next to you?"
14. The transit system goes on strike every other year. I am totally pro-union but I am opposed to strikes by police, firefighters, and public transit people. If MTA workers have another strike, I'm going to the union boss for the MTA workers (I forget his name but he's a real prick) and kick his ass.
15. There's too much nepotism in this town.
Now that I got that out of my system, I feel better. LA is not that bad. It's a great place to do stuff but I just don't want to live here.
What are some of the good things about LA?
1. Babes in halter tops in January. I was in West LA yesterday and there were a lot of hot babes. I'll have to hang there more. Sweet!
2. Melrose between La Brea and Fairfax.
3. Great selection of comic book stores.
4. Venice Beach.
5. Santa Monica.
6. Crashing parties--as Sam Raimi told me, Hollywood knows how to spend money on a party.
8. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills.
9. The Sunset Strip.
10. Great thrift stores
11. Westwood Village
12. Great delis: Cantor's and Langer's are my favorites.
13. Great authentic ethnic food (but be careful with the Mexican restaurants; ask them if they use lard if you have a karma-free diet).
14. Great yoga studios with many babes.
15. The LA Times is a decent paper.
16. Great book signings
17. The LA Comic Book Convention
AND PROBABLY THE BEST THING ABOUT LA:
LOS ANGELES IS LESS THAN TWO HOURS DRIVE FROM SAN DIEGO!
San Diego is a short ride from LA but the attitude is so different. I am totally in my element in SD. When I get in my element, all kinds of shit happens. The chicks come up to me, the colors are brighter, the whole schmear. People are more down-to-earth and real. Being a prick is not a big part of SD.
If I lived in SD, I would really like (but not love) LA because there's a lot of events in LA--and then I can go home to SD.
The Naked City I was at Wilshire and Alvarado and there was a guy with a couple hundred Chick tracts. He gave me "The Great One."
I stand corrected. The problem about Chick tracts being released on the net is that it's a different experience for me reading tracts on the web versus reading the paper tracts. When I read them on the web, I tend to skim a lot. Anyhow, recently I told you that I thought the latest tract, "Kidnapped," was weak. However, I ordered some Chick tracts recently ("The Traitor", a classic Hindu-bashing tract and other classic tracts like "The Curse of Baphomet" are being retired and are in limited supply). When I received my order, I received a paper copy of "Kidnapped." Reading the paper version made me appreciate it and I read some neato things that I skimmed over when I read it on the net. I missed the part about God talking to Holly when she was in the trunk of the kidnapper. That is tight. I also gained an appreciation for the cop letting us know that we have an awesome God. Totally awesome!
America’s top political analysts are now mining Election 2004 for lessons learned: A front-page story in the Washington Post marveled at how effective the Swift boat smears were against John Kerry for the bargain price of $546,000. Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. observes that “the sheer negative genius of the Bush campaign is worthy of close study.”
While both points may be true, they obscure a larger reality: The reason that negative attacks could work so well for the Bush campaign was the preexistence of a vast conservative media infrastructure that serves as both an echo chamber for Republican messages and a way to protect George W. Bush and other Republicans from attack.
Indeed, the conservative investment of tens of billions of dollars in media over the past quarter century may be the biggest – and least reported – money-in-politics story of modern American history. The conservatives’ ability to saturate the airwaves with their version of reality has changed how millions of Americans understand the world.
States of Mind I was just listening to Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell tonight and the guest was Jim Hardt of the Biocybernaut Institute. He was discussing the Insititute's biofeedback training program. I was just listening to the radio program and my mind created some intense visualizations.
Google Searches Over the past several hours, I noticed several Google searches on my Sitemeter stats for "Nansook Hong." (for those not familiar with this site, Hong is the former "daughter-in-law" of self-proclaimed Messiah and Bush friend, Sun Myung Moon (click here to see why I put the phrase "daughter-in-law" in quotes). Is there something going on in the media regarding Hong? Email me if you know.
Must See Video "Worn Me Down" by Rachel Yamagata (it's filmed in Tijuana). She is intense.
Gone, she's gone How do you feel about it? That's what I thought You're real torn up about it And I wish you the best But I could do without it And I will, because you've worn me down
Worn me down like a road I did everything you told Worn me down to my knees I did everything to please But you can't stop thinking about her No, you can't stop thinking about her
and you're wrong I'm not overreacting Something is off Why don't we ever believe in ourselves? And I feel that word for you And I will, because you've worn me down Worn me down like a road I did everything you told Worn me down to your knees I did everything to please
But you can't stop thinking about her No, you can't stop thinking about her
She's so pretty; she's so damn right But I'm so tired of thinking about her again tonight
Worn me down like a road I did everything you told Worn me down to my knees I did everything to please you Worn me down like a road I did everything you told me to do But you can't stop thinking about her No, you can't stop thinking about her
Googlebomb Project I finally started working on the Googlebomb Project site. My first target is Scaife monkey-boy and the head of WorldNetDaily, Joseph Farah. Googlebombing is a cheap, easy method of media hacking. Let's help internet researchers with the truth about Farah.
Here's all you have to do:
Here's what to do:
1. Copy and paste the following onto your web site or newsgroup bulletin board:
Let's be clear: At every step of the process, the Democrats followed the letter of Washington law. The state's election statutes are very clear that there are three potential counts of the vote: If, after the general-election tally, a race remains within 1 percent of the total vote, a machine recount occurs automatically. If, after that count, one of the candidates requests it, a manual recount of all ballots occurs. The candidate, however, has to put up a deposit for the costs of the recount, which is reimbursed if the challenge is successful.
Those are the rules. And the most important one is this: Whoever comes out ahead in the final, manual tally is the winner. Period.
And, indeed, Gregoire promised to accept the outcome of the manual recount, even if Rossi won by only a single vote. Rossi, however, refused to match her pledge. That, of course, was the giveaway to what followed.
Media Mayhem Yesterday, I saw Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox News. O'Reilly was slamming Bill Moyers who had used research from Media Matters for America to slam Fox News. O'Reilly noted this and referred to Media Matters as a George Soros-subsidized web site. Note: O'Reilly didn't refute any of Media Matters' criticisms of Fox News. Instead of having the head of Media Matters to defend himself, O'Reilly only put on Bob Kohn, a hack from the Scaife-funded rag WorldNetDaily, run by Joseph Farah. O'Reilly noted that he offered to have Moyers on but he refused. What about David Brock? We know that Brock wants to debate O'Reilly and O'Reilly has wussed out. I think a Brock/O'Reilly debate would be interesting--O'Reilly disagrees but can't give a reason. Too bad.
More WorldNetDaily Stuff I'm glad I read this article from ConWebWatch. WorldNetDaily Books is no longer affiliated with Thomas Nelson Publishing. This saves me a trip to Nashville in August. I had intended to buy some Thomas Nelson stock and show up at the shareholders' meeting and complain about Farah's shoddy reporting, libel, and general misanthropy. I planned to make a bit of a scene asking why a Christian publishing house would associate with someone like Joseph Farah.
My Civil Conversation With Bill O'Reilly For those of you familiar with this blog, you know that I really, really, really don't like Bill O'Reilly. I have called his Radio Factor and insulted him (though I've USUALLY tried to deal with substantive issues whenever I've called; SEE SIDEBAR).
On today's Radio Factor, the first hour's topic was political character assassination. O'Reilly attempted to be even-handed and accuse the right and left of being equally vicious--which is, in fact, biased to the right because the right has been the overwhelming villain when it has come to political character assassination.
I finally got through to the screener at the end of the first hour and decided that the egregious omission of Karl Rove's name during the first hour's discussion should be noted. The screener was familiar with the recent Atlantic Monthly article by Joshua Green and put me in the queue. Here's my conversation with O'Reilly (I posed as James from Santa Monica):
O'REILLY: Santa Monica, California. James, What say you?
SCOOBIE: Yes, I was amazed by your discussion of political [character] assassination. You were discussing it for an hour without mentioning Karl Rove. That's like discussing the play Hamlet without-- [note: I was going to finish the sentence with, "without mentioning the character Hamlet."]
O'REILLY: Let's walk through it. Let's walk through Karl Rove. You want to talk about him? I'd be happy to talk about him.
O'REILLY: Alright. What is it about Karl Rove that has offended you? What has he done specifically?
O'REILLY: Alright. Well look. If that's true--and I don't know the case. If that's true, then Karl Rove is to be chastened. If that's true. I'm not going to stick up for Rove. I don't know him. I talked to him twice in my life for less than 30 seconds each. But if that Atlantic Monthly article is true. . .I mean, I can't accuse Rove of doing anything at this point in my career, because I don't know. I know they were very nasty to McCain in South Carolina--that was horrible. I don't know who did that. I don't know whether that was Rove or that was the South Carolina Bush people. Whoever did that was disgraceful. But alright it is a legitimate point of discussion. [O'REILLY GOES TO NEXT CALLER]
Somerby on John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi This is tight:
The [New York Times] began to publish silly attacks on the “blogosphere” late last year, and Schwartz continues the onslaught this morning. The Times is eager to let readers know how stupid those folks on the Net really are. They used to rant in their corner bars! But now, they’ve been given computers!
Yes, people like Schwartz are very brave when it comes to targeting folks on the Net. They search for silly statements by anonymous shlubs, then rush the odd statements into print, letting readers understand how idiotic the Net really is. But how brave and bold are fellows like Schwartz when it comes to influential crackpots? As we read Schwartz’s piece this morning, our thoughts drifted back to the Times’ brave conduct when it came to those cranks called the Swift Boat Vets—the cranks who transformed a White House election while fellows like Schwartz sat and stared.
Ah yes, the Swift Boat Vets—a group of crackpots with powerful interests behind them, a group which actually changed an election! When John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi published Unfit for Command, it was clear—to anyone who read it—that the pair were deeply kooky themselves. The book self-contradicts on page after page, and its gonzo chapter on Kerry-the-commie was straight from a mid-50s fever swamp. Any sensible person who read it would have known that its authors had emerged from those corner bars and were now engaging in “crackpot theorizing” and “ill-informed rumor-mongering” right out in public! And this, of course, is the very problem which Schwartz bravely types on today.
So what did Schwartz and his brave colleagues do when Unfit for Command appeared? Of course! As their type has done through the annals of time, they ran and hid themselves deep in the bushes! O’Neill and Corsi were visible crackpots, but they were also powerful crackpots, with powerful interests arrayed behind them, and the Schwartzes knew that they should hide and pretend not to see the pair’s crankery.
A Rad-tastic Day So Far My employer lost some clients at year's end so I got laid off today. I got a (very) small severance package.
The Dianetics people set up a table in Westwood Village. I was going to tell them I would join if they could get me a job in the industry but I didn't want to hear anything from them about Tom Cruise or John Travolta and how I could be just like them.
On the panel, Sammon, as usual, was tossing Bush's salad (for those of you not familiar with this site, Sammon is still the hard right's go-to guy regarding (s)election 2000 despite being caught engaging in journalistic misconduct (falsification and libel) by the Daily Howler's Bob Somerby. I got kind of pissed that Sammon mentioned that he went to the same undergrad school as me, Miami University (Sammon was making a prediction about the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger who also went to MU). Sammon also said that Jeb Bush was being groomed as successor to his brother; Sammon called the Florida governor " a very likeable guy."
Let me just segue this post into a discussion of a Moonie-related phenomenon that I can't believe I haven't discussed: The Mocking Victory Dance. Yesterday, I was on the phone with a friend and discussed The Mocking Victory Dance and realized that I never mentioned it on the blog.
The Mocking Victory Dance
The Location: Boston Common. Boston, Massachusetts. Spring 1994
A chick friend and I were strolling Boston Common and saw a group of mostly young, most female zombies giving flowers to the people at Boston Common. I didn't know too much about Moon at this time but I knew this was the modus operandi of the Moonie fundraisers/charity scammers. A woman gave me a flower; I took it and as my chick friend and I tried to walk away, she demanded a donation. I asked her what her cause was and she did a song-and-dance (known in Moonie circles as "heavenly deception"--the belief that as the Chosen People, the Moonies, had a God/Moon-ordained right to deceive the lost people of Satan--usually for their money). I gave the flower back. The chick friend and I went to lunch and were strolling Boston Common again (note: it's cool to stroll if you're with a babe) and were approached by the same group of brainwashed cabbageheads. A woman handed me a flower and when I grabbed it, she wouldn't release it. She said, "Donation!" As I reached in my pocket, she released the flower. I then waved the flower at them and started a mocking laugh and dance in front of the Moonies and called them fucking losers (I believe my first line to them was "In your face, losers." This was the origin of the Mocking Victory Dance.
I realize this seems cruel. I have previously pointed out that such a mocking response is the best approach to the brainwashed droids who approach you. One approach I recently found out is not constructive is gentle reasoning. Right before Christmas, I was at the Beverly Center and when I got of the escalator to the street, there were a group of Lyndon LaRouche followers. One of the LaRouche zombies wanted to sell me their piece-of-shit newspaper. I thought I would be pleasant and said softly, "Gee, I really think you're completely wasting your life." That set the guy off and he tried to debate me. My mistake. Next time I see the LaRouchies: merciless mockery.
I Got E-Metered
I so forgot to write this in the blog but since we're on the topic of weird cults, Scientology is fun. A couple weeks ago, I was going by the Scientology Center on Hollywood Blvd. (I was going to the Egyptian). They had the E-Meters on tables on the sidewalk and I had to get audited. It was kind of a mini-audit in which they told me I had stress in my life and that I should do the following: 1) read Dianetics; 2) start getting audited on a regular basis; 3) Explore the work of L. Ron Hubbard; 4) Pay all of my money to the Church of Scientology (okay, they didn't explicitly state the last item but that's the consequence of item number two). In LA, we get uptight about Scientology. Yeah, I think it's a destructive and exploitive scam but it's not one whose goals are power over our lives (like the Unification Church's plans to destroy American democracy). That's why I have had little to write about Scientology--even thought I live in LA and it's a ripe topic for mockery. One more thought: one way to have some temporary mind-blowing fun is to have a little 420 fun and then check out the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition. It is so L. Ron.