2) Rep. Mark "The Poet" Foley (R-Fla) resigned because of his creepy emails (e.g., "love to slip them [clothes] off of you") to a 16 year-old intern. The resignation turns a formerly safe Republican seat to a likely Democratic pick-up.
Fair and Balanced: a Case Study First things first: if you haven't seen the video with Senator Barbara Boxer on Faux News mocking the "fair and balanced" slogan, click here.
The Fox News show Hannity & Colmes is a prime example how the pretense that Fox News is "fair and balanced" is a joke, a transparent one (read the chapter about H & C in Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them for the full scoop). The pairing of wimp Alan Colmes with movement firebrand Sean Hannity is Exhibit A--a revealing tidbit from David Talbot in Salon
[W]hen hunting for a liberal punching bag to pair with Sean Hannity, [Fox News chief Roger] Ailes had tried out a tough Salon writer. He apparently punched back so effectively in his audition that Fox picked bespectacled milquetoast Alan Colmes instead. Fox likes its liberals soft and chewy, the better to eat them, my dear.
Not only is there a mismatch between the hosts but there is a imbalance when it comes to the political affiliation of the guests; Media Matters for America did a content analysis of guests who appeared on the show during the first two months of 2006, the chart speaks for itself:
The latest example of an egregious lack of balance I caught on Hannity & Colmes was much more subtle (and insidious) than what I'm used to. The subject was Senator George Allen's problems with race (quick aside: Allen will appear on tonight's H&C show). The guests were a Democratic representative, a Republican representative, and Kathleen Antrim, who was described as a journalist.
I wasn't paying too close attention to the debate until I heard what was coming out of the mouth of Antrim, the alleged journalist (sorry, I don't have a transcript so this is based on memory and some illegible notes I wrote). Regarding the allegations that Allen habitually dropped the n-bomb when he was a student at the University of Virginia, Antrim replied that she spent day and night with Allen's campaign and that the charges that Allen uttered the n-word during the 1970's were categorically false.
It was right a round that time when I noticed on the screen that Antrim was affiliated with NewsMax, an online and print magazine. For those of you not familiar with NewsMax, it was started by pseudo-journalist Christopher Ruddy who was at the core of the Scaife-funded attempt to implicate the Clinton administration--most notably Bill and Hillary Clinton--in the death of Vince Foster (quick note: the head of Fox News, Roger Ailes, championed Ruddy's pseudo-journalism). Just to show how bad Ruddy's journalism was on the Foster matter, he was fired from the tabloid The New York Post for shoddy journalism and that Ann Coulter was forced to conclude that Ruddy's book on the Foster case was "a conservative hoax book"(more on Ruddy's involvement with the Foster matter can be found in Trudy Lieberman's CJR article and a post on this blog).
Now, back to Antrim, I did a little research on her. Her NewsMax columns defend Allen (e.g., here). I also found a rather revealing interview of Antrim in which she discussed her political novel Capital Offense. The paranoia she reveals indicates that she fits in well in the NewsMax camp:
[Interviewer]And at one point you were warned to back off?
[Antrim] I was warned by a credible source that I may be stepping on some powerful toes with my questions, and I had better be careful. I laughed and remarked that I was a nobody from California. Who would notice me? The individual issuing the warning did not laugh. This was a sobering moment. I was told that if you ask the right kinds of questions, of certain people, you hit the radar screen very quickly.
I'd be lying if I didn't say this scared the hell out of me. I took about three days to evaluate what I was doing and where I was going with this project. I decided to go forward, but I changed the tack of my questions.
I also sent a manuscript out of state to an undisclosed location, just in case something did happen to me.
[Interviewer] What aspect of the book got you the warnings?
[Antrim] I was never told precisely what aspect of my research caused the warnings. But I can tell you that at that point, I was heavily involved in investigating and researching the Clintons' time in Arkansas. Much of this had to do with Hillary, her relationship with Vince Foster, and of course her power as the first lady of Arkansas.
I was also learning a lot about Bill's misadventures with other women. Of course, this was long before the scandal broke about his affairs. And my sources proved to be extremely accurate.
In fact, an editor of mine had been working with me as I refined much of my information. She was shocked when the scandals publicly unfolded and she realized exactly how accurate my sources were.
[Interviewer] Any thoughts about Vince Foster, and was his apparent suicide one of the incidents you had in mind when you began writing the book?
[Antrim] The death of Vince Foster is very unsettling. There is an amazing amount of inconsistent information surrounding his death, the investigation and the autopsy. And, of course, his close relationship with Hillary was intriguing. One of my sources told me that all meetings with Hillary at the Rose Law Firm included Vince Foster. He was always in the room.
When I was writing the novel, and being that it's a thriller, I'm certain that my subconscious referred back to my research on his death. In a way, the Mark Dailey character in my book has some Vince Foster overtones, but he's not meant to be Vince Foster.
This woman is a certifiable right-wing nutjob.
The upshot of the Hannity & Colmes segment is that, on the surface, it appeared to be a discussion between two right-wingers (Hannity and the Republican guest), two liberals (Colmes and the Democratic guest), and an impartial journalist (Antrim). The reality is that it was an unfair fight pitting three right-wing operatives (Hannity, Antrim, and the Republican guest) against an adult liberal (the Democratic guest) and a liberal eunuch (Colmes).
Update on Hannity This post from this site pops ups in the top ten for a Google search of Sean Hannity. Because of that, I receive a lot of hits. Accordingly, I revised the post to give more documentation about Newt Gingrich's appalling treatment of his wives--the pattern being that once a Gingrich wife's boobs start sagging, it's Adios, Mamacita. Also, at the end of the post, I added some informative links about Hannity. If you have any suggestions, e-mail me.
UPDATE: Synchronicity! I made these updates before realizing that General Motors hired Hannity "to be the lead spokesman for a car giveaway campaign called 'You’re a Great American'" No, GM, as the updated posts and the links I put on the post clearly show, Sean Hannity is a horrible American.
Quick, Revise the DSM-IV-TR. There's a New Mental Disorder: Fox News Derangement Syndrome The other day, I noted the tack used by the right to counter any Dem or progressive who has a sack and doesn't take any crap from the right: call the offending person crazed, deranged, unhinged, mentally ill, etc.
Since then, there have been some prominent Democrats--notably Senator Barbara Boxer and former head of the DNC Terry McAuliffe (click here or scroll down to yesterday's post)--who have appeared on Fox News and have calmly humorously dissed the Fox News operation for, well, being a political operation instead of a journalistic outlet.
The problem with this approach is that the problem isn't a few bad apples--the whole barrel is rotten. The Washington Times is a political operation masquerading as a journalistic outlet. What's more, it was established by a megalomaniac who is seeking political power in the United States and wants to use our freedoms ultimately to destroy our freedom and establish a one-world theocracy. Keep in mind also that the two billion or so dollars that Moon has dumped into this white elephant (The Times' circulation is one-seventh of the Washington Post and is considered a joke by real journalists) came off the backs of exploited church members who often were worked until exhaustion or bilked out of their life savings. The Times is nothing more than a means for Moon to achieve power--if you don't believe me, listen to Moon himself:
If anything, it would be preferable to keep clowns like Pruden, Coombs, and McCain on the Times' payroll as long as possible to remind people how the Times is a disgrace to journalism.
I'd Rather Be Crazed Than Be Colmes Quick tutorial on the Fox News propaganda machine's view of Democrats and progressives: The Fox News gang (and, for that matter, the rest of the Republican Noise Machine) believe that there is no libel so vile that it can't be used against Democrats. However, if a Democrat punches back, even if the Democrat is accurate in his criticism of the right, then said Democrat is "mentally ill, "crazed," "unhinged," and a threat to democracy. However, if said Democrat acts like a good Fox News Democrat, then everything is okay.
This isn't the first time or the last Democrat this has happened to. For example, for a while, Sean Hannity's main talking point was that Howard Dean was "unhinged." Could it be partly because Dean appeared on Fox News and made a monkey out of Hannity--even mentioning Robert Greenwald's film Outfoxed on the air? Watch the video:
Department of Inflating My Sitemeter Stats By Getting Search Engine Hits from Horndogs: The October issue of Playboy has a "Girls of the Big 12 Conference" pictorial. Hubba Hubba. The women are all hot but for me first place goes to Jessica Lorin from the University of Colorado--I don't like cold weather but I'd go skiing with her any day! Second place: Susana Rose from Texas Tech. Third place to the University of Kansas' Allie Love--due mainly to her sultry expression. Honorable mention: Taylor Alexander of Oklahoma State, Courtney Taylor, covergirl Tamara Witmer, and Nia Ryder of the University of Oklahoma, Courtney Storm of Kansas State, Reagan Yun of Missouri, Sophia Garcia of the University of Colorado, and Lonnie Ann of Kansas. Best of the Rest: Kansas: Hanna Samon, Joselyn Brandy, Kate Thompson, Kelly Marie, Alexis Hale, and Lacy Lynn; Nebraska: Amanda Adams and Jordan Monroe; Colorado: Nikki England and Stephanie Marie; Oklahoma State: Kelli Gallo and Alexandra Hill; University of Texas: Jenna Lea Deforke; University of Oklahoma: Ashley Thompson, Mandy Troost, and Jaclyn Valez; Missouri: Savannah Taylor; Iowa State: Cady Thomas; Kansas State: Delaine Barnes; Texas A&M: Tasia Bauman.
UPDATE: Based on a keyword search, Reagan Yun of Missouri is very popular. 10/29 Update: Reagan Yun made Playboy Coed of the Week
I Am The Three Billion Dollar Man! I have crashed a lot of parties. Probably the funnest and most lavish have been movie premiere after-parties (As Sam Raimi told me after I told him that I crashed the Spider-Man after party, "They [Hollywood] do know how to spend money). Anyhow, I calculated the domestic box office of all the films whose premiere after-parties or events I've crashed. This summer I surpassed the 3 billion dollar mark. Does this mean anything? Not a whole lot but it's been slammin' time!
The list: Tomcats (2001) $13,000,000 Spider-Man (2002) $403,000,000 Men in Black II (2002) $189,000,000 xXx (2002) $142,000,000 Scooby Doo (2002) $175,000,000 Swimfan (2002) $28,000,000 Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) $213,000,000 Blue Crush (2002) $38,000,000 Undercover Brother (2002) $39,000,000 I Spy (2002) $33,000,000 National Security (2002) $36,000,000 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) $127,000,000 Hulk (2003) $132,000,000 Terminator 3 (2003) $150,000,000 Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) $18,000,000 Spider-Man 2 (2004) $387,000,000 xXx: State of the Union (2004) $27,000,000 Spanglish (2004) $42,000,000 Batman Begins (2005) $205,000,000 Lords of Dogtown (2005) $13,000,000 Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) $39,000,000 Wedding Crashers (2005) $210,000,000 Superman Returns (2006) $198,000,000 Clerks 2 (2006) $24,000,000 Talledega Nights (2006) $145,000,000 Beerfest (2006) $18,000,000 Total $3,044,000,000
Racism, The Race Card, and The Moonie Times 1) Great News! To anyone familiar with the Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington Times, it's no secret there are some people at the paper who have a big problem with race. Apparently The Nation magazine is preparing an article on racism and sexism at the paper. UPDATE: Here's the Nation article by Max Blumenthal (via APJ)
2) The Race Card and the Right: A Matter of Whose Ox is Gored. The right has long accused racial minorities on the left of playing the race card whenever their moral failings are exposed. In the course of preparing a long post on Regnery Publishing, I noticed something that has escaped most critics of Regnery--during the 1980's, when the Messiah was facing time in the slammer for income tax evasion, Regnery published two books that shamelessly attempted to portray the prosecution as racially-motivated: 1) To Bigotry, No Sanction: Reverend Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church by then-president of the Unification Church, Mose Durst; and 2) Inquisition by Carlton Sherwood.
3)The Redemption of Samuel Francis. The Washington Times ran white supremacist Samuel Francis' column until he made some flagrantly racist comments at the 1994 annual meeting of the Jared Taylor's white supremacist group American Renaissance (Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review carried Francis' column for another nine years). At least one current editor at the Times doesn't mind giving credibility to Francis' work. Times managing editor Fran Coombs recently compared Francis to the Founding Fathers in his endorsement of Francis' new book on the culture war (which was posthumously published because Francis' superior white genes let him down at the ripe old age of 57).
Exclusive Jack Chick Photograph Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I'm a huge fan of Jack Chick (from a postmodernist perspective--not because I agree with his theology or views). Plus, Chick's tracts and comix are fun to read. No recent photos of Chick are available to the public. however, a while back I obtained (from Ebay) a copy of the 1941 Alahambra (California) high school yearbook (it was Chick's junior year). So here's a photo from the high school drama club (note Chick's cool leather jacket):
Picture of Jack T. Chick Another high school photo of Chick can be found here. There are a few other photos of Chick from the yearbook that I will post later.
Why Rush Limbaugh Loves a Controlled Atmosphere Like all bullies, Rush Limbaugh is a coward. He loves to dish it out but he can't take it. Take a look at the event that probably more than anything cemented Limbaugh's decision to eschew debate, spontaneity, or balance. In 1990, Limbaugh guest-hosted the Pat Sajak Show on CBS. Check the blustering bully getting a taste of his own medicine. A CBS executive later told PBS's Frontline, "I have never seen a man sweat so much."
I know some of you may be thinking that if Limbaugh is so bad about not having opposing views on his radio show, then how did I get on his show twice (click here and here). One thing to keep in mind is that both times when I got through to Limbaugh's call screener, I spoke in an inarticulate manner. I acted tentative and confused. It's not so much that Limbaugh doesn't want opposing views on his show, he just doesn't want those people to be strong debaters--much the same way that Limbaugh's former producer Ailes wants the "balance" on Fox News to be untelegenic, weak debaters like Alan Colmes and Susan Estrich. So when a strong debater like me or this caller get through to speak with Limbaugh, it's an exceptional situation.
New Jack T. Chick Tracts The Chickster has two new tracts: 1) In preparation for Halloween, Chick brought out "Here, Kitty Kitty." This is an unusual tract because the artwork is by neither Chick nor Fred Carter (the first time that a tract has been done by someone other than those two since the early 1990's). The artwork is crude like Chick's but Chick employs crosshatching--soemthing largely missing in this tract. 2) As part of his series aimed at African-Americans, Chick came out with "Soul Sister," a black version of "Best Friend." Artwork is by Fred Carter.