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Jerry Falwell: Gay Smut Peddler? The Mark Foley page scandal reinforces my belief that the contemporary Republican Party, especially its sectarian wing, has some serious sexual hang-ups. First, there's the widespread practice of serial marriage among GOP bigwigs. Regarding homosexuality, there are two Republican pathologies; the first is closet tolerants such as Ann Coulter who defended Jerry Falwell for blaming 9/11 on gays but who has a big reputation as a fag hag. Then, there are the self-loathing Republicans like Foley and GOP apologists (like Fox News Democrat Tammy Bruce).
FALWELL: I want you to fasten your seatbelts right now because I'm going to tell you something that will, I think, blow your mind--about this tape right here. This is the tape that nobody in Washington knows how we got. You see, let me explain: during the April 25th  homosexual March on Washington, I sent two camera crews undercover and incognito to infiltrate the anticipated one million gays and lesbians in that parade march on the nation's capital. Our camera crews attended dozens of unbelievable events. I mean they attended marriages of hundreds of gay couples . . . What they filmed was undoubtedly triple X-rated: nude lesbians blocking the street and nobody arresting them--dancing in the street, nobody arresting them. It was just as if Sodom and Gomorrah had stepped out of the Old Testament pages and visited our nation's capital . . . I watched in amazement as I saw a gay rights dance, a radical fairy get-together, and so much more that I cannot show you on this television station . . . It includes my biblical commentary which clearly tells you blow-by-blow what you are seeing and defines what you and I can do to stop the implementation of this radical gay agenda before it's too late for our country. God help us if we don't succeed. This tape will cost you $35 on your Visa or Mastercard plus three dollars for shipping and handling . . . I sincerely believe that only if everyone in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ today gets informed and becomes involved--rising with a mighty voice in unison, exposing sin as sin--can we avert the judgment of God upon this nation which, I believe, is imminent. . .
Falwell's pitch and the video excerpts remind me of the old saying that Democrats and Republicans read banned books--it's just that Republicans form censorship committees and read them as a group. Similarly, fundamentalist homophobia allowed Falwell to make a quick buck by giving voyeuristic kicks to latent homosexual fundamentalists who wanted to watch gay porno and not feel guilty about it. It's good work if you can find it.
First Time I Heard This Yesterday Charlie Cook was on CSPAN and he mentioned that many Democrats bitterly joked that the word "green" in Green Party is an acronym for Get Republicans Elected Every November. Here's why
Sean Hannity: Debate Dodger On his radio program today, Ed Schultz told his viewers about how Slanthead refused to debate him in Cincinnati earlier this year. Radio executives told Schultz that Hannity expressed fears that Schultz would physically attack him. What a wuss!
I suspect that what Hannity really feared was an intellectual pummeling, not a physical one. Hannity doesn't want to face an opponent who knows the score; why else was Colmes chosen to be his partner on Fox News? Anyhow, Hannity eventually agreed to a debate--with Jerry Springer.
Blackwell sounded optimistic on Hewitt's show but it ain't gonna happen: The latest CBS News/New York Times poll has Strickland leading by 25 points. When a candidate is that far behind, it's too much of a deficit to be made up by cheating (as Blackwell did with the Ohio presidential vote in 2004). Let's hope that when Strickland becomes governor that he does a full investigation. Blackwell belongs behind bars.
Sun Myung Moon's Creative Offering to the World: The Movie Inchon I finally finished seeing the Moonie-produced film Inchon (IMBD entry here) (I got a bootleg copy in June but it was such painful viewing that I had to see a little at a time). Since principle production was done in 1980 and it is conservatively estimated that the film cost $44 million to make (about $104 million in today's dollars) and it made less than $2 million at the box office, it is one of the biggest--if not the biggest--box office disasters in history.
I can see why the critics and audiences panned it. The script was awful. The opening invasion scenes reminded me of a cross between scenes from The Rat Patrol and The Green Berets. Laurence Oliver, who played General Douglas MacArthur, hammed it up badly and looks ridiculous. The pacing was bad. There were problems with costuming (e.g., in the press room scene, there were actors with late-1970's wardrobe and haircuts).
The badness of Inchon is completely logical: Inchon is to the cinema what Moon's Washington Times is to journalism--bloated white elephants that evoke mocking laughter from serious people. The Washington Times, which has cost Moon over $2 billion, is viewed with derision by real journalists. Total ideologies, by their very nature, create sterile art (think: socialist realism and architecture under the Ceausescu regime, e.g., click here) and the concept of a journalist's search for truth is an alien idea to those with a totalitarian mindset.
Loose Ends: I got my bootleg copy through Superhapppyfun--don't worry, if you buy it, none of the money goes to Moon or the Unification Church.
Rex Reed was in the film. For some reason, Reed has gotten roles in some really bad films (Inchon, Myra Breckenridge, and Hurry Sundown).
I am proposing here that after the election Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi go the President and offer the kind of government America must have in these troubled times, offering a new spirit of national unity, bipartisanship, shared purpose and a restoration of goodwill and civility in Washington.
To the old hands who read this, please bear with me, I am addressing this to two groups, the leaders themselves and to patriotic Americans and young people who do not have insider knowledge of Washington but have the innate goodness and common sense that has always made America a great nation. . .
Are we nation of domestic enemies, at war with each other? Or a great American family, in which we are all in this together? . . .
Democratic Leaders should both challenge and offer the President a good faith and common sense path that can end the crisis in Iraq, end the crisis of credibility of our leaders and end the acrimonious politics of disrespect, and division, which are hurting our country, our democracy, our security, our troops, our communities and our credibility around the world.
Anyone who thinks that Democrats should work with the Bush White House and cooperate with congressional Republicans is a fool.
Democrats are supposed to work with Karl Rove? Why don't Budowsky ask them to make out with a cobra? Work with the Newt-clones in Congress? Fuck that noise. Budowsky asks, "Are we nation of domestic enemies, at war with each other?" My answer is an emphatic "yes." The Republican hard right started it; the Democrats should end it.
After they cynically exploited 9/11, the Bush White House and Republicans in Congress were riding high and they thought they would be part of a permanent majority for the next generation. I know they did a lot of things that they thought they could get away with because they thought the Dems would not have subpoena power for the foreseeable future. The Foley scandal is small potatoes and the tip of the iceberg.
My advice to soon-to-be Speaker Pelosi and (hopefully) Majority Leader-elect Reid is simple: 1. Investigate 2. Subpoena 3. Repeat steps one and two
The hard right is not to be trusted; it is to be discredited and defeated. To paraphrase Karl Rove, the Democrats in the House and Senate should fuck Bush and the GOP like no one has ever fucked them. After that, then they can talk about working together.
The conservative movement has been very effective attacking the media (broadcast and print) for its liberal biases. The refusal of the media to disclose and discuss the ideological leanings of reporters and editors, and the broader claim of objectivity, has made the press overly anxious, and inclined to lean over backwards not to offend critics from the right. In many respects, the campaign against the media has been more than a victory: it has turned the press into an unwilling, and often unknowing, ally of the right.
I was curious how Christian bloggers would respond to these revelations. Blogger La Shawn Barber , who tells her readers, "[f]irst and foremost, I�?m a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ" wrote about a 60 Minutes story--the one on the Duke rape case but had no mention of the Kuo interview. Click here and ask her why no post on Kuo.
Krugman is Fucking Brilliant He sums it up better than anyone (copied from donkey o.d. ):
One-Letter Politics By PAUL KRUGMAN
October 16, 2006 Op-Ed Columnist
In a recent interview with The Hartford Courant, Senator Joseph Lieberman said something that wasn�t credible. When the newspaper asked him whether America would be better off if the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives next month, he replied, �Uh, I haven�t thought about that enough to give an answer.�
Why wasn�t this a credible answer? Because anyone with the slightest interest in American politics � a group that obviously includes Mr. Lieberman � is waiting with bated breath to see how this election goes, and thinking a lot about the implications. If the Democrats gain control of either house, no matter how narrowly, the American political landscape will be transformed. If they fail, no matter how narrowly, it will be seen, correctly, as a great victory for the hard right.
The fact is that this is a one-letter election. D or R, that�s all that matters.
It�s hard to think of an election in which the personal qualities of the people running in a given district or state have mattered less. Given the stakes, voters who answer �yes� to the question Mr. Lieberman claims not to have thought about should think hard about voting for any Republican, no matter how appealing. Conversely, those who answer �no� should think hard about supporting any Democrat, no matter how much they like him or her.
There are two reasons why party control is everything in this election.
The first, lesser reason is the demonstrated ability of Republican Congressional leaders to keep their members in line, even those members who cultivate a reputation as moderates or mavericks. G.O.P. politicians sometimes make a show of independence, as Senator John McCain did in seeming to stand up to President Bush on torture. But in the end, they always give the White House what it wants: after getting a lot of good press for his principled stand, Mr. McCain signed on to a torture bill that in effect gave Mr. Bush a completely free hand.
And if the Republicans retain control of Congress, even if it�s by just one seat in each house, Mr. Bush will retain that free hand. If they lose control of either house, the G.O.P. juggernaut will come to a shuddering halt.
Yet that�s the less important reason this election is all about party control. The really important reason may be summed up in two words: subpoena power.
Even if the Democrats take both houses, they won�t be able to accomplish much in the way of new legislation. They won�t have the votes to stop Republican filibusters in the Senate, let alone to override presidential vetoes.
The only types of legislation the Democrats might be able to push through are overwhelmingly popular measures, such as an increase in the minimum wage, that Republicans don�t want but probably wouldn�t dare oppose in an open vote.
But while the Democrats won�t gain the ability to pass laws, if they win they will gain the ability to carry out investigations, and the legal right to compel testimony.
The current Congress has shown no inclination to investigate the Bush administration. Last year The Boston Globe offered an illuminating comparison: when Bill Clinton was president, the House took 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether Mr. Clinton had used the White House Christmas list to identify possible Democratic donors. But in 2004 and 2005, a House committee took only 12 hours of testimony on the abuses at Abu Ghraib.
If the Democrats take control, that will change � and voters should think very hard about whether they want that change. Those who think it�s a good idea to investigate, say, allegations of cronyism and corruption in Iraq contracting should be aware that any vote cast for a Republican makes Congressional investigations less likely. Those who believe that the administration should be left alone to do its job should be aware that any vote for a Democrat makes investigations more likely.
O.K., what about the Senate race in Connecticut, where Ned Lamont is the Democratic nominee, and Mr. Lieberman, who lost the Democratic primary, is running as an independent but promising to caucus with the Democrats if he wins? Is this a case where the man, not the party, is what matters? Only if you believe that Mr. Lieberman�s promise not to switch parties is 100 percent credible.
Note: I don't use terms "Christian right," "conservative Christian," or "religious right" because "sectarian right" is a more accurate term to describe this group because their defining characteristic is their sectarianism. There are tens of millions of Americans who are right-of-center who are Christian who deplore the politics of the sectarian right which wants to make their theological views the law of the land.
Another Previously Unpublished Jack T. Chick Photograph I have two photos from Jack Chick's high school yearbook (click here and here). Here is another one (it's from the high school theater group--the yearbook also mentions that the Chickster played the character Paris in Romeo and Juliet) chick appears to be wearing the same cool leather jacket he wore in the first photo I put on the blog:
Grassroots Media on (S)election 2004 in Ohio This morning I watched Laurie Paglin's short documentary No Umbrella: Election Day in the City; it is filmed in Cleveland and shows the chaotic situation in a Cleveland polling place, the result of misconduct by Kenneth Blackwell in terms of shorting the inner-city areas of acceptable voting resources. The consequence: Republican areas generally received an ample number of voting machines and poll workers, but the cities got shafted.
This was the perfect political hit for nine reasons:
1) It instantly lost the GOP a House seat. Democrats need only a net 15 seats to take over the House. The news came out late enough that Republicans can't replace Foley's name on the ballot, which will effectively hand the seat to the weak Democratic candidate who was running as Foley's rival. That means Democrats now need to net only 14 seats to take control (13 really, since they're in the same favorable situation with former GOP honcho Tom DeLay's seat in Houston). That was a big score in itself
2) The scandal couldn't be contained by Foley's resignation. Usually, if a politician misbehaves and quits, everyone else can say good riddance. But because the scandal involved teenagers working on Capitol Hill, this one had an entirely different provenance. If this was an institutional failure, then the people who run the institution have to shoulder the blame too, no?
3) It fit beautifully into a pre-existing story. The nation doesn't like Congress. Thinks members of Congress put their own needs before everybody else's. Well, a closeted gay member of Congress hunting for quail among the teenagers sent to D.C. to "work" in cute little uniforms makes that point almost perfectly.
4) There was no defense. Clinton partisans didn't have to blush when they said the sex life of their president was nobody else's business. After all, Clinton had gotten himself involved with a 21-year-old. Republicans couldn't say any such thing about a 50-something congressman going after teenage boys.
5) It wasn't too gross. It's salacious, since it involves sex, but not too salacious, since Foley (so far as we now know) did not have sexual relations with anyone involved. Therefore, we could all continue to talk about it and joke about it and obsess over it without feeling as though we were all dealing with something truly and unspeakably heinous. There's no Gap dress, there seems to have been no crime committed and the dirty little secret is that, even for Republicans fearful about the loss of the House, this scandal is kind of fun.
6) Hastert's excuse is too hard to understand. The speaker has been forced to say that, yes, he knew about the original "too friendly" e-mails but not the grotesque "instant messages." This distinction eludes many people, and not just illiterate yahoos without computers. Chris Matthews of "Hardball" needed it to be explained to him. Very slowly. And he still didn't get it after the explanation was done.
7) It can go on and on and on. The page program has been around forever. Drunken, lascivious congressmen have been around forever. We're going to be hearing and reading about passes, would-be passes and the like from now until the ratings dip, which may be never.
8) It could still lose the GOP more House seats before the election. Say we find out some elected House member really did know a lot about this and said nothing. He will probably have to quit in the next couple of weeks. If that were, say, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, his seat would go Democratic as well, thus reducing the Democratic number to 12.
9) It will depress Republican turnout. The way for Democrats to win isn't to get Democrats hyped up. Democrats need to dampen Republican enthusiasm to keep GOP voters from journeying to the polls on a midterm Election Day. This has done it.
The one great irony is that if Democrats do prevail in November, everybody's going to know the election wasn't a referendum on Bush, which is what they most wanted. But you can't have everything.
"It's really moot," one of Hastert's most severe Republican critics (who would not be identified) told me. "We are sure to lose the House, and Denny never would want to be minority leader." With Hastert's last performance as speaker coming in a predictably do-nothing lame-duck session after the Nov. 7 election, the month of October will be challenging for him and his party as he decides what to do with plans to campaign for challenged House candidates.
REALITY:Ohio State 35, Bowling Green 7 Northern Illinois 28, Miami of Ohio 25
Just Helping my Sitemeter stats: On one of my previous college posts, I received a lot of hits because I ranked Playboy's "Girls of the Big 12 Conference" pictorial. Accordingly, this month Playboy has a "Girls of Hawaiian Tropic" pictorial. My favorite: Amanda Corey. First runner-up: Carin Ashley. Second runner-up: Loredana. Special mention:Alba Nadal, Samantha Harris, Candice Guerrero, Natalie Weston, and Natalie Thomas.
The Right's Lastest Tack to Scare Up Conservative Evangelical Voters: FoleyGate is Part of an Anti-Christian "Witch Hunt" Since the Foleygate scandal broke a week ago, the GOP and its allies have been scared shitless that Christian fundamentalists--one of the Republican Party's core constituencies--will stay home out of disgust at the GOP House leadership's apparent cover-up of the scandal (if you don't believe me, listen to Slanthead Hannity's radio show). Low turnout of fundamentalists will be disastrous for the GOP.
The Wailing and Gnashing of the Teeth By the Right For the past week, it's been great listening to the unhinged talk of the right-wing talk radio jocks like Limbaugh, Drudge, and Hannity (with their talk of the Foley scandal being the work of the Clinton War Room" or that the whole thing was a "prank gone awry" by the not-so-innocent pages). It's Wing-Nuts Gone Wild!
Is Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH) Ashamed of Being A Republican? Check out the mailer sent out for incumbent Republican Congressman Pat Tiberi who represents Ohio's 12th district and is in a competitive race this year; there are over 500 words in the mailer but not one is the word "Republican":
Addendum: Here is what was on the National Journal's House race ranking page yesterday:
There's nothing harder than trying to rank the races from 40 to 50. In fact, we wish we had 75 slots, since there are a number of races that don't make our top 50 which arguably could (see Doolittle or Tiberi or even Oberstar). We use the final 10 slots in our rankings to judge the second-tier races we believe are actually beginning to pop.
Foleygate FAQ Needed Ever since the scandal surrounding Mark Foley's activities with teenaged pages emerged, there has been a campaign by the right to make it appear that the whole thing is a Democratic dirty trick (e.g., click here). Also, there has been a lot of disinformation by the right (e.g., Hannity and others brought falsely claimed that Bill Clinton commuted former congressman Mel Reynolds' sentence for having sex with a 16 year-old campaign volunteer--in fact, Reynolds had finished the entire sentence for the illicit sex when Clinton commuted Reynolds' sentence for bank fraud). My schedule is busy but if someone is up to the task, let me know and I'll link to it.
UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Debbie Schlussel is spreading the falsehoods that 1) Clinton pardoned Reynolds (Reynolds' sentence was commuted which, contrary to Schlussel's post, means that Reynolds is still required to register as a sex offender); and 2) Schlussel's post suggests that it was the sex offense that Clinton addressed in the commutation).
A posting of an unredacted instant message sessions between Rep. Mark Foley and a former congressional page has apparently exposed the identity of the now 21 year-old accuser...
ABC RELEASED TRANSCRIPT OF ONE CHAT BETWEEN FOLEY AND A MAN WHO WAS 18 AT THE TIME OF THE INSTANT MESSAGE EXCHANGE.... NETWORK STATED THE MESSAGE WAS TO 'UNDER AGE' TEEN... DEVELOPING...
ABC ONLINE GLITCH LEADS TO IDENTITY OF FOLEY ACCUSER; FEATURED IM EXCHANGE WAS WITH 18 YEAR OLD
ALSO (Via American Politics Journal)"MSNBC's David Shuster: "Hastert will not be House Speaker by this time next week"; House Republicans Moving to Force Dennis Hastert to Resign as Speaker in Foleygate Cover-up Wake; Link, Details to Follow..."
Don't Ya Love It? The Right is Going Apeshit over Foleygate It's great to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity. I was listening to Limbaugh's radio show today and his tack is that it is all a political dirty trick by the Democrats--specifically what Limbaugh calls "The Clinton War Room"--and what El Rushbo calls "the drive-by media." Limbaugh went as far as to compare Democrats to the Mafia in that they can't win at the ballot box legitimately but need to "take out" Republicans by smears and dirty tricks.
More on Foleygate First for laughs, wing-nut Mark Levin on NRO: It�s time to ask the Democrat [sic] leadership and the organizations with which they work what they knew about these instant messages and when.
Probably the funniest comment about Foleygate was from Next Gingrich: "...I think had they [the GOP House leadership] overly aggressively reacted to the initial round, they would also have been accused of gay bashing." Remember when Gingrich was behind the whisper campaign against then-Speaker Tom Foley? Gingrich put out a memo titled, "Tom Foley: Out of the Liberal Closet."
Right-Wing Talk Radio Spinning Wildly I was listening to Hannity and he was comparing Foleygate to the the Studds scandal (also incorrectly claiming that the male pages in both the Foley and Studds scandals were 17 years-old--the page who received lurid e-mails from Foley was 16). He also brought up canards like Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Wiley (and Hannity knows what a uncredible witness Wiley was).
Following the revelations about Florida Rep. Mark Foley's sexually suggestive e-mails to a 16-year-old congressional page, I have concluded Republicans are unworthy of retaining control of the federal government.
Why Did The Pages keep Quiet for So Long Fear of retaliation, argues Robert Parry:
For generations, American parents have sent their high-school-age children to Washington to serve as Capitol Hill pages and to learn about the real world of politics. In the scandal surrounding Rep. Mark Foley�s salacious e-mails, it�s clear that one lesson the pages learned was to fear Republican retaliation.
It now appears that one of the chief reasons why Foley�s e-mails remained secret for so long � and why some former pages still won�t speak publicly � is that they recognize that divulging what Foley did to them could kill their hopes for future careers in politics.
Is Hume's Apologia The GOP Spin on the Foley Scandal? On yesterday's edition of Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume made the following argument about Republicans and Democrats on sexual misconduct by members of the government with subordinates (full transcript and video on Media Matters):
It is very serious misbehavior on the part of Congressman Foley. Whether it stems from some overall arrogance or just the weakness of the human flesh is another question. It's probably worth noting here that there's a difference between the two parties on these issues. Inappropriate behavior toward subordinates didn't cost Gerry Studds his Democratic seat in Massachusetts, nor Barney Frank his. Nor did inappropriate behavior toward a subordinate even cost Bill Clinton his standing within the Democratic Party, even though, indirectly at least, he was impeached for it. Mark Foley found out about this -- was found out to have done this, and he's out of office and in total disgrace in his party.
Here are the problems with Hume's logic:
1) Probably the most glaring omission is that for the Foley scandal, it involves an underaged person being hit on by an adult. The Clinton and Frank scandals involved sexual relations between consenting adults (I'll discuss the Studds situation later). Frank was censured by the House for his activities and Clinton was denounced for his behavior by Democrats.
2) Regarding the Foley scandal, there is evidence that the House leadership knew about Foley's behavior since 2005 but did not take adequate steps to address the matter. This refutes Hume's claim (in the last sentence quoted) that Foley got the heave-ho from Republicans once his activity was discovered. 3) Regarding the Studds matters, the scandal occurred in 1983 when it came out that he had a sexual relationship with a 17 year-old male page. At the same time, Repubican Dan Crane was caught having an affair with a 17 year-old female page. There was no difference between the two parties on the Crane and Studds matters: both Studds and Crane received the same punishment: censure by the House (Crane, unlike Studds, was defeated for his reelection bid--but that's a matters for the voters in the district).
Hume's line of reasoning was also used this morning on the Fox & Friends show by the hosts and a Republican guest (there was no Democratic counterpart--that's fair and balanced for you). Does this argument represent the GOP talking points on the matter?
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 a 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.
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.
Warren Jeffs Should Have Contributed to the GOP It's great news that FBI Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitive Warren Steed Jeffs is now in custody. The cult leader of an offshoot of Mormonism controlled his members' lives with an iron fist. However, what got him in trouble with the law was his matchmaking between adult male members and underage female members as well as his own personal sexual misconduct.
Let's compare Jeffs' conduct with another cult leader: Sun Myung Moon. Like Jeffs, Moon controls the lives of his followers with an iron fist. Also like Jeffs, Moon--in at least one instance--arranged a "marriage" between an adult male and an underage female--an arrangement involving his own son. In the early 1980's, Moon brought a Korean national, Nansook Hong, into the United States for the purposes of an arranged marriage with his cocaine-addled son Hyo Jin.
There were some problems with this arrangement: 1) Moon brought Hong into the United States under false pretenses (which constitutes immigration fraud and is grounds for Moon's deportation). 2) Hong was only 15 years old when she was to be betrothed to Moon's son. By arranging this illegal marriage, Moon engaged in the crime of rape as an accomplice--the exact crime that got Jeffs in trouble (it is also a crime involving moral turpitude--another ground for deportation). The shocking account of Hong's life in the Moon family is recounted in her book In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family.
Why the disparity in treatment of these two lowlifes? Certainly a large part of this disparity can be explained by the fact that Jeffs didn't make unreported contributions of billions of dollars to the Republican Party. Moon has dumped between two and four billion dollars into his media empire--which serves as a mouthpiece for the Republican Party (Paul Krugman was spot on when he referred to Moon's Washington Times as the Bush administration's "de facto house organ").
What's more, Moon didn't even have to use his won money. Moon has been able to collect billions of dollars--mostly in Japan--employing "spiritual sales" schemes--in which gullible families are bilked out of their life savings in exchange for rescuing their departed loved from hell (no, I'm not making this up). The upshot is that a few billion dollars to the GOP means the difference between facing a possible life sentence and being crowned the "King of the Universe" in a U.S. government office building. God bless the Republican Party.