when the fbi spied on laugh-in

okay, there's about to be a long excerpt and i wanted to start out talking so that no 1 reading was lost. in the late 60s and early 70s, there was a television show called rowan & martin's laugh-in but most people just called it laugh-in. of today's programs, probably mad tv and saturday night live would be closest to it. it was a comedy program with a lot of fast paced gags and skits.

(in fact, wally will tell you that while he was in dc with kat, c.i. and the third estate sunday review, c.i. brought some episodes of laugh-in for him to look at. c.i. thought that would give wally some ideas for how to get back to the daily jot. he meant for it to be a humorous, fast-paced site but when hurricane wilma hit florida, wally lives in florida, he started covering that and then it became a lot heavier site. he was very depressed when alito got confirmed to the supreme court and took a break from the daily jot for a week. he's doing a great job at his site and it is moving along quickly and with irreverance.)

goldie hawn was on laugh-in the 60s and that's how she became famous. she left to make catcus flower and won an oscar for that film. lily tomlin is another famous name to come out of the show. she did many of her famous characters on the show like edith ann and ernastine the telephone operator. so that was laugh-in and it was a very popular, very funny show.

i always learn things at the common ills, but last night i learned, in 'and the war drags on', that the fbi had 'reviewed' laugh-in at the request of fbi director j. edgar hoover. here's the fbi report:

A skit concerning the FBI was performed. It was introduced by a shorter skit representing a President and First Lady sitting in the White House chatting. Between them was a large vase of flowers. When their converation turned to the the Director [FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover], it was made obvious that one of the flowers was actually a bugging device and the President spoke directly to Mr. Hoover by means of this device.
The longer skit was unified by means of a production-type number consisting of cheerleaders, complete with sweaters emblazoned with "FBI," who sang a "fight song" pertaining to the FBI. This "song," satirical in nature, was interrupted by various minor skits and short gag situations, all bearing on the FBI.
A great deal of what was purported to be humor related to the Director and his age. For example, the statement, "I don't believe that just because the Director of the FBI is named Hoover that there has been a vacuum in that Department for years." A particularly vicious attack was made by means of a knock-knock joke in which the answer to "Who is there?" is "Hoover." In reply to the question "Hoover who?" a play on words is made in the statement: "Hoover heard of a seventy-six-year-old policeman?" Another sick-type joke pertaining to the Director was an announcement that "J. Edgar Hoover retired one half-hour ago but will be back at his desk first thing in the morning."
Although jokes and sight gags were made in rapid fashion, emphasis was placed on surveillance-type activities and clandestine-type operations. In one minor skit, two Agents were portrayed meeting and being extremely guarded in their conversation with each other, with each trying to elict information from the other.
All in all, this skit pertaining to the FBI was rather typical of the poor fare that is served on this so-called laugh show, a show that has gained some considerable notoriety by its risque jokes and irreverent satirical attacks. Tasteless, sometimes downright vicious jokes and a great deal of forced humor add up to a more telling commentary on this low-grade show itself than on the FBI.

now what do you think of that? and does it seem like something that could happen today? it does to me.

it's as though we've completely forgotten lessons we should have learned from that time.

i hope you're ready to speak out and address the topic of the war. we need to be vocal, we need to be loud. we need to say bring the troops home now. we also need to say 'stop the illegal spying'. congress isn't saying it for us.

but congress isn't the country. we're the country. and if our elected officials want to shirk their responsibilities, it's up to us to call them out on it.

a year ago this month, bully boy was still falsely claiming a 'mandate' from the 2004 elections. he was bragging about having 'capitol' to spend. he's not walking so tall today, is he, not with the latest poll:

The poll suggests that most Americans wonder whether Bush is up to the job. The survey, conducted Monday through Wednesday of 1,000 people, found that just 37 percent approve of his overall performance. That is the lowest of his presidency.

that happened because of the events that are ongoing and because we haven't been afraid to speak the truth. we need to keep speaking the truth.

do you know this guy:

Claude Alexander Allen, 45, was arrested Thursday by Montgomery County police for allegedly claiming refunds for more than $5,000 worth of merchandise he did not buy, according to county and federal authorities.

he was a nominee (blocked) by bully boy to the 4th circuit. a thief. of course bully boy nominated him. besides being a nominee, he also served as 2nd in charge at health and human services. and in 2005, bully boy hired him as 'a domestic policy adviser.'

it's a crooked administration. speak your truth this month.


non-pretty news

i'm starting late tonight but for a good reason. cedric wanted to read a post he was working on so i listened to it and we stayed on the phone for about an hour after just talking.

make a point to read cedric's 'Thoughts on Michael Jackson and heroes.' when he called, he had to fill me in 1st because i hadn't even heard any michael jackson news today.

so let's get the bad news out of the way. bully boy's signed the reauthorization of the patriot act and tenneessee's state senate is moving to overturn abortion. every right wing controlled state will probably follow this pattern as they attempt to create the 'perfect' test case to get the supreme court to overturn roe v. wade.

here's kim gandy, president of now, from 'the attack has begun:'

The attack has begun. Women are counting on us and we must not lose this fight.
This week
South Dakota enacted a ban on all abortions except to save the life of the woman. Her health and future fertility do not matter to the South Dakota legislature or Governor Rounds. The fact that a woman has survived rape or incest does not matter to them. Because THEY know what is best for her and for her family, and they intend to force their will on her. Will your state be next?

roberts and alito's confirmations mattered, even though democrats didn't seem to think so. not enough to filibuster. and i'm also recalling all the gas bags taking up time prior to each confirmation whining that 'abortion isn't the only issue.' no, it wasn't. and all the law professors stating that usually went on to make a bad case for their own pet issue. too bad because abortion is concrete and every 1 can grasp it. too bad that a lot of them dismissed concerns about abortion.

more bad news. add in that the efforts to privatize the irs continue. following up on 2004 legislation, the irs has selected 3 private companies to help them collect debts. how much fun that will be for the people who owe taxes.

from my e-mail inbox, danny schechter's 'Academy Awards Showcase Hollywood's Progressive Turn:'

New York, March 7: Jon Stewart gave it that old college try as the host of this year's Academy Awards. He got off a few on-target one-liners but could not light the place on fire. If, as the old song has it, "you can't put a tuxedo on the funky blues," you also can't take a TV comic that works in the controlled television culture and assume that because he's popular in one medium, he will knock the socks off of another.
Jon is in the attitude business, not the news business. He's ridiculing news media and political pretensions every day and, as a result, has become a counter-cultural hero and an anti-establishment figure.
The Academy Awards is an establishment function, the annual spectacle of the movie business and culture. It is deliberately star-studded and packaged to sell the dream machine and with it the fashions and personalities of the day.
Putting it down while pumping it up is a contradiction that is hard to resolve.
That could be one reason the ratings were down this year.

But what we also saw this year is that a concerned Hollywood is itself taking on the shallow Hollywood, challenging mindless entertainment with films that matter. That's why we were treated to that montage of social issue movies that Stewart smugly joked about. Jon knows that his own company Viacom, which owns CBS, would never have made a tough film about the network's glory years. (Notice how many stars plugging movies show up on his show and how few media activists there are promoting change. His Comedy Channel is there to keep us laughing -- not struggling for change.)
Those socially conscious films all took battles to make and offered the kind of creative commentary we rarely see on TV. "Network" was about TV, not a product of it, and far more radical than the Daily Show because it appeals to its viewers not just to smirk or smile but to shout "I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." (In some ways that's what media activists are doing today with the upcoming protests against the coverage of the war.)

also from the inbox, fair's 'Brian Ross "Completely Aware" of WMD Context: So why weren't ABC viewers allowed to know?:'

Two recent reports on ABC raised the possibility that 10-year-old tapes of Saddam Hussein might show that he "did hide weapons of mass destruction"--giving the White House's rationale for the March 2003 invasion a boost.But as a February 17 FAIR action alert pointed out, ABC's reporting omitted evidence that undermined this argument. The tapes seem to show Hussein Kamel, Iraq's weapons chief at the time, talking about information about weapons programs that Iraq had concealed from U.N. inspectors. But when Kamel defected--soon after these tapes were recorded--he not only told CIA and U.N. investigators about this concealment, he at the same time insisted that Iraq had destroyed all its unconventional weapons stockpiles. FAIR's alert questioned why ABC failed to inform its viewers about this key information.

2 more things i want to note. first c.i.'s 'NYT: 'G.O.P. Plan Would Allow Spying Without Warrants' (Shane and Kirkpatrick)' which i'm going to lobby hard for to get it spotlighted at the third estate sunday review. (lobbying means taking on c.i. who always says, 'go with some 1 else.') 2nd, "Washington nonprofit where Abramoff was director wrote articles favoring Abramoff clients" which is an abramoff story by john byrne and ron brynaert (why are we back in iraq?). oops, got a 3rd 1, betty's got a new chapter up, 'Club Membership: One.'

between ann richards cancer and the attacks on abortion, it didn't feel like much of an international women's day yesterday to me. ann richards is a strong woman and i'm sure she's in there fighting and i pray it turns out well. but between the 2 blows, it didn't feel much like a day of celebration.

democracy now wraps up their broadcasts from london so make sure to check that out tomorrow.

oh, elaine said i quoted her last night. she did make that statement. after the woman left. my statement, before that, was what caused 'perky' to leave. i don't remember making it but it sounds like me, unfortunately, it's too lewd to put up here. so i did remember right that elaine said what i remembered. i just didn't remember that i had said something prior and that after perky left, we all riffed on what i'd said (with cleaner versions).


some news roundups just depress

Westboro Baptist has outraged mourning communities across the nation by showing up at soldiers' funerals with signs that read "God Hates F*gs" or "God Made IEDs," a reference to roadside bombs. Members of the congregation contend soldiers are being struck down by God for defending a nation that tolerates homosexuality.

the item above contains a censoring by me. i have a pretty laid back approach to language but i'm not going to have that word, used in hate, on my site. so that's from an associated press article about how that church will no longer picket the funerals of soldiers in states that have laws forbidding them from picketing. i can't believe how disgusting that makes me feel.

hateful people. hateful to gays and lesbians, hateful to the families burying their loved 1s.

i just find it so disgusting.

on the sad front, ann richards has cancer. i've always liked her. she has a real fighting spirit and, hopefully, that spirit will help her through this.

somedays, it's just not worth reading the news.

ok, we're going to move on.

who asked jack abramoff 'what are you benching, buff guy?'

did you guess bully boy?

supposedly, according to bully boy, he barely knows abramoff so what was that? a pick up line?

moving from 1 close friend/crook bully boy's distancing himself from to one he still pretends he barely knew, ken lay (or 'kenny-boy' as bully boy dubbed him) got dissed in court today. andrew fastow, under cross, said 'i had the character to admit what i did was wrong.'

ken lay didn't. maybe that's what he and bully boy bonded over - remember bully boy, in the debates, when asked to name 1 mistake he'd made had to take a pass.

and today is international women's day. kim gandy has a statement on that worth reading.

lastly, check out this from democracy now: "Legendary Actor Vanessa Redgrave Calls Cancellation of Rachel Corrie Play an 'Act of Catastrophic Cowardice.'" i've always liked vanessa redgrave. she's a great actress, she cares about the world around and she's so graceful.

on graceful, elaine is graceful. a number of you have written about a prompt c.i. was giving me to tell a story. i thought it was elaine's story. elaine swears that it's me. c.i. swears it too. i've spoken to 3 other friends from college and they all say i was the 1 who told off perky. i've never been accused of being modest before so it must be my memory's way of trying to teach me modesty. but there was this perky little thing who would always say 'on the other hand ...' to any news. some 1 could say 'i just failed that exam' and she would reply 'on the other hand, you learned a valuable lesson about the importance of studying.' some 1 could say, 'i just got a ticket.' she would reply 'on the other hand, you now know the importance of road safety.'
she'd have this insane grin on her face. it was really freaky. so 1 night, elaine, c.i., another friend and i were at a table eating but mainly talking when the other friend says she thinks she's pregnant and there's perky. actually she said, 'i am afriad i'm pregnant. i know i'm pregnant. i don't know what i'm going to do.' and perky pops up and pipes up, 'on the other hand, now you'll know if he loves you or not.' i swear i still think it was elaine, even with every 1 saying it was me, but apparently i said 'everybody hates you. on the other hand, you'll never have to worry about having any friends.' said in the same sing-song way that perky delivered all her stupid lines and with the same stupid grin. if it was me, and every 1 says it was, good for me. but i swear i still think it was elaine.


news roundup: patriot act, spying, olympia snowe and more

democracy now is in london this week. it's always a show you should watch but if you've put it off and said, 'i'll watch it some day,' well, here's your reason to tune in. want to know what's going on in england. what the british are thinking without the new york times' alan cowell stamping his filter on it? tune in to democracy now.

by the way, am i the only 1 who misses pru's regular feature in the round-robin where she'd ask cowell a basic question about england and he'd have no clue? i love her new target but it was just so much more fun to laugh at alan cowell.

so let's dish the news. 1st 2 items from democracy now.

South Dakota Gov. Signs Near-Total Abortion Ban
In South Dakota, Governor Mike Rounds has signed legislation to ban all abortions in the state, unless they're performed to save the life of the woman. Rounds said he expects a lengthy court battle over the new law. The measure comes as a similar effort is moving ahead in the state of Mississippi.

well, i know nina simone's 'mississippi goddamn' and phil ochs' 'here's to the state of mississippi' but i don't know any south dakota songs. any 1?

the republicans think they'll have another appointment to the supreme court by next year, they actually think it will be by this summer. the senate should have fought alito, they should have fought roberts. instead, they went along. i'm so sick of the senate and so sick of having to beg for my rights to be protected.

you saw what happened with the patriot act. they objected for a little bit and then went along.
and the house just passed it tonight so it's time for bully boy to sign it. we have a congress that's afraid to take a stand and afraid to fight. that's republicans and democrats. (and, yes, there are exceptions.) i used to think, when i was in jr. high, that being in congress required smarts and strength. now i know it just requires lobbyists pumping money into your campaign. and apparently it requires that you never make waves, never fight for anything.

it's rather sad what we've come to in this country. but note, while women (and some men) have to scream for our reproductive rights to be protected by congress, congress abandons their own powers. they're letting bully boy trample on them as much as on the constitution.

in the meantime, women lose ground while bully boy gives lip service to the notion of equality.

Khalilzad Warns of Iraq Civil War
In comments the Los Angeles Times calls "among the frankest and bleakest public assessments of the Iraq situation by a high-level American official," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has warned of a full-blown civil war. Referring to the recent bombing of a Shiite shrine in Sammara, Khalilzad said: "If another incident [occurs], Iraq is really vulnerable to it at this time." Khalilzad went on to say: "We have opened the Pandora's box and the question is, what is the way forward?" His comments come just days after General Peter Pace, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said things were "going very, very well" in Iraq.

if you missed it, rumsfeld's been busy today. 1st he accused the media of being the 1 to hype that iraq is in crisis and may head towards civil war - does zalmay work for the administration or for the press? 2nd, he's dismissing reports of a civil war in iraq, take that zalmay!

olympia snowe is a hack of the 1st degree. she's joining with mike dewine, lindsey graham and chuck-i-didn't-see-nothing-hagel to make bully boy's 4 year illegal spying now legal - according to the ap. oh, olympia, isn't there some constitutents you can have arrested?

she must be bored. which would explain the hair.

pat roberts is rail roading his intel committee to do bully boy's bidding:

Meanwhile, Democrats on the Intelligence Committee expressed outrage after a meeting Tuesday that senators voted -- along party lines -- to reject an investigation of the surveillance proposed by West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the committee's top Democrat.
"The committee -- to put it bluntly -- basically is in the control of the White House," a visibly angry Rockefeller said.

republican motto: ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you can can do for your bully boy!

in good news, the town of newfane, vermont voted to impeach bully boy today.

thank god we've got a happy note to go out on.


oscar blahs

well blogger/blogspot certainly has a mind of it's own, doesn't it?

i've added a blog to the blog roll, american tonic. support women bloggers and check it out.

sherry wondered what i thought of the oscars? 1st off, this weekend cedric wrote and entry that everyone should check out 'The Oscars'. reading it made me handle the oscars better.

why? i wanted jake to win. i love george clooney but i really wanted to see jake win. no 1 won that i was rooting for.

reese witherspoon? well, didn't doris day win an oscar once too?

i mean, we're not talking a real actress here. in that film with matthew broadrick years ago, her quirks seemed fresh and you thought they were part of the character. election was the name of that film. since then, it's been the same old, same old. i'm not real fond of perky.

sally field had to really stretch to get her oscars. i didn't think the johnny cash film was a good film and i didn't think she was good in it. i had a party here and a number of people were booing when reese won.

t said it best, 'duckface! they just gave it to duckface!'

but it wasn't really a year about inclusion. cedric got that right. what was it? awarding the usual people.

i thought jon stewart was funny. but the show was dragging from the start. and i wasn't pleased with the award winners.

people make fun of marisa tomei, but she created a character for her oscar win. reese tossed on a wig and acted like ... reese.

after she won, people were betting on how long before her marriage busted up because when the woman wins the oscar and the husband's career is in the toilet, the marriage is in trouble.

i don't wish a divorce upon her but i would have picked any of the 4 other actresses. i was really rooting for felicity because i thought she gave an incredible performance but i would have been fine with any 1 but reese.

my hope is that she'll suffer the 'i won the oscar' curse and start doing serious roles, heavy dramas, first lady of the screen roles, kill off her career and we'll all be spared legally blonde XXII.

i was going to do a rundown on the news but ...

need news, check out 'And The War Drags On.'