answer to who will save us and recap of flashpoints

another 1? that's what i wrote about quickly last night. blogger was going down. i was rushing and had less than ten minutes to write - you don't just finish, put a period and are done. you have to click on 'publish post' then on 'index' then on publish site or something. unlike c.i., it doesn't take me forever to do that. the last step alone takes c.i. over 15 minutes. it takes about 3 minutes for me. so i started that at ten minutes 'til blogger went down and had to be done 3 minutes before. it was a 7 minute post. but every 1 who wrote that i read this morning (i had volunteer work this afternoon), enjoyed it. i'll be (briefly) continuing it tonight.

who will save women from eric alterman? that's what i asked last night. 1 name i'd like to add, that eric alterman doesn't mention, is janeane garofalo who was speaking out before the invasion and speaking out after. but she doesn't get a mention because no woman is considered worthy of mention.

that's the way it goes with the lisper, always trying to big boy up. always trying to fit in with the boys. you saw it in that wretched book, what liberal media, that repeated the lie about naomi wolf. not only did he repeat the lie that she did fashion for al gore, he offered that the slams were fair, he guessed. the slams weren't fair and they weren't true and that should have been the 1st tip off that the effite elite is a little too convinced of his own opinion to do any research. but then intellectual gods don't need it and the mental midget seems to think he walks on clouds.

what you notice in all of his writing in total is how proud eric alterman is of himself. he's like his own stage mother waiting back stage and saying, 'isn't he wonderful?'

play his own stage mother maybe the only women enter his world. they are ignored in his writing.

i'm counting 13 men he names on his honor roll (that includes his 'honorable mentions') and, as i pointed out last night, no women. this despite his use of the word 'people':

. . . i've picked a short (representative) honor roll of people in a variety of fields . . .

'people'? it's a list of men, a baker's dozen. 'representative'? well maybe he thinks the nod to valerie plame ... she pops up not by name but as 'his wife' - him being joe wilson. she's an unnamed extra - she's sissy spacek in jfk. rather amazing considering that the outing of her has resulted in scooter libby being indicted in the ongoing investigation.

at a time when naomi klein and katha pollitt are on leave (to finish books), the nation can't afford to have no woman on staff. get ruth rosen or some 1 else to write a column. eric alterman's not interested in writing about women - thinks it might make him look 'soft' probably (so he's left looking like sal mineo's plato in rebel without a cause).

when he wrote his column, he probably thought 'what a man i am.' he's something. it probably didn't even occur to him that he left out women. women never enter his mind.

i've named 3 (naomi klein, janeane and arundhati roy) and those aren't the only 1s. there's kim gandy, there's susan sarandon, there's laura flanders, there's alice walker, there's maxine hong kingston, there's barbara lee ... there are plenty of women. but they don't register to a sexist like alternman. that's what he is. he gives space in his lame book for ann coulter's attacks on gloria steinem but never bothers to point out that they're wrong.

why? he's too delighted that a woman's being slammed?

he's a creep. he presents himself as a savior but women need saving from him.

and, the point i didn't have time to make last night, the answer to the question: women will have to save themselves. the boys lining up with him or scared to call him out (and we can all think of 1 man who's made it a point to correct every 1 who repeated the lie on naomi wolf but can't bring himself to note that eric alterman lied) won't save us.

as usual, women will have to carry their weight and some half-assed man who's ego is larger than his ability to make a coherent argument. his view of the country (he lacks a world view or else keeps it hidden) is 1 that only sees men.

we'll have to save ourselves and 1 way to do that is not to mistake him for a friend to women. he's not. we don't register with him. he can't even relate to janeane as an adult. he has to fall back into little school boy mode and do the sort of crap that might be mildly amusing from a third grader but is b.s. from a grown man. (he insults her and does so in a voice he thinks is sexy. for any 1 who ever wanted to have sex with sylvester the cat, the voice may be sexy. i can't imagine that's many women though. maybe men fantasize about having sex with sylvester?)

so we need to know the enemy and we need to not get taken in by claims that he's a brave voice for the left. he's dismissive of women and he doesn't even have the excuse of coming of age in the dark ages. he didn't come up with norman mailer. he has no use for women so women should have no use for him. if he comes on the radio, turn him off. if he's pushing his new book, don't buy it. (since he has no concept of layout, you'll be helping your eyes as well as your brain by avoiding it.)

we don't exist in his writing so we shouldn't support it. put your money and word of mouth behind someone who can acknowledge women and their accomplishments. we can save ourselves - thank god, since i'm not seeing a lot of men rushing to call him out for his sexist writing.

it's thursday so let's talk about flashpoints which airs monday through friday on pacifica radio. flashpoints had a strong week. yesterday, there was a great interview with dahr jamail where dahr talked about how the mainstream media keeps missing the story (intentionally?) and gave an example of edward wong's straight-from-the-pentagon details. (wong writes for the new york times.) the interview was done by a woman and i'm still learning names, so give me time.

tonight, phyllis bennis was a guest dennis bernstein interviewed tonight. she spoke of the need to stop the war on iran and to send a message that we were against it. you can go to united for peace and justice and sign a letter that she recommended. the un security counsel meets april 28th so if you're wanting to sign the letter do it soon. bennis spoke of a number of issues involved including the fact that the fallout from a war on iran would be immense.

tonight also offered some strong reporting from palestine. including noting that 1 child and 2 others were killed. who by? well if was mainstream media, you'd never know would you. that coverage acts as though palistinian children just hop on a gun, held by no 1, and it accidentally goes off. with phyliss, dennis asked about palestine and the ongoing occupation there. i think 1 thing the iraq war is doing is making us wake up to realities of occuapation.

maybe i'm kidding myself? but i think people are beginning to realize self-rule and to realize that under an occupation, no 1 is free. (or safe.) israel needs to leave the occupied territories and the wall is much worse than a joke. chris hedges has written of that and how the wall will, we're all sure just by chance, veer here and there to take the best lands. that's 1 reason for the wall. here's another reason, once they get up a physical barrier, they'll truly be claiming the land in an end-of-story way. talk of returning to pre-1968 borders will go out the window because 'well ... there's a wal there now.'

this is an important issue to dennis bernstein. it's important to me as well but since i'm going to be noting flashpoints, if you're not able to deal with it, you may want to bow out on this site.

tuesday had an intersting report with iraqi voices. that's not something you hear very often on corporate radio (even when it appears to be public like npr - dennis may be more irritated by the fluff on npr than i am.) if none of the above has grabbed you yet, monday's guest was
pratap chatterjee talking about how corporations in iraq profit in the blood bath. in addition, you heard voices from a demonstration speak of anthony soltero, the young boy who took his own life when his school's vice-principal reportedly told him he would be going to prison for taking part in the world can't wait walk outs, that he wouldn't go to the middle school prom and that his mother would face a huge fine. his mother spoke but so did a group of students. they spoke of how there were rumors being put out now that anthony didn't even walk out and that wasn't true because they were there. to me, those rumors are a really awful smear campaign because you're talking about a child and a child that is dead. to strip him of something he did that really mattered to him (and that he should have been able to take pride in) is to deny his very existance.

thursday's highlight is my attempt to raise awareness of pacifica radio. flashpoints is the show i'm going with. i like dennis' passion and the topics covered. if you're some 1 that's not covering your ears and screaming 'did he just criticize the israeli government!' this may be a show you should check out. but you should know about it. i need to learn every 1's name. including the woman who i believe is a co-host. there's also a man who does a report, i think his name is robert. so stick with me on thursdays and we'll try to learn about the show and note some of the topics and guests. but for those who've pledged their all to the israeli government, you aren't going to be happy. either skip thursdays or skip this blog all together. c.i. had a wonderful point (many, but i'm focusing on 1). during the whole uproar over the ports security, c.i. asked every 1 to remember that governments are 1 thing but that people are people. we wouldn't want the world to judge us by the bully boy. don't judge another people by their leader. their leader or their policies may have strong resistance from the people. that's an important point to make. there are israelis who oppose the occupation and the murders that go on in the name of 'security.' don't mistake the israeli government as a reflection on the entire country.

elaine wrote an amazing piece on the darfur screamer who tells you there is only 1 option (force, of course). what is going on there is hideous but screamers would do well to grasp that tragedies are going on every where. pretending that palestinians attempting to live with a gun barrel (or rocket launcher or tank) in their faces isn't reality. palestinians are being slaughtered. i think dennis made the point this week that this was genocide. it is and we need to stop avoiding the issue.


eric alterman is disgusting - who will save women from him?

blogger's going down in a bit (more maintance). elaine and mike are still trying to decide on topics from democracy now and won't be able to get anything up before it goes down (they will post after) so fly boy says, 'you can blog quick!' i don't know about that but i'm willing to try.

okay, c.i. wrote today about getting 6 different issues of the nation in the mail. the 1 c.i. was noting (first up on the reading list) was 1 i've been waiting on. i keep going 'have you read it yet?' and c.i. would say, 'it hasn't arrived, none of them have.' so i ask on the phone today, 'have you read it?' and the reply is 'what was i supposed to read?'

eric alterman aka the lisper. he's got another 1 of his awful columns and i was wanting to discuss it. c.i. hadn't read it (and said 'please spare me') but asked the topic. lisper's spitting at the war hawks. 'and you've got a problem with it?' c.i. asks. 'let me guess he's right, they're wrong and he's the only one, wait ...'

i wait. 'okay, does he give shout outs?'

'yes!' i reply.

'and they're all men, aren't they?'

that's correct. no woman was right about the illegal war being a bad idea. just men. who will save women from the supposed left heroes.

he lists 11 or 12 names, all men.

naomi klein, who was RIGHT, doesn't get a mention. arundhati roy, not a mention. when you're a little effite elite you have to pretend you got something impressive hanging between your legs so you cowboy up by running after the boys, lisping 'hey boys don't forget me! i want to play!'

no woman is listed.

so think about that and wonder exactly why so many of our supposed brave left voices can't mention women. it's disgusting.

it's not a reflection of what happened. it does appear to be a reflection of their own thinking and, with alterman, it appears to be sexist thinking.

who will save the women on the left from the sexists on the left?

had more but no time.


counter take

ruth does a wonderful ruth's public radio report each week and she usually calls me saturday morning and reads a bit of it that she's not sure about. 'can you follow that?'

i never have any trouble following her. but the result is that we really tried c.i.'s patience saturday. the report was done and ready to go. c.i. was doing the entry on the new york times and noting that as soon as this was done, ruth's report would go up.

but, as c.i. pointed out to me, for the 3rd saturday in a row . . .

i always have these thoughts and i'm happy to share them. i don't mind sharing them here. but i have had 2 issues with counterspin of late.

i support fair, i listen to counterspin. each time i have brought them up, ruth has offered to include them because she's aware that she loves the show and that other people may have criticisms she doesn't catch.

on saturday, c.i. ended up having a 3 way call with ruth and myself. c.i. said either we do this talk on friday or we make an announcement that ruth goes up later in the day on saturdays.
c.i. was nice about it but i got the point. and i shouldn't have needed a phone call to get it because c.i., jess and dallas are hunting down links and doing tags for ruth's reports and every time something changes it's insert a paragraph and find another link or another tag. more importantly an hour after c.i.'s entry, if ruth's report isn't up, the e-mails start coming in wondering if there's a problem with the site or what?

a few weeks back, counterspin had a writer on who did an article for mother jones. this was my 1st issue (i have 2). throughout the interview we heard 'the new york times' had gotten a story wrong. they'd done more than gotten it wrong, the story was the false 1 right after 9/11 about saddam hussein training terrorists to high jack airplanes.

but here's my issue. who wrote the article? i know who wrote the article. but did listeners?

is there some rule that we name some people but don't name others?

chris hedges wrote the article. chris hedges should have been named.

it was interesting because the report was televised by another outlet and we got to hear other people's names but the reporter who wrote the article for the new york times was never named.

now i enjoy chris hedges' books, i enjoy the reporting on israel that he's done for mother jones.
that a reporter like hedges can be fooled (the 'source' had made up credentials and was using another man's name) underscores how successful the propaganda effort was on reporters.

so i'm listening and wondering 'why won't they say chris hedges?'

then i start to wonder. mainly because a number of ex-co-workers have told me that the reason no 1 wants to explore the church committee in print is because bill moyers worked for lbj and was involved in some anti-press activities. now moyers wasn't tapping any 1's phones. he wasn't breaking in homes. i believe all he did was, at lbj's request, make some calls to friends to find out some things about a few reporters. i don't consider that criminal or unethical. i've done it myself when i was in the p.r. game. quite often, in fact. i wouldn't let any 1 schedule an interview (unless they had no other chance of press) until i vetted the reporters out with trusted friends.

i don't know whether that's true or not about moyers being the reason. i know a lot of friends i used to work with in the p.r. biz are convinced that it is true. but listening to chris hedges' story be discussed but him never be named, i thought 'is this the sort of thing that they're talking about?'

chris hedges wrote the article. name him. discuss him. he may or may not be a good friend of the left. but don't bring on a guest to discuss a story in the new york times (that was as wrong as wrong could be and helped create the climate of cheerleading the war on iraq) and never name the person who wrote the story.

here's another issue. in the article in question, chris hedges wrote that he had 2 sources.

now what's the deal there? he was lied to (and any 1 can be, that's no shame for hedges). so he talked to mother jones about his source. 1 source.

but 2 sources lied to him.

what's the name of the other source?

if he's going to come forward with 1 (and if they lie, they have no right to be protected), he needs to come forward with the other.

because he hasn't, there's a feeling on the part of some people (my phone never stops ringing on the theorizing of this topic) that he didn't have 2 sources. that he only had 1 source. but that it sounded better in print to claim 2.

i don't think chris hedges would do that. i hope he wouldn't. but until he can come forward and name the 2nd source, he'll have to expect that people will wonder.

and he may be willing to come forward. no 1's talked to him about it since the mother jones article that i know of. he hasn't been interviewed about it, he hasn't been on democracy now discussing it.

if we mean what we say when we act outraged about the lies of the times then we're outraged period. c.i. wrote about the mother jones story. c.i. likes chris hedges. c.i. mentioned hedges by name and noted that there were 2 sources mentioned in the article.

i asked c.i. about that (and think i can note it here) when i was holding up ruth's report that week. c.i. said that chris hedges has done some wonderful work (agreed) and continues to do so (agreed) but knowing that hedges wrote the article (mother jones noted it in print) and that hedges' 2001 article had stated 2 sources, it would have been hypocritical not to have mentioned it.

'i felt bad about pointing it out because he does strong journalism but this wasn't about attacking him,' c.i. said (i made notes by the way so at 1 point this was okay for quoting), 'this was about holding some 1 to the same standards i would any 1 else at the paper. i wrote that he may be willing to name the 2nd source, i hope that's true, but if you go public because a source burned you, you can't pick and choose. 2 burned hedges. 2 need to be named.'

and about the counterspin interview?

'i didn't hear it. from what you're telling me the issue wasn't raised. it may have been a time factor, it may have been something discussed that got edited out because there wasn't much to offer. if it was a case of the interviewer not wanting to raise the issue, i do understand that. i didn't want to. i twice pulled that entry and then called back a 3rd time and said send it to the site. i went back and forth on it because i knew that it could be used to smear. i wasn't trying to smear. but in the end, if i'm going to criticize elisabeth bumiller or any 1 else, i have to note that a) chris hedges got it wrong, b) it was a propaganda effort and c) there were 2 sources mentioned in the article and only 1 has been named. what went up was dictated. no changes were made. but i did call back and say "don't send it." then i called back and said, "send it." i repeated that pattern again. my 3rd call was when i felt this was so silly. if the right wants to smear him, they will. we've noted him at the site before and will again. he's a good writer. good writers make mistakes too. it was a serious mistake due to the climate of that period. it had to be noted. but that was my decision. i have no idea how much time they have on counterspin before they record an interview. if a host felt that the issue might not be helpful, i can understand that. or they might have intended to have hedges on as well and something came up. he did speak to the writer of the mother jones article. if hedges hadn't spoken, there wouldn't be a story. he's not trying to hide it. but it's complicated and i'd be the last to slam counterspin for that interview because, if it did have to do with hedges, i went back and forth myself.'

so that's c.i.'s take. my take is you don't say 'the new york times' repeatedly. you bring up chris hedges, who wrote the story being discussed, you ask the reporter questions about what chris hedges said.

so that was 1 issue.

the issue i had on saturday was joe conason. i like conason. i've got big lies. i read the new york observer just for his column. but the segment he was on was useless to me.

here's the background. a frequent columnist for the new york post's 'page 6' (the gossip columns) is accused of hustling at least 1 person for good press. give me money, the accusation goes, or you won't get good press.

so conason comes on to talk about this story and offers . . . when ted kennedy ran against jimmy carter in 1980's democratic primaries.

excuse me, i worked in p.r. i made a huge sum in that field because i knew my job.

conason didn't know the topic. he knew what he wanted to talk about and that was trot out an old story, oft told, on rupert murdoch.

the columnist of page 6, if the accusation is true, asked for money. that's usually not done. but other things are sought by gossip columnists. i had to talk a client into attending a party 1 time because otherwise he was going to be slammed by a gossip columnist.

that's 1 area they could have covered. that actually had to do with the allegations agains the post columinst. i can tell you many horror stories. i can tell you about a singer i had to get call a gossip columnist's niece. i can tell you about an event that all my clients had to appear at, had to!, or the gossip columnist was going to pull all mentions of my clients.

that happens and it happens all the time. page 6 guy, if the rumors are true, just got a little greedier than many are.

so that's 1 way they could have gone.

here's another way. rupert murdoch, since they wanted to make it about him, has rumored pattern of using his press to go after those whose politics differ with his own. not drew barrymore because she's young and can be dismissed as 'pretty' and her beliefs just add into that. but others, they'll create rumors, they'll trash.

there's a performer, for instance, who doesn't like bully boy. the performer was asked to do a movie. the performer turned down the movie. (it was a bad part and the film bombed when it came out as the performer sensed it would.) that's not how it played in the new york post. in the new york post (and picked up by the wire services), the performer had tested for the role (not just read for it, screen tested!) and then been turned down. the item told you that the career was over and the performer washed up.

nothing in the item was true. but it was a way to go after someone who wasn't a right winger.

that's not an isolated incident. and here's why it matters.

in the entertainment world, the perception is everything. if the gossip columnist is guilty of what he's accused of, he used that power of perception to shake down some 1 for money. that's the story. it's not about what rupert murdoch did with jimmy carter back in 1980. this is not a story of politicians. it is a story of how people suffer by the right wing echo chamber. careers can be destroyed.

listening, i got the impression that a celebrity and a gossip column was not important enough for counterspin to address. as some 1 who came from p.r., i found that a little insulting, but whatever. however, if you don't want to address it, don't address it. no 1's forcing you too. but don't take a very real story and try to 'upgrade' it to the point that it's no longer the issue. and that's what i felt happened.

again, i like fair. i like counterspin. i'm signed up for fair's action alerts at my site's e-mail (sexandpoliticsandscreeds@yahoo.com) but i do have those 2 issues and i'm not going to pretend that they didn't happen.

ruth was willing to write about either 1. that's ruth's space and c.i. wouldn't have altered anything (except compliments of c.i., c.i. will fight to get her okay to pull those). c.i.'s problem (and i do have permission to note it was a problem) was that ruth's report was ready and then it wasn't. and that this has happened repeatedly on saturdays after ruth and i talk. it is a pain for c.i. because members are wanting to read it and because it adds works on a saturday when c.i.'s time is already limited. (there's the posting in the morning at the common ills, then by evening, it's work on the third estate sunday review and in between try to squeeze some time for activism and life.)

so what ruth and i have decided is that if i have a problem with something i hear (on counterspin or any other show) i'll note it here. she'll note that i have a different take in her next report.

but i'm the 1 who has been delaying the reports because i've been calling and saying, 'well, did you hear that because it really bothered me.' then ruth will call c.i. and say 'hold the report' (after c.i.'s noted 'ruth goes up right after this.) then ruth and i will discuss it and she'll begin trying to write something to include it in her report and sometimes that can go on for many hours.

i also had a question about last week's show, not an issue. what was janine jackson's remark about the katie couric attention indicating the level of discourse? i couldn't tell what point she was trying to make. if the point was that the coverage was shallow, it was. if the point was that it didn't matter, i disagree. the issue was sexism. (and ava and c.i. noted the sexism in their wonderful essay.) if janine jackson was saying that couric being a '1st' didn't matter in terms of news, i do have a problem with that. not an issue, a problem.

as i remember it, during the confirmation of either alito or roberts, janine jackson interviewed a man who said too much attention was paid to reproductive rights. well a man would say that, wouldn't HE?

if the couric item was meant to downgrade women's issues and accomplishments, i have a real problem with that. peter jennings died and counterspin could note that. in fact a number of people could note that. they weren't interested in covering the death of john j. johnson - who actually had impact on the civil rights movement. they were interested in covering the white MALE anchor.

when laura flanders was at fair, they had very strong coverage of women and women's issues. when you're bringing on a man to say the abortion gets too much attention in a confirmation hearing, it may be time for you to do a self-check.

i'm glad katie couric's broken through the barrier. i've given up on corporate news but i hope she does well ratings wise. i realize that if she doesn't, it will be 'a woman can't do it!'

there's a lot of pressure on her now. she may not have the 'radical ass' that some think peter jennings possessed. (not people who worked with him, but apparently he was good about making some people believe that he really listened to their concerns.) but it does matter.

i'm not 1 who will vote for a woman just because she's a woman. a condi v. hillary matchup, in fact, might find me not voting for that office. but katie couric is not condi or hillary.

i'll note something from the draft ava circulated of her and c.i.'s 1st version of the story. bob didn't come from a morning show that aired five days a week. he came from a sunday chat & chew. where his mistakes (and worse) had been well documented. (including by fair.) i'm not remembering any action alerts on today.

i liked peter jennings as a host and even wrote of my shock when he announced his cancer. but listening to all the fawning coverage really soured me on him. especially when another death, john l. johnson's, wasn't noted. (democracy now noted it.) it's real funny that every anchor (MALE) can get noted. dan rather gets fired and it's fret and worry. peter jennings dies and suddenly he was 2nd only to alexander cockburn as an angry voice on the left.

that's how it played it out.

it's funny whom they claim and whom they don't. for instance, which anchor was the one who knew of the chicago demonstrations in 1968 - before they happened? i'm not saying they should have lined up behind him. i am saying that what some 1 did in the 60s really doesn't matter in terms of today if that's where you have to go to find 'radical ass.'

(or maybe that's not known outside of p.r. circles? having joe conason on to discuss jimmy carter probably wouldn't result in that being noted.)

so that's my beef, screed, what have you.


iraq and 'we're all cheerleaders'

If women learned anything from the trashing of Katie Couric last week, it was that today, we're all cheerleaders. In their eyes, we're all cheerleaders. Our own work isn't addressed and there's no desire to familiarize themselves with it before weighing in. Call us when it's our turn to stand trial at the war crimes tribunal.

that's from ava and c.i. 's "TV: Katie Was a Cheerleader" and, as most know, that was the original title. i begged & pleaded with them to keep it. to me, it sounds like the title to a movie, maybe a musical. annie get your gun, that sort of thing.

following mike's lead, i'll swipe from c.i. for the Iraq report:

Iraq? The Times of India reports that at least 31 Iraqis died on Sunday with an additional 32 wounded. In Baghdad today, Xinhua reports, the corpse of Taha al-Mutlak, brother of Salih al-Mutlak ("top Sunni policitian"), was found. Also in Baghdad, a gun battle between the Iraqi army and the resistance has resulted in seven civilians wounded and one killed according to the Associated Press.. Still in Baghdad, Reuters notes, a doctor was kidnapped. Still in Baghdad, back to Reuters, the corpses of 12 were found -- seven had bullet holes, three had signs indicating torture. The Associated Press is reporting a bomb exploded today in Ramadi "in front of a U.S. observation post." Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that Jebail has seen the death of at least three Iraqis and the injury of 10 more. The three dead? Two children and a woman. The cause? "Pacification." They, and the ones wounded, according to "security force spokesman" Mustafa Karrim, were guilty of being in their homes.

my head's killing me tonight and i want to call mike so i'm going to post this and call it a night. (i'm also trying to decide whether or not i'm going to write about a topic that bothered me.)