Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Franken's Constitutional Test

Al Franken hasn't been a Senator very long, but he's already making (good) news.

The Making of Glenn Beck part 3

The conclusion of this 3 part series is no less satisfying than the first two. An excerpt:
His talk radio identity still larval, Beck was already displaying the skills that would make him a talk-radio lightning rod. "He always knew how to work people and situations for attention," says Penn. "He could pick the most pointless story in the news that day and find a way to approach it to get phones lit up. That was his strong point -- pissing people off. He was very shrewd on both the business and entertainment sides of radio. He's built his empire on very calculated button pushing."
Read the rest of part 3 here.

The Making of Glenn Beck part 2

From Zaitchik's piece:
Beck's real broadcasting innovation during his stay in Kentucky came in the realm of vicious personal assaults on fellow radio hosts. A frequent target of Beck's in Louisville was Liz Curtis, obese host of an afternoon advice show on WHAS, a local AM news-talk station. It was no secret in Louisville that Curtis, whom Beck had never met and with whom he did not compete for ratings, was overweight. And Beck never let anyone forget it. For two years, he used "the big blonde" as fodder for drive-time fat jokes, often employing Godzilla sound effects to simulate Curtis walking across the city or crushing a rocking chair. Days before Curtis' marriage, Beck penned a skit featuring a stolen menu card for the wedding reception. "The caterer says that instead of throwing rice after the ceremony, they are going to throw hot, buttered popcorn," explains Beck's fictional spy.
Despite the constant goading, Curtis never responded. But being ignored only seemed to fuel Beck's hunger for a response. As his attacks escalated and grew more unhinged, a WHAS colleague of Curtis' named Terry Meiners decided to intervene. He appeared one morning unannounced at Beck's small office, which was filled with plaques, letters and news clippings -- "a shrine to all that is Glenn Beck," remembers Meiners. He told Beck to lay off Curtis, suggesting he instead attack a morning DJ like himself, who could return fire. "Beck told me, 'Sorry, all's fair in love and war,'" remembers Meiners. "He continued with the fat jokes, which were exceedingly cruel, pointless, and aimed at one of the nicest people in radio. Glenn Beck was over-the-top childish from Day One, a punk who tried to make a name for himself by being disruptive and vengeful."
Read the whole article here.

The Making of Glenn Beck part 1 is doing a 3 part series on Glenn Beck. I read the first one and I'm going to link it here. It's pretty interesting so far, and I plan to link all 3 when they're published. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

For Colored Girls...

Have you heard the news? The one and only Tyler Perry was tapped to helm the film adaptation of For Colored Girls.  I am not a fan of Tyler's body of work. And in truth, I can't comment on his directing skills because I find his writing suffering from an abysmal lack of nuance. 


One writer lovingly expressed her concern regarding his portrayal of black people in stereotypical ways. As much as she'd like to support one of her own, she can't bring herself to do it: 
While I am tempted to watch your shows because they are pretty much the only Black ones on television, I don't want to send the message to networks and advertisers that I as a Black consumer find those images to be acceptable. Read more here.
But the news that he will be directing this very serious, complicated work, distresses me. I am not alone.
Perry has a special talent for creating the illusion that otherwise credible black actors don’t have enough talent for mystery dinner theater, so I have to consider anything he controls creatively a lost cause. Read the rest here.

On Counting Chickens Prematurely

Will we have a public option or won't we? Nate Silver weighs in.

Bill: Barack has to win on the merits

President Jimmy Carter sounded off on the escalating race rhetoric from the right wing. Leaning on his experience as a born and raised southerner, he expressed concern that much of the current vitriol against President Obama's policies is because of racial prejudice.

Not all agree with him (at least not publicly). President Clinton weighed in acknowledging, maybe race plays a small factor, but that it wasn't the central issue:

And I believe if he were white, every single person who opposes him now would be opposing him then. We have to win this health care fight on the merits.

Read more here.

Universal Healthcare is Not Socialism

Proud to link to my friend's blog. She's a great writer and just an overall brilliant woman. Here's an excerpt:

Universal Healthcare is no more socialism than offering healthcare to active and retired military personnel. I've been the beneficiary of government healthcare most of my life, first as a military dependent then as a college student, then as a private citizen who prefers to utilize clinics. In fact, and this is a total aside, my life was never put at risk until I hauled off and used private physician care. Those guys nearly killed me!

Keep reading here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

All Porn is Homosexual Porn

File this under "More Craziness from the Ultra Right."

On second thought, it's not nice to call people's ideas crazy, so maybe you should create your own file for this one. The Values Voters summit was held earlier this month and several interesting stories have come out. This one: a leaked video shows Senator Coburn's chief of staff explaining that pornography turns your sexual drive inward, therefore all pornography is homosexual pornography.


Think Progress has the story, the video, and a transcript here.

On Taking Offense to Others Being Offended

A link to a great post came across my Twitter Feed this morning. In it, the writer discusses the complications of "others" being offended on behalf of those being "misrepresented."

An excerpt:
If I am honest, I want white people to "get it," but I don't want them thinking they "get it" better than me--a black woman who actually lives with race bias.
She ends the piece:
I guess what we all want is that allies will be sensitive and intolerant of race bias, but that they will keep their privilege in check and remember that the voices of the marginalized should be the loudest ones. The victims of an "ism" must take the lead.
Am I right? Or, can I be offended on someone else's behalf?
Nicely done and a true discussion piece. Read the whole post here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Values Voters vs. Jeremiah Wright

After watching Rachel's show Friday night, I felt moved to write about the extreme hypocrisy of the conservative movement. Specifically, the fact that they would open a conservative conference with a song Why Should God Bless America that was amazingly similar in message to Jeremiah Wright's overexposed yet under-contextualized sermon, Confusing God and Government, aka God Damn America.

POTUS is NOT a socialist

Regardless of how you feel about socialism, labeling everything socialist isn't appropriate (or smart, or credible or...).

For far too long, the media have just been reporting what politicians say without verifying the veracity of their statements. Finally, Obama strikes back with a strong critique of media coverage and the media steps up in return.

Read about today's smack-back of Minority Leader John Boehner.

Better yet, watch it for yourself: