Tag Archives: News

Best of Enemies: Gore Vidal vs. William F. Buckley

Most people have forgotten about the debates between William F Buckley and Gore Vidal.  They were riveting television for the intellectual and political classes and turned into entertainment for the masses.  They are legendary in the Gay community for Buckley calling Vidal a “queer” on national television in 1968.

Many people see these debates as the beginning of the loss of civility in public political conversations.  I see them as the beginning of the end of civility, in general, when two such famously civilized men acted this way in public.

Some would say they were also, to a degree, the precursor to the Alexis/Crystal battles on “Dynasty” some years later.  A Cat Fight Supreme….

And it was the beginning of the move towards confrontational, partisan “journalism” that poisons the airwaves today by focusing more on entertainment value and opinions than on presenting facts.

But, I loved Gore Vidal and his writing.

And I can’t wait to see this documentary!

Review From Michael M. Grynbaum in the New York Times:

Before partisan panels, split-screen shoutfests and brash personalities became ubiquitous on cable news, there were two men who despised each other sitting side by side on a drab soundstage, debating politics in prime time during the presidential nominating conventions of 1968. There were Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.

Literary aristocrats and ideological foes, Vidal and Buckley attracted millions of viewers to what, at the time, was a highly irregular experiment: the spectacle of two brilliant minds slugging it out — once, almost literally — on live television. It was witty, erudite and ultimately vicious, an early intrusion of full-contact punditry into the staid pastures of the evening news.

What transpired would alter both men’s lives — and, as a new documentary argues, help change the course of how the American political media reports the news. “Best of Enemies,” which opens July 31, makes the case that their on-screen feuding opened the floodgates for today’s opinionated, conflict-driven coverage.

More:   Buckley vs. Vidal: When Debate Became Bloodsport – The New York Times.

And here is the Trailer:

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Fox News Ratings Hit 12-Year Demo Lows In January Cable News Figures

Some interesting information from the Huffington Post…..

I’m interested to see how/if this trend continues….

Keep in mind, Fox News has the same problem as the GOP: Only old white people pay them any attention and that demographic is dying out.  Younger people don’t watch much TV news anyway, but they certainly aren’t watching Fox.

And cheers to Rachel Maddow and the gang at MSNBC….

And, does anyone watch CNN anymore?  I can remember when they did real news and I watched it almost all the time.  Now I can’t take five minutes of their blathering.  Well, except for Anderson Cooper and even his show is not exactly a master class in journalism anymore….

Here is an excerpt from the Huff Post article and a link to the full story:

 

At the end of each month, cable news ratings are released to the public. And, like clockwork, Fox News dominates the top 13 or so programs, far outstripping its competitors.

January was … a little different. To be sure, everything is relative in cable news: Fox News still had nine out of the top ten programs. It has spent 11 consecutive years as the top-rated cable news channel. Its 6 AM show drew almost double the ratings of CNN’s top-ranking prime time show.

But, as rival MSNBC was quick to point out, and BuzzFeed was quick to trumpet, Fox News had its worst primetime ratings in the coveted 25-54 demo since August 2001, and its lowest total day ratings since June 2008.

To a seasoned watcher of cable news ratings, there were other surprises. Rachel Maddow, for instance, came in 10th, beating “Studio B” and the 11 PM repeat of “The O’Reilly Factor.” In January 2012, she came in 14th. It may not seem like much, but the top of the cable news field has been extremely stable — and if Maddow were to continue creeping up the list, it would mean a real sea change. Overall, MSNBC — perhaps powered by liberal euphoria over President Obama’s inauguration — was the only cable news channel to grow its ratings from 2012.

This continues a pattern that emerged in 2012: Fox News viewers tuned out en masse from Democratic-themed events, causing the network’s ratings to plunge during the Democratic National Convention, the hours immediately following Obama’s re-election, and the president’s inauguration. MSNBC, meanwhile, benefited from the solidification of its Democratic-friendly lineup, and drew a lion’s share of eager liberal viewers.

via Fox News Ratings Hit 12-Year Demo Lows In January Cable News Figures.

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It’s Raining Men: Fox News introduces Romney Sons with Gay Anthem

Both Priceless and Clueless…

Faux News at it’s best.  Again…

From RawStory.com:

 

The conservative morning show Fox & Friends on Monday used one of the world’s most popular gay anthems as they introduced all of GOP hopeful Mitt Romney’s five sons.

Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade teased an upcoming segment with the Republican presidential candidate’s offspring as the music began to play and the camera panned over to the guests: “For the first time in history / It’s gonna start raining men!”“It’s Raining Men! Hallelujah! – It’s Raining Men! Amen! / I’m gonna go out to run and let myself get / Absolutely soaking wet!”

The song “It’s Raining Men” was written in 1979 by David Letterman sidekick Paul Schaffer and gay songwriter Paul Jabara, who died of complications from AIDS in 1992. After being turned down by Donna Summer, Grace Jones and Diana Ross, the song was eventually recorded by one-hit-wonder The Weather Girls.

The LGBT community adopted the song as a gay anthem, catapulting it to the number one song in 1982 and then again in 2001, when it was covered by British pop singer-songwriter Geri Halliwell

via Fox News introduces Romney sons with gay anthem ‘It’s Raining Men’ | The Raw Story.

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Cairo on the Hudson

I’ve been trying to follow the news about the eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zucotti Park.

The problem is, there isn’t any.  Or at least not much….

That is because New York Mayor Bloomberg is acting more like he runs Cairo than New York.

I still can’t quite believe he actually implied Freedom of Speech  and  Freedom of Assembly are situational, not intrinsic American Rights.

I still can’t believe he actually stopped the Media from covering the eviction by arresting journalists.

I can believe the mainstream media is not covering this as it is all Corporate owned now…

This is simply not the way things are supposed to work in America….

The actions of the Mayor of New York and the NYPD under his direction make Zucotti Park look like Cairo during the Arab spring or a potential Tiananmen Square.

These were not actions consistent with respect for Democracy and peaceful protest and assembly.

These were the actions of an oligarch protecting the assets of the 1%.  He moved against the many to protect the interests of the few.

He just proved the Occupy Wall Street movement is right- and very necessary…

Hopefully, this will only make the Occupy Wall Street movement grow stronger.

I’ll be watching nervously and hopefully.

This is scary stuff when Americans are treated this way by the Police and the agents of the Ruling Class….

Here is a report from reporter Josh Harkinson at Mother Jones.  I’m just trying to do my  bit to spread the news, since the mainstream media sure isn’t.

 

“Can I help you?” an burly officer asked me, his helpfulness belied by his scowl.

“I’m a reporter,” I told him.

“This is a frozen zone, all right?” he said, using a term I’d never heard before. “Just like them, you have to leave the area. If you do not, you will be subject to arrest.”

By then, riot police were moving in, indiscriminately dousing the peaceful protesters with what looked like pepper spray or some sort of gas. As people yelled and screamed and cried, I tried to stay calm.

“I promise to leave once the arrests are done,” I replied.

“This is a frozen zone,” one cop insisted. “You could be injured.” His meaning was clear.

“No, you are going to leave now.”

He grabbed my arm and began dragging me off. My shoes skidded across the park’s slimy granite floor. All around me, zip-cuffed occupiers writhed on the ground beneath a fog of chemicals.

“I just want to witness what is going on here,” I yelped.

“You can witness it with the rest of the press,” he said. Which, of course, meant not witnessing it.

“Why are you excluding the press from observing this?” I asked.

“Because this is a frozen zone. It’s a police action going on. You could be injured.”

His meaning was clear. I let myself be hustled across the street to the press pen.

“What’s your name?”

His reply came as fast as he could turn away: “Watch your back.”

 

via Exclusive Video: Inside Police Lines at the Occupy Wall Street Eviction | Mother Jones.

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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests

Brilliant article in “Rolling Stone” by Matt Taibbi.  Finally, someone truly both gets and can articulate the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Here is a very brief excerpt and a link to the full article.  I strongly encourage you to click the link and read the entire article.

It’s not very long, so don’t be afraid….

 

…Occupy Wall Street was always about something much bigger than a movement against big banks and modern finance. It’s about providing a forum for people to show how tired they are not just of Wall Street, but everything. This is a visceral, impassioned, deep-seated rejection of the entire direction of our society, a refusal to take even one more step forward into the shallow commercial abyss of phoniness, short-term calculation, withered idealism and intellectual bankruptcy that American mass society has become. If there is such a thing as going on strike from one’s own culture, this is it. And by being so broad in scope and so elemental in its motivation, it’s flown over the heads of many on both the right and the left.

via How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests | Politics News | Rolling Stone.

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Is This the Beginning of the End for Fox News?

I don’t want to get my hopes up, but if this continues to spread from the UK to the US, this just might be the beginning of the end for Fox News.

This story is definitely worth watching.  It’s lead to resignations at the highest levels of the Murdoch properties such as the “Wall Street Journal” and the closure of their flagship UK newspaper.  It’s also claimed the head of Scotland Yard and the London Police, as well as a top aid to the PM.

If they have hacked phone records of prominent US citizens, politicians, journalist and 9/11 Victims in the USA, as has been alleged, this just might bring down Murdoch and his entire empire-including Fox News.

From RawStory.com:

 

A former producer with Fox News claimed in a lengthy essay gaining new traction this week that the conservative television station has a “Brain Room” in its New York headquarters which enables employees to view private telephone records with ease.

Though published years ago, the allegations have returned to relevance in the wake of the phone hacking scandals that have rocked News Corporation to its very core, threatening to topple one of the world’s largest and most powerful media conglomerates.

According to former Fox News executive Dan Cooper, whose gripes with his former employer run quite deep, Fox News chief Roger Ailes allegedly had him design the so-called “Brain Room” to facilitate counter-intelligence efforts and other “black ops.”

In a lengthy 2008 diatribe said to have doubled as a book pitch, Cooper claimed his own phone records had been hacked by Fox News employees, who he says used them to pinpoint him as a source used by David Brock, who founded liberal watchdog group Media Matters.

“Ailes knew I had given Brock the interview,” he wrote. “Certainly Brock didn’t tell him. Of course. Fox News had gotten Brock’s telephone records from the phone company, and my phone number was on the list. Deep in the bowels of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, News Corporation’s New York headquarters, was what Roger called the Brain Room. Most people thought it was simply the research department of Fox News. But unlike virtually everybody else, because I had to design and build the Brain Room, I knew it also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office. So accessing phone records was easy pie.”

That wasn’t the last time word of Ailes’s “Brain Room” surfaced: in a recent piece for Rolling Stone, journalist Tim Dickenson discusses Cooper’s allegations too, focusing on the man Ailes allegedly picked to run the secretive office.

“Befitting his siege mentality, Ailes also housed his newsroom in a bunker,” Dickenson wrote. “Reporters and producers at Fox News work in a vast, windowless expanse below street level, a gloomy space lined with video-editing suites along one wall and an endless cube farm along the other. In a separate facility on the same subterranean floor, Ailes created an in-house research unit – known at Fox News as the ‘brain room’ – that requires special security clearance to gain access. ‘The brain room is where Willie Horton comes from,’ says Cooper, who helped design its specs. ‘It’s where the evil resides.’

 

“If that sounds paranoid, consider the man Ailes brought in to run the brain room: Scott Ehrlich, a top lieutenant from his political- consulting firm. Ehrlich – referred to by some as ‘Baby Rush’ – had taken over the lead on Big Tobacco’s campaign to crush health care reform when Ailes signed on with CNBC.”

While none of these claims have been substantiated, they seem increasingly plausible given the widening coverup of Murdoch’s British hacking scandals, which have grown from the desk of just one allegedly “rogue” journalist to topple some of Murdoch’s top deputies, including the former publisher of The Wall Street Journal and the chief of News International, which oversees News Corp.’s British newspapers.

Cooper’s phone records as well would not be the first time Fox News or U.S. News Corp. employees have been accused of hacking. According to The New York Times, a New Jersey company called Floorgraphics accused News Corp. in 2009 of hacking into their password-protected computer systems to obtain proprietary information, then allegedly spreading “false, misleading and malicious information” about the firm, causing them to lose important contracts.

News Corp.’s response to the scandal was to buy Floorgraphics outright, after offering a $29.5 million settlement.

Cases like Floorgraphics’ are hardly unique: in recent years, the Times noted, News Corp. has paid over $655 million in settlements and hush money to keep allegations of anti-competitive and illegal behavior under the rug.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice have launched their own investigations into whether News Corp. participated in the hacking of 9/11 victims or U.S. officials.

via Former Fox News producer claimed network’s ‘Brain Room’ led to phone hacking | The Raw Story.

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Ann Coulter Calls Princess Diana ‘Anorexic, Bulimic Narcissist’

I think she was confused and referring to herself….

I can’t believe people still put this awful woman on television and the so-called Christians run and buy her books….

Ann Coulter is just a petty, self-centered, opportunistic media whore who’ll say anything to get attention and make money.  I don’t know why anyone but Fox News has her on television.

She’s kind of like Sarah Palin if Sarah only had one black dress and a better vocabulary……

From the Huffington Post:

 

Ann Coulter has some harsh words for the late Princess Diana.

The conservative commentator raised some eyebrows in a new interview with “The Insider” co-host Kevin Frazier.

“I find it a little baffling when Americans get so gaga-eyed over a princess. In particular Lady Di, who was just this anorexic, bulimic narcissist,” Coulter said.

Coulter, who was promoting her new book “Demonic: How The Liberal Mob Is Endangering America”, has professed contempt for Diana and the Royal Family before.

In April, Coulter appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” to call the late princess a “nitwit hussy” and said of the Royal Wedding: “It’s totally embarrassing Americans cared about that.”

She also said she was specifically going to be on a plane to France so she wouldn’t have to watch William and Kate’s nuptials.

Coulter did admit on her “Fox News” appearance that she looked up Kate Middleton and said, “She seems like a lovely woman, I feel sorry for the life she’s signed on to.”

Princess Diana was known not just for her royal title, but for being the “People’s Princess.” It was her philanthropy working to raise AIDS awareness and working towards a ban on landmines that won her the respect and admiration of many.

via Ann Coulter Calls Princess Diana ‘Anorexic, Bulimic Narcissist’ (VIDEO).

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