SF ALT-WEEKLY BROUHAHA
While I was living in New York, I actually preferred (for a while) the upstart New York Press
to the oft-creaky Village Voice. I liked Alex Cockburn and Chris Caldwell's political writing, loved Jonathan Ames' weirdness, and marvelled at how odd Armond White's Critical Race Theory-influenced film reviews were.
The Press is mostly crap now, although they do have Matt Taiibbibbi
, a weekly must-read (despite the name).
On moving to SF, and after careful examination of both the SF Weekly and the SF Bay Guardian, I came to the conclusion that they both were fucking crap. Good for music listings and comix -- that's it. Boaf of 'em.
But. Apparently I have to have a favorite now that the SF Weekly has made a deal with the devil
New Times, which owns SF Weekly and East Bay Express, has cut a deal with Clear Channel, the giant entertainment conglomerate, that could shut other print media, including the Bay Guardian, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in concert advertising, representatives of Bill Graham Presents, a Clear Channel subsidiary, told Bay Guardian ad sales staffers June 23.
Under the terms of the deal, New Times will pay Clear Channel a sum in the high six figures for naming rights to the Warfield Theatre, which for the next three years will become the SF Weekly Warfield [snort. -ed.], BGP representatives said.
In exchange, Clear Channel will spend so much money on advertising in the Weekly and Express that there will be little or no money left for competing print media.
In effect, one of the nation's largest media oligopolies has joined forces with the nation's largest alternative weekly chain to squeeze out an independently owned competitor.
"It's bad," Jeff Perlstein, executive director of Media Alliance, told us. "As all these dark tentacles become entwined, it gets more and more serious as a threat to independent media."
Nobody at New Times, SF Weekly, or Clear Channel would return our calls seeking comment. But a press release sent out June 27 from SF Weekly and BGP described the naming-rights deal and stated that SF Weekly and BGP "will collaborate across business fronts."
The press release never mentions New Times or Clear Channel and presents the deal as if it were just a friendly agreement between local companies.
Sucky. I hate this bullshit.
Boycott the Weekly.
ON THE [SF] CHRON
But the Hearst owned Chronicle has historically veered as close to the right as they possibly could, without pissing off the natives. The tories who sold them the paper did likewise. What adds insult to injury, as far as I'm concerned, is that they're the only game in town, and they're chickenshit to the core. They scream poverty, yet publish a paper geared toward Arkansas shitkickers. They could make money hand over fist if they wrote for the people of this area. But with owners like Hearst, that's a pipe dream.
Don't get me wrong- there is real talent that writes for that rag. The aforementioned gentlemen [Matier and Ross]; the great columnist, Jon Carrol; and a sportwriting lineup that is as good as it gets. But the reactionary whiphand that drives the paper will never change.
It's a crappy, crappy newspaper, unfortunately. The only thing I'd disagree with above is about the "sportswriting": it's ungodly bad. I like Carroll
THE REID RESPONSE
. The tone is quite good.
"Tonight's address offered the President an excellent opportunity to level with the American people about the current situation in Iraq, put forth a path for success, and provide the means to assess our progress. Unfortunately he fell short on all counts.
"There is a growing feeling among the American people that the President's Iraq policy is adrift, disconnected from the reality on the ground and in need of major mid-course corrections. "Staying the course," as the President advocates, is neither sustainable nor likely to lead to the success we all seek.
"The President's numerous references to September 11th did not provide a way forward in Iraq, they only served to remind the American people that our most dangerous enemy, namely Osama bin Laden, is still on the loose and Al Qaeda remains capable of doing this nation great harm nearly four years after it attacked America.
"Democrats stand united and committed to seeing that we achieve success in Iraq and provide our troops, their families, and our veterans everything they need and deserve for their sacrifices for our nation. The stakes are too high, and failure in Iraq cannot be an option. Success is only possible if the President significantly alters his current course. That requires the President to work with Congress and finally begin to speak openly and honestly with our troops and the American people about the difficult road ahead.
"Our troops and their families deserve no less."
PEEANCE / FREEANCE
According to ABC, the one incident of applause at Bush's speech was "initiated by the White House advance team."
He mentioned 9/11 five times
Now! Choice selections from the comment threads over at Eschaton
I feel sorry for the soldiers who must sit and listen to the pathological ravings of a certified sociopath. It must be frightening to realize that your life is in the hands of an individual who should be sporting the red nose and orange fright wig of a circus clown.
Lime Rickey | 06.28.05 - 8:26 pm | #
I just threw up a little in my mouth...where's my scotch?
Shake | Email | 06.28.05 - 8:28 pm | #
I want this asshole to feel napalm on his skin.
Sharkbabe | Email | 06.28.05 - 8:29 pm | #
"as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down".
Pere Ubu | Email | Homepage | 06.28.05 - 8:32 pm | #
"What I wouldn't give for a large
sock full of horse manure."
--- Woody Allen, ANNIE HALL
steve simels | Email | 06.28.05 - 8:37 pm | #
Not one mention of dead American soldiers. Not a word. Nothing.
Elaine Supkis | Email | Homepage | 06.28.05 - 8:39 pm | #
Notice how the speech is de-militarized.
Soft tone. Soft colors. Soft applause.
He is using Nixon lines now....
dogbreath | Email | 06.28.05 - 8:43 pm | #
Applause sign read "Clap or wake up in Baghdad tomorrow"
caesar rodney | 06.28.05 - 8:44 pm | #
You are not alone.
THE NEW MCCARTHYISM
E.J. is almost right-on here
, but he errs
when he says this about the bile spilling out of Karl Rove's fat face:
Rove's instantly famous speech last week to the New York State Conservative Party should be read in light of this history and not be written off as a cheap, one-time partisan attack. On the contrary, the address by Rove, President Bush's most important adviser, provides the outlines of a sophisticated strategy aimed at making liberals and Democrats all look soft on terrorism.
Here are the key passages: "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to submit a petition. . . . Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said: 'We will defeat our enemies.' Liberals saw what happened to us and said: 'We must understand our enemies.'"
This is pathetic shit, but it is most assuredly not
the worst of it.This is the worst of it
Speaking at a conservative fund-raiser in New York on Wednesday, presidential adviser Karl Rove criticized liberals for responding inadequately to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Rove also suggested that Sen. Dick Durbin's comments about conditions at Guantanamo Bay have endangered American troops. "Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger," Rove said. "No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."
What. A. Fucker.
He's saying that the criticism of the war effort from the left is intended to
kill Americans serving abroad in our armed forces.
He is filth.
in mind as you are subject to his awful, thoughtless jabber tonite.
Wait for it to load.
So I finally finished the two-volume biography
of Churchill by William Manchester
, and then I slowly crawled through Martin Gilbert's colorless The Second World War: A Complete History
; not a book I'd recommend.
Manchester is different. His narrative histories are splendid: expertly-crafted slices of life and liberal quoting of contemporaneous newspapers and magazines that amount to a very compelling feeling of the tone of the time.
I'm now reading The Glory and the Dream
, Manchester's narrative history of America from 1932 to 1972. I'm not too far into it, but I've already struck gold, in a discussion of President Hoover's delusions about the Depression:
Riffling through Hoover's papers, one sometimes has the strange feeling that the President looked upon the Depression as a public relations problem -- that he believed the nightmare would go away if only the image of American business could be polished up and set in the right light. Faith was an end in itself; "lack of business confidence" was a cardinal sin. Hoover's first reaction to the slump which followed the Crash had been to treat it as a psychological phenomenon. He himself had chosen the word "Depression" because it sounded less frightening than "panic" or "crisis." In December 1929 he declared that "conditions are fundamentally sound." Three months later he said the worst would be over in sixty days; at the end of May he predicted that the economy would be back to normal in the autumn; in June the market broke sharply, yet he told a delegation which called to plead for a public works project, "Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The Depression is over."
Already his forecasts were bring flung back to him by critics, but in his December 2, 1930, message to Congress -- a lame duck Republican Congress; the Democrats had just swept the off-year elections -- he said that "the fundamental strength of the economy is unimpaired." At about the same time the International Apple Shippers Association, faced with a surplus of apples, decided to sell them on credit to jobless men for resale at a nickel each. Overnight there were shivering apple sellers everywhere. Asked about them, Hoover replied, "Many people have left their jobs for the more profitable one of selling apples." Reporters were caustic, and the President was stung. By now he was beginning to show signs of the most ominous trait of embattled Presidents; as his secretary Theodore Joslin was to note in his memoirs, Hoover was beginning to regard some criticism "as unpatriotic."
Yeah, the insurgency is in its "last throes," Bush is in Hoovervillian denial, and critics are unpatriotic, according to fuckstain Karl Rove. History repeats.
THE TITTIES IS BACK
is not for the faint-hearted.
(via Andy P)
"A new classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda's early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat.
The officials said it made clear that the war was likely to produce a dangerous legacy by dispersing to other countries Iraqi and foreign combatants more adept and better organized than they were before the conflict."
Thanks douchebags. Oh. Wait. What was that, Presidential Spokesman Scott McLellan?
Q: Scott, how concerned is the administration about the potential for Iraq to become a sort of training ground for Islamic extremists who may go back to their home countries and use these techniques to destabilize their governments? There's a new report on that recently.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, let me mention a couple things. As the President has said for some time now, Iraq is a central front in the war on terrorism. Wherever you stood before the decision to go into Iraq, I think we can all recognize that the terrorists have made it a central front in the war on terrorism.
Q: Just following up on that question, you said at the outset of that, the terrorists have made it a central front in the war on terrorism. I thought it was a central front in the war on terrorism before we invaded.
MR. McCLELLAN: It is. It's part of the war on terrorism, yes.
Q: It was.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, it is.
Q: It is now --
MR. McCLELLAN: Both.
Q: Was it prior to --
MR. McCLELLAN: Both. It's part of the war on terrorism, David. Go ahead.
Don't you just want to reach out and punch him in the mouth?
HOW BAD ARE THEY?
A great thread
over at TPM Cafe.
Lots of good stuff there.
(The correct answer is "the worst ever.")
I'm not sure I've explained in this space the terrible political ju-ju that seems to follow me:
I moved, in August 2000, from New York City to Minnesota. There I was subjected to the horrible gubernatorial reign of one Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, a vaguely well-meaning but incredibly stupid and egotistical man. Prior to entering politics, Ventura was also a "wrestling" "celebrity" and an "actor." O the humiliation Minnesotans felt when Jesse refused to discontinue that nonsense
He was hired as host for the failed XFL football enterprise, served as a referee at a WWE wrestling match, and published several books during his tenure as governor. On his weekly radio show, he often criticized the media for focusing on these deals rather than on his policy proposals.
There were other things too, but, in short, he was a fucker.
Then I move from Minneapolis to San Francisco, and yobbo dickwad Californians inexplicably elect Schwarzenegger here. O dear. But this happily led to Salto's Famous-One-Liner™:My Governors are the fucking cast of 'Predator.'
Minus, of course, that stingy Carl Weathers.Anyway, did you have any idea that Schwarzenegger was this unpopular?
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger suddenly ranks among the most unpopular governors in modern California history, as residents grow increasingly unhappy about the action hero-turned-politician's budget plans and his call for a special election, according to a new Field Poll.
Less than a third -- 31 percent -- of the state's adults approve of the job the governor is doing in Sacramento, down from 54 percent in February. The numbers are only slightly better among registered voters, 37 percent of whom are happy with Schwarzenegger's performance and 53 percent dissatisfied.
Heartening news. Perhaps he should be recalled.
Click the pic.
OUR CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
The House of Representatives took a little- noticed but dangerous swipe at the power of the courts this week. It passed an amendment to a budget bill that would bar money from being spent to enforce a federal court ruling regarding the Ten Commandments. The vote threatens the judiciary's long-acknowledged position as the final arbiter of the Constitution. It is important that this amendment be removed before the bill becomes law.
During consideration of an appropriations bill for the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce, Representative John Hostettler, Republican of Indiana, introduced an amendment to prohibit any funds from being used to enforce Russelburg v. Gibson County. In that case, a federal court ruled that a courthouse Ten Commandments display violated the First Amendment and had to be removed. Mr. Hostettler declared that the ruling was unconstitutional, and inconsistent with "the Christian heritage of the United States."
This is just the beginning.
But before you go, check out what the enemy looks like:
John Hostettler: slightly cromag, with delectable hints of neand.
"A GENERATIONAL COMMITMENT"
THE SCHIAVO PROTESTORS
gets a little whiny about the treatment our librul media affords to different protests:
One aspect of the press coverage that always bothered me, along with every other aspect of the press coverage, was the treatment of the protesters. It was never possible to determine how many there were at any given moment, though it looked to me like just a few dozen; fewer than were meeting the other night to try to stop an apartment building from going up where Gristedes used to be on 99th and Broadway. Anyway, remember the February demonstrations against the American war on Iraq in 2003. They were the largest worldwide demonstrations in human history; millions of people and the television coverage either ignored them or mocked them, offering Americans little or no understanding of why we are now so hated all over the world for the Bush administration’s actions. My guess, and I don’t know how you’d prove it, is that on a per-demonstrator basis, each of those people received approximately a zillionth the amount of coverage—and respect—that the Terri Schiavo demonstrators received. This is media bias at its most naked, and believe me, it ain’t liberal.
But Eric, the Schiavo protestors were CHRISTIANS. I mean, jeez. Except for this guy, obviously:
DOWNING STREET MEMO
The reporter for the London Sunday Times who broke the story (in, um, May, though we didn't hear about for at least a month (becuz of the librul media)) is interviewed by the Washington Post
It is one thing for the New York Times or the Washington Post to say that we were being told that the intelligence was being fixed by sources inside the CIA or Pentagon or the NSC and quite another to have documentary confirmation in the form of the minutes of a key meeting with the Prime Minister's office. Think of it this way, all the key players were there. This was the equivalent of an NSC meeting, with the President, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, George Tenet, and Tommy Franks all there. They say the evidence against Saddam Hussein is thin, the Brits think regime change is illegal under international law so we are going to have to go to the UN to get an ultimatum, not as a way of averting war but as an excuse to make the war legal, and oh by the way we arent preparing for what happens after and no-one has the faintest idea what Iraq will be like after a war. Not reportable, are you kidding me?
Highly important. A must-read. Let's hope this story doesn't fade.
EAT SHIT RELIGIOUS BITCHES
From the Times
An autopsy on Terri Schiavo, the severely brain damaged woman whose death sparked an intense debate over a person's right-to-die, showed that her brain was severely "atrophied" and weighed less than half of what it should have, and that no treatment could have reversed the damage. ...
"This damage was irreversible," said Mr. Thogmartin. "No amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."
The autopsy also showed that physical abuse or poison did not lead to her collapse in 1990. Ms. Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had accused their daughter's husband, Michael Schiavo, of abusing her, which he steadfastly denied. Mr. Thogmartin also said there was no evidence she had had an eating disorder before she collapsed.
The medical examiner said Ms. Schiavo was blind in her final days and that she would not have been able to eat or drink had she been fed by mouth, as her parents had requested. The autopsy found no evidence that she suffered a heart attack, or that she was given harmful drugs that may have accelerated her death.
If you remember, the wackites claimed that Ms. Schiavo said "nuhhhh..." ("no," supposedly) as her feeding tube was disconnected. And that Michael Schiavo was an abuser responsible for her condition. And blah blah blah blah. Propagandists and liars all.
BEN STEIN IS A FUCKING LOONY
Remember Ben Stein? The crusty academic slash actor slash curmudgeon, etc., with the cutesie game show and the wry persona? Yeah, he worked for the GOP, but he's not all that bad, right?
Yeah, Ben Stein.
He's a fucking right-wing nutjob.Witness
Finally, there is a lot of debate about whether or not Mark Felt was a hero. Obviously, I don't think so. I think the hero was Richard Nixon, fighting for peace even as he was being horribly mistreated and crucified just for his fight for peace.