Wednesday, April 18, 2007

SURVEY: Daily Show/Colbert Viewers Most Knowledgable, Fox News Viewers Rank Lowest

Think Progress reports...
A new study by the Pew Research Study shows that viewers of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report have the highest knowledge of national and international affairs, while Fox News viewers rank nearly dead last:

Despite significant technology shifts, however, Pew found that “today’s citizens are about as able to name their leaders, and are about as aware of major news events, as was the public nearly 20 years ago.”

The results about Fox News echo findings of previous surveys. In 2003, University of Maryland researchers studied the public’s belief in three false claims — that Iraq possessed WMD, that Iraq was involved in 9/11, and that there was international support for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The researchers stated, “The extent of Americans’ misperceptions vary significantly depending on their source of news. Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions.” Fox News viewers were “three times more likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions.”

LINK: SURVEY: Daily Show/Colbert Viewers Most Knowledgable, Fox News Viewers Rank Lowest

-Mr. Joseph

Tommy Thompson: Jews have a ‘tradition’ of ‘earning money.’

He sure makes us Wisconsinites proud...

Think Progress...
“I’m in the private sector and for the first time in my life I’m earning money. You know that’s sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that,” said former Wisconsin governor and presidential candidate Tommy Thompson while speaking to a group of Jewish activists. He later apologized after the audience reacted negatively, saying that he actually meant it as a compliment. Atrios responds HERE.
LINK: Thompson: Jews have a ‘tradition’ of ‘earning money.’

The Politico noted his apology...
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson said today that fatigue and a persistent cold were to blame for his comment yesterday to a group of Reform Jews that earning money is "part of the Jewish tradition."

"I was tired, I made a mistake and I apologized," Thompson told a group of Politico reporters and editors in an interview.

"Have you ever made a mistake?," a testy Thompson demanded of this reporter.

Thompson also noted that he had received an award from the Anti-Defamation League and traveled to Israel last year to accept a "Friend of Zion" award from former Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.
LINK: T. Thompson Apologizes For Jewish Remark

I can't believe he is running for President...
-Mr. Joseph

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cheney on credibility issues: “We’ve got issues we need to work through…”

Crooks and Liars...

Schieffer: Does this administration have a credibility problem?

Cheney: I don't think so Bob, ummm…I think obviously we've got issues we need to work through. You do the best you can with what you've got obviously and I think on reflection that indeed the record of the President and his administration will stand up well to scrutiny…

Sorry…I-can't-stop-laughing….Remember Rumsfeld saying:

As you know, ah, you go to war with the army you have—not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time…

He says he has no idea what's going on with the DOJ…OK, sure thing Dick….Gonzo has been preparing like mad so he'll have his talking points together…Well, maybe not… He sure is cramming for the big test though..

Cheney says he hasn't spoken to his BFF Scooter Libby since the trial and when Bob asked him if he feels responsible for Libby's problems, Cheney refused to comment.

LINK: Cheney on credibility issues: “We’ve got issues we need to work through…”

Wow, Cheney usually doesn't slip and admit things like that.
-Mr. Joseph

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jon Stewart rips into Nancy Grace

The guys at the Daily Show are brilliant. The segment that ran regarding how brutal Nancy Grace has been regarding the Duke LaCrosse scandal is very hard-hitting. I can't stand Nancy Grace's ruthless, unintelligent, accusitory behavior. So, I was very happy to see this video.

"Now, I know she seems nice."

It is quite funny.
Here's the video via YouTube...

LINK: Nancy Grace gets ripped by Jon Stewart

Crooks and Liars also has the video and more...

Also, for more on Nancy Grace, check out the book, Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power: The Rise and Risks of the New Conservative Hate Culture . I believe the first chapter is dedicated to her (she's also on the cover!).

Here's an (very) small article from The Onion, that slams her...

-Mr. Joseph

Friday, April 13, 2007

After Imus, Franken calls upon CNN to fire Beck

Think Progress found this priceless clip...

Appearing last night on CNN’s Larry King Live, Al Franken said that firing Don Imus was the “right decision,” but pointed out that CNN has its own anchor who regularly spews hateful and bigoted remarks.

“CNN has Glenn Beck on,” Franken told King. “Glenn Beck asked my congressman, Keith Ellison, who is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, you know, I just want to ask you, how do I know that you’re not working with the enemy? … I don’t know why that wasn’t grounds for CNN thinking, well, maybe Glenn Beck shouldn’t be on. I mean, how dare he say that to a congressman who has just been elected?”

King asked Franken, “With a lot of [controversial remarks] going on, are you calling for other dismissals?” Franken said, “No, I’m not. Just Glenn Beck on your network.”


FRANKEN: Well, the best thing to come out of this was the women from — from the Rutgers team. I thought they were eloquent. I thought they were dignified. I thought it was — I especially loved what one of them said about two — or three of her teammates.

She said, so and so is the big sister I never heard. So and so is the funniest person in the world. And so and so is going to make a great attorney. This guy doesn’t know anything about us.

And I think that just underlined it so well, that this was totally inappropriate, totally wrong. He didn’t know anything about them. And I hope gets the chance to talk to them, and I hope at least something good comes out of this.

You know, I — Ed Schultz was saying that everyone’s talking about this. I was up in Minnesota today with a group of seniors from seven counties. This wasn’t a senior home. This was seniors who were caring about policy. And they are debating global warming and health care, and they were — they weren’t talking about this at all.

It obviously is an important thing, it’s a big thing, but they were talking about things…

KING: Let’s stay — I’ll get to that. But let’s stay with I-Man for a couple of minutes.


KING: Is it forgivable? Should CBS let him stay on?

FRANKEN: You know, it’s — it’s their choice. I think — I think NBC made the right decision. I think cable news is cable news. And he has that position.

I have heard a lot of talk radio — now, I will give you an example. CNN has Glenn Beck on. Glenn Beck asked my congressman, Keith Ellison, who is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, you know, I just want to ask you, how do I know that you’re not working with the enemy?

And he said that — I think he said it on CNN. But he certainly is — he’s on CNN. I don’t know why that wasn’t grounds for CNN thinking, well, maybe Glenn Beck shouldn’t be on. I mean, how dare he say that to a congressman who has just been elected?

And I hear this kind of thing a lot of time. I monitored a lot of right-wing radio when I was doing my show and before it. And I’ve heard Rush Limbaugh say things that are worse than this.

And so, I don’t know.

KING: Does that make thing then forgivable since others are doing it? You know, if you go, 40, 50 miles an hour, it’s not an excuse if other people do it and they stop you. But should he be at least given some rope? FRANKEN: I don’t know if I buy the analogy, but I’m not glad I’m making this decision. This is up to CBS’ management. Let’s put it that way.

KING: You wouldn’t want to be in the position to have to make it?

FRANKEN: Well, if I were, I would make it, but that’s not my decision, thank you. That’s the answer.

KING: With a lot of it going on, are you calling for other dismissals?

FRANKEN: No, I’m not. Just Glenn Beck on your network.

KING: Just Glenn Beck.


KING: He’s on “HEADLINE NEWS,” right?

FRANKEN: Well, “HEADLINE NEWS” is part of CNN. And…

KING: Have you been on the Imus show?

FRANKEN: I have. I have been on a couple of times over the years. And, you know, after he did the White House — or no, it wasn’t White House correspondent — it was the Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner.

KING: Yes.

FRANKEN: I criticized him then, so we were on the outs. And, you know, one of the worst parts about this, I think, is that he used the defense it was a joke.

Now, Larry, I know that you loved Lenny Bruce. And Lenny Bruce offended people all the time. But there was always an actual point behind it, right?

KING: Correct. Correct.

FRANKEN: There was a joke. The joke meant something. It was about societal hypocrisy. Whatever it was about.

This was — I don’t get this joke. And I don’t get the idea of having — you k now, as someone who has had a radio show, of having a kind of racist sidekick. Which I guess is what it is.

I don’t listen to Imus enough. But isn’t it — was that the concept of a show, I’m going to have a vaguely racist sidekick?

KING: I don’t think that’s the concept of the show. It covers everything.

FRANKEN: OK. KING: It has major political figures, as you know.

FRANKEN: Yes, I know. I know, and that’s — he’s sort of trying to be a shock jock and be Tim Russert. And that’s a needle you have to thread, and I think it’s threadable. And I guess he just didn’t do it.

He hasn’t done it.

KING: Up next…

FRANKEN: It’s a terrible thing.

LINK: During CNN Appearance, Al Franken Calls On CNN To Fire Glenn Beck

-Mr. Joseph

Don Imus: CANCELED (Part II)

From CBS...
CBS announced Thursday that it has fired Don Imus from his radio program, following a week of uproar over the radio host's derogatory comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team.

"There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society," CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision.

LINK: CBS Fires Don Imus Over Racial Slur


LINK: TIME: The Imus Fallout: Who Can Say What?

LINK: NJ Gov. Injured in Car Accident on his Way to Meet with Imus!

LINK: Condoleezza Rice: I'm glad Imus was fired

LINK: Rutgers Team: We Accept Imus Apology

And then there was this...
Huckabee: "Rosie's probably's got to go. Bill Maher has to go. Gosh, half of television and talk radio has to go."
LINK: Republican says if Imus goes, others should too

This was only days after Huckabee appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher.

More RELATED READING (via Media Matters)

It's not just Imus

In wake of CBS Decision David Brock Calls for 'Broader Conversation' on bigotry and sexism in the media

UPDATED Timeline: A week in the life of Imus in the Morning

Drudge falsely claimed Soros funds Media Matters

More coverage of Imus in the Morning

-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (4/16/07):
“There has been radio silence from a lot of people who have done this program who could have spoken up and said, I find this offensive or I didn’t know,” Ifill said. “These people didn’t speak up.” She then turned Russert and Brooks, frequest guests on Imus’s show. “Tim, we didn’t hear from you. David, we didn’t hear from you.”
LINK: Gwen Ifill Calls Out Russert, Brooks For Their Silence On Imus

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Author Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84

This is very sad news, Vonnegut was a great writer...

Kurt Vonnegut, the Indianapolis-born literary giant behind seminal 20th-century novels "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Breakfast of Champions," died Wednesday evening at age 84.

Vonnegut, who often marveled that he had lived so long despite his lifelong smoking habit, had suffered brain injuries after a fall at his Manhattan home weeks ago, said his wife, photographer Jill Krementz.

"He's the closest thing we've had to Voltaire," Tom Wolfe, whose first book had a blurb from Vonnegut, told Bloomberg News Service. "It's a sad day for the literary world."

Vonnegut had been scheduled to speak in Indianapolis on April 27 as part of the ongoing "Year of Vonnegut" celebration honoring his life and work. Vonnegut's son Mark planned to give the 2007 McFadden Memorial Lecture written by his father.

The author's writing was distinctive for its combination of the satirical and the fantastical, and leavened by a black humor that looked disdainfully upon humankind's capacity for destruction.

"I will say anything to be funny, often in the most horrible situations," Vonnegut, whose watery, heavy-lidded eyes and unruly hair made him seem to be in existential pain, once told a gathering of psychiatrists.

Other notable novels include "Cat's Cradle," "The Sirens of Titan" and "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater."

Vonnegut grew up in a prominent Indianapolis family, born in 1922 to Kurt (Sr.) and Edith Vonnegut. His father and grandfather were architects, and his mother was the daughter of millionaire brewer Albert Lieber.

Though he left Indianapolis more than 50 years ago, Mr. Vonnegut never severed his ties to the city.

"Today, Indianapolis mourns the loss of a native son and literary legend," said Mayor Bart Peterson in a statement Wednesday night. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Kurt Vonnegut regularly referenced his Hoosier ties and spoke fondly of his formative years here. The pride that Vonnegut often expressed in his Indianapolis roots is certainly reciprocated by the pride we feel in his tremendous life and legendary work. He and his imaginative, thought-provoking literature will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Vonnegut family," Peterson said.

While serving in the Army during World War II, he was captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. As a prisoner of war, he witnessed the 1945 firebombing of Dresden. The horrific deaths of thousands of civilians later inspired him to write "Slaughterhouse-Five," widely regarded as his masterpiece, nearly a quarter-century later.

"He is the representative writer of the post-World War American," Donald E. Morse, a professor at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, and author of "The Novels of Kurt Vonnegut: Imagining Being an American," told Bloomberg. "This is the person who recorded the effects of the Great Depression on people, World War II, Vietnam, drugs, you name it, he covered it in his fiction and he did it in a way that we had to pay attention to."

A graduate of Shortridge High School who attended Cornell University before enlisting in the military, Vonnegut began publishing short stories in the 1950s while working in public relations for General Electric. His first novel, "Player Piano," was published in 1952.

He publicly proclaimed his 1997 novel "Timequake" would be his last work of fiction. He continued writing essays, often contemptuous of the presidency of George W. Bush, which were published in a 2005 collection titled "A Man Without a Country."

An avowed humanist, Vonnegut became more pessimistic about human capacity for good in his later years. In a 2004 essay he wrote, "Only a nut case would want to be a human being, if he or she had a choice." And he told the Los Angeles Times in a 2005 interview, "I think we're a very bad idea. Look at the 20th century. You've got the Holocaust, two world wars, Hiroshima. Let's just call it off."

Tragedy was a recurring trait throughout his life. Vonnegut's mother killed herself in 1944, and he attempted suicide in 1984. He wrote about his attempt several times. He suffered smoke inhalation during a 2000 fire that destroyed part of his New York townhouse.

Vonnegut married his childhood sweetheart, Jane Marie Cox, in 1945. They had a son, Mark, and two daughters, Edith and Nanette. After his sister Alice and her husband died within days of each other in 1958, the Vonneguts adopted three of the couple's four children. Kurt and Jane Marie separated in 1970 and divorced in 1979. Vonnegut married Krementz in 1979, and they adopted a daughter, Lily, in 1982.
LINK: Author Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84

I read Sirens of Titan last year and loved it. I am actually currently reading Slaughterhouse-Five for my Banned Books Literature class...

May he R.I.P.
-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE: (4/13/07)
LINK: About Political Humor: The Political Wisdom of Kurt Vonnegut

LINK: Since 1995, Kurt Vonnegut contributed his distinct art and words to the pages of In These Times, and we were deeply saddened to learn of his passing. Tomorrow, we will remember his work as a teacher, artist, humanist, and friend. But for now, here’s a compilation of Vonnegut’s contributions.

Fred Thompson says he has cancer

Following the news of Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow, this is depressing...

From the Chicago Tribune...
Fred Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee better known for his starring role on television's "Law and Order" and a potential Republican presidential candidate, said Wednesday that he has coped with a slow-growing form of cancer for three years.

Thompson, 64, whom supporters are encouraging to seek the 2008 GOP nomination, said his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is in remission—"not a big deal"—and should not threaten his life expectancy.

"I am one of the lucky ones," Thompson wrote in a posting on a conservative Internet site, followed by television and radio interviews. "I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms," he said of the cancer first diagnosed in 2004.

It should have no impact on the actor's campaign prospects either, according to retired Republican Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, a longtime friend who is encouraging Thompson to run and took the announcement about his cancer as a sign that he will.

"I don't think he would have made a public proclamation out of it" if he weren't planning to run, Baker said Wednesday. "I think he is going to run."

While still undeclared as a candidate, Thompson, an attorney and former senator who plays a prosecutor in the popular NBC prime-time crime series, has a better-known name—and apparently enjoys more public support—than many already seeking the GOP nomination or considering it.

Thompson narrowly outpolls Sen. John McCain of Arizona among Republicans in a new Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg News Poll conducted April 5-9. In the survey of registered Republicans, 15 percent said they favor Thompson and 12 percent McCain---ranking them second and third behind former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who drew 29 percent of those surveyed.

Many Republicans also have complained of a dearth of conservative candidates in a field now dominated by Giuliani. Thompson, who opposes gun control and abortion rights, trumps the party's front-runners on those two bellwether issues for conservative voters .

Yet Baker, a Republican who served in the Senate until 1985 and hired Thompson as chief counsel for Republicans on the Senate Watergate Committee, maintains that Thompson carries broad appeal.

"I think the party is looking for the right candidate," Baker said. "He has character…He has experience. He has personality. He has presence… I don't think Fred is a doctrinaire conservative… I think Fred is Fred."

At the same time, Thompson has acknowledged a disease that has gained new attention in the political arena lately.

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards of North Carolina, recently announced a recurrence of her breast cancer – with the couple vowing it will not slow down his campaign. And Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, has been sidelined with a recurrence of colon cancer.

Other candidates have survived cancer: McCain, who was treated for skin cancer, and Giuliani, with prostate cancer.

Others of course have not: Paul Tsongas, a former senator from Massachusetts first diagnosed and treated for lymphoma in 1983, sought the Democratic nomination for president in 1992. Tsongas, who lost to Bill Clinton, faced hospitalization for new treatment of his recurring lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, in January 1993 and died four years later.

Thompson says his own, slow-growing form of lymphoma does not currently require treatment, and the American Cancer Society says people can survive for 20 years or more.

Thompson is gauging public reaction to his affliction before making any announcement about a candidacy.

Thompson has said for a month that he is considering a campaign, and a Draft Fred Thompson committee says its Internet site has drawn 500 e-mails a day encouraging him to run.

Dean Rice, the committee leader, was unbowed by Thompson's announcement of lymphoma: "Absolutely not. We see yet again that Fred Thompson is straightforward with the American people and does not avoid addressing the tough issues head on."

Thompson explained his situation on another Internet site on Wednesday, the conservative

"We have all seen the courageous battle that Elizabeth and John Edwards are fighting, and there are so many others," wrote Thompson. "Fortunately, there are an increasing number of good stories because of the medical advances that have been made."

His physician, Dr. Bruce Cheson of Georgetown University Hospital, said: "Some lymphomas are very aggressive, but people with slow-growing types, like Sen. Thompson's, often [die] from natural causes associated with old age, rather than from the disease."

Thompson, who had played roles in feature films—including "The Hunt for Red October" and "Barbarians at the Gate"—became a star on "Law and Order" after leaving the Senate in 2003. He had won a special election in 1994 to fill the seat of Democrat Al Gore, elected vice president in 1992.

Thompson also has top notch credentials: He served as a U.S. attorney from 1969 to 1972 and as chief counsel to the Republican minority on the Senate Watergate Committee during the investigation that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.
LINK: Fred Thompson says he has cancer

Although I disagree with most of what he says, I wish him the best and I hope he has a swift recovery.

-Mr. Joseph

Is Tommy Thompson the Anti-Christ?

From Crooks and Liars...

I actually had several other more plausible candidates in mind, personally. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in favor of RFID chips, but it struck me as ironic that the rightwingers keep labeling liberals as 'unhinged' when they have such bright, shiny examples right in their own backyard.

People for the American Way:

Janet Folger, formerly the National Director of the Center for Reclaiming America and current President of Faith 2 Action, announces that she will not be voting for Tommy Thompson, primarily because he reportedly supports the use of implantable Radio Frequency Identification chips.

And that smacks too much of the Book of Revelations for Folger's liking:

He wants us all to be "chipped" with Radio Frequency Identification and sits on the board of the VeriChip Corp., a company currently talking to the Pentagon about inserting the grain-sized microchip into American citizens, beginning with our soldiers.

High-tech stuff like that you can find in the book of … Revelation - written 2,000 years ago. Here's what I remember from Sunday School: In the end times, there's a one-world government and a good-looking charismatic leader who seems like a really great guy, except for the fact that he happens to be the Antichrist. He talks all about peace and requires that everyone take this mark in order to buy and sell. The upside of taking the mark: you get to buy and sell; the downside: you go to hell forever.

Folger, author of The Criminalization of Christianity, has a flair for dramatic rhetoric. As a featured speaker at the 2006 "War on Christians" conference, she stated that Christians have the right to remain silent in the face of persecution and hostility but "if you use your right to remain silent, those are the last words you'll hear before seeing the inside of a prison cell."

But even for an expert in hyperbole, Folger's insinuation that Thompson may be the anti-Christ, or at least on of his henchmen, is pretty remarkable.

LINK: Is Tommy Thompson the Anti-Christ?

This is too funny. He's the ex-governor of my home state, and I can't stand him. I hope he drops out soon.
-Mr. Joseph


MSNBC reports...
MSNBC said Wednesday it will drop its simulcast of the “Imus in the Morning” radio program, responding to growing outrage about the radio host’s racial slur against the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

“This decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own employees,” NBC news said in a statement.

Talk-show host Don Imus triggered the uproar on his April 4 show, when he referred to the mostly black Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” His comments have been widely denounced by civil rights and women’s groups.

The decision does not affect Imus’ nationally syndicated radio show, and the ultimate decision on the fate of that program will rest with executives at CBS Corp. In a statement, CBS reiterated that Imus will be suspended without pay for two weeks beginning on Monday, and that CBS Radio “will continue to speak with all concerned parties and monitor the situation closely.”

MSNBC’s action came after a growing list of sponsors — including American Express Co., Sprint Nextel Corp., Staples Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and General Motors Corp. — said they were pulling ads from Imus’ show for the indefinite future.

NBC News President Steve Capus said he made the decision after reading thousands of e-mails and having countless discussions with NBC workers and the public, but he denied the potential loss of advertising dollars had anything to do with it.

“I take no joy in this. It’s not a particularly happy moment, but it needed to happen,” he said. “I can’t ignore the fact that there is a very long list of inappropriate comments, of inappropriate banter, and it has to stop.”

NBC’s decision came at a time when Imus’ program on MSNBC was doing better competitively than it ever has been. For the first three months of the year, its audience was nearly identical to CNN’s, leading CNN to replace its morning news team last week.

‘He's crossed the line’
Calls for Imus’ firing from the radio portion of the program have intensified during the past week, and remained strong even after MSNBC’s announcment. The show originates from WFAN-AM in New York City and is syndicated nationally by Westwood One, both of which are managed by CBS Corp. MSNBC, which had been simulcasting the show, is a unit of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal.

Bruce Gordon, former head of the NAACP and a director of CBS Corp., said before MSNBC’s decision Wednesday he hoped the broadcasting company would “make the smart decision” by firing Imus.

“He’s crossed the line, he’s violated our community,” Gordon said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “He needs to face the consequence of that violation.”

Gordon, a longtime telecommunications executive, stepped down in March after 19 months as head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the foremost U.S. civil rights organizations.

He said he had spoken with CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves and hoped the company, after reviewing the situation, would fire Imus rather than let him return to the air at the end of his suspension.

“We should have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to what I see as irresponsible, racist behavior,” Gordon said. “The Imus comments go beyond humor. Maybe he thought it was funny, but that’s not what occurred.”

A CBS spokesman, Dana McClintock, declined comment on the remarks by Gordon, who is one of at least two minorities on the 13-member board.

The 10 members of the Rutgers team spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday about the on-air comments, made the day after the team lost the NCAA championship game to Tennessee. Some of them wiped away tears as their coach, C. Vivian Stringer, criticized Imus for “racist and sexist remarks that are deplorable, despicable, abominable and unconscionable.”

The women, eight of whom are black, agreed to meet with Imus privately and hear his explanation. They held back from saying whether they’d accept Imus’ apologies.

Stringer said late Wednesday that she did not call for Imus’ firing, but was pleased with the decision by NBC executives.

She said the meeting with Imus was never designed to call for his removal but to give the women on the team the opportunity to meet with him and for him to see the people he had so publicly hurt.

“The young ladies and I needed to put a face behind the remarks... He needs to know who these young ladies are that he hurt,” Stringer said.

Imus has apologized repeatedly for his comments. He said Tuesday he hadn’t been thinking when making a joke that went “way too far.” He also said that those who called for his firing without knowing him, his philanthropic work or what his show was about would be making an “ill-informed” choice.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said in New York that he would put pressure on CBS but that the issue was larger than Imus.

“I think we also have to have now a broad discussion on how the music industry allows this to be used,” Sharpton said. “I don’t think that we should stop at NBC, and I don’t think we should stop at Imus.”

LINK: MSNBC drops simulcast of Don Imus show

Media Matters issued a statement regarding this decision...

Cancellation Sparked by Racist Comments First Posted by Media Matters

Washington, DC - This evening, David Brock, President and CEO of Media Matters for America released the following statement regarding the decision of NBC News to cancel MSNBC's simulcast of Imus in the Morning.

"By canceling their simulcast of Don Imus on MSNBC, the National Broadcasting Company has finally done the right thing. We hope CBS Radio will again follow NBC's lead.

More and more Americans are coming to understand the damage done by major news organizations providing a platform for bigoted commentary and other conservative misinformation, and they are demanding change. MSNBC's decision is an important step in the right direction.

This decision sends a clear message to other networks, journalists and media personalities that bigotry and hate speech have no place on America's airwaves.

The cable networks would be well advised to think twice about their broadcasting decisions in the future. It is our hope that this will open a larger dialogue on the overall tone of the media today."

As first posted by Media Matters for America, on the April 4 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, which is comprised of eight African-American and two white players, as "nappy-headed hos" immediately after the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team "hard-core hos." Later, former Imus sports announcer Sid Rosenberg, who was filling in for sportscaster Chris Carlin, said: "The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the [National Basketball Association's] Toronto Raptors."

More ...
LINK: Imus Cancellation: Statement from Media Matters


LINK: Media Matters: Timeline: A week in the life of Imus in the Morning

LINK: Crooks and Liars: Laura Ingraham Cuts and Runs on Hannity & Colmes

LINK: C&L: The Daily Show Tackles Imusgate

LINK: Think Progress: PBS’s Gwen Ifill speaks out on Imus.

LINKS from the Drudge Report...


CBS puts off any further action...

Hillary Slams Imus: 'I've never wanted to go on his show and I certainly don't ever intend to go on his show'...

CBS Director Hopes Imus Will Be Fired...

Obama calls for Imus to be fired...

Rosie on Imus: 'Thought police' are coming...

Edwards On Imus: 'I Believe In Forgiveness'...

Will CBS Radio follow suit? I'm not sure -- not after this comment he made....

-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus: BANNED for two weeks

From Yahoo! News...
Don Imus' morning talk show will be suspended from CBS Radio and MSNBC for two weeks following protests about his reference to members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos," both networks said Monday.

MSNBC, which telecasts the radio show, said Imus' expressions of regret and embarrassment, coupled with his stated dedication to changing the show's discourse, made it believe suspension was the appropriate response.

"Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability to live up to his word," the network said.

The suspension begins next Monday.

Imus, who has made a career of cranky insults in the morning, was fighting for his job following the joke that by his own admission went "way too far." He continued to apologize Monday, both on his show and on a syndicated radio program hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton who is among several black leaders demanding his ouster.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said that Imus' suspensions would not halt the protests.

"This is a two-week cooling off period," Jackson said. "It does not challenge the character of the show, its political impact, or the impact that these comments have had on our society."

Imus could be in real danger if the outcry causes advertisers to shy away from him, said Tom Taylor, editor of the trade publication Inside Radio. The NationalOrganization for Women" is also seeking Imus' ouster.

Imus isn't the most popular radio talk-show host — the trade publication Talkers ranks him the 14th most influential — but his audience is heavy on the political and media elite that advertisers pay a premium to reach. Authors, journalists and politicians are frequent guests — and targets for insults.

He has urged critics to recognize that his show is a comedy that spreads insults broadly. Imus or his cast have called Colin Powell a "weasel," New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson a "fat sissy" and referred to Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, an American Indian, as "the guy from `F Troop.'" He and his colleagues also called the New York Knicks a group of "chest-thumping pimps."

On Sharpton's program Monday, Imus said that "our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far."

Imus made his remark the day after the Rutgers team, which includes eight black women, lost the NCAA women's championship game to Tennessee. He was speaking with producer Bernard McGuirk and said "that's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos ..."

"Some hardcore hos," McGuirk said.

"That's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm going to tell you that," Imus said.

The Rutgers comment has struck a chord, in part, because it was aimed at a group of young women at the pinnacle of athletic success. It also came in a different public atmosphere following the Mel Gibson and Michael Richards comments, said Eric Deggans, columnist for the St. Petersburg Times and chairman of the media monitoring committee of the National Association of Black Journalists. The NABJ's governing board, which doesn't include Deggans, wants Imus canned.

"This may be the first time where he's done something like this in the YouTube era," Deggans said. Viewers can quickly see clips of Imus' remarks, not allowing him to redefine their context, he said.

On his show Monday, Imus called himself "a good person" who made a bad mistake.

"Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of everybody, because some people don't deserve it," he said. "And because the climate on this program has been what it's been for 30 years doesn't mean that it has to be that way for the next five years or whatever because that has to change, and I understand that."

New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine spoke to Rutgers players Monday and said later that he strongly condemned Imus' words. Only the Rutgers players can decide to accept his apology, Corzine said.

Rutgers players said they planned to make a public statement on Tuesday.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, whose presidential candidacy has been backed by Imus on the air, said he would still appear on Imus' program.

"He has apologized," McCain said. "He said that he is deeply sorry. I'm a great believer in redemption."

Baseball star Cal Ripken Jr., who was to appear on Imus' show later this week to promote a book, has canceled his appearance, according to the Washington Times.

Imus' radio show originates from WFAN in New York City and is syndicated nationally by Westwood One, both of which are managed by CBS. The show reached an estimated 361,000 viewers on MSNBC in the first three months of the year, up 39 percent from last year. That's the best competitive position it has ever achieved against CNN (372,000 viewers).

Imus' fate could ultimately rest with two of the nation's most prominent media executives: CBS Corp. chief Leslie Moonves and Jeff Zucker, head of NBC Universal.

"He will survive it if he stops apologizing so much," said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers. Imus clearly seems under corporate pressure to make amends, but he's nearly reached the point where he is alienating the fans who appreciate his grumpy outrageousness.

Even if he were to be fired, he's likely to land elsewhere in radio, Harrison said.

Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP board of directors, said it is "past time his employers took him off the air."

Imus was mostly contrite in his appearance with Sharpton, although the activist did not change his opinion that Imus should lose his job. At one point Imus seemed incredulous at Sharpton's suggestion that he might walk away from the incident unscathed.

"Unscathed?" Imus said. "How do you think I'm unscathed by this? Don't you think I'm humiliated?"

LINK: Racial slur gets Imus 2-week suspension

RELATED READING (from the Drudge Report):


Rutgers Team Weighs In...


NBC TODAY's Al Roker says time for Imus to go...

Some advertisers skittish...

McCain says he will still appear...

Imus, Sharpton to Meet On-Air..

Contrite Imus: 'I'm a Good Person'...

Imus Takes His Lumps on Sharpton's Show

Is this the end of the story?
-Mr. Joseph

Clinton, Obama, Edwards to Skip FOX-Sponsored Debate

From the Washington Post...

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) yesterday joined former North Carolina senator John Edwards (D) in deciding to skip a debate scheduled for September that Fox News is co-sponsoring with the Congressional Black Caucus.

Liberal activists, particularly the online group, have called for Democratic presidential candidates not to participate in debates by Fox, which they say is biased against Democrats. Clinton campaign aides said she would participate only in the six events sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee and two other events she had already agreed to. Several candidates, including Edwards, last month withdrew from a debate that Fox was co-hosting with the Nevada Democratic Party and would have taken place in August in Reno.

Aides to Obama, Edwards and Clinton said the candidates will participate in a debate that the Congressional Black Caucus is co-sponsoring with CNN in January in South Carolina.

"CNN seemed like a more appropriate venue," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in explaining his campaign's decision.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), who used to head the Congressional Black Caucus, called the decision by Obama "unfortunate." Cummings noted that many Democratic presidential candidates, including Edwards, participated in two debates that the caucus put on with Fox in the 2004 primary process.

<>LINK: Clinton, Obama to Skip Fox-Sponsored Debate

So, who will be debating? Dennis Kucinich?

-Mr. Joseph

Ford CEO saves President Bush’s life

This is such a typical story for President Bush...

Think Progress...

Ford CEO Alan Mulally tells reporters that he had to run over and stop President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of a hybrid car at the White House last week.

“I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness!’ So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front,” Mulally said. “I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen This is all off the record, right?”

LINK: Ford CEO saves President Bush’s life.

I am actually very happy Mulally did that, I wouldn't wish an embarrassing death like that on anyone.
-Mr. Joseph

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bill O'Reilly vs. Snoop Dogg?

Crooks and Liars picked up on this odd story...


Snoop Dog doesn't hold back on Bill O"Reilly. This is from a Dutch talk show…(explicit language)

UPDATE: How many people think O'Reilly will be talking about this on The Factor come Monday?

LINK: Snoop Dog: “F*&k Bill O’Reilly”

BillO predictably responds to Snoop's hilarious rant on Dutch TV.

My money's on Snoop. And Mr.Amato called it….

LINK: O’Reilly Invites Snoop on “The Factor”

This could be interesting...

-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Another Right-Wing '08 Candidate

From the Denver Post...

Colorado Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo declared his candidacy for the 2008 presidential election this morning on a radio talk show in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tancredo's candidacy will be focused almost entirely on immigration issues, which he hopes to bring to the forefront among the leading Republican candidates of Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain.

The Littleton Republican is one of the nation's most outspoken critics of allowing Mexicans and Central Americans to cross the border and obtain jobs in the United States. He is a staunch supporter of erecting an impenetrable fence along the 2,000-mile border. He also believes the government should sanction employers who hire undocumented workers, reasoning that the jobs would dry up and the workers would return home.

Tancredo also favors lowering the pace of legal immigration. He has said that slowing all immigration would give people who have come to this country a chance to better assimilate, to learn the language and to do what he considers other important cultural touchstones.

"The outpouring of support we have received over the past three months has been tremendous and, frankly, it has far exceeded what I anticipated," Tancredo said this morning.

"Republicans want a candidate who is a conservative with no ifs, ands, or buts. Clearly, the current top tier of Republican candidates is not filling the bill.

"Wherever I go, Americans of all backgrounds and political beliefs thank me for standing up for them against the establishment politicians who are selling out our nation. These good people feel abandoned by those in Washington and justifiably so. They have the right to be represented in this race and I am determined to be there for them," Tancredo said.

Tancredo is known for his inflammatory rhetoric, such as saying that the U.S. should consider bombing Mecca if there were another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Last year, while at a conservative conference in South Florida, he said that parts of Miami resembled a third world country. That triggered outrage from residents and a response from then Gov. Jeb Bush.

Tancredo tried to visit Miami a short time later to talk about his comments but had to cancel when the restaurant hosting the event retracted permission, saying it feared a media onslaught and potential for violence. There had been scores of threatening phone calls, and workers at the restaurant also complained about Tancredo.

LINK: Tancredo chases White House

And another one to bite the dust...
-Mr. Joseph

O'Reilly's Latest Victim: a 29-year veteran of the US Army

Crooks and Liars caught the bloviator again...
Bill O'Reilly abuses and cuts the mic of retired Colonel Ann Wright, 29-year veteran of the US Army, after she refuses to fall victim to his leading, dishonest questions and smear tactics. Apparently in Bill's demented world, criticizing the actions of President Bush in explicitly violating international law — something Col. Wright spent years teaching — constitutes "blaming" America.

WRIGHT: "I want to make sure the United States treats people properly.."

O'REILLY: "Sure you do. Sure you do."

WRIGHT: "I surely do. That's what I spent 29 years of my life trying to do."

O'REILLY: "Sorry. No you didn't. You know what happened to you…somewhere along the line you started to dislike your own country…."

WRIGHT: "I served 29 years. How many did you serve? Where did you teach the Geneva Conventions?"

O'REILLY: "Cut her mic."

LINK: Why Does Bill O’Reilly Hate Our Troops and American Values?

-Mr. Joseph

Feingold and Reid Up the Ante

Crooks and Liars...
Have I said recently how much I loves me some Feingold? This morning, Sen. Russ Feingold, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have issued a statement that lets George Bush know in unmistakable terms that the days of the blank check are OVER:

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that they are introducing legislation that will effectively end the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces. The bill requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.

"I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold's important legislation," Reid said. "I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period."

That's right, George. You veto the funding bill, you get an even tougher bill. Bob Geiger has more…

At Salon (watch short ad for day pass), Russ Feingold tells the minority party to stop obfuscating behind the talking point of "supporting the troops," especially when their rhetoric was the exact opposite for the mission in Somalia in the '90s:

The debate about the Iraq war is the most important, and the most difficult, issue we face as a country. Any American, including any member of Congress, is entitled to support or oppose Congress' using its constitutional power to end our involvement in this disastrous war. But, in contrast to the 1993 debate about Somalia, today some wrongly suggest that ending funding for the Iraq war is tantamount to ending funding for the troops. That misleading argument makes it harder to have the thoughtful, responsible debate about the war that Congress and the American people so badly need.

Now is no time for phony arguments against ending funding for the Iraq war. There may be big differences between the military missions in Somalia and Iraq, but Congress' constitutional power to end a military mission hasn't changed, and neither has the fact that this power can be used without jeopardizing the safety of U.S. troops. As Congress debates Iraq — and considers the new Feingold-Reid legislation — we should remember Somalia, put false arguments aside, and have an open, honest debate about a war that drags on with no end in sight.

LINK: Feingold, Reid Ups The Ante

It's good to see this Congress finally standing up to the Bush Administration...
-Mr. Joseph