Monthly Archives: August 2010

Mad Men Thread: When Clio Met Emmy


Damn, that was a boozy episode. I feel like I have the delirium tremens after watching it twice. Don Draper won a Clio award, went on an epic bender and blacked out for an entire weekend. And Duck Philips showed up as drunk as another kind of critter, a skunk. The last time we saw that dog abandoning malaka, he was on the wagon.Why a duck? Or is that fuck a duck orducks on the wall?

I got a kick out of Matthew Weiner’s airing an episode built around Don’s Clio award on the night of the Emmy’s. I only hope the Mad Men staff are more gracious winners than Don who, pun intended, was dickish to all and sundry in this episode; especially to Peggy who deserved a share of the acclaim for the winning floor wax commercial. It seems as if Don dropped the name Dick in order to become one. Fuck you, Don.

Peggy, however, did have a triumph in this episode when she intimidated the pretentious hipster art director into working in the buff after all his talk about her hangups. I also enjoyed her calling Don on his drunken, cocky fuckups in dealing with the Life cereal people. What the fuck would Mikey say?

AndMad Men finally had a flashback that theSlate TV club and I liked: when Roger met Don. It’s what Stan Lee would surely call an origin story and it, of course, involved booze, furs, hucksterism and the divine Miss H. Speaking of booze, Roger got so shitfaced over pre-lunch martinis with Don that he didn’t remember whether or not he’d offered the dapper furrier a job. I think Don’s showing up was pure bluff and that there was no offer. Talk about cast iron balls, y’all.

Anyway, that was my brief summertime summary, discuss away but don’t be as mean as Hardy was to Laurel. Roger “hated that” even if he’s clearly more Ollie than Stan…


Shorter Media: It Followed Us Home, Mom!


To the chagrin of many, the media gravitates towards controversy. It is
in their (our) DNA. Whether anyone or everyone likes it or not, it is
what they do. It’s why politics and sports, mystery and mayhem dominate
coverage. This story includes the ultimate elixir for media coverage:
emotion, politics, terrorism, religion and bias. Some will say that the
existence of those elements alone shouldn’t mean that the media must
play into the hands of those appealing to biases and the most base of
human instincts. True, so then what makes this controversy deserving of
days and days of saturated media coverage?Who knows how much coverage
is appropriate, but it’s obvious that when terrorists attack the U.S.,
sensitivities will be high to anything large built in that area a year
after the fact or even almost ten years later.
The area around Ground
Zero is news because its [sic]Ground Zero. Period. Building a
center two blocks away which supports the very cause that the
terrorists claimed (at least by name) was their calling, increases its
news value exponentially. It doesn’t validate the terrorists’ warped
view of Islam, but, like it or not, in this day and age, it makes it
news. Simply dismissing the entire controversy as a non-story is to
presume that no one should question the prudence of building the
facility at that location. That is also to take a side in the debate.

Emphasis mine. Whatchoogonnado? I mean, who knows what’s appropriate, but it’s obvious that whatever we did was totally appropriate, because SACRED HALLOWED GROUND, and also Muslims who are called to fly planes into buildings, and stuff. Like it or not, we had no choice but to jump on the story and then cover ourselves covering the story and then debate if the coverage was appropriate and then, magically, come to the conclusion that it was! Thank God. I was really nervous for a while there that we might learn something. Crisis averted.


Note to Harry

WhenORRIN FUCKING HATCH is being compared favorably to you on issues of religious freedom, it is time to re-evaluate whether you are making appropriate use of the oxygen you are being given.


Mac McClelland’s Rising Tide 5 Keynote

If you have a bit of spare time to watch it, Mac’s keynote was both entertaining and informative. My favorite bit was when she called Governor PBJ “a fucking douchebag.” Mac definitely had her Mother Jones as well as her Mojo working or are they the same thing?

Mac was introduced by her Bloody Mary tech andNOLA blogger, Jeffrey Bostick:

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Rising Tide V: Keynote by Mother Jones reporter Mac McClelland (28 Aug 2010 NOLA) fromSophielab onVimeo.

Otherwise Known as the Chunky Reese Witherspoon Show

Michael Medved, ladies and gentlemen:

Today’s Broadcasts


Hour 1: Congressman Boehner

Hour 2: Book: Virgins? What Virgins?

Hour 3: Republicans should focus on spending

p>Some days the jokes write themselves.


Where the Money in Journalism Goes


It’s probably entirely self-defeating, but I can’t really bring
myself to care very much about new media, monetization, branding,
synergy, social media or whatnot when I look around at the wreckage
that a brief rash of contemptible mismanagement created in this city,
worsened by an economic crisis caused by similar financial

The ongoing troubles of the print industry tend to be accompanied by
prescriptions aimed at journalists and ad departments. Be more biased!
Be less biased! Learn multimedia! Aggregate! Learn computer-assisted
journalism! Practice branding! All of which is fine and good. But if
the end of these efforts is that whatever money the content producers
(and the salesmen who monetize it) are able to generate ends up in the
hands of upper management types who stand to earn bonuses outside their
already substantial salaries by yoking their companies to unpayable
debts . . . it’s hard to get enthusiastic about whatever bright new
stuff we create representing any kind of bright new future.

Why renovate the place if you’re constantly living in fear that the landlord’s going totorch it for the insurance money?

The suggestions are always aimed at the newsroom. It’s always “juggle the content around somehow” because the newsroom will actually feel responsible and carry out whatever instructions, whereas you tell the publisher what to do and he looks at you like you hit him in the face with a frozen fish. But if you do not market well and distribute sensibly it does not matter what content you’re putting out. And marketing and distribution take time and money, two things most higher-ups would rather spend on themselves and their friends.


Putting the base back in Baseball

Here’s a minor league manager pitching a fit worthy of Leo Durocher or Billy Martin:

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Okay so he *took* the base and then gave it away to some kid. It was a fitting end to a hissy fit…

Pumpkin Beer

I love everything about fall food. I love sweet potatoes, I love stews, I love soups, I love roasting a whole chicken and picking the bones clean all week, I love baking potatoes and stuffing pork tenderloins with apples and I love gingerbread pound cake with pears simmered in spiced rum. I love the farmer’s market right now, full of thick heirloom tomatoes and apples that not only taste like apples but actually smell like apples. I love pies and cobblers and I love evenings cool enough for a smoky cabernet or a rich malbec.

Or a pumpkin beer!

Fall fall fall fall fall fall.


First Draft Does Rising Tide

Rising Tide 5 was such a great success that I’m still exhausted from all the talking, eating and drinking I did last weekend. I’m way too tired to be coherent but I wanted to post a picture of the First Draft bloggers who attended. Dr. A took the snap first thing in the morning. The other shot was better of me but I decided to take one for the team.

From left to right: Michael F, Virgo Tex et moi:


I hope that Athenae, Jude and the rest of the gang can make it next year.

Douthat: Beck and I Can’t be Bothered Anymore

Seriously, he’s just phoning it in now:

There was enough material, in other words, to justify almost any
interpretation of the event. A Beck admirer could spin “Restoring
Honor” as proof that left-wing fears about the Tea Partiers are
overblown: free of rancor, racism or populist resentment, the
atmosphere at the rally resembled that of a church picnic or a high
school football game. But a suspicious liberal could retort that all
the God-and-Christ talk and military tributes were proof enough that a
sinister Christian nationalism lurked beneath the surface. (I’m sure
The New York Review of Books has already commissioned an essay on that

Similarly, one could call the rally a gross affront to the memory of
King, who presumably wouldn’t have cared much for Beck’s right-wing
politics. But one could also call the day a strange, unlooked-for
fulfillment of King’s prophecies: 47 years after the “I Have a Dream”
speech, here were tens of thousands of white conservatives roaring
their approval of its author.

Herp derp derp. Coulda been anything! Don’t have to make up your mind! Don’t have to think about it one way or the other! Don’t have to be worried or outraged or even overjoyed! I went to the Glenn Beck rally and all I got was bored outta my skull. Coulda just as well been at a Michael Moore movie! Don’t bother paying any attention, kids, it’s all just one thing.

I have the same question at the end of Douthat’s column as I have had reading most of the Beck coverage this past weekend: To what end is he doing this? For what purpose? Does he need something to do? I am willing to teach him crochet. Is he just out for money, for himself? There are more fun ways to get rich, at least for Douthat, than spending time each week telling people they don’t have to give a shit about the world. He could make bazillions, for example, as a consultant, or in PR. I do not understand why, if your entire columnist thing is that nothing really matters that much, you continue to get up in the morning. What the fucking fuck?

Now more than ever, Americans love leaders who seem to validate their
way of life. This spirit of self-affirmation was at work in
evangelicals’ enduring support for Bush, in the enthusiasm for the Dean
campaign among the young, secular and tech-savvy, and now in the
devotion that Palin inspires among socially conservative women. The
Obama campaign raised it to an art form, convincing voters that by
merely supporting his candidacy, they were proving themselves
cosmopolitan and young-at-heart, multicultural and hip.

Good Lord. His inability to see voting for Obama as anything other than some kind of trendy statement is just so transparently petulant. Ross, I’m sorry the girl in the Obama shirt wouldn’t fuck you.

For a weekend, at least, Beck proved that he can conjure the thrill of
a culture war without the costs of combat, and the solidarity of
identity politics without any actual politics. If his influence
outlasts the current election cycle, this will be the secret of his

WHAT FOR? I keep reading stuff likeAli’s excellent piece:

Indeed, a lot of my time leading up to the Glenn Beck rally was
about fear. After the delightful James Withers and I agreed to go, I
realized that I didn’t understand Beck’s fans (followers?) at all, and
so I assigned myself the task of watching every episode of his show
that aired during the month leading up to the rally.

It was not an easy month – I’d only seen clips of Beck’s show
before, and it turns out the full hour can be hard to take. He
prophesizes imminent economic collapse and ticks off examples of the
nation’s ongoing moral collapse. He compares our current society to
long-dead civilizations and the Weimar Republic. He breaks out the
chalkboard to spiderweb out vast, decades-long – generations-long –

He yells, over and over, that the country is on fire.

And thinking, “Okay, and … buy Glenn Beck’s books? Attend the rally and then … what?” It’s the same thing that pisses me off about a lot of our cheap-ass life-coach hustler culture, that it seems to lack specificity. The older I get, the more I just want to be excused from the meeting until there’s a task needs performing, like, if it’s all the same to you, I don’t need more motivation, I need instructions I can carry out. Rededicate our country to God? God and I are fine these days. The couples counseling is really helping. What is the fucking POINT?


Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Beck-ola Edition

Good Monday morning, everyone!

In dishonour of The New Messiah Beck, let’s open up some big drums of Freeper drool and see how he’s doing on that bastion of People Who Want Their Country Back (patent applied for) on the eve of his self-styled religious pilgrimage.

Of course, one could only hope that Godis listening, and a miracle *does* occur – and
every white person there – turns black.

First up –The Bloom is off the Beck for Red State Trike Force!‏

I am Done With Glenn Beck! He is now boring, idiotic, and not conservative. ^

Posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 10:52:45 AM bybig black dog

When Glenn Beck came to Fox News his show was brilliant and a can’t
miss program that was interesting, creative, and a real threat to Obama
and the Liberals. During the past year and half is show has steadily
declined since it began and has now become completely unwatchable. For
his first 6 months I never missed a episode and now I could care less
about Beck.

Well, obviously, his appeal is becoming more selective.

There are many reasons I lost interest in Beck and no longer
watch and listen to him.

Glenn Beck is not a conservative and
both his TV show and radio show have become annoying. Beck has devolved
into nothing more than a fickle Paultard that is both condesending and
patronizing. Glenn Beck is not a conservative and not really for the
advancement of conservatism. Beck has bought into the Ron Paul agenda
hook line and sinker. My take is that Beck has run out of stuff to stay
and is now boring and idiotic. He is not advancing the Conservative

He can’t even decide whether to capitalize the word “conservative”.

and is pretty much promoting the Paultard agenda that seeks to
undermine real a real conservative agenda. Plus his annoying theme song
on the radio is awful
and really annoying just like Beck.

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Beck is a huckster and with nothing of value to say that has not already
been said by smarter people that are not fickle Paultards. Beck puts
out a crappy book every few months and has his one man shows and comedy
tour and even goes on tour with Ted Baxter, himself O’Reilly.

And you’re just now noticing all of this?

Glenn Beck
has lost and I contend does not really believe in anything. His CPAC
routine was terrible and it may have been the point where I began to see
him for what he is and stated liking him less.

The Ron Paul/
Judge Napolitano brand of libertarianism is not conservative and in fact
undermines Conservatives. Ron Paul at the 2008 Republican Debate seemed
like a darn infiltrator and Beck now seems like a darn fool and a
boring one at that. Libertarians are under-miners and not on the side
conservatives. Beck is a flake that is for sure and both he and his
shows are tiresome. Glenn Beck seems to lack the bite and credibility he
once had. The Friday show is a complete waste . I am tired of history
lessons from a guy that did not even go to college and uses a chalkboard
in 2010. The act is idiotic, boring,and repetitive. I think we can
safely say Glenn Beck is no Rush Limbaugh, he is not even Sean Hannity.

posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 10:52:45 AM
bybig black dog

Not even Sean Hannity?

Is that what they call “Damning with faint praise”?


To: big black dog

I’m poppin popcorn. The responses should be good.

posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 10:54:44 AM

Pass the butter.


To: big black dog

I have a five minute car commute every morning now (I used to
walk to work). It is the first time I’ve listened to Beck since I
discovered some of his Youtube videos which I thought were great.

On the radio he seems to mostly just fill time. Maybe my exposure to the “gems” on youtube caused me to expect more.

I listened for a week or two but now I just listen to a song or two on my way to work.

posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 10:55:17 AM
(The US Today: Revelation 18:4)

Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!

To: big black dog

I like Beck, but his show on the radio has gotten awful.The religious nonsense is utterly misplaced for political radio.


He should stick with focusing on the admn and hard news stories, not the stuff as of late.

posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 10:55:46 AM
byGlockThe Vote


To: big black dog

What are you, 10? This reads like it was written by a ignorant, angry child.

posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 10:56:15 AM
byKimberly GG
(“Path to Citizenship” Amnesty candidates will NOT get my vote! DeMint, 2012)

You big poopy head!

To: big black dog

Beck is a little too apocalyptic for my tastes … and he
steadfastly refuses to acknowledge any reason for optimism. He’s also
more activist than radio/tv host at this point — so spends a lot of time
promoting his activism (and working people into a frenzy so they’ll


posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 10:56:44 AM
(“Shut it down” … 00:00:03 … 00:00:02 … 00:00:01 … 00:00:00.)

Ya know – when you can’t even fool people who wantto be fooled…

To: GlockThe Vote

>>The religious nonsense is utterly misplaced for political radio.<<

The one thing that has made me nervous about him since day one is that he is Mormon.

posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 10:57:48 AM
(The US Today: Revelation 18:4)


To: big black dog
Beck has bought into the Ron Paul agenda hook line and

only you were right!!! You have been listening to a different Glenn
Beck. The one I listened to this morning was jinoistic on the Mosque
issue. He despises Ron Paul and it shows.

Like I always say – once you start drawing lines in the sand, it’s hard to stop. Eventually it’s just you.

Glenn Beck is out for Glenn
Beck. Period.

posted onMonday, August 23, 2010 11:20:08 AM
byCaptain Kirk


More bountiful Beck bullshit bombs after the bouncy break.

Continue reading

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Radical Examples of Faith


I know I’m just an iniquitous heathen doomed to be consigned to
eternal hellfire and all, but this advice strikes me as part of the
reason so many young people are falling away from USian Christianity:
It reeks of privilege and cynicism to suggest that the average
Christian can, and should—after spending the first sixteen (or however
many) years of your kid’s lifenot living a life that suggests
“how Christians live” is by making radical sacrifices—pick up and take
off to work for a summer in Bolivia.
(And why Bolivia, and not Detroit? I think we all know the answer to that, and it isn’t very Christian, ahem.)
The entire concept of doing something “radical” in order to
get your kids excited about their faith is so contrived; I’ve no doubt
that seeing one’s parents be radically generous because altruism is a
centerpiece of their faith can be inspiring to kids being raised in
religious households, but not when their parents are putting on a show
just to convince their kids to be god-believers.

Call me kooky, but I don’t think eternal principles are meant to
be conveyed with the same transparent impetuousness as getting dragged
to a museum after Mom gets a bug up her ass that we all need more
culture in this house, dammit!

I have my own thoughts about consumer show-off Christianity,
and consumer show-off Religion Lite, and how totally useless it is both
as religion and as its closest cousin, therapy, but getting into who’s
a Real Person of Faith has its own pitfalls. Better building houses in
Bolivia than buying Purpose-Driven Life tchotchkes, I guess, and really
whatever keeps you out of trouble is okay with me.

But the idea that you’re going to flail around desperately
trying to prove your faith to your children all of a sudden, with some
grand glorious major gesture, I mean, I dunno, are kids that stupid? My parents’ passions in life have changed over the years, but there are some constants, through all of them, it’s not like suddenly Mom came home one day and declared this Shakespeare fellow really had something going on. (She likes the comedies, whereas my taste tends toward the bloody histories. How I love the Henries.)

Faith, though, that’s where it’s hard to say what’s radical. Taking a summer vacation and going to Bolivia? I guess that is radical. Is it more radical than, say, getting up every day and caring for an ailing relative? Is it more radical than spending six months, a year sitting around a table every week with other members of one’s parish trying to figure out how to keep the doors open? Is it more radical than the simple act of praying over dinner every night, hell or high water, such that it becomes a touchstone and a grounding moment in your children’s lives?

Is it more radical to make a grand gesture or to be there, in the day to day? I can tell you which way I come down, and it’s the same thing that makes me hate, hate, hate romantic comedies: The grand gesture, the stereotypically radical act, that’s easy. It was all over for Jesus in three days, so don’t talk to me about the cross. It’s easy to stand up when the fanfare’s sounding and the banners are blowing in the wind on the castle walls. It’s easy to be the center of attention, to be the Hero in the story being told. Hold the boombox over your head in the early morning light, look at me, showing you and the world how much I love you. How big my feelings are. Look at me.

So much harder, so very much harder, to just get up every day and try to be decent. So much less immediately rewarding. So grinding and slow, and it takes years for anybody to even NOTICE what you’re doing. A million little things are just a million little things, one by one, day by day: Baking cookies, shaking people’s hands, being unfailingly kind in a world that rewards bitchery and self-indulgence. A million little things don’t look like anything, except from above. Then they form a pattern, they tell a story, from end to end, and it’s the story of a radical life.

That’s a harder lesson to teach than throwing all your stuff overboard and building houses in Bolivia, but it’s the kind of lesson in faith that lasts.


Weekend Question Thread

How much sleep do you usually get?

I ask this because I got into an argument about sleep with my doctor, who was trying to convince me that six hours of sleep that is frequently interrupted by waking up thinking about a guy I need to call about a thing was not enough for a person my age. I was trying to explain that this is the best it’s pretty much ever been, that in college I could get by on four hours and feel rested and it pisses me off I can’t do that anymore, and she was giving me that look that doctors give me often, like, “I know you think this is funny but to me you are a fucking freakjob, lady.”

I would be so much more productive if four hours of sleep didn’t leave me feeling fuzzy and homicidal.


Saturday Morning On Sunday Street

Today on Adrastos’ obsession with the Jayhawks:

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Stupid is as stupid does: Journalism edition


This week WaPo ran a nice “anatomy of a rumor” story on the
rampant story regarding the death of the Washington times. The tone is fairly
WaPo, in that it has the “shame on that grubby little blogger” feel to it. If
you haven’t, you’re not missing much. However, this little
tidbit from the WaPo really bugged me:

It turns out that Hughes’s reporting consisted of receiving
an anonymous email. In an interview, Hughes, 52, of Reston, said he
occasionally receives reliable tips about the Times from the same email
account. Hughes said he has no clue who the source is. “I just get this
source sending me this stuff blindly,” he says. “I don’t know if it’s
a man or a woman. I just know the email address. I don’t know who it is. I get
people like that all the time.”

Hughes has been running his web site for about 13 years.
“I am not at The Washington Post, so I don’t have to know exactly who it
is,” he says. “I don’t consider myself to be a journalist.” He
added that he didn’t feel any need to call the Times for confirmation of the
item because “I don’t have anyone there who will talk to me.”

When a guy like this just dumps a turd like this out into
the ether, shame on him. However, when everyone else does the “glomming on”
thing by taking the rumor and trying to turn it into a well-polished piece of
shit, shame on them. Every story that goes after this thing just appropriates
most of the original story and then speculates on it a bit.

Many years ago, a paper I worked at had a small story about
a guy who died by slamming his motorcycle into a telephone pole. The competing
paper couldn’t confirm it, so they pulled the story from our paper, did a short
rewrite, didn’t credit anyone and published it. The radio stations, looking for
local news for their a.m. block, saw the story in not one but two local papers
and did a “rip and read” off of it.

The problem? The guy wasn’t dead. The reporter screwed up.

This caused all manner of problems for everyone involved
when the family rightly raised holy hell about this.The wife of this man was getting condolence calls from
people who apparently knew her husband was dead before she did. She screamed at
the hospital people, who swore up and down the guy was still alive. Eventually,
this got really ugly when it turned out thathe was alive and that the story was wrong.

The stations, the other paper and probably the damned weekly
shopper in town all did the 5-year-old kid thing: “But HE did it so I thought
it was OK!” That doesn’t work when you’re throwing mud balls as a 5-year-old or
when you fail to look stuff up on your own as a journalist. Pretending not to
be a journalists or saying you’re not a journalist isn’t an excuse either. If
you inject yourself into the public discussion, you need to be held accountable
for what you say and do as your actions have ramifications.

A failure to understand that not only makes you a lousy
journalist but a lousy citizen.

Friday Ferretblogging: Claire-Level

p>Like all the kids today, she’s a total camwhore.


Brave, Brave Brownie


On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina began wreaking havoc on the
Gulf Coast that’s still reverberating today — and many members of the
public continue to see Michael Brown, head of FEMA at the time, as one
of the story’s chief villains.

Still, Brown, a KOA talk-show host
who’ll broadcast live from New Orleans tonight and tomorrow, insists
this feeling is hardly universal, as he learned after being caught in a
recent storm.

“I’ve actually been to New Orleans several times” since Katrina, he
points out en route to the airport this morning. “This might be my
fourth or fifth trip back — and my last trip was about a month or two
ago, with Spike Lee, to do some interviews for his documentary on HBO.”

During that stop, “I had to go get a rental car, because that
evening, I had to broadcast from Baton Rouge instead of New Orleans.
And I was walking from the hotel to a rental place when there was a
downpour. So I headed into the foyer of an old abandoned building with
some other people, including this sweet old woman. We were all soaked
— and I started talking to her.

“We were just making small talk, and, bless her heart, she
recognized who I am and put her arm around me and said, ‘I’ll tell you
what, sonny, we got out of the city, but we saw what happened — and
you just weren’t treated right.’ And I said, ‘Ma’am, you’ve just made
my day.'”

The opposite point of view was expressed by an e-mailer whose note
reached Brown last night. “It was from somebody who lives in Shreveport
or something — a trial lawyer, I think. And he wrote, ‘How dare you
share your face back in Louisiana. You and Bush screwed this up’ —
they’ve always got to throw Bush in there.”

His response? “Okay, whatever. That’s life in general. Some people,
no matter what you talk about in terms of what took place, what
happened, what didn’t happen — some of them will just never be
emotionally able to accept me or anyone else from the administration.
And I get that.”

But he refuses to hide.