Saturday, September 30, 2023

New Comic Books for 10-4-2023.

You know what I'd like?  A week off from work and to spend it all in a comic book store.  That's what I should have done, skipped college and just found a comic book store to work at.  That would have been the dream job, the way some people wished they could work at a candy store.  

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, September 29, 2023.  More on Wednesday night's debate, a new candidate has entered the presidential race and we'll provide the detailed biography, Ronald DeSantis continues his war on freedom, democracy and humanity, a woman doesn't seem to grasp that the US doesn't need to help her and that her insults don't make want to help her, and much more.

I'm really sick of people who can't handle their own problems.  I'm referring to one ____ in particular who is working my last damn nerve. Emma Tsurkov.

Her sister may or may not be a spy.  Her sister is the stupid woman who went to Iraq -- despite being Israelie -- to 'research' terrorism.  Now her sister is a citizen of Israel.  And she's a citizen of Russia.  Yet for some reason the ___'s family can't get it through their damn heads that a kidnapping in Iraq of a non-US citizen, isn't this country's problem.  

Last week, ahead of the face to face Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani was to have with US President Joe Biden -- a fleeting moment -- Emma and her crowd got to Shady Senator Robert Menendez and had him insisting that the matter be addressed between the two leaders -- an outrageous demand.  There would be time to address one or two issues -- and address just means brought up, not really discussed.  There is an Australian man held by the Iraqi government, Robert Pether, who has done nothing wrong but is being held in prison as Iraq tries to get a better deal with his company.  

He didn't go to Iraq to spy and he didn't go traipsing in like some stupid bimbo who fancied herself Kim Aldrich in some children's book adventure.   He didn't invite what happened to him.  But an idiot who goes to Iraq when they know how hostile that country is to Israelis and to Jews -- they ran all but three of them out of Baghdad -- yes, the five Iraqis left in Iraq after 2010 is now supposed to have been reduced to three -- an idiot who chooses to go knowing she is at risk and, on top of that, wants to nose around in terrorism -- for a college paper! -- is really not a US issue.

But her stupid sister can't stop trying to drum up support for her.  All she's doing is turning off people in the US.

Emma Tsurkov has now gone whining to THE DAILY BEAST -- we're not linking to the garbage article.  This is from the sister's garbage:

“Princeton has been one of the most infuriating institutions or organizations to deal with throughout the process,” said Emma, who has been engaging with American lawmakers, the U.S. State Department, Israeli officials, and several other advocacy groups on the case. “I’m feeling that it’s being treated as a PR problem that needs to be handled, rather than a life or death matter for its graduate student.”

Someone let the stupid idiot know that Princeton's done more than it had to.  Campus safety officers patrol the campus, they don't go to other countries and Princeton has no military force to deploy.

One of their students kidnapped?  I know they've expressed their concern and I know that they've tried to get attention for the student's plight.  

They've done more than they had to and they continue attempts to drum up support for the kidnapped victim.  

It's just not there.  And it won't be.  You're pushing in the wrong country, you pushy stooge.

You need to stick with the "Israeli officials" and you need to pick up some Russian officials -- because that's what you are, citizens of Israel and Russia.  Your plight is not our problem.  The stupidity of your sister (if she's not a spy as the group holding her believes she is) is not our problem.

And if Joe Biden were to spend time on one of the two issues -- the plight of Robert Pether matters a lot more.  We know what he is -- a working father of many children.  We know why he really went to Iraq -- it was part of his job.  We know his location and we know how he ended up (wrongly) imprisoned.

By contrast, Emma, you and your sister are the portraits of privilege and you make that clear with each day as you become ruder and ruder while supposedly 'asking' for help.  Now you're attacking Princeton?

Go work with your own governments to free your sister.  She's not an American citizen.  You've given one interview after another attacking American officials and now Princeton.  Clearly, nothing the US could do would ever meet your approval so take your problem back to your own countries.  Again, countries.  You and your sister have dual citizenship so take it up with the governments of Russia and the governments of Israel.  Unless you just enjoy making a spectacle of yourself.

Let's move on to a different topic.  What the hell has happened to WSWS?

There's really no excuse in the 21st century for them not being able to post about a debate the night of the debate.  From approximately 9:00 pm EST to one in the morning EST, their new content goes up.  So Wednesday night's debate really should have been covered Wednesday night to early Thursday morning.  That did not happen and I'm not surprised.  But that they didn't cover the debate in the articles they posted last night does surprise me.  The candidates attacked labor repeatedly while pretending otherwise.  It's really something when, for example, Tim Scott feels the need to dog whistle ("right to work").  Why don't you just say what you mean, speak to everyone on the same page?  It's a public debate.  "Right to work" is not about any individual's right to have a job.  

"Right to work" is about killing unions and their memberships.

Apparently, that's not a pressing issue to WSWS.  

At any rate, Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) shares his thoughts on the debate:

The Republican “debate” at the Reagan Library seemed like an exercise in collective madness. And 24 hours and half a bottle of Jameson’s later, I still don’t know what’s crazier, Nikki Haley saying that she’d solve the health care crisis by letting patients negotiate the price of treatment with hospitals and doctors,  Tim Scott’s assertion that LBJ’s Great Society program was harder for black people to survive than slavery or Ron DeSantis’ pledge to use the Civil Rights Act to target “left-wing” prosecutors: “I will use the Justice Department to bring civil rights cases against all of those left-wing Soros-funded prosecutors. We’re not going to let them get away with it anymore. We want to reverse this country’s decline. We need to choose law and order over rioting and disorder.”

Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) zooms in on one of the many anti-trans moments of the debate:

At last night’s Republican presidential debate, former Vice President Mike Pence said, “We’re going to pass a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country.” LGBTQ Nation contacted his campaign asking if he intended to outlaw gender-affirming care for all people, regardless of age. His campaign hadn’t responded by the time of publication.

While Pence’s comment also mentioned “protecting” kids from “radical gender ideology,” his response caught the attention of Alejandra Caraballo, a civil rights attorney and clinical instructor at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic. Caraballo posted a video of Pence’s comment on Wednesday night and wrote via Twitter, “They’re going to ban care for trans adults too. It was never about protecting kids.”

“While most anti-transgender healthcare bills in recent years focus on minors, anti-LGBTQ forces ultimately seek to ban all forms of transition-related care, regardless of age,” a recently released report by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), an organization that tracks policies on LGBTQ+ issues and voting, stated.
“They are pursuing this goal in a variety of ways,” the report added, “including: defining ‘minor’ to include at least some adults; by banning state funds from covering this medical care (e.g., in Medicaid, state employee health plans, and for those in incarceration); explicitly allowing private insurers to refuse to cover this care; and more.”

Most of the time, GIF-like zingers aside, the debate was really just an exercise in click-bait extremism. Why were college students burdened by so much debt? Well, DeSantis opined, partly because so many colleges were teaching gender studies to their captive students. Why were Americans feeling so much economic pain? Well, said Ramaswamy, in addition to Bidenomics, there was the problem that “the Federal Reserve is an agency that has gone rogue.” Did the candidates agree with Florida’s new education guidelines, championed by DeSantis, for how to teach about slavery? No, said Scott, it was wrong to minimize the atrocities of slavery. But, he continued, perhaps suddenly aware that he had come off as too moderate for the GOP crowd, Black families did indeed survive slavery only to be destroyed a century later by LBJ’s Great Society and its expansion of family-destroying welfare programs. Ramaswamy came up with a novel interpretation of constitutional law that would allow him to instantly end birthright citizenship. Pence advocated a massive increase in use of the federal death penalty.

The candidates were quick to spout nonsense on one issue after the next. Yet on the elephant in the room, most of them had nothing to say: There was a deafening silence on Trump’s myriad malfeasances, such a silence that it was hard to take anything they said about the importance of the rule of law seriously.


Yesterday’s debate showcased a Republican Party consumed by anger: anger at themselves, at Donald Trump, at Mexico, at the whole wide world. Voters looking for a positive conservative vision of the future should look elsewhere. This GOP is fixated not on building a better future but on settling scores both foreign and domestic without concern for the long-term consequences. The American people must reject a Republican ideology that would lead us into civil strife at home and years of global conflict abroad. 

It was a mess. It's a shame WSWS found nothing worth correcting or calling out.

As for me, I have no idea whether it's true or not that, in his spare time, Ronald DeSantis puts on a girdle and dress to go marching with Moms For Bigotry.  But if he did, it wouldn't be at all surprising, he's joined at the hip with those hate merchants.  And if you're not getting how much hate he and Moms For Bigotry (who he keeps appointing to state positions) are spreading in Florida, AP reports:

Top officials at a Florida school district ordered the removal of all books and material containing LBGTQ+ characters and themes from classrooms and campus libraries, saying that was needed to conform to a state law backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that critics have dubbed “Don't Say Gay.”

Charlotte County Schools Superintendent Mark Vianello and the school board’s attorney, Michael McKinley, were responding to questions from the district's librarians at a July meeting asking whether the bill, officially the “Florida Parental Rights in Education Act,” required the removal of any books that simply had a gay character but no explicit sex scenes.

“Books with LBGTQ+ characters are not to be included in classroom libraries or school library media centers,” the pair responded, according to a district memo obtained under a public information request by the Florida Freedom to Read Project. The nonprofit group, which opposes the law, provided the memo to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The district later backed off a bit, allowing some exceptions for high school libraries. But Charlotte's policy remains one of the more stringent policies adopted by the state's 67 countywide school districts to enforce the bill.

So no biographies on John Wayne even?  He became a dedicated homophobe in later life but he put out for men all the time early in his career.  Let's out them all.  Let's out everyone of your right-wing heroes for the closeted men they were.  

I'm fine with it.  If it makes you hate John Wayne to know he had sex with men, great.  Maybe I won't have to see his garbage films on TCM anymore?  Do we need to talk about Gary Cooper and his long term affair with Anderson Lawler -- which Lawler couldn't keep quiet about when they were living together and only grew more vocal when he was dumped.  I heard about it from Katharine Hepburn who was friends with Anderson -- we were discussing what an awful actor Cooper was -- everyone's heard of it except apparently homophobic right-wingers who don't seem to grasp that they have known gay people their whole lives.  We can do that too.  You love some Gary Cooper on the right because he was a right-winger who named names to the House Unamerican Activities Committee.  You embrace him so embrace his sexuality.   

Moms For Bigotry and Ronald DeSantis want to deny reality and deny humanity.  And their hate has consequences.   Charlie Jones (THE MIRROR) reports:

LGBT+ people, many of who are born and raised in the state, are fleeing Florida as legislators led by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis continue to clamp down on LGBT+ rights.

One expert, who works supporting LGBT+ people and has lost count of the number of people leaving Florida for more liberal parts of the country, told the Mirror DeSantis' culture wars is "putting a target'' on their backs.

The Sunshine State has become one of the most oppressive parts of the US for LGBT+ people as DeSantis desperately tries to boost his profile as a culture warrior in support of his ailing 2024 Presidential bid. Amid the growing numbers of anti-LGBT+ laws brought in by Republican legislators, bigots feel more empowered to lash out at LGBT+ people.

Carlos Guillermo Smith, former Florida legislator and Senior Policy Advisor at LGBT+ charity Equality Florida, spoke to the Mirror about the exodus of LGBT+ people. He said: "They're leaving because they don't feel welcome here. Many do not feel safe, and many are directly impacted by hateful laws that directly target them, and have put them in harm's way."

In August, murals at two LGBT+ centers in Orlando, were defaced with anti-LGBT+ messages and hate symbols. According to the Florida Attorney General, hate crimes based on sexual orientation currently account for 22 percent of all hate crimes

Mr Smith puts the responsibility at the feet of Republican legislators. He said: "When you pass all of these hateful laws as Ron DeSantis has done, it is putting a target on the backs of LGBTQ people. Governor DeSantis and his term coined the term 'groomer' a year ago during the debates around the 'Don't say gay' bill. And that has escalated online attacks against LGBTQ people making baseless accusations about how gay and trans folks are a danger to children."

He needs to be held responsible for the hate that he has spewed -- and for that modified Mo Howard hair cut he sports.  Alex Henderson notes:

Ron DeSantis' hardcore supporters continue to hope that he will turn his struggling presidential campaign around, but polls released in late September are showing no signs of that happening. The far-right Florida governor, according to polls, is trailing 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner by 39 percent (The Economist/YouGov), 43 percent (Morning Consult) or 38 percent (Monmouth University).

Like most of his rivals in the primary, DeSantis has offered only tepid and lukewarm criticism of Trump. The Florida governor has made his "anti-woke" agenda a key theme of his presidential campaign, arguing that he is tougher on "wokeness" than Trump. So far, however, that messaging isn't resonating with most GOP primary voters.

DeSantis is also campaigning on his economic record. But according to The New Republic's Tori Otten, DeSantis' "anti-woke" obsession is costing Florida taxpayers a fortune.

"The Republican-controlled (Florida) State Legislature has helped DeSantis easily take on some of the right's favorite culture wars," Otten explains in an article published on September 28. "He gutted abortion rights, LGBTQ protections, and academic freedom. He also has been locked in a bizarre legal back-and-forth with Disney for the past year. He has repeatedly held up these accomplishments as signs of success."

As Marcia noted last night, a new candidate has declared that they are running for the Green Party's presidential nomination.  Already Randy Tolar (Green Party icon) and Cornel West (political gadfly who most recently had the presidential nomination of The People's Party) were vying for the nomination and now 58-year-old Emanuel Pastreich has entered the race.  Let's do some background since no one else will.  Emanuel got his BA at Yale and his masters at the University of Tokyo.  Of the Nashville, TN born Emanuel, WIKIPEDIA notes:

Emanuel Pastreich (born October 16, 1964) is an international relations expert who serves as the president of the Asia Institute, a think tank with offices in Washington DC, Tokyo, Seoul and Hanoi. He is also a senior fellow at the Global Peace Foundation where he strives to solve geopolitical tensions in Northeast Asia. Pastreich was briefly an independent candidate for president of the United States 2020.[1] In September 2023, Pastreich officially became a candidate for the Green Party’s presidential nomination in 2024.[2][3] Trained as a scholar of Asian studies, Pastreich writes on both East Asian classical literature[4][5][6][7] and current issues in international relations and technology in multiple languages.[8][9][10][11]

Fluent in four languages (English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean), he's written over 20 books.  He has two children and he lost his wife in 2022 (after 25 years of marriage).  His mother is painter Marie Louise Rouff  who has over 20 individual exhibits and had her works included in at least 20 group exhibits.  In 2018, Hermine Hull (MARTHA'S VINEYARD TIMES) covered an exhibit and noted:

“High Square” is the first painting on the left as you enter the program room. A glowing not-quite-square floats in the upper third of the painting, surrounded by hints of other lightnesses that could be parts of other squares. Or not. By glazing with thin washes of paint mixed with lots of medium, the artist has produced a surface of luminosity, with shadows of lightness and darkness on an overall ochre face. There is a sense of redness underneath, and charcoal drawing that begins to describe something, then disappears or fades off. A change of color or value appears to heighten the sense of descriptive meaning of those charcoal lines.

Dad?  In 2016, Peter Pastreich became the interem director of the American Conservatory Theater and AMERICAN THEATRE noted:

Pastreich comes from a background in managing symphony orchestras. He served as executive director of the San Francisco Symphony for 21 years, during which time the symphony more than sextupled its budget. Prior to his time with the San Francisco Symphony, Pastreich served as executive director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra for 12 years. He has done management consulting in Europe, and from 2009 to 2012, he served as executive director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

He has two sisters -- Anna Schlagel (Director of Annual Giving & Events at 10,000 Degrees) and Milena Pastreich (who is a cinematographer and a director (most recent direction was of the film PIGEON KINGS) ) -- and one brother.  Brother Michael has also had a career in the arts.  Sarah L Kaufman (WASHINGTON POST) reported at the end of July, 2020:

The Washington Ballet announced Thursday that Executive Director Michael Pastreich is resigning Friday, after 14 months on the job. His departure follows that of two previous executive directors who have left since ballerina Julie Kent became artistic director in 2016.

[. . .]

In an email to The Washington Post, Pastreich wrote that he, Kent and board chairwoman Jean-Marie Fernandez have been preparing for the announcement for months.

“I was in the midst of purchasing a business before coming to TWB,” Pastreich wrote. “With all that is happening in the world right now, this seems like a very opportune moment to return to the business buying path.” He indicated that he does not yet have a specific business target and that a decision on that will “take months to do well.”

[. . .]

Greenberg wrote in an email that Pastreich’s brief tenure is ending at “a natural pivot point. There will be huge shifts in leadership and greatly reduced staffing in all organizations, especially those in the arts community, during the global health crisis. Michael’s decision to leave was his own, but supported by all.”

Adam Gasner, a criminal law attorney in San Francisco, is Emanuel's step-brother.  His step-mother is Jamie Garrard Whittington, the former Director of Development for the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  

Let's wind down with a Tweet from Paul Rudnick.

The following sites updated:

Read on ...

Saturday, September 23, 2023


This week, I read Demetrius Sherman's BLACK COMIC BOOK HISTORY 

The book opens by exploring heroes that were created by Black authors.  THE THREE MUSKETEERS and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO were written by Alexandre Dumas.  The Catholic Church banned THE THREE MUSKETEERS but despite that it as been a popular novel for centuries and turned into multiple films.  Dumas was a Black Frenchman.  

Next up is LION MAN -- first comic about a Black superhero created by Black artists -- African-American at that.  The book fails to note any of the people though.  Orrin C. Evans is the creator. And that should be in this book, especially since the author also wrote LION MAN: THE FIRST AND GREATEST BLACK SUPERHERO.

Lion Man appeared in the 1947 issue of ALL NEGRO COMICS as a tall Black man wearing a thick red and gold headband and loincloth.  This disguise allowed Lion Man to pass for an African Tribesman.  In actuality, Lion Man was a college educated scientist given a mission from the United Nations. 
Lion Man's goal was to protect Magic Mountain in Africa.  The mountain must be protected because it abounds in treasures including uranium that some war-lvoing nation might use to build an atomic bomb.  
Lion Man was equipped with things to aid him in his assignment.  He had his own hidden laboratory with high tech equipment including a drone to spot approaching bad guys.  Lion Man also had great strength and fighting skills.

Net up, you have Ace Harlem -- also ALL NEGRO COMICS -- a detective whose first story was written by John Terrel.  From the book:

Ace Harlem was created because those at ALL NEGRO COMICS wished to honor 1940's Black police officers.  Additionally, African-American readers would be pleased to see in the comic book, just as they were pleased to see in real life, diversity in the police department.

Matt Baker was the first African-American artist to work in mainstream comics and his illustrations included SHEENA JUNGLE QUEEN and JUNGLE COMICS. 

Along with comic books, there were comic strips in the newspapers.  From the book:

Newspaper comic strips, cartoons and children's books have a long history of containing racist images. 
The Slumberland savages in LITTLE NEMO have huge eyes, huge white lips and are cannibals.  Extremely racist cartoons were made by the major movie studios in the 1930's, 40's and 50's.  Children's books by Dr. Suess and others contained horrific images and slurs of Africans, Asians and others.
Some Black organizations protested these images, and some Blacks later created strips with realistically drawn Black characters. 
The year 1965 saw a big change in comic strips.  In that year, Black cartoonist Morrie Turner created the syndicated strip WEE PALS or KID POWER.

You learn that Black Panther first appeared in a July 1966 issue of THE FANTASTIC FOUR.

Demetrius Sherman's BLACK COMIC BOOK HISTORY is a brief book and you can read it in about ten minutes and you can read it for free if you have KINDLE UNLIMITED with AMAZON.  It's probably geared for a younger audience but it's a basic we can all benefit from.  

And I see an e-mail from Judy asking me to note this video about comic books from BEYOND WEDNESDAYS.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, September 22, 2023.  Shia al-Sudani uses his US visit to meet with many, Rupert Murdoch heads off for his coffin as the sun rises, Ronald DeSantis drops further in the polls and much more.

Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani came to the United States this week to address the United Nations' General Assembly.  He's also met with numerous politicians and world leaders as well as business leaders and journalists.  Late yesterday, the White House issued the following statement:


Deputy Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk and Deputy Assistant and Senior Advisor to the President for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein met last night with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of Iraq to confirm the strong U.S. partnership with Iraq as outlined in the Strategic Framework Agreement between the two countries. The United States took special note of Prime Minister Sudani’s leadership moving Iraq’s policy towards strengthening its own energy security, including with electricity grid connections to Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, as well as major energy deals with western firms to capture flared gas in southern Iraq for domestic use and future export. Hochstein and McGurk also welcomed recent agreements between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government regarding monthly budget allocations, and emphasized the urgency of reopening the Iraq-Turkiye Pipeline as soon as possible. On regional matters, McGurk pledged full U.S. support to help finally resolve outstanding maritime boundary issues with Kuwait, particularly in relation to UNSCR 833. Sudani welcomed this support, and reaffirmed Iraq’s longstanding and clear policy recognizing Kuwait’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, all prior bilateral agreements between the two friendly countries, and adherence to international law, including UN Security Council Resolutions.


In other news, Rupert Murdoch is returning to Bran Castle in Romania.  Paul Rudnick Tweets:

Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate who built an unmatched global media empire over seven decades from a single newspaper he inherited in his native Australia, announced on Thursday that he would step down.

"I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change," Murdoch wrote in a memo to employees at Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the many other properties that make up his two corporations, Fox Corp. and News Corp. "The time is right for me to take on different roles."

Murdoch's career has been marked by a singular drive for business success, an eagerness to have sway over elections and policies, and the repeated eruption of scandals. Fox News, which he founded in 1996, has played an increasingly prominent role in his profits, his influence, and his crises.

[. . .]

Murdoch's Sun tabloid relied on anonymous police sources to blame soccer hooligans for a deadly stampede after a stadium collapse; in fact, the police's own poor disaster response was found to be responsible. News Corp. later paid hundreds of millions of dollars after it came to light that people acting on its behalf had hacked into the mobile phones, voicemails and emails. The Murdochs closed down one of its tabloids, News of the World, and abandoned hope of taking full control of Sky, a major British satellite television outfit in which it held a significant stake.

In the U.S., Fox News paid nine figures to resolve a growing wave of sexual harassment accusations against then-Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, among others. It later paid millions of dollars to the family of a slain Democratic National Committee staffer whom it baselessly claimed had leaked thousands of party emails that had actually been hacked during the 2016 campaign by the Russian government.

Yet nothing matched the debacle after the 2020 presidential election.

Murdoch's role in allowing Fox News stars to embrace discredited claims of fraud in that race came into sharp view during a defamation suit filed against the network and Fox Corp. The company settled for $787.5 million this spring, just before opening arguments in the trial were to begin. Dominion Voting Systems, the plaintiff, planned to make Murdoch one of the first witnesses to testify before the jury.

Despite Murdoch's contempt for Trump, Fox amplified his baseless claims of having been cheated out of victory. Documents from that legal case show network leaders were desperate to win back viewers angry that Fox News journalists had projected Trump would lose Arizona on Election Night.

Nothing matched the debacle after the 2020 presidential election? 


I guess that's true . . . if you write a 920 word column and none of the words are: Iraq War.

But in the real world, far away from NPR apparently, the Iraq War is the debacle of the 21st century.  As the UK's HEAD TOPICS notes:

An MSNBC presenter, Mehdi Hasan, linked Mr Murdoch’s influence and Fox’s news agenda to different political events in the past 20 years. He said in a post on X that “some of the worst things we have had to experience in recent years – the Iraq war, the rise of Trump, the Big Election Lie – are all thanks to him and Fox”. headtopics.

At THE NEW REPUBLIC, in a piece titled "Rupert Murdoch Made The World Worse," Alex Shephard writes:

The worst thing that you can say about Rupert Murdoch, who resigned from the board of the Fox and News Corporations on Tuesday, is that no one has had a greater influence on the news over the last half-century. Murdoch’s influence is both incalculable and fantastically corrosive. It is impossible to look at all of the most malignant aspects of the current news environment—its pace, its callousness, its rancor—without seeing his impact. It is also a fully baked cake. Murdoch may be exiting the scene, but there is no undoing the damage he has done.

[. . .]

Much will be made about Fox News, Murdoch’s greatest and most destructive creation. With Roger Ailes, he turned it into a juggernaut and transformed the media. The cable news industry as we know it is, more or less, the invention of Murdoch and Ailes. News had long been packaged as entertainment, but this reached new heights at Fox News. The network itself existed as an answer to long-standing conservative complaints that the media had a “liberal” bias. It portrayed itself as a “fair and balanced” corrective. It was, instead, a new, powerful partisan machine. It worked immaculately.

Fox News, with Murdoch and Ailes at the helm, transformed news into a massive engine of confirmation bias. It was a safe space for Americans, most of them older and white, to have their fantasies affirmed: Immigrants were pouring into the country, crime was out of control, their way of life was under threat from sources both foreign and domestic. For decades, it pushed conspiracies of every stripe and played a major role in pushing numerous disasters, from the Iraq War to the January 6 insurrection. Pushing conspiracies was and is Fox’s business plan: It exists to tell its viewers that their political opponents are not just their adversaries but represent an existential threat.

Before Rupert Murdoch began illegally making inroads in the US media (foreign ownership was forbidden when Murdoch began his media empire building in the US and he had not yet become a US citizen -- wouldn't until 1985), his trashy ways were already well known.  COUNTERPUNCH has republished a 1976 piece by the late Alexander Cockburn

US political races?  So ABC NEWS is the one who let Ronald DeSantis lie this week.  Is that the deal?  He does a sit down interview with you and you agree to let him lie?  From ABC NEWS' report on Linsey Davis' interview with him:

"For example, I served in Iraq back in the day. al-Qaida didn't wear uniforms. You know, the typical Arab male would have had the man dress on. You didn't know if they had a bomb strapped to them or not. They carry around the AK-47s, normal civilians would, so you couldn't even say if they had," he said.

You were a member of JAG.  You were a well protected attorney in Iraq.  

At least he didn't try to lie again about being a Navy Seal.  But he was not in combat.  He was not doing deliveries and driving through hazardous roads and regions as part of his job.  He was in a comfy well protected office.  Green Zone Baby, basically.  

"The man dress"?  How stupid and insulting is this idiot?

He most likely means the dishdasha.  He wants to cite his time in Iraq as experience but he can't even identify a dishdasha or a kandora.  He's an idiot.  A short, little fat man who wears that lesbian vest everywhere he goes.  For someone who hates and persecutes LGBTQ+ people, he sure does like to dress like a lesbian in the 80s -- even that awful hairstyle.  I find it hilarious that he calls out drag queens as though he thinks he's the portrait of manly.

Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) notes Ronald's new polling problems:

+ New CNN/UNH poll shows DeSantis in freefall in New Hampshire since the last poll in July.

Trump: 39% (+2)
Ramaswamy: 13% (+8)
Haley: 12% (+7)
Christie: 11% (+5)
DeSantis: 10% (-13)
Scott: 5% (-3)
Pence: 2% (+1)
Burgum: 1% (-5)

Several e-mailed the public account regarding the following Tweets from Glenneth Greenwald.

One of the conceits the Dem-loyal left tells itself is that the corporate media is deeply hostile to it, because they're so threatening to establishment interests. Meanwhile, I don't think I've ever seen the NYT lavish a book with more endless praise than Naomi Klein's new one.
The vast majority of media figures who lucratively branded as radical, disruptive, anti-establishment leftists -- by attaching to the Bernie campaign -- is now indistinguishable from MSNBC liberalism. They don't pretend any more, which I guess is good. They're all in on Biden.
Also, one day someone will have to explain this to me: Those who cheer the same war policy Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham support are the real left-liberals. Those who oppose the US role in that war are "far-right fascists." These labels are pointless:

I'm dictating this and the Tweets are being pulled from e-mails by the person I'm dictating too.  Wasn't planning on addressing this or I would have embedded the Tweets before I got on the tread mill.  At any rate . ..

1) Naomi Klein's book.  I haven't read the reviews.  I did review it here on Saturday "Naomi Klein's DOPPELGANGER" and on Sunday Ava and I did "Books (Ava and C.I.)" (which I think posted Monday at THIRD).  I do recommend the book -- Jim asked, after he read my review, besides the punctuation what did I like about it?  I don't do puff pieces.  It's a good book.  It's worth reading.  If you're a feminist, you'll be disappointed because you will grasp Anais Nin's importance to Otto Rank (as a patient, as a translator, as a practitioner, as a lover).  So if you're mentioning Rank, you really don't know what you're talking about if you're not mentioning Anais.  That's especially true if you're writing of doppelgangers, doubles, twins.  And Anais Nin's entire output in terms of novels is nothing but the twinning.  Freud really doesn't apply to what Naomi Klein's going after.  Now most readers won't be feminists and that's going to sail over them.  I write from my point of view and if I ever have anything to offer that's the only reason why.  So, again, don't do puff pieces -- noted that in Friday's snapshot because people were e-mailing asking me to review the book.  I do tear-downs all the time.  Didn't do a tear-down on Naomi Klein.  If I'd wanted to, I would have.  And I've even got a helpful parenthetical in my review referring anyone who wants to do a negative review of the book.  And, again, if I wanted to do a tear-down, I could have.  

2) Glenneth hates Naomi.  He's hated her for some time.  This predates his leaving THE INTERCEPT.  In fairness to him, she did come down on the wrong side -- ethically and legally -- when THE INTERCEPT refused to run Glenneth's column about the Hunter Biden laptop.  She slammed him publicly and shouldn't have.  A) One writer to another, she should have stood with him against censorship.  If she couldn't do that, the kind thing to have done was to have said nothing in the immediate aftermath.   Glenneth was an idiot himself.  They violated his contract, so he quit.  He should have sued, that's why you have contracts to begin with.  (I've sometimes made more money from a project I've signed for then one I've completed.)  When I note that's he's not a very smart attorney, that's what I'm talking about.  

3) Glenneth's bad mouthed Naomi for over a decade so factor that in to any of his Tweets.

4) Also factor in his stupidity.  THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW is not taking orders from the editorial board of the newspaper.  It and THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE operate with a degree of independence.  NYT BOOK REVIEW is -- and always has been -- rather clannish.  NYT did not rave over Naomi Klein, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW did.  I'd think clarity would be something an 'attorney' would strive for.

5) When he Tweets "The vast majority of media figures who lucratively branded as radical, disruptive, anti-establishment leftists -- by attaching to the Bernie campaign -- is now indistinguishable from MSNBC liberalism."  Huh?  He's made that a part of the thread with his Naomi Tweet.  Is she one of the vast majority . . .?  I don't get what he's trying to say or smear her with.  

Has she presented herself as a radical?  I don't believe she has but I could be wrong.  In terms of Canadian activists, she's pretty much in the mainstream.  (That's not me sneering at her.  I'm not a radical -- I lack the energy.)  Did she attach herself to Bernie's campaign?  If so, that was wrong.  I had originally dictated something on that but we're pulling it because it will be mean towards her and we've said it before so there's no reason to say it again.  There may be at another time but certainly no reason to bring it up while responding to Glenneth's nonsense. I wish she were more and I'm probably harder on her for that reason.  But, objectively, who she is is largely who she self-presents as and I don't believe she's claimed to be a radical.  She's a climate activist mainly.  She's also a mother and I found that section of the book to be the most moving.  

In terms of her work, she's been far more consistent than Glenneth has.  She's also got consistency that he lacks as he tries to grift her and there or play the trickster when he's influencing (or trying to) an election.  Like back in 2008.  

Glenneth doesn't like women.  He's too busy rejecting them and anything feminine so that he can look 'like a man.'  Remember, he was closeted to most in college and did everything he could to fit in with straight bullies.  He gets his attitude towards women from them.  If you went through his Tweets and just compiled statistics, you'd realize how unimportant women are to Glenneth. 

As for the third Tweet?  Just another example of how the supposed attorney lack clarity.  I've been against the proxy war on Ukraine since it started.  When CODESTINK wasn't sure where to come down, I'd already made my position clear.  WSWS are not "far right fascists" and they're also against the proxy war.  There are many more.  But Glenneth creates straw men because he's always been afraid of getting his butt kicked by actual men.  (Which is why I do believe that flash drive contained Glenneth's browser history.)  

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