Friday, November 23, 2007

Were you thankful?

When you gathered together, did you say thanks for your aches and pains? Were you grateful that you can still feel your aching back, your sore knee, your old football injury?

I will, sooner or later, need a couple of new knees and the really, really weird thing is that I feel really weird about getting the fix. What I mean is ... they may hurt, but they're mine. They're "natural." Is that weird?

Yeah, it probably is ... but when you think about how people hang on to bad relationships and bad habits IN relationships, it makes more and more sense. You return to the pain you know, because at least you know it.

So have some pie. Take some ibuprophen and try to get some exercise, I guess.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

So, how hard is it to add an image?

Really, I'm figuring, how tough can this be?

I mean, if I can write a silly book called "Zero to Zen in 60 Seconds" then surely I can be clever enough to figure out how to put an image on my blog, right?

Apparently so.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Long time, no write

Yeah, I guess it's just too depressing. Too hard to watch. Too real. Too scary.

The Bush Administration.

Torturing people while indignantly fist-banging and declaring "We don't torture."
We know Saddam has had WMD (right ... we have the receipts from selling the stuff to him)... Official.
"The British Government has learned ..."
See ... that's the one that always got me. In the news business, when you have a source that you can't attribute, your story is weaker, so you say "NBC News has learned ..." making it sound institutionalized ... official.

And now comes the revelation that a justice department attorney had himself waterboarded so that he could produce a finding on whether or not it's torture. And despite all the safety protocols and all the control over the situation he had, Daniel Levin said, yep, it is. He thought he was gonna drown.

And his boss, AG Gonzales still said it was NOT torture and Bush continued his two-step.
And the media somehow doesn't see fit to shut down the Bush administration over this the way they shut down the Clinton administration over illicit sex between consenting adults.

Sorry -- that blows.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Soul of NBC News--On sale now for 1,000 words

In the week following the so-called decency discussion over the pottymouth programming of Don Imus and NBC News' "discovery" of that problem (see Casablanca, gambling) we are presented with the same news divisions's claim that they "agonized" and "thought long and hard" (an afternoon) over the release of a killer's promotional material.

In both cases, NBC News has revealed a stunning disconnect and near desperation in their effort to remain relevant. Let's start with Imus. He would be on the air right now if it weren't for the advertisers demands and the power of the market in responding to public outrage. That's fine. He's an entertainer, not a journalist. His show was a commodity whose value vanished. It happens. Gwen Ifill properly called out Tim Russert and others for their silence over the week on Imus -- silent because they're friends and frequent contributers to the program. Like Bush and Gonzales, they served their friends instead of their professional mission and integrity. Too bad.

NBC, in the body of its president, pretended that the decision to dump Imus was a moral one, filled with agony. He was all over the dial, demonstrating his agony. Yeech. Get back to the Oprah set, your quiche is getting cold.

The decision to air this despicable footage provided by the Virgina Tech killer reveals NBC's deepest fear -- that another network will beat them? Yes, but mainly that anyone could post this stuff to YouTube and NBC's gatekeeping role would disappear.

Bulletin -- it's disappearing.

By jumping out into the village square and making a self-congratulating show of their second "agonizing" decision in two weeks, they have made it painfully obvious that they were willing to be irresponsible in order to demonstrate the need for responsibility. This is the kind of BS that we rely on Dubyah to drop into the cornfield.

Just as shameful as the wallpaper use of Anna Nicole Smtih's two best and bounciest assets while "covering" the saga of her burial site and surviving daughter's future, all the networks have exploited the tragic loss of over two dozen people because they had art (compelling new images). In bottom-dollar local news, this is why you cover a fire of an abandoned building instead of a school board meeting.

NBC should be far above those callous, selfish choices. Obviously, they're not.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Imus t'have missed it

With all the hot air about Don Imus' oral diarrhea, I surely missed the part that addressed the difference between this particular case of potty mouth and the 4 million previous examples.

To me, it's simple (and rather stunning that no journalist seems to mention it) -- it is that this time, Imus libeled his target. He didn't just say something generally insulting to a group of people, he met the standard for libel and probably even the N.Y. Times v. Sullivan standard for actual malice (defamation of a public figure).

Identification - Imus clearly identified 10 individuals, far different from saying something defamatory about a group -- like long-haired, slutty white men.

Defamation - I think it's pretty clear that he held these young women up to public embarassment and humiliation. Moreover, their injury is compounded by the followers of this rant in that they recevied hate mail and death threats.

Negligence - Imus clearly could have avoided this injury to his victims by exercising ordinary care.

Provably false - The statements about the promiscuity of these athletes is easily disproved through character witnesses.

Malice - The kicker -- the women are aguably public figures which means that the malice standard would apply. Imus would have to know that these statements were false and say them anyway. He's done this, essentially, in suggesting that this would be the basis for his "joke" being funny.

So for all the speculation of inpact in social policy and worries over a chilling effect -- no worries. Defamatory speech has never been protected. I hope those players sue Imus, CBS radio and MSNBC in a whopper of a defamation suit.

They'll just have to get in line behine those Duke LAX players to collect.

--Jean Bolduc

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Yes, it was once the battlecry of Doonesbury reacting to a Watergate-related verdict if I recall, but those wonderful words describe the first domino to fall in the re-writing of the Book of Iraq -- Dubyah's newest book of revelations.

The thing about Scooter and his boss (the Shooter) is their foolish, arrogant notion about controlling and spinning media. Even now, they're partly successful -- everyone's talking about the pardon vs. the sentence (not Scooter's wife, her quotable quote in response to the verdict -- "We'll fuck them"). The topic should rightly turn to the fact that now we have a proven case of liars and leakers who Bush said he'd rid the White House of if caught.

More important than all of that is the forming picture of a president who has lied his way into a disasterous war and has not the slightest apology for it.

Meanwhile, Lewis Libby gets a trip to prison with "Scooter" on his striped pajamas -- all because he was more loyal to his boss, Darth Vader, than to the American public.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Trial and Error

Are you enjoying the Veggie Trial? You know, it says LibbyLibbyLibby on the labellabellabel.'

This guy's defense makes O.J. Simpson look organized. He was busy. He was forgetful, but he did remember that Tim Russert told him that Plame was a CIA agent. Trouble is, according to Russert's testimony, he'd never heard of Plame on the day that LibbyLibbyLibby says he heard it from Russert.

Yada Yada. We've heard what we need to about all of this -- that the Vice President, by the sheer volume of meetings and many conversations on this topic, was obsessed with media perception of himself. More important, he was obsessed with having it discovered that he personally injected those 16 words about nuclear development into the State of the Union. And he thought he was so freakin' crafty by having the President of the United States make his case for war based on what "British Intelligence [had] discovered ..."

Am I the only American who choked on that when it came out of Bush's mouth? Why in the world would the President of my country think that this would be a basis for action? If it's so scary and certain, why isn't he citing our own intelligence? The big red flag went up fo r me that night -- at that very moment, yet Congress sat with its fingers crossed, held its nose and voted to authorize a war that was CERTAIN to be Bush's first alternative ... and Cheney's too.

This is treason, plain and simple. To sell out the interests of our country in what was clearly a move that has benefitted only big oil and Haliburton, the bad guys have sold us completely out.

I'm starting to wish I'd voted for Nader.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

More war coming - oh, yah

Bush has hung it out there for Tony Snow to deny -- he's readying for Iran. Put a naval guy in charge of a ground war, sent in the fleet and raided a consolate.

It makes me miss Nixon.