Monday, February 21, 2005

Democracy Now!: Malcom X's assination; Amitabh Pal and Rebecca of Sex and Politics . . . on Condi Goes to Europe; Katrina vanden Heuvel on Limbaugh

Today's Democracy Now! (always worth watching, as Marcia notes) devotes the bulk of the program to new revelations about Malcolm X's assassination. (Reviting, in my opinion.)

Headlines for February 21, 2005
- Over 90 Die In Attacks in Iraq Around Shiite Holy Day
- Report: U.S. Conducting Secret Talks w/ Iraqi Resistance
- Bush Vows To Support Israel If It Attacks Iran
- Israeli Cabinet Oks Pullout From Gaza & Rerouting of West Bank Wall
- United For Peace & Justice Holds National Assembly
- GOP Accused Of Intimidating Environmental Critics
- FDA Oks Sale Of Vioxx Despite Dangers
- Journalist Hunter S. Thompson Commits Suicide

We're going to highlight that last item:

Journalist Hunter S. Thompson Commits SuicideAnd author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson has died at the age of 67. Police say Thompson shot himself on Sunday night at his home in Woody Creek Colorado. He became one of the country's best known young journalists in the late 1960s and early 1970s while working for Rolling Stone where his drug-induced books Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail were first serialized. Thompson once said, "I hate to advocate weird chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone . . . but they've always worked for me." Thompson identified the death of the American Dream as his reporter's beat. He called his style of writing "gonzo" journalism. He said, "Objective journalism is one of the main reasons that American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long." In 1994 he wrote an obituary for President Nixon in Rolling Stone and titled it "Notes on the Passing Of An American Monster." While covering Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign Thompson wrote, "It is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise."

As a long time subscriber of Rolling Stone magazine and as someone who's got most (possibly all) of Hunter S. Thompson's books on various bookcases, I wish I could tell you that we'll be noting his passing. (If members want to do so, please e-mail at But I'm really just shocked. I was working on an entry while listening to Unfiltered (I'm off work today so I actually got to listen to Unfiltered for the first time in forever) and when Rachel Maddow announced it in the third hour, I was in disbelief (and quickly went to the Times online -- to note my continued dependence on the paper -- to make sure it was correct, hoping she had mispoken). (That's not to infer that Maddow is a liar or a 'misspeaker' -- that's just me noting that I couldn't believe it and didn't want to believe it.)

Here's the segment on Malcolm X and it currently has a partial transcript:

The Undiscovered Malcolm X: Stunning New Info on the Assassination, His Plans to Unite the Civil Rights and Black Nationalist Movements & the 3 'Missing' Chapters from His Autobiography
On this the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, we spend the hour with historian Manning Marable who has spent a decade working on a new biography of Malcolm X. He is one of the few historians to see the three missing chapters from "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" that he says paint a very different picture than the book with Alex Haley and Spike Lee's film. Marable has also had unprecedented access to Malcolm's family and documents that shed new light on the involvement of the New York Police, the FBI and possibly the CIA in Malcolm X's assassination. Manning today called on the federal government to release all remaining classified documents on Malcolm X.

Liang e-mails asking that Amitabh Pal's blog entry over at The Progressive be noted. Pal is addressing Condi Rice's trip to Europe:

But Rice has never let inconvenient facts get in the way of ideology. In interviews with The New York Times and USA Today back in 2000, Rice was accusing Iran of exporting Islamic fundamentalism to the Taliban, a statement that is factually incorrect on so many grounds that it is hard to know where to begin dissecting it. First, the Taliban didn't need lessons on Islamic fundamentalism from anyone. (Besides, their role model was U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, and they were armed and trained by another U.S. ally, Pakistan.) Second, does Ph.D. in international studies Rice not know that Iran is Shiite and the Taliban were hard-line Sunni, and that the two almost went to war with each other in 1998?Rice's European visit shows that she is willing to buy wholesale the neoconservative worldview, in contrast to Powell's healthy skepticism, at least in private. (He reportedly told British Foreign Minister Jack Straw that the neoconservatives were a bunch of "f****ng crazies.") Add to this her arrogance and smugness, and it promises to be a long four years for all of us, including the Europeans. Take a deep breath.

Trevor e-mailed asking that we note Rebecca's post on the same trip ("la puanteur de condi - the stink of condi"):

but check out the love-fest being sprayed on condi by the press like so much eau de cartier.
don't make a damn bit of difference - all the lab-coated bimbos in clinique land, even spraying overtime, couldn't clean up the stink of condi.
and is she ever stinking!
it's rare for the new york times to ever disagree with their press cohorts but low and behold if the new york times doesn't step out of the marching line for about 2 seconds have the always caustic and humorous maureend dowd weighing in with "'Condi's French Twist" and you also get elaine sciolino weighing in with "The French Are Charmed and Jarred by 'Chère Condi'" - in the process elaine sciolino shows she's got more balls than synchronized swim boys steven r. weisman and eric schmitt who waste 2 columns of print before they let alone that condi's not exactly turning the world on with her scowl.

Erika asks that we note Katrina vanden Heuvel's reply to Rush Limbaugh's attack on her (and we should have done that when we posted the Media Matters item on how baseless Rush's attack was, my apologies):

So it wasn't a surprise that Rush Limbaugh, the grandaddy distorter of them all, stepped up to the plate to take a whack. But what did surprise me is that he took the opportunity not only to attack me but also my husband. Here's what he said:
"Now, The Nation is one of our favorite publications here, the far left fringe publication of the liberal journal of opinion that is edited by well known communist named Katrina vanden Heuvel whose husband is a well known communist at Columbia. Well, I use the term advisedly. Stephen Cohen's his name."
Now, I know that Limbaugh doesn't have a lot of experience with successful relationships, but attacking someone's spouse is generally considered to be pretty low down and dirty. In fact, some would call his reckless allegations libelous -- my lawyer, for example. I also know that Limbaugh suffers from a rather severe case of McCarthy-era nostalgia, but equating liberalism with communism is tired and boorish even for someone who is a big, fat idiot. I use the term advisedly.
By the way, if Rush had done any research, he would have discovered that my husband now teaches, after many years at Princeton, at NYU, not Columbia. (Kids, this is an object lesson: read books, don't take drugs.)

Erika: Katrina served him his fat ass on a plate beautifully.

[Note, this post has been corrected. The title mistakenly included this "of Sex and Politics ,,, on Condi" when it should have included ". . ."]