Thursday, April 14, 2005

Democracy Now: Tariq Ali and realities of the cases against protestors; Margaret Kimberly on the DLC; Bob Somerby on dainty little leftists & Nicky K

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching") has Tariq Ali and a very important story on the RNC protests and what the mainstream media doesn't appear to be grasping.

Headlines for April 14, 2005
- Abortion Clinic Pleader Pleads Guilty, Offers No Apology
- 18 Die in Twin Suicide Bombings in Baghdad
- U.S. Hostage in Iraq Pleads For His Life in Video
- Six Guantanamo Detainees Sue U.S. Citing Abuse
- New Questions Arise Over John Bolton
- House Votes to Repeal Estate Tax
- Anheuser-Busch Says No To Genetically Modified Rice
- Philadelphia to Pay $13M to Homeowners Affected by MOVE Bombing

NY Law Enforcement Caught Doctoring Video of RNC Arrests

New York law enforcement is caught doctoring video of arrests made during the Republican Convention. We speak with Alexander Dunlop, whose charges were dropped after the edited video was exposed, his lawyer Michael Conroy as well as a member of I-Witness Video who helped find the footage that eventually vindicated Alexander. And we get response from the NYPD. [includes rush transcript - partial]

Tariq Ali on Political Activism from Pakistan to Vietnam to Iraq
A conversation with writer and activist Tariq Ali on more than four decades at the forefront of the antiwar movement. Ali has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics as well as five novels, and scripts for both stage and screen.

Also note that Natalie tracked down the Democracy Now! story on the bicycle riders who were harrassed and arrested right before the RNC convention.

Critical Mass: Over 260 Arrested in First Major Protest of RNC (August 30, 2004)

Some 5,000 cyclists gathered in Union Square Park for "Critical Mass," a monthly bike ride around Manhattan. New York police arrested 264 people - many of them were held for 24 hours. [includes rush transcript]

As soon as possible, I'll go back into the original entry on the Times' coverage of the protests and add this to it but for anyone who's been waiting, that was the story. Elizabeth Press was the Democracy Now! reporter on that story.

The latest edition of The Black Commentator is up and Cedric notes Margaret Kimberley's latest
"Freedom Rider:"

On Wednesday, November 5, 2008, newspaper headlines will tell us that the Republican presidential candidate has defeated the Democrat. It is generally ill advised to make predictions about an electoral outcome, especially three years in advance. It is less dangerous to do so where the Democratic Party is concerned.
The winner may be Jeb Bush, or it may be Arnold Schwarzenegger. Don’t worry about who the Republican victor will be. Just know that the Democratic Party is once again on the road to Loserville.
Amazingly, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) still holds sway. Despite the fact that their strategy has kept the House of Representatives in Republican hands for the last ten years, despite the loss of the Senate and two presidential elections, they are still a force to be reckoned with.
Most losers eventually figure out that they should just shut up and disappear, but not our friends at the DLC. They keep on talking, under the bizarre premise that if they just keep doing what they have been doing they will get a different result. Yes, that is a definition of insanity.

Over at The Daily Howler, as always Bob Somerby's addressing a number of important issues. Here's the part that Natalie wanted highlighted. Using Rush Limbaugh's potty mouth (blow jobs, blow jobs, blow jobs . . .) as a jumping point, Somerby explores the topic of exactly when will the supposed liberal spokesperson's start fighting back? From the entry:

Atrios said you should write the FCC. We’ll suggest you write to E. J. Dionne, Mark Shields and Al Hunt--and tell them it's time to stop the pretending.
Gutless cowards of the highest order, these perfumed poodles have stood by for years while the Rushes and Seans made a joke of your discourse. It's time we told them they have to speak up or they will be the ones we devour.
It's their names we'll drag all through the mud, as we should have done long, long ago.
Average Americans deserve to be told that Mark Levin's book is a fake and a fraud--
just as they deserved to be told about the depth of last year's Swift Boat buffoonism. And average Americans deserve to be told that Rush Limbaugh plays them for fools everyday--treats them like rubes, marks, tools, suckers.
Meanwhile, libs and Dems deserve real spokesmen, men and women who will stand up and fight. If E. J., Mark and Al won’t hunt, they need to retire, to get off the stage. They need to take their gathered millions and go off and spend it in Florida.
By the way: E. J. and Al will never fight unless they're forced to fight from below. So here's our question: Do you think that well-mannered fellows like Josh and Kevin are willing to make them do it? And while we're at it, how about David Brock? Will he call their names? How about John Podesta? Here at THE HOWLER, we're sick of calling the names of these lazy "spokesmen" while so many others seem to play it so safe. We're tired of these people's skilled silence.
So how about it, Kevin, Josh, David? Will you make E.J. fight?

We're also going to note Bob Somerby's Daily Howler from yesterday because I was so busy with the e-mails that I haven't had time to note it until now. (And when I did the Democracy Now! e-mail post yesterday, no Howler was yet up for Wednesday.) As always, there are a number of issues, but we'll focus on Somerby's comments on Nicholas Kristof. From yesterday's entry:

Yes, today we'll review one nasty case in which the press corps Kristof luvvs established its bald-faced corruption. But first, let's make one point for the record: It's odd to see Kristof complain about demagogues attacking the press from the right, because that's what he inevitably does when he engages in these ruminations. In yesterday's column, for example, he offers two examples of the press corps' failings--and both of the complaints he affirms come straight from conservative play-lists. First complaint? The press corps doesn't employ enough red-state evangelicals (quoted above). But then, here is the second complaint he affirms. It's another complaint from conservatives:
KRISTOF: I think we're nuts not to regulate handguns more strictly, but I also think that gun owners have a point when they complain that gun issues often seem to be covered by people who don't know a 12-gauge from an AR-15.

Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Even after the press corps' trashing of Clinton and Gore--and
even as they refuse to challenge the latest kooky-con best-seller--Kristof gives two examples
of press corps misconduct. And in both examples, he pictures his press corps being unfair to those on the right!
But then, the key fact in this has long become clear: Pundits like Kristof will always type thus--until they are driven from power.
Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! For those who have read Kristof over the years, it's impossible to imagine the sensitive scribe offering fair-and-balanced sets of complaints. It's impossible to imagine that Kristof would ever type up a passage like this one:
KRISTOF REVISED: I think journalists should be tough on White House hopefuls, but I also think that Democrats have a point when they complain that the press corps, including the New York Times, conducted a twenty-month "War Against Gore" during the 2000 White House campaign--and when they complain that the press corps' conduct may have put Bush in the White House.

No, you will never see Kristof type such a passage, and there are two reasons why you won't. First, Kristof always panders to "red state" redoubts like Yamhill, Oregon--his much-lamented rural home town. And second, polite "liberal spokesmen" never complain about what happened in Campaign 2000. Conservatives yell--and "liberals" don't.
And brave Kristof goes with the flow.
As we’ve told you: One group keeps yelling things that are false. One group refuses to say what is true. And scribes like Kristof go with the flow, affirming only complaints from the right. Yes, specific criticisms of the press corps may be misguided, inaccurate. But there's absolutely nothing "unfair" when the press is seen as "arrogant, untrustworthy." And there’s absolutely nothing unfair about this cohort's "dwindling credibility." Nicholas Kristof will never tattle. But it's a rep they've worked hard to obtain.

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