Saturday, April 14, 2007

NYT: Keeps pimping 'International Zone'

There is nothing good to say about Harold Ford. He never passed up a chance to proclaim hot man love for George W. Bush. He voted in favor of the occupation of Iraq and the awful bankruptcy bill. In an idiotic effort to get the support of redneck Tennesseans he claimed that his black grandmother was white. He made numerous pilgrimages to the Little Rebel Club to have photo ops with said rednecks worshipping the Stars and Bars. Ford is an enemy of progressive ideas and definitely an enemy to black America.
The former Congressman lost his bid for a Senate seat in the November 2006 election, but he is ambitious and he has powerful friends, so he didn't disappear as he should have. No sooner had he lost his race than the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) began a cynical effort to find him a new gig. James Carville, chief Clintonite pundit, used Ford to publicly attack Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean managed to do what Clinton acolyte Terry McAuliffe never managed to do in that same position. He won majorities for the Democrats in the House and Senate.
No matter. Ford was their guy and Dean wasn't, so Carville and other Clinton minions publicly called for Dean to be dumped in favor of Ford. The ill conceived coup attempt didn't go anywhere, but Ford ended up back in Washington as chairman of the DLC.
"The DLC pulled the stake out of his heart and he rose again as the evil undead always do."
Ford is always bad news. He will throw black people under the bus if he thinks it will help him. If he had won, his victory would have been used to silence black political thought. We would have been told that Ford represents a new direction for black voters, that progressive politics are passé. Too bad the DLC pulled the stake out of his heart and he rose again as the evil undead always do.

The above is from Margaret Kimeberley's "Harold Ford, Enemy of Black America" (Freedom Rider, Black Agenda Report) and if you're wondering why we're starting with it, have you read this morning's New York Times? Normally, Kimberley is the 'last word' on Saturday, a strong highlight to go out on. We need her at the top of the entry today. This may be her most popular column this year with the community because too many members noted it to list everyone. Judging by the e-mails, this column's popularity has to do with the fact that she's not letting go of reality. There were many people noting the nonsense in The Nation on Junior and the applause he got from the organization we don't name or mention or the slob from the organization who praised him on election night (on Pacifica's coverage). (Rebecca addressed this on election night for those who need a memory jog.) Kimberley mentions The Little Rebel Club and that's another reason the column's popular.

For those who are unaware, the Times, without comment, ran a photo of Ford Junior posing in front of the Confederate Flag. African-American community members are especially furious about that. Carl noted that, at length, in his e-mail. His comments will appear in Polly's Brew Sunday (with his permission). He cannot believe that got so little attention and so little calling out. So the fact that Kimberley (who's noted it before) isn't letting it go is especially appreciated by many citing the column.

I think Kendrick voices the question (still) on many minds which is why isn't Margaret Kimberley invited on CounterSpin, Democracy Now!, go down the list? I have no idea. Maybe she's too strong for them? Maybe they're afraid it won't go down easy because she's not going to speak blandly? (That's not an insult to other guests that have been featured. It is noting the very obvious fact that she is one of the strongest voices the left has and yet she's nowhere to be found on the big left programs.) What does it take?

There is all this discussion about the Democratic Party on those programs and what? People don't think Kimberley has anything to say on that topic? Billie wrote at length about that and I've told her that it needs to be shared and she can have it up here (gladly) or we can carry it over to one of the community newsletters. The thrust of Billie's comments was: Is Kimberley being "ghettoized" due to race?

If you heard CounterSpin, you heard a guest make a huge mistake that went uncorrected. Ava and I will be addressing that and other topics (that guest wasn't the only one making the false claim -- a guest writer at Kimberley's fomer outlet makes the same false claim this week). (Addressing it at The Third Estate Sunday Review tomorrow.) But the guest also asked where the African-American were on TV commenting on Imus? They were rarely invited. (Whoopi Goldberg addressed it on Today.) But I'll save that thought and others for the piece we're doing. The point is where is Margaret Kimberley?

At Black Agenda Report and she, Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon do a wonderful job but why isn't she getting attention from the big radio outlets? I have no idea. It's not a question of whether or not she's worthy, she obvious is.

From worthy to unworthy: Edward Wong's "Qaeda Group in Iraq Says It Led Attack on Parliament ." What do we learn? That the New York Times is still trying to pimp "International Zone." We learn that the easiest way for an Iraqi woman (breathing) to get mentioned by the paper is to endorse the illegal occupation. "Make concessions to Iraq"? Whatever. We learn that all that matters is what the US military says. They note the changed number of deaths from Thursday's bombing (cafe) and that the military changed it. They must be the only outlet that didn't note that the number is in dispute.

We dealt with the nonsense of the "International Zone" yesterday. [And William M. Arking (Washington Post) addressed it far better.]

We know the Times takes dictation. Do they also take orders? This nonsense about the "International Zone" is only fanning flames over the rumor at the paper that they've done another Raymond Bonner, removed a reporter from Iraq at the request of the military.

Maybe it's just the fact that while other news outlets have produced real books about Iraq, they've produced crap? Maybe when Gordo's the best you have to offer in text, you don't want to use "Green Zone" when it's part of the title of one of the finest books written about the illegal war and it was written by someone who writes for another paper?

Turning to radio, Rachel hasn't received an e-mail so we'll grab that by tomorrow morning (WBAI's programs). We will note RadioNation with Laura Flanders which airs Saturdays and Sundays, live, 7:00 pm to 10 pm EST, over Air America Radio stations (or stations that carry their content, actually), XM satellite radio and online. This weekend's line up:

This weekend's all about accountability. Don Imus got his, the World Bank's Wolfie's getting his. Karl Rove's is in the works. We'll get the take from the Seattle when we broadcast live from KPTK AM 1090. And we'll hear how Washington state legislatures are being held to account by their constituents. The legislature just passed new rights for same sex couples this week, and there's an upcoming battle over whether to require pharmacies to dispense birth control pills. We’ll talk to BLYTHE CHANDLER, the deputy director for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, about that battle, and local activist DAN MERKLE and former state Democratic Party official ALICE WOLDT.
Then, we'll head to Bellingham, WA, where the Minutemen have been flexing their anti-immigration muscle. We'll have our Blue Grit guest of the week, ROSALINDA GUILLEN, who's just back from a hunger strike and march to the border to protest. Plus, with Alberto Gonzales to testify this coming week, we’ll be joined by Nation writer JOHN NICHOLS who's been following the details of the US Attorneys firings that much of the media have been missing. And we’ll welcome Grammy-award winning band OZOMATLI, who'll talk about their new album and update us on their continuing political work.

Blue Grit guest? We're going to be doing something on Laura Flanders' new book (Blue Grit) and a few e-mails have come in on that. So let me clarify, Blue Grit is not about a crayola divide of the 50 states. Flanders doesn't push that nonsense. Nor is it about, "Let's meet who we elected and slobber over them!" Blue Grit is about the people on the ground who are working their butts off to change things. It's not a book about gasbags, it's an invitation to meet the people who are out there trying to make a difference and it takes the time to note what they have accomplished. I don't want to use the word "inspiring" because I think society's really tired of that word (and the Chicken Soup and other books have molested that word to death). "Encouraging" might be a better term if everyone accepts that this isn't phoney rah-rah. This is a look at the reality on the ground and how that reality is distorted in popular narratives. "Rallying cry" might be a better set of words. But there are a number of people who are wondering about the title and the book and e-mailing on it. I recommend it without reservation. (I have a critique, negative, of the cover. I'll save that for Third. That's not a critique of the book, it's a critique of Penguin screwing up what should have been a solid cover. Flanders looks good in the photo, in case anyone's first thought is, "Oh, did they use a bad photo of her?" No, they cluttered the cover. Again, I'll address that at Third.)

Kayla was one of the ones who e-mailed about it early last week. I told her what I've written here and that she should wait for the piece (probably a discussion) at Third and she'd probably want to pick up the book. She already has and wanted this noted: "I got it at Borders. I have a tiny Borders and get really tired of ordering online so it was a real relief to walk into Borders and see it. They even had one copy on the table of new arrivals.) She's on page 88 (as of this morning when she wrote) and says she really enjoys the book. I think most members will. You'll laugh with some stories and examples and you'll gnash your teeth over others (such as the many examples of how the DNC still doesn't get it -- including a story Davey D shares). But this isn't about, "Let's tour the offices in DC." It's not another book on voting that never includes the people other than a few references to "voters."

Marcus wrote that his libary is getting it and he's first on the list. So you can also check (and should utilize) your local libraries.

The following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:

Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Cedric's Cedric's Big Mix;
Kat's Kat's Korner;
Betty's Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;
Mike's Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz;
Wally's The Daily Jot;
and Trina's Trina's Kitchen

In Iraq today, at least 50 people are dead from a bombing in Kerbala. The total of dead could reach 100 or close to it across Iraq. (I'm counting 87 deaths in this Reuters' Factbox -- check my math.) Reuters reports a bombing attack on a bridge (that did no structural damage but killed 10). I'm going to repeat what I noted Friday (from a friend serving in Iraq), the concern/speculation is that the earlier bridge attack (Thursday) was part of the resistance attempting to go for long term goals of steering 'traffic' to where attacks could happen more easily.

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