Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Hate The War

[Comment From Two Things] I want to know why KPFA has two 'experts' commenting who both support Obama. That's not free speech. I want Laura Flanders on the record explaining why it's okay that Barack Obama used homophobia in South Carolina by putting four homophobes on stage for an event and letting the 'ex gay' preach the 'evils' of homosexuality.
[Comment From Ralph] I agree that homophobia needs to be addressed. This is San Francisco for God's sake. If we can't get talk about Obama using homophobia, then no one can. And isn't Laura Flanders gay?

That's from the KPFA blogging of the debate. First off, my apologies, I learned of the broadcast this afternoon when a friend at KPFA called me and asked if I could include it in the snapshot. Since KPFA will be carrying IVAW's March action (the Winter Soldiers Investigation), I included it. It was not live, as I wrongly stated it would be in the snapshot. My apologies to anyone bothered by that. That's not what community members are bothered by. What they're bothered by is the sort of thing above which Zach copied and pasted and then e-mailed.

Yes, Laura Flanders is gay -- out to the gay press if not the mainstream -- and sorry "Two Topics" and Ralph, she's avoided ever noting the use of homophobia all along. She's played dumb like the good Uncle Tom of the LGBT community.

The "experts" issue. Mike called me to ask who the man was. He had the name wrong (on the phone, he corrects it in his post). What you're hearing on KPFA is how Little Media LIES for Obama over and over. Mike watched the debate and enjoyed it. The commenatry he's heard from Laura Flanders and the other 'expert' had him pack it in on blogging tonight.

Why? Because they LIE.

And they get away with it. And they can pull this crap elsewhere, but it should never go down on KPFA. KPFA has Laura Flanders and Clarence Lusane as commentators on the debate. They're on to chat with Larry Bensky, sharing their 'keen' and 'impartial' 'insights' into the debate. What Larry didn't tell the listeners was that KPFA booked two Obama supporters -- public supporters, look up his columns, and that's supposed to provide commentary? That's supposed to pass fairness?

They're also bringing on Tom Hayden tonight at some point. Another Bambi lover. And I'll leave it at that on Tom or I will rip him apart.

Paraphrase of Larry Benksy, "I don't think either of these candidates showed and really CNN didn't give them the chance to say . . . this [Iraq War] has got to be dealt with at the top of the agenda."

Tom says Hillary refuses to set any deadline for combat troops withdrawal. He claims Bambi has a plan for 16 months. And then Tom runs to Bambi's nonsense in Houston yesterday. Tom's already milked it for a column so let's note Bambi's statements that has Tom so excited in full:
"I opposed this war in 2002. I will bring this war to an end in 2009!"

That's it. Bambi's focused on combat troops (and told the New York Times -- though Tom missed it when penning his valentine to Bambi at first and then came back trying to justify it after he saw the transcript -- that he would send combat troops back into Iraq). If you're focused on "combat" troops then the illegal war can end while US troops remain in Iraq. Remain forever, in fact. Because a "war" requires "combat." What Bambi -- and this is true of Hillary as well -- has repeatedly stated is that US service members will remain in Iraq as "police" and "trainers." If you're not getting it, neither candidate is promising an end to the illegal war. If you want to be technical, the removal of "combat" troops does end the illegal war. If you want to be realistic, it doesn't.

His comment -- the two sentences that has Tom so excited -- are in keeping with Bambi's 'plan' which is a non-plan for ending the illegal war. There is no substance in those two lines. But Tom "I'll Hold Their Feet To The Fire!" (days after endorsing Bambi) goes ga-ga over the two sentences. That's not holding anyone's feet to the fire. It's insulting that Tom thinks he can dupe people but it is insulting that KPFA has three commentators on with Larry Bensky to comment on the debate -- a debate between two candidates -- and all three commentators are supporting the same candidate -- have been publicly supporting the same candidate. That's not free speech radio and that's not why Lewis Hill created KPFA.

This is how Little Media has functioned throughout. And Bob Somerby has ignored it. We're on campuses, Ava and I, every week. We know where the students are getting their information. It's The Daily Show and it's Little Media. They're not watching Chris Matthews or the chat and chews. It is a huge mistake to avoid following Little Media and Little Media has stacked the deck throughout. You can read Ava and my piece on the non-ethical Democracy Now! and see how Amy Goodman books. She books by bringing on 'independent' media that slams Hillary. They are solo guests: Robert Parry, Ari Berman, etc. There is no need to 'balance' them. One critic of Obama is invited on, Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report), and he doesn't get a solo spot -- instead he's pitted against Bambi supporter Michael Eric Dyson.

This has happened repeatedly. Hillary Haters are brought on as the solo guest and it's time to carve her up. Bambi supporters are brought on solo and allowed to praise him through the roof.
Professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell was brought at the end of one week where she was just a professor and wasn't supporting anyone. She did, surprise, catch a speech Obama gave and she praised it through the roof. But just as a professor.

The following Monday, she's back (to try to trash Gloria Steinem) and suddenly, she and Goodman are revealing on air that she supports Bambi, that she's part of the campaign.

That didn't happen over the weekend. And Amy Goodman knew it (from their Jesse Jackson radio show appearances only if you want to stick to the public record only) before she ever booked Melissa Harris-Lacewell to appear. She knew it when she brought Harris-Lacewell on air as just a professor. She had so little respect for her profession or for her audience that she didn't do the basics of disclosing that Harris-Lacewell was part of the Obama campaign.

Now Harris-Lacewell should be in hot water as well because she's at a university and what she did is the equivalent of academic fraud. She was on the program the first time promoting a college program. It was incumbent upon her, as representative of Princeton, to disclose she was part of the Obama campaign. It only became more important when she used her time to praise Obama: "I was in Nashua at Barack Obama's really packed speech. And we got there about two hours early and stood in line. I had my five-year-old daughter with me, and she stood in line that whole time. Along with me was lots of other older people who were using canes, young people, infants. And it was an incredibly moving and powerful experience. And also, again, just sort of--it was a cross between, you know, the 'I Have a Dream' speech and a high school football pep rally. It was a bizarre, but really kind of exciting mixture."

She was on the program to promote a college program, she was a guest on it in her academic role. She used her time to promote the candidate she was campaigning for. She never disclosed that fact on air. Her ass should be canned and in a real world, where ethics mattered, it would be. That's academic fraud. When you're a professor, the standards you are held to do not just apply to a written paper you read at an academic conference. She was on to promote the college's program and she was not above board and she did not disclose conflicts of interest. That is academic fraud.

Laura Flanders just declared that today was the first day of early voting in Texas. Apparently facts aren't as important as her self-amused and pompous chuckle. Early voting started in Texas on Tuesday. Why do I know that when Laura Flanders doesn't? Because Laura makes up her 'facts' as she goes along.

But facts don't matter. Flanders can try to weasel with "I said 'I think'!" But she knew she was going to be a commentator and something as basic as when voting started in a state the debate took place in was required knowledge on her part.

Little Media has fueled Hillary Hatred. No surprise, it's a sexist medium. Bensky's on tonight solo. No female co-host. Maybe a good thing after his mocking and disrespectful on air treatment of Deepa Fernades when she co-hosted a live Congressional broadcast with him. Maybe not surprising after his dropping out of a week long's Supreme Court confirmation hearing because he couldn't get along with Verna Avery Brown. Maybe not surprising when he was talking over Aimee Allison at the Green Party debate. It wasn't enough that he was a questioner on the panel, he also had to talk over (as radio announcer) her opening statements (by providing the same information -- though not word for word that Aimee was providing). Don't forget that Women's History Month starts next month and there will be no rush to air specials. KPFA will throw out a segment or too on The Morning Show (if record holds) and we'll all pretend that cuts it. It doesn't cut it. But they get away with that crap over and over.

I believe Amy Goodman did segments on Women's History Month . . . in 1997 and 2001.

That probably cuts it for Amy Goodman. That's noting Women's History Month to her. Again, Amy Goodman isn't a feminist and she's not even pro-woman. She published in H**tler and that tells you all you need to know.

As demonstrated on KPFA tonight, when you only book pro-Bambi guests (Bob Fritakis joined for a segment as did Lou Duboise, both are pro-Bambi), you only get one side. Flanders and Lusane were on for the whole broadcast after the opening report from a KPFT reporter in Austin. The entire Democratic Party is not for Bambi. Hillary has had stronger support from Democrats and this is a Democratic primary. KPFA tonight offered what Little Media has done all along: stack the deck in Bambi's favor. And all the people scratching their heads in wonder about Bambi's 'youth' movement fail to grasp that Little Media has acted as a CULT for Bambi.

KPFA did so tonight. There were no kind words for Hillary. On areas where Hillary is stronger (such as health care), you got commentators (Flanders in this case) saying they're both weak. That passed for 'fairness' and apparently 'praise.' Hillary couldn't cut a break. And the reason for that is because of how the deck has been stacked.

Let's examine some of what's gone on. Asked about the grand design missing in the candidates, Laura Flanders responds, "I'll tell you what grand design is missing on the Clinton side . . ." Big surprise there; however, she was asked about both candidates. She went straight to what's wrong with Hillary. Earlier, because Hillary does have experience, it was time for Flanders to discredit that record. "How looong she's been in the trenches," whined *Laura* -- "long" dripping with sarcasm. She then holds Clinton to a standard by comparing Hillary to George McGovern. She doesn't do that with Barack Obama. She doesn't mock him. [Added: 2-22-08 by Jim, as Megan points out in an e-mail today, Flanders comments re: McGovern appear to borrow heavily from the remarks C.I. made about McGovern in the roundtable Sunday. Only C.I. didn't make the remarks to attack one candidate as Flanders did.] Asked about Cuba, she offers her cheap laugh at Hillary and then offers sarcastically, "Can you tell the difference?"

Here's what I can't tell the difference between: Lesbian Laura Flanders and a right-wing homophobe. She -- as noted on the KPFA blog -- has never called out Bambi for using homophobia as a campaign strategy. How much self-hatred does that woman have? How little self-respect does she have?

Now the 'youth' movement hasn't been confronted with the use of homophobia. They've been spared it because Little Media elected to stay silent on it. [C.I. note 2-22-08, "*Laura Flanders* corrected from "Hillary." Laura Flanders whined: "How looong she's been in the trenches."]

Bill Clinton was correct, the narrative of Bambi is a fairy tale. Once upon a time, in 2004, sprung from the head of 2004 Democratic National Convention fully formed, Bambi was born.

"The genius of the Obama campaign" Flanders is blathering on about now. Well, remember that, when campaigning in the future. You can use homophobia and be a Democratic candidate. You can use it and you won't be called out for it ever. Certainly not by the so-called left.

You can offer two weak-ass sentences in Houston, Texas and have Tom Hayden praise you through the roof as if you'd just said "Troops Home Now!" Bambi didn't even say anything different. His two sentences are about combat troops. That's it. And we don't get that truth. We gets LIES from LIARS. And this has gone on and on in Little Media for months and months.

The special is now over and Larry Bensky never asked about homophobia. There's no reason for him to ever again host in the Bay Area. That's now reality. No one needs him or his tired ass again. He is a sexist and he's signaled that homophobia isn't a topic worth exploring. He doesn't belong on air. He's old, he's tired. He's retired. Give it to Aimee Allison. She's run for office. She speaks on campuses. She knows what's going on. He is the past, she is the future.

Didn't we hear that theme throughout the special? Laura pimped it hard, Lou pimped it hard, how people over forty were the past. Having promoted that over and over then it's time to take Larry's tired ass off air. Another reason to take him off now? He gave out the phone number for call-ins once and only once at the start of the last hour. He never took callers' phone calls, nor did he ever give out the phone number again. It was more important that Larry ask what he wanted to ask than that a national audience participate by dialing 1-800-958-9088 -- yes, it was a toll free number. [C.I. Correction: 2-28-08: One phone call was taken, Ava and I cover it in "Radio: Panhandle Media."]Equally true is that Uncle Tom Flanders was the only female commentator -- the KPFT reporter wasn't a commenator, she was reporting and they went with what was there from Pacifica, what was there in Austin. Equally true is that for all the talk of the 'youth,' you didn't hear a young voice once. It was pure crap, make no mistake. It was an embarrassing broadcast and shameful for KPFA.

We didn't get a discussion on the illegal war. We got slams at Hillary for her 2002 vote. The 2002 vote did not start the illegal war. A) The Iraq War is illegal it is not authorized. Those 'olders' so quickly dismissed today grasped what Congressional authorization was and wasn't during Vietnam. B) If it was authorization, it was gross misconduct on the White House's part to be given a declaration of war in September 2002 and not begin it until March 2003. There was no authorization. But we don't get realities about the illegal war. We don't get realities at all. We get Little Media pimping non-stop for one candidate. One who has not pledged to end the illegal war.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 3960. Tonight? 3969. Thirty-one away from the 4,000 mark. But you wouldn't know that to listen to what passed for commentary tonight on KPFA. Instead you got Bambi the anti-war warrior based on two sentences (that do not contradict his earlier plan). Laura wanted to slam Hillary (but not Bambi) and use the term "shrivled" to contrast 1972 and today. Was Laura even in this country in 1972? Amnesty for war resisters (so-called 'draft dodgers' and 'deserters') was an issue in 1972. It should have been worthy of a sentence on a KPFA broadcast. It wasn't. The illegal war is not something Little Media is going to fight to end and why should they when they've turned it into a campaign strategy for their candidate of choice? They lie, flat out LIE, and act as though the 2002 Congressional vote was an "authorization." It wasn't. That is among the reasons the Iraq War is illegal. And during Vietnam, we were smart enough to seize upon that point. Congress never approved a war with Vietnam. Equally true, they never approved a war with Iraq. But reality takes a backseat to one candidate and that's why there is nothing "alternative" or "independent" about Little Media. It's why it's a non-stop echo chamber repeating lies and distortions. And if you hate the war, you should hate the crap KPFA broadcast tonight.