Thursday, August 06, 2009

It's okay to lie when it's about Sarah Palin!

Blogger/Blogspot's fixed their problems from this morning.

Mike had a post Tuesday that I planned to highlight this morning and wasn't able to due to the problems with Blogger/Blogspot. We're cross posting it here. Monday, on KPFA's The Morning Show, Dave Zirin and Aimee Allison 'entertained' whatever's left of the shrinking audience with Palin Tales.

Sarah Palin doing aerial hunting, you understand. Has she? It doesn't matter, it's Sarah Palin and people can say anything about her and get away with it. Dave Zirin can refer to her with the diminutive phrase "mascot" -- clearly sexist -- and that's not reason for Aimee Allison to stop laughing or stop the hate-fest.

When some pull this nonsense, it hurts everyone on the left. Good for Mike for taking the topic on and he did a great job. This is his "Dave Zirin and Aimee Allison lie but it's 'okay' it's Palin:"

Tuesday! :D Lots to discuss. 17 e-mails came in complaining about KPFA's The Morning Show on Monday. (Until August 17th, you can hear the program here -- after that, they're too damn cheap to pay the songwriting and publishing royalties so the program vanishes.) I wondered about that? Why me? I wrote back and 13 replied noting the "Roundtable" and how it was being stressed in that that Ava and C.I. do not have the time -- no one does -- to call out all the lies on Sarah Palin. Jim and Jess explain that, Ava herself explains that. They don't agree with Palin, they wouldn't vote for her (Ava and C.I. either voted for Ralph or Cynthia in 2008 -- no one knows which, they're not telling). But that doesn't mean it's okay to be sexist about her or to lie about her. And they call it out over and over and it's just gets to be too much. So beause of that roundtable, thirteen of you decided to dump it in my lap. The other four? They pointed out the person involved was Dave Zirin. Yeah, that would fall on my beat. But it's also okay that 13 of you didn't want to bother C.I. with it. We're now in the month when Ava and C.I. had to start defending Palin against unfair attacks and smears. I didn't realize that until Elaine pointed it out. For a year, they've had to defend her and have done the best defending (at least from the left) of anyone online. And this is something I can handle. So let's dive in.

Dave came on for the second segment half-hour of the first hour and was interviewed by Aimee Allison. Dave's on a bad phone because his voice doesn't sound like it normally does. (Or maybe he's got a bad connection.) He wants Michael Vick back on a pro-football team and that ticked off 8 of the people complaining because they feel that Dave's belittling animal cruelty.

And it's "MICHAEL VICK." KPFA, it's not "Michael Vic." VICK. Learn to spell the name of the person who is the topic of your half-hour segment. How embarrassing.

He starts by saying there's a Chris Rock (sexist pig) joke about how Vic must be watching TV and seeing Palin and wondering [WTF]?

Dave then goes on to 'explain' the 'joke'. But he's already called Sarah Palin the Republican Party's "mascot." Yeah, it is belittling. No, he wouldn't call a man that.
Here's Dave explaining:

Dave: [. . .] cause when you think about shooting wolves from a plane which is one of her favorite past times.

Aimee: Right.

Dave: That's-that's barbaric. By any stretch of the imagination.

Aimee: With a high-powered rifle.

Dave: Exactly.

Aimee: Not even getting [in] there with the little short knife.

[cross talk]

Dave: . . . petting zoo with the Rambo knife and just going after some sheep.

He says athletes are role models and that the good ones call out racism. Funny how Dave's not interested in sexism.

But let's deal with the above. Dave's lying or he can't grasp reality. I have no idea on which because I wrote him to give him a chance to explain how he could be so wrong. He replied but still didn't get it.

Here's my e-mail:

On KPFA yesterday you mispoke or you lied.
I've got complaints about it and will be addressing it tonight.
Giving you a chance to say if you didn't understand Palin and the wolves or if you just figure when it's Sarah Palin that it's okay to lie?
There was no reason to bring the woman up other than the fact.
I'm aware lazy minds need to go for cheap jokes.
But in order to be funny, even cheap jokes need to be true.
So, outside of your fantasies, you saw Palin shooting wolves from a helicopter where?

Here's his reply:

Yes Michael. It's called Aeriel Wolf Gunning, a practice deemed inhumane by many animal rights and even some hunting organizations. Articles about the practice and Palin's support are plentiful. I trust you can use your search engine of choice and discover them.
I'm happy to answer questions but please try to use a more respectful tone in the future. No need to be rude.
All the best
Dave Zirin

No need to be snippy, Dave. We've had this dance before. I'll lead, thank you. :D
Here's my reply to him.

Dear Dave,
I'll worry about my tone when others worry about the truth.
So from your answer in the e-mails, you have no knowledge of Sarah Palin shooting wolves from helicopters?
In direct contrast to what you and Aimee Allison said on air.
P.S. I don't hate you or dislike you. If I did, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to let you respond (and I hoped kill my having to cover this). But you're better than that and you're sinking to the level of Republicans -- the same ones you claim to despise.
Don't say, "It's a joke!" You weren't joking and neither was Aimee.
Repeating it one more time, you're better than that.
Or you were.
Thanks for responding.
Your buddy,

I asked him about Sarah Palin. He claimed she shot wolves from aircraft. Do we need to roll tape again?

Dave: [. . .] cause when you think about shooting wolves from a plane which is one of her favorite past times.

Aimee: Right.

Dave: That's-that's barbaric. By any stretch of the imagination.

Aimee: With a high-powered rifle.

Dave: Exactly.

Aimee: Not even getting [in] there with the little short knife.

Listen to the two of them pimping the idea that Sarah Palin's shooting wolves from aircraft.

Listen and laugh.

"Barbaric!" Insists Dave Zirin. Who forgets to tell you what Michael Vick was found guilty of. "Felony charges of operation an unlawful six-year long interstate dog fighting venture" says Wikiped which notes:

On August 24, Vick filed his plea documents with the federal court. He pled guilty to "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture". In addition, he admitted to providing most of the financing for the operation itself, as well as participating directly in several dog fights in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. He also admitted to sharing in the proceeds from these dog fights. He further admitted that he knew his colleagues killed several dogs who didn't perform well enough. However, while he admitted to providing most of the money for gambling on the fights, he denied placing any side bets on the dogfights. He also denied actually killing any dogs himself.

Dave does a little trick Bob Somerby often catches Frank Rich and Bob Herbert in. Taking a crime and then grabbing something they don't care for an equating the two. It's dishonest and Dave did it on KPFA.

Michael Vick broke the law. He admitted to it. He went to prison. Dave doesn't want to say -- according to Dave -- he paid his debt but call it what you will, he served his time. He's free. That's how it works. That doesn't mean you get to go back into a prestige career. Dave's the one going on about how sports stars are role models.

Michael Vick broke the law. He's no longer a role model. Maybe he'll do stuff that, in a few years, inspires people. (Not suffering, climb on the cross football players who rally to his side because they have their own problems and live under the belief that they are persecuted by fame.) He's a criminal. He's an admitted felon. You don't just return to the NFL.

Michael's a criminal.

Sarah Palin's not. Dave can call it 'barbaric' or whatever else he wants to and he can lie that Sarah Palin's shooting wolves herself.

Can someone do aerial hunting? Samantha Henig (Slate) explained it back in 2008:

Yes, but only with the government's permission. Aerial shooting yields better results than traditional hunting, since it allows the hunter to cover a lot of ground quickly and track target animals from a clear vantage point. Historically, hunters also used planes to drive animals—polar bears in Alaska and elk in Montana, among others—toward gunmen waiting on the ground. But many hunters found the practice unsportsmanlike, since it violates the "fair chase" ethic, and animal rights activists call it inhumane, since airborne gunmen rarely get a clean (i.e., relatively painless) kill. In response to concerns like these, Congress passed the Federal Airborne Hunting Act of 1972, which made it illegal for hunters to shoot animals from a plane or helicopter.

Henig also tells you that it's been taking place in Alaska since 2003. Palin's not governor until 2006. It's not a policy she created, it's one she continued and it's legal.

Michael Vick didn't get in trouble for being "barbaric." Some might think, for example, that Vick apparently giving Sonya Elliot genital herpes (he settled out of court) was "barbaric." But Michael Vick broke the law and has a felony conviction on his record. He broke the law.

You may not like animals being hunted from the air but doing that is legal.

And you can lie like Dave and Aimee did and claim that it's Sarah's favorite past time and she's up there shooting and all that. But the reality is there's no proof that she herself ever did.

We need to learn to stick to the facts.

And we especially need to learn that we're looking like idiots as we attack Sarah Palin everytime we need our chuckle. It's dumb, it's stupid and it is sexist. And C.I. really gets at that in "Roundtable" and let me do links for those who don't know already, C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz and Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ.

Marcia: Okay. Digby's trash, we all know it. She's trash who tosses out her Reading Is Fundamental blog posts for her uneducated following that just grunts "Give me reason to hate Sarah! I need reason to live!" She exists to distract which is why she's a Blog Whore. She's far from the only one. Ava, I'm guessing, figured I'd want to respond on this due to my post Friday night, "Naomi Klein's never helped any woman." It's about how Klein shows up at the celebration for The Progressive this spring and gives a speech on . . . Sarah Palin. Despite using her repeatedly for a punchline, Klein wants to insult your intelligence and tell you it's not about Palin.

C.I.: I have to jump in, I'm sorry. I just want it pointed out that Sarah Palin did not run for president in 2008. I want it pointed out that John McCain did. I want it pointed out that this obsession with Palin is unhealthy and sexist. Dan Quayle was never the focus to this degree. Certainly after George H.W. Bush lost re-election in 1992, the left did not spend 1993 making Dan Quayle the focus of all their conversations. It's getting old and I'm real damn tired of all the slams on Palin.

Marcia: And I agree with you on that. Klein was supposedly addressing an 'educated' audience and what did she and they enjoy? Cheap shots at Sarah Palin. And it is an obsession for them. It really is, they should be ashamed. It's not like I blog about Naomi Klein daily, I'm not blogging every day about how her crotch stinks and people at book signings wondered about the smell. I could. Maybe I should. Maybe I should be like Naomi Klein and make it my goal in life to rip apart all women?

Elaine: It just amazes me that, as Marcia points out, the audience is allegedly educated and Klein supposedly a thinker and that's all they could do. Use Palin as red meat tossed out to the lions to keep the crowds cheering. That's just disgusting and it's why the left is so damn pathetic. If we want to save the United States, our problem on the left is not what the right-wing's doing, our problem is what our supposed co-horts are doing. People like Naomi Klein are no help to anyone and she ought to be ashamed but I've told [deleted at Elaine's request] she should be ashamed for staying silent on war resisters. I'm done with that stupid ass Naomi Klein. Truly, I've had my fill of the mall rat who thinks she can craft together the writing of others and be considered a thinker.

And it's like Kirsten Powers said yesterday, "The only thing worse would be running for vice president. Just ask Sarah Palin. I'm no fan of the former governor of Alaska, but as a life-long feminist I can't ignore the endless stream of sexism directed at her." Did Dave really call her a mascot? Yep, he did. Would he call Mitt Romney that? No, he wouldn't. It's an attempt to belittle her, to put her 'in her place.' It's sexist and it doesn't need to be happening.

But the left doesn't need to be lying either.

And they don't need to be comparing things they dislike to crimes. Bob Somerby's correct that this doesn't need to happen and it cheapens our discourse. We're better than that. Or we used to be.