Sunday, August 27, 2006

NYT: It takes a War Pornographer

The T&A parade returns to the war zone and when that happens, what's the New York Times to do but assign it to War Pornographer Michael R. Gordon?

Gordo's all over the Purrfect Angelz (well they lack perfection in spelling), so much so that you'd be tempted to think they're hiding some war toys on them until you get a look at the costume and are reminded of Cheryl Ladd's wink-wink line from a Charlie's Angels episode many years ago, "Where do you hide a gun in a bikini?"

Where indeed?

A parade of flesh is probably just what's needed in Iraq right now, right? It's not like there's been any allegations of rape . . . Oh wait.

Well, the hard working men and women certainly deserve some eye candy, right?

I wonder which women it would be worse for? Those who are lesbians and in the closet (due to the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy) and must be guarded in their reactions or women who are straight and wonder where the beefcake is? Both probably are aware how much harder the poon-tang parade will make their service?

Considering the case of Suzanne Swift, it's really troubling that this trip was okayed and endorsed. And for those who would dismiss Swift's statements as 'baseless' (no members would but we do get the crank visitors), she's not the only woman speaking of the sexualized war zone.
Abbie Pickett spoke about this issue at length with Matthew Rothschild on The Progressive Radio, she cited what she saw first hand, the way it was treated as normal. and how common place it was. Well why shouldn't it be when not only the military endorses is but the Times front pages it and offers a Dear Penthouse Forum type lust letter from Gordo?

Notice the front page photo which zooms in on men staring at a woman whose on display (in the photo) from the navel down. Does she have a face? Well, when people eat steak, they usually don't want to see the head of the cow so it's probably in keeping with the whole treat-em-like-meat approach that Gordo's working from. You get the feeling he had to change his shorts repeatedly while writing his soft-porn due to leakage.

It's interesting that these supposed dancers are never shown in motion. But then Playboy centerfolds always presented them as passive objects so why not the Times?

This is a hideous article. The women involved have no self-respect and I honestly can't imagine any gratitude on the part of wives and girlfriends that a tease T&A show was mounted. It's probably too much to expect self-respect from a woman whose resume boasts that she played football . . . lingerie football. How proud the parents must be. "Look honey, we raised a professional tease!"

Gordo waxes on about Ann-Margret and Raquel Welch and Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell and then, apparently, has reached a writing climax (very quickly in the article, to no one's surprise). When Linsdey Loham, at her young age, makes a silly remark about wanting to entertain the troops because she wants to be a "sex object" just like her hero Marilyn Monroe, it's embarrassing. When a middle-aged man like Gordo wants to flaunt the same attitude, it's shameful. That the Times sees this as a front page article is disgusting.

This isn't front page news, it's wink-wink, blue writing masquerading as feature reporting.

Before the editorial board writes their next piece on the sexual abuse of women in the military, they need to look at the attitudes closer to home, right there on West 43rd Street. In every regard, this is insulting. It's insulting that the military okayed this tour, it's insulting that the Times thought it was worth heavy panting coverage and it's insulting that they front page it. If Gordo wants to try his hand at features, I believe the Times has a Sunday Styles section.

Equally disturbing are the rumors of another evening with the administration (the greater obscenity?) where the paper was asked to (and agreed) back off covering the violence in Iraq to give al-Maliki time to get it together. al-Maliki has had months to get it together. It's not getting together. That's news. When al-Maliki's administration argued that TV stations in Iraq should stop airing the violence, that seemed an assault on press freedom. When the administration and the paper make back door deals that's something far worse.

But that's reportedly why we've had no news of violence for most of last week or yesterday or today in the paper of supposed record. The paper has allegedly agreed to back off. So readers of the paper have no idea what's happening on the ground. One more indication of whom the important audience is for the paper (hint, it's never the readers).

Damien Cave and Qais Mizher have an interesting article on on Tayseer Najah al-Mashhadani. We won't be excerpting from it. We noted her release yesterday. She was kidnapped and held for fifty-six days. (I'm counting Saturday, she was released that afternoon.) A legislator who's been kidnapped is released. And she speaks with two reporters for the Times. Via AFP, they have a photo of her. But she's shoved inside the paper because a T&A non-story is deemed front page. (Couldn't they have at least had the sense of humor to publish Gordo and the photos as the centerfold?) If the Times doesn't give a damn about that article, why should we?

In one paragraph, buried deep in the article, they note some of the violence of Saturday (they note three items, all but one -- 20 corpses discovered in Baghdad with bullets to head -- were noted here yesterday morning). After sitting on the James Risen story for over a year (NSA illegal wiretapping) and after killing the Bully Boy bulge story, you'd think the paper would have embarrassed/shamed itself so much that they'd have no interest in backdoor deals. But, hey, war with Iran is the next course about to be placed on the table and dangled scoops are just so tempting. What a proud moment it could be to say, "We beat the Washington Post by two hours!"

Remember that Isaiah is on vacation (and, unless something inspiring breaks, will also be on vacation next Sunday). West is picking this week's comic and next (if necessary on the latter).
As for The Third Estate Sunday Review . . .

I wanted to go to bed about four hours ago. Ava and I wrote three TV commentaries. Everything's completed but the "A note ot our readers." But the editorial won't post, the TV commentary (Washington Week) won't post, the thing on Watada's trial won't post. We're going to keep trying for another half-hour. If we can't get the items to post by then, we'll copy and paste them into entries at this site. (UK Computer Gurus are talking Ty through some steps and hopefully that will get rid of the "No space left on device . . . archive 08/27-2006" message.)
And this entry is in a holding pattern. Ready to post but Ty says he thinks the problem's been fixed. (There will either be no note, or it will go up late this evening. Everyone's tired and has been dealing with the nonsense technical problem for over three hours.)

Okay, the nightmare is almost over (I just have to spend thirty minutes now publishing this and the next entry to get technorati to read the tags . . .). Here is new content:

Editorial: If what Watada's standing up for matters, treat it like it matters
TV: Washington Weak
Denis Halliday said what?
It's not just Camilo Mejia, or Brandon Hughey, or Jeremy Hinzman, or Pablo Paredes, or . . .
Courage to Resist's latest alert on Ehren Watada
A public relations coup gone awry?
How to be a print pundit
TV: Make Room For Bully peters out
How do you say, "We're abandoning the base in 24 hours"?
Books: Sadly from Paul Bremer, Every Picture Tells A Story
TV: Vanishing
In war and pain, 13 albums

Again, this week, we tried to make the focus Iraq. I'll shut up and post.

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