Category Archives: media
This is a feature-length black and white animation in French, with subtitles. It is the story of a girl growing up in post-Shah Iran. The film is surprisingly moving at times, and generally informative, but it is rather long and, let’s face it, a little boring. It has won a number of awards, and rightly so, but don’t expect miracles.
I am constantly annoyed by the portrayal of Iranian history as starting at the time the Shah was overthrown. The overthrow of the democratically elected leader of Iran by Britain and the US, and the installation of the Shah, set the stage for the revolution and repression that has followed. It’s all about the oil, today as it was back in the 50’s. Don’t let the oily president and vice president of the US fool you.
On Thursday’s “Tucker” on MSNBC, David Shuster, who was serving as guest-host of the program, made a comment about Chelsea Clinton and the Clinton campaign that was irresponsible and inappropriate. Shuster, who apologized this morning on MSNBC and will again this evening, has been suspended from appearing on all NBC News broadcasts, other than to make his apology. He has also extended an apology to the Clinton family. NBC News takes these matters seriously, and offers our sincere regrets to the Clintons for the remarks.
Congress has been asking some tough questions while wearing their serious faces about why Dr. Richard Jarvik (inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart) is shilling Lipitor when he’s not actually licensed to practice medicine.
ABC News says that Dr. Jarvik has been paid a guaranteed $1.35 million for the ads, which feature him espousing the virtues of Lipitor in a doctoriffic-looking lab coat and rowing around a lake talking about “when diet and exercise aren’t enough.”
Here’s our favorite part of the story—the New York Times says that Dr. Jarvik uses a stunt double when he’s shown rowing in the commercials.
As it turns out, Dr. Jarvik, 61, does not actually practice the sport. The ad agency hired a stunt double for the sculling scenes.
“He’s about as much an outdoorsman as Woody Allen,” said a longtime collaborator, Dr. O. H. Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute. “He can’t row.”
The Justice Department is going after New York Times reporter Jim Risen for the non-crime of revealing President Bush’s illegal domestic surveillance program. It’s pathetic and unsurprising—a fixture of Bush Justice—that the activity DOJ pursues isn’t the blatant illegality of Bush violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but instead the fact that government sources blew the whistle to a great investigative reporter. The right response from the press, and the public, is to put one arm around Risen and, with the other arm, extend a single finger in the direction of the Justice Department.
On John Edwards: The Edwards campaign was a surreal experience that should inspire a doctoral dissertation or two. He was both the most progressive candidate on issues and the most electable on paper, and yet he did not get the support of most progressives or most professionals. This despite the fact that he actually ran a terrific campaign and, more than Obama and Hillary, defined it in a positive direction. That he forced the other candidates to respond did not end up mattering as much as the media’s fascination with all things Clintonian, Obamian, and the egregiously awful coverage of Edwards. The Washington Post deserves special mention for its idiotic 1,300-word piece on his haircut and an even longer one on his house. Richard Cohen and Michael Dobbs both called him a liar and presented no evidence. The editorial board attacked him constantly. The New York Times also went in for the “How can you care about poor people when you’re so rich?” line of questioning, which implies that poor people are unentitled to representation in the American political system, since it allows for only wealthy people to run. And Maureen Dowd was her usual awful, substanceless self, helping to set the tone for the rest, to the shame of all of us.
No one can win the presidency with a campaign whose primary focus is poverty. To think it could be done was foolish. The American electorate, the “middle class,” don’t like poor people and don’t identify with them, and don’t understand the universal benefits of eliminating poverty in this country. Had Edwards, instead, come out with a single-payer, tax-supported healthcare program he would have had a much better chance, because most Americans recognize that healthcare is a huge problem.
Too bad. He would have been a great president, I think.