Category Archives: Blogger

FCC Plan to Pressure Newsrooms


Last week the Wall Street Journal published a story about an FCC plan to pressure newsrooms to provide the kind of coverage the government wants. That led to the kind of coverage the government didn’t want and the FCC backed off its scheme.

Sochi Spy Swap


There will be no Sochi Spy Swap for Edward Snowden.

Senator Mark Warner wants to deport Justin Bieber to Canada. He could go to jail. Pussy Riot has already been there.

Pussy Rioters served Russian prison time for protesting President Putin’s human rights record. That and desecrating a church. In Bieber’s case it would be for assaulting his limo driver. Or for assaulting his jet pilot with second hand pot smoke.

No Sochi Spy Swap but Snowden Welcome

Putin says Edward Snowden is welcome to attend the Sochi Olympics. Pussy Riot, not so much.

I meant to include a shirtless Putin but ran out of room.

Miley Cyrus

130828twerk-miley-cyrus-cartoonMiley Cyrus’ remains a leader in family entertainment. Her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards introduced American parents to a new power word for the day – twerking.

As usual, I missed the VMA show but, thanks to the web, still got to see Miley’s performance – and build my vocabulary. Her dance was weird. It reminded me of the guy in the creepy teddy bear suit in The Shining. But the full shock value was lost on me because, shockingly, I’ve never seen Hannah Montana.

So, for the choreographical merits I defer to the experts. Two of them Camile Paglia and Kathleen Parker, were not amused. But for different reasons.

Paglia found the perky twerky one’s attempted lewdness to be, “clumsy, flat-footed and cringingly unsexy, an effect heightened by her manic grin”. She considers Madonna, not Montana, to be the gold standard in this area:

“The greatest performers, like Madonna … know how to use suggestion and mystery to project the magic of sexual allure. Pop is suffering from the same malady as the art world, which is stuck on the tired old rubric that shock automatically confers value.”

Parker agrees with the mystery part:

“Provocation for the sake of provocation is rarely provocative. And sex in the hands of a Cyrus-gone-wild has all the appeal of rutting season at the zoo.

Whither mystery?”

What’s it all Mean?

The writer ladies part company on where this all leads.

Paglia laments, “Unfortunately, the media spotlight so cheaply won by Cyrus will inevitably spur repeats of her silly stunt, by her and others.”

But Parker hopes, “This time may be different. This time, even the young are offended…Just possibly, America has had enough. When all things are permissible, then permissiveness loses its allure.”

Here’s what a disillusioned and anonymous 11 year old Hannah Montana fan had to say, “I bet her dad is sorry he got her into music”.

Off the Record

130531-first-amendment-cartoon-President Obama has proclaimed himself a fierce defender of the First Amendment . On cue, Eric Holderman called for a meeting of news honchos to clear the air about his secretive and nasty behavior toward them. True to form, the meeting was off the record.

Strange behavior for a couple of guys who only know what they read.

Update: Here’s a great Nat Hentoff piece on two Obamas. (He mentions the efforts of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to lead the pushback for the first amendment. Nat’s a RCFP steering committee member and so am I.)

News Not Fit to Print


News says "A Philadelphia Abortion Doctor is giving infanticide a bad name." TV viewer says " at least they're starting to pay attention."

How do you draw an editorial cartoon about murdering babies after botched abortions? Especially when readers won’t know what you’re talking about because the national media are ignoring the story?

That’s the case with the Gosnell murder trial in Philadelphia. I’ve been following it for a while on Fox News and a few blogs like Breitbart but nobody else (except the Philadelphia Inquirer and other local outlets) seemed to be covering it. That is until Kirsten Powers blew the lid off in a USA Today article about the curious incuriosity of the mainstream media.

With the cat out of the bag, others, including Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic and Megan Mcardle in The Daily Beast, began to question the media lack of interest. By that time it was Friday, the traditional bad news dump day.