As a small child growing up in Israel, I still remember watching the great footballer Franz Beckenbauer playing The Netherlands for the world cup soccer finals. On the political front, commendable is the classy manner in which “Emperor” Beckenbauer stood up to- and put an American inquisitor in his place. My soccer allegiances for the World Cup 2014 are still with the work horses of Europe, Germany (“perhaps the best team in the world”), as well as with the US, of course. (Portugal is too socialist to support. The team’s star is good looking in an oleaginous way, as are the fans, but that’s neither here nor there.) I’ll be pleased if either Germany or the US wins.
Barbara Walters has promised to retire. But then so did that lip-licking lizard, Larry King. You can’t take them at their word.
In my journalism-school days one looked up to the brilliant and brave late Oriana Fallaci. Now, it’s mediocrities like colorectal crusader Katie Couric and Barbara Walters who’re considered cutting-edge clever. And they’ve sired a new crop of cretins. Can you believe that talking coifs such as Brook Baldwin and Erin Burnett of CNN are regularly asked to address university graduates? There is NOTHING these people can say that can edify or enlighten. Nothing. They are walking cliches. The same goes for the Fox News crop, with some exceptions (Gerri Willis, Elizabeth MacDonald, Melissa Francis).
As the author of America’s “Most Fascinating People List,” Barbara Walters had redefined the concept of “fascinating.” The detritus of humanity paraded by the reality TV racket is where the boorish broadcaster turned for “fascinating” figures. She was thus an integral cog in a coarsening culture. Some of her past picks for the List included Paris Hilton, Victoria and David Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Justin Timberlake.
All Walters’ interviews make the flesh crawl. Paris Hilton’s porn debut, in which the woman made narcissistic love to the camera, (i.e. herself) was transformed by Walters’ syrupy “journalism” into a PG-rated tale of innocence betrayed.
And the Walters empathic posturing concealed a good deal of cattiness, even cruelty. Her idea of getting to the guts of a story: Bringing a supremely vulnerable celebrity to tears. The wicked Walters once prefaced an interview with singer Celine Dion by pronouncing, “You are not beautiful.” She then watched gleefully as tears welled in Dion’s beautiful eyes.
The only person to rival such bitchiness is sly Katie Couric. She once interviewed Hillary Clinton while drunk with love for Obama. Couric’s below-the-belt barbs and blithe probes about Obama—but not the issues—made Hillary appear elevated by comparison. Clinton was courteous where Katie was cruel. “Someone told me your nickname in school was Miss Frigidaire. Is that true?” Couric asked. “Only with some boys,” Clinton said, laughing. The answer was quick and classy.
Good newsmen are a dying breed. Good newswomen are mostly dead already. By the time she died, Oriana Fallaci had long since been buried professionally by mediocrities like Barbara Walters. For her contempt of Islam, Fallaci was forced to flee her native Italy. She came to America, where, needless to say, she did not make it onto Barbara’s List or as a “CNN Heroes” nominee.
Someone has provided a much needed pictorial corrective to the “humanitarian posturing” evinced in the “#BringBackOurGirls” “hashtag campaign,” conducted by Michelle Obama and the gormless glitterati.
Writes William Norman Grigg:
“Michelle Obama spared a moment between lavish tax-victim-funded vacations and celebrity outings to join this year’s version of the Kony campaign, which seeks military action in Nigeria to liberate 276 Christian schoolgirls who were abducted by Muslim militants.”
The Twitter campaign — in which people pose with signs reading #BringBackOurGirls — is not directed at the terrorists and kidnappers, whose hearts will not be softened by such entreaties. The intent is to cultivate public support for a “humanitarian” military operation conducted by the same kind-hearted folks who have slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people during the past twelve years, and who are lending financial and military support to Jihadis in Syria who are committing atrocities every bit as vile as those carried out by Boko Haram.
This isn’t to say that the everyone who has enlisted in this hashtag campaign is a cynical war-monger, opportunistic politician, or trend-sucking celebrity. The heroic Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel nominee who survived being shot in the head by Taliban gunmen as punishment for promoting education for young girls, has joined the movement as well. Malala’s moral authority comes not merely from what she suffered in Pakistan, but from her willingness to confront the Nobel-winning murderer in the Oval Office over his continuing campaign of state terrorism. …
The Hollywood Reporter tells of why there will be fewer wealthy, worthless people at one of the most sickening specters of the year: The annual White House Sycophants’ Dinner, where the most pretentious people in the country—in politics, journalism and entertainment—convene to revel in their ability to petition and curry favor with one another, usually to the detriment of the rest of us in Rome’s provinces.
The pretty people don’t want to be “pawed” by the politicians. That’s the official line. The real reason: this trashy Idiocracy is losing interest:
… one Hollywood insider, who asked not to be identified, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the lack of swoon-worthy A-list movie stars shows that the lure of the event has faded dramatically.
Those gathered at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner are not the country’s natural aristocracy, but it’s authentic Idiocracy—a group of people who make their living pretending to be something they are not. Poseurs and parasites all.
Granted, actors do not coerce the citizenry to patronize their (mostly) lousy flicks. However, when they use their celebrity to push unconstitutional, naturally unlawful policies—then they are acting as enemies of the people.
Mostly, I find Hollywood disgusting. Every time I turn around a “celebrity” is preaching and propagandizing for the leftist cause du jour. Some of these tarts and tards were using their tushes and other assets to tell their betters (YOU) to be good and do your “duty” to support this or the other of their pet policies.
Like nothing else, the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a mark of a corrupt politics. The un-watchful dogs of the media have no business frolicking with the president and his minions. This is co-optation. And when did the phonies of Hollywood become a fixture in this event?
The toxic “tradition” began in 1920, and, as far as I know, is sponsored by THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION. The “White House Correspondents’ Association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the press and the president.”
The event and the invited tell a great deal about the Association, its ethics and code of conduct.
That aside, I happen to think Obama can be a very funny guy, but his political exploits have marred his ability to make thinking people laugh at any of his jokes, no matter how self-deprecating.
UPDATE I (5/4): On CNN, the SS (Sycophant’s Supper) turned into another excuse for a no-news, day-Long occasion to guffaw and genuflect to CNN “reporters” and to the Gilded Ones. In its broadcast of the SS 2104, CNN proved that it deserved to be the butt of jokes from the president and comedic host Joel McHale.
Speaking of whom, Obama’s writers were clearly better than McHale. The president’s routine was funnier. Bar a few good lines, I didn’t find McHale especially witty.
* I did like the McHale gibe at George Clooney: “Every year, the White House doctor checks the president’s colon for polyps and George Clooney’s head.”
* On Obama in a “Paul Ryan” sort of way: “yet another inner-city minority relying on the federal government to feed and house your family.”
* And every joke at CNN’s expense was grrreat. (The fixed, sour look on Wolf Blitzer’s face was worth it.) “On CNN’s Malaysia 370 coverage: 100 years ago, CNN was only searching for the Wright Brothers plane…CNN is desperately searching for something that’s been missing for months: their dignity.”
* CNN has been “desperately searching for something they’ve been missing for months: their dignity.” (It was at this moment the C-SPAN camera chose to focus in on a noticeably emotionless Wolf Blitzer.)
Funny Obama jokes:
* “And I’m feeling sorry — believe it or not — for the Speaker of the House, as well. These days, the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me, which means orange really is the new black.”
* “Let’s face it Fox, you’ll miss me when I’m gone. It’ll be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.”
* Obama on CNN’s wall-to-wall coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 – a frequent target of the night’s jokes: He noted that he had just returned from a trip to Malaysia. “The lengths we have to go to to get CNN coverage these days,” Obama said, adding, “I think they’re still searching for their table” at in the Hilton ballroom.
* “MSNBC is here, they’re a little overwhelmed. They’ve never seen an audience this big before.”
Jay Leno’s routine at the SS 2010 was the best, because he’ was way smarter and certainly more politically astute.
UPDATE II: IT WAS BAD.
US deserved status in the world
US flag stateside
The current outrage on Kelly is over Iran’s new UN ambassador. It’s news only the first time reported. Otherwise, these items are meant to heighten emotions and send hissing viewers to social media to create a buzz.
UPDATE (4/3): Mygyn’s OMG segment today had to do with “Tolerant Feminists Tell[ing] Conservative Young Woman: We Don’t Want You Here.” Yawn. A tolerant feminist is a contradiction in terms.
Just for a change, the menstruation lobby is moaning about the movies and its members’ representation therein: “The latest study on women in front of the camera finds that female characters are still significantly under-represented on the big screen. … The numbers for minority females are even lower. African-American female representation on screen climbed to 14%, from 8% in 2011, but down from 15% in 2012.”
Despite the same lobby’s attempt to ban the word, we women are “bossy.”
I control the remote in the house. My husband, however, is happy to allow it, because we like viewing the same things—except that he is more patient and prone to watch foolish female heroes strut their stuff in stilettos and plunging cleavages while chasing the bad guys. He’s been softened. He believes the schtick.
Other than “Olivia” in “Law and Order”—she’s the only believable woman in a tough-cop routine—I can’t watch females as action heroes because it doesn’t make sense. I’m way too wedded to reality to find women believable in these roles.
As for the presence of minorities in movies: it usually signals a two-hour long, oppressive racial lecture. And “I’m no more inclined to turn to ’12 Years A Slave’ for entertainment, than I am to subject myself to Oprah Winfrey and her M.O.P.E. (Most Oppressed Person Ever) ‘Butler.'”
Maybe other viewers are on to this and agree, because it is quite clear that Hollywood is giving viewers what they want to see: men in lead roles. If film executives listened to loathsome Lena Dunham, instead of to the demands of consumers—the industry would go bankrupt.
In any event, Sean and I both like the Metal and Military Channels, “Investigation Discovery” for the gory real-life murder cases, “Law and Order” (Olivia’s awesome), “The Following,” “Criminal Minds” (the horror compensates for the hens), “Justified,” and, I know the category is wrong, but the Oscars belongs to ….
It is simply superb; TV at its best: no politics, surprisingly, no mega movie stars (who usually can’t act); real foreigners playing foreigners (no fake foreign accent, courtesy of Angelina Jolie), and a great script.
Enjoy tonight’s episode.
UPDATE I (3/13): The Following” is ad hoc, make-it-up-as-you-go garbage. But it’s done well-enough to entertain.
UPDATE II: “THE AMERICANS.” The script and story are so good in The Americans, that you don’t root for a political side—the story is remarkably apolitical, given how political is should be, the halmark of good storytelling—you simply get absorbed in the plot. It’s a great spook story. That’s the experience the movies should deliver. Good narrative, good acting, no wagging finger. However, it is pro-American in the subtle, good, non-rah-rah way, as it shows how the couple is living the life while going through the spook motions. It is wonderful TV.
UPDATE III: The script and story are so good in “The Americans,” that you don’t root for a political side—the story is remarkably apolitical, given how political is should be, the hallmark of good storytelling—you simply get absorbed in the plot. It’s a great spook story. That’s the experience the movies should deliver. Good narrative, good acting, no wagging finger. However, it is pro-American in the subtle, good, non rah-rah way, as it shows how the couple is living The Life while going through the spook motions. It is wonderful TV.
House of Cards: I do not like a lecture: not from the Right, the Left, or from the libertarians (my crowd). And I do not watch any program about politicians, CIA, FBI, NSA. I want to excise these cancers from my life.
UPDATE IV: Some seek an ideology in a story, I seek a good narrative. Not sure what it is about my explanation on Facebook that Friends have failed to get about excising all gov. from my life. CIA, FBI, NSA, D.C.: “Good” or bad, it’s all bad, because it should be abolished. I don’t watch it for “fun.” I write about it.