TWO YEARS AGO, THE LATE U.S. SENATOR ROBERT BYRD CALLED OUT CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O'S USE OF WHITE HOUSE "CZARS" NOTING THAT THE CZARS "CAN THREATEN THE CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES. AT WORST, WHITE HOUSE STAFF HAVE TAKEN DIRECTION AND CONTROL OF PROGRAMMATIC AREAS THAT ARE THE STATUTORY RESPONSIBILITY OF SENATE-CONFIRMED OFFICIALS."
THIS WEEK, THE HOUSE VOTED TO STOP FUNDING BARRY O'S CZARS.
THAT COULD BE BAD NEWS FOR SAM KASS. LIKE MOST AVERAGE AMERICANS, BARRY O HAD HIS OWN "PERSONAL CHEF" WHEN HE LIVED IN CHICAGO AND DECIDED TO BRING HIM ALONG TO THE WHITE HOUSE. LAST YEAR, THE COOK BECAME A CZAR.
WITH THE UPGRADE CAME A PAY HIKE BUT, AS JUDICIAL WATCH HAS EXPLAINED, THAT INFORMATION IS 'CLASSIFIED' AND UNAVAILABLE TO CONGRESS OR THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT FOOTS THE BILL FOR SAM KASS AND THE OTHER CZARS.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
We start again on sexual assault and we start with Nir Rosen's attack on Lara Logan (who was assaulted while on assignment in Egypt). Other than noting this link to NYU Local's interview with Rosen -- mentioned and quoted from yesterday but the link was not included -- that wasn't the plan. Ava and I began taking notes on the various lies from Nir Rosen and his supporters on Thursday for a piece we'll be doing at Third Sunday and that was going to be it. But then there's Joan Walsh, the village idiot. Marcia praised Joan Walsh for her appearance on Anderson Cooper's show Wednesday night. Marcia's kinder than I am and also wants it noted that she thought she had seen all the Tweets Nir did. She had not seen them all. Joan Walsh either hasn't seen them all or she's lying.
Nir Rosen deleted them. Many were rescued. However, there are more than many people -- like Joan Walsh -- have addressed.
In 2008, Joan Walsh would sometimes call out a little of the sexism aimed at Hillary Clinton and then do one of her columns or TV appearances where she tried to soothe the hurt feelings of the pigs she'd called out. (Ava has critiqued Joan's insulting attitude towards Latinas in an Iraq snapshot. That criticism stands.) Ava and I would not praise Joan because we've learned you just can't trust her. (If that's news to you, head over to The Daily Howler and check the archives.)
At Salon today, she shows up to play shirts & skins. Because it's never about the violence against women for Joan, it's about left and right. She trashes the right wing and claims Nir's in the clear (he "has since apologed everywhere imaginable"). I'm not a right winger. I'm never surprised by anything the right wing does. Nor do I have any interest in following them. But on the left we're supposed to believe in equality. And yet we turn a blind eye when Amy Goodman and others elect to publish multiple columns in the most offensive of skin magazines that do far more than objectify women, that target them for violence. Of those who did that, only Noam Chomsky offered a public apology. Many on the left are still not aware of it. In the accusations against Julian Assange, we saw the two women attacked over and over. We saw them attacked -- from the left -- with the same sexist trash and lies that the right uses. And, of course, the Hillary attacks 'from the left' recyled all the right wing garbage as well.
The problem's not the right. The problem's the left. Recently people were surprised that The Daily Kos has an anti-choice ad. Why? Why are they surprised? That site and so many others have been pushing for abortion rights to be tossed aside. The problem's not the right. The problem for those of us on the left is the very real hatred towards women. And it flares up -- and has for decades -- whenever any woman won't go along and attack another who's speaking out about abuse towards women. You saw it on the Journolist. Harper's Luke Wilson rushing in to scream about leave Keith Olbermann alone, his sexism may be offensive, but he's talking about torture!
Well, Luke Wilson, rape is torture, sexual assault is torture, domestic abuse is torture. It's not in your little mind and as long as women like Joan Walsh exist, Luke Wilson will thrive on the left. Joan tells you that "everything there is to say" has been said. Really because I'm not remembering Salon tackling the homophobia in Nir Rosen's remarks. Did I miss it, Joan?
Now, how come you wanna leave me here
Is it something that I said
Or is it just your style that after a while
You've got to get up and get
Oh, now that everything's been said
Now that everything's been done
How come you wanna leave me here
To work it out all on my own
-- "Now That Everything's Been Said," written by Carole King and Toni Stern, first appears on the City's Now That Everything's Been Said
No, Joan didn't cover the homophobia nor did anyone at Salon. But she did allow Nir to rush in with yet another so-called apology. "And yet, in all the tweets, essays and interviews, Rosen has yet to come across and truly contrite and apologetic. Maybe he should use some of his new-found free time to work on that," Julie Gerstein (New York magazine) observed today and she's correct.
Everything's been said, Joan? If you mean blaming the victims of sexual assault, yeah, that's being said, Joan. One-time journalist Thomas E. Ricks' post about his friend Nir continues to gather comments about how Lara Logan (any woman) had it coming. Thomas E. Ricks has failed to jump into that thread and has failed to call it out in a post. So Foreign Policy is now on record as endorsing that women who are sexually assaulted had it coming.
Joan wants to fret about what it says about Muslims to some on the right. Not because she gives a damn but because it deflects from Nir Rosen (someone Salon's long published and plans to continue publishing). If Joan really gave a damn about that -- if Nir Rosen had -- they would have made the obvious point: Egyptian women came to Lara Logan's aid. That can't be minimized. Yes, some can minimize the Egyptian army's actions -- they were supposed to be protecting all the people and when they did step in they were doing that function. They were armed and what they did was their job. But Egyptian women, unarmed women, saw another woman being attacked and sexually assaulted and stood up and said no. If they hadn't, the assault would have continued.
Joan and Nir never find time to talk about that. (Nir because he has no respect for women. His Tweets mocked Egyptian women and his comments since then have been insulting towards Egyptian women.) If McDonalds brings back the McRib tomorrow, I'm sure there are some on the right who hate Muslims that will find a way to turn that into more reasons to hate Muslims. Joan wants to pretend there's some logic to be found. There is none to be found. But it does allow you to pretend like the hatred is all on the right, Joan. I don't really give a damn what some right wing blogger writes or someone says on Fox. It doesn't hugely effect my life.
But Nir Rosen said Lara Logan had it coming. That does effect my life. He's been promoted by the left -- he is still promoted by the left -- and the left refuses to call him out. Joan Walsh went on TV to call him out. She hasn't called him out at Salon, at Salon where she's written many checks to him. In other words, Joan Walsh, you've promoted him, you vouched for him in the past. Probably you're a little concerned about your own image if Nir goes down. That as charitable as I'll be towads you.
Joan Walsh wants to claim that Salon's one article critiquing Nir Rosen said all that needed to be said. We praised that column by Mary Elizabeth Williams. But not being Joan Walsh, I'm not stupid enough to think that 'says it all.' If it said it all, you wouldn't find people at Foreign Policy leaving comments that justify the sexual assault. If that one article said it all, Joan, Mark Memmott wouldn't have had to posted a column at NPR's The Two-Way explaining, "Many of the comments that have come in to our post about CBS News correspondent Lara Logan, who the network says was attacked and sexually assaulted last Friday while reporting in Cairo's Tahrir Square, have been flagged and removed because they violated NPR.org's discussion rules." Brad Phillips (Mr. Media Training) finds more to talk about, but then he examines the so-called apologies (don't miss his update at the end). Alice in Progress notes the attacks on Logan and the attacks on Senator Scott Brown (Brown just came forward about physical abuse from step-fathers and sexual abuse from a camp counselor) and points out of the attacks, "Both are similar in the sense that they show how an overwhelming majority of people in our society view rape and sexual abuse victimes: that they're not 'victims' at all and somehow got what they 'deserved', for either being too pretty or just standing in a certain location, or for a number of others really stupid reasons." Joan Walsh claims everything's been said and we all need to just MoveOn and, presumably, focus on a more important issue like saving the rain forest or, more likely, elections. Seriously? Duane Gundrum (Dreams of a Lego Spaceman) calls out Nir Rosen's disgusting Salon article (another 'apology') and explains:
But what bothers me about this is not just that it happened, which does, of course, bother me, but how I first found out about it. I follow news through a number of message boards, and it just so happens that there are a couple of computer gaming boards I follow where some of the more brilliant current events people hang out. I take great pleasure in debating all sorts of issues with these individuals, and it was on that particular day when I first read a thread of this event happening. However, what kept bothering me about the thread was not that the event had happened (which again, bothered me a great deal), but that almost all of the commentary was from people indicating that Lara Logan was the one who should be considered at fault, because she should have known better than to be in a place where she might possibly be raped by men.
I remember staring at the screen, thinking to myself, how could anyone even think something like that? In all of the years I've been arguing with these people, not once did I ever think of them as a bunch of Neanderthals who thought that women should be treated as sexual fodder to be used randomly because they're soft and cuddly, and men are going to do what men are going to do. Yet, in post after post, that's all I was reading.
So, I fired off a response in which I indicated that I was shocked that we still have people who think this way in this day and age. I was astonished at this behavior, and I couldn't believe they would EVER blame a woman for the simple crime of, well, being a woman in a man's world. I knew I was going to rile up some people, but right after I posted my response, the usual suspects started chiming in about how "you need to live in the real world" and that the world is a dangerous place, and if I can't handle the way things happen, then maybe I should stay inside and not dare to play with the big boys, because "your panties might get tussled."
And Joan Walsh thinks one column on the subject says everything? Seriously? Kelly McBride (Poynter) notes:
My first instinct, when a reporter told me about Logan's assault, was to be quiet. I thought about Logan's privacy and about how I knew some would respond, blaming her for what happened. I didn't want to add fuel to that fire.
But when we turn away from a sexual assault, we amplify the voices that would blame the victim or minimize the attack. Our instinct to avert our eyes leaves the victim to face a world of judgment on her own.
There is so much we can say about sexual assault. As a society, we rarely talk about it, until a particularly dramatic event. Then we talk about the circumstances of the event: Where was she? What happened? In asking those questions, we allow myths and suspicions to guide our conversations. But we forget to bring in all the facts that we do know.
So if we talk about Logan's ordeal, let's do so in the context of things we know to be true.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Nouri threatens 'troublemakers' and false arrests ..."
"The fallen (Shawn Evans), the embarrasment (Bob Gates)"
"I Hate The War"
"Corn Soup in the Kitchen"
"Can you bake a cherry pie, Nir Rosen?"
"Katrina vanden Heuvel grow the hell up"
"Michelle Goldberg and Esther Kaplan, shut up"
"Don't be part of the silence"
"Nir Rosen (Blog post)"
"the idiot joan walsh"
"the responses online"
"Danny The Pig Schechter"
"What is Victor Navasky's problem with women?"
"Feaver's a dishonest joke"
"Nir Rosen, what a prick"
"I retract my praise of Joan Walsh"
"Thank you to Joan and to Anderson"
"More lies from Libby Liberal"
"He doesn't apologize"
"A flunky scorned"
"The sexism of the press"
"Books and the weekends"
"Daniel Luben's an idiot (at best)"
"THIS JUST IN! THE NON-APOLOGY APOLOGY!"
"Nir Rosen continues his non-apology tour"