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:: Friday, October 15, 2004 ::

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

Jon Stewart was on Crossfire, and he literally shredded Tucker Carlson...and left the other idiots in pieces as well. Steve Gilliard has a transcript here, which I highly suggest you read.

Now, it's no secret that Jon Stewart loathes Tucker Carlson. I'm not sure if was the "Jacuzzi Cases" thing or what, but Robert Novak is probably the only other guy on Earth that can compete on Stewart's "People I hold the most contempt for" list.

But he ripped Carlson up one side and down the other. Then, effectively, pissed on the remains. The Crossfire bunch wasn't expecting it. They thought Stewart would come up there and make funny comments about politics, or just plug his book.

Digby points out that, in essence, the Crossfire guys -- heck, most media -- simply don't get it. The Daily Show isn't a mockery of politics, it's a mockery of news reporting. It just never occurred to them that Stewart holds much of modern reporting -- the kind that Crossfire typifies -- in a great deal of contempt. He feels they are personally failing the nation.

Had Carlson actually read the book Stewart was on the show promoting, he might have been forewarned.

And the best thing is, Stewart can do it. No media critic would dare be that harsh, and the media wouldn't give a shit if he was. No one would listen. Jon Stewart holds the keys to the most coveted demographic on television, the ones who -- right now -- are forming opinions they will hold for life. Much as my father cannot believe that Democrats could be fiscally responsible, I'm guessing a lot of those on the Daily Show audience will probably live their lives heavily skeptical of the mainstream media...especially the 24/7 types.

People listen when Stewart talks. No media critic has his audience. No entertainer has his authority. And Carlson still doesn't get it.

Stewart chides him for failing to hold politicians feet to the fire, for failing to get straight answers out of them, for living in spin alley....and then demonstrates how to do it. He held Carlson to the fire until Tucker was pleading for mercy, and showed the world what that "Jacuzzi Case" bastard really was: A whiny idiot in a bow-tie, who couldn't think for himself if his life depended on it.

This isn't the first time Stewart's done this. When he goes on "regular" news shows, he's entirely focused on media criticism. He's got a damn comedy show, a mockery of modern news...and he's doing -- according to studies -- a better job than the "real thing".

I'll make a prediction here, about how badly Tucker Carlson misunderstands: I bet that, whether he ever says it or not, he thinks this interview somehow diminishes Jon Stewart.

He doesn't realize that he spent the entire time living up to the mocking image Stewart created.
:: Morat 4:14 PM :: ::

How Not to Fight an Insurgency

This, my friends, is not how you fight an insurgency.
U.S. Marines launched air and ground attacks Thursday on the insurgent bastion Fallujah after city representatives suspended peace talks with the government over Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's demand to hand over terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
This is how you fuel one.

Let me put this in plain terms: Imagine, say, Cincinnati. (It's the same population, roughly, as Fallujah). Now, imagine Cincinnati has been in a state of anarchy and revolt for the last six months. It's been surrounded by hostile troops and there's not exactly a legitimate government. Now, those hostile troops surrounding Cincinnati demand that the non-existent government of Cincinnati turn over a certain person. Using, I'm guessing, their magical detectives to find that person and their robot police to apprehend him or something...

Cincinnati refuses, citing -- among other reasons -- "Dude, you guys can't find him. What makes you think we can?". So the hostile forces proceed to drop bombs and artillery all over the city. A city of 300,000 people.

Now, offhand, do you think this will make the people of Fallujah happier or unhappier with those hostile forces surrounding their town?

Bluntly put, this is desperation. We don't have the troops to actually go in there and root out insurgents. It's obvious we have zilch in the way of intelligence (have we captured a single insurgent? Have we broken up any cells? They seem to be able to sneak bombs into the Green Zone, and so far all we've done is rape Iraqis whose crime appeared to be "petty theft"). So now we're "precision bombing" targets, theoretically targets chosen by the intelligence organs that have proven themselves very useless when it comes to identifying insurgents.

Does anyone actually believe we're hitting many military targets?

We're doing this for one reason: Bush needs to look tough, and act like things are "under control" in Iraq. And he hopes we're too stupid to figure out what he's doing.
:: Morat 9:49 AM :: ::

More SBVT Stuff

Wow. Kevin Drum is a bit pissed. Turns out Nightline decided to send a crew to Vietnam to check up on things, try to find someone who DIDN'T give a crap about the US Election or what John Kerry did after Vietnam who might know something about Kerry's Bronze Star.

Shorter Nightline: Kerry's right, O'Neill was not. But that's not what got Kevin so angry (hell, we knew O'Neill was a liar from way back). It turns out that Nightline wasn't the first group to check out that village. An unnamed "Swift Veteran" came and checked out the story six months ago asking similar questions. Somehow, I doubt it was a member of the Kerry camp.

So, in a nutshell: It looks like the Swifties were putting together this smear a LONG time before the Democratic National Convention (although the timing of the book deal should have made that obvious), and it looks like they can't even fall back on the "differing memories" theory anymore.

Did anyone catch Nightline? I heard it ran a bit long, and that O'Neill came off as a bit unhinged. Wouldn't surprise me.
:: Morat 8:53 AM :: ::

:: Thursday, October 14, 2004 ::

Blasts Kill 10 in Baghdad's Green Zone

Well, this should go down as Iraq's Tet offensive:
Insurgents penetrated Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone and detonated explosives at a market and a popular cafe Thursday, killing 10 people, including four American civilians, in the first bombings inside the compound housing the U.S. and Iraqi government headquarters.
The Tet Offensive, of course, wasn't exactly a "success" for North Vietnam in strict military terms. However, it proved -- quite undeniably -- that the Army's claims about the Vietnam War weren't believable.

They just blew up an IED in the Green Zone. Americans were killed. This is inside our most secure areas in Iraq. What does this say about our occupation? It says the insurgents can penetrate our best security and attack us. It says the US has no real control over Iraq at all.

It says our presence means the insurgents have 130,000 military targets and god knows how many civilian ones to chose from.

It says we won the battle, but lost the war. And we're reached the point where no honest man or woman can pretend otherwise.
:: Morat 12:20 PM :: ::

Whaaa?

Did I miss something? Isn't Cheney's daughter openly gay?:
Lynne Cheney accused Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of pulling a 'cheap and tawdry political trick,' apparently for invoking her daughter's sexuality in his debate with President Bush.

Asked Wednesday night whether homosexuality is a choice, Kerry noted that one of Vice President Dick Cheney's daughters is a lesbian, and said she would probably affirm that she was born that way.

'We're all God's children,' Kerry said during the debate in Tempe, Ariz.
Sorry, Lynne, but your daughter is openly and publicly gay. Further, it's hard to see how Kerry's answer wasn't respectful.

In fact, the only way I could possibly understand your point, given the facts, is if I assume you're in denial of your daughter's sexuality.

This is only a "Low Blow" if you think "being gay" is something awful, some sort of Scarlet Letter that should never be mentioned in polite company -- even if the girl has the thing emblazoned on her chest.
:: Morat 9:53 AM :: ::

Biggest gaffe

Bush's biggest mistake wasn't the OBL blunder (although that was the most obvious). It was, as Atrios points out his using "No Child Left Behind" as the answer to job outsourcing.

I sat and stared at the screen in shock. I know the candidates aren't supposed to make ads of the debate, but some 527 better jump on this with both feet.

"Job loss got you down? Did your job move to India? Don't worry, George Bush has a solution! Go back to third-grade!".

More seriously, I realize he tried -- lamely -- to tie it into community colleges. Even more of a disconnect. College tuition (community or otherwise) is about the only thing giving health care costs a run for their money. College is less affordable today than it was four years ago.

Some 527 should tie this around Bush's neck (Mr. Legacy admission who never had to worry about how much of college his grants and loans would cover) the way they tied that supermarket scanner to his dad.

(Off topic note: Has Blogger been slow to respond to anyone else lately?)
:: Morat 8:19 AM :: ::

:: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 ::

Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came

Well, I just finished The Dark Tower. I picked up The Gunslinger maybe 15 years ago, so I haven't been waiting as long as some people for King to finish the damn story, but I have waited a good long time.

Was it worth it? Hell yeah. I'm not really going to go into detail on it, because the last book changes a lot of things, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it.

A few things of note: The deus ex machina gets really out of hand, but it fits quite well into the story. Roland and his ka-tet, after all, live in a world where Fate -- ka -- is a heavy influence. Further, they're aware that fate isn't the only influence on the path of their ka-tet.

Second, the story snowballs throughout the book, and events are highly compressed by the end. I think that was deliberate, and not an attempt to shove two books into one, or to try to cut down word-count. For the entire series, the closer Roland got to the Tower, the faster he moved. The vast bulk of his quest, 95% or more, took place prior to the first book.

Third (and most important), what struck me as most important was that it became clear that the pivotal moment of a seven-book series (written over twenty odd years) took place in the very first book. Everything was downhill from that point.

Fourth, King's last line of the series is just as good as the first.

Last: Hile, Roland of Gilead. Hile, Eddie of New York. Hile, Susannah of New York. Hile, Jake of New York. Hile, Oy of Mid World. Say thank-ya.
:: Morat 8:43 AM :: ::

:: Monday, October 11, 2004 ::

Farewell, Superman

Paralyzed Superman Actor Dies of Heart Attack:
Paralyzed film actor Christopher Reeve, who played Superman, has died of heart failure, a spokesman said on Monday.
Godspeed.
:: Morat 9:18 AM :: ::

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