Political Flavors

Fox Sports Inspires Snarky Bloggers

Posted in Site News on May 12th, 2014

Last Week, Fox Sports published a piece entitle “13 Ways to Keep Your Husband Happy.” And it has inspired my friends and I to take the piss out of it. Here’s our series of commentary on this inspirational piece of journalism:

FAMILY VALUES FOX: Spitters are Quitters!

13 Ways To Keep Your Heterosexual Female Romantic Partner Happy

13 Ways To Be A Happily Married Feminist

Anderson Cooper, Language Lawyering without Policy Analysis is Meaningless

Posted in Editorials on September 13th, 2012

This is a few weeks old, but I think it’s important to sort this out as the Presidential campaign season continues. Anderson Cooper interviewed Debbie Wasserman-Shultz on his show and claimed that she, “lied” when she claimed in fundraising letters that Mitt Romney does not support a rape victims right to get an abortion. His basis for this claim is that Romney has, in the past said that he thinks abortion should be legal in cases of rape, incest or when a woman’s health or life are threatened. However, he has also said many other things.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

As Rachel Maddow reports, Romney has gone back and forth on the idea of a health exception and also a rape exception. So if Cooper wants to say that Wasserman-Shultz is “lying” because she has only included Romney’s most extreme statements, he’s being obtuse. Language lawyering here is incredibly clueless when you consider the policy implications of even the most generous pro-choice interpretation of Romney’s position(s).

Wasserman-Shultz was correct in pointing out Mitt Romney’s support for personhood amendments, as it is in direct contradiction with his statement that he favors any exceptions at all. And she was also correct in tying him to his party’s platform. Cooper’s balking at this is nonsensical. If political party platforms are to be disregarded, then the parties themselves are meaningless. Does Anderson Cooper really think there are no policy differences between the two parties? How could that be possible? By rejecting what Debbie Wasserman-Shultz said about the Republican party’s official stance on abortion, Cooper is picking and choosing what statements he will and won’t hold Mitt Romney to. Why would someone do this? The only reason I can think of is that “Liberal Democrat Woman caught in lie!” is a bigger story than “Mitt Romney flip flops again.” That kind of intellectually dishonest pandering is a great disservice to viewers.

Beyond the obvious, what Andersoon Cooper is missing is that rape exceptions are bad policy by design and are pretty much written so that Americans in the mushy middle can sleep at night, but in reality don’t actually allow rape victims to get abortions. This is yet another reason why Debbie Wasserman-Shultz wasn’t lying. A country where only rape victims can get abortions does not exist on this Earth. As Jesse Taylor explains, such a policy is unenforceable and would not work at all. The same is true for health and life exceptions. They end with women dying horrible deaths from sepsis. In South America, for example, if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy, the doctor cannot abort the pregnancy it until either the fetus dies or the fallopian tube ruptures.

Upon closer examination, the “exceptions” Cooper is insisting Mitt Romney advocates for don’t exist in reality, even when they are stated as a goal by politicians. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is right that Mitt Romney’s position is extreme and would take away women’s access to abortion in almost all cases. Anderson Cooper owes her and his audience an apology.

Getting Filthy Gingrich

Posted in Editorials on July 30th, 2012

We all know how Dan Savage turned Rick Santorum’s name into a profanity. I would like to do something similar to Newton Leroy Gingrich, but not a profanity. I would like to see the word “Gingrich” become an adjective.

Gingrich /ghin-grich/ adj. Wealthy as a result of exploiting the gullible. (Pejorative)

Newt Gingrich sure sold a lot of books on the campaign trail this year, didn’t he? Lots of people wanted to see the big man on his way to the White House. What Mr. Gingrich didn’t get were a lot of states in the GOP Primaries. What we do see is Newt Gingrich sabotage his campaign, again and again

This sounds a lot like the plot to The Producers. Gingrich evidently doesn’t manage his money very well, perhaps he saw this financial difficulty coming, and decided he could use his presidential race to raise his personal capital, even if it meant screwing over his campaign staff.

Newton Leroy Gingrich may be full of himself, but he knows he could never be President. It’s much too hard. It’s much easier to write books and piss and moan and mock anyone crazy enough to become president. Gingrich treated the campaign trail as a book tour.

Lawrence O’Donnell figured out Sarah Palin was trying something similar back in May 2011, deducing that she and Donald Trump were just publicity hounds that had no intention of actually running for office. Gingrich managed to get away with it a little longer.

He’s not the only one who got filthy gingrich, and he won’t be the last. It would seem many politicians decided to use the campaign year as a means of selling books and collecting appearance fees. I expect we shall see even more of this in the future. In the United States of America, we crave money, and fear responsibility -we get the government we deserve.

A Curmudgeon Complains About the Tee Vee

Posted in Editorials on May 24th, 2012

Have you noticed the poor quality of some news channels?

Have you noticed how some news channels seem to be little more than partisan propaganda?

Have you noticed that “If it bleeds, it leads” is only the tip of the iceberg?

I won’t name names since you can find it across the political spectrum and I’m not in the mood to argue which channel does it the most, but you know what I’m talking about. Nigh-Pornographic coverage of famous people, interminable coverage of relatively frivolous things, like awards shows and athletic events, , selective reporting to fulfill an agenda… it goes on and on and on.

Nothing happens in a vacuum, of course, but surely one of the reasons the USA is going to the dogs (hey, I told you I was being a curmudgeon, I’ll use that turn of phrase and you’ll like it!) is that we are told what to think by irresponsible journalists and pseudo-journalists who serve some ulterior agenda that has very little to do with keeping people informed, and more to do with keeping the population amused and docile.

That’s why 24 Hour “News” Networks spend so much time covering people that are famous but in truth have no effect on how we live our lives, rather than public servants, or the people who labor in obscurity but have great power over the nation and the world.

But these news channels insist they’ve been responsible and kept you informed, after all, there’s all those little news tickers at the bottom of the screen… that are hard to read, and far less interesting than the physically perfect face of the newscaster.

As Captain Beatty said in Fahrenheit 451, “…chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving.” And so it goes, but we’re not better off for it.

I think we need to come up with a new rule for watching Televised news:

The trustworthiness of a news program is inversely related to its use of visual stimuli.

In short, the more flashy it is, the more bullshit is shoveled. Does this rule already exist? If not, it needs a name. The Law of Info-Tainment, perhaps?

Again, without naming names… Think about the most actually informative news program you’ve watched. Did they have a scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen, or did they have a newscaster pretty much at the front and center of the action with no distracting text or graphics?


The only useful thing we can do is refuse to watch flashy “News” Networks, and watch more serious reporters, and even (gasp) spend more time reading. We deserve better than to be treated like idiots.