Saturday, October 07, 2006

That was quick

CBS pulls plug on ‘Smith,’ making crime drama first fall show to get ax

“Smith,” the Tuesday night CBS drama with [Ray] Liotta leading a band of high-stakes thieves, is off the schedule, the network said Friday. It will be replaced temporarily by reruns of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Criminal Minds.”

Note to self: Start working on screenplay for beautiful, accomplished and now at-liberty actress. Actually, if I'd ever written the part, Virgina Madsen would be perfect for the role of my character Annabel's mother as I see her in my about 12 years. Which, given the way things are going, may be about as long as it's going to take me to get Annabel's story told in any form.

But I digress. And, should Ms. Madsen or any of her representatives be reading this, and feeling weak at the prospect of her moving from "hot babe" to "mother" roles...

Let me hasten to say I still feel that taking an endless hot shower with Virgina Madsen is what happens to us when we die if we've been good.

I seem to have digressed again.

["Smith's"] last episode had only 8.4 million viewers on Tuesday, according to Nielsen Media Research. It faced tough competition in the time slot from NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” and ABC’s “Boston Legal.”

Here again we see the differences in perspective and standards. "Only" 8.4 million viewers would keep "Veronica Mars" on the air at least another three seasons, however little it may deserve it at this point.

And if I get my book published and "only" 8.4 million people buy it? I'll be writing this blog from my apartment in San Francisco overlooking the Golden Gate...

Garry Trudeau is a very wise man

Story on the writer and artist of Doonesbury here. Excerpts:

When you focus on a political theme, do you find that it’s harder to keep it fresh or funny and not just be obvious? How do you avoid the trap of merely pointing your finger and, in effect, saying of your subject, “You’re stupid because I disagree with you”? That’s the art of satire. Sometimes it’s subtle, surprising, and illuminating; sometimes it’s heavy-handed and tiresome. Obviously the former is the ideal, but that’s true on any subject, not just politics.

I’ve grown up with every president since JFK. I remember how froth-at-the-mouth furious Nixon made people; and there was Reagan, who had people pulling out their hair. But compared to George W. Bush, Nixon and Reagan seem like wise men, even sages. But how do you see it? From your perspective, who is the scariest? And how do you keep yourself from getting so sputtering mad that you can’t be funny? Is that tough? Well, you can’t leave Carter and Clinton off the list of presidents who made people apoplectic. But to me, Bush is the scariest because he is easily the most radical. Nixon still caused the most harm — 30,000 Americans and many more Vietnamese died needlessly on his watch — but don’t count Bush out. There are still plenty of countries to take down.

As for not becoming overwhelmed by outrage, that’s exactly the purpose humor serves — an outlet. It keeps me from going sputtering mad.

Someone I can't remember once said something like "We have art that we might not die from the truth."

If they gave me a half hour of national television, four nights a week, or even a handful of panels in the newspapers and on computer screens every day? And if I had to talk about President Bush at least part of the time?

I'd have snapped years ago, and all you'd be hearing is outraged, sputtering rants.

One of the reasons I think Jon Stewart is such a national treasure, as is Trudeau, is because they keep it funny.

And then the corporations will not hesitate to pull their dough

For any of the rest of you who are following the fortunes of "Studio 60, Media Life magazine has a short article you might want to read. It's true there's been "a hefty drop" in the ratings in the first few weeks.

But what really seems to alarm people is that "Studio 60" loses viewers at the half hour mark. I've seen that mentioned in almost every story on the ratings I've read and I'm not sure how to explain it.

When I watch a show I'm in for the half, in for the hour, even when it isn't this one. I have noticed that a problem Aaron Sorkin had in his later seasons of "The West Wing" has carried over to "Studio 60," though.

His act breaks suck. If they're supposed to leave a viewer metaphorically on the edge of his seat so he has to come back, they're usually too low-key. I'm not saying this is a flaw in his writing-even though, much as I admire him, I wouldn't want to say he's flawless.

But it may be a flaw when it comes to writing for commercial network television. I'd love to see what he could do with a show on Showtime or the like where act breaks aren't a necessity. When he leaves me with a weak act break I'm always coming back, because I know he's Sorkin and I know he's got a goody bag. But what about everybody else?

If I had to guess-and it is only a guess, albeit a semi-educated one-I'd say it's because he overwrites and the act breaks have to be found catch as catch can in the editing room. Again, pure speculation, but it doesn't seem totally unlikely based on what I know about Sorkin and the way he works.

Which I would never want to change, BTW-I'm the guy who, when Sorkin's drug bust was made public, said,

"Smokes crack and he wrote "The West Wing, "Sports Night" and "The American President?" Get me the name of his dealer."

But seriously folks, the good news is that in a survey of "media planners and buyers"-the folks who buy commercials-in response to the question:
Do you think the show will bounce back up eventually? Just under a third of respondents think not, agreeing with the statement: "It has a strong (if somewhat incompatible) lead-in in "Heroes" and still sank. I think the second-half viewer drain is pretty telling. I'm not sure how long this show, which is pretty expensive, will last."

...the largest share, 46 percent, see "60" regaining audience. It's just going to take time. They agreed with the statement: " 'Studio 60' could be a slow builder. It’s smart, it’s got great acting, and critics love it, so they’ll be pounding people to watch. Once 'Monday Night Football' is done at midseason, it could find some new devotees who’ve been catching it online or on TiVo."

Emphasis mine. Please God I do hope so.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I like the best women.

Case in point: Kate Winslet, in this USA Today story. If she didn't smoke, she'd be almost perfect. Excerpts...

Winslet is the only actress to have collected four Oscar nominations — two for supporting (1995's Sense and Sensibility and 2001's Iris) and two for lead (for Titanic and 2004's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) — before age 30...

"She has not been eaten by celebrity," say Jeanine Basinger, the head of film studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Compare her to Gwyneth Paltrow, Oscar winner for 1998's Shakespeare in Love in a role that Winslet turned down, and "the difference in the level of work and projects chosen is quite pronounced. She has defined herself as an actress, not a glamour pinup or a mature sophisticate."

Part of [the decision to make smaller films in the wake of Titanic] was based on advice given to her by her late boyfriend, Stephen Tredre, an actor and screenwriter she met on a BBC sitcom in 1991. He died from bone cancer at age 34 in December 1997, just as Titanic was about to open.

Before signing on for Titanic, "I remember standing in the middle of Knightsbridge on my phone. I had just gotten this mobile phone, and it had been ringing all day with people hassling for answers for this, that and the other, and I was 20 years old. I phoned my boyfriend and said, 'What do I do? What do I do?' And he said, 'What does your heart tell you to do?' "

With those words, Winslet suddenly bursts into tears. "I'm sorry. I'm getting emotional because this person passed away. Go away, Stephen," she says, waving her hands as if shooing a ghost.


Scientists have found a fossil of a "Monster" fish-like reptile in a 150 million-year-old Jurassic graveyard on an Arctic island off Norway.

The Norwegian researchers discovered remains of a total of 28 plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs -- top marine predators when dinosaurs dominated on land -- at a site on the island of Spitsbergen, about 1,300 km (800 miles) from the North Pole.

"One of them was this gigantic monster, with vertebrae the size of dinner plates and teeth the size of cucumbers," Joern Hurum, an assistant professor at the University of Oslo, told Reuters on Thursday.

"We believe the skeleton is intact and that it's about 10 meters (33 feet) long," he told Reuters of the pliosaur, a type of plesiosaur with a short neck and massive skull. The team dubbed the specimen "The Monster."

Hurum reckoned the reptiles had not all died at the same time in some Jurassic-era cataclysm but had died over thousands of years in the same area, then become preserved in what was apparently a deep layer of black mud on the seabed.

As every Doctor Who fan in the world thinks to themselves, "Nonsense. Now that's what the Mryka should have looked like. Either that or it's leftover Skarasen technology. Oh, and about that Jurassic-era cataclysm..."

New addition

You've got to cool it now, ooooooh, watch out, you're gonna loose, I'm just playing. As you'll see if you glance to the right, I've added the MediaMatters newsbox to my blog.

I decided to do this after being confronted for the third time in a week with the urge to recommmend their entire page, rather than link to a specific article. MediaMatters has been good for years, but with the Foley thing they've just been on a roll.

So now you can take it as a given I suggest you at least glance at those headlines once or twice a day. Follow up on the ones that intererest you; I may still be recommending specific articles, but not so much.

Thanks to Ink 19 editor/publisher Ian Koss for help with the tech talk.

BTW, any and all of you who use this blog as any kind of a news source, more fools, you-you should be using The Daily Show, of which the beforelinked story writes,

Jon Stewart may call “The Daily Show'' fake news. But a telecommunications professor at Indiana University said her research shows it has just as much substance as traditional network news.

I do recommend one more blog for those of you who are reveling in the hair-pulling Foley fiasco. Glen Greenwald has been going into it at great length, most recently with a post entitled,

Does the Foley scandal prove the existence of a God?


The absolute refusal ever to admit error. The desperate clinging to power above all else. The efforts to cloud what are clear matters of wrongdoing with irrelevant sideshows. And the parade of dishonest and just plainly inane demonization efforts to hide and distract from their wrongdoing: hence, the pages are manipulative sex vixens; a shadowy gay cabal is to blame; the real criminals are those who exposed the conduct, not those who engaged in it; liberals created the whole scandal; George Soros funded the whole thing; a Democratic Congressman did something wrong 23 years ago; one of the pages IM'd with Foley as a "hoax", and on and on. There has been a virtual carousel -- as there always is -- of one pathetic, desperate attempt after the next to deflect blame and demonize those who are pointing out the wrongdoing. This is what they always do, on every issue. The difference here is that everyone can see it, and so nothing is working.

Says you.

The good women of Pandagon have been named one of Playboy's Top Ten Political Blogs of 2006. The often-inspirational Amanda had this to say about that:

I’m still trying to decide if I’m offended at having my intellect described as “almost frightening”. It’s hard to be offended when you’re flattered. You try it.

Anyway, hard as it is to believe this, we made it into the pages of Playboy. And I’m like still clothed. And everyone’s like still grateful about that.

A choice of captions

One: Pardon me, ladies...

Two: This is why it's important when drinking to maintain your input at the same constant as everybody else. Otherwise...

Found at my new favorite source for things that make you go hmm, avore de pensamentos.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jessica Simpson's breasts: smart boy Kryptonite

Damnit. I like artistic women. I like accomplished women. I like skillful women. I like the very best women. I like...


That's the saddest thing I've ever seen

Words can't describe, just go see.

Okay, yet more on the Foley thing

At the risk of repeating myself, today is another day when I highly recommend going to the Media Matters homepage and reading what they've got on the latest homophobic attempts of the right wing to save their own asses, no play on words intended.

I especially urge you to read William Donohue of the Catholic League telling 15-year-old boys that if they're molested, it's their own damn fault. Speaking of repeating myself, I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again.

The Catholic Church serves no damn good purpose except to tell budding young women that sex is sinful, thus making it more exciting to them, and then sending them out into the world in uniforms that are best described as: Convenient.

Though that is an exceptionally good purpose (ah, those bygone days), it's still not worth jackasses like Bill Donohue's mudslinging.

You can also see Tony "named after a famously closeted gay actor" Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, hauling out the falsehood that gay men are more likely to be child molestors, which is just not true.

I'm enjoying this, except that I keep wondering how former Kid in the Hall, NewRadio star and Celebrity Poker Showdown! host Dave Foley feels about his last name being linked to child molestation...

My streak for picking winners continues

I'm always surprised more than validated when popular tastes happen to coincide with my own. This is not to say that my tastes are better than you common folk, merely different. I was always kind of amazed that so many people were watching The West Wing at its height, when I thought they were making it just for me.

Liking something like Veronica Mars in its first season, when they really were making it just for me (for all intents and purposes), is much more my speed. So I suppose I'm not surprised that all the new shows I like this season seem to be weak in the ratings.

Friday Night Lights, a show about high school football that even I liked, loses to Dancing With The Flippin' Stars. Studio 60's ratings are slipping in reverse proportion to its quality, it keeps getting better and they keep getting worse.

And last night, The Nine. The premise is that in the first few minutes of the premiere, we see a group of people, all mostly strangers to one another, gathered in a bank moments before closing. Suddenly, two gunmen begin a robbery. Cut to first commercial.

When we come back it's 52 hours later. What happens to the survivors afterwards, interspersed with flashbacks of just what the hell happened in there, is the subject of the series. It's a setup ripe for drama, and the direction, acting and writing rises to meet the bar. "The Nine" are now bonded, and the different forms that bond takes (has taken...will take...) has many imaginative possibilities.

This show, as many of the critics have been saying, is one of the best of the season (USA Today has a good review). Unfortunately the ratings, while reportedly strong on their own, did not hold as much of Lost's audience as Invasion last year.

For reasons I don't know if I fully understand, how much audience you hold of the show before you is still a big deal in television. I think it has something to do with the idea that the networks have never really recovered from the invention of the remote control.

They would still like you to tune in one channel at 8:00 and leave it there till 11:00. The fact that no one's watched TV that was in at least 25 years doesn't seem to enter into it. But, like it or not, it does seem to be the way the game is played.

To get back to The Nine, I'm pleased to note this is yet another example of some of my favorite things being connected-producer and director of the pilot Alex Graves was also a director and producer on West Wing.

My only concerns were these: For some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, the last act of the pilot fell a little bit flat for me compared to the rest. This was made up for by an effective, if unlikely, cliffhanger.

One of the hostages is the teenage daughter of the bank manager-who comes out realizing that she remembers nothing of the past two days, and her father will not speak of it even to his wife. The episode ended with her visiting one of the gunmen in prison.

All we hear her saying is "Hi..." Fade to black.

Unlikely that a teenage girl would be allowed to visit a convict without, evidently, her parent's knowledge? Absolutely. But like I said, it was very effective (and maybe there's an explaination coming).

I do wonder, can the show sustain the heightened emotion of the pilot for a whole season, and if it can and it's succesful enough to be renewed, what about next year? I don't know, but I'm hoping to.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Call me crazy, I don't think she looks that bad

Sharon Stone w/out makeup (via

Okay, more on the Foley thing

I agree with just about every word in this entry by Pam at Pandagon. Especially this 'graph...
Yesterday’s purported bombshell press conference by Foley attorney David Roth to announce that the former congressman was molested by a priest — was complete BS, an insult to abuse survivors everywhere. Yes, that and the alleged boozing (which a fellow Republican, Rep. Peter King (NY) calls “a gimmick”) explains how the man couldn’t take any responsibility for his actions. Another nice lesson for the children.

Emphasis Pam's. I would have emphasized the bit about it being an insult to abuse survivors.

What does this mean?

Last night there was a lot of television. But what does it mean that on a night including Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, and a show starring Virgina Madsen, the most compelling viewing I found was the show about high school football?

What I caught of GG, again, cofrimed for me that I'm probably right only to be keeping one eye on it this season. For any of you who watch it: I don't beleiev Lane would be that naieve.

Graham and Bledel deserve some kind of JoBeth Williams memorial award for the "fake Asia" scene. I've never seen actresses fight harder to fake whimsy.

At nine, Veronica Mars opened season three with an episode that dissapointed, both me as a viewer, and in the ratings. It really didn't hold a lot of Gilmore Girls' audience after all.

I was never sure they were as great a fit as so many seem to have assumed. In my mind a better match for Veronica would have been a great detective show, Columbo when it was still on regularly. Now I think Veronica leading into House would be a good fit, if only they were on the same network.

Moot point though on two counts, since they're not, and since VM seems to have continued to lose its fire. Ah well. At least the first season still stands as one of the best shows ever made.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I deny

Worthwhile (though-let the clicker beware-somewhat lengthy) entry in The Mahablog. It discusses a couple of things.

First, the would-be-hilarious-if-it-wasn't-about-something-so-somber slow-wittedness with which Bush supporters past and/or present are accepting the fact that he is not...

Well, let me quote, as Mahablog does, George Will, of all people.

"Where's the leader?" Bush, according to Woodward, has exclaimed in dismay about the Iraqi government's dithering. "Where's George Washington? Where's Thomas Jefferson? Where's John Adams, for crying out loud?" For a president to ask that question about Iraq, that tribal stew, is enough to cause one to ask it about the United States.

Some of us were asking that about the United States before, George, but welcome to the party. Which brings me to the next thing MB takes on. One or two conservatives who were pro-war are trying out a new defense: To claim anti-war liberals who say they knew the war was going to go badly are acting with the benefit of hindsight.

MB's put together a few pretty prominent liberal and/or Democratic voices (Krugman, Dean, Ivins) who were right early and right often.

What I want most of all in regards to the situation in Iraq is for ever single one of our troops to be brought home. I know some claim now that we're in the ditch, we have to stay and dig ourselves out but I subscribe to the Jon Stewart theory: As long as we're looking to the same person who led us into the ditch to lead us out...

But what I want second most of all is for every single policy maker who supported the war (Republican or Democrat) to have to stand up in front of people like Krugman, Dean and Ivins and say:

"You were right, and I was wrong."

And as long as I'm fantasizing, I'd like my novel published with a cover by Paul Chadwick and for Aaron Sorkin to read it and say "This is incredibly good, Ben."

"...if you're gonna have delusions, you may as well go for the really satisfying ones."
-- Marcus in Babylon 5:"The Summoning"

To fill the space inside of yourself with Money, love or...

You know there's something you need
Right here and now
To fill the space inside of yourself
with Money love or power
Well you want to have the number one, first run anyone
crazy 'til you own them...

Daryl Hall/John Oates

If you look over to the right there and click the View my complete profile link you'll find, among other things, a link to my Wish List. If you're amazed at the quality of posts on this site (I know I am), please consider making a small donation to the Buy Ben CDs And Books Fund.

I thank you.

Oh Boy

Prime-Time Monday Ratings:
...Studio 60 Tumbles on NBC

-Yesterday’s Losers:
...Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)

Week three of NBC’s...Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip took another significant hit, dipping to a 7.2/11 in the overnights, 9.05 million viewers and a 3.5/ 9 among adults 18-49. Retention for Studio 60 out of Heroes was just 77 percent in the overnights, 72 percent in total viewers and 66 percent among adults 18-49. Take a look at Studio 60’s three-week track:

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – Mon. 10 p.m.
9/18/06 - Overnights: 10.3/16; Viewers: 13.41 million; A18-49: 5.0/13
9/25/06 - Overnights: 8.7/14; Viewers: 10.83 million; A18-49: 4.2/11
10/02/06 – Overnights: 7.2/11; Viewers: 9.05 million; A18-49: 3.5/ 9

And, to make matters worse, erosion in the second half of Studio 60 continued, with a loss of 8 percent in the overnights (7.5/11 to 6.9/11), 650,000 viewers (9.38 to 8.73 million) and 5 percent among adults 18-49 (3.6/ 9 to 3.4/ 9).

The irony is, I thought last night's Studio 60 was the best so far, with many laugh-out-loud lines and a skilled performance by Matthew Perry, who continues to surprise me with how good he is. And as if I didn't love it enough, last night sent me references to a few of my favorite things:

  • Harriet doing an impression of Holly Hunter, one of my favorite actresses, doing lines from Broadcast News, one of my favorite films.
  • D.L. Hughley quoting the title of "Beat Me Daddy (Eight To The Bar)." This is an old song that was used in (but pre-dates) Big Deal, the last new Broadway musical staged by Bob Fosse, a director I much admire.
  • And a cameo appearance by Rob Reiner, whose film The American President introduced me to Sorkin's writing in the first place.

Perhaps a deeper irony is that a lot of last night's episode was about the producers of the show-within-the-show getting good news in the ratings. Of course, there were also references to how many shows many now consider classics (Hill Street Blues, All in the Family, Seinfeld) took some time to grow.

I sure hope this is one of those.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Christ, George, get it together

I can't say that George Michael is one of my favorite singer-songwriters or anything. But I like pop music too much not to know that his knack for putting catchy melodies to foot-tapping beats back in the Wham! days was harder than it looks.

I'll admit that when the Faith album came out it hit me as hard as it hit most of the rest of the world, there was a time when I really loved it. That lasted until I actually dated, for a disasterous two weeks, a woman named Faith.

And a close friend once told me that "Freedom 90" reminded her of me.

I guess what I'm saying is, I have some respect for the man's gifts. And I'm just really sick of seeing headlines like this:
George Michael Arrested on Drug Charge

For Christ's sake, George...

Obviously I haven't been paying Amy Poehler the attention she deserves

In fact I've never really paid much attention to Saturday Night Live's Poehler. I do remember one of the last times I watched SNL thinking that she seemed to be in every sketch and wondering if she'd written them all, or what.

She didn't make me laugh that much, but she didn't make me want to scream "God! Release me from this torment!" a lot either, which is more than some.

But enough about The L Word.

Poehler's given an interview to Bust magazine-which seems to have a knack for interviewing female comedians, they also ran the excellent profile of Samantha Bee from The Daily Show I posted about last year.

A couple of gems from Poehler's interview, via Eat The Press--

What I've been doing now is getting my agents to send me scripts that are written for guys. Because sometimes when guys write for women, they freeze up. I had this friend who said he had trouble writing for women, and I said, "Here's my advice: call the guy Larry the whole time, and at the end change it to Susan. 'Cause there's no difference, really."

And, words to live by, at least metaphorically:

Grow your bush out wide, tall, and proud.

I'm not sure how the theme of today's posts became Ben's Thought's On The Female Body, except inasmuch as that's the part of the theme every day. But metaphorically, schmetaphorically, I say.

Random Flickr Blogging-what is it?

Letters, oh we get letters...Jennifer writes:
Just wondered how you got involved with Random Flickr Blogging...where did you sign up, etc. I'm thinking I need to jazz up the old blog.

This tells me that it's apparently been too long since I ran the explaination of what RFB is and how it came to be. Random Flickr Blogging was the idea of Tom Hilton, who writes for the If I Ran The Zoo blog.

That link will lead you to Tom's first post on the subject and how it works. Basically, you can either start checking each week for the randomly-generated number at Tom's blog late Sunday afternoons, or if you email him he'll put you on the list.

Then when you've made your entry you either post it in the comments or again, email Tom direct and he adds a link from his blog to your post. Ta-da. Yes, it's just that simple.

Clearly, the women on the left are both cows

Feministing and Pandagon both have entries about a dandy new "slimming" feature the HP digital camera is offering.

Amanda's headlined hers with her usual acid wit: Skeletal is the new fat. This sort of touches on what always gets me about things like this-by what stretch of the imagination do either of these women need a "slimming effect?"

And yes, I know, obviously the broader point is that no woman (or man) does or should. But this is ridiculous. The top model there, especially, looks much better to me in the "Without slimming effect" picture.

Between you and me, ladies, if you want one man's opinion, hips are nice things to have and a woman's body should be soft. I hope I'm not crawling out on a limb to say that...


Stephen King on The Writing Life, in the Washington Post. Excerpts:
There may be a stretch of weeks or months when it doesn't come at all; this is called writer's block. Some writers in the throes of writer's block think their muses have died, but I don't think that happens often; I think what happens is that the writers themselves sow the edges of their clearing with poison bait to keep their muses away, often without knowing they are doing it. This may explain the extraordinarily long pause between Joseph Heller's classic novel Catch-22 and the follow-up, years later. That was called Something Happened . I always thought that what happened was Mr. Heller finally cleared away the muse repellant around his particular clearing in the woods.

This is the room, but it's also the clearing. My muse is here. It's a she. Scruffy little mutt has been around for years, and how I love her, fleas and all. She gives me the words. She is not used to being regarded so directly, but she still gives me the words. She is doing it now. That's the other level, and that's the mystery. Everything in your head kicks up a notch, and the words rise naturally to fill their places. If it's a story, you find the scene and the texture in the scene. That first level -- the world of my room, my books, my rug, the smell of the gingerbread -- fades even more. This is a real thing I'm talking about, not a romanticization. As someone who has written with chronic pain, I can tell you that when it's good, it's better than the best pill.

Great Headlines In History


BEYONCE KNOWLES has scored Hollywood's Best Booty in a new US magazine poll. The BOOTYLICIOUS singer/actress beat out JESSICA SIMPSON and SALMA HAYEK to claim the best bum crown in weekly publication In Touch. The top 10 top bottoms are:


I'll go along with Berry and Johanssen, and even Jennifer Lopez back in the day. The rest of 'em I don't know what they're talking about.

Okay, the GOP/Foley scandal thing

This is a good day to just go to the Media Matters main page. They have a lot of good coverage about the way spinmeisters like Brit Hume and Newt Gingrich are trying to lessen the damage from the allegations.

At the moment this interests me a lot more than the allegations themseles. If they're true, then Foley should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. My sense of justice in matters of "inappropriate behavior" involving minors is remarkably simple.

Yet I marvel at how quickly people like Hume and Gingrich can try to turn any allegation, no matter what, against Bill Clinton or gay people. Seriously.
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume asserted that there is a "difference" between the Democratic and Republican parties because former Republican Rep. Mark Foley is "out of office and in total disgrace in his party" after allegedly engaging in sexually explicit communications with underage congressional pages, while President Bill Clinton and Rep. Barney Frank were not similarly reprimanded for their "inappropriate behavior." However, neither the Clinton nor the Frank allegations involved minors.

Gingrich: House GOP would have "been accused of gay bashing" if it "overly aggressively reacted" to Foley's emails in 2005

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Two Lighthouses and a Cathedral: Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_1835

Original sources here, here and here.

The star of "Underworld: Evolution" thinks Hollywood is too superficial

Kate Might Have To Start Selling Marxist Rag

Kate Beckinsale has just about had it with Hollywood superficiality – and she might end up back on a street corner selling left-wing literature to prove her displeasure. She tells London's Sunday Express magazine, "There is a point where if you have one more person saying, 'Wow I love your belt,' you start to go, 'I'm going to have to start selling 'Living Marxism' on the corner again.'"

Beckinsale, who studied French and Russian literature at Oxford, also says that she wants to write a novel – but not using her own name. "I wouldn't want to be a celebrity author," sniffs Kate. "That sounds highly vulgar to me..."

Ms. Beckinsale's movie career also includes such solemn films as Van Helsing, Pearl Harbor, Click, Underworld, and Serendipity. I'm certainly glad she's taking a stand.