It is this kind of nonsense that destroys the left over and over. They have turned Julian Assange into a hero when he is, in fact, an attention seeking, creepy guy (at the very least) and, having painted themselves into the corner on that, refuse to allow that they were wrong. So each day, they up the ante and try to make you fear for Assange.
Reality: Only Bradley Manning is in US custody.
Reality: Julian Assange is currently staying on a British manor (and asking Australia to guarantee his safe return home) while Bradley has been looked away in a military prison for months and months in isolation.
The concern should not be -- should never have been -- Julian Assange.
Way to be distracted from reality.
I was reading Bill Keller's piece and thinking, "What a rejection of the hype and drama Naomi Wolf has been screaming about of late." If you missed Keller's piece, please read it. Pay attention to the US government aspect of it and contrast that with Naomi's Chicken Little warnings that "They'll go after the Times next!"
All of this melodrama in order to continue to hold onto their beliefs that Julian Assange is their hero. Even if it means trashing Bradley Manning (who is accused of being a leaker to WikiLeaks).
It's really something. David Swanson writes a bad article defending Assange from 60 Minutes but forgets that 60 Minutes aired what they promised and that Assange agreed to it.
If there's anything more pathetic, it's Greg Mitchell convinced he 'wrote' a book. He did a glorified clip job and spoke to none of the participants but such passes for book writing at The Nation these days. That magazine seems determined to trash whatever's left of its reputation.
Let's change topics . . .
"TV: Just not funny" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
A one time cutting edge show became flaccid, long, long ago. But it could still, from time to time, provide a sharp jab of comedic humor. That all ended with the ascension of Seth Myers to head writer. Now the long running show is nothing but a never-ending embarrassment.
Barack Obama gave a State of the Union address. In times past, regardless of who was president -- Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush -- it would have been comic gold. But back then, head writers were interested in comedy. Myers, who donated to Barack's presidential campaign, is interested not in getting laughs but in protecting his candidate.
It may help Barack's 2012 rollout but it doesn't do humor any favors.
Instead of addressing the speech, SNL used the opening skit (their most watched spot every episode) to present Kristen Wiig doing her Suzy Orman routine but in a longer wig and supposedly portraying Michelle Bachman as she stammered and fumbled through the, again, most watched skit of the program.
Michelle Bachman, for those who don't know, delivered a response to the State of the Union Address last week on behalf of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party and CNN carried it live (on TV, only CNN carried it live). The speech quickly became a media joke with many laughing about how US Rep. Bachman didn't know which camera to face and delivered the entire speech to the wrong camera.
Actually the joke was on CNN because anyone who is at all familiar with live TV knows you immediately switch to the other camera when someone is being carried by the wrong one. "Go to camera two! Go to camera three! Get me something!" should have been the cry from the CNN control room. The fact that it wasn't has two obvious meanings, CNN can't do its job or CNN found the attempt to turn Bachman into a joke too tempting to pass up. Neither meaning speaks well of CNN.
And certainly a live show like Saturday Night Live is well aware of camera mix ups and who is responsible and how they are fixed. But they chose to play dumb and pretend that the joke was Bachman.
Michelle Bachman wasn't even delivering the Republican response. That was done by It Boy Paul Ryan. To be clear, Saturday Night Live hiding behind Paul Ryan for state of the union humor would have been very sad as well. Lucky for them, they were able to work out all their Mommy issues using Bachman.
Neither Ryan or Bachman leads in the House. But aiming low, at soft and easy topics, allows SNL to be meaningless as well as unfunny.
That really says it all and works as much more than just a criticism of Saturday Night Live.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):