An instant classic from Isaiah. We worked so long at Third. During the last of it, C.I. said she was going to work out for an hour and then do the "Hejira" entry at The Common Ills and then go to bed. She told Isaiah, "You've got the night off." He said he was going to do a comic and he'd have it done before she was done working out. Then he scanned the news and had nothing. He called a friend who asked him if he'd seen Leslie Savan's ridiculous hair do? He hadn't so he went to The Nation website and that's what ended up inspiring a comic. Katrina vanden Heuvel, by the way, has begun packing on the pounds. In the last four years, she looks like she's aged 15. Well whoring comes with a toll. She could have stuck up for the left but she saw her role as Whore for the White House. What's really funny is that her body looks worse than her face and, not all that long ago, she posed for the New York Times while pretending to work out.
"Media: Losing big in the court of public opinion " (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
What he's going through, even now, is nothing. House arrest? He did a talk show during house arrest -- Hulu carried it in the US -- and the 'house' was an English manor. Even today, at the Ecuadorian Embassy, he's certainly got more space than Bradley Manning did in a six foot by eight foot cell or, for that matter, than Anne Frank did in an attic.
It's called perspective. It includes knowing that a heavy weight boxer goes into the ring with someone in his or her division. Meaning leave out Joe Biden. On the world stage, Joe is the grinning holy gofus of the administration. Julian Assange wants to be taken seriously, members of the White House Cabinet aren't his foes. The foe is Barack Obama. In 1974, when Joe Frazier was hoping to become the heavyweight champion of the world, he wasn't boxing Rodolfo Martinez.
Joe said, Hillary said, blah blah said, is a distraction that lowers the issues. It's Barack's administration. You take on Barack. That's so basic. Even a Hollywood starlet desperate for attention knows to pick a public rivalry with someone high up the chain.
Assange versus Obama? That's a conflict the world will give you a few seconds to make a case for.
For a few seconds.
Which means you organize and simplify the message.
Drop the petty and make it about David versus Goliath issues and people will respond.
This was not what Ava and C.I. were going to cover. They were planning to write about Arrow on the CW. But Jim begged them to do the topic of Julian Assange's media appearances last week. Arms twisted, they went along.
They hate the piece but I think they did a great job -- even without factoring in that they wrote it under duress.
For another great piece at Third, they teamed up with Ann: " How NPR Silences Women (Ann, Ava and C.I.)." This is a really strong piece too.
The three of them regularly write articles about NPR's programming which grossly underbooks women. (They followed Fresh Air for all of 2010 -- only 18% of Terry Gross' guests were women. Diane Rehm and Talk of the Nation, two other shows they've followed, had higher percentages but not 50 -- or even 35 -- percent.)
Imagine if everyone had the guts to do this sort of reporting? Instead, what do they cover?
Body language. Leslie Savan (in Isaiah's cartoon at the top) actually wasted time at The Nation writing about body language. They write about the biggest wastes of time.
Women would be so much better off in this country, if serious issues -- including representation -- were tackled.
So what did Ann, Ava and C.I. find?
They found that Tell Me More decided to hear from women in a segment about women sounding off by . . . speaking to men. Two male guests. The female briefly speaking is not a guest actually, she just left a comment on NPR's phone line. So when the topic is what women think, NPR runs to men for the answers -- even if the host is a woman (Michel Martin is a woman). But what about reporting?
A man reports on a 'new' female Senator. (She won her seat in the 2010 election.) How does a man do it?
By speaking to three men. Two of whom rip the woman apart.
But the male reporter sees nothing wrong with that. He's not at all alarmed by it.
That's the culture that exists at NPR and why women will never achieve parity on NPR anytime soon.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):