Friday, April 29, 2011

FOK News Channel for Friday, April 29th, 2011

Fridays with Thurber:
The Bat Who Got The Hell Out,
The Bears And The Monkeys,
The Human Being And The Dinosaur,
Two Dogs
Video at

Thursday, April 28, 2011

FOK News Channel for Thursday, April 28th, 2011

First Guess: A Modest Proposal About Arizona - Discontinue It
video 'podcast'

unofficial transcript

A modest proposal about Arizona.

I'm Keith Olbermann in New York with the First Guess.

A week ago it was when a bolt of lightning struck Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, causing her to experience a moment of temporary sanity and in turn leading her to veto the lunatic fringe birther bill passed by the state House and Senate which would have required each Presidential candidate to provide 'a valid long-form birth certificate' before they could appear on Arizona's Presidential ballot.

Ms. Brewer, last heard from claiming that there were decapitated Americans littering the Arizona desert, when she may have been misremembering what she saw in a TV crime drama, either came briefly to her senses or she herself felt threatened by the bill because of some ominous secret origin of her own. Like that maybe her birth certificate reads 'Land of Atlantis.' Or perhaps 'Lost Greek City of Troy.'

The governor's intervention will not stop Arizona, not for long anyway. The state is still hellbent on self-destruction and at the current rate it's going to meet its goal. The veto'd bill included one of the most bizarre sidebars in the history of the American legislative experience.

One of the more practical of Arizona's Republican totalitarian psychopaths realized that not every state generates a long-form birth certificate any more, so he helpfully included other documents that could be presented as proof that you aren't from Kenya, or Mars, or Yemen, or Panama. In lieu of a certificate, an early census record would be acceptable, or a certificate of live birth, or a signed postpartum medical record, or a baptismal certificate, or a certificate of circumcision.

Yes, a certificate of circumcision. A bris certificate!

In a moment, we'll get to the insanity implied by this request to 'show us the record of your little candidate.' And yes, obviously this was a bit of a non-starter for women who wanted to be President. But first: it was explained to me by one Arizona politician that the suggestion of this documentation of the mohel's toil, as it were, was made specifically to cover would-be Presidents born at home. That there has not been a future President born at home since August 27th, 1908, didn't seem to matter to the House and Senate of Arizona, or as they are known to the members of the legislature in Taiwan who you always see fighting each other, and hitting each other over the head with shoes, 'our comic relief.'

Unfortunately here, nobody's laughing at Arizona. In the last three years that state has given us the Papers Please law, the ascent of white power groups inside state government, Senator Jon Kyl's 'Not Meant As A Factual Statement' statement, the Republican candidate who invited supporters to fire a machine gun at a rally, the Tucson shootings, the recall effort against the sheriff who correctly blamed the Right for violent rhetoric, and John McCain's decision to curse us all by elevating Sarah Palin from rinky-dink governor to national laughing stock.

So back to the point. I have a modest proposal. Arizona is, after all, our newest continental state. Alaska 49, Hawaii 50, yes, but Arizona's 48th. Our ancestors were more sure about New Mexico than they were about Arizona, and I'd say that means Arizona's statehood is still unofficially an experiment. Well, they failed! Any state asking Presidential candidates to metaphorically wave their willies to get on the ballot is a failure.

Now, to me, it would be wrong to simply say 'Hey, you're a territory again. No senators, maybe one congressman with or without a vote.' Similarly, saying 'Okay Arizona, great idea, didn't work. California, you take some of it, and New Mexico you get this part, and Nevada, Utah, maybe even Colorado, you get a little each.' I don't think that's fair either. It's not like Nevada and Utah are any great shakes.

No, here's my idea: fair, not to the advantage of other states, just a clean break.

Sell it.

Sell Arizona. I don't see anything in the Constitution that says we can't! We bought Louisiana, we bought Alaska - all right, bad example. But where does it say we can't sell? I mean, we'd have to take some humanitarian steps first, like moving the pro sports franchises out of there, that metropolitan area forming in the Strip including San Antonio and Austin and Frisco, that's huge. You give Texas another football team, another baseball team, Governor Rick Perry will sign on to our 'Sell Arizona' plan inside of an hour.

And I say not only is it time to sell Arizona, it's time to give its union-busting, Social-Security-cutting politicos a chance to truly address the deficit and the trade imbalance in a direct and meaningful way.

We should sell Arizona to the Chinese.

Now, I'm not saying they'll give back the whole trillion-two in US debt just for Arizona. But to get an actual outpost here, the Chinese would pay through the nose. They want to unload that debt anyway, and most of the members of the Arizona House and Senate would probably be able to keep their jobs under Chinese rule. They don't care a thing about human rights - and neither do the Chinese.

I think this is a masterstroke. Sell it to China! Arizona is beyond redemption. It's a blight on our politics, on our culture, on our ethics, on our history. And that was all true before Arizona flirted with asking would-be Presidents to provide records of their circumcision! Which, as you will necessarily agree, was the height of hu-bris!

See you late spring.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Three FOK News Channel posts for this date.
Click to go directly to:
First Guess: Another One Makes It Up
Maguffins 1 Obama 0
Snappy Answers
First Guess: Another One Makes It Up
Video via FOK News Channel
video 'podcast'

unofficial transcript

The best part of being a Republican? When you need facts, you can just make 'em up!

I'm Keith Olbermann in New York with today's First Guess.

It happened nearly two weeks ago, yet it got buried in the non-stop Radical Right BS machine. The greatest friend that the Democrats have, the congressperson dumber than Paul Broun, the Kings and Michele Bachmann put together, did it again. Jean Schmidt of Ohio. The Schmidt has hit the fan once more!

You remember Jean. She basically tipped the scales against the Iraq War for good in November 2005 by calling the late congressman and Vietnam War hero Jack Murtha a coward for criticising what we were doing in Iraq. The good burghers of the suburbs east of Cincinnati keep sending her back to Congress, where she has now been humiliating them for nearly six years. If it's wrong, you can count on Congresswoman Schmidt to defend it; if it hurts people, you can count on Congresswoman Schmidt to champion it; if it's a lie, you can count on Congresswoman Schmidt to shout it.

Federal law already prohibits taxpayer money from funding abortions. But to hear the Jean Schmidts of this world tell it, Democrats are practically kidnapping pregnant women off the streets, driving them to Planned Parenthood and aborting fetuses with 1040 forms and food stamps. Actually, if she had said something like that, Ms. Schmidt would not have looked like such a jackass. What she instead claimed, quote, was 'For every 33 pregnant women that walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic, 32 receive an abortion.'

The hell they do. Planned Parenthood keeps meticulous records, and they have to. They are breaking several laws if they don't. In 2009, the organisation saw 3 million patients for a total of 11.3 million procedures. 11 million. How many of the 11 million procedures were abortions? 332,278.

35% of Planned Parenthood's services? Providing contraception. 35% more? Testing for sexually transmitted diseases and treating them. More than a million of their procedures were pregnancy tests, and since not even 1 in 10 Planned Parenthood facilities can provide prenatal services, nearly all of the women who seek those are referred to other clinics.

So where did Jean Schmidt get her preposterous statistic that 32 out of 33 pregnant women who go into Planned Parenthood get abortions? The non-partisan Politifact Ohio group asked the congresswoman's office that exact question. The answer? She got the numbers from one group called 'Americans United for Life', and another called 'Concerned Women for America', and another called 'Family Research Council Action'. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And these anti-choice groups got those numbers by cooking them. By looking only at the numbers of abortions compared to the number of women who got prenatal care at Planned Parenthood, or who wound up being referred by Planned Parenthood to adoption agencies. They left out all the pregnant women who found out they were pregnant, or were tested for sexually transmitted diseases, or were sent elsewhere for prenatal care. They took out all the numbers that would reduce the statistic, and went instead with their paranoid fantasy because they may claim to be pro-life, but they are clearly not pro-truth.

Caught lying again, Congresswoman Schmidt is advised to try the Jon Kyl route: when he made up a statistic about how many of Planned Parenthood's patients get abortions, he said it was 90%, the junior Senator from Arizona later amended it to claim that his lie was, quote, 'not intended to be a factual statement.'

That remarkable admission of mendacity and guilt was not enough for Mr. Kyl. He has since utilised a Senator's right to, quote, 'edit the transcript of their floor remarks before publication in the daily record or the permanent record.' His statement on the Senate record that 90% of what Planned Parenthood did was abortions, that now reads 'If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood, and that is what Planned Parenthood does.'

He laundered it! He sanitized it! He turned an outright lie designed to inflame public opinion into a benign, albeit stupid, tautology. If only we could do the same to his entire tenure in the Senate. And Ms. Schmidt's in the House. But sadly, we are Democrats and liberals and moderates, and lying - and then lying about having lied - we just don't do that as well as the Republicans do. I guess it's called conscience.

Keith Olbermann in New York, see you June 20th.
Maguffins 1 Obama 0

And so, having disposed of the monster, exit our hero through the front door, stage right, none the worse for his harrowing experience.

And exiting the stage with him, albeit in a different direction, go Donald Trump (throwing the pages of his sorry financial records that he is now obligated to release, over his shoulder one-by-one) and Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and the mindless media and all the members of the "I'm Not Going To Pay A Lot For This Muffler Party," and the other victims of the Republican Cult, and the Pro-Circumcision Party in the Arizona State Senate, and every other lemming you can think off, right off the cliff down towards the vast gorge of irrelevance and political absurdity.


Yesterday morning, a curious thing was heard on the local Fox television station in New York. There was Donald Trump – on the phone, no less – calling in to the station's obligatory moronic morning "newscast," and talking about President Obama and how he needs to release the documents immediately to prove that all the rumors are not true.

His college transcripts.

Trump, whether having concluded the birth certificate Snipe had run its course, or having finally bored himself, or having been tipped that the President was thinking about trying to shut this whole thing down, had pivoted to an announcement that the President was "a terrible student" and couldn't possibly have gotten into Columbia or Harvard, and that Mr. Obama really needed to stop refusing to release his college transcripts.

If that doesn't work, it'll be his list of movie rentals back in the days of VHS, or his Chicago White Sox ticket stubs to prove he really is a fan, or his laundry delivery records to make sure William Ayers or Jeremiah Wright or Karl Marx hasn't been slipping him notes inside the suit pockets like they did in that John LeCarre spy novel.

It is another reflection of our well-meaning but sometimes utterly tone-deaf President that he really dug up the long-form birth certificate – even after the previous one had been released, even after the Hawaii historians confirmed that 1961 newspaper birth announcements came only from hospitals, even after the looney-tunes World Net Daily had published (then suppressed) its own article confirming all the released documents were legit – dug it up and today released it and believed the distraction of the "carnival barkers" would vanish.

They're carnival barkers. They don't stop selling tickets just because there isn't a real mermaid back there. If you prove there's no mermaid, tomorrow they'll tell you there's a Martian.

Or better yet, they'll sell you on the new scandal: What happened to the Mermaid? Meet The 20-Foot Tall Detective Tracing Our Missing Mermaid! Translated to this sorry chapter of sorry American politics, that means the Radical Right will keep the conspiracy theory going and simply change the focus. Jonah Goldberg – who needs to produce a birth certificate of his own, not to prove he was born here, but just to prove he was born - has already started with this predictable, you-could've-bet-the-house-on-it screed: "The New Burning Question."

This one is why the White House released the Certificate now rather than earlier. The others will – simultaneously or in succession – be about whether the new document is real or a fake, or why he has two birth certificates, or — whatever, the detail is doesn't matter.

This is because the debate has never been about whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. The debate has been about whether the Republicans could or can do by rumor, innuendo, and Fox Propaganda, what they cannot do by the ballot: find the overarching "scandal" with which to beat a Democratic President. With Bill Clinton it was misconduct, sexual and legal, that made him look like a saint by contrast to the average Republican criticizing him (I'm looking at you, Newt – and all the mini-Newts). With Barack Obama it is anything, anything, anything at all, that will reinforce the idea that he is the dangerous other/terrorist/alien/menace/anti-christ that they can investigate and investigate and investigate, without any of them realizing that their racism – or any of a dozen lesser prejudices – is showing.

And the investigation is there not to prove or disprove anything, but to merely provide its supporters with an excuse, a rationalization, to hate a President and tell themselves they are not doing so because he is a Democrat, or a black man, but because he is somehow legally unqualified for the job. Anything at all will do, providing it holds together long enough for genuinely stupid people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and Donald ('People Love My Hair') Trump to jump on the bandwagon and lead the chorus in several versions of "We Hate Him, But Not Because He's Black."

They have to do this. They're Republicans, of course they're prejudiced – against someone, all the time. And it isn't 1966 any more; they have been stymied, kept from using their favorite trick of the 20th Century, to backlash against Civil Rights by running on the "We've Done Enough For These People" platform. One of "These People" is now President.

Alfred Hitchcock once addressed the little-recognized reality that most of his dramas pivoted on central events – espionage, robbery, sabotage, Uranium 235, whatever – that were vital to the lives of the characters but got almost no actual elucidation in his films. In other words, unlike Agatha Christie's elaborate back stories, Hitchcock was content to tell you that Mr. Vandamm was a spy, and that's as much as you got.

Hitchcock justified this by explaining the story of the Maguffin. Two men are riding in the compartment of a British train and one of them, with tremendous effort, places an enormous and oddly shaped parcel in the rack above him and, sweating copiously, sits back down in his seat. The other man watches silently for minute after minute. He thinks he sees the parcel move, of its own accord, but can't be sure. Finally he can't take it any more, and he asks the stranger what's inside. "That," the man says, "is a Maguffin." They ride along in silence for a long time when the inquisitor finally speaks up again and asks what a Maguffin is. "A Maguffin," the man says wearily, "is a device for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands." Again there is silence. The other man blurts out, "But there aren't any lions in the Scottish Highlands!" The owner nonchalantly replies "Well then, that's no Maguffin."

Remember what the President has conveniently forgotten: The Republicans and the Tea Partiers always have more Maguffins.
Snappy Answers For April 27

Bob Schieffer of CBS Calls Out Donald Trump's For Racism In Birther/Transcript Delusion

Answer: Let's just cut to the chase here and start calling him Donald Dump.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FOK News Channel for Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Keith Announces New Show Details
Video via FOK News Channel

unofficial transcript

This is Keith Olbermann with a very special announcement about my nightly television newscast, about what it's called, and when it will start.

I wanted to go somewhere where I could expand on and enlarge upon the work I'd already done, a place where journalistic integrity and analytical honesty would never be compromised by corporate synergy, a place where no one would ever proclaim the ultimate dishonesty: that balancing a lie for every truth was somehow fair. I found that place in Current TV.

And even though they had told me I'd be in charge, and they gave me a title, and an equity stake, and a PONY, I have still been delightfully startled at the free hand I've been given to assemble the finest staff on air and off in television news, details about which we will give you in the coming weeks.

And now I can tell you, we are ready to go.

I've been vague all year about when exactly we'll start on Current TV. I kept saying "late spring." I haven't been trying to be cute or inexact, we just wanted to line everything up first. Now, we have. I can now tell you that my nightly news hour will begin live at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific, on the night of Monday, June 20th, 2011.

I know. That's as late spring as you can get. That's why I said "late spring!"

That's the when, now the what. We considered a lot of names for the new show on Current, but quickly it became clear that only one of them conveyed what I want the program to be, what it was obvious in a thousand conversations with many of you personally, what the viewers want the new program to be. So we will bring you, at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific, on the night of Monday, June 20th, 2011, my new news hour... Countdown with Keith Olbermann! Hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Merely by moving to my new home on Current I know the new show will improve. We will also increase the program's edge, and the pointedness of its commentary. But I'm going to call it Countdown, so you know that this decision protects the editorial independence that makes it possible for me to do this work. We will be at Current now, we have not gone and are not going anywhere. And we're really, really glad you are going to continue to be with us. The dude, as it were, abides.

Two more announcements. We keep being asked about Countdown's online presence at Current. We'll go into specifics later, but trust me, it will have a huge footprint on the net and for the first time significant web-only content including video. And I also keep being asked about replays. Well, if the show is going to be on live at 8 PM Eastern nightly, and it's going to be called Countdown, it has to also be on at 11 PM Eastern, 8 Pacific and at 2 AM Eastern, 11 Pacific.

So there it is. Sorry to keep you waiting. Countdown, weeknights at 8, 11 and 2 Eastern, 5, 8 and 11 Pacific, beginning on Monday, June 20th. And only on Current TV.

See you late spr- no. See you June 20th!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Four FOK News Channel posts for this date.
Click to go directly to:
Photo of the Day
Snappy Answers
Worst Persons
Worst Persons For April 25
video 'podcast'
via YouTube

The bronze goes to good old Lonesome Rhodes himself, the lame duck Glenn Beck of Fixed News. And of all the theories as to why he's exiting, stage right, the only plausible one not being widely advanced, is that he's just run out of bull..

You may have heard about his rant Friday in which his X-Files like unintelligible mondo-conspiracy mutuated yet again. While pointing at a photograph - apparently of William Ayers - Becky said, quote:

"We have an FBI agent who infiltrated his Weather Underground who said: they will kill 25 million Americans."

That the supposed threat was supposedly made 41 years ago and nobody was ever charged for it, and The Weather Underground doesn't exist, doesn't stop Glenn. Time does not exist for the paranoid.

But more interestingly, perhaps, was his follow-up. Quoting Beck again:

"What did Octavia do in Rome? I really truly believe the 'O' in Obama should be Octavia. He was the first Roman Emporer."

This goes to my point about Beck running out of bull. He called this emporer "Octavia" four times. The first Roman Emporer was Augustus, also known as Octavian. Octavia was Octavian's sister. And Octavia is also the name of a town in Nebraska.

Conspiracy theories are much, much better if you get the names right, and they don't pivot on stuff that only one man says happened back in 1970.

The runner-up: Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield, Republican of Knoxville, who once again proves my theory that we are not paying our public servants enough, we're losing the good candidates to McDonald's.

Mr. Campfield is the man so terrified of homosexuality that he introduced a bill that would make it illegal for a teacher from even referring to the subject in front of kids who are in the eighth grade, or earlier.

He cleverly gave the bill a nickname, The "Don't Say Gay" bill - even as one of his Republican Colleagues pointed out that Tennessee already has legislation fueled by hate and fear, prohibiting such teaching.

Senator Campfield was challenged to a debate by a Gay Rights' Activist, and replied, "I will happily debate you. I require a one thousand dollar retainer fee and all expenses covered." This guy's trying to profit off his hatred - and as usual, that's where the Radical Right drives off the cliff. Apparently in asking for cash to discuss Senate business, Senator Campfield is in violation of state ethics rules, and under one interpretation, he's soliciting a campaign contribution while the Senate is in session - which is against Tennessee law.

By the way, I think it is safe to just assume that when a legislator, male or female, concocts a law that would codify his or her hatred, they're really motivated by some moment when, to their own horror, they were attracted to somebody of the same sex. Let's just assume that's what this bozo did and think of that every time we think of his bill.

But our winner - somebody trumping even that level of hate: State Senator Bruce Caswell of Michigan.

He has proposed that foster children in Michigan should only be permitted to spend their state-funded clothing allowance in thrift stores. Quoting this man who would have made the Dickens character Wackford Squeers, who profited off unwanted children, cringe: "I never had anything new. I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at Salvation Army, and his comment was - and quite frankly it's true - once you're out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes."

Let's skip the photograph of Senator Caswell and the evidence that he's not only still buying his clothes there but also cutting his own hair at home. Consider for a moment that little life lesson from Caswell Senior: "once you're out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes."

So why subject foster kids, who already have a sense of vagrancy in their lives when their biggest worry should be about getting their homework done, to being told they're not good enough to get a new pair of shoes, or underwear?

Obviously Caswell must see an opportunity for this scheme to save Michigan some money, somehow.


To quote from a local news report: "Caswell says the gift card idea wouldn't save the state any money."

Which means Mr. Caswell is just doing this to hurt and traumatize foster children. He doesn't belong in the State Senate. He doesn't belong in this country. He certainly doesn't belong around kids.

Which makes this additional fact more horrifying than any of the others. His pre-governmental career? Bruce Caswell was a school teacher, a school superintendent, and as a track coach, and high school assistant football coach, is a member of Michigan's High School Coaches Hall of Fame. And if that organization doesn't expel him immediately, it should be de-funded.

Bruce "Are there no prisons, are there no workhouses" Caswell, the Worst Person of the Day!
Snappy Headlines For April 25

Home Movies Of Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" Inauguration Found – In Color; Matches Clip of NBC Radio Coverage By H.V. Kaltenborn

Answer: No snark here: take five minutes and watch this extraordinary vignette from American history – an FDR inauguration of 70 years ago, in which he declared "The Four Freedoms" filmed, in perfect color, by his son-in-law. You'll see everybody from his son Jimmy in military uniform, walking him to the podium, to the first lady, to Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes in a judicial cap that makes him look like a French magistrate. The audio of the speech is here.

Without any certainty, I believe the radio announcer you see behind two mikes, startlingly close to the President, is John Charles Daly, later known for broadcasting the CBS bulletin announcing the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and simultaneously running ABC's television news operation, anchoring its newscast, and hosting the game show "What's My Line?"

As I mentioned on Twitter, we will have some big announcements tomorrow morning (Tuesday the 26th) about the new show on Current. There will be morning tweets, morning news stories, and, only on this site – VIDEO. Sorry for the suspense (not really, but I have to say that, don’t I?)
Photo Of The Day For April 25

I was so proud of myself. I only recognized two of the people mentioned on the cover of this tabloid magazine:

Friday, April 22, 2011

FOK News Channel for Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Fridays with Thurber: University Days
video 'podcast'

Thursday, April 21, 2011

FOK News Channel for Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Worst Persons: Rebecca Mansour, Wonkette, Donald Trump
video 'podcast'

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FOK News Channel for Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Fridays with Thurber: More Alarms At Night
video 'podcast'

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

FOK News Channel for Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

First Guess: Lotto Nation
Video via FOK News Channel
video 'podcast'

KevJohnson72: @KeithOlbermann how come people who R not rich will never be rich R complaining about taxing the rich???????
15 Apr via UberSocial

unofficial transcript

The Republicans and Lotto Nation.

I'm Keith Olbermann in New York with the First Guess.

I got a fascinating, succinct tweet last week that may have unlocked the gist of our nonsensical politics for 2011, beautifully summed up by Clay Bennett's political cartoon of a mouse wearing a Tea Party shirt carrying a sign reading 'Support the Fat Cats'.

How come, @KevJohnson72 asked, people who are not rich, will never be rich, are complaining about taxing the rich?

That's it, isn't it? How have the Republicans, who are getting the unemployed to help them cut unemployment benefits, who are getting the underpaid to help them bust unions, who are getting those without savings to help them cut Social Security, who are getting those facing cataclysmic health problems to help them cut Medicaid and Medicare, how are the Republicans getting the principal victims of Republicanism to dig their own political graves?

The answer is startlingly simple. Those who are unwittingly collaborating with the Radical Right, those who should want the government to spend every dollar on the people who need it like themselves, those who are interested in protecting the rich are convinced - utterly, profoundly, life-alteringly convinced - that they themselves are going to be rich.

It's Lotto Nation.

It's not just that you know somebody like this, a conservative with credit card debt, possibly unemployed, smoking and drinking their way towards the hospital, screaming about socialism and Tea Parties and FOX News and Limbaugh and birth certificates, it's not if you know them, it's how many of them you know.

They do divide into two categories. The more easily led are absolutely convinced that they will win the lottery tomorrow. They could have played it a thousand days in a row and not even won a free second Lotto card, and yet they remain convinced. They literally believe money will fall from the sky and they will be rich and they will be damned if they'll let the socialists take that money they don't have, and are never gonna get.

The other kind is more reasonable, but only slightly. This self-defeating conservative may cling to his Lotto ticket, but he's just as likely to believe he will move up per the American Dream scenario that has been drummed into his head since childhood. He is better than those around him, he knows, and he will someday take over his gas station or law office and will then open a chain of them, and eventually get a reality television show or at least a guest shot on Undercover Boss. And he'll be damned if he'll let the socialists take the money he doesn't have and is never gonna get!

This kind represents the real tragedy. He is the hardworking, generally benign conservative who thinks the system should be designed only to keep money out of the hands of the lazy and slothful. It has not occurred to him, for he has blinded himself, to the reality that the politicians who he supports are there to make sure that even conservatives in the middle and lower classes cannot break through to higher ground and greater income.

And if he does have the insight to see the repression that the Republicans are building, ever more suffocatingly, into the system with each passing year, he blames it not on them but on scapegoats. The government is giving too much money to those lazy and slothful people. This inspires, or unleashes, his fear and hatred of immigrants and minorities - and African-American Presidents - and anybody else who he thinks is getting his money. If it weren't for the nanny state, he concludes, there'd be less taxes for him and more money for small businessmen like him. And when he thinks small businessman, he means working the overnight shift at the gas station. Or the law firm.

Anybody, talented or not, can become a multimillionaire in America, he has decided, and it's hard to argue that point with him. I mean, look at Glenn Beck! That taxes and government are designed to always keep the carrot in front of him just out of his reach, just out of the welfare recipient's reach, just out of the immigrant's reach - this has not and perhaps cannot occur to him.

Just remember, when you get the new spam email from the, quote, 'Federal Bureau of Investigation', the one that reads 'It is obvious that you have not received your fund, which is to the tune of $4.6 million due to past corrupt government officials who always almost held the fund to themselves, for their selfish reason, and taken advantage of your fund, all in attempt to swindle your fund, which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of your fund -'

when you get that spam, somebody somewhere is reading the same one right now and thinking: I knew Obama had my millions!

So why do the conservative mice go to their economic deaths defending the conservative fat cats? Because either they do not know that they are mice, or they have been convinced, or they have convinced themselves, that they will someday become... cats.

See you late spring.

Monday, April 18, 2011

FOK News Channel for Monday, April 18th, 2011

Worst Persons: ESPN, Jack Fowler, Marilyn Davenport

Friday, April 15, 2011

FOK News Channel for Friday, April 15th, 2011

Fridays with Thurber: There's No Place Like Home
video 'podcast'

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Four FOK News Channel posts for this date.
Click to go directly to:
First Guess: Lying About The Civil War
Photo of the Day
Snappy Answers
Worst Persons
Worst Persons For April 14
YouTube (video has wrong date on it)

At a time when President Obama just barely avoided making this list for having collaborated with Republicans on gutting entitlements by finally emphasizing that the Defense Budget must be reduced - here are the Worst Persons of the Day:

The bronze to Birther/Realtor/Wigster Donald Trump, and his absurd two-note campaign: that "his team" will prove Barack Obama was not born in this country, and that we should steal the oil in Iraq so we can pay for all the money we wasted in Iraq. Trump is growing so increasingly embarrassing - and not just politically - professionally as well, in real estate and broadcasting - that he's now been dissed by both Newt Gingrich and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Cantor said, quote:

"I don't think he is really serious when we ... see a campaign launched on the birther issue"

Gingrich said, quote: "I think that the Donald is such an interesting person in every way that being 'Apprentice Candidate' is his newest show."

Don? When you get shoved around by has-beens like Newt Gingrich and lightweights like Eric Cantor - you're done.

And, by the way, the joke about Trump - whose wealth rests on the money his father actually made - about him being born on third base and thinking he hit a triple? Actually he was born on third base, went backwards to second, and thinks he hit a **double.**


Speaking of baseball references - the runner-up: John Steigerwald, the former Pittsburgh sportscaster now reduced to writing occasional columns for a newspaper in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

You've heard about Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten into a coma in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, because he was wearing a Giants jersey.

Columnist Steigerwald knows who to blame. Bryan Stow:

Just before he was beaten to within an inch of his life, Stow texted some friends and said that he was "scared inside the stadium". Maybe someone can ask Stow, if he ever comes out of his coma, why he thought it was a good idea to wear Giants' gear to a Dodgers' home opener when there was a history of out-of-control drunkenness and arrests at that event going back several years.

That is what Mr. Steigerwald wrote: Blame the victim.

For context, if you're in Western Pennsylvania and your name is Steigerwald, you had better just change careers. Bill Steigerwald wrote ridiculous columns for the Richard Mellon Scaife Vanity newspaper in Pittsburgh, the Tribune-Review, and announcer Paul Steigerwald once made a joke about the past winner of college hockey's Hobey Baker Award. His color man noted that the Baker award winner was checked to the ice and 'went down real hard.' Steigerwald #3 replied: "Not as hard as Hobey Baker went down, though. He went down in a plane crash. That's pretty hard to go down there."

For additional context, while the teams and the fans are rightly soul-searching over what happened last week - in 2003, in the same L-A parking lot, some Giants fans taunted a Dodger fan, who apparently replied. One of the Giants fans promptly shot and killed the Dodger fan. When the Dodgers and Giants were still in New York, two Giants fans taunted at a bar a Dodger fan named Robert Simon. He went home, got his gun, and came back and shot them. This was in 1938. Sadly, none of this is new.


But our winner, Senator Jon Kyl, who apparently keeps getting reelected by Arizona in order to make John McCain look good...

You already know that the quote "Senator" unquote claimed that abortions constitute quote "well over 90 percent" of what's done by Planned Parenthood.

When challenged with the correct statistic - three percent, not 90 (what's 87 percent between friends?) - Kyl responded that his claim was, quote, "not intended to be a factual statement."

Mr. Kyl has now made Richard Nixon's press secretary Ron Ziegler look honest when he explained-away months of lying about Watergate by saying, "This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative."

Still. "That was not intended to be a factual statement." Nice to finally hear one of them admit that. They should include that after every Republican comment, like those fast-talking announcers at the end of the Bank Commercials on the Radio:

"Your mileage may vary. Higher West Of The Rockies. Member, F-D-I-C. 90 percent claim may actually represent 3 percent. The Check Is In The Mail. Not intended to be a factual statement."

Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, today's Worst Person
First Guess: Lying About The Civil War
Video via FOK News Channel

Of course the Civil War wasn't about slavery. It was a fight over which color was better: Blue or Gray.

The new polling this week tells a terrible story of historical revisionism, rationalization, and lousy education. 42 percent of this country says that slavery was not the main cause of secession nor of the Civil War.

150 years later and we're collectively less honest with ourselves about our greatest American tragedy than we were as it happened. The greatest attack on this nation, on its freedoms, on its independence - the greatest act of terrorism against the United States of America, the greatest act of treason, our nation at its worst - and four out of ten Americans are willing to lie about its cause.

That's right: Lie. Because if you believe slavery was not the main cause of the Civil War, you are either lying, or mentally impaired, or a grammar school dropout. There are no other choices.

You have doubts about that? Do not bring them to me. Bring them to William Henry Gist.

Mr. Gist was the Governor of South Carolina in 1860, one of the Southern leaders who proposed secession, who - in advance of Abraham Lincoln's election - met with other governors to plot their treason, who got Florida and Mississippi to follow South Carolina out of the union, and whose actions led - as much as any man's did - to the Civil War.

What did Governor Gist say about it?

Let me quote from Adam Goodheart in the New York Times from December 3rd of last year, about Governor Gist:

In one address to the legislature at the end of November, he whipped up his listeners with talk of laws that would reopen the African slave trade, officially declare white men the ruling race, and punish "summarily and severely, if not with death" any person caught espousing abolitionist views.

So obviously secession had nothing to do with slavery. Nothing. Laws passing summary judgment on anyone merely advocating an end to slavery in South Carolina - a death penalty for proposing the abolition of slavery - obviously those would have had nothing to do with slavery.

The Governor of one of the United States of America promising legislation that would formally pronounce whites "the ruling race" - why to think that had anything to do with slavery is the height of absurdity!

And reopening the slave trade? Why, how could reopening the slave trade have anything to do with slavery? It's preposterous!

One more thing from Mr. Goodheart's piece from last December needs to be emphasized. It was about what happened in Charleston, just before Governor Gist made his promises to the South Carolina legislature:

...local militia had placed the American military arsenal in town under guard, ostensibly to defend it in case of a slave revolt.

Well, that settles it! What would fear of a slave revolt have to do with slavery?

In fact, what does slavery have to do with slavery? You make it sound like the words "slavery" and "slavery" mean the same thing!

There is no gray area about why the Civil War started. None. The south seceded to protect and maintain slavery - period. They would not have seceded over a federal tax on Sorghum.

This is not a debate, this is not a nuance, this is not an interpretation. To maintain otherwise is, in fact, to strip whatever dignity remains for traitors like Governor William Henry Gist and President Jefferson Davis and the others.

At least when they spat on this nation, when they took up arms against their own country and spilled the blood of those carrying our flag, they told the truth about why they were doing so.

Their descendants are without facts, without dignity, and most importantly - without honor.
Snappy Headlines For April 14

Fox Nation: Olbermann Says Female Conservative Should've Been Aborted?

Answer: No, he didn't! And this is the Fox News/GOOP Industrial Complex in action: 1) One of their stooges goes on and perpetuates the lie that Planned Parenthood does nothing but conduct abortions; 2) I call her out on her BS and suggest she underscores the value of Planned Parenthood – that they can counsel people who clearly aren't ready to be parents; 3) Fox lies about what I said; 4) Fox denies it's a lie or a false accusation because they used a question mark (by the way, there's no question mark on the link itself).

My question in return is: doesn't this mean that if I said something – anything – about the Fox commentator, from an issue of abortion to an issue of tone deafness, it would be just fine as long as I used a question mark? You know: "Fox commentator: Is she a foreign spy planted to sow division among gullible Americans?" "Fox commentator: Is she bald and actually wearing a wig?" "Fox commentator: Did she actually print her college diploma at Kinko's?"
Photo Of The Day For April 14

I was looking for info on what other sports Yankees' reliever Joba Chamberlain played in high school.

I didn't find it.

Instead, I found... this:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FOK News Channel for Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Fridays with Thurber: Memorial
video 'podcast'

Monday, April 11, 2011

FOK News Channel for Monday, April 11th, 2011

First Guess: How "A Face In The Crowd" forecasts Glenn Beck's future
Video via FOK News Channel
video 'podcast'

unofficial transcript

We'll meet again Lonesome Rhodes, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some awful day.

I'm Keith Olbermann in New York with today's First Guess.

Apparently I started something. I took my show off its old home, and then it was reported that Katie Couric was out at the CBS Evening News, then the story was that Meredith Vieira was leaving Today, then that Matt Lauer was going to leave Today at the end of next year, and then the big one: Glenn Beck. Lonesome Rhodes his own self. Off to join the invisible, 24-hour-a-day, Glenn-Beck-a-thon network.

By the way I must digress here and remind you that there is one significant difference between my career move and these others: I'M COMING BACK! Later this spring, same time, same show, new and improved, different network.

As to Mr. Beck. I wrote about this as it happened last Wednesday and reflection and leaks suggest that it is even more starkly true than I thought at the time. He will dress it up as nicely as he can and FOX sure tried to make it sound good, but frankly, Beck had decided that FOX was making way too much money off him that he should have been keeping for himself.

As Beck wraps up a program whose ratings have been plummeting steadily for over a year, his crazier supporters are split between those who believe he was forced out by a cabal of left-wingers - George Soros, Media Matters, StopBeck, me - and the other slightly smarter ones, who realise that they have to say the opposite. That he wasn't forced out by a cabal of left-wingers, because that would mean George Soros, Media Matters, StopBeck, me have influence.

That can never be admitted. Conservatives have to pretend there is a liberal media cabal, but to actually acknowledge that it works would be to threaten the backbone of their collective delusion: that they are in charge, and any interruption in that by the left can be and will be corrected! Immediately! Immediately!

So. Next for Beck.

As I wrote last week, Beck sees some sort of all-Beck TV operation, some sort of hybrid of Oprah Winfrey's network and the original, and Howard Stern will admit this, overextended all-Stern radio empire. It turned out people were not interested in newscasts about Howard Stern.

So what is Beck's likeliest future? I turn to the movie in which I found his prototype and his nickname, the Elia Kazan classic A Face in the Crowd. A movie you must see. After the actual Lonesome Rhodes, played fiendishly and perfectly by Andy Griffith, is caught by an open mic on a national broadcast disparaging his audience, he is nearly suicidal. His world is gone. A salesman who hates him, Walter Matthau doing a Southern accent and doing it well, offers him a picture of his post-self-destruction future. I think that without the political populist platform that FOX has provided Beck, the movie may be prophetic. As prophetic about Beck's future as it was about Beck.

What he said was this.

'Suppose I tell you exactly what's going to happen to you?' Matthau asks. 'You'll be back on television, only it won't be quite the same as it was before. After a cooling-off period, someone will say, "Why don't we try him again in an inexpensive format? People's memories aren't too long." And in a way he'd be right. Some people will forget, some won't. You'll have a show. Maybe not the best hour, or top ten. Maybe not even in the top fifty. You'll have a show, it just won't be quite the same as it was before. Then a couple of new fellas will come along and soon a lot of your fans will be flocking around them. Then, one day, someone will ask "Whatever happened to... what's his name? You know, the one who was so big... the number one fella a couple of years ago. He was famous! How can we forget a name like that?"'

Sad but true, Glenn. Sad but true.

One of the reasons, if you leave, your audience better know exactly where you're going and exactly why they're gonna be able to get then exactly what you used to give them before.

See you late spring.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

FOK News Channel for Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Snappy Answers For April 10

Republicans are expected to demand fundamental changes in policy on health care, the environment, abortion rights and more, as the price of their support for raising the debt ceiling (New York Times)

Answer: Give them nothing. Go ahead, don't raise the debt ceiling. Crash the global economy. We'll direct the rioting starving hordes from the third world to your offices, GOOP.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

FOK News Channel for Saturday, April 9, 2011

Photo(s) Of The Day For April 9

OK, April 8th. The first, with another brand new executive:

Before the Mets' home opener with Joe Torre, MLB's new Vice President of Baseball Operations. Joe tells me his new office is the first office he's had, save for ones in ballparks. 30 years ago this August, Joe was my first television interview, for CNN, and 26 years ago this August we began working together at KTLA in Los Angeles. I think it's fair to say nobody in baseball is better liked than Mr. Torre.

From there, it's on to Cinema Village for the official premiere of the release of "American: The Bill Hicks Story." Yes – we're in a darkened theater, explaining the red-light quality:

I'm seated with Bill's brother Steve, and his mother Mary. If you don't know of Bill Hicks, you should go see this amazing and innovatively-produced film, read up, buy the book, buy his CDs.

In short, Bill was the best American comic/social commentator/satirist of the last 30 years.

Friday, April 8, 2011

FOK News Channel for Friday, April 8th, 2011
Special bonus podcast and YouTube (Premiere of American: The Bill Hicks Story)

Fridays with Thurber: The Lady on 142
video 'podcast'

Thursday, April 7, 2011

FOK News Channel for April 7th, 2011

Worst Persons For April 7
podcast and YouTube

The bronze to the legislature in Idaho, the latest state to become unsafe for residency in, or visits from Americans. It has now passed a measure prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks.

No exemptions.

Not for rape, not for incest, not for the health of the mother.

The state Representative from Silverton, Idaho, Shannon McMillan says: "Is not the child of that rape or incest also a victim? It didn't ask to be here." The sponsor of the bill - State Representative Brent Crane of Nampa Idaho - said a woman, raped by, say, her father, now with a life-threatening pregnancy, should just trust God. Quoting him: "His ways are higher than our ways. He has the ability to take difficult, tragic, horrific circumstances and turn them into wonderful examples."

Yeah, well, Mr. Crane, he evidently didn't do such a good job when he made the State Legislature in Idaho, did he?

While we're on this "God's will" kick - Mr. Crane, how in the hell do you know that it wasn't "God's will" that man should learn how to conduct safe abortions to protect the victimized woman in these situations? I mean if we're talking interpretation here, everything God has ever told me has been to support the advancement of science and temper how life is lived to the realities of the world around us. How do you know that Roe-V-Wade wasn't God's will?

You believe anything you want, Sir, but the deal is: keep your goddamned religion out of the laws, and we will keep the goddamned laws out of your religion.

The runner-up: Governor Chris Christie, the buffoon currently running New Jersey. There are those who are ill-informed, and others who are condescending, and others who are convinced they are not just the smartest one in the room but in fact the only one who isn't an idiot. And then there are those rare individuals who combine all three fatal flaws - like this Governor.

Mr. Christie today called a group of leaders in New Jersey quote "political thugs." This is a state that is heavily mobbed up, features the goofballs from Jersey Shore, and infamous mayors of Newark ranging from Hugh Addonizio to Sharpe James.

So who are Governor Christie's "thugs"? The heads of the teachers' unions.

He said this on television, and then again at a public event - naturally one in New York City, not New Jersey - he doesn't seem to like New Jersey. "I believe the teachers in New Jersey in the main are wonderful public servants that care deeply. But their union, their union are a group of a political thugs" (If you're going to criticize educators, Governor, at least make sure your grammar works. "Is" a group, Governor. "Is").

Christie also called for teachers to be judged on peer evaluations - in other words, have teachers grade one another, with the low scores getting fired. Yeah, that doesn't sound like a recipe for disaster.

Worse yet, he said he had been holding secret talks with individual teachers about working around the unions. In point of fact, Governor Christie just admitted to violating a legally-binding contract he swore to uphold. It's not like it hasn't long since been time to do this to this arrogant, Conservative-butt-kissing toad, but this man needs to be recalled before he decides "The Visiting Nurse Association" needs to be dismantled because it's made up of socialist bullies.

But our winner, soon-to-be-Former Speaker of the House John Boehner.

I suppose there were still some in this country who thought this was not just another hack politician. Turns out even the Weepy and the Oompa-Loompa-hued, can be just as politically corrupt as your average schmoe from Jersey or the Idaho Legislature. The whole suicidal, moronic threat on behalf of the Tea Party to shut down the government was supposedly about fiscal responsibility and limited government.

The hell it was.

The last major sticking points before Boehner would agree to put down the gun he had pointed at his own head?

One: A provision that keeps the Environmental Protection Agency from complying with a Supreme Court ruling requiring it to regulate greenhouse gases.

Two: A provision that keeps the EPA from proposing or enacting any measure that would impact climate pollution, toxic emissions from cement plants, and emissions of particulates - you know, pieces of inhalable crap in the air.

Three: A provision that eliminated Title Ten - the program that provides funding for any family planning clinics nationwide (there goes Planned Parenthood).

Four: A provision that blocked the city of Washington from taking its own municipal money - not federal money but city money - to help pay for abortions.

And Five: A provision that blocked funding to the UN Population Fund, the US Ambassador's Fund For Cultural Preservation, and anything else of the sort that uses money not provided by this country to help pay for abortions not in this country.

So Mr. Boehner, you want to shut down the American government to keep this country from giving any American money to any international organization that is already spending and will continue to spend non-American money to fund abortions in population-crisis and AIDS-ravaged third world countries? That'll help revitalize the economy. Somewhere. In the cemetery and casket business in Botswana?

What a great, flaming fraud you are, John Boehner - and you're today's Worst Person. Oh by the way, Mr. Boehner - where are the jobs?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Three FOK News Channel posts for this date.
Click to go directly to:
First Guess: The GOP Presidential Nomination and Susan Burns
Lonesome Rhodes' Mike Left Open
Snappy Answers
First Guess: The GOP Presidential Nomination and Susan Burns
Video via FOK News Channel
video 'podcast'

unofficial transcript

For President of the United States of America on the Republican ticket, I nominate Susan Burns of Alexandria, Virginia!

Greetings from New York, I'm Keith Olbermann, here's today's First Guess.

When the milquetoast conservative columnist of the New York Times is out bemoaning the vapidity of the Republican Presidential field, you know it's pretty damn vapid. He pointed out that right now it's basically Tim Pawlenty versus Herman Cain, the bizarre pizza magnate and commentator. The columnist complained that no-one else was stepping up to compete for the right to lose to President Obama just under 600 days from now.

The two possibly-electable Republicans have both said they are not running. That blank-slate Senator from South Dakota John Thune and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Presuming this is the Bush who isn't lying, we move on to those lingering on the edges of candidacy. Let's review them one by one and see how uneasily the crown sits on the head.

President Michele Bachmann. [laughter]

President Mike Huckabee. [laughter]

President Newt Gingrich. [laughter] Seriously!

President Rudy Giuliani. [laughter]

President Mitt Romney. Heh.

President Donald Trump. [laughter]

President Sarah Palin. ...That woman is an idiot.

Seriously, the Republicans will not produce a viable candidate because they have none to produce, but even if there were one the debates for which I'm already selecting my choicest popcorn would cut him or her to ribbons. The GOP, the Goop, may be perfection itself when it comes to messianic messaging or don't-talk-back talking points but individual Republicans are consumed by power lust, and thus are cosmically incapable of getting out of the way of even the most obvious of choices. People forget: St. Ronald of Reagan had been the nominee-in-waiting for 12 years as 1980 approached, yet there were nine other Republican candidates that year and Reagan lost the New Hampshire primary.

So can you picture Donald Trump debating Michele Bachmann? Can you imagine the sheer joy of watching Newt finally unleashing his inner rage against Palin? The more I think of the Goop's plan to sell the television rights to their debates, the more I'm for it. In fact I think they should sell them to the people who are doing Wrestling Pay Per View.

As academic as the Republican 2012 nominating campaign may seem, there are still occasional bursts of relevant information. We learned in the last week that Congresswoman Bachmann told voters in Iowa that she is a seventh generation Iowan, even though it's apparent her ancestors immigrated not to there but to Wisconsin. Mr. Trump went on Billo the Clown and said that if we didn't steal $1.5 billion worth of oil from Iraq, all our soldier victims there, quote, "would have died in vain". Trump also released his birth certificate; he withheld however his hair's Monsanto Wear-Dated tag of approval.

Mr. Gingrich, meantime, jumped a shark of imagery, even for him, even for his party. Quoting, "I have two grandchildren, I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."

When advised that secular atheism and radical Islam were actually mutually exclusive, Mr. Gingrich added he meant or one dominated by radical Islamists.

Well even if that's true Mr. Gingrich is now offering a range of outcomes similar to saying the planet is in imminent danger of destruction from being hit by giant asteroids, or it is in imminent danger of destruction from not being hit by giant asteroids.

Mr. Gingrich also failed to recognize that if Republicans get to run this country the way he wants them to, his grandchildren won't have to worry about religion, because nobody will know how to read, since all the teachers will have starved to death by then, and simply being the descendant of a former Speaker of the House will not make you elite enough to be granted healthcare by one of the two corporations left.

Coincidental with all this Republican nominee talk, a story from Washington that at first seems to have no connection to this. Yesterday, Paul Gauguin's famous 1899 painting Two Tahitian Women was returned to its temporary display at the National Gallery there. Last Friday, a 53 year old woman named Susan Burns attacked Gauguin's masterpiece, $80 million worth of it, grabbing it by its frame, pounding on its protective Plexiglas shield and punching it with her right fist while screaming "This is evil!"

Court paperwork filed against Ms. Burns said she told investigators, quote, "I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it's very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you." Unquote.

See, THAT'S your 2012 Republican nominee right there! She hits all the main fear buttons, she speaks to the base and that last part? I have a radio in my head, I'm going to kill you? That's a winning Republican campaign slogan if ever I've heard one!

Keith Olbermann in New York, see you in late spring.
Lonesome Rhodes' Mike Left Open

The confirmation today that the man who can't tell the difference between a socialist, a fascist, and an altruist is leaving his daily show on Fixed News, is a great moment for the collective intelligence of American discourse.

But it may only be a moment.

All the pre-breakup rumblings between Glenn "Lonesome Rhodes" Beck and Fox News indicated that Beck had some kind of dream of an All-Beck TV Enterprise. The model was a hybrid of the original Howard Stern radio premise (gone, but not forgotten: the additional channel devoted to covering only news about Howard – the reporters even had matching blazers and did Howard Newscasts) and the Oprah Winfrey premise, mixed in with a little megalomania.

The key premise is: you are going to take a program people may enjoy to the point of developing blisters on their forehead from their Beck-induced fever, and charge them more for it. This works only very, very rarely.

I know this route well (except the megalomania part). I considered it, briefly. As even Oprah has shown, it is a dicey path in which the "talent" may be guaranteed nearly all the profits, but is definitely guaranteed all the risk. It is hard to envision any television personality in this country being the only thing on his/her network, or even producing a network in which the other shows would succeed based merely on his 'Good Housekeeping Seal Of Approval' – and I rejected the premise after about three minutes of letting the image of Alert Uniformed Olbermann Network Personnel run away with my not inconsiderable ego.

Still, the wording of Beck's television suicide note leaves plenty of room for some sort of daily television presence (to say nothing of the kind of big-scale Beckaganzas for Fox that would permit him to delve into those important issues, like how socialist the murals nobody ever looks at in Rockefeller Center are). But clearly he is not doing what I am doing – moving myself, my show, and my very loyal base (An Aside: Good Day to You All!) from one network to another. This can be perilous enough, but ultimately all I am asking about 2/3 of the past crowd to do is learn a new number on their remotes and DVR's.

That by itself might be a daunting task for loyal followers of Beck on television. But to ask them now to pay an additional premium? Beck has come to be a kind of touchstone for the Tea Party crowd and this is the wrong time to ask the Tea Party — or as I have begun to enjoy calling them — "The I'm Not Going To Pay A Lot For That Muffler Party" — to pony up some extra green. They expect something for nothing, or at least something for nothing more, not the same thing with an additional price tag.

It has been clear for some time that Beck's audience does not necessarily entirely overlap with that of Fox News. The advertising tells that story (a hat tip to Twitter's @StopBeck right here), and the fact that actual rumors of dissatisfaction elsewhere in that company actually wafted out through the otherwise airtight Berlin Wall that Roger Ailes has built around his employees, should have indicated that a divorce was inevitable. Beck's relationship with Fox as symbiotic and strained, but it was probably of greater value to Beck than it was to Fox. He may have produced astonishingly high ratings for 5 O'Clock in the afternoon, but with the low-end sponsors that did not necessarily mean astonishingly high profits.

More over, Glenn Beck did not build Fox News and nowhere in the early coverage of his departure is there seemingly the slightest suggestion that the well-oiled Murdochian Perpetual Motion Propaganda Machine will miss his daily presence. There are a couple of true believers with whom they could replace him; more likely they will simply reach into that inexhaustible supply of those so desperate to remain on television that they'll say anything (see Megyn Kelly, Stuart Varney, Steve Doocy), and fill up the hour quickly.

Ultimately how ever Beck winds up positioning his new television venture he has bought himself a new problem that was his old problem back in the days when he struggled along with mediocre ratings at CNN Headline News.

Whatever show(s) he does, whatever Beckian Stamp Of Batcrap Crazy Nonsense he produces, whatever he sells for $19.95 a pop, whatever hour is the 60 minutes of Revelation – whatever The Plan is – he's got a big problem now.

It'll be on against Fox News.
Snappy Answers For April 6 2011

Blast From The Past: Last Government Shutdown Led President Clinton To Meet Monica Lewinsky

Answer: Oh, no. No, no. Not doing that story again. Noop.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Two FOK News Channel posts for this date.
Click to go directly to:
Photo of the Day
Worst Persons
Worst Persons: April 5
video missing

Knowing that in a world where a man not only burns a copy of the Quran but in so doing, reneges on his own promise to not burn a copy of the Quran and can still call himself a quote "Pastor" - there are a lot of people who are much, much worse... here are the Worst Persons of the Day for April 5th.

We have to start with a Bronze for President Obama. The one legacy of President Bush that he actually took a step to correct... the one corner of the stable he decided to clean - he's now going to leave filled with a very toxic waste. Khalid Sheik Mohammed will be tried not in a court of justice but in a military tribunal, at Guantanamo Bay - which means Mr. Obama will not only have not closed Gitmo as he promised, but he is now promising to keep it open, presumably through the election.

But worse than the political tawdriness of the President's cave-in is how the world will now view us - the country. The sad reality here is that we have had a defeat - without a war. We have told the world that the American system of Justice - the essence of Democracy - is incapable of dealing with terrorist scum. We in New York have also told the world that we are incapable of dealing with the complexities of the trial of a pig like Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In short - to borrow the phrase of the previous decade, we've let the terrorists win.

Our runner-up is Montana state representative Alan Hale - no relation to the Skipper from Gilligan's Island (The Skipper was a leader). He has risen to the floor of the House to oppose the stiffening of DUI laws there, after a string of horrific accidents made even most of the Conservatives of the state decide action was necessary.

Saying that taverns and bars tie small communities like his together, Representative Hale said that customers had to either drive or hitch-hike to get to them "and I promise you that they're not going to hitch-hike" - implying they should be permitted to drive drunk to and from them. Quoting Mr. Hale further: "These DUI laws are not doing our small businesses in our state any good at all. They are destroying them. They are destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years."


Incidentally, Mr. Hale's full-time job? Bar-owner.

But our winner: another indication of why if you're angry about Conservative Holier-Than-Thou Idiots taking over this country, you need to run for local office - another State Representative... Republican Eric Turner of Indiana. He has introduced HB 1210, which would make abortions illegal there after the 20th week. A Democrat introduced an amendment that would exempt victims of rape or incest. Turner called that a quote, "giant loophole."

"I want to be very careful," Turner began (and then proceeded to be not careful at all). "I don't want to disparage in any way someone who's gone through the experience of rape, or an incest. But someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they've been raped, or there's incest."

Mr. Turner, therefore, is calling many of the people of his own state, liars - which I hope his opponent will remind them of, in the next election. But obviously, more importantly, not only are women who are granted rape or incest exemptions required to back up their claims to police and/or prosecutors - but, more terribly, more heart-breakingly, most of the lying done by women in this country about incest and particularly rape... is the shamed, nightmarish lie that it didn't happen, not that it did. Lies that destroy lives and families and children and parents and sometimes parts of entire communities.

As many as 60 percent of all rapes go unreported and one set of statistics shows 15 out of 16 rapists never spend a day in jail. And this yahoo wants to ignore these victims on the slim chance that a pregnant woman could actually jump through hoops with the police to get an abortion in her 21st week in Indiana. Worse still, he wants to make it just that much less likely that the real victims will ever come forward - come forward and risk being called liars, by the likes of State Representative Eric Turner of Indiana, Today's... Worst Person.
The Queens Rainbow

Can't see much on the wide shot (Dead center of the horizon):

But it actually shows up fairly well on the close-up:

Still doesn't match in Washington that greeted those of us leaving Tim Russert's memorial at the Kennedy Center, three years ago:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

FOK News Channel for April 2nd, 2011

Snappy Answers/Photo Of The Day For April 2

New York Daily News: TV personality Keith Olbermann puts Yankee coach on blast with Twitter photo; MLB to call Yankees


Photo by, and courtesy of, baseball writer Kristie Ackert of The Daily News!