Archive for ‘politics’

May 4, 2011

Dead or Alive: Bin Laden, public relations and diplomacy

“The White House struggled to craft its account of the audacious raid that killed Osama bin Laden to both a jubilant American public and a skeptical Muslim world, correcting parts of its narrative, withholding others and hesitating to release photos that could be considered too provocative.”

Raid poses narrative challenge for White House

“Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway, and there is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East,” Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Wednesday.

Obama Won’t Release Photo of bin Laden’s Body

The leader of Apache warrior Geronimo’s tribe is asking President Barack Obama for a formal apology for the government’s use of the revered figure’s moniker as a code name for Osama bin Laden.

Fort Sill Apache Tribal Chairman Jeff Houser sent a letter to the president Tuesday, saying equating the legendary Apache warrior to a “mass murderer and cowardly terrorist” was painful and offensive to all Native Americans.

Geronimo’s tribe seeks apology

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May 2, 2011

OSAMA BIN LADEN IS KILLED BY CIA

“MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED

BIN LADEN’S BODY BURIED AT SEA.

DONALD TRUMP DEMANDS LONG FORM DEATH CERTIFICATE.

State of New York to issue long form death certificate for Donald Trump’s political career.

Republican 2012 Presidential field reportedly on life support.

Michelle Bachmann left speechless. Doctors to perform CT scan live on C-Span.

Former President George W. Bush once again urges all Americans to go shopping.

Sarah Palin to complain.

Kim Kardashian plans release party in Pakistan for new sex tape “Taxi Cab Concessions” .

Search for Lindbergh baby resumes in Malibu, Bel Air and The Hamptons.


May 1, 2011

President Obama and Seth Meyers at The White House Correspondents Dinner–Watch entire video here


“Donald Trump is here tonight. Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate to rest than The Donald. Now he can get to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened at Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”


“Donald  Trump owns the Miss USA pageant, which is great for Republicans because it will streamline their search for a Vice President.”

April 28, 2011

Why Sarah Palin isn’t funny

April 24, 2011

“This Week with Christiane Amanpour: God and Government.” Watch the full episode here.

This is one of those instances where I will reserve comment and encourage you watch for yourself.  I’ll only say that I think this is perhaps the most thought provoking (and at some points frightening)  programming on Sunday morning network television in quite some time. 

Watch the full episode from April 24th by clicking on the image.

April 22, 2011

The rich and famous put on Easter one egg at a time (or, The Politics of Blasphemy)

Donald Trump–“I want to see the death certificate. Isn’t it more than a bit suspicious that the date of his death changes every year? I’ve spared no expense putting private investigators on the case.”

Lindsey Lohan–“There’s a security camera video of me walking out of the store wearing The Cross?”

Donald Trump–“LET ME FINISH. Yes, I used to be pro choice and against the death penalty. But the more I came to understand Easter, the more I became pro life and for the death penalty. NEXT QUESTION.”

Barack Obama–“My base, my base, why have you forsaken me?”

Michelle Bachmann–“My fellow Iowans let us rejoice on this day, for we Christians celebrate the resurrection of The Easter Bunny.”

Kim Kardashian— “I got nailed one long hot weekend in East LA by a guy named Jesus. I’ve been nailed by more guys than drywall, but I thought Jesus was special. He kept moaning ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’ I never saw him again after that Sunday. Whatever.”

Nate Berkus— “I’m the first openly gay male talk-show host.  Who but Tom Kolovos would ever interpret that as a slam against Anderson Cooper? I know for a fact that up until I started this embarrassing, poorly rated and often ridiculed  talk show of mine, Tom thought I was one of the very few openly gay men on television to comport himself with any dignity. Apparently he no longer feels that way. Now if you will excuse me, I need to do a segment on how to use Easter as an excuse to make you repaint your house in pastels with Behr paint. Anything for a buck, right?

Julie Taymore–“It is finished.”

Rick Santorum–“If everybody followed Christ’s example, we wouldn’t even need Medicare and Social Security. The Bible makes it clear that Easter is about cutting entitlement programs and reducing the deficit.”

Mel Gibson— “Listen Mary, you f***ing whore, you’re an embarrassment to me. You look like a f—ing pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n—ers, it will be your fault.”

Charlie Sheen— “Some Jews nailed a guy to a cross? Welcome to Hollywood, my friend.”

Jesus–“If Charlie Sheen rises again before I do, I’m gonna be really pissed.”

Kobe Bryant—  “I never put all my eggs in one basket, you f***ing faggot.”

Pope Benedict XVI–“And to those of you in America who  have strayed from the teachings, I say to you the story of Jesus and Judas proves that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ worked for some 33 years. The Catholic Church can prove that it works for a lot longer than that.”

Rahm Emanuel–“To all you that gave up liquor for Lent, I say come to Chicago on May 16th for my swearing in ceremony as Mayor. It will be sponsored by EFFEN Vodka.”

John Galliano— “Bartender, one more round for the ugly lady.”

Oprah–“It is finished.”

John Edwards–“This would be a good time to remind everybody that I’m not the first man to ask another to pretend to be the father of his child. The other time would be around Christmas. See, we do live in two Americas!”

Ricky Gervais–(The Easter Bunny, unlike Tim Allen, has a wicked sense of humor.)

Donald Trump–I’M NOT FINISHED. What gives Obama the right to question anyone about my integrity and the business history of the Trump Tower in Chicago? Ivanka take him down, baby. Treat him like a buyer at the height of the market. Look him in the eye. You know our motto, no crisis big enough that the Donald can’t solve by looking someone in the eye. WE’RE FINISHED HERE, CURIOUS GEORGE.”

Greg Mortenson–“I was there with the 12 Apostles and Mary Magdalene and the whole gang. Really. I  wrote about it in my new book  3  Cups of Warranty Not Included.”

Lady Gaga releases her new single. “I’m just a Holy Fool, oh baby he’s so cruel, but I’m still in love with Judas.”

The Easter Bunny will be on sabbatical until next year, depending on what religious calendar you follow. He can live with himself everyday and hams it up by laying green eggs.

Related post: “Bad Reputation” and Stewie Rah Rah, the #1 king of fun

April 18, 2011

The Noble Lie in 3 versions: On Malcom X, Madonna and Greg Mortenson

A review of the essential new 594-page biography of “Malcom X: A Life of Reinvention” by the Columbia professor Manning Marable , who spent  more that two decades devoted to  the project, reveals:

Malcolm X himself contributed to many of the fictions, Mr. Marable argues, by exaggerating, glossing over or omitting important incidents in his life. These episodes include a criminal career far more modest than he claimed, an early homosexual relationship with a white businessman, his mother’s confinement in a mental hospital for nearly 25 years and secret meetings with leaders of groups as divergent as the Ku Klux Klan and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

“Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” shows, for instance, that at a time when Malcolm X claimed in the autobiography to have “devoted himself to increasingly violent crime” in New York, he was actually in Lansing, Mich., his hometown. Mr. Marable attributes the embroidery of “amateurish attempts at gangsterism” to Malcolm X’s wish to demonstrate that the Nation of Islam’s gospel of pride and self-respect had the power to redeem even the most depraved criminal.

Fast forward to the queen of reinvention, Madonna. It was recently revealed that the charity foundation she had set up to build a school for girls in Malawi was forced to cancel those plans due to gross mismanagement of funds, sheer incompetence (the boyfriend of her former trainer was the Executive Director) and a fundamental misunderstanding of the cultural limits of celebrity vanity and charity.

Trevor Neilson, a founder of the Global Philanthropy Group, which Madonna recruited last November amid signs of upheaval at her charity, said he told her that building an expensive school in Malawi was an ineffective form of philanthropy, and suggested instead using resources to finance education programs though existing and proven nongovernmental organizations.

“Despite $3.8 million having been spent by the previous management team, the project has not broken ground, there was no title to the land and there was, over all, a startling lack of accountability on the part of the management team in Malawi and the management team in the United States,” he said. “We have yet to determine exactly what happened to all of that $3.8 million. We have not accounted for all the funds that were used.”

Last nite “60 Minutes” aired a stunning profile of pure invention.  It was a profile on  Greg Mortenson, the author of “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones into Schools,” two best sellers that have turned him into a wealthy cultlike figure in the world of the crosscultural motivational movement. His books have become required reading for soldiers deploying for Afghanistan.

The profile reveals that much of his personal story which appears in both books is pure fiction and that more of the money he raises for his declared charitable purpose is spent on generating publicity for himself than building schools for the disadvantaged in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Click here to watch the entire “60 Minutes” expose.

Tom Kolovos is Editor In Chief of aControlledSubstance.com

April 13, 2011

“Bad Reputation” and Stewie Rah Rah, the #1 King of Fun


This morning on “Oprah’s Farewell Season,” which has the same resonance  as Cher’s Farewell Tour, given that Ms. Winfrey is not really “leaving” any medium, featured duets with a female legend of rock paired with a younger generation artist. The most curious and cognitively dissonant was the pairing of Joan Jett and Miley Cyrus,  the former being a true  ground breaker in the world of punk with her band The Runaways, the latter being a manufactured Disney princess currently struggling with how, in full view of the tabloid addicted pop cultural landscape, to translate her outsize marginal talent into a respectable adult career.

For Ms. Cyrus this made their duet of “Bad Reputation” both a declaration of defiance and primer on the impotence of defiance if what all you ever were is a randomly entitled tween queen.

This all reminded me of the hullabaloo over that preciously entitled princess Donald Trump (see Vanity Fair portrait ca. 2006) and his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

He also began the rehabilitation of his image on “Oprah’s Farewell Season,” there to prove what a family man he was because as Oprah ( gamely playing along) declared “we don’t think of you as a family man.”  He appeared with all of his children from all three of his babymammas and his current wife, barely older than his daughter Ivanka, about whom he once said was so pretty that if she weren’t his daughter he’d be hitting that.

Needless to say, he didn’t come off  as a family man.

He did however come off as feudal lord, as you heard every one of his children and his child bride repeatedly (and solely) describe their relationship with The Donald as “a job to do.” (At least Melania was being honest.) This was enough to convince Elizabeth Hasselbeck on “The View” to declare that “Donald Trump has created more jobs than President Obama.” (When the ladies of “The View” complain about what a stalking thin skinned sourpussy you are, what is Hu Jintao going to think of you?)

Needless to say, he did manage to turn his seedy personal life into an economic issue and that alone is a resounding victory in a political landscape in which every social issue is being framed as an economic one. (See Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.)

Donald, lest you think is trotting only the birther argument as a means to prove his authenticity (as in everyone is quite certain he is an American citizen), is pulling out all the stops to prove his superiority to anyone who dares disagree with him. In responding to Gail Collins’ column in The New York Times he wrote:

Even before Gail Collins was with the New York Times, she has written nasty and derogatory articles about me.  Actually, I have great respect for Ms. Collins in that she has survived so long with so little talent. Her storytelling ability and word usage (coming from me, who has written many bestsellers), is not at a very high level.

Forget the syntax for a moment. “Not at a very high level?” Wow, now that’s word usage! With all this authenticity and career trajectory fur flying around,  Mr. Trump betrays the existence of  ghostwriters as Miley does of AutoTune when she sings live. But given  the level of sophistication each presumes of their audience, their talent is unquestionable. Just ask them. Though to be fair, even institutions of higher learning  like Rutgers  are earning their bad reputation these days when they pay more for a lecture from Snooki than they do for  Toni Morrison. Who’s he you ask? Never mind.

All irreverence aside, you will be happy to know that the serious camp in charge of Mr. Trump’s presidential aspirations is  being run by none other than a man commonly known as  Stewie Rah Rah, the #1 King of Fun.

What more can I say?

April 6, 2011

How gender affects sexting in middleschool: What every parent and teenager should know

“Boys and girls send photos in roughly the same proportion, the Pew survey found.

But a double standard holds. While a boy caught sending a picture of himself may be regarded as a fool or even a boastful stud, girls, regardless of their bravado, are castigated as sluts.

Photos of girls tend to go viral more often, because boys and girls will circulate girls’ photos in part to shame them, explained Danah Boyd, a senior social media researcher at Microsoft and a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

In contrast, when a boy sends a revealing photo of himself to a girl, Dr. Boyd noted, she usually does not circulate it. And, Dr. Boyd added, boys do not tend to circulate photos of other boys: “A straight-identified boy will never admit to having naked photos of a boy on his phone.”

Read the entire New York Times article:

A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives


April 3, 2011

Strange bedfellows

Did you know that having affairs and unprotected sex is patriotic?

It is if you are potential Republican presidential canditates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

When asked to reflect on how the fact that he had cheated on both his first and second wives might affect his chances with conservative voters if he chose to run for president in 2012,  the now thrice married Gingrich responded:

“There is no question that at times in my life partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard, and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”

Gingrich was working hard having one of those affairs while he was spearheading fellow patriot Bill Clinton’s impeachment. This would mean that at the time Monica Lewinsky was running around her condo screaming “Out, out damn spot,” Newt was running around on his wife by hitting his girlfriend’s G spot.

This brings us to Mr. Santorum, who this week blamed “abortion culture” for the problems with funding Social Security. You never thought of that? Well, Rick, whose first name is often misspelled because the P is silent, did.

And so did Randall K. O’Bannon, director of education and research for the National Right to Life, who supported Santorum’s connection between abortions and Social Security payments. The Los Angeles Times reports:

“The loss of 53 million innocent lives is tragedy enough,” O’Bannon said, referring to the number of abortions since 1973. “But in allowing this to happen, we have also brought serious social and economic consequences on ourselves, not only depriving ourselves of the energy, the industry, and the ideas of those we have aborted, but also eliminating a significant portion of the tax base that funds government programs like Social Security and Medicare. You can’t lose 53 million lives and not expect it to have a serious economic impact.”

Not to mention how much tax revenue has been lost because Maury Povich could have been charging much higher ad rates to personal injury attorneys and trade schools. No wonder the Bible forbids a man from spilling his own seed. No wonder the Pope disapproves of birth control. No wonder Kim Kardashian is trying to get nailed by more guys than drywall. It’s about the economy stupid.

Well, Mr. Reagan, you almost had it right.

It’s moaning in America.