Category: media miss

Justin Bieber gets Anne Frank

April 15, 2013

Anne FrankI can’t believe I’m doing this, but I am going to defend Justin Bieber. The singer, who for some reason is immensely popular right now with girls around the age Anne Frank was when she died (15), went to Amsterdam, and while there visited the Anne Frank museum.

Afterward he wrote in the guest book “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber,” that being the affectionate term that Bieber’s fans use to identify themselves. Now he is being attacked for being a egotistical moron.

Well of course he’s egotistical! He’s a 19! He also happens to be the center of a great deal of attention the last few years and made tons of money from it. (I hope he’s saving and investing it, because this delirium will pass). Justin Bieber is in the teen idol business and he sees a lot of 15 year old girls in that line of work. To him, there are two kinds: beliebers and non-beliebers. I don’t want to shock you, so sit down for this: He prefers the former. He thinks they are very perceptive and have the good taste to like his music.

While she waxed poetic about the tree outside her window, love, war and other “important” issues, she was also very interested in the pop culture of the time. She had pictures of movie stars on her bedroom wall, torn from the pages of movie star publicity magazines, which, presumably, she also read with teenage excitement. If you actually read and studied her, maybe if you visited The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam like Bieber did, you would know that.

But he’s not a moron, or heartless, or whatever else he’s being accused of. He no doubt saw that Anne was quite excited about the popular culture of her day, so it is not out of line for him to project that onto himself (see 19 year old male, above). In fact, I think Justin Bieber gets Anne Frank in a way that those who are screaming bloody murder about his harmless comment do not.

There’s also the little matter of that word “hopefully” — used, I think, with some self-awareness and perhaps even humility.

The administrators of the Anne Frank House put out a statement in which they wisely try to stay out of the (faux) controversy, and say that the important thing is that Bieber was interested enough to come to the museum to visit. I concur. I would bet you that a lot of teen girls who count themselves as “beliebers” are reading Anne Frank’s diary right now because of Justin Bieber. A pretty serious accomplishment for a teen idol.

Look, when I was 15 I was a huge Monkees fan. Somehow I grew up to be a serious person anyway, and I don’t recall any Monkee, even Peter, the “serious in real life” one who was my favorite, ever steered me to important reading material that could enhance my thinking about the world and my place in it.

I think I know what Anne Frank would say to Bieber’s attackers if she were here, whether she was 15 or 85: Is this really the most important problem in the world right now for you to rant about?

I just would like to get a message to Justin: Next time you’re in Atlanta, I know a place for you to visit.

Question for the Oklahoman re ‘What About Islam?’

December 29, 2010


This is an ad that was on page 5A of today’s paper. I wonder how much The Oklahoman charged and profited to print this piece of garbage. Yeah, I wonder that, but that’s not my question to them.

My real question is, if some similar nutcase bigot who happened to have an ad to run that was equally anti-Christian or anti-Semitic, would OPUBCO print it like they did this? Would they print it for the same price they got for this one (a full page ad is far from cheap, but maybe this “religious” group got the non-profit rate, and likely they did not pay any tax fee for the privilege of stoking hatred that will lead this state to spend a lot of money in a fruitless effort to stem the tide of diversity in this country)? Or would they add an editorial comment to the bottom like they do on letters to the editor with which they disagree? Okay, that’s three questions, and I’m barely revved up.

Note: I cobbled this image together from screen shots, so any visual irregularities are most likely mine. Click to get a larger image (you may then need to click yet again to get the full size version — it’s large and may take a while to download into your browser page.).

Insight of the day

December 14, 2010

“The Wikileaks saga has exposed the vapid stupidity of the celebrity press corps like nothing since the Great Clinton Panty Raid. One thing is very, very clear — they aren’t journalists and don’t even consider themselves journalists. They are celebrity public relations professionals who just aren’t as bright as the real public relations professionals.”

via Hullabaloo.

I read the Oklahoman today so you don’t have to

November 13, 2010

You don’t get the Oklahoman? Good for you; it’s worse than a rag: it’s a dumbed-down propaganda organ for the Republican Party and a deceitful tool for promoting corporate interests, maintaining power in the hands and bank accounts of a few elites, some of whom don’t even live in Oklahoma.

Perfect example of the former purpose: every week the Oklahoma County Democratic Party has a luncheon with a guest speaker. I don’t know if this event has ever been covered by a reporter from the Oklahoman — despite some outstanding presentations, such as the one recently by Scott J. Hamilton about the Cimarron Alliance — but this week, after Democrats lost big in the elections statewide and nationally, the Oklahoman was suddenly inspired to do a story, quite clearly designed to showcase the local liberals licking their wounds.

However, bad as the Oklahoman is, they do sometimes print something worth a look. Besides the crossword and tv schedule, I mean. If it further passes the toxic-level sentimentality test, a filter almost as needed as the one for blatent bias, then I will pass it on to friends here or on Facebook.

So here’s what you might want to check out from Today’s paper:

Inasmuch Foundation announces grants in Oklahoma – These grants, from the foundation created by Edith Kinney Gaylord with the blood money made from running the “worst newspaper in America” actually have some awfully liberal sounding organizations among the recipients. There’s help for AIDS patients, the homeless, poor babies and abused women , almost like the granting body had a heart, unlike the new breed of Oklahoma citizens cultivated by the aforementioned publishing empire.

And here’s one of those occasional stories that almost makes one think the Oklahoman has something positive to offer the civic conversation in the state: Confronting Bullies: Pastors discuss how churches can stand up for the oppressed.

Churches should help prevent bullying, negative discourse, Oklahoma pastor says

The suicide of a young Norman man in October struck a nerve with the Rev. Mitch Randall.

The senior pastor of NorthHaven Church in Norman, Randall said he read with great alarm the news accounts about Zach Harrington, 19, who killed himself about a week after attending a Norman City Council meeting at which the council and several community residents discussed the merits of proclaiming October as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month in the city.

After the man’s death, Harrington’s family said that some disparaging remarks about homosexuals that were made at the meeting may have contributed to his suicide and that he may have been the target of bullies while in high school.

Randall, whose church is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a moderate Baptist denomination, said the gay teen’s death compelled him to blog on the issue of bullying, which he said stems from one person’s need to feel superior over someone who is different.

The minister said he hopes to bring together Norman area pastors in January to talk about ways churches can help prevent bullying and an atmosphere of negative dialogue in the community.

But then again, the dateline for this story: Norman. Almost not really Oklahoma culturally. But by doing such a story, it’s possible some insight might be offered to Oklahoman readers, and, so far, even the comments section below the online story is encouraging: no blatant homophobic complaints about the display of compassion from a small minority of churches.

There’s also a version of a story first published in Tulsa World, in which Harriet Sherber recounts harrowing memories of Kristallnacht in Vienna before her family escaped to the US. Considering the result of the vote on Oklahoma’s state question 755, it’s a timely reminder of what happens when certain people, because of their faith or other characteristic, are dehumanized, oppressed and scapegoated. Too bad they didn’t put it on the front page with a little more explicit current context. Even with such reading aids, could 70% of Oklahomans recognize themselves on the wrong side of history? Yeah, rhetorical question.

Here’s an upcoming event that progressives might find interesting: Political analyst, author Fareed Zakaria to return Monday to OU

So that’s my stroll through the minefield of the Oklahoman today. Only minor damage to my psyche. Of course, I didn’t read the Op-Ed pages — I’m not that much of a martyr for my readers (not today anyway)!

[Online stories at the Oklahoman are usually only available for seven days.]

Tea Party active in OK legislature, where are the business leaders to stop this nonsense?

April 13, 2010

Representatives Randy Brogdon and Charles Key are giving Sally Kern a run for the money to make Oklahoma radioactive for business development. Why? Because they might have to let law enforcement count attacks motivated by homophobia in Oklahoma. The conspiracy theory (there always is one with the Right, isn’t there, the poor little victimized bullies) is that under this law, anti-gay preachers won’t be able to warp the life of Jesus into a Citizens United documentary starring Fred Phelps as the son of god.

Did I say money? Where are the money interests, i.e. business leaders, to stomp out this insurrection insanity? They and few others have the resources and standing to deal with this appropriately. And I include The Oklahoman in that group. Hello! You shun and snark the Left out of existence in this state, time to do the same for these secessionist racist gun nuts.

I sent the message below to the state chamber, I’m so sick of this shit. I could not care less about the chamber’s elitist goals, but I do care about the suffering that the poor and disenfranchised will have to endure as Oklahoma scoots to last place in education, income, health, opportunity and every scale of reasonable human existence.

I’m sure this state militia story is doing GREAT things for efforts to recruit businesses here to create jobs and build the economy, like all the other back-asswards thinking coming out of the Capitol from these culture war neanderthals and outright racists.

I wish the Chamber of Commerce would come out and publicly and unequivocally condemn this kind of thing so we can begin to improve our profile and get out of 49th place on every life quality list made. Perhaps you could at least have a discrete conversation with some of these wingnuts (for sure don’t leave Kern out) and let them know that the business community will make sure they have well-funded primary opponents come the next election.

Or maybe the organization agrees with Reps. Brogdon and Key — if so please let us know, so all the sane people in OK can leave the state before the next civil war erupts at Ft. Sill.

Miss Manners takes on Bill O’Reilly

December 23, 2009

Yes, it’s war all right, but on civility and multiculturalism, not Christmas.

Dear Miss Manners:

I work as a cashier during the Christmas season, and I often wish my customers “Happy holidays.” Sometimes customers get all offended and reply with something like “I choose to celebrate Christmas,” or they go into this long angry rant about the use of the word Christmas.

Am I wrong? “Happy holidays” is more of a habit for me than “Merry Christmas.” I mean it as a gesture of goodwill, and am rather hurt to be yelled at for my choice of words.

But they mean it as a gesture of — well, of what? The spirit of Christmas? Their interpretation of the proper Christian attitude toward those who wish them well?

Miss Manners realizes that those who deal with the public will encounter some nastiness, which professionalism requires them to ignore. But please do not allow the misuse of religion to browbeat others to make you doubt yourself. “Happy holidays” is the general greeting because, as you know, not all your customers are Christian, but they all do get legal holidays for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Media aghast at Dem Congressman’s frankness and refusal to cower at GOP hysteria

September 30, 2009

This is the most blatent display of our craptacular media as you are likely to find. The “journalists” on CNN’s Situation Room, after a summer of “birther” “deathers” and myriad other radical Right fringe lies about Obama and the Democratic health care reform efforts — each one uglier than the last — are absolutely apoplectic today over Alan Grayson’s dramatization of the non-existant “Republican Health Care Plan” as being the insurance company profit protecting “Don’t get sick and if you get sick, die quickly.” Which is exactly what 70% of the country has been saying to each other for months now. Obviously Wolf Blitzer and crew don’t get out of their bubble, ever.

But Grayson doesn’t take any of their biased corporate crap. I think we have finally found a Dem who is not wetting his or her pants every minute about the possibility of being disliked by Republicans. Hallelujah!

The Oklahoman having ‘difficulty’ with Kennedy’s liberal legacy

August 27, 2009

I know you all will be shocked by this, but The Oklahoman has used the occasion of Ted Kennedy’s death to question his political contributions to the nation and bash liberals.

“…estimating Kennedy’s historic imprint is difficult — and not just because we and millions of Americans not living on either coast disagreed with him on the size and reach of government. …”

Funny thing, no one, including the editorial board of The Oklahoman or the morons at Fox News, is having any difficulty with their assessments: radical rightwingers are trashing him, and everyone else is praising his service to country and remarking on his effectiveness in the Senate (something we could use more of, as that body now is principally designed to make sure nothing ever happens). Few of even the most ardent leftwingers are failing to note Kennedy’s tragic flaws and notable mistakes, but these are most tragic because of his huge “historic imprint.” But, like most people capable of civil decency when the balance is clearly on the positive end of the measure, they note accomplishments when the body is still warm and don’t take cheap shots — even those “millions of Americans not living on either coast.”

Kennedy’s legislative accomplishments, which are considerable, have and will continue to contribute great value, and lessen suffering, in the lives of all Americans. Yes, even those living far from salt water.

Speaking of stupid claims, there are “millions of Americans not living on either coast” who did and do agree with Ted Kennedy “on the size and reach of government” (and vice versa) — unlike what this typically propagandistic editorial in The Oklahoman tries to posit.