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Hissyspit

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Watch Stephen Colbert's Greatest Bravest Moment - The 2006 WH Correspondent's Dinner

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2006/05/dinner_theater.html

TELEVISION
WHAT YOU'RE WATCHING.
MAY 2 2006 6:23 PM
Dinner Theater
Why Stephen Colbert didn't bomb in D.C.

By Troy Patterson



So, I'm sitting there watching the online video of Stephen Colbert's performance at Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Colbert looked excellent in his tux, and he was doing his usual shtick—playing a know-it-all know-nothing of the Bill O'Reilly school—with the usual aplomb. And just as Colbert is making his segue into a pre-taped skit documenting his "audition" for Tony Snow's new job—"I think I would have made a fabulous press secretary. I have nothing but contempt for these people"—there's an audience shot capturing the face of my ex-girlfriend. She's a D.C. lawyer who loves the silliness of Monty Python, who used to read The Nation in the bath, and who, I think, named her new dog after Howard Dean. In other words, she ought to have been cracking up at Colbert's absurdist satire and meaningful snark. Instead, as the comedian aimed vicious blows at the president, I mostly read nervous concern in her eyes. The air in that room must have had a weird and very rare charge.

The night's best reaction shots confirmed this. Here's a jiggling Justice Scalia giggling like a schoolgirl. Here's a military man not quite disciplined enough to stifle his grin at a crack—decent but not first-rate—on the Secretary of Defense: "See who we've got here tonight. Gen. Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff. Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They still support Rumsfeld. Right, you guys aren't retired yet, right?" In the immediate wake of Colbert's most brutal line ("I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares."), the president of the United States wore, on his peeved lips, an expression that you usually see only in the instant before a bar fight. But half a minute later, when the topic turned to the First Marriage ("Obviously loves his wife, calls her his better half. And polls show America does, too"), the president had regained his composure and was the picture of jolliness. Not so the trio of Washington wives the camera next cut to. Their faces showed varying degrees of disgust, and it looked like all three of them were trying to hide under their shawls.

Who did they think they were getting, Mark Russell? (Actually, they may not have known who they were getting; the emcee was clueless enough, when introducing the headliner, to pronounce the final T in The Colbert Report. Square.) You hire a good political satirist, you get good political satire, which is necessarily dangerous. So, when the Washington Post's "Reliable Source" column speaks of the "consensus" that the routine "fell flat" and New York Daily News gossip—and "Reliable Source" alumnus—Lloyd Grove writes that Colbert "bombed badly," they are offering meaningless reportage. Pop Dadaist that he is, Colbert wasn't bombing so much as freaking his audience out for his own enjoyment.

Colbert deserves to be judged on his own terms: He shouldn't haven't stolen one good joke from his own show ("Next time, look it up in your gut") and another from Jon Stewart's Oscar intro ("McClellan, of course, eager to retire. Really felt like he needed to spend more time with Andrew Card's children."). The "audition tape" segment was at least 90 seconds too long, although the Colbert rapport with Helen Thomas was good enough that the two ought to be considering a sitcom. In general, though, he was brilliant—perfectly daffy and gutsy, as in the line that earned what seemed to be the crowd's biggest laugh. Colbert spoke of interviewing Jesse Jackson: "You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is."

MORE

U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform For American Torturers, But None to Their Victims

U.S. TV PROVIDES AMPLE PLATFORM FOR AMERICAN TORTURERS, BUT NONE TO THEIR VICTIMS

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/16/u-s-tv-media-gives-ample-platform-american-torturers-victims/

BY GLENN GREENWALD
@ggreenwald TODAY AT 9:34 AM

Ever since the torture report was released last week, U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents. But there was one group that was almost never heard from: the victims of their torture, not even the ones recognized by the U.S. Government itself as innocent, not even the family members of the ones they tortured to death. Whether by design (most likely) or effect, this inexcusable omission radically distorts coverage.

Whenever America is forced to confront its heinous acts, the central strategy is to disappear the victims, render them invisible. That’s what robs them of their humanity: it’s the process of dehumanization. That, in turns, is what enables American elites first to support atrocities, and then, when forced to reckon with them, tell themselves that - despite some isolated and well-intentioned bad acts – they are still really good, elevated, noble, admirable people. It’s hardly surprising, then, that a Washington Post/ABC News poll released this morning found that a large majority of Americans believe torture is justified even when you call it “torture.” Not having to think about actual human victims makes it easy to justify any sort of crime.

That’s the process by which the reliably repellent Tom Friedman seized on the torture report to celebrate America’s unique greatness. “We are a beacon of opportunity and freedom, and also [] these foreigners know in their bones that we do things differently from other big powers in history,” the beloved-by-DC columnist wrote after reading about forced rectal feeding and freezing detainees to death. For the opinion-making class, even America’s savage torture is proof of its superiority and inherent Goodness: “this act of self-examination is not only what keeps our society as a whole healthy, it’s what keeps us a model that others want to emulate, partner with and immigrate to.” Friedman, who himself unleashed one of the most (literally) psychotic defenses of the Iraq War, ended his torture discussion by approvingly quoting John McCain on America’s enduring moral superiority: “Even in the worst of times, ‘we are always Americans, and different, stronger, and better than those who would destroy us.’”

This self-glorifying ritual can be sustained only by completely suppressing America’s victims. If you don’t hear from the human beings who are tortured, it’s easy to pretend nothing truly terrible happened. That’s how the War on Terror generally has been “reported” for 13 years and counting: by completely silencing those whose lives are destroyed or ended by U.S. crimes. That’s how the illusion gets sustained.

- snip -

It would be incredibly easy, and incredibly effective, for U.S. television outlets to interview America’s torture victims. There is certainly no shortage of them. Groups such as the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve, and CAGE UK represent many of them. Many are incredibly smart and eloquent, and have spent years contemplating what happened to them and navigating the aftermath on their lives.

MORE

TOM TOMORROW: Tortured Logic



DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/15/1351734/-Cartoon-Tortured-logic

Support independent cartooning: join Sparky's List—and be sure to visit TT's online store for your holiday shopping needs!

Luckovich Toon: Dick Cheney Even Inspires Him

"Trayvon Happened, They Wanted Witnesses..."

VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF GENEVA CONVENTIONS BAN ON TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME UNDER U.S. LAW

VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF GENEVA CONVENTIONS BAN ON TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME UNDER U.S. LAW

Transcript: http://www.torturingdemocracy.org


CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME UNDER THE U.S. CODE PUNISHABLE BY UP TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2340A



Just a reminder...

Senate Report Rejects Torture Contribution in Bin Laden Hunt Strongly implied in 'Zero Dark Thirty'

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/world/senate-report-raises-doubts-about-cia-claims-on-hunt-for-osama-bin-laden.html

Senate Report Rejects Claim on Hunt for Bin Laden

- snip -

But in page after page of previously classified evidence, the Senate Intelligence Committee report on C.I.A. torture, released Tuesday, rejects the notion that torturing detainees contributed to finding Bin Laden — a conclusion that was also strongly implied in “Zero Dark Thirty,” the popular 2012 movie about the hunt for the Qaeda leader.

“The vast majority of the intelligence” about the Qaeda courier who led the agency to Bin Laden “was originally acquired from sources unrelated to the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation program, and the most accurate information acquired from a C.I.A. detainee was provided prior to the C.I.A. subjecting the detainee to the C.I.A.'s enhanced interrogation techniques,” the Senate report said.

MORE

Bush on 2007 Red Cross Torture Report: Haven’t Seen It, We Don’t Torture’

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2007/08/09/15364/bush-on-torture-report-havent-seen-it-we-dont-torture/

Bush On Torture Report: ‘Haven’t Seen It, We Don’t Torture’

BY MATT CORLEY POSTED ON AUGUST 9, 2007 AT 1:21 PM UPDATED: AUGUST 9, 2007 AT 2:22 PM

During President Bush’s press conference this morning, The Washington Post’s Peter Baker asked him if he “had read” a highly confidential report by the International Committee of the Red Cross that “has found an interrogation program in CIA detention facilities, (that) used interrogation techniques that were ‘tantamount to torture.’” Details of the Red Cross report were revealed recently by the New Yorker.

“Haven’t seen it; we don’t torture,” Bush bluntly responded before moving on to another question. Watch it:
flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/08/HaventSeenDontTorture.320.240.flv
Bush’s ignorant denial of torture is hardly convincing, considering he is apparently unaware of the allegations coming from the Red Cross, “which is known for its credibility and caution.” The report alleges “that American officials responsible for the abusive treatment” at CIA “black sites” may have committed “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions:

16 Awful Abuses From the CIA Torture Report: "Rectal Feeding," Threats to Children, and More:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/cia-torture-report-abuses-rectal-feeding

1. The CIA used previously unreported tactics, including "rectal feeding" of detainees (p. 100, footnote 584):

2. CIA officers threatened the children of detainees (p. 4):

3. Over 20 percent of CIA detainees were "wrongfully held." One was an "intellectually challenged" man who was held so the CIA could get leverage over his family (p. 12):

4. One detainee, Abu Hudhaifa, was subjected to "ice water baths" and "66 hours of standing sleep deprivation" before being released because the CIA realized it probably had the wrong man (p. 16, footnote 32):

5. The CIA, contra what it told Congress, began torturing detainees before even determining whether they would cooperate (p. 104):

- snip -

10. The CIA torturers told CIA leadership that torture wasn't producing good information from KSM. But CIA leaders didn't relay that information to Congress (p. 212):

11. A detainee was tortured for not addressing an interrogator as "sir"—and for complaining about a stomach ache (p. 106):

REST OF THE HORRORS AT LINK

Nation’s Gay Straw Men March On Washington For Right To Marry Animals

http://www.theonion.com/articles/nations-gay-straw-men-march-on-washington-for-righ,37619/

Nation’s Gay Straw Men March On Washington For Right To Marry Animals

NEWS IN BRIEF • Marriage • Government • Gay & Lesbian • Law • News • ISSUE 50•49 • Dec 8, 2014

WASHINGTON—In an effort to advance what they have repeatedly stated is the key element of their agenda, the nation’s gay straw men marched on the nation’s capital Monday to advocate for the right to marry animals, sources confirmed. “If men can marry men, and women can marry women, then why shouldn’t I be allowed to enter into holy matrimony with a member of the animal kingdom?” said a straw man from Falmouth, MA, who explained that he should be permitted to wed whomever or whatever he pleases given that the legislative gates have been opened, a sentiment expressed by thousands of his fellow straw men as they hoisted signs that read “Equal Rights For Interspecies Partners” and “Marriage For All Mammals Now.” “In the years since my state legalized same-sex marriage, I’ve discovered that my emotional and physical needs cannot be fulfilled by another human, and it is clear that lying with either a cat, dog, or sheep is what I now want. We believe gay marriage has set an irrefutable legal precedent for this behavior, and we intend to act on it.” At press time, demonstrators were reportedly shouting that they wouldn’t simply settle for the right to marry their siblings or any number of partners, noting that their ultimate goal was to marry an animal of their choosing or, perhaps, an inanimate object.
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