Friday, August 19, 2005


Batman's Home --It's A Cave, Not A Closet!

DC Comics, not surprisingly, objects to a gallery exhibit of Batman and Robin in various homoerotic poses.

What is surprising is that it took seven months to find out about the exhibit!

This isn't just a simple case of copyright infringement that has gotten DC/Time Warner exercised. This is the comic book equivalent of the "blood libel."

Comics nearly went out of business in the 1950s, partly because of the charges of one Fredric Wertham in the book, Seduction of the Innocent: Wertham claimed that comics caused juvenile delinquency, that Wonder Woman was a lesbian and, of course, that Batman and Robin were gay.

Wertham's book led to congressional hearings, the industry's creation of a self-censoring "Comics Code" detailing what was considered appropriate -- and the demise of the still-influential crime/suspense/horror line, EC Comics. Sill influential? Yep, as can be gleaned from a glance here and here.

It's also surprising that DC never objected to that leather-with-nipples fetish-y outfit that George Clooney wore in Batman And Robin (an endeavor that did to the Batman movie franchise what Wertham's book did to the entire comics industry, i.e. nearly killed it).

UPDATE: The offending prints can be seen here. DC apparently has demanded that artist Mark Chamberlain turn over the originals and the invoices of those already sold.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005


John Roberts: Pretty Smart Then... trying to convince his White House colleagues to tell Michael Jackson to "beat it."

If his advice had been taken, veterans of the Reagan White House might not have to live down this picture:

Post-Soul Nation would have been cool if Prince HAD received a presidential letter.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Dollar Bill And The Parson

Steve Clemons chastises the William J. Clinton Foundation over its $15,000 entrance fee for the inaugural Clinton Global Initiative.

Due to my relationship with one of the event attendees, I will refrain from commenting. However, this parenthetical aside caught my eye: "wouldn't it be great if George Soros joined Carl Icahn to buy Time Warner out from under Richard Parsons...?! coincidence, if that pipe-dream actually came to pass, the always-prepared Ben Smith (same initals as "Boy Scout"! -- and, um, "B.S.") already has a new job
lined up for Mr. Parsons!

The idea of a corporate CEO running for governor in New York has a powerful appeal-- especially to take on the self-appointed
St. George-Who-Drove-The-Snakes-Out-Of-Wall Street (or at least settled with them). The fact that he is one of the most successful black men in the country is even sweeter. Given how far left George Pataki went over the last few years, having a real, live Rockefeller Republican succeed him would be somewhat fitting.

Such a candidacy would also be manna from heaven for annoying NY GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik after that Randy Daniels
unpleasantness a week or so back.

Alas, given what the New York Attorney General could do to Time Warner stock in a moment's notice, it probably behooves the wise CEO to banish such thoughts immediately.

Sorry, Ben, I think we all know what will be the ultimate
response to your little "Richard Parsons Project":

Don't leave false illusions behind
Don't Cry cause I ain't chnaging my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain't gonna live anymore
Some of the lies while all of the Signs are deceiving

Yet stranger things have happened.

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Ridden Hard, Put Away Wet...

Not your ordinary date for the Material Girl. Then again, maybe it was...In the absence of any corroborating evidence, won't Catherine The Great just end up stuck in many minds?

Hey, don't blame me! She's the one who came out with this rather, ahem, "educational" product some time ago.

We all knew that there was a better-than-even chance that she wasn't, um, "stable."

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Deadline Dramas...

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is a little peeved about the delay in the ratification of the Iraqi constitution, calling it "not helpful."

Earlier, observers said that the whole deadline concept for an Iraqi constitution might be, shall we say --
"problematic" ?
Middle East specialist Shibley Telhami said he thought the United States was playing too big a role in helping draft the constitution and this posed a credibility problem for the current Iraqi leaders.

"The U.S. ambassador there is very visible in his meetings over the constitution. There is the impression that the United States is driving this, and that is not a good thing," said Telhami of the Brookings Institution.
"...that is not a good thing"? Who's he -- Martha Stewart?

But, hmmm...I seem to remember somebody raising this point a couple weeks ago. Now where was that? Who was it...? Ummm...on the tip of my tongue....

Oh right,
here it is:

It was a good idea for Americans to stick to the promised deadlines when it came to the January elections: There, American policy political aims and administration promises -- and and the symbolism of new Iraqi freedom -- needed to overlap. However, when it comes to a governing document, putting an artificial date is asking for trouble -- especially considering this is the process supposed to demonstrate to both Iraqis, the Middle East and the entire world that it is Iraqis and not Americans that are controlling the process. It would be especially terrible if women rights end up getting pushed to the side -- Kurds, one way or another, can take care of themeselves -- in the name of expediency.
Meanwhile, those who continue to prefer the bombs&bullets-over-ballots strategy continue their cruel handiwork.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005


John Cole's Headline... worth the price of admission.

Yes, that's some sort of pun -- I'm just not sure what.

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Monday, August 15, 2005


"Pach" Up Your Trunks!!

Scott Sala, who has been doing yeoman service trying to prove that the right isn't completely dead in New York over at Slantpoint is now expending (expanding?) his efforts at a brand new locale.

Go check
Urban Elephants.

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Stupid Premise, Headline, Article (And One Good Point)

Husband issues loom in Hillary Clinton Senate race

This is the idea: Hillary has a philandering husband named Bill (with a certain intern producing a public humliation)-- who has found himself in various legal trouble over the years.

AND her emergent challenger Jeanine has a philandering husband named Al (with a certain out-of-wedlock child producing a public humiliation) -- who has found himself in various legal trouble over the years.

Gosh! Just watch as these professional women try to push forward and deal with the anchors that their husbands place upon their ambitions!!

How will they manage it? Perhaps they can console each other as real-life political "Desperate Housewives"?


Jeanine Pirro has a "husband problem." Hillary Clinton does not. It might be different in other parts of the country, but New York voters don't equate a felony conviction on tax fraud charges (Al's problem) with the impeachment of a president (who carried the Empire State quite handily twice).

Could Hillary face a problem with Bill if/when she campaigns for president in 2008? Sure, but most red-state voters who hate Bill Clinton aren't going to be welcoming Hillary with open arms anyway.

But that's down the road.

There's a reason why Al doesn't appear anywhere on Jeanine Pirro's web-site and Bill is all over Hillary Clinton's.

Bill Clinton is a net-plus for Hillary in New York. Yes, that says as much about the state as the candidate. But, that's where the contest is being played out. Everything else aside, generally, an ex-president (impeached or otherwise) beats an ex-felon.

Anyone putting together a silly "they both cheat on their wives" story is being both stupid and lazy.

One dead-on observation:

"The real agenda is to get money into New York state to attack Senator Clinton using negatives and independent expenditures with the goal of making her less significant as a presidential contender," [Demorcratic political strategist Hank Sheinkopf] said. "The presidential campaign began the day Jeanine Pirro announced her candidacy."
Exactly. The funny thing is that Hillary Clinton is a self-generating Fountain of Political Youth. A simple letter announcing that a candidate is running against Hillary produces millions and keeps GOP consultants happily employed. On the other hand, the energy that the right wing expends demonizing Hillary helps her with her left base (despite how hostile that base
may be to Hillary's DLC alliances) .

Talk about triangulation!

UPDATE: Maybe Pirro's troubles are too much even for New York's consultants!

UPDATE: As much as I scrupulously try to keep the contents of this blog from that of my day job, I have to take issue with both John Cole and Jeralynn Merritt that this Post story is a "cheap shot." Keep in mind that I have absolutely NO, NADA, ZIPPO, RIEN role in assigning, editing or positioning stories at the paper. That said, the story's main nugget: Al Pirro's sudden interest in his out-of-wedlock daughter, culminating in the promise of a brand-new car is, well, convenient in light of his wife's recent political decision. Yes, the mother of the child has an axe to grind, no question. But if Al Pirro's activities -- and his potential to be an albatross around Jeanine's neck -- are worthy of speculation, why isn't this a legitimate question for reporters to pursue?

This is certainly not a case of "Oooh! Al Pirro's daughter got trashed -- it's Jeanine's fault!" The story focused on what Al has been doing as in recent weeks -- and days -- while political decisions were being made.

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