Archive | Pundits RSS feed for this section

Mark Halperin

30 Jun

Most people probably missed it, and the media probably won’t cover it because it really isn’t that big of a deal, but the fact remains that Mark Halperin, a TIME political analyst, called President Obama a dick on live television today.

Look Mark. I agree with you. I do. President Obama is kind of a dick a lot of the time. But this is our turf, and we’d appreciate it if you’d back the fuck off. You think you can just stumble your way into the calling people dicks field? We’re professionals, Mark, and we’re not just going to let this shit slide. Don’t try to bust in on our territory again.  And definitely don’t spend the next 20 minutes apologizing like you and the rest of the Morning Joe crew did after your little slip up. It’s embarrassing and degrading to those of us in the field.

We’re on the front lines here, Mark. If you’re going to try to muscle in on our turf, do it like a man.

UPDATE: Mark Halperin has been suspended indefinitely from his analyst role at MSNBC. See Mark? This is what happens when you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong.


Another Keith Olbermann Update

20 Jun

We’ve made no secret of the fact that Keith Olbermann is one of the reasons that this blog was founded.  It’s not even that we hate Keith.  We kind of like him, in what I imagine is the same sort of inexplicable way that old people like small dogs that bark nonstop and pee on the carpet.  Keith reminds us that there will never be a shortage of dicks to write about, and, even better, proves time and again that even if we DID run out of dicks, we could always just write a post a day about him.  When Keith was fired from left MSNBC, we gloated a little.  After all, he was our inaugural Dick of the Week.  And even though we have retired the award, Keith’s achievement is still important.  Did we hope he would be gone forever? Maybe. Did we think he would actually disappear? Sadly, no.

Has Keith let unemployment get to him? You be the judge. (Photo courtesy of WEBN-TV)

In any case, Keith’s new show, creatively named “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” will premier on the Current TV network tonight.  Current TV, you ask?  Despite Keith referring to it as a “start-up” network, this little Al Gore owned station has been around for six years now, and by our estimation is up to perhaps as many as a dozen subscribers!

We were hoping Keith would be off the airwaves for good, but, the way we see it, a show on Current TV might be a fate worse than death.

Of course, the real question remains: if Keith Olbermann rants and no one is tuned in to hear it, does he make a sound?

Dick of the Week, Feb. 14-20: Nir Rosen

22 Feb

A lot of weeks, I enjoy writing Honorable Mentions.  In fact, there was even one week where it was so difficult to decide who should hold the Dick of the Week title that I went ahead and let the two leading candidates share it.  Sometimes it’s very hard to decide who the biggest dick is.

This was not one of those weeks.

In fact, Nir Rosen is the Dick of the Week by such a wide margin that I’m not even going to entertain secondary dicks right now.  Head and shoulders above the competition, Rosen stood up this week and announced to the world, “You may not have heard of me, but I am the biggest asshole alive!”

This picture is his Twitter background. I shit you not. I shit. You not.

We at Dick of the Week were both saddened and angered to hear about the tragic attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan this week.  For those who haven’t heard, Lara Logan was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted while covering the Egyptian protests last week.  The news reached the states and was met with an inspiring upwelling of support for Logan and condemnation of her assailants.  Thank God she was rescued by a group of Egyptian women and soldiers, or the story might have ended even more tragically.  But as we all recoiled in horror at what had happened, Rosen stood up for rape apologists everywhere and shouted the equivalent of “yeah, but she was asking for it.”

Rosen isn’t well know, but he does have a reputation as a staunchly anti-war leftist commentator and serves as a fellow at the NYU Center for Law and Security.  When Rosen heard about the Lara Logan assault, his first reaction was to go on Twitter and let everyone know what an attention seeking bitch he felt Logan was.

I’d love to talk about what Rosen said, but I think it might be more effective to…well, to just go ahead and tell you exactly what Rosen said.

“Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal.”

“Yes yes its wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But, it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.”

“Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger”

“Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I’m sorry.”


Actually, I’m at a loss for what to say beyond that.

I guess…I guess let’s just start at the top.  Not one, but TWO tweets implying that Lara Logan wanted to be sexually assaulted so that she could beat Anderson Cooper in (drumroll please) the ratings battle.  Which, if you think about it makes sense.  I mean all a woman has to do is have her body completely violated and she gets a slight bump in ratings?  Sounds like a fair deal to me!  Who WOULDN’T make that trade?

And really, what’s worse about the Anderson Cooper comments?  The fact that Rosen is comparing the minor assault that Cooper suffered while covering the protests to Logan’s sexual assault or the fact that Rosen is implying that if Anderson Cooper were sexually assaulted in a similar manner, it would be “funny”?  We joke about a lot of things here, but rape isn’t one of them…and I have no desire to see Anderson Cooper raped (for a variety of reasons).

Why is it always the pretty ones.

I really wish that was the end of Rosen’s crimes.  Amazingly though, Rosen was only getting warmed up.  It’s his apologies that really set the standard.  Rosen made several attempts at an “apology” that range from whining and petulant to flippant and dismissive.  It becomes very clear very quickly that Rosen feels absolutely no remorse whatsoever for his inappropriate, insulting tweets.  Why don’t we take a few moments to look at Rosen’s various explanations/apologies:

“Ah fuck it, I apologize for being insensitive, its always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get.” [posted on Twitter. Rosen’s first attempt at an apology. Really tugs on the old heartstrings, doesn’t it?]

“No matter what I say, I look like a jerk.” [said on the Anderson Cooper show. A whiny attempt to paint himself as the victim.  Also…maybe just a little awkward since Rosen wished rape on Cooper.]

“When you’re in war zones you develop a black humor and make jokes about your death, other people’s deaths, other terrible things, writers and photographers do it, as of course do Bosnians, Iraqis, Somalis and others as a coping mechanism. But taken out of context this can be deeply hurtful, especially when made by a man.” [said in an interview with Media Bistro.  Hate to say it, Mr. Rosen, but you weren’t tweeting from a war zone.  And while black humor might be appropriate between two close friends, Twitter is…not between two close friends.]

“How 480 characters unraveled my career.” [title of an essay written by Rosen to, in the words of New York Magazine, “paint a picture of himself as a progressive martyr.”]

“I have been frustrated by the ideological opportunists who have used this ordeal for their personal gain.” [from the aforementioned essay. Yeah, you’re quite the victim, Nir.]

“I felt she was a terrible journalist who supported wars that I had covered….I point it out now only to explain my thinking.” [from the same essay.  And oooooooh, yep. That’s a step in the wrong direction.]

“Had I been a right-wing writer I doubt this would have happened to me.” [maybe the most ridiculous statement of all.  Not only is it petulant, does he really think that Republicans don’t suffer backlash for inappropriate comments?]

There’s a whole lot to work with there, but I can’t improve on perfection.  No, Terry Glavin of the National Post says it best:

“The evidence he submits in his own defence: Exhibit A. At least you can’t accuse me of saying bad things about Julian Assange. Exhibit B. I’m probably not as stupid as Anne Coulter. Exhibit C: I was only joking, “and an entire mob turns on me.”

Objection: Actually, the mob turned on Lara Logan. You weren’t even there.”

Sharp rebukes don’t get much better than that.  It’s amazing that Rosen managed to get even MORE offensive while trying to apologize for his INITIAL offensive comments.

But why?  Why is Rosen like this?  I’d have to say that the evidence points to him being little more than a colossal attention whore.  Aside from the myriad interviews he has given since his comments went public, from the essay he wrote to give as many excuses as possible, to the insincere public statements he released, Rosen AMAZINGLY turned back to TWITTER to gain more attention.  On the 16th, shortly after the controversy began, Rosen SWORE OFF TWITTER!

“but there is no point following me, i am done tweeting. too ashamed of how i have hurt others and the false impression i gave of who i am”

Immediately after that, he made a follow-up statement.  This was an apology to Lara Logan, and, to his credit, this one at least sounded sincere:

“I feel I should make one last statement. I offer my deepest apologies to Ms. Logan, her friends and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone”

He then…continued to tweet for the next few days.  And Rosen wonders why nobody seems to believe that he actually feels bad for this.  When a guy can’t even be sincere about something as simple as whether or not he’s going to continue tweeting…I’d have to say it’s probably not much of a surprise that no one thinks his apologies are sincere either.

The real happy ending here is the fact that the Rosen, at the very least, had the good sense to tender his resignation from NYU.  News articles announced the NYU “accepted” Rosen’s resignation, but, really, come on.  What were they going to do, fight to keep the man who made jokes about the rape of a female reporter?  What a great headline that would be.

No, Rosen “ruined his own career.”  When Rosen said those words, it was in an attempt to paint himself as a victim.  When I say those words, it is as a solemn thank you that there is some justice in the world, after all.

Well done, avenging angel of Twitter.

Dick Hall of Fame, Entry #15: Michael Moore

17 Feb

Anyone who has watched the news in the past 10 years probably already knows that Michael Moore is a dick.  Moore is a “documentary” director who spends his time exposing the evils of the Republican party.  And while some might consider this a service (there are certainly plenty of Republican hypocrisies worth exposing), it is the manner in which Mr. Moore goes about producing these exposés that ruffles a few feathers, including ours.  To tell you the truth, it’s mostly about the facts…namely, the lack of them in Moore’s movies.

As I said, it’s not as though there is a shortage of problems with the GOP.  As a Republican myself, I am well aware of the myriad issues plaguing my party’s policies.  And it would not be difficult for someone to make an engaging and informative documentary exposing any number of those issues.  Instead, however, Mr. Moore has chosen to take a route more akin to sensationalism.  Rather than allowing facts to get in the way of a good movie, Moore has embellished, misrepresented, straight-up lied about a fantastic number of things in each of his movies.

Come on Uncouth, what does Peter Griffin have to do with anything?

Let’s take a look at a few of his movies, shall we?  We can start with Roger and Me, Moore’s first documentary.  Moore fans will often admit that he has misrepresented facts in some of his other movies, but will almost always fall back on Roger and Me as an example of an honest and effective documentary.  Roger and Me does succeed in some ways.  The film is designed to document that effect that the closing of a General Motors plant had on Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan.  Certainly an interesting topic, but Moore paints General Motors to be an evil, faceless corporation whose CEO (the title “Roger”) refuses to meet with him and doesn’t care at all about the damage that he has caused Flint.

Here’s the thing.  That’s what makes him a good businessman.  It sucks that closing a plant has negative repercussions on people living in that town, but if businessmen were paralyzed by not wanting to cause anyone harm, they would never make any money.  If I’m an investor in GM, I want to know full well that my CEO is going to make the decision that is best for the company, not the decision that is best for the people of some podunk town that I could care less about.  I. Do not care. About Flint, Michigan.  And by the way, that’s no reflection on Flint.  I’m sure it’s a very nice town.  It just so happens that I do not live in that town, and therefore what happens to it is of absolutely no consequence to me.

Of course, Moore also blatantly misrepresents what has happened to the town.  Pauline Kael offers some insight in her review; here are a couple of excerpts:

“[T]he eleven plant closings announced in 1986 were in four states; the thirty thousand jobs were lost in Flint over a period of a dozen years; and the tourist attractions were constructed and failed well before the 1986 shutdowns that they are said to be a response to.”

“We’re told that Ronald Reagan visited the devastated city, and we hear about what we assume is the President’s response to the crisis. He had a pizza with twelve unemployed workers and advised them to move to Texas; we’re told that during lunch the cash register was lifted from the pizza parlor. That’s good for a few more laughs. But Reagan visited the city in 1980, when he wasn’t yet President–he was a candidate. And the cash register had been taken two days earlier.”

But the movie that made Moore famous was Bowling for Columbine, a movie about gun culture in America.  I have to admit, there were a few parts of Bowling that even I enjoyed.  In particular, there is one scene, designed to demonstrate how easy it is to conceal a weapon, in which an individual in baggy jeans and a sweatshirt pulls literally dozens of guns, including a full-sized shotgun(!), out of his clothes.  That said, the movie is also filled with lies.

For one thing, there wasn't a minute of bowling in the whole movie.

Moore uses a variety of tricks, including splicing together different election ads to discredit Republicans, demonizing the NRA’s response to the Columbine shootings (despite the group’s largely sympathetic response), including splicing together different Charlton Heston speeches to make it appear as though he was callously dismissive of the tragedy.  Moore even attacked the NRA’s response to a different shooting in Michigan by making it appear that the group had rushed to town to hold a pro-gun rally, when in fact Heston happened to be in Michigan for a get out the vote rally at the same time as George W. Bush, Al Gore, Lee Iacocca, and other prominent political figures.  Far from the pro-school-shooting stance that Moore would have his viewers believe the NRA takes.  Moore even attempts to imply that the NRA was founded by the members of the disbanded KKK, and that its mission is parallel to the former Klan.  Extreme, even by Moore’s standards.  He takes great pains to make Heston and the other NRA members appear to be racist, a favorite tactic of liberal extremists everywhere.  The claims are blatant nonsense, which can plainly be seen in this study.

But perhaps Moore’s most controversial work would be Fahrenheit 9/11, a film about the September 11th tragedy which borders on accusing the United States government of being complicit in the attacks.  Essentially, Moore explores the theme of how the US government took advantage of the attacks to build support for an unrelated war in Iraq.  The response to the movie was mass outrage.  It’s not that the administration didn’t use 9/11 to justify many things–it’s that Moore continued to stretch the truth far beyond its limits.  Filmmakers have created movies solely focused on the lies in Fahrenheit 9/11.  Books have been written about it.  Vast numbers of websites have been created to expose those lies.  My personal favorite writer, Christopher Hitchens, was one of the first to react.

"And if you look closely, you can see President Bush driving Hurricane Katrina, too."

We’ll take a look at a couple misrepresentations from Fahrenheit 9/11, just to get a taste.  This excerpt comes from this Free Republic article:

National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice is depicted in the movie telling a reporter, “Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11.”

The actual full quote?

“Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It’s not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11. But if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that led people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York.”

Well…that’s certainly less…you know…wrong.  How about another?

Not revealing relevant facts is dishonest enough. But to paint the Bush Administration as sympathetic and friendly to the Taliban prior to September 11, is not only dishonest, but maliciously so. ü Moore shows film of a March 2001 visit to the United States by a Taliban delegation, claiming that the Administration “welcomed” the Taliban official, Sayed Hashemi, “to tour the United States to help improve the image of the Taliban.” But the Administration did not welcome the Taliban with open arms. In fact, the State Department rejected the Taliban’s claim that it had complied with U.S. requests to isolate bin Laden. To demonstrate even further the Administration’s contempt for the Taliban and its illegitimacy, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher – on the day of the terrorist regime’s visit – said, “We don’t recognize any government in Afghanistan.”


Even readily available figures are exaggerated for effect in Fahrenheit 9/11. The claims have a basis in reality, making them believable, but are false nonetheless. ü In the film, Moore asks Craig Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud, “How much money do the Saudis have invested in America, roughly?” to which Unger responds, “Uh, I’ve heard figures as high as $860 billion.”  The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy reports that worldwide Saudi investment approximated $700 billion – a figure much lower than Unger alleges the Saudi government to have invested in the U.S.  The Institute reports that 60 percent of that $700 billion – roughly $420 billion, less than half of what Unger “heard” – was actually invested in the United States by the Saudi government.

OKAY, OKAY, we get it. Michael Moore is a lying sack of shit.  Thanks again to the Free Republic for providing some juicy quotes here.  Again, there is more where that came from–go here to read the full article.  In essence, it isn’t difficult to prove that Michael Moore has a political agenda, and to call Fahrenheit 9/11 a documentary is almost laughable.  Unfortunately, Moore apparently basked in the critical acclaim that Bowling for Columbine had earned him and took it as a mandate to make even more outrageous claims to support his radical agenda.  I’ll say it again–there is no shortage of things to attack the Republican party about, including the issues of gun control and 9/11 exploitation.  But Moore got greedy, and rather than stick to the facts, juicy as they already are, he elected instead to dramatize and sensationalize every aspect of his films until the facts upon which they are based are scarcely recognizable.  Moore threw away what was certainly a promising career as a documentary filmmaker and chose instead to serve as a political lightning rod for the left.  It seems to suit him, so it is difficult for me to criticize.  But the fact remains that he is one of the biggest lying dicks in the history of filmmaking.

Hear no, see no, speak no truth.

Oh and, by the way…Michael Moore, the man who has spent his entire career railing against “fat cat” capitalists…is suing his partners from Fahrenheit 9/11 for millions of dollars in profit from his film.  Shine on, you crazy, hypocritical diamond.

Dick of the Week, Jan. 17-23: Jeff Pearlman and Sofia Black D’Elia

1 Feb

Yeah, I’m late. A week late, in fact.  But fuck you, I can be late once in a while.  It’s been a long week.

Usually it’s not that difficult to choose a Dick of the Week.  Oh, there are tough calls, for sure, but usually one dick of another rises to the top and demonstrates that they are, in fact, the Dick of the Week.  Not so for last week.  No, there were two candidates for the title last week, each incredibly deserving of the award.  In the end, I elected to forgo the difficult and certainly arduous task of choosing between them, instead electing to allow them to share the award.  Would they be pissed if they knew?  Probably.  Which makes it all the better for me.  Let’s start with Mr. Pearlman, shall we?

Jeff Pearlman is a writer for Sports Illustrated.  Yes, Sports Illustrated still exists.  I was surprised, too!  Since I was surprised that SI is still in publication at all, it should not surprise you that I have never read any of Mr. Pearlman’s writing.  He may be a fantastic writer (probably not, since ESPN hasn’t hired him away–just kidding!); I simply can’t say one way or the other.  But one thing that I can say for sure about him is that he has exceptionally thin skin.

But he looks so professional.

Jeff Pearlman apparently discovered that the internet is not a land of civility where everyone says nice things about one another.  When a few of Mr. Pearlman’s Twitter followers said some not very nice things about him, Pearlman decided to, in true serial killer form, track them down and call them at home. Just like any reasonable person would do.

Obviously Jeff was unhappy with being insulted.  Which is understandable.  Not everyone thrives on abuse like we do here.  However, here is one exceprt from the article:

When I later noted to Matt, via Twitter, that my 7-year-old daughter happened to be next to me when I clicked on the picture, he wrote: “lmao. You’re so full of —-.”

Now, that’s not all that unreasonable.  Except that the NEXT LINE IN THE ARTICLE is: “Normally, this sort of thing doesn’t faze me. Write sports for a living (especially online, as I do for, insults come with the turf.”

Let me get this straight, Jeff.  You are fully aware of the fact that people insult each other on the internet, and also understand that you, as a sports writer for a major publication, often come directly in the line of fire of foul mouthed people who want to make you feel bad.  And, while understanding both of these things (I cannot emphasize that enough), you STILL chose to look at what people were saying about you on Twitter with your 7-year-old daughter on your lap.  Okay, while “Matt” may be an asshole, YOU sir are an idiot.

And the worst part is…well, the fact that that isn’t even the worst part.  Pearlman really did track down two of his “haters” and phone them at their homes.  “I wanted to bash him,” Pearlman says. “I wanted to plaster his name, address and personal information atop a column on, so that when someone Googled his name for future employment, they’d find the words “Sent me a link to pornographic material.” What’s worse, that Pearlman was overcome with total rage over being sent porn (something that every single person in the world, famous or not, has had happen to them) or that he thinks that a potential employer would really care?  How does Pearlman think that exchange would go down?

Potential Employer 1: “Well, I like this Matt guy a lot.”
Potential Employer 2: “Yes, I agree. Seems like a perfect candida—-wait, WAIT A MINUTE.  JEFF PEARLMAN SAYS THIS MAN LIKES PORN.”
Potential Employer 1: “How does Jeff Pearlman even know this man?  No no, never mind. Just banish him!”

"Sure he's an expert in the field, but PORN."

Pearlman notes that, in the end, he actually liked the individuals that he called.  He uses this as a lesson on how even the best of people lose their civility when they take to the internet, attempting to teach all of us that we really should behave online.  And while this may be a worthwhile lesson, the fact that Pearlman thinks that we can learn anything from his experience tells me that he has absolutely no idea that his behavior is really much closer to “insane psychopath” than “teacher.”  Pearlman, you’re a huge dick.  And please, PLEASE call me at home and I will explain why.  You probably will not like me as much as “Matt.”

Sofia Black D’Elia is another story altogether, though she, too, had exhibited as severe a case of being out of touch with reality as I have ever seen.

Sofia is an actress in the new MTV show Skins, which has come under fire recently due to the fact that it, you know, appears to violate those pesky child pornography laws.  In fairness though, how was MTV supposed to know that portraying children having sex on screen would be considered “child porn?”  There was really just no way for them to prepare themselves for that.  The show is apparently on the verge of cancellation now, but that hasn’t stopped Sofia from stepping out and defending the show.

Let’s start with the obvious.  Look, MTV. We know you think you’re “racy.”  We know you’re really, REALLY stretching for quality programming.  We know you need a hit show to get back on top.  BUT YOU CAN’T FUCKING HAVE KIDS HAVING SEX ON SCREEN. YOU JUST CAN’T.  I know it’s a hard concept.  I know.  But sometimes you actually CAN’T do things you want to do.

Snooki: legal. Skins cast: not legal. Wow, I just made myself sad.

But MTV’s stupidity does not trump that of it’s star(?) actress Sofia, who firmly believes that she has her finger on the pulse of America.  “All I can say is that as an actor on the show I’m proud of everything that we’ve done,” she says. “We created something that we really care about. We feel the show has so much heart and so much potential and can impact so many teenagers.” And while it’s certainly understandable to be proud of a show that you are a part of, the idea that she is CHANGING THE LIVES of teens across the globe simply by having lesbian sex on screen is arrogant, to say the least.  Hell, if having hot, hot sex on screen was enough to change world, I would happily lead the philanthropy parade.

Addressing concerns about the show’s impact on kids, she goes on to say, “we’re not raising America’s children, parents are!  If you’re nervous about it, watch it with them. Maybe it will be a great conversation starter on topics they normally aren’t comfortable talking about with their kids, like sex and drugs.”

Now, this tells me that Sofia Black D’Elia simply does not have parents.  She must not.  Because anyone with parents would know that, between the ages of 3 years old and, I don’t know, DEATH, the LAST things that anyone wants to talk about with their parents are sex and drugs.  Oh, and by the way, if it takes an alcohol-induced lesbian cheerleader sex scene on MTV to get you to broach those subjects with your kids, YOU’RE A REALLY SHITTY PARENT.

Worst of all, though, was this comment from Sofia:  “Everyone in our cast is under 20 so that immediately, I think, kind of puts people on edge ‘cause these are real teenagers doing these things. It’s what teens are doing, the way teenagers behave…drugs all of that and the sex they’re vices and that’s what teenagers have.”

Pictured: vices.

Look, Sofia.  Maybe some people would give you the benefit of the doubt on this, but give me a fucking break.  You are a (barely) 19-year-old Hollywood starlet.  The idea that you know what “real teenagers” are doing would be laughable if it weren’t so Goddamn insulting.  To imply that your alcoholic, sex-crazed, popular cheerleader lesbian character represents what you would have us believe to be common teen issues is just…just stupid.  You’re stupid.

The fact is that Hollywood actors have been trying to tell us how to behave for ages, making us believe that they know what’s happening in the “real world” better than we do.  And it’s always insulting.  But a 19-year-old telling parents that they have “serious trust issues” because they won’t let their kids watch what is apparently legally child porn probably crosses a line that would make even George Clooney say, “jeez, that’s a little pretentious.”

So Sofia, shut the fuck up.  Jeff, you too.  These two were such dicks last week that we have our first joint award, and damned if they don’t both deserve it.

Honorable Mentions:

Jermaine Pennant: Most of you have probably never heard of Jermaine Pennant.  He is a soccer player for the English Premier League club Stoke City.  Although Stoke are a terrible team, Jermaine clearly is not wanting for cash, as he recently forgot that he owned a Porsche.  He parked the car at a Spanish train station, and there it sat for over a month, accumulating tickets, until it registered with someone that the Porsche with the license plate that read “P33NNT” might belong to Pennant.  Yeah, Pennant forgot he owned a car that costs more money than most of us make in a year.


Dick of the Week Special Comment

24 Jan

Today, as promised, a Special Comment on the firing of Keith Olbermann.  A mere two and a half months ago, we selected Keith Olbermann as our very first Dick of the Week.  With his unique blend of unapologetic hypocrisy and overwhelming egotism, Olbermann has always stood out to us as one of America’s most precious partisan commodities, and we have valued his almost constant presence near the top of the Dick of the Week list each and every week.  Yes, Olbermann has been at the top of our list week in and week out.  No one else.  Not Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin.  Not Brett Favre or Rex Ryan.  Not Ben Affleck, and not Charlie Sheen.

Just Keith.

And we believe that level of consistency has to be admired.  Few have been able to maintain such a constant lack of integrity.  Of course, those in charge at MSNBC shouldn’t admire him.  Granted, Countdown with Keith Olbermann had the highest ratings of any show on MSNBC, though that’s really akin to being the fastest sprinter at the Special Olympics.  We’re proud of Comcast, NBC’s new owners, in a way.

If I bought NBC, firing Keith Olbermann would be the first thing I would do, too.

Hope you weren't too attached to that office, Keith.

Two days have passed since Keith announced that he was leaving the network.  They were kind enough to allow him the time to sign off on his own terms.  But Keith couldn’t even let that go in a pleasant manner, using some of his time to instead throw his former employers, ESPN, under the bus for not allowing him a similar luxury when he left that network.

Indeed, I do believe that Keith…that Keith…

Okay, you know what, no.  I was going to do this entire post in the style of Keith Olbermann’s Special Comments, but I just couldn’t bring myself to finish.  Do you know how hard it is to sound that Goddamn pompous while maintaining a nonstop slew of hypocrisy?  It’s hard fucking work!  I threw up seven times just writing the intro to this post.  Olbermann has a strong stomach and (evidently) no mirror.

So we’re just going to go ahead and celebrate that our very first Dick of the Week has bitten the proverbial dust.  Maybe the title of this post is rubbing it in a little bit, but…well, yeah, it is.  And I love it.


Midweek Dicks: Jonathan Alter

13 Jan

Alright, I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not comfortable making Jonathan Alter our Dick of the Week this week for two reasons.  First, I just did a Dick Hall of Fame post on Pundits as a whole, and since Mr. Alter falls squarely into that category, it would be unnecessarily redundant.  Second, Alter’s Newsweek article following the Arizona shooting tragedy was so unbelievably out of line that I’m almost hesitant to call him a dick.  The flippancy of “dick” almost cheapens the fact that Alter demonstrated himself to be, really, just an awful fucking human being.

But, then again, if I merely ignore him, many of our readers many never know what a complete fucking dickbag Jonathan Alter is, and that would be a greater tragedy.

Alter, preparing to eat this old woman (citation needed).

Compared to Jonathan Alter, Paul Krugman looks like Walter Cronkite.  In fact, I would rather read every Paul Krugman article than read one more Jonathan Alter article.  The many of you who read my previous article dealing with Krugman, will understand how much spite it would take for me to say that.  Let’s examine some of what Mr. Alter said:

“Conservatives like to argue that these are isolated incidents carried out by lunatics and therefore carry no big lessons (unless the perpetrator is Muslim, in which case it’s terrorism); liberals view them as opportunities to address various social ills. Obama is in the latter category and should act accordingly. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008. The same goes for a shooting spree that gravely wounds a beloved congresswoman.”

If just reading those words doesn’t make your skin crawl, allow me to spell out their meaning a little more clearly.  Republicans, according to Mr. Alter, are fools for believing that this incident was carried out by one insane individual (which it was).  Furthermore, they are racist for believing that Islamic terrorist strikes are a symptom of a larger terror threat (which they are).  To Mr. Alter, the tragic shooting of Rep. Giffords and, lest we forget, the death of six others (including a nine-year-old girl) is little more than an opportunity to advance a political agenda.  Alter references the gun control laws that were passed in the wake of the Martin Luther King, Jr. shooting, and laments the fact that similar opportunistic legislation won’t be passed.

But you think I’m exaggerating, no doubt.  “Yeah, that paragraph sounds bad, but it’s not like Alter is seriously advocating blatantly politicizing the tragedy for political gain.”  And I would like to agree with you, I really would.  But Alter chooses to close his article with this:

“Sad to say, if Giffords had died, she would have been mourned and soon the conversation would have moved on. But Giffords lives, thank God, which offers other possibilities. We won’t know for weeks or months whether she can function in public. If she can, she will prove a powerful referee of the boundaries of public discourse[.]”

Now THAT should make your skin crawl.  Jesus Christ!  James Taranto puts it best in the Wall Street Journal when he says “‘Thank God’ she lived, he says, because he has the rest of her life planned out for her. This is such an obscenity that Newsweek should be delivered in a plain brown wrapper.”  Alter’s desire to parade the victim of this tragedy to promote an political agenda is as shameful an act of yellow journalism as we have ever seen.  And when I say “yellow journalism,” I don’t mean the yellow journalism you learned about in history class.  I mean Alter is a coward.  If Newsweek had any decency, they would fire him.

On right, Newsweek.  The people that published this shameful excuse for an article.  Let’s not pretend even for a moment that Alter acted alone.  Alter’s editors are equally if not more responsible for his terrible rhetoric, as they had the power to stop or moderate him at any point in the editorial process.  Yet they allowed his article to stand.  Perhaps they did edit some things out–wouldn’t that be scary?

Newsweek's editorial process.

Taranto links to a Fox News video in which even Rahm Emanuel was horrified that Alter invoked his words in the article: “First of all, what I said was: Never allow a good crisis to go to waste when it’s an opportunity to do things that you had never considered or that you didn’t think were possible. That’s not intended for this moment, [nor] does it apply to this moment.”  When even Rahm “I Send Dead Fish To My Political Detractors” Emanuel calls you out, you’ve got to be one serious dick.

Fuck Jonathan Alter.  Fuck him for trying to politicize this national tragedy.  Fuck him for not even having the courtesy to hide behind pretext, as even Paul Krugman did.  Fuck him for thinking that his words were in ANY WAY appropriate.  He has faced backlash, as he should.  Hopefully Newsweek will face similar repercussions.  But those who criticize the right for making baseless claims that incite violence should take care to consider the fact that Alter’s article should make any man with common sense want to punch a wall.

Dick Hall of Fame, Entry #11: Pundits

11 Jan

Listen, we know. It’s a broad category.  But we really couldn’t decide on just one.

Usually we try to steer away from Dick Hall of Fame inductees that reflect things that are happening right now–that’s Dick of the Week territory.  But we’ve got to say, pundits as a whole are LONG overdue for some sort of lifetime achievement award.  And the horrible, tragic events of this weekend have served as a sad reminder about the state of television “journalism” in this country and our need as Americans to find someone to blame for even the most senseless of acts.  Let us be clear, and serious, for a moment: we would like to express our most heartfelt condolences to the families of Judge John Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, pastor Dorwin Stoddard, Dorthy Murray, Phyllis Scheck, and nine-year-old Christina Greene, as well as to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the others wounded in the attack.  We express our condolences, because the dicks in the media, those pundits whom we have come to “trust” so much, have neglected to do so in favor of searching for a way to blame individuals, ideologies, political movements, and, in some cases, each other.

We’re going to start at the top here.  We’re not going to mince words: Paul Krugman is an idiot.  An idiot, idiot, idiot.  Paul Krugman makes our blog look like Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting.  Paul Krugman grasps at straws so hard he’s going to break his hand.  Paul Krugman’s momma so fat, when she goes on a diet the US economy crashes.  Okay, maybe we leave his momma out of it, but keep in mind she did give birth to one of the biggest wastes of oxygen on this planet.  On Sunday, Krugman had the guts to release this article, essentially blaming the republican party as a whole for the shooting.  That’s really not an exaggeration, either.  We’ll share with you a couple of excerpts from the article.  And we’ll translate:

“It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.” [“Okay, so the shooter was insane. But if you think about it, didn’t the republicans MAKE him insane?”]

“As Clarence Dupnik, the sheriff responsible for dealing with the Arizona shootings, put it, it’s “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business.” The vast majority of those who listen to that toxic rhetoric stop short of actual violence, but some, inevitably, cross that line.” [“Everyone in America watches TV. And SOME people in America commit acts of violence. Therefore, TV causes violence. Also, I never let my kids play Grand Theft Auto.”]

“Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right.” [“I have never watched Keith Olbermann.”]

“Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.” [“Caustic remarks and mockery are essential to our political process. Are you implying that Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly are allowed to make jokes too? I WILL BEHEAD YOU, SIR.”  We might also note here that Olbermann once said that Democrats’ solution to Hillary Clinton was ‘somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out,’ but Krugman conveniently forgets these things.]

“So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders.” [“When will Sarah Palin stop shooting people?”]

Paul Krugman has every right to his opinion, but in this case his opinion makes him an unbelievable dick. The entire article is one long diatribe searching to find a way to blame the GOP for an atrocity committed by one insane man.  It’s not unreasonable to search for answers in the wake of a tragedy, but it is pretty unreasonable to write an article filled with the same sort of vitriolic, blame-gaming, hate-filled language that he supposedly condemns the GOP for.  But here’s the good news: we guess if someone goes nuts and shoots a journalist now, we can totally blame Paul Krugman for it.  Nice going, dick.  This article essentially sums up everything that is wrong with American journalism.

You're an asshole, Krugman. We really can't put it any more delicately than that.

Of course, Paul Krugman isn’t the only one.  We’re going to take a minute to take Sarah Palin to task.  Is she responsible for the shootings?  Of course not.  Is she still an idiot?  Yes. Yes she is.

One thing that the media chose to jump on immediately after the shootings was the “target map” that Palin put up on her website not long before the attack took place.  The map was a graphic showing the districts that the GOP had carried in 2008 which now hosted Congressmen who voted for the health care overhaul.  Palin listed them as GOP targets and aimed to have them voted out of Congress.  However…the symbol that Palin’s people chose to place over the districts in question happened to be crosshairs.  Since Rep. Giffords happened to be one of the Congresswomen targeted by Palin’s campaign, this gave a much more sinister meaning to the map than it was intended to have.

Like there was any way this was ever going to be in good taste.

You can see the map above.  Obviously Sarah Palin was hardly advocating the assassination of the Representatives in question.  But seriously, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING.  Doesn’t the Tea Party use enough threatening rhetoric already?  Did she not expect people to jump on this regardless of whether or not someone had taken a shot at a Congresswoman?  This is just poor form all around.  As much as we think the media are dicks for jumping on the bandwagon to blame Sarah Palin for this horrible tragedy, Palin herself is equally at fault for providing them with this unbelievably stupid ammunition.  So Sarah, you are also a dick.

Of course, we’d be remiss is we  didn’t further address that hypocrite of all hypocrites, Keith Olbermann.  Olbermann devoted Monday’s “special comment” to calling out right wing commentators for their supposed “hate speech” and instigation of violence.  He even went so far as to demanded apologies from Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly.  Yes, Keith Olbermann suggested that Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly should apologize for someone else committing murder.  And his main argument was the target imagery on Palin’s map.  Honestly, that was basically it.  As Krugman and Olbermann point out, you never see imagery like that or hear threatening messages from left wing politicians or commentators.

Except, you know, that time President Obama talked about bringing a gun to a political knife fight.

Or that time Chris Matthews said someone should jam a CO2 pellet in Rush Limbaugh’s head and kill him.

Just a couple of examples that various bloggers have pulled from the woodwork this week.  Certainly though, this vitriol is coming only from the right.

But let’s give these left-wing commentators their due: Jared Loughner, the shooter, may have been insane, but he was pretty obviously an Tea Party member.  That has to count for something, right?  Wait, wait.  You mean Jared Loughner wasn’t a Tea Partier?  You mean he wasn’t even a republican?  You mean his own former classmate described him as a “left-wing pot head“?  Oh yeah.  Those who knew Mr. Loughner described him as a “left-wing political radical,” which sounds an awful lot like, we don’t know, not someone likely to be influenced by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, or any other supposedly hate-filled right-wing commentator.  In fact it sounds like someone a lot more likely to be influenced by…we don’t know…

But we would never hold him responsible, because we're not fucking idiots.

So yeah, sorry Keith, but you’re a huge dick, too.

This is already getting lengthy, but there is one more important point to touch on that makes pretty much everyone involved a dick.  Does everyone remember the Fort Hood shooting?  Feel free to brush up here: 13 killed, 30 wounded on a military base by an Islamic man yelling “Allahu Akbar” while he shot.  The guy had some issues, yeah.  But the media repeatedly urged us to avoid jumping to conclusions about Nidal Malik Hasan, the shooter, and his motives.  We were urged to exercise caution by just about everyone.  The Washington Examiner was kind enough to compile a number of these quotes for us here.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

“I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.” -President Obama

“We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever.” -CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell

“The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions.” –Gen. Wesley Clark, on CNN

“Now, President Obama has asked people to be very cautious here and to not jump to conclusions. By saying that you believe this is an act of terror, are you jumping to a conclusion?” -CNN’s John Roberts to Rep. Pete Hoekstra, when Hoekstra suggested the shooting was an act of terrorism

That last one is particularly interesting to us, especially since some liberal commentators have already taken to calling Loughner a “domestic terrorist.”  We’re hesitant to attack this article too much, because it says a lot of smart things about not indicting commentators for rhetoric that you don’t like.  We like seeing that.  But this particular blogger also leaps headfirst into calling Loughner a terrorist and accusing the Tea Party and those with similar ideologies of (essentially) being racist for assuming that all terrorists are middle eastern.  He makes a big deal of complaining that people like Loughner are labelled as “mentally unstable” rather than “terrorists.”

Okay. Look. Maybe that’s because the “mentally unstable” part is the important part here?  In our language today, terrorism implies a wider threat, not one crazy guy.  And while a lot of terrorists may be idiots, most of them are not actually insane.  Calm down, Peter Beinart.  It’s just a word.  And as your own fellow left-wing commentators have said, it’s important that we avoid jumping to any conclusions here.

There you have it.  A tragic indictment of commentators as a whole.  Some will say this is heavily skewed towards the right.  We say…sorry.  It’s important to remember that Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and others are, usually, just as bad, just as biased, and just as factually inaccurate.  It’s too bad for the left-wingers reading this that people like Olbermann, Krugman, and the left-wing blogosphere all managed to drop the ball at the exact same time this week.  We again reiterate our condolences to all affected by this tragedy, and also reiterate how everyone in the media associated with covering, commentating on, analyzing, or otherwise discussing this event is a complete and utter dick.

Dick of the Week, Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: The United States Navy

5 Jan

Yes, the entire United States Navy.  Most of you have no doubt heard by now about the scandal that has been rocking the news for the past week or so about Owen Honors, the (until yesterday) captain of the USS Enterprise.  Now, frankly, the very fact that Capt. Honors was captain of a ship called the USS Enterprise makes us want to squeal like fanboys and debate whether or not he was more badass than Captain Kirk; however, we note with some disappointment that the USS Enterprise is merely an aircraft carrier and that, when we say the entire US Navy are dicks, Capt. Honors is most definitely included in that.

For those who do not follow the news as closely as we do (read: at all), some videos from Capt. Honors past were recently uncovered in which he makes a variety of lewd and homophobic comments, pretends to masturbate, and creates a variety of arguably inappropriate situations with humorous intent.  The videos were made when Honors was second in command aboard the Enterprise, and with his recent promotion to captain, the videos were seized upon by the media and created a public controversy.  Never mind that, according to absolutely everyone involved, the videos were simply supposed to be “humorous skits” to boost morale during long deployments, the media set about making Capt. Honors appear to be the homophobic devil himself.

This is the face of intolerance? Really?

Continue reading

Dick of the Week: Dec 6-12

12 Dec

Welcome once again to our fun-filled review of people who exhibit phallic personalities. Hooray thesaurus.  Anyway this was an interesting week because we had a lot of palpable dicks and it was really hard to narrow it down.  However, it became very clear it was random house democratic caucus member. For his witty retort to the president’s negotiated tax cut agreement.  Let’s be clear, this was not ‘you lie’ guy, this was a member of the President’s own party being crass enough to curse off the president under his breath.

I think he phased Pelosi more than anything

Continue reading