aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Comedy Central Rumsfeld scoop: another 5th Estate moment
Comedy Central called it first, last night:
The buzz I’m hearing from a friend, and a totally unconfirmed White House source (remember Comedy Central doesn’t have journalistic standards), is that Rumsfeld will be out of the administration tomorrow.
This is a shocker even to the totally unnamed source in the White House. Already, we are seeing reports of a White House Press conference scheduled for tomorrow at 1 p.m. Could this be it?
Yet another reminder of my favorite comment from Robert Thompson on Radio Open Source last May in a program discussing Stephen Colbert’s rising significance. Thompson is Trustee Professor of Television and Popular Culture, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Popular Television, Syracuse University:
[34:45] I think what Colbert has proved is that Comedy has moved in as the Fifth Estate when the Fourth Estate had dropped the ball. The press, of course, as others have said, completely rolled over in the lead-up to the war and the only good commentators out there were all coming from the perspective of the support of the president - the Bill O’Reillys, the Rush Limbaughs and so forth and so on - and comedy moved into that vacuum with Jon Stewart, who really started to show his stripes in the coverage of the 2000 election, Indecision 2000 as he called it, now Colbert and even David Letterman has become politicized as a result. [...]
[44:46] When we first heard those polls that so many young people were getting all of their news from late-night comedy, we thought to ourselves, “oh, this is terrible.. how is our next generation of citizenry going to run a representative republic if all of their information is coming from Comedy Central.” You watch something like… [Colbert at The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner] and if you continue to watch Comedy Central shows you get a sense that boy, you know, maybe this isn’t a bad place to be getting some of our news information.
Christopher Lydon responds, “Absolutely dead on!”
By a hair
My guys squeaking by:
Two House Democrats facing seasoned Republican challengers held onto uncomfortably close leads in Georgia, where the GOP had a shot at offsetting losses elsewhere that might cost them control of Congress.
Former GOP congressmen seeking comebacks forced Reps. John Barrow and Jim Marshall into two of the state’s closest elections.
Barrow faced a rematch with Max Burns of Sylvania, who narrowly lost eastern Georgia’s 12th District to Barrow in 2004.
Meanwhile, Marshall ran for a third term in middle Georgia’s Eighth District against Mac Collins, who gave up his House seat in 2004 for an unsuccessful Senate campaign. Through redistricting, Collins’ hometown of Jackson was moved into Marshall’s district.
Remember, both districts were gerrymandered for Republican advantage; Barrow was gerrymandered right out of his home then called an “outsider” in Republican attack ads.
Now I should say a few words about why I, a liberal Democrat, am so fired up about these ultraconservative Democrats. First, if the Blue Dog Democrats that we all thought went home to the Republican party where they really belonged are coming back, I think that a good thing.
Second, our two party system pushes all of us into one or the other. I want as big a tent as possible. I get ticked off every few months when I read those ”Democrats can win without the South” arguments. Someone please tell me when was the last time the Democrats really bothered with the South? (And I don’t count either Florida or Texas as the South.) They should get their butts down here!
My mother-in-law equivalent recalls seeing John Kennedy speak at UGA’s graduation in the run up to his presidential bid. I’m not holding my breath waiting for the party strategists to send any equivalent Democratic stars down here. But I most certainly do stand by my call for Hillary Clinton, if she runs, to set up an exploratory committee and launch a listening tour that is the exact national replica of the one that won her first senate election. And she should start with a swing through rural Georgia.
When she does, I’ll go see her with my mother-in-law.
South Dakota rejects abortion ban
Voters in South Dakotans have rejected a near-total ban on abortion, in one of the highest profile state referendums taking place alongside the US polls.
Voters rejected the ban signed into law in March but not yet in effect. [...]
Correspondents said no measure galvanised political activists across the country like the South Dakota abortion measure.
The law would have allowed abortions only to save a pregnant woman’s life.
Arizona first to reject marriage amendment
After an evening of watching seven other states - Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin decided to prevent gay and lesbian couples from marrying (some banning civil unions or legal arrangements approximating similar rights to marriage), one state got it.
Arizona on Tuesday became the first state ever to defeat a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage by popular vote, as returns showed the anti-gay proposal losing.
With nearly all precincts reporting, the ban was defeated, 51 percent to 49 percent.
Colorado voters were favoring the same-sex marriage ban by a 56 percent to 44 percent vote with 77 percent of precincts reporting. They also defeated a measure that would have created a domestic-partnership registry for unmarried couples, by a 55 percent to 46 percent vote.
In Idaho, 64 percent of voters condemned marriage equality.
South Carolina slammed same-sex marriage 78 percent to 22 percent, with nearly all votes counted.
Tennessee voters were favoring the marriage ban 80 percent to 20 percent, with 41 percent of precincts reporting.
In Virginia, with nearly all precincts reporting, the vote was 57 percent in favor of the ban Tuesday night.
Wisconsin the biggest disappointment.