The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

Current posts can be found here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

March 15, 2004 by s.z.

Preznit Give Me Spam

Guess what I found in my inbox today?  Yes, "A Message From the President."  I thought it was pretty cool that George would take the time to personally email me, an average American, what with all the terrorism and world-leading stuff going on.  And when I read it, I was touched to note that he considers us friends, especially after everything I've said about him.  I can't recall us ever having actually met, but I did shake his father's hand a few years back, so maybe that's what he's thinking of.  Plus, we do have a psychic connection, probably a result of us both having been born on Krypton and sent to Earth as infants with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.

Anyway, while the letter did seem kind of, well, generic and boilerplate-ish, I can read between the lines and understand the personal message that George was really trying to send to me, his best buddy.

Dear World O'Crap,
The political season has arrived.  Finally, we know who my opponent will be.  I recently called Senator Kerry to congratulate him on winning his party's nomination.  I told him I'm looking forward to a spirited campaign.
"I told Kerry that I was glad, GLAD that the campaigning was getting nasty because I'd been waiting for months to make jokes about Max Cleland.  Isn't that Ann Coulter a stitch!"
This should be an interesting debate.  Senator Kerry has spent two decades in Congress; he's built up quite a record.  In fact, Senator Kerry has been in Washington long enough to take both sides on just about every issue.  He's been for the Patriot Act and against it; for NAFTA and against it; for the No Child Left Behind Act and against it; for the use of force in Iraq and against funding the liberation of Iraq.  My opponent clearly has strong beliefs -- they just don't last very long.
"My opponent seems to believe that if circumstance change, or if the hype turns out to not match the reality, he can change his mind about things.  I, however, am unable to change my mind about anything, because it might look like an admission that I was wrong.  And I am never wrong!  Because Mommy told me that if I wasn't perfect, I'd get kicked out of the family -- and now that I don't have alcohol to help me cope with my feelings of failure, I have to actually look I'm I'm perfect, no matter how much lying that takes.  Why doesn't my mother love me?"
And the choice is clear.  It's a choice between keeping the tax relief that is moving the economy forward, or stopping the recovery by putting the burden of higher taxes back on the American people.
"The choice is clear: keep the tax cuts which have lead to full employment in this country, or make widows and orphans work night and day in sweatshops to pay John Kerry's higher taxes.  I know which one I would pick."
It is a choice between an America that leads the world with strength and confidence or an America that is uncertain in the face of danger.
"It is a choice between an America that leads the world, whether they like it or not, into wars with countries that posed no danger to America; and a cowardly John Kerry, who would never have dared to secretly fly to Iraq and spend a couple of hours posing for photo ops.  That John Kerry doesn't know what it is to like to face DANGER!"
It's a choice that I will set squarely before the American people.

We've achieved great things.  The last three years have brought serious challenges, and we have given serious answers.  I look forward to telling the American people that. 
"I look forward to telling the American people how I've done everything right for the past three years, and the American people will no doubt love hearing about it, because they enjoy tall tales, like those of Paul Bunyon and Pecos Bill."
Most importantly, we have a positive vision for winning the war against terror and for extending peace and freedom throughout our world; a positive vision for creating jobs and promoting opportunity and compassion here at home.  We'll leave no doubt where we stand.  And come November, we'll be reelected.
"A POSITIVE vision, as opposed to Kerry's negative vision.   I mean, doesn't he just look negative -- hey, John, why the long face?  Anyway, I have a positive vision for lots of cool stuff.  I can't tell you the details, but I can say that it involves winning the war against terror through permament tax cuts, faith-based initiatives, and abstinence programs.  If you want to know more, you'll have to re-elect me."
The stakes are high, and I need your help.   Could you contribute and make a difference in what could be a close election?
Everything you send will help our TV buy -- on national cable and in 18 battleground states on local stations. The ads are strong.  They remind people of this Administration's accomplishments, and will lay out our positive agenda and contrast it with John Kerry's wrong votes and out-of-the-mainstream philosophy.
"The ads remind people of how 9/11 occurred on this Administration's watch, which is one of our proudest achievements.  They also lay out our positive agenda for adding to the national deficit while never really fixing what was wrong with Medicare; not exporting illegal aliens; increasing funding for the National Endowment for the Perverted Arts; and for sending men to Mars.  No, wait, the ads don't cover that part of the agenda -- nobody liked that stuff, so we'll pretend it never happened.  In any case, Kerry is out of the mainstream, and since I am the mainstream, you know it's true."
The other side has several attack groups, funded by large unregulated "soft money" contributions from wealthy liberals, so I need your help today with a gift of $1,000, $500, $250, $100 or even $50 or $25 to keep ratcheting our TV effort up.  Federal law allows gifts of up to $2,000 a person.
"Those damned Democrats -- I have a $100 million advantage over Kerry, but HE has's George Soros-donated $1 million.  Did you know that Soros was BORN IN ANOTHER COUNTRY?  That must mean something sinister, right?

"So, if you're one of the many businesses or rich people whom my tax cuts have helped to save thousands, please donate $2000 in your name, your wife's name, the names of each of your children, and the names of your maids and gardeners."
For all Americans, these years in our history will always stand apart.  There are quiet times in the life of a nation when little is expected of the leaders.  This isn't one of those times.  You and I are living a period where the stakes are high, the challenges are difficult, and the choices are clear -- a time when resolve is needed.
"Yes, it's a time when Resolve carpet cleaner is needed, it order to deal with those spots I blamed on Buddy.  And Kerry doesn't have any resolve -- he's never did anything with his life, unlike me, who grew up to be President."
I hope you will help today.  Thank you for your friendship and may God continue to bless America. 
Well, I hadn't planned to donate anything to, but if George thinks we're friends and he really needs my help ... well, I still don't think so.  But thanks for thinking of me, George.  And write again if you get work.

6:27:43 PM    

World O'Crap Book Club: When Women's Magazines Attack

Today's selection comes recommended by TownHall, The Wall Street Journal, and Dr. Laura, and we saw the author plugging the book on "The O'Reilly Factor" last week (and she's going to be on "Fox and Friends" this week).  So, based on that alone, we can encourage you not to read it.

But let's look at it anyway:

Spin Sisters : How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness --- and Liberalism --- to the Women of Americaby Myrna Blyth (Author)

Book DescriptionBlowing the whistle on a job she herself did for over ten years at Ladies Home Journal as editor-in-chief, Blyth reveals the almost institutionalized selling of a liberal/do-gooders message to women through chararacterizing women themselves as victims. Playing on women's compassion and ability to be hooked into "uplifting" stories with a moral or happy ending, American media has convinced the most well-educated, rich and healthy audience in history that they are miserable. She dissects why:

--liberal celebrities' messages aren't scrutinized and in fact presented with a halo of approval
--middle class American women have been sold stress as the new scourge of modern life
--magazines rarely tell stories about the majority of women whose conservative views don't mesh with their own.
Okay, if you've ever read a woman's magazine, you probably figured out that it was trying to sell you something: $35 tubes of lipstick, a new wardrobe every season, and Chanel No. 5.  And you might have felt that it was trying to make you feel inadequate and in need of improving your toenails, your home decor, and your entire personality.  But I bet you didn't know that everything from Cosmo's "Ten Hooker Secrets to Make Him Fall in Love With You (Or Pay You $50 For Sex)" to Good Housekeeping's "Vacumn Cleaners That Make Housework Fun, Fun, Fun!" are all part of a liberal plot to make you want a bigger goverment.  Well, they are. 

Remember Hollywood Interrupted, the celebrity tell-all which told us all something we already knew (that celebrities are poor role models), and then somehow made that an indictment of liberals?  Well, Spin Sistersapparently tells us something we already knew (that women's magazines try to make readers insecure, so they'll feel a need to buy the products advertised within), and blames THAT on liberals.  But somehow, this time it's all about Ann Coulter.

From the NY Times review:
"There is a big difference between creating change and creating a stir," said Ellen Levine, editor in chief of Good Housekeeping, which like Cosmopolitan is owned by Hearst Magazines. Speaking of the conservative columnist, she said, "I think that Myrna has serious Ann Coulter envy, and this is her attempt to create some kind of second act for herself as a conservative commentator."
Newsweek also quoted editors who felt that Blyth trying to create a new role for herself as an old Michelle Malkin or a female Bill O'Reilly.  Or a female Ann Coulter, for that matter:
Others say it's Blyth's bid to return to the media spotlight, this time as a right-wing pundit. "This is someone over 6o," says Cosmo editor Kate White, "who wants to create a big-enough stir to get on TV." Bookers, take note.
But now let's hear from Human Events Online:
In the September 2003 issue of Elle magazine, there was a lengthy article on HUMAN EVENTS columnist Ann Coulter and her campus activism. Not surprisingly, the author of the article gave an inaccurate picture of the demand by students for Coulter to lecture on campuses across the nation.
As program director of the Luce Policy Institute, I get dozens of requests each semester from students anxious to bring Coulter to their campus. The one student Elle mentioned said Coulter is "too extreme to be persuasive." Yet Ann Coulter is by far our most requested speaker. Even though the Luce Policy Institute is the leading organization sending her to campuses, the Elle reporter never asked our point of view. Elle also didn't publish our letter to the editor correcting its misleading article.
One could argue that the reporter at Elle just wasn't aware of the Luce Policy Institute. However, if you search for "Ann Coulter" and "college speakers" on Google, the Institute's website comes right up, followed by links to various campus newspapers that covered Ann Coulter's Luce-sponsored lectures.
The more obvious explanation is that Elle wasn't looking to publish a balanced article on Ann Coulter, but instead a one-sided harangue that questions her credibility and popularity. After reading Myrna Blyth's new book, Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America, I concluded that not only did Elle purposefully ignore the positive opinions on Coulter, but they probably discussed how to do so over Cobb salads at the trendy Michael's restaurant in New York City.
Yup, because Elle didn't find any students who said that Ann's reasoned arguments, impecable research, and gracious manner persuaded many young liberals of the wisdom of the conservative cause, it means that women's magazines are liberal propaganda machines.

Let's hear from Human Events Online how the magazines are trying to scare women into becoming liberal:
At the heart of their game are the scare tactics the media uses to grab its audience. Blyth even indicts herself as a willing participant in promoting "The Female Fear Factor." Whether it's "The Poison That Hid in Our Home," (Redbook), mattresses akin to kerosene (Good Morning America), "killer celery,"(Good Housekeeping) or "5 Down-There Diseases You Don't Know About" (Glamour) women are led to believe that the world is a stressful and frightening place.
Blyth writes, "Often, a hint of conspiracy is added ('100 Urgent Health Risks Doctors Don't Tell You About') to ratchet up the fear factor and make victims--sometimes just being a woman makes you a victim--even more appealing to readers."
Sound familiar? At every chance, the Feminist Majority, NOW and other feminist groups tell women they are oppressed victims of a patriarchal society with their "rights" at risk with every stroke of George W. Bush's pen. Women in the media parrot these leftist views with relentless determination.
In tandem with the left, the media invokes fear and ignorance of the facts in order to paint corporations as the enemy and big government as the remedy--from government-run health care initiatives to FDA task forces to save you from "killer celery."
So, the magazines are trying to turn women into scaredy-cat liberals so they'll want big government to save them from big business and celery.  Why are the magazines doing it?  Presumably because liberals have more money and can buy more consumer goods.  Or maybe they're getting funding from the DNC -- I guess we have to read the book to find out for sure.

Or maybe Myrna just knew that nobody would buy her book unless she came up with an angle,  and the "evil liberals are trying to make you care about immoral celebrities and cellulite" one seems to have gotten her some attention so far.  (It's also worked for Hollywood Interrupted, which is #15 on the NY Times Best Seller list, per NewsMax and Glenn Reynolds).

Now, here's  Liz Smith:
Myrna gives us a gossipy blast against such media luminaries as Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Tina Brown, Good Housekeeping's Ellen Levine - oh, I won't go on. But, suffice it to say, I am right there among them in what Myrna conceives as a "liberal cabal" out to turn America's women into miserable left-wingers who believe every word dished out to them about health, weight, looks, sex, love, romance and family values.
The women's magazines, on air and in print, do a lot of coverage that perhaps sometimes create anxiety (mostly about health), but they also offer a good mix in my view - self-help, medical information, cautionary tales, etc. But is the way to sell books these days an attack on the politics of half the nation, since we do seem to be all but literally divided?
Well, it's apparently a way to sell books these days if your book can't stand on its own merits.  Here's Human Events Online again:
Judging by the insults lobbed at Bernie Goldberg, Ann Coulter and other media critics, there is one definitive statement that can be made for Myrna Blyth's Spin Sisters--every word must be true.
Yup.  If people criticize Myrna's book, it must all be true!  So, go out and buy a copy today!  If you don't, you'll be out of style, unpopular, and have ring around the collar.

5:25:17 AM

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