No, you are not dreaming: Glenn Beck’s crew expose James O’Keefe as a lying sack of shit (again)

Okay, admittedly I’m not in the habit of applauding the actions—or integrity—of Glenn Beck or anything the guy’s even remotely connected with. Clearly to readers of this blog, I have a rather low opinion of the man. I think Glenn Beck is bad for America because he fills the heads of ignorant people who aren’t sophisticated enough to be able to evaluate an information source, and who know nothing whatsoever about history, with shit. He fills their heads with shit. If Glenn Beck were hit by lightning, I would start believing in a loving, interventionist God concerned with America’s future.... but I digress.

It’s just hard for me to say this, I guess, uh, what I’m trying to say, but there is something on Beck’s news website, The Blaze, that demands to be read if you want to understand exactly what is going on with the “undercover NPR Muslim sting” video the rightwing is all up in arms about. I’m not kidding, it’s essential reading and it’s smart stuff. How (or why) this news analysis was financially underwritten by Glenn Beck, I really can’t say, but what Scott Baker wrote there, examining if the videos were edited in a misleading fashion along with Blaze video producer Pam Key, and what Emily Esfahni Smith wrote there about whether or not the means justify the ideological ends, where LYING is involved, I can find little fault with.

However, because writing something nice about Glenn Beck is difficult for me, I think I’ll just take the easy way out and quote Ken Layne posting on Wonkette:

Whenever that James O’Keefe guy puts out another heavily edited video against some liberal bogeyman, both the White House and the Washington/New York media quickly fire everyone involved — because the only rational way to deal with claims made by partisan pranksters is to simply punish anyone targeted. That’s why Shirley Sherrod was immediately fired by the White House while the Lame Stream Media nodded approvingly and only Wonkette bothered to look at the allegedly damning video closely enough to see that Breitbart’s crew had carefully edited it to make Sherrod sound like a raving racist. Likewise, the firing of NPR executive Ron Schiller and his CEO boss was cheered by the liberal media and got solemn nods from Democrats in Washington. Only Glenn Beck’s reporters at his website, The Blaze, bothered to watch the unedited footage and note that the various bombshells in the video were taken out of context (the opinions of others made to look like the opinions of Schiller, for example) and that Schiller’s pro-Republican statements were (obviously) all cut out of the video released by O’Keefe.

Here’s the unedited section with Ron Schiller discussing the opinions of a senior Republican lawmaker and a major GOP donor. While Schiller seems to agree with the characterization of the Tea Party people at the end of this anecdote, it’s obvious he is quoting Republicans uneasy with the teabaggers here:

There’s a lot more of this on The Blaze: eight sections of raw video with written commentary by a video producer from the website. She finds numerous instances of editing to make Schiller sound like he’s replying to completely different statements (a bemused reaction to something about restaurant reservations is made to look like a response to implementing sharia law worldwide), and she also finds sections where the audio has clearly been switched from another part of the video, as well as the complete removal of many instances of Schiller and his colleague praising either Republicans or the Fox News audience.

There were pretty much only two news sources to pick this up from, Wonkette and The Blaze. What does it say about the rest of the media (no matter their supposed bias or supposed lack of one) who gave this story and that dweeby, sleazeball James O’Keefe a pass, AGAIN???

Hell, isn’t it obvious why Andrew Breitbart stayed away from this stinker? Yes it is, because James O’Keefe is a lying sack of shit and Breibart knows it. A sleazy non-entity who should be treated as one! Why wasn’t it Salon or The Nation or MSNBC who looked into this video, first? Shouldn’t the name James fucking O’Keefe have caused anyone to sit up an notice on the Left??? It took Glenn Beck’s crew to get the truth out? Yes, it did! I did wake up in Bizarro World again, didn’t I?

But the truth will out in the weirdest places sometimes. Good on Scott Baker, Blaze video producer Pam Key and Emily Esfahni Smith for having the courage and journalistic integrity to out one of their own, or perhaps they don’t count clown boy James O’Keefe as one of their own. You know, a real investigative journalist.

Baker’s conclusion:

Anyone looking at the edited version of the Project Veritas video would be concerned about the conduct and views expressed by the NPR representatives. But should we also be concerned about the deceptive nature of some of the video’s representations? Some will say no — the end justifies any means, even if unethical. Others may be bothered by these tactics and view similar projects with a greater degree of skepticism.

In our posting yesterday on the ethics of undercover journalism, we found a range of views. One interesting view is held by Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard. Barnes believes it is always wrong for a journalist to lie: “It‘s dishonest for anyone in journalism to pretend to be someone they’re not.”

But Barnes also believes this applies only to journalists. “This rule doesn’t apply to folks outside the profession,” he told The Blaze. Barnes views the O’Keefe production as a “political hit job and a quite clever and successful one at that.”

Barnes may not realize that O’Keefe describes his work as “investigative journalism,” and thus by Barnes definition — unethical.

And that is only on the issue of going undercover. But even if you are of the opinion, as I am, that undercover reporting is acceptable and ethical in very defined situations, it is another thing to approve of editing tactics that seem designed to intentionally lie or mislead about the material being presented.

As you might expect, the comments on THIS ONE are fascinating and to be fair, all over the place. That’s not typical of what I’ve seen on the boards there at all.

One of the posters (“CaptainKook”) even writes

“O’Keefe is, ultimately, lying to YOU when he publishes these faked edited and dishonest scam videos. WHY whould you willingly choose to believe a guy who YOU KNOW IS LYING TO YOU???”

This is a very good, penetrating question not just for far right conservatives who cheer the likes of James O’Keefe and Lila Rose on even knowing that they are basically liars who they happen to agree with, but to the left who let them get away with it just long enough for their version of heavily edited reality to become the de facto truth.

I mean James O’Keefe lying, right? Who’d have thunk it?

That the answer was Glenn Beck’s crew at The Blaze is as surprising to me as it probably is to you, too. But there it undeniably is.

You can’t explain that!

Via Wonkette/The Blaze

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Movie Barcodes - the secret texture of film
01:38 pm


Movie Barcodes
Popular Culture

Shinboru (2009)
These are films, but not as we know them. Movie Barcode compresses every frame of a feature film into a single image. They may look like hair samples, but I like to think these images tell you something other about the movies they represent. Delicatessen looks strangely edible; Tron has a hint of lightning blue; Goodfellas is dark with thick crimson lines; while Speed Racer looks far more exciting than the actual film.

A full index of compressed films, can be found here; and if you fancy one of these prints on your wall, check here.
Goodfellas (1990)
Tron (1982)
With thanks to Jeremy Kelly
More Movie Barcodes after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Man annoys the shit out of people by playing ‘Careless Whisper’ on saxophone
12:36 pm


Careless Whisper
George Michael

Oh Lord this funny. As one YouTuber points out, “I used to hate Careless Whisper, but now, the existence of this song is totally justified.”

(via High Definite)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Left Behind’ author sees Bible all over disaster

Some people see vast devastation and the human toll, others, like Christian author Tim LaHaye see an opportunity for self-promotion!

Tim LaHaye, the best-selling author of the “Left Behind” series of Bible prophecy novels, was one of many visiting the island of Maui who had to be evacuated to upper floors of the Marriott Hotel today.

He said being caught in the crossfire of the fourth largest earthquake in modern history helped prepare him for two prophecy conferences he was scheduled to address in Hawaii.

“The Bible tells us in Matthew 24 that one of the signs of the last days – one of the birth pangs to occur – is an increase in earthquake activity and intensity,” LaHaye told WND. “We’re seeing that happen here. It’s not just earthquakes, but hurricanes and all kinds of natural disasters.”

Give it a fucking break, asshole! At least for a day or two, huh?

Via (where else?) World Net Daily

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
President Obama Photobombed
11:29 am


Barack Obama

Update: It appears the woman is probably a sign language interpreter.
(via Wonkette)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Listen to the earthquakes off the coast of Japan
10:36 am



BB Submitterator’s Speedo writes: “Audio sonification of the incredible seismic activity off the coast of Honshu, Japan - Friday March 11th. Tectonic is a realtime seismic analysis and sound synthesis system. Sound is created in realtime by earthquakes as they occur across the globe. A tightly integrated system between Max/MSP, Google Earth and Symbolic Sound’s Kyma processes earthquake data that is translated into sound synthesis parameters.”

Earthquakes off the east coast of Honshu, Japan - Friday March 11, 2011 by Micah Frank

  Magnitude 5.2 - NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN 2011 March 11 14-10-39 UTC by Micah Frank

Hear more over at Micah Frank’s website and SoundCloud.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Hot ladies and synths: The Brooklyn Organ Synth Orchestra plays Tubular Bells
10:03 am



Over 20 different NYC female keyboardists playing Tubular Bells (natch) on vintage (and new) keyboards at Joe McGinty’s Carousel Studio in Brooklyn, NY. What’s not to love about this?
Filmed and Directed by Amy Hobby. Edited by Tony Zajkowski.
Kaia Wong (Mixel Pixel)
Kelly Rae Kerwin (Private Income)
Natasha Bartolf
Joanna Choy (Spray Paint Star)
Amy Merril (Mia Riddle)
Greta Gertler (The Universal Thump)
Anna Copa Cabanna
Rolyn Hu (True Primes)
Sondra Sun-Odeon (Silver Summit)
Michi Turner (Crash Diet Crew)
Katia Floreska (The Tall Pines)
Natalie Weiss (Unicornicopia, Camp Wanatachi)
Wendy Ip
Alice Cohen
Yvette Perez
Kelly Vaughn-Kauffman (Winstron Troy)
Yvette Perez (H*E*R)
Hula Hoop Harlot Melissa-Anne
Alix Brown (Golden Triangle)
Leah Cary (Girl Crisis)
Caitlin Jemison (Queen Of Sibyls)

Instruments featured:
Hammond M3 Organ
Fender Rhodes
Oberheim Xpander
Dave Smith Instruments Poly Evolver Keyboard
Steinway Upright Grand Piano
RMI Keyboard Computer
Jenco Celeste
Baldwin Electric Harpsichord
Magical Musical Thing
Hohner Clavinet D6
Casio CZ-101
Wurlitzer Electric Piano
Conn Electric Band
ARP 2600
ARP Omni
Suzuki Omnichord
Yamaha CS-01
Yamaha TX802
Vox Continental
Fender Starmaster
Farfisa Combo Compact
Buzzing Bee
Toy Piano
360 Systems Digital Keyboard
Hammond Synthesizer
Gibson Clavioline
Moog Little Phatty
Mass-Rowe Vibrachime

With thanks to Kristian Hoffman !

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Raw footage of the earthquake in Japan
09:31 am

Current Events


Raw, chaotic footage of the earthquake in Japan, shot in Tokyo where things weren’t nearly as heavy. Really sums up what it’s like to be in an earthquake.

I’ve been in several, including one in Japan when I was on the 17th floor of a building that shook like the hand of God had THUMPED it, but I’ve never experienced anything like this.

Thank you Michael Backes of Los Angeles, CA!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
British Sea Power: ‘Who’s In Control?’ NSFW video
09:06 am


British Sea Power

British Sea Power have been plying their trade on the UK alt-rock scene for nigh on a decade now, building a solid fan base and proving impervious to trends in fashion, press hype, and, unfortunately, mainstream success. Maybe they’re just too genuinely odd to enter the popular consciousness, or perhaps their not willing to play certain corporate games, but either way they don’t seem to care much and continue to plow their own eccentric furrow.

This Spring the band embark on their first tour of America in 3 years, in support of their new album Valhalla Dancehall, and if you can catch one of their shows I’d recommend it. I first saw them eight years ago when they decked the tiny stage with stuffed animals, bits of plants and trees, and had a look somewhere between an army of bird watchers and a deranged scout troupe. It was a great show. Times have changed (the animals and plants have gone, replaced with a kind of bizarre wrestling chic) but the music remains as rousing as ever, especially in a live setting. Arcade Fire have copped a lot from this band.

In support of the tour BSP have made a video for the Valhalla Dancehall track “Who’s In Control?”, and in keeping with the anti-authoritarian theme of the song, the video features young people fighting, demonstrating, partying, and getting naked. It’s actually better than that sounds, it’s a great video, but it’s not safe for work:
British Sea Power - “Who’s In Control?” (NSFW)

Valhalla Dancehall is available to buy here.

After the jump, British Sea Power’s North American tour schedule for March/April…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Re-Animator: The Musical

Photo: Rachel Avery, George Wendt, center, Jesse Merlin. Credit: Thomas Hargis.
Even considering the vast number of the films-turned-Broadway-musicals that have been produced in recent years, few would have imagined Stuart Gordon’s bloody 1985 cult classic, Re-Animator, would be a likely candidate to join their ranks. But if you think about it, Re-Animator’s camp-gore trappings make it a natural for the musical treatment. Gordon and his collaborators went back to the laboratory, grafted a bit of Gilbert & Sullivan and a bit of Bernard Herrmann into the proceedings and et voila, Re-Animator is born again as an all-singing, all-dancing Grand Guignol.

Re-Animator: The Musical closely follows the plotline of Gordon’s film (based on the HP Lovecraft short story “Herbert West-Reanimator,” itself a parody of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein). The writing is witty, as sharp as a knife. The cast are wonderfully deadpan (the way camp should be played, of course) and the striking musical score can best be described (and this is a good thing) putrescent Sondheim. Couplets like “His psychosis gives me chills/He cannot love, he only kills!” cannot help but to inject life anew into Gordon’s 25-year-old grindhouse favorite.

If you recall Re-Animator the film, there was quite a lot of blood in it. The musical has even more. According to Variety, the gore effects were created by the same crew who worked on the 1985 film. I believe it. Patrons seated in the front three rows were given trashbag-like ponchos to protect their clothes, but on the night we saw the show, the first ten rows probably should have worn raincoats. And hats. And been issued umbrellas! (For the record, I sat in the middle and remained dry. Just don’t wear any couture and you’ll be fine.)

Jesse Merlin, as the villain of the piece, Dr. Carl Hill, plays the role for everything it’s worth, producing edgy comedy with a well-placed leering sideways glance or dismissive aristocratic grumble. For most of the second act Merlin’s character is in fact, headless, but it hardly seems to affect his operatic bass baritone vocals. Truly the guy is the Paul Lynde of his generation, but with a preposterously good singing voice. Who would forget this fellow with the mellow bellow having seen him perform only once (and headless)? Cheers’ George Wendt, too, gets huge laughs as the college dean who is zombie-fied when his dead body is only brought partially back to life by the reagent and Herbert West is played by Graham Skipper—who is excellent—with a touch of Rainn Wilson and Anthony Perkins thrown in to nice effect. The cast is rounded out by pretty Rachel Avery as Megan the chirpy sweet heroine and her earnest love interest (and West’s roommate) Dan Cain is played by Chris L. McKenna.

Re-Animator: The Musical is unique and terrific fun, the only thing I can think to compare it to is Little Shop of Horrors and if there is any justice in the universe, Re-Animator should enjoy a similar success. It’s not at all difficult to imagine a bigger budget production of this show pleasing audiences on Broadway for years. Re-Animator the Musical just opened last weekend at The Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, but demand for tickets—a bargain at $25—has been so strong that the run has already been extended. Get tickets here.

Re-Animator, the Musical, Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. $25. (800) 595-4849

Below, the trailer from the original 1985 movie. Yes, this is now a musical play!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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