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Top Fox exec admits to lying on-air about Obama being a ‘socialist’
01:00 pm

They hate us for our freedom


Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon was caught bragging on tape during a conservative cruise ship retreat that he flat-out lied when he speculated on-air “about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism.” Sammon goes on to add that this allegation he personally—and *ahem* privately—found “rather far-fetched.” He calls it “mischievious” but wouldn’t an honest person call it what it is: LYING? He’s the VP of the top TV news outlet in America and he publicly admits to lying on-camera??? Where the fuck is James O’Keefe?

The funny sad thing is, I’m one of those people who desperately wanted Obama to be a socialist! Talk about your delusional and dashed hopes… Anyone who says Obama is a socialist, is either an idiot or like Bill Sammon, a lying liar. (And dig the subtext: Sammon is basically saying “Hey, I’m not dumb enough to actually believe the shit I say on TV”! Hilarious).

If an NPR executive or a CNN VP said something like this against a conservative politician, or even made a generic comment disparaging the right, they’d be forced out of their job within a matter of days. Sammon—AN ADMITTED LIAR, WHO LIED ON FOX NEWS, WHERE HE IS EMPLOYED—should be repudiated and fired by Fox immediately. There is no nuance to what he said. He admitted to lying. That is what he did. The man has no credibility professionally—as an admitted liar, as a supposed newsman—moving forward.

You can help put some heat on Sammon and Fox News by sharing this video on FB and Twitter.

PS: It’s amusing to read some of the comments about this video on YouTube and elsewhere. One teabagger wrote “You Media Matters-types should all be in jail!” What does someone think they mean when they make a statement like that in this kind of context, you know? Exposing liars is a bad thing, I guess, when someone happens to agree with the lies?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jeffrey Martin’s Amazing 360-Panorama inside Prague’s Off-limits Monastery Library
06:27 pm



Photographer Jeffery Martin has created the “world’s largest indoor photograph: a 40-gigapixel, 360-degree image of the hall that weighs in at 283 GB.”

But that’s not all, for the photograph is of Prague’s Philosophical Hall, a rarely seen, Baroque reading room in the city’s 868-year-old Strahov monastery library.

As reported in Wired Martin has taken nearly 3,000 pictures to create the one giant panoramic view of the Strahov library, which is released today on Martin’s website. The finished image is a

...a zoomable, high-resolution peek inside one of Prague’s most beautiful halls, a repository of rare books that is usually off-limits to tourists (a few of whom can be seen standing behind the velvet rope at the room’s normal viewing station).
Martin’s panorama lets you examine the spines of the works in the Philosophical Hall’s 42,000 volumes, part of the monastery’s stunning collection of just about every important book available in central Europe at the end of the 18th century — more or less the sum total of human knowledge at the time.

Martin got special permission from the library to pursue the project. He didn’t, however, get permission to wear his street shoes indoors. He’s complemented his fingerless gloves and down vest — it’s cold in here — with a pair of oversize, felt-soled slippers for the sake of the polished parquet floor.

To capture the images, the German-made GigaPanBot sends the camera on a pattern that starts at the very top of the library, going back and forth in rows, working its way downward over five days of shooting.

“I started from the ceiling, and by the time they kicked me out at 5 p.m. the first day, I had done maybe 20 percent of the hall,” Martin says. “So I hit pause and left everything right where it was until the next morning. That’s one advantage of shooting in an 18th-century library — my camera is the least valuable thing in the room.”

The next step: turning 2,947 individual shots into a single picture. It’ll take a day of mostly automated post-processing to correct colors and exposures from RAW image files.

“That dark corner and the bright ceiling are shot at the same exposure,” Martin says. “My goal is to get something that doesn’t have dark spots and bright spots — and also something that looks natural.”

During assembly of the massive panorama, Martin’s program will take more than 111 hours to stitch everything together.

“When you give it 10 pictures, it fits them together no problem,” Martin says. “But when you give it 3,000 images, there’s bound to be some issues.” After the initial layout, Martin will spend another 20 hours fixing a misaligned bookshelf, a few holes in the floor and other errors.

From inside the library, you can see why historians, scholars and travelers would flock here. A giant, four-volume set marked Musée Français, contained in a standalone, statue-topped wooden case, is believed to be one of only four extant copies. It’s a gift from Marie Louise, the second wife of Emperor Napoleon. (The French emperor is said to have had the rest of the print run destroyed because it contained evidence that certain Louvre treasures had been plundered from Italy.)

The room’s walnut paneling, gilt laurels and Escher-like inlaid marquetry make quite an impression. Beyond the rare tomes, guests who look carefully at the bookshelves might spot two hidden doors, masked with fake book spines, that lead to secret stairways — something you probably won’t catch in Martin’s panorama.

In other regards, viewing Martin’s web-based panorama might actually be better than an actual visit, especially when it comes to exploring the fresco high above the books. Completed in 1794, Franz Anton Maulbertsch’s trompe l’oeil ceiling depicts dozens of historical and religious figures, ranging from Noah and Moses to the French encyclopedists.

In real life, from 45 feet down, you might wish you could hit Shift to zoom.

Click here to see Jeffrey’s giant photograph.

The full article from Wired with photos can be found here.

A selection of Jeffrey’s 360-panoramic QuickTimes can be found on his site.
With thanks to Tara McGinley

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Hitler headlines from vintage tabloids
05:34 pm



The Police Gazette was a legendary publication that started out as a small 16 page magazine in 1845 and by the 1950s had morphed into a fullblown tabloid with a focus on scandal, gossip, movie stars and every form of sensationalism that would move copies off the newstands. Hitler was a big seller and The Police Gazette didn’t hesitate to exploit the Fuhrer’s sales appeal. Readers were particularly attracted by headlines claiming Hitler was still alive.

From Pulp International:

You’ll notice that Gazette editors didn’t feel the need to think of clever headers—three times they went simply with “Hitler Is Alive”, which makes sense, because for readers of the time what could have been more frightening and mesmerizing than those three words? But posting these covers also made us think about how often Hitler’s name is invoked today, especially on cable news shows and wacko talk radio, while his image is rarely seen. Perhaps that indicates some sort of transition from actual monstrosity into ethereal boogeyman, but we think turning his name into an invocation is an insult to those who actually fought him and, needless to say, it trivializes his crimes and the indelible scar he burned across the face of humanity. Secondarily, it makes people vulnerable to all sorts of ad hominem arguments involving Nazis, arguments we can’t help noticing are often put forth by people who seem to have no actual emotion regarding the Holocaust, and no concept of its historical significance. Basically, we’re believers in Godwin’s Law. Adhering to those rules, Hitler retains his full, horrible meaning. And crazy as it sounds, that’s a good thing.”

In today’s world these Hitler headlines seem absolutely absurd until you consider the kind of alternate history being trafficked by the likes of Glenn Beck. I can imagine researchers at Glenn Beck University diligently poring over battered copies of The Police Gazette in hopes of uncovering repressed and forgotten bits of history’s shadow world.  And if you’re unclear as to what Godwin’s Law’s is, the preceding two sentences qualify as an example.
More Hitler headlines from The Police Gazette after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Charlie Brooker on the Media’s Japan coverage
03:08 pm

Current Events


In 1992 I attended a lecture by Noam Chomsky at a high school auditorium in Los Angeles. During the Q&A Professor Chomsky was asked what televised news sources he recommended and he said said none of them. He had particularly biting comments to make about how CNN “packaged” the (first) Gulf War as infotainment with clips of military jets taking off, waving American flags and footage of targets being hit that looked like video-games with a martial beat soundtrack. How can you expect the public to have an objective view of the country’s foreign policy and military actions, he asked the audience, when they’re fed images from the military itself via a tightly controlled press pool designed to foster an “us vs. them” mindset by a for profit news outlet who find their highest ratings in the midst of war, scandal and crisis? And NBC was at this time owned by General Electric, the #1 company in the world to make money from war. Who could you trust?

I used to be an absolute TV news junkie, but after his words sank in, I found the more and more I drifted away from it. I did most certainly feel manipulated whenever I was watching CNN. It became really fucking annoying to me once it had been pointed out so bluntly what they were up to and how far up the White House’s asshole they’d climbed. It’s worth mentioning that it was four years prior to the launch of Fox News when Noam Chomsky made these observations. To satiate my infomania, I was soon subscribing to five daily papers and 70 monthly magazines that ranged from far-right and far-left conspiracy theory zines, to Vanity Fair and everything in between. In addition to things like In These Times or Z magazine, I also subscribed to The National Review (before it became absolutely worthless on every level) and Free American and various libertarian publications. I picked up anarchist monthlies, eco warrior magazines and just basically everything. Extreme perhaps, but at least my information sources did not have an emotionally leading soundtrack and ludicrous music video montages of saluting soldiers, missiles being fired to slaughter people at a distance and red, white and blue flags flying in the wind.

Much of the time, TV news just felt like I was being shouted at by idiots. It was infuriating. By 1996—the year Fox News launched although I was barely aware of it at the time—I cancelled cable because I never ever watched it and it was just a waste of $70 bucks a month. If it wasn’t for my wife, I’d have never had it since (and I still never watch TV news unless there’s something really significant happening).

The brilliant and sardonic British writer and TV presenter, Charlie Brooker performs a parallel service for BBC viewers that Professor Chomsky once did for me, to illustrate a similar point he made recently—with well-chosen clips—about the despicable way the news media is treating the crisis in Japan. Watch this, it’s really good.

(via Cynical-C)

Previously on DM:
Charlie Brooker’s How TV Ruined Your Life.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Al Qaeda launches glossy magazine for women?
08:52 pm



Al Qaeda is releasing a new glossy magazine for women called The Majestic Woman. Dubbed the “Jihad Cosmo” the magazine includes beauty tips for women (“stay indoors and wear a hijab”), how to find a jihadist husband, fashion advice, and suicide bombings. The front cover shows a sub-machine gun with a small insert picture of a veiled woman. According to The Week the 31-page glossy contains:

...advice for singles on “marrying a mujahideen,” a beauty column urging women to improve their complexion by keeping their faces covered and staying indoors, and an interview with the widow of a suicide bomber who praises her late husband’s bravery. A preview for the next issue promises more skin-care tips and instructions on how to wage electronic jihad.

But is The Majestic Woman for real?

Well, it’s definitely out there in the world, but its origins seem murky. The magazine is reportedly being distributed online by the same al Qaeda media group that publishes Inspire, a glossy magazine aimed at young Muslim extremists whose authenticity has also been questioned. Slate’s KJ Dell’Antonia notes that the Middle East Observatory hasn’t claimed the magazine as a product of al Qaeda, and U.S. analysts haven’t weighed in. In any case, says Dell’Antonia, “neither beauty tips nor man-catching advice seem consistent with the womanly ideals of the conservative Muslim, and it’s hard to reconcile a cover image of a woman posing with a sub-machine gun with a culture that does not allow women to drive.”



Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Digital Piracy: To torrent or not to torrent? That is the question
09:33 pm



A few weeks ago, a friend of mine got a letter from Comcast informing him that they knew he’d illegally snagged The King’s Speech and asking him to refrain from future illegal downloading. The letter mentioned no recourse or anything of the sort, he told me, just, “we know what you did.”

That same week, someone else I know found his Internet browser had been commandeered by Time-Warner Cable and until he clicked on a button which said he acknowledged illegally downloading an episode of NBC’s Community he could not leave the page or do anything else.  I’ve read anecdotal reports of other ISPs threatening to cancel a user’s Internet access with a “three strikes, you’re out” approach.

Knowing two people having that happen to them in the space of a week gave me pause as I had actually made a mental note to download the latest episode of Community myself! But it got me thinking about how backwards the industry’s notion still is of how to manage (or “fight” or “solve”—I’ll go with “manage”) the issue of digital piracy. I can certainly understand why the motion picture industry would want the guy downloading Oscar screeners put on notice, but a TV show? This is 2011, get real.

First off, network television programming has traditionally been free to the end user. And make no mistake about it, the TV networks are NOT in the business of making television, they are in the business of selling their advertisers a 30 second rendezvous with your retinas. To the networks, the programs are merely the things they need to hang commercials off of and often little else. So why not think of bit torrent downloads the same way?

If TV shows are “free” why even bother with someone downloading a single episode of Community? On a CPM basis, had this person opted to watch Community on regular TV or, the network would have made but a micro payment from the ads being seen. I realize that this adds up, of course, but until the entertainment industry finally figures out that there is very little they can do about digital piracy—it’s not even cost effective to send stinky letters, let alone bring lawsuits against individuals over micro-payments, class action suits get nowhere with this issue, and there is ALWAYS going to be another source for the illicit content files—they have little rational hope of “winning” the larger battle for the industry’s survival.

And for the life of me, I cannot understand why the networks themselves don’t simply hardcode the ads into the torrent files, have their “official” torrent downloads counted by Nielsen and just be done with it. In other words, going with the flow and not against it. I would imagine that 90% of illegal downloaders would opt for the legal torrent file, even if they had to watch a few commercials. If torrent downloads counted in the Neilsen ratings, the same way DVR’s shows now do, then Gossip Girl would be in the top ten shows on TV, if you take my point. Why hasn’t the CW wised up to this fact and used it to their advantage. It’s a strength and not a weakness!

The reason why such an obvious solution probably hasn’t been implemented is that the execs themselves to this day have very little clue of how their own kids—not to mention the junior level employees in their companies—use media. They know piracy is going on obviously, but to the extent that it does or knowing anything about the culture of private bit torrent trackers, they just don’t get it and they never will, simply because they don’t personally use it.

If younger execs were calling the shots, this wouldn’t be the case, but by the time they’d be moving into the corner offices, this will all be moot anyway. The entertainment industry, as we’ve known it for the past half century, is a walking corpse. Short of the “all you can watch” plans like Netflix, I can see almost no rational or workable solutions. The public is not interested anymore in paying for a single item of entertainment, but a reasonable priced subscription service is very attractive to the consumer and the research screams this loud and clear. Is there much hope of the movie industry surviving in its present form once DVDs (which often provide half or much more of the payday for Hollywood blockbusters) are history? As someone who spent the better part of a decade as the owner of a DVD distribution company, I’d have to say “no fucking way.”

The $20 list price of the average DVD cannot be justified for digital downloads. The best snake-oil salesmen in the business can’t make a rational argument that an invisible, weightless product that you cannot hold in your hand, wrap cellophane around or stick on a shelf should cost the same as something that can be. The public isn’t stupid, but the industry execs are, ignoring a massive migration away from their business model and failing to adapt for a model that could work for them. The movie industry is basically a lost cause, I think. It will limp on for several more years, but I predict that we’ll soon see a huge contraction in the number of films that get made. I don’t think it will be gradual either. I expect it to fall right off a cliff.

The music industry is hardly worth talking about, either, but television IS because it’s always more or less been free (at least network TV) and never relied on selling hard copies. It’s not even remotely the same business model as movies and music. However without some serious consideration for how the audience uses media—what they do with it—the television industry, too, will be greatly diminished.

In the LA Times, there’s an interesting “Dust Up” in the Opinion section’s blog pitting Andrew Keen, author of the upcoming book Digital Vertigo: An Anti-Social Manifesto and an industry advisor on the matter of piracy, against Harold Feld, who is the legal director of Public Knowledge, a Washington-based digital rights advocacy group.

Says Feld, who represents the opinions of many Internet users and online entrepreneurs:

“[C]opyright holders need to understand that the best way to stop illegal downloads is to make the content available and affordable online in ways people want it. Hollywood lobbyists usually react to this with the same enthusiasm displayed by social conservatives when suggesting that free condoms in high schools help reduce teen pregnancies—and for the same reason. It amounts to a confession that since you can’t stop the conduct, you need to figure out how to acknowledge it and limit the negative consequences.”

Says Keen, speaking up for the entertainment industry and artists within:

“[W]hy would consumers pay for Netflix, Hulu or Spotify content if all the same movies and songs can be illegally downloaded for free? And that’s, of course, why we need carefully considered, bipartisan legislation like COICA. Because without it, the United States’ entertainment industry—with its millions of middle-class jobs—is in serious jeopardy.”

Simple: It’s just easier; the quality is higher; no annoying letters or threat of your Internet being cut off… The public WILL respond favorably to the correct price point. I personally think that price point is about $20 bucks a month and bet most Netflix subscribers would agree with me on that amount. It’s a pity the entertainment moguls feel their precious content is worth more, because the public simply disagrees and has a multitude of other choices. It’s time for the entertainment industry to wake up to the reality of the current marketplace as consumer habits are pretty ingrained, especially with cyber-savvy younger people who have never spent $20 bucks on a DVD in their lives and probably never will. (And note that Keen is asking if the public will be willing to fork out for Spotify or Hulu—the basic version of these services—like network TV—are free and advertiser supported, anyway, so what’s his point?). The COICA legislation can’t do much about this stuff as there is always a workaround, technically speaking and tech will trump laws. There are laws against it now, of course.

Although both sides score, I’m squarely in Feld’s corner and once again, I will remind the reader that I owned a DVD distribution company. Andrew Keen’s heart is in the right place, but idealism doesn’t mean shit when the public can “shoplift” without ever leaving their homes. It’s just the way things are. From my vantage point as a business owner, the writing was on the wall as early as 2004. In 2011 it’s just pathetic that the industry is so damned clueless

There are three parts to the Los Angeles Times piece, which began Tuesday with “How big a risk does digital piracy pose to the entertainment industry?” came back with “Should the entertainment industry accept piracy as a cost of doing business?” and concluded today with a question that needs to be addressed, especially in this city: “What’s the true impact of illegal downloading on jobs and the arts?

Thank you Alexandra Le Tellier!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
No, you are not dreaming: Glenn Beck’s crew expose James O’Keefe as a lying sack of shit (again)
04:40 pm

Current Events


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
Appropriation in the age of mediated struggle: Noam Galai’s ‘stolen scream’
03:14 am



New York-based Israeli photographer Noam Galai’s 2006 shots of himself screaming have become unexpectedly widespread emblems of angst and rage that could possibly reach the ubiquity in radical politics of Alberto Korda’s Guerrillero Heroico photo of Che Guevara.

Pro photography blog FStoppers got the exclusive on the fascinating story of Galai’s whim-turned-digital-phenomenon, which spans from his studio to about 40 countries and counting.

After much exploitation of his holler, Galai’s seen fit to cash in himself, which makes sense.


Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
“Fox News Lies!”: Correcting the record

Not that they have any credibility to begin with, but the Fox News coverage of Wisconsin has been particularly dishonest.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Michael Moore on the Class War: Wisconsin shows America how it’s done

Michael Moore’s speech in Wisconsin is truly a MASTERPIECE of political oratory. You have to watch it, it’s absolutely riveting. One of the most vital statements of brutal political and economic fact that an American citizen has ever said with the eyes of the world upon them (and Moore’s never been shy in that department, has he?). To Michael Moore, I say “Bravo, sir.” And to the brave working (and retired!) people of Wisconsin and the Democrats on the lam fighting these over-reaching Republican goons on our behalf, you are the very, very best amongst us in a dark time in our nation’s history.

Heroes. Citizens.

Citizens. Heroes.

Talk about speaking truth to power, this is a knock-out. Moore’s words, the crowd, the moment. It’s stunning theater.

The fight in Wisconsin makes me prouder to be an American than I have ever been in my entire life. It makes me glad to be alive right now as the scales fall from the eyes of so many people at once all over the world.

The best part is that you know damned well that Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and the rest of the gasbag rightwing punditocracy are going to pull this speech apart tomorrow. Translation: Every one of those fuckers will have to watch it. Brilliant!

I laughed, I cried and I felt REALLY REALLY HAPPY AND ENERGIZED. What a fantastic gesture for Michael Moore to make and it came at EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME.

That speech was a profound shot of adrenaline. A part of history. A thing of great beauty.

Please watch forward his speech to everyone you know and have ever met or will meet in the future. Here’s how it starts out:

America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic—and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

A commenter on YouTube quipped “Imagine if Obama gave a speech like that!” Worth pondering. I hope that the President at least watches this speech, that would be a start in the right direction!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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