The arrogant and obnoxious Bill Maher gets taken to the woodshed; about damn time!


In the long history of Bill Maher on TV there has never been a more real time moment on Real Time than last Friday’s episode. I struggle to think of another major TV host who responded to a national firestorm by allowing people to come on his show and beat him up over his own transgressions. It’s like Maher went to the town square, locked himself in the pillory, and let people have at him for an hour. But strangely, the courage to have Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Ice Cube and Symone Sanders take him to the woodshed did not lead to the best version of Maher. He was contrite—at least early on in the show—but he was also defensive, excuse-heavy, mentioned the omnipresence of the n-word in culture (as he’s done before), Kathy Griffin, a litany of America’s historical atrocities (groan), and the fact that we’re all evolving. What?

Maher’s conversation with Dyson was weird; at times, it seemed like they were speaking different languages. My friend Dr. Dyson missed the mark by over-intellectualizing in a moment of pain—Dyson surrounded some solid questions to Maher with so much verbal cogitation that the comedian was able to avoid really answering them. On the other hand, Ice Cube was direct, emotional, and powerfully plain-spoken. He forced the conversation to its true center as Maher grew grumpy. But Cube is right: the problem is that Maher thinks he has a pass.

By “a pass” I mean he feels that he can do things that other white people can’t—things that are culturally reserved for Blacks. The pass is both I’m unique among whites and I get special privilege from Blacks. Many of us have known someone who thinks they have a pass. That guy who dates only Black women, or has lots of Black friends, or really, really loves hip-hop, or mastered some Black cultural skill (dancing, hooping, rhyming, whatever) and thinks that means he’s an honorary Black person. Cube alluded to this right off the bat: “there’s a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they a little too familiar… Guys that, you know, might have a black girlfriend or two that made them Kool-Aid every now and then, and they think they can cross the line. And they can’t.”

Cube’s talking about bad ally behavior. Maher’s sin may be rooted in loving Blackness too much but it is still a cultural sin because there is no such thing as a pass. There’s nothing that a white person can accomplish that makes them become Black. The notion of a pass—of over-identifying with Blackness—is so problematic and so painful because it objectifies Blackness. It posits Blackness as akin to something one can learn their way into. Blackness cannot be earned like a Boy Scout badge. And people who think they have a pass use it only to access the fun and joyful side of Black culture. They want Fun Blackness: The parties, the style, the rhythm of mama Africa. They don’t want to grapple with the fact that Blackness also comes with a whole lot of pain.

Don’t tell me you’re Black without having felt the pain of having ancestors who were enslaved and cousins who are imprisoned and brothers and sisters who were named Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and Philando Castile. Don’t tell me you’re Black without having had to navigate a system designed to crush you. Don’t tell me you’re Black without knowing what it is to think your country hates you, without knowing how it feels to have doors shut in your face, without knowing that any basic traffic stop could be the end of your life. Black people know what it is to fear what white privilege will do to you or your family. Black people know what the lash of white supremacy feels like. People who think they have a pass never use it to access that stuff.

Maher offered the notion of comic privilege as one of his many excuses but I don’t think that’s what this is about. Yes, comics often craft jokes that are meant to offend and it’s valuable for society to allow comedians to explore taboo subjects. But this wasn’t that. This was a knee-jerk reaction that showed that Maher, given just a second to think, would reveal that he sees himself as analogous to a house slave. This rich and famous white man may be over-identifying with Blackness a bit much. I am not in the camp that believes Maher should be fired but I do think he should spend some considerable time engaging in introspection and find the space to support racial justice, love Black culture and be a true


Huffington Post

Ricky John Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Micah Fletcher are American Heros

(CNN)As tears streamed down her cheeks, Destinee Mangum, 16, thanked the three strangers who intervened on a Portland light-rail train after a man hurled anti-Muslim slurs at her and her friend who was wearing a hijab.

Two of the men were killed. One is in the hospital after the suspect, identified as Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, stabbed the three victims, according to police.

“I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me,” Mangum told CNN affiliate KPTV, her voice cracking. “Because they didn’t even know me and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look.”

The incident on Friday struck a nerve across the United States. Outrage over the deadly assault, messages of support for the victims and expressions of antipathy for the attacker have dominated social media and news coverage.

Online funding pages have emerged for the families of the two slain men, the injured man and the girls who survived the attack.

On Monday, Trump finally weighed in, lauding the victims and deploring the act of violence.
“The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them,” the President tweeted from his @POTUS account.

The attack

Mangum and her friend were riding the MAX light rail Friday afternoon when the suspect allegedly targeted them. He yelled at Mangum, who is not Muslim, and her friend, using what police described as “hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions.”

“He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia and he told us we shouldn’t be here, to get out of his country,” Mangum told KPTV. “He was just telling us that we basically weren’t anything and that we should just kill ourselves.”

Frightened by his outburst, the pair moved away to the back of the train.

Then a stranger intervened, telling the man that he “can’t disrespect these young ladies like that.”

“Then they just all started arguing,” Mangum said.

By the time the light rail pulled into the next station, Mangum and her friends were ready to leave.

“Me and my friend were going to get off the MAX and then we turned around while they were fighting and he just started stabbing people,” she said.

“It was just blood everywhere and we just started running for our lives.”

Several passengers chased after the suspect and called 911, directing officers to his whereabouts, according to local media.

Mangum, wearing pigtails, held tightly to her mother’s hand as she spoke to a KPTV reporter.

“It’s haunting me,” she said.

Good Samaritans

The men who had intervened were viciously attacked, police said.

These three men stood up to hate in Portland

These three men stood up to hate in Portland

Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, died at the scene. The military veteran worked as a technician for the city of Portland and had gravitated towards public service.

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, of Portland, died at the hospital. He had graduated from Portland’s Reed College with a degree in economics last year and had just begun his career working at an environmental consulting agency.

The third victim, Micah Fletcher, 21, is being treated at a hospital with serious injuries. A GoFundMe account to pay for his medical bills showed a picture of him on a hospital bed with a visible neck wound.

Mangum’s mother, Dyjuana Hudson, said she owes everything to the three men and their grieving families.

“I want to say thank you so much,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine what you’re going through right now as far as losing someone.”

‘Their actions were brave; they were selfless’

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler praised the men for standing up to hatred and bigotry.

“It’s very obvious that their actions were brave; they were selfless, and it should serve as an example and inspiration to all of us,” he said in an interview Monday with CNN.

“There’s no question in my mind that these men were heroes,” he added.

Wheeler encouraged people to “stand alongside the memories” of the men and to denounce xenophobia and hate.

“They laid it on all on the line and they paid the ultimate price for standing up to those values which are bedrock to this country,” Wheeler said.

The suspect

Christian was charged with two counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder, all felonies. The aggravated murder charge has the death penalty as a possible sentence.

He also was charged with misdemeanors: two counts of second-degree intimidation and a count of being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon, police said.

Jeremy Joseph Christian was charged with aggravated murder and attempted murder.

Christian was being held at the county jail without bail, he will be arraigned on Tuesday in Multnomah County Court.

Police said detectives are looking at Christian’s background, “including the information publicly available about the suspect’s extremist ideology.”

Videos have surfaced showing Christian at various events shouting at people, at one point saying the N-word, as police officers separated him from others.


The FBI has joined the Portland police-led investigation to gather evidence.

Authorities are trying to determine whether Christian will be charged with federal hate crimes.

Teen’s family asks for privacy

After granting interviews to a few local media outlets, Hudson and her daughter posted a video on Facebook saying they were thankful to the victims and the community support. They also asked for privacy.

“The best thing you guys can help us out with is just giving me and my family time to process everything and for me to cope with what happened and to actually heal from this and get over this somehow,” Mangum said.

“When the time comes, we will come forward,” her mother said. “But right now it’s all just too much to keep rehashing it over and over again.”

The other woman on the train hasn’t spoken out publicly.

“Blood and Soil” & “Russia is our friend”

“What brings us together is that we are white, we are a people, we will not be replaced,” intoned Richard Spencer, the man who coined the term “alt-right,” at rallies Saturday near a contentious statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va. As the Daily Progress reports, the second rally was attended by several dozen protesters carrying torches and chanting, “Russia is our friend,” “you will not replace us,” and “blood and soil.” Police broke up that protest within about 10 minutes after an altercation broke out; Spencer tweeted a photo of himself from the scene, captioned simply “#torchlight.” At issue: The city of Charlottesville’s decision to sell the statue of Lee, though a judge has since ordered an injunction preventing any sale for six months.

The town is familiar ground for Spencer, who the Washington Post notes attended the University of Virginia. The protests were attacked by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello, who started a back-and-forth when he tweeted, “Get your white supremacist hate out of my hometown.” “We won, you lost, little Tommy,” retorted Spencer. “Actually, you lost,” responded Perriello. “In 1865. 150 years later, you’re still not over it.”

Mayor Mike Signer has issued a statement likening the event to a KKK demonstration.

The group congregated in Lee Park by a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which is slated to be removed from the premises later this year following a February city council vote. Earlier in the day, protestors had also gathered at nearby Jackson Park, voicing their commitment to protecting what they called their “white heritage.”

Chants of “blood and soil” broke out just after 9 PM. The German-originated expression, popularized in the Nazi era, refers to an ideology of “ethnic purity” based on blood descent and territory.

After about ten minutes of activity, Charlottesville police intervened, and the crowd extinguished their torches and dispersed. Law enforcement had also broken up the Jackson Park protest hours earlier with relative ease, although intervention there followed rowdier arguments and scuffles.

“This event involving torches at night in Lee Park was either profoundly ignorant or was designed to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK,” Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said in a statement.

At Jackson Park, some demonstrators spoke to press. “We’re not white supremacists,” said protestor Orry Von Dize. “We are simply just white people that love our heritage, our culture, our European identity.”

In attendance was infamous white supremacist Richard Spencer, who shared a photo of himself holding a torch. On Sunday, he mocked a reporter who called out the event: “Glad you enjoyed it,” he tweeted. Spencer, a Nazi sympathizer who claims he created the “alt-right” movement, made headlines in January 2017 when he was punched in the face on live TV.


Voice of the Resistance (not so much); racism and stupidly undermine MSNBC

The three women of color in this ad are gone now


WASHINGTON ― On Friday, readers of the new morning email put out by Mike Allen awoke to a little nugget of news. “One of your favorites is getting their own MSNBC show,” he teased in the subject line.

That new host was none other than Nicolle Wallace, a former spokeswoman for President George W. Bush and, later, the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

New York magazine reported hours later that conservative activist and radio host Hugh Hewitt, already a regular contributor to MSNBC, was in talks with the network about a weekend show.

From outside, it might seem odd to see the premier liberal network veering right, even as liberals around the country are fired up to resist the administration of President Donald Trump.

But from inside, the news about Wallace and Hewitt was seen as just two more steps toward the full execution of the vision of Andy Lack, the NBC News executive who oversees MSNBC. He has made quite clear his plan to move the cable news network away from its bedrock liberalism and toward a more centrist approach personified by Brian Williams — even including hosts of a conservative bent, as typified by hosts like Megyn Kelly or Greta Van Susteren, who Lack brought over from Fox News.

But Lack, in seeking to make this vision a reality, has an unusual problem for a TV executive: sky-high ratings. Since the election of Trump, MSNBC’s liberal primetime programs hosted by Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell have surged not just in ratings but in the share of the cable news audience they’re capturing. In its earnings call on Thursday, NBCUniversal specifically cited the boost in ratings to “The Rachel Maddow Show” for a spike in profits. Maddow has been the top show on cable news in the key demographic for two months running, an inconceivable achievement at MSNBC.

Tossing those primetime hosts overboard while they’re raking in viewership and revenue has so far proved an elusive task.

“Hayes, Maddow, O’Donnell ― the entire primetime lineup is doing record numbers and Lack can’t stand it. It makes him furious,” said one senior MSNBC source, echoing the sentiment of many other insiders who spoke to HuffPost only on the condition of anonymity. (An NBC spokesman said Lack is happy with the high ratings.)

The gap between the success of the primetime lineup and the investment of leadership in that very success has started to become public. O’Donnell, for instance, has the network’s second-most watched show, but it gets little in the way of promotion, a point he made himself on Twitter last week.

Lawrence O’Donnell ✔ @Lawrence Best promo ever written for my show. (No one else is writing them so there’s really no competition but this is a great one.)

O’Donnell’s contract will soon be up for renewal. Keeping the second-best performing show is typically not in question at most networks ― but at MSNBC, it will test whether Lack gives into, or continues to resist, the energy of the resistance.

Lack has targeted the network’s progressive programming since arriving at the network in spring 2015. He started with the daytime shows: Shows from Alex Wagner, Joy Reid and Ronan Farrow, as well as “The Cycle,” were canceled and replaced by straight news. (At the end of 2015, my own contract with MSNBC, which ran for three years, was not renewed; I had no interaction with Lack.) Lack brought in Chuck Todd to host a 5 p.m. show. He canceled Al Sharpton’s 6 p.m. show, and ran one from Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in its place.

The Halperin-Heilemann program, which has since been canceled, was a hard-to-watch ratings disaster. Lack moved Van Susteren, formerly of Fox News, into the slot. That show has also been a ratings wreck. Across the board, shows that Lack has put his stamp on and moved to the center or to the right have not performed as well as the ones he has left alone, despite MSNBC’s ability to get the media-industry press to write flattering stories about the network’s “dayside turnaround.”

“Every hour that Andy has not touched are the strongest hours on the network. Everything he has touched is lower rated,” said one well-placed insider.

Van Susteren, for instance, looks like a pothole in ratings road. Typically, starting around noon and going until about 9 p.m., each cable news hour is more widely viewed than the one before. But Van Susteren actually loses audience from the hour before. Last Friday, for instance, Todd controlled a 21 percent share of the cable news audience at 5 p.m. Van Susteren fell to 17 percent at 6 p.m., losing more than 30,000 viewers. They come back at 7 p.m. for Chris Matthews, who pulled in a 26 percent share. Hayes kept 27 percent of the share and Maddow had 39 percent. The number dipped to 27 percent for O’Donnell at 10 p.m. (I have appeared frequently on all four shows, although presumably that will end following the publication of this story.)

The daytime side, which is the testing ground for Lack’s theory that straight news is a stronger path forward, scores well below the progressive programming. In last Friday’s ratings, it pulled in a share of between 15 percent and 16 percent. The total numbers are lower as well, but using share is a fairer comparison, because it accounts for the difference in overall audience size.

In an interview in December 2015, Lack was blunt about the direction he wanted to take MSNBC. He “explained why he has been toiling to re-brand MSNBC as a reliable provider of breaking news in contrast to its previous incarnation, personified by former anchor Keith Olbermann and other personalities such as Ronan Farrow, Joy Reid, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, as an outlet dominated by left-leaning hosts and pitched to like-minded viewers,” The Daily Beast reported.

The goal, Lack said, was to get serious.

“Had we not made this turn to breaking news with seriousness of purpose, in these times and in this election, we would have been clobbered,” Lack said. “As reasonable as that [discarded liberal] programming was for when it was created, we’re in a long game now. … This is maybe the most interesting election of my lifetime. … The world has never been more dangerous in my lifetime.” The bracketing of “discarded liberal” appears in the original interview, in which Lack lays out his plan to move more toward Williams and away from Maddow’s politics.

Lack’s plan helps explain the awkward coverage following debates and on election night, which often put Maddow and Williams on screen next to each other. It was not a portrait of a network bringing forward a diversity of perspectives. Lack appeared ready to move in one direction, but couldn’t quite get his foot out of the other canoe.

Hayes, Maddow and O’Donnell have stubbornly insisted on soaring in ratings since the election. In the first quarter of 2015, “The Rachel Maddow Show” was ranked 26th among all cable news shows. It was the seventh most-watched show in the first quarter of 2017. “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” and “All In With Chris Hayes” were 37th and 38th, respectively. “Last Word” is now No. 11, and Hayes’ show is coming in at No. 17. That’s real growth, because it considers where they were previously, and accounts for the rise in audience across the board that came with the election and the Trump presidency.

Matthews, who airs at 7 p.m., has also seen a bit of a jump. Two years ago his show was ranked 30th, ahead of both Hayes and O’Donnell, and he’s now up to 19th, behind both. While he is certainly a shade or two left of center, his show is more Beltway-friendly fare. In his defense, he is working from a deficit, as he follows Van Susteren and Todd, who come in at 30th and 28th, respectively.

The daytime programming has shown some gains under Lack’s leadership, even relative to other networks. But Lack may have misdiagnosed the problem that sapped MSNBC’s momentum in the later years of President Barack Obama’s administration. After the tea party wave in 2010, the Obama legislative agenda was stopped cold, leaving little for an audience to root for. But with Obama in the White House, there was also little to root against, which makes for terribly boring viewing. House leaders like John Boehner and Paul Ryan weren’t villainous on a Trumpian level, and Republicans didn’t capture the Senate until the 2014 midterms. Divided government with Democrats in the White House made for dull politics, and MSNBC’s programming paid the price across the board.

“The Ed Show With Ed Schultz” at 5 p.m. was ranked 59th in the first quarter of 2015 in the key demographic, people between the ages of 25 and 54. Sharpton’s “Politics Nation” clocked in at No. 49. The noon show hosted by Wagner checked in at No. 66, with mid-afternoon shows by Reid and Farrow at Nos. 82 and 85.

Van Susteren is doing better today ― ranked 30th ― than Sharpton did. But with bumps across the board ― see the rise for Matthews ― it’s impossible to say whether a more resistance-themed Sharpton show would be doing better than that. Todd’s show, meanwhile, has a better performance, with a rank of 28, than Schultz’s did But, again, where would a rage-filled Schultz be ranking with all the rage directed at Trump instead of Obama, an audience favorite? (It’s impossible to say: He’s now at RT.)

Lack, according to a person close to him, was indeed concerned about primetime ratings in 2015 and 2016, as any executive would have been, particularly in the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. hours. But he has become enthusiastic about the lineup as the viewers came back. Still, he believes that people want hard news and analysis during the day.

The strategy, while it might make sense at noon, falls apart the closer it gets to primetime. It helps explain Van Susteren’s collapse at 6 p.m., and may swamp Wallace even as far back as 4 p.m. (A network spokesman said executives know new cable shows take a while to catch on with viewers, and are willing to be patient with Van Susteren.)

Lack’s changes, insiders say, are motivated in large part by a desire to engineer the full resurrection of Williams. Deciding what to do with Williams, who had been exposed as a serial liar, was Lack’s first major decision when he returned to NBC in 2015. The plan he came up with — to move the former star anchor to MSNBC dayside and breaking news — set in motion the chain reaction that has led to today.

Lack’s decisions have gone a long way to change the look of the network, taking it from the height of diversity to what it is now. In 2014, HuffPost analyzed a two-week stretch of programming on MSNBC, Fox News and CNN to quantify the level of on-air minority talent, specifically looking at African-American talent. MSNBC was far above the competition, with 46 segments in that period that featured an African-American host talking exclusively to African-American guests.

That’s gone. Under Lack, MSNBC has lost black and brown talent, including Wagner, Melissa Harris Perry, Touré, Dorian Warren, Michael Eric Dyson, Adam Howard, Jamil Smith, Jose Diaz-Balart (who now hosts a Saturday night show on NBC) and Tamron Hall. Other people who have been shown the door under Lack include Abby Huntsman, Ed Schultz and Farrow. In their place have arrived folks like Van Susteren, Heilemann and Halperin, Wallace, Hewitt, Stephanie Ruhle, Hallie Jackson, Katy Tur and Kate Snow.

Both Reid and Sharpton have been shunted to the weekends, although Reid appears frequently in primetime and as a substitute host. She hosts “AM Joy” from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

A February MSNBC press release boasting about ratings gains put “Morning Joe” on the top, noting it had 849,000 total viewers. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the release, though, and you’ll find a data point that doesn’t do much to support Lack’s vision of the enterprise: More people are watching “AM Joy” than the network’s most celebrated morning program. On Saturdays, 981,000 people watched the program, and 810,000 tuned in on Sundays. That trend continues in other months, according to Nielsen data. “AM Joy” had 87,000 more total viewers than “Morning Joe” in April, and the weekday show slightly edged her out in the key demo. (Comparing a weekday morning show and Reid’s weekend show is apples-to-oranges, an NBC spokesman says.)

Van Susteren may have beaten Reid by getting the coveted 6 p.m. slot, but Reid is still managing to generally beat her in viewership. Van Susteren’s “For the Record with Greta” averaged 902,000 viewers.

Changing dynamics at the network became clear to the public when Perry made an internal critique early last year. “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” she wrote in an email that was later made public. “I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by Lack, [Phil] Griffin, or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”

“While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better,” added Perry, who is now a professor at Wake Forest University.

“That was the sign to me that things had really gone down the tube,” said one former MSNBC employee. “A lot of us who had kept holding out hope kind of gave up.”

Sam Geduldig, a GOP lobbyist whose hobby-horse is elite liberal hypocrisy on race, has been quick to flag the changing complexion at MSNBC as suggestive of a bigger problem. “Liberal media outlets love to lecture Republicans about diversity. It turns out they are totally white and apparently have no intention of hiring blacks or Hispanics,” he said.

The perception that Lack has eviscerated nonwhite talent at MSNBC has affected the way some of his interactions with black staff at MSNBC are viewed. This past spring, Lack reportedly asked a black senior producer if she could connect him with the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. “It was like Trump asking April Ryan to hook him up with the [Congressional Black Caucus],” said one employee. (We’re withholding the name of the producer; a spokesman noted that Lack also asked Chris Hayes for Coates’ contact info.)

During a call with bookers, Lack said to stop asking people he didn’t recognize to be guests. And late last summer, in front of countless staff, he told the MSNBC crew that he had walked to the office with his son, and his son suggested to him that he needed a star to show up for internal events. “I don’t have Drake. I don’t have Miley Cyrus. But I do have Yvette Miley,” he said.

It was a corny riff, typical of Lack, who is what Michael Scott of “The Office” would have become had he studied at the Sorbonne. Lack, after he arrived, had put Miley in charge of diversity hiring at MSNBC and NBC. “She was named head of diversity and he continued firing black talent,” said one Miley friend.

A different executive with a different record may have been forgiven for all three episodes, but much of this has happened with Lack before.

One of Lack’s first major moves when he became president of NBC in 1993 was to replace “Today” show host Bryant Gumbel with Matt Lauer, sources said. Gumbel is black, and Lauer is white.

“Andy pushed Bryant Gumbel out,” said a source familiar with how the shake-up went down. Lack didn’t fire Gumbel, but “he made him an offer he couldn’t accept,” the source said, a time-tested way of nudging talent out the door in the television industry. (Gumbel and Lack have since become good friends, the source added. And Lack replaced Williams with Lester Holt, the first black host of a Big Three news broadcast.)

Lack oversaw the launch of MSNBC in 1996, which was originally conceived as a 24/7 extension of NBC News, in combination with something or other from Microsoft. The new channel stumbled along for several years without an identity. Then, in 2003, Lack left NBC to become chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment.

Shortly thereafter, MSNBC began drifting left. It was a similar environment to today, with liberal passion against the war in Iraq and its chief advocate, George W. Bush, peaking. Keith Olbermann tapped into the anger to become the network’s first real star. Phil Griffin, Olbermann’s executive producer, eventually rose to run all of MSNBC, and it is the shows put in place by Griffin that are performing the best today.

Olbermann used his show to create new stars, bringing on the previously obscure Maddow as a frequent guest. When Maddow got her own time slot, she did the same by inviting Hayes, Steve Kornacki and others who became fixtures on the network to be guests.

“This used to be the most amazing place to work, where I felt like my bosses, my colleagues, cared about me and cared about the world we live in,” said one employee who remains, for the time being, on staff. “Now I feel like I’m in a stereotypical news network, like something out of [the 1976 movie] ‘Network,’ yet we’re in the year 2017. We’ve come so far from what this place once was. It was a wonderful place to be, and now it’s just not.”

Wallace is replacing Kornacki, the Maddow protege. (”Steve Kornacki is a rising star of political coverage on both MSNBC and NBC news and his portfolio is going to continue to expand,” an NBC exec said. “Phil Griffin considers Kornacki to have been a breakout star of the 2016 cycle.”)

It must all look familiar to Tamron Hall. A longtime MSNBC host, she joined “Today” in February 2014, before Lack arrived. Sources said Lauer felt threatened by her rise; in any event, she suffered the same fate as Gumbel in February of this year. The network expressed sorrow at her departure in a written statement, but she did not make an on-air sign-off, a signal of the bitterness behind the move.

Hall, a widely liked and talented anchor, had also been hosting an overperforming daytime MSNBC show. All morning shows have sagged in recent months, and NBC’s is no exception. But according to Nielsen ratings data, the show is down significantly since Hall left.

And who is Lack’s ideal host to replace her?

Megyn Kelly.

It’s MLK day and White Supremacy still has traction in the US

Big Corporations must cut ties with White Supremacy groups and Steve Scalise!


Recently, The third highest ranking Republican, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise held a “Meet Team Scalise” event to introduce Washington insiders to his staffers and his fundraising team. Given the massive outcry over Scalise’s speech to David Duke’s white supremacist organization, and new revelations that, in 1996, Scalise was one of only two Louisiana lawmakers to vote against a formal apology for slavery, it would be reasonable to assume that attendance was low.

According to a report by Politico, nearly 300 hundred people attended the event, including Sam Lancaster of Comcast, Adam Peterson of T-Mobile, Jay Cranford of Clark Geduldig Cranford & Nielsen, Cliff Riccio of NTCA, Mike Ference of the S-3 Group, Megan Bell of NOIA and Mike Wascom of American Airlines.

white prideIt’s not terribly surprising that Republicans in the House, who have refused to fix the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act and have stood solidly in the way of any kind of real immigration reform, are happy to be led by someone who has kept company with white supremacists.

But it’s astonishing that major U.S. corporations would legitimize, and continue to fund, Scalise.

Tell Scalise’s corporate donors not to give money to politicians who pander to white supremacists.

House Speaker Boehner and other Republican leaders may refuse to remove Scalise from leadership, but we can make it impossible for him to do his job. If corporations are clear that Scalise is a toxic asset, it will be more difficult for him to fundraise for the party. The less money Scalise can raise for the Republican party, the less viable his continued leadership in the House of Representatives becomes.

Help keep the heat on Steve Scalise and Republican leaders and donors. Tell Scalise’s corporate donors not to give money to politicians who pander to white supremacists.

“Don’t contribute to Representative Steve Scalise’s campaign or leadership PACs, or those of any other politician with a record of pandering to white supremacists.”

Stand up against hate, sign the petition here:

50 years

Pictures taken 50 years apart; still work to be done!


“I don’t know how to behave in public”

MOLA:42’s Guide to Keeping Your Mouth Free of Foot Fungi

All right, I’m lying again. I have no Idea how to keep my foot out of my mouth. I’ve spent so much time in the foot-in-mouth position that I have learned to hop along on one leg.

In short, I don’t know how to behave in public.can't behave

So… much of the discussion about Redskin football teams and Honest Engine auto repair shops (as published recently in the Lost Coast Outpost) goes right by me.

Let me illustrate the issue with a story:

When I was quite young we would occasionally all pile into the family station wagon and tear off to Grandma’s House in Oakland. My parents would put the family dog between us in the back seat because the dog had absolutely no patience with pre-teen travel shenanigans and we were never sure she wouldn’t rip our lungs out if we went too far.

One of the landmarks along the way was in Southern Mendocino County, Squaw Rock. We had no idea why it was called that, we never bothered to stop to read the Historical Marker. We would speculate about why the landmark was named so and it also meant relative peace in the car (and gave our dog a break).

Pomo Woman

Pomo Woman

We never gave a thought about the use of the term “Squaw”; the word was legitimized in our minds by its use in hundreds of Westerns. We didn’t know the word was considered offensive by anyone.

Then one day many years later while traveling by on my own (and without a dog who would possibly rip my lungs out) I noticed the landmark was no longer “Squaw Rock” but “Frog Woman Rock.”

I learned why they changed the name.

Is there a point to my little story?

Yes, for once there is.

Words shape our Universe. We understand who we are and what we are and how we fit in the grand scheme of things through words. Bovine muscle fiber becomes filet mignon. Grass seeds become wheat or corn. The basic urge to procreate becomes seeking Love. Native American women become squaws.

And “Squaw” draws a picture of subservient, dumb, featureless women to be bought for a fur skin or a shiny object.

Yes, it is a big deal what you choose to call a person; or a place or an idea.

It’s no longer proper for actors to wear “Black Face” and play “Step’n Fetchit” roles. Once itracist bobble heads was. But then again, it was once also proper to keep slaves and have drinking fountains labeled “Whites Only” and “Colored Only.”

Times change and if we are wise, we change with them.

But it also gets confusing; knowing what is the latest “proper name” can be challenging. Is it wrong to call an “African American” a Negro? In the last census thousands of people preferred the word over any other to describe them.

For that matter is it appropriate to call an “African American” an “African American?”

washington blackskinsI just don’t know the answer.

When did the name “Redskins” become wrong? Was it always wrong to use the name as we do and we are only just now coming to terms with that?

And what of the context?

Ya it bothers me a lot that you want to promo…broadcast that you are associating with back people

“Ya it bothers me a lot that you want to promo…broadcast, that you are associating with back people”

Don’t we lose something tremendously important when any of us are punished for a prejudice exposed in a private conversation when it becomes public through no fault of the speaker? Should he who misspoke lose his professional basketball team over it?

For me (although I don’t have a professional basketball team to lose) not all of my thoughts are clean and pure. Not all of my notions are “correct.” I imagine that except for a rare few totally perfectly righteous readers, that is true of us all. Do we all deserve public denunciation for our private (and privately held) feelings?

On the other hand, if a person is video recorded with his knowledge, in front of many people, saying that “the Negro” was better off as slaves; did that speaker earn the condemnation he received? Was his lack of formal education a valid excuse?

In a pair of articles in the LoCO, reporter Ryan Burns pointed out if “Redskins” was a pejorative word for Native Americans; then is it proper that a car mechanic calls his business, “Honest Engine”?

The trademark for the Redskins football team has been CANCELLED in what is a landmark U.S. Patent Office decision.

The trademark for the Redskins football team has been CANCELLED in what is a landmark U.S. Patent Office decision.

Mr. Burns did what all good reporters are taught in Journalism School; make a national or international story more interesting and relevant by creating a “local hook” (also known as “local human interest”).

For instance: If all hell breaks loose in Eastern Gawdawfulstan, create your “hook” by finding somebody in the community who has spent some time in Eastern Gawdawfulstan to talk about the place (even if that person just spent a night in a tourist hotel in Eastern Gawdawfulstan between flight connections).

So, “Honest Engine” won the “local hook” booby prize. Did the car mechanic earn that kind of attention? Were his benign intentions excuse enough? Does he need any excuse?

It might be worthy to note that the business is in the process of changing its name (unlike the Redskins football team). Does that help or hurt?

we're humans

Let me move toward the close with a quote from one of the commenters in the second story’s thread:

While you’re at it, please do a story examining the appropriateness of naming an anonymous left-leaning mudslinging blog, the “Tuluwat Examiner.” How do members of the Wiyot tribe, and their elected tribal council members, feel about the place-name “Tuluwat” being appropriated for partisan political purposes by an anonymous blogger?

I do NOT speak for the Tuluwat Examiner. (See: About Tab of this blog)

And I do not find any problem with the title of this blog. Not every use of a Native American name or image is demeaning. Sometimes we honor (or at least try to) a people by using their names.

But if the Wiyot tribe was to object to the use of the word “Tuluwat” I imagine the staff of the Tuluwat Examiner would probably change the name.

That’s what anonymous left-leaning mudslinging bloggers do.


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Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the Tuluwat Examiner. I am not on the Staff of the Tuluwat Examiner. I don’t even know who these people are. But I have learned the Staff of the Tuluwat Examiner has rented the Eureka Police Department’s Armored MRAP Fighting Vehicle for the summer. They plan on offering “Safe Wildlife Tours of North and Western Eureka;” watching dangerous creatures in their natural habitat from a position of air conditioned safety.

The highlight of the tours will be visits to the Petting Zoo behind the Bayshore Mall.

 Attention campers; over this rise, there’s a souvenir stand by the tombs

Attention campers; over this rise, there’s a souvenir stand by the tombs


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