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If the debate within the mainstream media over Tony Kushner’s honorary degree at CUNY was informed by facts, and even the most rudimentary journalistic research, his ongoing obfuscation regarding his well-documented history of animosity towards the very existence of Israel would have been exposed and the Guardian’s current cause celebre would be shamed accordingly.

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From Accuracy in Media‘s Don Irvine:

Keith Olbermann’s new show on Current TV has hit an apparent snag as the New York Post reports that the former MSNBC anchor is having difficulty hiring staff and is now trying to raid his former network:

Gasbag Keith Olbermann can’t seem to wrangle staff for his Current TV show, “Countdown.” Still in need of an executive producer and other staff, famously difficult Olbermann has crawled back to his contacts at MSNBC, many of whom he offended while there, to beg for staff. “Everyone is laughing,” said a source. “They would never leave the network to work for him.”

A rep for Current TV disputed that report and told the Post that Olbermann is “assembling a first class team” and that they will be announcing the EP shortly, but the show is only five weeks away from its debut and not having a staff in place at this point does not bode well for Keith.

In the meantime, EP or no, Current did announce their first batch of contributors to the new program:

NEW YORK – MAY 11, 2011 – “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” the much anticipated week-nightly commentary show slated to launch on independently owned Current TV on June 20th, is announcing its first group of regular contributors, which will include notable policy-makers, documentary film makers, award-winning journalists, bloggers comedians and other progressive voices. Lending their views and voices to “Countdown” on a regular basis will be film maker Ken Burns, Nicole D. Lamoureux, Executive Director, National Association Of Free Clinics, comedian Richard Lewis, film maker Michael Moore and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas.

“I’m delighted and honored that so many of my friends – who are not coincidentally among the top progressive and entertainment voices in the country today – will be joining me as contributors to “Countdown” on Current,” said Olbermann, Current TV’s Chief News Officer as well as the show’s host and Executive Producer. “I hope these talented individuals, and the others we are to announce in these weeks before the premiere on June 20 will give viewers a sense of the strength and depth of the franchise we’re assembling.”

In other words, they are going to find as many left-wing media and Hollywood types as they can to parade in front of viewers whether or not they actually know anything. But I find it hard to believe that Keith will actually give them much airtime based on his penchant for dominating his old program on MSNBC.

Current has bet heavily that Olbermann will be able to boost their average viewership from 25,000 to something more ratings worthy, but with limited reach, this is a bet that could easily go sour very quickly.

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I really enjoyed Warren Farrell’s incredibly insightful book, Why Men Are the Way They Are. In fact, I liked it so much I put together a list of quotations from the book. I’ve also just finished one of his other books, The Myth of Male Power. I can’t say that I agreed with everything in it, but it was still a fascinating read.

So, I was particularly happy to get the opportunity to interview Warren Farrell. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation. Enjoy!

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Liberalism In 120 Seconds: Everything You Need To Know About Noam Chomsky

Cross-posted from Right Wing News.

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This report appeared originally at American Power. See, “Noam Chomsky Attacks Israel’s ‘Expansion Over Security’ at UCLA Lecture on ‘Palestine in Crisis’.”

*****

I experimented with video blogging, and this clip captures more of Chomsky’s comments on U.S. policy than his remarks on Israeli expansionism. Here he argues that from Washington’s perspective democracy and freedom in the Middle East are antithetical to American interests. The U.S. and Israel allegedly fear the Arab Spring because the revolutions threaten American hegemony in the region. Chomsky spouts a lot of disinformation, which is his trademark. He says at 40 seconds that “about 90 percent of Egyptians view the United States as the main enemy” and that “about 80 percent in the region wanted to be sure Iran had nuclear weapons”:

Actually, public opinion in Egypt is much more complicated than that, and while there’s obviously variation across individual polls and over time, there’s no support for Chomky’s claim of “80 percent” across the region supporting Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. In fact, according to a Pew Global Attitudes survey in April 2010, “a majority of respondents in Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon as well as Israel said the spread of nuclear weapons was a major threat” (the number was 41 percent in Egypt).

But these are only quick examples of the kind of propaganda one hears at a Noam Chomsky lecture. Indeed, what’s even more fascinating than hearing Chomsky’s America-bashing is observing the rock star status he’s afforded by the huge crowd of collegiate wannabe bohemians, diehard pro-terror communists, and the campus Islamist jihadis who thronged the event. I’ll post pictures later. Chomsky was swarmed by extremist acolytes upon entering the lecture hall. Upon speaking, it was as if his attacks on “American imperialism” and “corporate dominance” were like throwing bags of candy to children. I arrived at UCLA at 5:00pm, and the event was scheduled from 6:00 to 8:00pm. There was a long line out in front of the lecture hall, and while I was dressed casual with my baggy shorts and Famous Stars and Straps shirt and cap, I nevertheless hid the cover of Peter Collier and David Horowitz’s, Anti Chomsky Reader with my copy Chomsky and Ilan Pappé’s Gaza in Crisis. No need to get these thugs riled. That said, I haven’t shaved in weeks, and the beard’s getting a little scruffy, frankly, and thus I imagine that grizzled look went over well among the hordes. Honestly, some Muslim women simply do not smell good, and that’s to say nothing of the countercultural radicals who look like they just awoke from a night’s sleep out on the sidewalks of Westwood. Hey, I guess it’s a good thing that the Muslim dude I saw in building of the Samueli School of Engineering, where I stopped off to take a leak before heading back out to the parking garage, was performing his ablutions right there at the bathroom sink!

In any case, listening to Chomsky drone on lethargically, I was reminded of this passage from David Horowitz’s essay at the reader, “Noam Chomsky’s Anti-American Obsession”:

It would be easy to demonstrate how on every page of every book and in every statement that Chomsky has written the facts are twisted, the political context is distorted (and often inverted) and the historical record is systematically traduced. Every piece of evidence and every analysis is subordinated to the overweening purpose of Chomsky’s lifework, which is to justify an idée fixe — his pathological hatred of his own country.

The point was evident at the moment Chomsky commenced. The talk was on “Palestine and Israel in Crisis,” but Chomsky was emphatic in stressing the everything Israel does “is at the direction of the United States.” That claim sets the tone, of course, for Chomsky’s attacks on America’s imperial ambitions in the region. But despite the monotonous delivery, Chomsky was sharp intellectually and stayed on point in discussing the Middle East “crisis.” And note that nothing, not a single fact surrounding the cycles of violence and bloodshed in the region, is the fault of the Palestinians. He made a big point, a number of times, to stress that the U.S. and Israel face a “crisis of legitimation” in world opinion. He argued, by that token, that this was in fact an increasing “crisis of delegitimation” that’s bringing about a “tsunami” of condemnation against the United States, which Chomsky eagerly claimed to be a declining power, but which will nevertheless will remain influential of global affairs for some time to come. (Which begs the question of course of whether or not the U.S. really is the “hegemon” that’s the basis for Chomsky’s decades-long excoriation of his own country.)

Another term Chomsky used repeatedly was “illegal” — as in Israel “illegally” occupying Gaza and now “illegally” occupying the West Bank with its “illegal” settlements that form the basis for its policy of “expansion over security.” That theme, which was essentially the thesis of the night, was that, according to Chomsky, never has Israel been about peace in the Middle East. He cited a number times when Israel allegedly rejected accommodation with the Palestinians, and instead the Jewish state was alleged to be bent in expansion into the territories it claimed in its numerous wars of conquest. Chomsky laid out a vision of either a future two-state accommodation on the basis of peace (not likely) or Israel’s complete decimation of Palestine resulting in a one-state domination. A third option was “what’s happening right now.” Israel will continue to expand the “illegal” settlements, and the U.S. will continue its “hegemonic” role of regional domination in the Middle East.

 

At the conclusion of the event, Chomsky responded to questions and went off on his familiar rant about how those who proclaim themselves pro-Israel are actually working feverishly for its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction. Chomsky then returned to the comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa, and while he admitted key differences, he argued that in one key similarity the time will come when Israel’s crisis of legitimation becomes overwhelming, and forces upon it a reckoning for the survival of the Jewish state.

 

I note here at the end that Chomsky concluded the question and answer session by arguing that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated, “murdered,” so that the U.S. could avoid putting Bin Laden on trial, because “they have no evidence against him.”

 

That final jab at the U.S. went over extremely well with the crowd of anti-Americans and Arafat-styled student-cum-terrorists.

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