Friday, May 29, 2009

Alaska Progressive Blogs Coverage of John Ziegler Continues While The ADN (Once Again) Comforts the Comforted

I. Brian the moose has been getting around a lot lately. While Brenda stays home with the calves, Brian is visiting Thom Hartmann and Vic Fischer, or haunting John Ziegler.

The Mudflats has an excellent review of Ziegler's film, Media Malpractice. And a couple of the commenters went to the film last nigh too. Here's a comment by Far from Fenway fan:

I, too, attended the screening. Given the cool rainy evening, I was surprised by the light attendance AND that Todd was there. I went expecting - indeed hoping for - a professionally done production that would make me think about media coverage and be thought-provoking. I even brought my 2 teenage sons to what I thought might be a good civics lesson.

The film was, in short, ABSURD. The language used to narrate it was highly prejudicial and emotionally-charged. I mean it was LOADED. But the main critique I have is that to support the basic premise of media bias, the film focused predominately on clips from …. MSNBC and CNN!! How ridiculous is that? Gee, let’s make a documentary about Fox favoring right-wing candidates and claim bias. DUH!

There were extensive clips from an interview w Sarah after the election in which she whines about being treated horrendously by the media and saying that she wouldn’t have been treated that way if she were running with Obama. Well, ya know what, you were treated that way because you never said anything of substance or anything that made any sense. And second news flash, Obama would NEVER have chosen you.

It was like McCain didn’t even run in the election. He was barely mentioned or shown. And there was a LOT of racial innuendo regarding Obama. Disgusting. My poor 16 year old son sat there squeezing his temples and shaking his head.

The film in several clips made a big deal about Palin’s “I can see Russia” quote and Tina Fey’s use of it on SNL. The gist of the EXPOSE was that Fey/SNL misquoted Palin: she didn’t say “see Russia from my house” she said “see Russia from Alaska”. They thought this was making fun of Palin by slightly changing what she actually said. Of course, you CAN see Russia from Alaska. No one who knows anything about living here disputes that or finds that humorous. What is ABSURD is that Palin made that statement in response to “how does Russia’s proximity to Alaska enhance your foreign policy experience?” Her response was parodied by SNL because it was STUPID!

So, dear muddies, we went, we saw, we listened. And we’ll vote for Obama in 2012.

AK Muckraker's
review itself, has some important observations:

Then there was the red leather jacket interview about what she said to the second grader who asked what the vice president does. Palin explained that the VP was the head of the senate, and helped make policy decisions that affected families. This had most of the country aghast, realizing that she still really didn’t have a handle on what the duties of the VP are. Then the film voice explains that the reason she gave an incorrect answer was that she was speaking to a child. “What was she going to say?” that the Vice President sits around and “waits for people to die?” the voice asked. If theatre-goers had been listening carefully they would have heard my chin hit the floor.

Oh, and of course, we were treated to a discussion of the infamous “pallin’ around with terrorists” rallies. Seems that all those things people were yelling like “Kill him!” and “Terrorist!” weren’t true at all, and Joe Biden is actually the one who traveled around the country whipping up the hate. After a while it started to feel like I’d gotten a deep injection of novacaine right into the frontal lobes.

Next clip was Katie Couric talking about the “what do you read” question. And yes, they played the whole interaction with Katie Couric, somehow imagining this would look good for Palin. Couric was shown being interviewed later, and said that she was surprised that nobody followed up with that question. Flash to Palin saying in her best mean girl voice, “Because you’re not the center of everybody’s universe. Maybe THAT’s why nobody followed up!” Then we were told that Palin’s interview debacles were the result of her fear that they would try to “trap her on the abortion issue,” and that she was rightfully “paranoid.” I never quite figured that one out.

And AK Muckraker has some observations about Ziegler's testiness that are similar to my own:

Then we were treated to a Q&A, in which Ziegler acted as though he were bestowing the magnanimous gift of his own time and presence. He was short with people who were thanking him, and only took about 5 questions, leaving many hands in the air.

Here’s where he talked about how he’s appealing to everyone, and not just the conservative base. Why, he’s only given money to Democratic candidates, we hear. Well only one candidate. And it’s a guy he knows. And he disagrees with him on policy but gave him money because he felt like he had to. But at least it allows him to claim neutrality in his film.

Ziegler strikes me generally as being somewhat of a misanthrope. He's charitable toward almost nobody. While he was kind enough to grant me an interview (Dennis is working on the remainder of the stuff), I found it hard to get him to reveal much. Maybe he was waiting for me to turn on him, but that wasn't my goal. I've observed that he doesn't play well with others, and that once you get him to blow up, any meaningful exchange from then on is right out the window.

My count of something short of 300 attendees last night is generally accepted. I did a walk-through head count right after the movie began. It is remarkable that after Bob & Mark and Eddie Burke pimped this gig for weeks, and on a cloudy, rainy day, that so few showed up.

One more thing. From my considered professional opinion, the film's music and creepy sound effects were some of the worst or hokiest I've recently experienced. And I spend a lot of time at YouTube, where that kind of stuff abounds.

II. This morning the Anchorage Daily News published an editorial that is sort of a refinement of one they did back on May 3rd. Both editorials are about citizens' ethics complaints. The last editorial was so bad, several of the Alaska progressive bloggers commented on it, most notably Celtic Diva and The Mudflats. This morning's is, as I commented at the article itself:

Although this editorial is better than "Our view: Abuse of ethics complaints turns good law into bad politics," from May 3rd, it is still poorly written, incurious, and lacking in meaningful context.

The major problem with the ADN's stance in this scenario is that until we know how much of Palin's and the state's expenses in these so-called "complaints" surround her own complaint against herself, and the travel expense payback plea-bargain (which shouldn't be characterized as a dismissal), to batch the others in with these two skews the public's ability to accurately assess what we face in terms of the costs of these proceedings. Go do your research job, ADN - otherwise our Alaska bloggers will beat you to the story. Again.

Another commenter there, sophiem, wrote:

Many statements in this editorial are illogical or use faulty logic:

1. Assumption that because Personnel Board says so, ethics complaints are "frivolous."
2. Inference that denial of ethics complaints means complaint is frivolous.
3. Inference that denial of ethics complaint means Governor's conduct complained of is ethical.


The ADN editors seem to feel they can safely continue to ignore how much of these, so far, undocumented "expenses" have to do with the two cases that would have quite obviously have become expensive - the Palin complaint against herself, that resulted in the Petumenos Report, and Frank Gwartney's complaint, which appears to have resulted in hours of haggling and research.

The Petumenos Report required Gov. Palin to be deposed out-of-state. The investigator was reimbursed at some sort of standard fee, no doubt, but his efforts, as sketchy as the product was that they produced, took lots of billable time. And Palin's attorney was deeply involved in this. No doubt, her attorney was also deeply involved in the return of illegally taken funds too.

More and more, it seems that when Alaska's progressive bloggers come down on one side of an issue, the ADN editors come down on the other.

III. Dennis Zaki and I will be covering the Alaska Teabaggers' picnic at Wasilla Wonderland Park. Working with Dennis is one of my favorite activities. He's sort of like the opposite of John Ziegler - open, trusting, curious, ready to engage people on their terms (rather than his), sincere, and - happy! Eddie Burke will be there, passing out more T-shirts to go with the teabags. Here's a link to information.

I hope to interview Cheryl Brooks about her WE THE PEOPLE STIMULUS PACKAGE, that I posted here earlier in the week. It is an absurd document that contradicts itself at several places. I'm especially concerned about what number 19 means:

19. Christianity will again be restored as our main religious entity.

Wasilla Wonderland Park used to be one of our favorite places. It was built in 1995 and 1996 through thousands of hours of work by community groups and individual volunteers. The project, headed up by Karl Schleicht, was heavily supported by the City of Wasilla. At that time, the mayor was John Stein. Sarah Palin, planning to run against Stein in the fall, hardly showed up to help, if at all.

I was asked to write a new march to commemorate the park's opening. I called it Wasilla Wonderland March. Here's a performance of it from November, 1996, at a concert that now-imprisoned, ex-Representative Vic Kohring introduced, and Sarah Palin attended.


Brian the moose with John Ziegler - The Mudflats
Phil with DZ and Wasilla Wonderland - PA


Anonymous said...

Honestly, with all of the drama over the last year; the KUDO firings, the Carrigan-Moore fracas, Doogan outing Mudflats, The Truth Squad, Dan Fagan, Eddie Burke, Phil vs BJK and whoever else is on his shit list that week......
it's all very entertaining.

It really is.

I have to say though, that by throwing John Zeigler into the mix, things start to get really, really weird.

Here's some technical advice for Zaki, from somebody who has done this many times before....for bigger clients than CNN.

Get a wireless or a shotgun mic and get rid of the handeld stick mic.

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 0501 -

Dennis has the best equipment he can currently afford. I think he already has plans for the upgrade you write about.

The fact that Mr. Ziegler seems to currently be Gov. Paln's chief advocate in the USA can't be very reassuring to anyone in the Palin camp with any sort of a national political sense or long-range vision. Then again, this is the Palin camp, and those two qualifications are not viewed as being necessary or fruitful, are they?

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Wow Phil listening to the "Wasilla Wonderland March" Really nice!
You and Dennis at the tea bag thing, that ought to be "fun" lol! Gosh you guys get all the fun stuff, lol. Seriously, love that you both take on serious issues yet "in your other lives" have wonderful art and music.(your Music, Dennis Wildlife photography)
And gotta love that Brian, he gets around too! ;-)
Does anyone know why the queen did not attend JZ "premiere"?

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Re: interviewing JZ from "crooks and liars"
In other words, a classic wingnut. (On the segment following this, Bob Shrum observed that having to interview a nutcase like Ziegler was akin to being waterboarded.)

Anonymous said...


What fun it was to listen to your March.

I wish there were more opportunities for composers, musicians and audiences.


Julie said...

Alaska Progressive Blogs Coverage of John Ziegler Continues While The ADN (Once Again) Comforts the Comforted

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