the suzi parker files

Politics, Pop Culture and Ponderings

Posts Tagged ‘sean hannity

Florida’s Alan Grayson Says Sarah Palin Instigated Arizona Shootings

leave a comment »

Former Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson is accusing Sarah Palin of fueling violence preceding the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson Jan. 8.

“There has been a stream of violence and threats of violence by the right wing against Democrats,” he wrote in an e-mail letter to his supporters titled “Gabby was Right, Palin is Wrong.” “Gabby warned against it, and then became a terrible victim of it. Palin has instigated it, and then tried to pretend that it doesn’t exist.”

In Wednesday’s message, which also appeard on his Facebook page, Grayson writes: “When I opened my web browser yesterday, at yahoo.com, there was Sarah Palin, smiling at me. ‘Oh, God,’ I said to myself, ‘what has she done now?’ The headline was ‘Palin Defends ‘Blood Libel.’That’s interesting, I thought. What else might Palin be defending? Cannibalism, maybe?”

The outspoken Grayson once called Republicans “Nazis” and former Vice President Dick Cheney a vampire. Grayson lost reelection last November to Republican Daniel Webster in a heated race in which Grayson called his opponent a “religious fanatic,” and some pundits said Grayson’s “Taliban Dan” ad, which misconstrued Webster’s words about wives submitting to their husbands, cost him the race. But he also has been touted as a liberal primary challenger to President Barack Obama in 2012.

In his message, Grayson also makes reference to Palin’s appearance on Monday night’s Sean Hannity show on Fox News, calling her remarks “whining” and “disjointed.”

Since the shooting, Palin has gone on the defensive twice. She released a video in which she mourned the shootings and used the controversial phrase “blood libel,” which is sometimes associated with anti-Semitism, in criticizing those who blamed the rhetoric of the political right for the Tucson rampage. On “Hannity” she said she used the term to describe false claims made against outspoken conservatives like herself.

In Grayson’s e-mail letter, he said that on the day before Giffords was shot he received a postcard that said “you better get some personal protection. You could very well be getting your ass kicked soon.” The message also includes a link to donate to his campaign. When clicked, a disclaimer notes that “unless Alan Grayson declares his candidacy for other office, all contributions will be deemed to be for the 2010 congressional campaign or earlier.” The fundraising plea was not noted on his Facebook page.

Written by suziparker1313

March 10, 2011 at 3:18 am

Barbie, Journalism’s New Ambassador (and Badly Needed Savior?)

leave a comment »

Journalism has needed a global ambassador. Now it has one — Barbie.
Yes, Barbie has transformed into a news anchor. For the first time in the doll’s 51-year history, Mattel asked consumers to pick Barbie’s new adventure from five careers – architect, computer engineer, environmentalist, news anchor and surgeon. Forget Barbie designing her own dream home or saving the planet. No, Barbie needs to be in the middle of the action, and journalism certainly provides that some days.
In her new incarnation, the doll — looking like she just returned from Malibu — wears a pink suit with black and silver accents and black pumps with pink bows. Her long, blond hair is cut bluntly with bangs highlighting blue eyes with pink eye shadow. Her accessories include a microphone, a news camera and news folder — pink, of course — with a “B” on it. (Hint to Mattel: A notepad might have been a better prop. The folder makes her look like a secretary.) She does look a tad like the “bubble-headed bleach blonde” that The Eagles’ Don Henley sung about in 1982’s “Dirty Laundry.” Still, she has a mission.
News Anchor Barbie“Barbie as a news anchor can help inspire future female journalists with interactive role play that can help foster skills like storytelling, verbal/written communication, and creativity that comes with being a journalist,” according to a release from Mattel.
Journalism certainly can welcome an ally these days as newspapers and magazines struggle to stay afloat, and Sarah Palin turning red-state America against the “lamestream” media.
This isn’t Barbie’s first endeavor as a reporter. In 1960, just two years after the statuesque doll hit the toy scene, she could be dressed as a fashion editor. In 1985, Television News Reporter Barbie hit the shelves. That same year, she worked as a business executive, dress designer, veterinarian and a teacher. Busy girl. Last year, she took a page from “The Devil Wears Prada” and worked as a fashion magazine intern. (Who has time for Ken?)
Because Barbie is cute with fashionable looks, she could easily land interviews with Sarah Palin, who herself was a television sports reporter, and Christine O’Donnell, who could double as Gidget (as my Woman Up colleague Donna Trussell wrote) or even Barbie’s modern cousin, Francie.
But I like to imagine News Anchor Barbie pushing the journalism envelope more than settling for sit-downs with Palin and O’Donnell. Mattel should create an entire line of news anchor outfits. Any good reporter worth her byline should have camouflage in her closet (in case, she’s called to Afghanistan in the middle of the night), a pair of comfortable, chic black boots, a nice black pantsuit to blend in at news conferences and a passport. Think Christiane Amanpour.
But other questions arise: Would Barbie be more at home beside Fox News’ Sean Hannity or MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann? She could play the middle ground and find a home on CNN. Perhaps Barbie, having been born in 1959 at the height of the television revolution, would be old school and kick it on one of the three original networks, as Amanpour does these days.
Barbie has certainly evolved since her inception as a teen fashion model showing her curves in a black-and-white swimsuit. Unfortunately, she still gets a bum rap for her “perfect” figure and for once saying that math was hard. But what public figure hasn’t uttered something they regret saying? At least she hasn’t admitted to dabbling in witchcraft.
For all the shallowness, Barbie broke career barriers before women in the United States did. She was an astronaut in 1963, long before women busted the all-male space club. Ten years later, she was a surgeon — a ground-breaking career in the 1970s for women. In fact, the Association of Women Surgeons wasn’t even founded until 1981.
In 1992, Barbie ran for president while Hillary Clinton bucked the old-fashioned first lady stereotype. Politics called her again in 2000 and 2004, when she made runs for the White House.
As much as journalism needs Barbie, she should push the envelope. Maybe 2012 is the year she will forego news reporting to finally sit behind the desk in the Oval Office and become President Barbie.

Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Christine O’Donnell’s Younger Years: Forget Witchcraft, Think Media Goddess

leave a comment »

Bless her heart. Christine O’Donnell has a lot of people angry at her — Wiccans, Satanists, Bill Maher, and even some Republicans. 

No small feat, but reflecting on O’Donnell’s history, it’s par for the course.

Maher made an appearance on “Hardball With Chris Matthews” Tuesday night to discuss O’Donnell, who made more than 20 appearances on his “Politically Incorrect” show years ago. Over the weekend, O’Donnell, who is the Republican Senate nominee in Delaware, said she made comments like the one about dabbling in witchcraft to help Maher with ratings.

Maher called foul.

“It’s funny to me, Chris, because this is the woman who claimed on another one of our ‘Politically Incorrect’ episodes from the ’90s that she would not lie, even in the case of hiding Anne Frank in her attic,” Maher told Matthews. “Eddie Izzard confronted her and said, ‘Really? If Hitler was at the door and you had Anne Frank in the attic, you wouldn’t lie?’ She said, ‘No. God would find a way.’ ”

Perhaps, Maher did want ratings, but O’Donnell had her own agenda as a young, firebrand former Catholic-turned-Evangelical Christian pushing her message. She said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Tuesday night that she viewed such appearances as a ministry and that she was excited back then about her new-found faith.

Some will laugh at her naivete, and likely doubt the veracity of her statement, but I know plenty of people who, in their teens and twenties in the Bible belt, tossed their heavy metal albums into the roaring fireplace and began quoting the Gospel.

O’Donnell told Hannity that her “faith has matured” since her twenties.

But that comment doesn’t appease Wiccans and Satanists, who want her to understand their beliefs. Wiccans say that O’Donnell is confused about witchcraft. They have altars but no blood. Satanists have rebuffed O’Donnell, too. They claim no real Satanist would ever have a picnic on an altar.

Give Christine a break. Her dabbling in the dark side may have happened exactly as she described. Blame the boy she dated. Maybe the young warlock was trying to impress her by turning his weight bench into a devil-worshipping altar and splattering some red food coloring for effect.

Her story to Maher also could have been pure theatrics. After all, she started off as a theater major in college and ended up in the College Republicans. From there, she found her way to Washington, working with Enough Is Enough, an anti-pornography group, and later at the Republican National Committee. She even attended the 1996 Republican National Convention.

Like many ambitious twenty-somethings who hit Washington, she networked and created her own group, Saviors Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT). If she was looking to create a media launching pad, it paid off.

She discussed creationism in schools on CNN and the sins of masturbation on an MTV sex special in 1996. But like the witchcraft statement, O’Donnell has taken too much criticism for her viewpoints on masturbation. To be fair, masturbation was a hot, controversial topic in the 1990s. In 1991, Pee-wee Herman was busted for masturbating in a movie theater. In December 1994, Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was fired by President Clinton for promoting masturbation as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier sexual acts.

Author Martha Cornog wrote in The Journal of Sex Research in 2004 that, since the 1960s, only 30 books focusing on masturbation had been published. Guess which decade had the most? Yep — the 1990s, when there were 13.

Talking about such a taboo topic greatly benefited O’Donnell, who became a popular pundit. She took her cheery smile and bouncy hair all the way to Maher’s show, where she was the chaste Sandra Dee foil in the grungy sex-obsessed Clinton years.

Like any good grassroots activist, she kept her name and her cause in the headlines. In 1997, she wrote a Washington Post op-ed about witnessing at rock concerts. “Walking through the crowd I also noticed more pentagrams than crosses around the teenage necks,” she wrote. “Satanism is the religion of the ’90s, I was told.”

While Maher chides O’Donnell about her appearances on his show, he contends that he likes her and that she is sincere in her beliefs. He wants her to come on his HBO program. But O’Donnell told Hannity Tuesday night that she was only focusing on local media until after the election. But can a media junkie really ignore phone calls from big-time talk show producers? Doubtful.

After all, the biography attached to a 2003 article written by O’Donnell — in which she tackles “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the women of Middle Earth — describes her as “sassy, stubborn and sweet, and by those who disagree with her as ‘the girl you hate to love.’ This young woman who National Review Magazine says ‘blends the flare of the Bible with Cosmopolitan,’ shatters the stereotype about her generation.”

If O’Donnell loses to Democrat opponent Chris Coons, she’ll likely land her own television show. Maybe that’s what she’s been after all of these years.

Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm