Friday, December 28, 2007


GenderGappers 2007 – 053


Here we are, standing on the cliff of ’07 poised to hurtle down into ‘o8. Just like any other year except for some upcoming events that the majority of Americans have just begun to think about.

Not that it matters, since they have long allowed the corporate media to do their thinking and deciding for them; a media that has set our entire Primary campaign up as a war to the death. Reporters no longer report, they incite and “control the message”.

Although there are serious, hard working participants, many young people are attracted to political campaigns like flies are attracted to horse manure. Those who avow support for the compromise candidate are the loudest and most opposed to compromise. They love the thrill of the campaign and are moved by rhetoric.

It’s fun, it gets them college credits, out of humdrum jobs and next to “important people”. Sex 101 is nearly mandatory and always traditional on these campaigns. We still hear the stories told by the Howard Dean “Take Back America” crews. They could fuel another “West Wing” TV drama.

Many of the young campaign workers are seldom seen or heard for four years but emerge like Mayflies for Primaries. The media loves them because those campaign workers feed its insatiable appetite from everything from the mundane to spicy photoshopped slanders.

But the really true love of the media always was and still is the polls. They are so in love that many of the networks and cable sponsor their own polls. Media uses polls to persuade, incite and confuse because by their very nature, polls are unreliable and are easily manipulated.

No matter what the batting average of a certain poll over the years, there is nothing sure in their prognostications. When they appear to be successful it is mostly because media misrepresentation influences the vote. Media depends on the old adage, “everyone wants to vote for the winner”, and so it tells you who the winner will be.

It is the media’s manipulation of the polls that largely determines how areas of the country will vote. Fascism has already come in with the cross wrapped in the flag, but the real downfall of democracy will come because the press has completely abrogated its responsibilities.

Until then, there are a few struggling reporters that investigate and report but most just hands us plastique promises and laugh when they blow up in our faces.

"I suggested we put the vice president on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used. It's our best format," as it allows us to "control the message" -- Cheney media aide Cathie Martin, under oath at the Libby trial, making clear how well Russert fulfills his function.
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Friday, December 21, 2007


GenderGappers 2007 – 052


Just like women do, but it is acceptable, even laudable if a man looks tired. But if a woman does not always look attractive and perky, she is maligned whether she is famous, infamous or little known like the rest of us.

We see a tired woman with a schedule that would exhaust any one of us but we know she will keep it up, not only on the campaign but as president. Let her opponents slide easily along on their past and their gender; we know how it feels to be tired.

You’ll see nary a comment or even a picture of a tired male candidate. They are supposed to look the way they look. But the paparazzi have long dogged Hillary to get pictures they can sell to her opponents; as well as photoshopers for nasty things to run on You Tube.

There’s lots of joy in Media-Mudslinging-ville now that it has anointed Barack as the leader. The giggles and guffaws of males and fembots in the hallways and around the water coolers is because they think they “got the bitch”.

Got a picture showing her looking tired; sure that it would be all over the internet; sure that Drudge would feature it and the media would pick it up and Maureen Dowd would present it, and Limbaugh’s words in the NYTimes.

We know hardly anything about Barack’s past aside from what he has written about it, or how he plans to do the lofty things he promises but to the media he fits the primo qualifications.

He is always attractively pictured and not only has been coddled by the media which just laughs at his sexual and ageists slurs against his opponent but also is protected from the searching examinations given the other candidates. The discrimination isn’t just gender driven, it’s cultural and anatomical.

Competent journalists like Mark Halperin and Howard Kurtz report that Clinton is under a harsher microscope by the media.

Paul Krugman recently wrote: “According to a recent survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, Mr. Obama’s coverage has been far more favorable than that of any other candidate.”

“Hillary is a woman. Get over it. You may like her views, her experience, her campaign tactics, or you may not. That's legitimate. That's political discourse. But to put up an unflattering photo of her on a well-read site like Drudge for the purpose of showing that she's looking tired -- what's the point? The point is an attack on women for not looking perfect.” – Matt Littman

No nasty comments were made on Giuliani’s hour long laughter during a recent interview with Russert. Some might call it a nervous laugh. But those in the media who noted it at all called it, “A good natured laugh”.

In contrast, media led by Petrified Ball’s Matthews, constantly characterized Hillary’s laugh as a cackle. This is only one thing he does in his intense support of any MAN who might attack her and make her give up the race.

He constantly urged Barack to go negative on Hillary and cheered when he did. But when Hillary returned the favor in kind, Matthews became apoplectic with rage screaming that Hillary was trying to kill Barack in the cradle. He even called it “sudden infant death.”

Chris hates strong women so fiercely that when AARadio’s Rachel Maddow came on his program and didn’t present the prerequisite idiotic smile and say what he wanted her to say, he was furious and blurted out, “How can you say that! I’d like to waterboard you!”

Barack even got to see his personal attacks against Hillary made a part of a Repug anti-Hillary video – nice going for a guy who is sweet talking to screaming teenagers, hates the elderly and promises to bring all people together.

Yet media mavens and bloggers lament the fact that some prejudiced voters will not vote for a Black man as president and how unfair it is that even a few racial questions are reported about him. A favorite phrase they use is, “aren’t we a better country than that?”

They completely ignore the prevalent and constant prejudice against women and gladly amplify and glorify sexism in all its forms as a God-given right.

In the spirit of the season, is this the message you want to leave to your daughters - A story of three wise men, an all powerful King, his son and a baby-incubator? “Aren’t we a better country than that?”
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Friday, December 14, 2007


GenderGappers 2007 – 051


As expected from the huge advanced hype, many in the media were carried away into hyperbole-land with Queen Oprah and her crown- prince-to- be, especially those pundits who share her cable channel. So they played parts of it over and over to make sure everyone got all the nasty political stingers that were poorly disguised in Oprah’s well scripted presentation.

Nasty bits because Oprah went to some lengths to say she wasn’t in it to be political – blah, blah, blah – she was just concerned for the plight of the country. Of course she was not telling anyone what to think as she proceeded to tell them what to think and why they should think it.

But there was a refreshing exception to this media swoon. “What happens when they find out Oprah isn’t running for president?” Trust Keith Olbermann to nail it.

That was mainstream cable and broadcast, but many AARadio hosts like Eddy Shultz lost themselves in adoration with pious rants. Along with several pundits and columnist, they bowed low before the throne that did not preside over the circus, but rather was the circus.

Inspiring, some wrote, just like an old-time gospel revival; where the talented pair spoke in the manner of the place they were in, getting much blacker for Carolina than Iowa. Can you say pandering?

All that was expected, but many of the blog comments showed something much different. Bloggers picked up on Oprah’s fervent avowal that she was speaking up because she was so concerned for the country and called her on it.

The recurring theme found on several blogs went similar to this one: “Where was Oprah for the last 7 years of atrocities by this administration? Where was she when the people needed to be informed of the truth, where were the riots in the streets at the outrage at the most corrupt administration in the history of the nation, where was she during all this?”

There were cooler, more thoughtful heads in the mainstream too who remarked that all those crowds came to see Oprah and that all Dems were not idiotic enough to transfer their admiration of her to Barack. Many still want to see how he can do what he claims.

Just how, they ask, does he propose to do all this “lifting up”. Will he employ the Phantastic 4 and other comic book super people who can lift anything they need to? Will he define where up is? Is it heaven or lower down? Hard to tell as he consistently claims that he will do the lifting-up and never speaks of using the Democratic process involving Congress.

To Oprah and Barack, polarization is a dirty word and he is going to lift us above it and unite the country. While agreeing that at times Barack may be eloquent and inspirational, Columnist Ellen Goodman writes in The Boston Globe:

“The Democratic nominee won’t have the luxury of a do-good campaign. Even a post-polarization candidate would face a polarized politics. There’s still a difference between being an icon of change and an agent of change. And there is a difference as well between being a fine philosopher king and a strong presidential challenger.”

It’s going to take a fighter, one with experience whose head is not in the clouds of Never-Never-Land to defeat the Republans. It is no time to send an inexperienced boy to do an incredibly competent woman’s work.
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Friday, December 07, 2007


GenderGappers 2007 – 50


Norman Vincent Peale didn’t invent the concept; the origin of that is biblical and beyond. But he did write a book that reached millions of people all around the world, called “The Power of Positive Thinking”.

Dale Carnegie [“How to Win Friends and Influence People”] took it to the forum level, making millions by offering interactive seminars that eager businessmen flocked to. He was followed by many others as television opened the doors to the great unwashed and untapped millions looking for a power fix.

In short, bookshelves, television and radio are rife with advice about how you can succeed in anything as long as you positively believe that you will.
You are encouraged to set goals and believe absolutely that you will accomplish them. Now a word of warning – WOMEN are not allowed by our prejudiced society to announce this surety of one’s self to the world of people out there.

Robin Gerber, Senior faculty with the Gallup Organization writes in, “Dominance, authority and ambition are widely viewed as essential leadership characteristics - as long as you're a man. When Clinton displays this ‘masculine’ style, she loses the public trust.”

Gerber discusses the reasons why Hillary Clinton is being portrayed by Edwards and Obama as untrustworthy – it plays to societies prejudice against strong women:

“A study earlier this year by Catalyst, a nonprofit business research organization, showed the stark dilemma that competent women face. In "The Double-bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership," women were criticized for being "too aggressive and self-promoting," but men with similar styles were praised for being direct.”,0,7259476.story

Those of us who discovered self-empowerment on our own will confirm the truth of how our society punishes women for exhibiting the same leadership styles men are expected to show.

Our society allows women to follow traditional paths to limited power. Some may gravitate to self-help advisors like Oprah who is celeb-driven. Some say she buys her audiences with new cars, but she also attracts by preaching success through religion and directed action. The “free” tickets to her appearances with Obama require one to pledge to vote for Obama. A vote buying scam that the media has not felt necessary to divulge.

Oprah and her disciples teach one to depend on someone to tell them what to do and think – directed by a God, doctor or some rock star. This use of crutches defeats the whole purpose of becoming empowered – making women take their traditional role of followers rather than leaders.

Self empowerment formula/advice cannot just be read, it must be internalized. There lies the rub. How does one teach how to internalize the information? We can only say that total understanding just suddenly comes like the turning on of the proverbial light bulb. We take responsibility for our actions and are empowered by this. As women, our conversion frightens those who dare not leave their long held gender prejudices. So they punish us by insisting that we are untrustworthy.

You may have noted that Bush and his Band of Botherbots continually say “Democrat Party”. They leave “ic” out when they should say Democratic. They have been told that the word Democratic gives too much power i.e. it brings all of the positive features and energy of a democracy together to label their opposition.

We can’t stop them from doing this but we can draw attention to it. Start calling and writing REPUBLAN/REPUBLANS – leave the IC out of their Party name. Use the power of these two little letters, say them out loud – IC – and soon you will - clearly.
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