by RIP RENSE
THIS, THAT, AND THE
OTHER. . .
THIS: The L.A. Times fires Robert Scheer after 30 years.
THAT: Guess it didn’t work out.
THIS: Scheer: “The owner of this paper has taken direct control over
the editorial page. (Publisher) Jeff Johnson is an accountant. He’s not a
journalist. He has said, ‘I am going to run the editorial page. I'm going to
run the columns and the editorials,’ very clearly, and. . .‘I'm in charge
and I want this page to be more conservative.’”
THAT: Good that the Times doesn’t fire columnists on the basis of
THE OTHER: Cancel your subscription.
THIS: The U.S. has "detained" 83,000 people in the so-called "war on
terror" in the past four years. About 14,500 still remain "detained."
THAT: Honey, I'll be home late. I've been detained by George W.
THIS: Robert Scheer was relentlessly attacked as a deranged
un-American lefty by such noble personages as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’
THAT: Scheer’s writing is always thoroughly researched and backed up.
THE OTHER: Good that Limbaugh and O’Reilly have such influence with
Times publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson. Cancel your subscription.
THIS: News item: Michael Jackson caught using the ladies’ room in a
Dubai shopping mall.
THAT: Well, if there is any man out there who more needs to powder
his nose. . .
THIS: Former president Jimmy Carter writes a
concern that oh, the country is going straight to hell.
THAT: Carter writes with restraint and clarity about: the destruction
of environmental policies, the torture committed in this country’s name, the
breaking of various international treaties (including control of nuclear and
biological weapons), greasing the wheels for the rich, massive increase in
pollution. . .and many other achievements of the Bush administration.
THE OTHER: Deranged un-American lefty.
THIS: “President” Bush calls “irresponsible” rampant charges that he
and his cronies faked and exaggerated WMD claims about Iraq, in order to
drum up support for an invasion.
THAT: This is a half-step away from “un-American.”
THE OTHER: I am shocked---shocked---to find out that this
lies to the people.
THIS: Robert Scheer’s replacement is a glibmeister named Joel Stein,
who has lived in L.A. for ten big months.
THAT: An excerpt from Mr. Stein’s premiere column, which shot a duck
in a barrel by denouncing the recent election (but praised the recall of
Gray Davis): “As Karl Rove figured out by throwing gay marriage on every
state’s ballot in the last presidential election, if you want people to come
out, you’ve got to scare the crap out of them.”
THE OTHER: Good that the Times replaced Scheer with
a local guy with such
dignified command of English.
THIS: Governor Schwarzenegger claims that the repudiation of his initiatives
by voters had nothing to do with the issues---that it was a repudiation of
the initiative process.
THAT: I still can't believe I am typing the words, "Governor
THIS: Hmm. . .Bush says the charges that he lied about WMD are “irresponsibile,”
and Schwarzenegger says that his election losses had nothing to do with the
ideas on the ballot. . .
THAT: Wonder what Schwarzenegger might say if, oh, there was a major
earthquake here. Maybe “This is not my fault---heh heh heh.” Wonder what
Bush might say if, oh, a big hurricane wiped out a major American city.
THE OTHER: Oh, yeah: “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heckuva job.”
THIS: The Times, of course, is owned by the Chicago Tribune, which
treats it as second banana. Or banana peel, really. Times circulation is
plummeting, along with circulations of most major dailies.
THAT: It is available for free on-line.
THE OTHER: Cancel your subscription. Hit ‘em where it hurts.
THIS: News item---FEMA warns an estimated 150,000 Hurricane Katrina
evacuees living in government-subsidized hotels that they have until Dec. 1
to find other housing before it stops paying for their rooms.
THAT: Merry Christmas!
THE OTHER: "Are there no prisons... and the Union workhouses, are
they still in operation?"
THIS: The U.S. reverses its denial and finally admits to using white
phosphorous in Iraq---as has long been reported by various media.
THAT: If particles of ignited white phosphorus land on a person's
skin, they can continue to burn right through flesh to the bone. Toxic
phosphoric acid can also be released into wounds, risking phosphorus
poisoning. Skin burns must be immersed in water or covered with wet cloths
to prevent re-combustion until the particles can be removed. Exposure to
white phosphorus smoke in the air can also cause liver, kidney, heart, lung
or bone damage and even death.
THE OTHER: I think we’ve found the weapons of mass destruction.
THIS: A Pentagon spokesperson has
that white phosphorous is a
chemical, and therefore is not banned as a "chemical weapon."
THAT: I did not use chemical weapons with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.
THIS: News item---House bill would let mining firms buy federal land
THAT: Of course, this “federal land” translates to national forests
THE OTHER: "Oh, we like to air condition, but the air has no ozone
ring/ Still they're chopping down the forests for McDonald's and the Burger
King. . ." ---George Harrison.
THIS: The Times has always been a pompous newspaper, under Otis
Chandler and long before. Do a little L.A. journalism research, and you
discover that all the other newspapers in town---there were variously four
and five Times rivals---regarded the Times as the gray Republican pomposity
on the other side of downtown, in the pompous gray building.
THAT: In multi-newspaper L.A., the Times was always second or third
in circulation, and only became the top-selling paper after the Examiner
made a deal to give the morning market to Spring Street, and kept the
afternoon to itself.
THE OTHER: Cancel your subscription. Unless, of course, you really
need that paper to find out where to buy the very best granite to remodel
the kitchen in your million-dollar La Canada home, half-million-dollar downtown
Skid Row-adjacent condo or West
Side affluenza manse.
THIS: A White House document shows that oil barons met with President Dick “Vice President” Cheney's “energy task
force” in 2001 -- something long known by environmentalists and other sane
people, but denied
as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.
THAT: Bruce Babbitt, secretary of the interior under Clinton: “We are
in the worst down cycle of anti-environmentalism in the history of
conservation. In this administration, they presented a friendly face of
consensus-building beneath which the systematic destruction of the
environmental consensus is actually without parallel.”
THIS: I’m shocked---shocked---that oil companies and Dick Cheney
would lie to the American people.
THIS: Times editors, publishers, and “staff writers” (they’re not
mere reporters, you see) inevitably refer to the rag as a “great newspaper.”
Even Marc Cooper, in his
piece about current Times/Scheer woes, falls into this trap.
THAT: The Times has done some great reporting through the years, and
has featured some great writing. Still does.
THE OTHER: But it’s really just a great big newspaper.
THIS: Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s novel, “The Apprentice,” includes
scenes of bestiality.
THAT: Bet Judy Miller keeps it right on top of her nightstand.
THIS: “Scheer served honorably as a Times national correspondent for
two decades, producing unique and unconventional reporting on Reagan,
Russia, Cuba, the Cold War and any other topic he tackled. As a columnist
he’s built a loyal local and national following like few other Times
THAT: “It’s inaccurate, however, to ascribe ideological motives to
our decision to stop running Scheer’s column.”---Andres Martinez, Times
Editorial Page Editor.
THE OTHER: I’m shocked---shocked---that a newspaper would lie to its
THIS: The Rev. Adrian Rogers, a Memphis
televangelist who helped engineer the arch-conservative takeover of the
Southern Baptist Convention, has died at 74.
THAT: Dorothy W. Raphaelson, one of the last surviving “Ziegfeld
Girls” who danced in the Ziegfeld Follies, has died at 100.
THE OTHER: Such great, wholesome, and constructive contribution to society cannot be overstated.
Thank you, Dorothy.
THIS: The Times has lost four percent of its readership in the past
THAT: Scheer’s firing could make it five. There are a lot of people
in this town who appreciated his straight-shooting lone voice of reason in
exposing and decrying the deceit and corruption that is the Bush
THE OTHER: Cancel your subscription. (Apologies to T.J. Simers, Al
Martinez, Steve Lopez.)
THIS: Sen. Barbara Boxer's
profoundly horrible novel, "A Time to Run," does not include bestiality,
but it does feature a sex scene between two horses.
THAT: Our senator also writes sex scenes involving people.
Here is an excerpt: "Greg's naked body was long and elegant, his embrace
enveloped her utterly, and they meshed with ease and grace. He smelled good
too, faintly and astringently of aftershave. He was clinging to her as if
he'd never let her go, it was all so easy and right."
THE OTHER: They. . .meshed? I think this is grounds to vote
her out of office.
THIS: A former US soldier who served in Iraq says breathing in smoke
close to a "white phosphorous" shell caused the throat and lungs to blister
until the victim suffocated, with the phosphorus continuing to burn them
from the inside. Long-term exposure to lesser concentrations over several
months or years may lead to a condition called "phossy jaw", where mouth
wounds are caused that fail to heal and the jawbone eventually breaks down.
THAT: “We do not torture.”---“President” George W. Bush.
THE OTHER: Cancel your subscription.
THIS: If you decide not to cancel your subscription to the Times, you
might want to make the threat anyhow, as you can get a better deal.
THAT: Callers cancelling over Scheer are first read a prepared
statement about the newspaper
undergoing a “redesign” or some nonsense, then it’s Let’s Make a Deal!
Those who were paying $60 per quarter for the rag are being offered a year
for $99---a 62 percent savings.
THE OTHER: Gee, what a great way to convince people you have a “great”
THIS: News item: Iraq's government ordered an urgent investigation of
allegations that many of the 173 "detainees" found by American troops over
the weekend in the basement of an Interior Ministry building in a Baghdad
suburb had been tortured by their Iraqi captors.
THAT: A senior Iraqi official who visited the "detainees" said two
appeared paralyzed and others had some of the skin peeled off their bodies
by their abusers.
THE OTHER: Honey, I'll be a little late tonight. I've been detained
by paralysis and lack of skin in an Iraqi torture chamber.
THIS: News item---Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob
"The Snob" Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior
administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her
position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.
THAT: Woodward won't ID the rat who ratted out Plame, and previously
withheld this information for fear of being subpoened. Oh, and to protect
his source (he says.) His source who sought to discredit a CIA agent intimately
involved in protecting this country from the spread of WMD.
THE OTHER: Speaking of rats. . .
THIS: Woodward's source is
reportedly current National Security
Advisor Steven Hadley.
THAT: If true, this would mean that the guy in charge of advising
about national security blew the cover of a CIA agent dedicated to. .
.national security. The snake eats itself!
THE OTHER: Maybe Libby could
work all those rats and snakes in D.C. into his next novel.
THIS: The Times in recent years has been spectacularly inculcated
with arrogance, condescension, and prissy little corporate martinets
wielding authority as if they were vastly significant personages at a “great
THAT: But don’t take it from me---I only wrote for the paper as a
“regular contributor” for ten years. I can’t possibly know what I’m talking
THE OTHER: 1 800 252 9141.
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