Thursday, December 17, 2020

Connie Chung

The world of TV 'news' has some news, NY POST reports:

Connie Chung — the former ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN anchor — has dished in a revealing new interview on behind-the-scenes tensions with colleagues including Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters and Dan Rather, as well as her seemingly flirtatious relationship with David Letterman, and how she ruffled Hugh Grant’s feathers during her cameo in the recent HBO hit “The Undoing.”

On Andrew Goldman’s “The Originals” podcast for Los Angeles Magazine, Chung said that working with Rather at CBS was like a scene out of “Psycho,” while her treatment at ABC working with Walters and Sawyer was “not unlike what Tonya Harding did to Nancy Kerrigan.” She also said of Letterman, “Off the air, he’s dark,” and recalled how she got the “evil eye” from the director of “The Undoing,” Susanne Bier. 

Chung, 74, began her career as a “CBS Evening News” correspondent in the ’70s, before heading to NBC, and ultimately winding up back at CBS as its marquee co-anchor with Rather in the ’90s. But while Rather was outwardly “very Texas gentlemanly,” she told Goldman, “If I turned my back, I felt like I might be in a scene of ‘Psycho’ in the shower.”

Later, “When I went to ABC news, I joined with both Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer there and I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be great. It’ll be three women who get along.'”

Instead, she found a scene “not unlike what Tonya Harding did to Nancy Kerrigan,” because, “when I got to ABC, both Diane and Barbara were in the same sort of arena of trying to get these big interviews. So when I tried to go after them, I was told I could not. That Barbara and Diane were the only ones who could compete for the interview and I had to stand down. And I said, ‘Really?'”

She wound up upsetting the ABC applecart by landing a 2001 interview with Rep. Gary Condit about the disappearance of intern Chandra Levy.

Dan Rather was always an ass and a temperamental diva.  The way he treated Connie Chung -- and the way he ran to the press to insult her and pass on rumors and ask not be named while doing so -- would be big news today but in the 90s people looked the other way.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Thursday, Decembet 17, 2020.  So much to cover -- Andrew Cuomo, Jill Biden, Joe and Hunter and Iraq.

A lot to deal with this morning.  First, Jonathan Turley writes:

There remains a blackout on the sexual harassment allegations against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo by most major media outlets. Putting aside the striking lack of interest in comparison to the allegations raised against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the controversy from that confirmation fight could raise difficult questions for Cuomo who not only insisted that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford must be believed but demanded that Kavanaugh take a polygraph examination.  It is not clear if Cuomo will now follow his own standard and take a polygraph examination arranged by others.

During the Kavanaugh hearing, various Democratic leaders publicly insisted that “women must be believed” when raising sexual harassment allegations and declared Kavanaugh guilty before either he or Ford actually testified. Senator [Masie] Hirono publicly stated that Kavanaugh was not even entitled to any presumption of innocence. Indeed, Hirono insisted that men needed to “just shut up” and accept the allegations.

The view that “women must be believed” changed the minute that Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault and then refused to allow the review of his papers held under seal at the University of Delaware. Suddenly, figures like Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer insisted that they believed Biden without any review such papers or even speaking with the alleged victim (a former Biden staffer).  Ethics experts like Richard Painter attacked those who suggested that the accuser might be telling the truth as endangering the election.  Others like Rep. Iihan Omar, Linda Hirschman, and Lisa Bloom found an even more startling resolution: they stated that Biden was clearly a rapist, but they would still vote for him.

The allegations raised by former [Cuomo] aide Lindsey Boylan are notably easier to confirm. She stated “Yes, [Cuomo] sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched. I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.”

These are not allegations that are decades old with few, if any, witnesses.  Boylan worked for the governor’s administration from 2015 to 2018 and says that there were many witnesses. Notably, the Kavanaugh hearing was in 2018.

I was not aware of this until last night when I saw Turley's writing on the topic.  I then posted:

  • ALBANY JUST IN: Cuomo responds to SEXUAL HARASSMENT allegation
  • Andrew Cuomo tipped as attorney-general pick as sexual harassment allegations loom

  • That's a video of him denying the allegations and a video of SKY NEWS reporting on the allegations.  

    This site does not exist to cover for my friends nor do I want to look the other way.  I like Andrew and have found him to be a good person.  But that's my dealings with him.  If Lindsey Boylan had another interaction, she has every right to speak about it.  She is making an allegation and I do support everyone's right to do so.  I have never stated "believe all women" or "believe all survivors."  I do not support that belief.  We are thinking creatures with analytical skills.  

    There are people who have come forward with assault, harassment or rape charges that I have believed and there are ones that I haven't believed.  Unless the accuser makes some crazy statement that harms survivors (like the idiot who said rape was "sexy" while claiming she was raped), I'm not here to tear you down even if I don't believe you.

    I hope the allegations aren't true.  But someone has made the allegation and she deserves to be heard.  

    We started with that so I wouldn't be accused of playing favorites or ignoring a serious topic.  Jill Biden's name has rarely appeared here.  We made it through eight years without noting her once and did so because I know Jill.  I'd like to make it through the next four years without mentioning her.  If we praise her, we have to hold her accountable.  If I don't note her here and there's some issue (as with Andrew above) I have to cover it or be a hypocrite.

    But there are some issues that need to be addressed -- chiefly her role and Hunter Biden.

    Let's start with her role.  She is not "Dr. Jill Biden."  She is First Lady Jill Biden.

    We need to prepare for the day of a First Gentleman.  It will be coming before you know it.  If it is, for example, some spouse of David Petraeus, he will not be "Gen Petraeus."  That's no longer the office he will be occupying.  

    Jill's a smart person.  She doesn't need the "Dr" to prove that.  More to the point, Michelle Obama is smart.  The title of "First Lady" was just fine then.  It was fine with Hillary Clinton.  Both Michelle and Hillary held law degrees and they could practice law.  Despite the massive stupidity of Whoop Goldberg, Jill is not a medical doctor.  She has a phd in education.  Even if she was a medical doctor -- Howard Dean's wife, for example, Judith Dean, once you become First Lady, that is your title.  I was all for Judith going by Dr Dean in the campaign but had Howard been elected president, her medical degree had nothing to do with the office of First Lady and that would have been her title.

    It's an office.  The spouse isn't elected individually but they are part of the election.  Jill walked out on stage after stage -- many more than Joe did after the pandemic struck.  She campaigned for the office.  

    She now holds the office.  Her title is First Lady.  The same title that Michelle held, that Hillary held, that Nancy Reagan, Rosalyn Carter, Betty Ford, Pat Nixon, Laura Bush, etc  have held.  She has a staff now, that we pay for as taxpayers, she has offices in the White House that we also pay for.  We are not paying for "Doctor of Education."  We are paying for First Lady.  If that's not good enough for her or for some of her supporters, they need to examine their own latent sexism and ask why?

    We've addressed this issue before in many ways including noting David Petraeus was not "Gen" when he served as Director of the CIA.  His title then was "Director."  And if that wasn't good enough for him, he shouldn't have accepted the job.  If "First Lady" isn't good enough, then the person should have talked their spouse out of running.

    Hunter Biden.

    If Jill would not comment on anything to do with Hunter other than with regards to him as a child (Jill raised him), I'd be fine with that and she'd be on solid ground.  I don't mean "When Hunter was 12 . . ."  I mean, if she shares the same boring tales that any of us who are parents share about our children, that's fine.  But if she starts injecting herself into the legal aspects -- as she did on the campaign trail -- then reporters could and should press her for comments about his legal situation.

    As First Lady, her role now, I am fine with her avoiding the topic of Hunter's legal mess.  But if she starts getting into that now to defend him or whatever, she is opening the door and it is a valid question for the press to pursue.

    If she wants to wall herself off from that, fine by me.  But she cannot have it both ways.  She cannot attack those raising questions or insist that Hunter is innocent and not respond when the press has questions on this topic.  Better to just wall it off and be consistent.  Better to reply, "I'm happy to talk about seeing him with his latest child and how happy they looked but I'm not going to discuss any legal issues or any allegations."  


    Joe does not have the same luxury.  It is his name that Hunter traded on.  And, so sorry to inform him, but "Dad of Hunter" is no longer his title.  He wanted to be the President of the United States.  His little baby Hunter falls down the list of priorities over the next four years.

    He will not be in the White House to protect Hunter.  If it even appears that he's attempting that, he should be censured (at the very least).  That would be an abuse of the office.

    Hunter.  Yesterday, I saw a video where someone (I'm being kind) wanted to talk about Hunter's latest mess.  And the man felt the need to say (paraphrasing), 'Look, I don't care about this either.  There are more important things to talk about."

    No, they're aren't and that remark was shameful.

    Did the person mean it?  I hope they just said it because of all the attacks if you speak of Hunter and reality.  

    But the guy said it and it needs to be called out (and next time when he says we will name and shame).  Corruption.  That's what we're talking about.  And corruption always needs to be called out.  We noted the idiot -- just like her pill popping mother -- who wanted to whine that Ivanka Trump has done similar things in the last four years.  And we noted this isn't an either/or.  You can call both out.  You can prosecute both.  And you should.

    Hunter's corruption goes back decades.  

    There need to be consequences.

    To say that it doesn't matter?  Oh, okay.  So there are things that matter if it's your average citizen but then if you're the child of a powerful politician, it doesn't?  So we have a two-tier justice system?  

    To say that it doesn't matter?  That's to say that corruption doesn't matter.  I don't agree with that.  I don't support that and I don't believe most Americans do.

    Ending government corruption may not be 'sexy' but many have tried to tackle it -- some have even made it a lifelong pursuit.  And to imply that this is a minor or unimportant or trivial issue is to lie to yourself and to others.  Corruption is wrong.  

    And Joe's mouthed words about the appearance of conflict.  That is the standard for elected officials -- they are to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.  

    If Joe can't do that, he doesn't need to be president.

    And idiots like Chuck Rosenberg going on MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves.  It's not the time?  Then when is the time, you liar?  If anything, it's way past time. 

    And let's be clear that unemployed Americans aren't getting $400,000 or more in corrupt deals.  But we can look the other way for Joe Biden's son?  No.  Especially not while Americans are suffering.

    Here's KDKA's Andy Sheehan reporting on the story.

    In Iraq, things are getting worse.  Another protester assassinated, liquor stores bombed and now, ALJAZEERA reports, a professor assassinated:

    The gunman fled the scene immediately after shooting al-Sharifi at Al-Manara University College, sources said.

    In a statement, IHCHR warned of the return of a “series of assassinations” targeting Iraqi academics and university professors, and called on the government to create legislation to protect them.

    The commission warned that if the state continues to fail to protect them, many revered academics would have no option but to leave the country at a time when Iraq needs to rebuild.

    The gunman fled the scene immediately after shooting al-Sharifi at Al-Manara University College, sources said.

    In a statement, IHCHR warned of the return of a “series of assassinations” targeting Iraqi academics and university professors, and called on the government to create legislation to protect them.

    The commission warned that if the state continues to fail to protect them, many revered academics would have no option but to leave the country at a time when Iraq needs to rebuild.

    The brain drain.  It's taken place in waves throughout the ongoing Iraq War as professors, technocrats, doctors and nurses have been targeted.  Again, while few are noticing, things are getting worse in Iraq.  Don't tell the Kenny Pollards of the world who are too busy pimping for Mustafa al-Kadhimi the way that they once pimped for the illegal war.

    There brain drains elsewhere -- specifically in the mind of the jerk who Tweeted this:

    I am not against women joining military, they are brave and patriotic as any Male soldier. I am concerned about sexual assault, rape by enemy soldiers in case they are captured during war! Even US women soldiers had to face it during iraq & Afghanistan!

    If you were concerned, you'd be informed and you're not.  No "US women soldiers had to face" being assaulted "by enemy soldiers" in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The women in the military who were assaulted, whether it was Suzanne Swift or anyone else, were assaulted by their peers, by US troops.  Excuse me, by their peers or by their superiors -- "command rape" is the term that the ongoing wars has popularized. 

    The reactionaries are always pretend to care but they never care enough to know what they're talking about.

    The following sites updated:

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