The Economy Can Wait. Florida Democrat’s First Mission: Hats In Congress

It’s not the economy, stupid, it’s hats.

Newly elected Democrat Frederica Wilson is itching to get to Congress and get down to business–and the first order of business (in her mind) is to get Congress to finally take up the pressing matter of overturning its ban on hats in the House chamber.

“It’s sexist,” Wilson told the Miami Herald. The ban “dates back to when men wore hats. And we know that men don’t wear hats indoors, but women wear hats indoors. Hats are what I wear. People get excited when they see the hats. Once you get accustomed to it, it’s just me. Some people wear wigs, or high-heel shoes or big earrings or pins. This is just me.”

Yes, it’s definitely just you.

Wilson, a freshman rep from–of course–South Florida, has made a formal request to incoming House Speaker John Boehner to fast-track a change in the no-hats rule, which dates to the 19th Century. Oh, and to get the ban lifted? According to the House Rules Committee, it would take a vote of the full House.

So hang on, unemployed. We’ll get to you in just one minute. First, we’ve really got to show the people what Congress can do when we work together to take on a tough issue like hats. Then, when that outdated and sexist ban is finally put to rest, Rep. Wilson–in one of her 300 or so hats, many of them brightly colored sequined cowboy hats–can settle down to work on getting you a job so you can feed your family or whatever.

Thanks again, Florida, you always give us plenty to be thankful for.

Giving Thanks: The Media Stories That Have Provided Great Fodder For Us This Season

Its a time-honored tradition for news sites and media blogs to throw up a “lets give thanks” type story in Thanksgiving Day.

And so, following are the images and descriptions of some of the top media stories, narratives and personalities that have made Fall such an interesting, exciting and yes, well-trafficked season for Mediaite. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Obamas (1 of 8)

No question its been a tough nine months or so for President Obama, though to his credit, he did accomplish a lot in that time. Sadly for him, however, many people aren't exactly thrilled with what he's been able to accomplish in that time.

Barack Obama

Why Does Fox News Censor Body Scanner Images While MSNBC Doesn’t Blur Them?

Thanksgiving is for eating meals prepared by your loved ones and, since we hope you at least like like us here at Mediaite, here’s a little food for thought. Yesterday evening, I was watching Hardball where Chris Matthews was again making it clear that he doesn’t have a problem with the TSA body scanners, when I noticed something interesting. On the screen was a one of the scanner images, completely uncensored. It reminded me that, whenever Fox News shows one, there’s a blurry circle almost as large as the image itself. Hmmm, I wonder why the difference…

10 days ago, when John Tyner was given his veritable hero’s welcome on America Live, not only were the images fully blurred out, he mentioned them, using the blurring as proof for how invasive the process is. And it sure seemed invasive. The heavy blurring censored so much of the image that viewers could easily imagine that there’s something offensive in the reproductions of a person’s knees and shoulders. Oh, no! Not only are the TSA agents going to see every last detail of my genitals, they can also see my elbow! That must be bad because Fox News had to blur it!

Meanwhile, on MSNBC, during a segment where the host was gleefully shutting down anyone who’s complaining that these procedures are infringing on travelers’ rights, they blurred nothing but the man’s face (which Fox News actually didn’t!). Why blur when there’s nothing wrong, right?

It may seem needless and obvious to point out that the shows have extensive censoring when they view these scanners as wrong and none when they don’t. However, when people accuse the two networks of just featuring hosts parroting talking points, they sometimes forget these little details that are an important part of getting the narrative across.

Food for thought. What do you think?

Check out the aforementioned clips from Fox News and MSNBC below:

Two Years Later: Sarah Palin Has Come A Long Way From The Slaughtered Turkey Video

Look how far Sarah Palin’s come. It was only two year ago that the former Vice Presidential candidate — and then Alaskan Governor — was giving her first post-election interview just a few feet from turkeys getting slaughtered – a PR nightmare that some though showed her naivete. Cut to two year later, Ms. Palin is the star of her own hit reality show, a best-selling author, a legitimate 2012 presidential candidate and a political force that the has put the established political class back on their heels.

Remember, the accepted media narrative at that time was that Palin didn’t possess the intellectual heft to be a serious candidate for high office. Not surprisingly, the left had a field day with this, perhaps best evidenced by the way it was reported by David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster at Raw Story at the time:

Now Alaska Governor and failed Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has mimed presidential tradition, but her effort at winged mercy was ‘cut’ short. As she staged an impromptu press conference after pardoning one lucky bird, a worker at the Triple D Farm and Hatchery in Wasilla sliced a turkey’s neck, bled it out and twisted its head off behind the governor, directly in the camera’s line of fire.

A reporter asked Palin if she was okay with the backdrop. The Alaskan Governor answered, “no worries.” As the bird’s head was removed, the man looked over his shoulder at the governor and reporters and flashed a toothy grin.

“I was happy to be invited to participate in, in this, and, uh, and, you know, for one, you need a little bit of levity in this job, especially with a, uh, so much that has gone on in the last couple of months that has been so, um, political, ah, obviously, that it’s nice to get out and, and do something to promote a local business and, and to uh, just participate in something that isn’t so, um, heavy-handed politics that, uh, invites criticism,” said the governor in what appeared to be a single sentence.

After this video went viral, Countdown host Keith Olbermann predictably chose a unique method to report the story. Here he is, watching it live for the first time, so his viewers could track his reaction in real time:

Keith Olbermann Calls For Fox To Dump Judge Andrew Napolitano Over 9/11 Comments

Judge Andrew Napolitano has taken his firebrand libertarian show, Freedom Watch, to the big leagues, anchoring the most expensive real estate on the Fox Business Network– and it took less than a month of free market values and government distrust for Keith Olbermann to be calling for his dismissal. The issue? Napolitano really doesn’t trust the government, whether it comes to taxes, social programs, or, uh, who was really behind 9/11.

Napolitano visited controversial radio host Alex Jones‘ program recently and– not for the first time– suggested that the September 11th attacks “couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.” Olbermann doesn’t take any particular issue with the comment, noting with some apathy, “I don’t have to agree with him, you don’t have to disagree with him.” In fact, Olbermann doesn’t even give Napolitano a coveted “Worsts” medal– that honor goes to his boss, Roger Ailes, for not firing Napolitano.

So why does Olbermann want someone whose comments he doesn’t mind to lose his job, which happens to be hosting a show in the same genre and in the same time slot as Olbermann? For the sake of consistency. “Put your outrage where you money is,” he told Ailes, noting that other Fox News personalities like Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity had called for Van Jones to be fired and Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf to lose his license to open an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan for similar comments. Imam Rauf wasn’t even the source of his own offensive comments– it was an underling. Since others on Fox News criticized these individuals for 9/11 “truth”-related comments, Olbermann concludes, Napolitano merits the same treatment.

The difference, of course, between individuals like Jones and Rauf and television personalities like Judge Napolitano is that the latter has no direct influence on government or policy. The job conservatives were so upset to see Jones hold gave him the power to advice the nation’s chief executive. Imam Rauf– knee-deep in controversy for issues having nothing to do with trutherism– is in charge of a major downtown Manhattan project. Judge Napolitano, on the other hand, is paid for his opinions. He is not paid to generate policy or execute projects based on those opinions– his only responsibility is to be interesting and, for the picky cable news viewer, consistent. There is nothing inconsistent about someone whose philosophical foundation is distrust in the government to express unease with certain statements the government has made. To Olbermann’s credit, he takes no issue with Napolitano himself. But to dump Napolitano in the same boat as Van Jones is to thoroughly misunderstand the arguments that Beck, O’Reilly, et al made during the “Czar” saga. So long as Napolitano doesn’t find himself in the President’s cabinet, there is little reason for his colleagues to demand a pink slip.

The segment from tonight’s “Worsts” via MSNBC below:

Rush Limbaugh Outraged Obama’s Thanksgiving Declaration Thanks Native Americans

President Obama’s “wildly distorted” version of Thanksgiving– where the pilgrims and Native Americans traded food and wealth during a cold winter– has greatly upset Rush Limbaugh. In fact, Limbaugh was so shocked the president would thank Native Americans for their “rich culture,” he thought the White House’s official Thanksgiving declaration was a hoax.

Compared to George Washington’s 1789 declaration, Limbaugh argues, Obama’s is practically sacrilege. Decrying “the myth of the first Thanksgiving,” Limbaugh read an excerpt of the President’s declaration, adding personal touches in places like “Native Americans’ rich culture continues to add to our nation’s heritage” (here he inserted “at their casinos and reservations.” Then he repeated several variations of “this has got to be a parody” to himself incredulously as he mulled over the text, which he followed by interpreting President Obama’s comments: “We were the invaders… we were incompetent idiots, we didn’t know how to feed ourselves, so they came along and showed us how, and that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.”

Speaking with a caller, Limbaugh clarified what the real story of Thanksgiving is about: “the true story of Thanksgiving is how socialism failed,” he tells the caller, noting that “the Indians didn’t teach us capitalism” and “we shared our bounty with them… because we first failed as socialists.” The caller, David, seemed thrilled with that explanation, but it sounds like the sort of thing American history scholars may have a bit of a problem with.

The audio from today’s radio show below:


Report: New Wikileaks Documents To Expose Corruption Of International Diplomats

Wikileaks is going all in on their quantity-over-quality strategy. The enigmatic online intelligence operation has been teasing a massive leak seven times the size of the Iraq War Logs recently and, with a week expected in between the Thanksgiving break and the big revelation, Reuters is reporting the new documents could be related to corruption among foreign diplomats.

Reuters spoke with some anonymous sources in the State Department who have access to the documents, who argue the documents will potentially harm the image of not just U.S. diplomats, but foreign dignitaries of other large nations:

The detailed, candid reporting by U.S. diplomats also may create foreign policy complications for the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, the sources said.

Among the countries whose politicians feature in the reports are Russia, Afghanistan and former Soviet republics in Central Asia. But other reports also detail potentially embarrassing allegations reported to Washington from U.S. diplomats in other regions including East Asia and Europe, one of the sources familiar with the WikiLeaks holdings said.

The U.S. government is already turning wheels to minimize the damage of the new leak. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, commenting on Wikileaks’ future release, “decried” the work and noted that, while “we wish that this would not happen but we are obviously prepared for the possibility that it will.” In Wikileaks speak, this translates to the Pentagon “hyperventilating” over their work.

Wikileaks is also attempting to expand its large media net, with reports coming in that the group is attempting to involve Spanish newspaper El País and French newspaper Le Monde in the operation– in addition to the New York Times, the UK’s the Guardian, and Germany’s Der Spiegel, all of which participated in the Iraq War Logs release earlier this year. None of the media outlets, however, are giving in on any information. The Times, the only newspaper to respond to Reuters’ request for comment, declined to talk about the leak other than to note that they will comment on it when they release it– so best to enjoy a carefree Thanksgiving holiday and keep nightmares of Julian Assange’s secret files on the back burner for now.