Day: March 13, 2012

National Ads Suspended on The Rush Limbaugh Show

This news has been around for almost 24 hours but after reading about it in detail, I think it’s another win for Ms. Sandra Fluke and women everywhere…

Crooks & Liars

Lawrence O’Donnell had the editor of Radio-Info.com, Tom Taylor, on to discuss this unusual move in the wake of the Sandra Fluke debacle, aka “Slutgate.” Taylor sees this as a cooling off period as Premiere Networks plans their next move:

TAYLOR: The whole temperature level of this thing is something that the syndicator and Rush himself would like to bring down. And as you say, that’s why Rush had a round of golf today.

via Think Progress:

Radio-Info.com reports that Premiere Networks, which syndicates the Rush Limbaugh show, told its affiliate radio stations that they are suspending national advertising for two weeks. Rush Limbaugh is normally provided to affiliates in exchange for running several minutes of national advertisements provided by Premiere each hour. These ads called “barter spots.” These spots are how Premiere makes its money off of Rush Limbaugh and other shows it syndicates.

But without explanation, Premiere has supended these national advertisements for two weeks. Radio-Info.com calls the move “unusual.” The development suggests that Rush Limbaugh’s incessant sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke have caused severe damage to the show.

From the memo:

Attention Traffic Managers of Premiere News/Talk Affiliates:
We are suspending the requirement to run barter spots for two weeks, March 12th and March 19th, for our News/Talk affiliates only.

Please replace/re-traffic any Premiere barter spots immediately. Contractual requirements to run barter spots are being suspended for these two weeks only. Replace them with Lifelock and Lear Financial or a local spot of your choice.

Think Progress have also reported that 140 sponsors have now requested their ads no longer appear on the Limbaugh Show.

Streep as Clinton? Tribute gets people talking

It’s funny, when I saw Meryl Streep’s tribute to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the first thing I thought of was how Ms. Streep should actually play Hillary Clinton on the big screen.  Apparently I was not alone in my thinking…

The Associated Press

Meryl Streep is fresh off her Oscar win for playing Margaret Thatcher. But she had an entire theater at Lincoln Center wondering if an even better role for her would be a political icon closer to home: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The question arose as Streep paid a glowing and affectionate tribute to the secretary of state at the Women in the World summit, an annual gathering of prominent women leaders and unsung heroines from across the globe that closed over the weekend.

“This is what you get when you play a world leader,” Streep said Saturday, hoisting up her best-actress Oscar for “The Iron Lady.”

“But if you want a real world leader,” Streep continued, “THIS is what you get!” Clinton strolled onstage at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ David H. Koch Theater, and Streep enveloped her in a hug.

The three-day summit, now in its third year, is organized by Tina Brown, editor in chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Besides Streep and Clinton, feminist icon Gloria Steinem and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, Brown harnessed the star power of Angelina Jolie, who came to read the words of Dr. Hawa Abdi, a Somali humanitarian facing danger from Islamist rebels there.

Also given star treatment was International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who delighted the delegates at dinner Thursday when she suggested that the financial crisis might have been averted, or at least been much less serious, if more women had been at the helm of financial institutions.

“If Lehman Brothers had been a bit more Lehman Sisters … we would not have had the degree of tragedy that we had as a result of what happened,” Lagarde said.

She added that recent studies have shown “what the level of testosterone in a given room can produce when you do trading.”

Many global problems were addressed by the dozens of panels attended by some 2,000 delegates each day. But a constant undercurrent was an issue at home: the debate in Washington over women’s reproductive health care.

Clinton and other speakers referred, obliquely and not, to conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh’s insulting remarks about law student Sandra Fluke, who came under attack after she testified to congressional Democrats in support of their national health care policy that would compel her Catholic college’s health insurance plan to cover birth control.

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, of Liberia, was the most blunt, saying women had been too passive: “Where are the angry American women?” she asked.

From Liberia to Egypt: Panelists discussed whether the Arab Spring risked becoming an Arab Winter for women, who were central to the popular uprising but now fear being marginalized.

“Tell people there is no spring without flowers and there is no Arab Spring without women,” said Dalia Ziada, Egypt director of the American Islamic Congress.

Other popular lines of the weekend included the definition of “glass ceiling,” from Jane Harman, the former California Democratic congresswoman: “It’s actually a thick layer of men.”

How do you puncture that layer? Kah Walla, a political leader from Cameroon, spoke of empowering women across Africa but added that in the United States, too, the level of female representation in politics was a serious issue.

“Every woman here needs to be involved with getting a woman elected,” she said.

The opposition leader in Israel, Tzipi Livni, of the Kadima Party, spoke about the nuclear threat from Iran. But she said she would not engage in what she called “megaphone diplomacy.”

“Maybe that’s something men do,” she quipped.

And Steinem had a good line — speaking on a panel about women leaders, moderated by Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, she speculated on why some men feel uncomfortable with females in power.

“The last time a lot of powerful guys saw a powerful woman, they were 8,” Steinem said. “They feel regressed to childhood by a powerful woman.”

Yet men played a role in the summit, too, perhaps none more eloquently than Imam Demba Diawara, a village chief from Senegal. In a powerful discussion of the practice of genital cutting, Diawara, whose own family members had endured the procedure, spoke of how he had gradually come to understand that cutting was dangerous and sometimes fatal. He said he had since visited 378 communities to convince leaders of his view.

“By 2015, we will see the end of genital cutting in Senegal,” he predicted.

The conference came to a more lighthearted end with Streep, who spoke humorously of the similarities she shared with Clinton.

They’re roughly the same age, she said. They both have two brothers. They both had spirited, big-hearted mothers. They both went to women’s colleges and then to graduate school at Yale.

“But there our two paths diverged in the wood,” Streep noted, concluding that “I’m an actress, and she’s the real deal.”

Clinton arrived to deliver a call to arms for women around the world to get involved in effecting change. But not before expressing relief that there was one movie Streep had never made.

“I’m just glad she didn’t do a movie called ‘The Devil Wears Pantsuits,’” quipped Clinton, mixing the title of a Streep film with her favored style of clothing.

Rep. Stearns On Obama Birth’s Certificate: ‘The Question Is, Is It Legitimate?’

Birther madness is about to rear it’s ugly head this campaign season…

Think Progress

New video of a February town hall shows Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) pandering to birthers and raising questions about the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate.

When Stearns met with constituents on February 25 in Belleview, one of the first questions came from an elderly gentleman who insisted that Obama was not born in the United States and ought to be impeached. Rather than correcting the man and informing him that the president is indeed a natural-born American citizen, Stearns coddled the conspiracy theory by implying that Obama’s birth certificate may be a forgery — “is it legitimate?” Stearns wondered aloud.

The Florida congressman noted that there is a “general consensus” that Obama “produced a birth certificate,” but gave no indication that he agreed with this sentiment. He also advanced an phony conservative meme, debunked by Dave Weigel and others, that Hawaii’s governor was incapable of locating the birth certificate:

STEARNS: All I can tell you is that the general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate. The question is, is it legitimate? That’s where we stand now. I’ve seen a copy of it on television. But you know the Governor of Hawaii couldn’t get what he felt was an original of the birth certificate.  He tried to do it and gave up on it. So I think what Obama’s showing is a facsimile, but I think that debate probably is not enough, shall we say, just to impeach him. We’re going to have an election in five or six months so we can change the course of history by electing someone other than Obama. That’s what elections are all about. If we started impeachment this time of year, very difficult in terms of time and strength.

Watch it, via Youtube user FlaPolActCoop.:

The next questioner asked if there was a grand jury looking into the veracity of Obama’s birth certificate.

While Obama’s full birth certificate has been online for nearly a year, questioning Obama’s citizenship may be a politically expedient move for Stearns, unfortunately. A recent PPP poll in nearby Tennessee found that a plurality of GOP voters (45 percent) do not believe Obama was born in the United States.

Stearns isn’t the only prominent conservative figure coddling birthers. Earlier this month,  Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who has become somewhat of a national GOP kingmaker –announced the finding of his investigation into Obama’s birth certificate, concluding it was a “forgery and fraud.”

Stearns’ name has been in the news lately after a Republican primary challenger accused the Congressman of offering a bribe to withdraw from the race. He is also the Congressman spearheading the GOP’s efforts against Planned Parenthood, opening the investigation into the women’s health organization that led the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to temporarily drop cut funding.