Two Topics Today: Mukasey and the Emmys.
Seemingly unrelated, yes - but perhaps we'll combine them by the end.
Most people dislike it when celebrities get up on soapboxes, especially when they're not acting. Celebrities are never discussed on this blog either. But there must be a slight exception, because celebrities enjoy the same right to free speech that all of us little people do.
Fox was broadcasting the Emmys, so a few things are expected right off the bat - their shows will be endorsed, and the other networks will be roasted. The agenda of Murdock will be not-so-subtly floating around the theatre like noxious fumes. All that is understandable - he paid for it. But what Mr. Murdock doesn't understand is that the audience of shows like the Emmy's hate it when celebrities win an award and then make a political pitch, as if the award in their hands suddenly transmitts, by osmosis, the intellectual savy of a pundit. That's not why they're there, and most people will strike it from the record. But what Murdoch and Fox decided to do was add validity by purposely expunging anything slightly left-leaning. Sally Field, the flying nun of all people, choose to use the lord's name in vain - there's been court cases outlawing the display of the ten commandments in our courtrooms, so it's quizzical that this should get noticeably bleeped.
One stage, after receiving her trophy, Field said: "Surely this [award] belongs to all the mothers of the world,” she stated. “May they be seen, may their work be valued and raised. Especially to the mothers who stand with an open heart and wait. Wait for their children to come home from danger, from harm’s way, and from war. I am proud to be one of those women ... If mothers ruled the world, there would be no –” (at this point the Fox Emmycast cut off her sound and pointed the camera away from the stage, silencing the rest of her sentence) god-damned wars in the first place.” (see it in full here: http://thinkprogress.org/2007/09/16/fox-censors-sally-fields-anti-war-speech-at-emmys)
While this blogger doesn't necessarily agree that women are as anti-war and docile as Field would like to believe, she's entitled to her opinion. In fact, technically, she didn't make a direct statement - she never said "Iraq"... although we all got the point.
Canadian viewers got the whole, uncut version of this speech. Canada. Is it that we can't handle the same type of information that Canada can? And why is "god-damned" so much worse than "bitch," or "whore?" Fox was hiding behind "god-damned" and used it as an excuse to censor "war," which although they approve of it, they'd rather not mention it - because Fox choose not to bleep just "god-damned" but the whole sentence. By bleeping it out, Fox called greater attention to it, and caused people to feel like they can't be trusted with a piece of information. And when people feel coddled and uninformed, they go out of their way to oppose such treatment (at least the ones who aren't lazy).
Speaking of coddled and uniformed (see that transition!), President Bush has reportedly chosen a successor to Alberto Gonzales, Michael B. Mukasey - a retired federal judge and large law firm lawyer from Manhattan, who is currently the legal advisor for the Giuliani campaign.
It seems Bush is trying, at least a bit, to show the Democrats a bit of mea culpa and appoint a candidate that even Chuck Schumer has said some kind words about. We'll see if they like Mukasey as much now. Obviously, he's got to be an improvement on Gonzales, but then again a
pinata filled with attorney's pink slips would've done a better job. Although this may be a smoother confirmation process than previous ones, you've got to root for a small showdown anyways. It's what we've all come to expect from this congress in it's dealing with the White House. Its a sad state of affairs when the Emmy Awards platform has more spirited debate than the Senate floor, because face it - a larger percentage of the populous are getting their politics from there, or the John Stewart show than they are from C-Span.
Mukasey is tough on issues like terrorism and national security, which is probably a reason why Bush choose him. Less controversial nominees have gotten through, so early estimates are fairly tame. It doesn't matter, hopefully. If things go well, he'll be out after the next presidential election anyways. All we can hope for is someone who will reestablish a good reputation to our Justice Department, until the new administration comes in. So we have to encourage all parties involved to make this process as quick and painless as possible, because Congress has other, as important (if not more so) issues to redress... maybe like this "god-damned war"?