Media Circus

Natasha Vargas-Cooper reaches deep into “the heart America’s new drug nightmare” (which is, ahem, bath salts), for SPIN: COLUMBUS, OH— On an unseasonably hot and muggy May afternoon, a squad of armed…

Decoration DayVia Alternet:

It’s sure to be a little bit controversial but it’s an extremely salient point: Chris Hayes, when discussing the meaning of Memorial Day, admitted that he feels “uncomfortable” calling deceased soldiers heroes. Not because they’re not heroes, but because the term lionizes and glamorizes war. Hayes discussed how he feels “uncomfortable” with the term:

I feel … uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.

George Zimmerman

Breaking news via Fox News Latino:

Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey will announce Wednesday that she is charging George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, according to multiple reports.

Corey will hold a press conference on the case at 6:00pm ET in Jacksonville, Fla., to announce that Zimmerman is in custody and will face second-degree murder charges, an official told the Associated Press. (You can watch the presser live on Fox News Latino)

The Washington Post first reported that Corey would bring charges.

Corey announced earlier this week that she was not convening a grand jury in the case, meaning the decision on whether to charge Zimmerman was hers alone.

Without a grand jury indictment, Corey could not pursue a first-degree murder charge. She could have gone forward with second-degree murder or manslaughter charges…

Pink Slime In Ground BeefReports Phil Milford and Shruti Date Singh on Bloomberg:

AFA Foods, a ground-beef processor owned by Yucaipa Cos., sought bankruptcy court protection with a plan to sell some assets after media coverage of “pink slime” cut demand for its products. The company, based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, listed assets of $219 million and debt of $197 million in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is among food activists who have criticized the use of what they dubbed “pink slime,” a filler produced by treating finely ground beef scraps with ammonia hydroxide to kill pathogens. Beef Products Inc. last week temporarily suspended production at three plants because of consumer concerns. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said March 28 that the product, referred to in the industry as lean, finely textured beef, is safe to eat…

Mike DaiseyVia Mike Daisey’s blog for audio and transcript on The Atlantic :

Last night, at a long-scheduled appearance at Georgetown University, Mike Daisey gave his first public talk since the news broke last Friday that This American Life was retracting the now-infamous episode featuring his work. Daisey is a complicated and conflicted figure, and, it’s hard not to feel complicated and conflicted about him and about his work. His talk last night, which I’ve transcribed below as best I could, provides a new dimension to the story that is now at the center of a scandal.

This is my first scandal. (Laughter)

I haven’t had another one like it.

And, as they say, if you’re going to go, go big.

And so, I was on the train down here today, and I was keenly aware that I was coming down to talk about “Art and the Human Voice in the Global Labor Struggle,” and I was keenly aware of the situation that I have been embroiled in, that I embroiled myself in …

Or both?  Paul Rosenberg writes at Al Jazeera English: Rush Limbaugh’s recent meltdown – his three-day sex-crazed rant/attack against Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, whose congressional testimony made no mention of her…

Site editor’s note: if you have been following this political/internet/media explosion you may find this recent story posted to in December as an interesting footnote to the outcome.

These people will enjoy no more burritos until unborn babies are no longer terminated. Until Abortion Ends is a perplexing and to some extent inadvertently amusing trend in which people pledge to give up various things “until abortion ends”. (Although I assume they actually mean “until abortion becomes criminalized”.)

Sheen Superhero QuoteWell, we discovered this week Charlie Sheen does have a superpower: getting a million Twitter followers in 25 hours. If you’d like to take a break from the serious news of the week, very funny post from Laura Hudson on Comics Alliance:

Earlier this week, we decided that the only way to deal with the exploding celebrity Death Star that is Charlie Sheen was to take his spectacularly hubristic comments and put them in the mouths of superheroes, with the help of Chris Haley and Curt Franklin of the webcomic Let’s Be Friends Again.

You, the readers, told us that the six measly pieces of original art where your favorite Marvel and DC characters reiterate the philosophical jewels of the only celebrity whose veins pump pure tiger blood was simply not enough, and we have heard your demands.

Update: Actually Sheen may be trying to use his new-found superpower for good, the Hollywood Reporter is claiming he’s going to Haiti with Sean Penn.

The Tillman Story

Here is a man who I say deserves a true Profile in Courage Award.

Bill Maher interviews Richard Tillman, brother of Pat Tillman, on the recent Real Time.

Any person, dealing with grief over their sibling’s death, that manages to stand up for what their lost loved one truly believed in light of a media circus, is A-OK in my book.

This is speaking “Truth to Power” in its finest sense. Anyone willing to call out these opportunistic politicians who showed up at this brother’s funeral, and co-opt what he (Pat Tillman) believe against their own self-interest…

I agree with Bill Maher. I’d be happy to share a beer with Richard Tillman any day of the week…

Jon Stewart is a Stormtrooper

“Yes we can … but should we?” — Jon Stewart

Politics is often defined as the “art of the possible.” However it should also be defined as “you can’t please all the people all the time.” Especially the ones being idiots on the “ground zero mosque” media shitstorm.

Thankfully The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart (who recently George Lucas made a Stormtrooper) is on the money again about President Obama’s mixed public comments regarding this non-story.

I could not complete this post without mentioning the great Jon Oliver‘s commentary:

“There is a difference, Jon, between what you can do and what you should do. You can build a Catholic Church next to a playground. Should you?”