“Hustle and Flow”

Now, I’m not trying to damn this movie with faint praise, but I think my favorite part of it was the title card. The lead characters are driving down a notably shitty strip of Tennessee highway, and one leans out the window, and the frame freezes and displays this giant yellow “Hustle and Flow” logo, like a transplant from a Russ Meyer movie.

This aside, it’s still a pretty good movie. Terence Howard is D-Jay, a curiously erudite pimp in Memphis (apparently the asphalt and titty bar capital of the universe), who learns a Memphis rapper made good (Ludicrous) is coming back to town for a party and decides to make a demo tape for him. And, uh, that’s it, but it’s really quite funny and touching.

Fifth column is the charm

It is a truth universally acknowledged that I enjoy “The O’Reilly Factor” way, way too much, and never more than when he’s turning the show into some crusade against a vile child molester or liberal. His Monday episode was pretty much the best ever – I quote (via Lexis) from his opening “talking points.”

Now there’s no question that worldwide terror exists because people help these savages. Some actively, some passively, but help is help.

Target number one in the USA is the ACLU …

Etc etc. Equally scary and funny. But what would have been modestly amusing as a monologue became a cacophony of gut-busting when O’Reilly introduced two journalists he’d asked to write lists of “people and governments they believe are aiding worldwide terror.” These were Robert Pollack from the WSJ and Stephen Hayes, the James Glassman of Iraq punditry. No one wants me to paste the whole stupid transcript, so here’s the short version of their lists of fifth columnists.

POLLACK: Dick Durbin, whose “Gulag” comments helped terrorists because “every time I have an argument with a foreigner about this kind of stuff, they always point to Americans. They say I heard it from Dick Durbin, I heard it from Ted Kennedy, I read it in The Washington Post.”

HAYES: Michael Moore, who is “still relevant because you don’t see these Democrats denouncing what Michael Moore is saying.”

POLLACK: The BBC, because when it doesn’t refer to bombers as “terrorists,” terrorists hear that and “they see that as weakness.”

HAYES: Al-Jazeera, because “they enable people who incite terrorists.”

POLLACK: The UN, which “seems to focus on Israel and the United States as the main causes of trouble in the world and pays scant attention to the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.”

HAYES: Cynthia McKinney, Jim McDermott, France (which “has not stepped up and been an able partner in fighting the terrorists.”)

Why did this segment bother me? It’s not that it’s so uniquely stupid. It’s that it’s almost four years since 9/11 and these guys are trying to blame terrorism on a movie director, an international organization, a European country, two news networks, and three Democrats. Pollack is a high-powered editorial writer, and Hayes is a journalist with high-level sources. They have ten minutes on the top-rated show on cable news to discuss terrorism – they could spotlight developments in central Asia, or immigration and police tactics in Europe, or something else deathly serious. And this is the shit they want to sling. So pathetic.

3,2,1, aaaaaaand you’re cancelled

I actually saw this exchange last night, but I’ll let Attytood uncork the rageohol.

If you live in Philadelphia, and you’re the kind of person who knows about blogs, you also probably know by now all about the search for 24-year-old LaToyia Figueroa of West Philadelphia, who went missing 10 days ago and was ignored for 9 of those days by the same national media that’s obsessed with missing white women, preferably blonde. … MSNBC’s bow-tied, right wing pundit, Tucker Carlson of the widely unwatched “The Situation,” and local boy turned stock tipster Jim Cramer, managed to “cover” the plight of the missing woman in the most disgusting manner possible — and without even lowering themselves to mentioning the name of the non-white woman.

CARLSON: People who don’t—people who don’t work in the press who look at this and immediately draw the conclusion that people who work in the press are racist ought to know there’s another dynamic involved here. And it is this. Things that are unusual or perceived to be unusual are the ones that are considered news.

It’s like planes that land safely aren’t news. When someone, not just a black person or a Hispanic person, but someone who lives in a tough neighborhood, is injured in a crime, the feeling, right or not—or wrong—and it’s probably wrong—is, this is a more common occurrence than if it were to happen in a suburban area.

MADDOW: But it’s the per—again, it’s the perception. We’ve got a woman who has been missing for nine days. She’s pregnant. She’s a young mother. It has all the components of the other stories that get covered. But because of the race, because she’s from West Philly, it’s not getting covered.

CARLSON: But…

MADDOW: So, people are trying to drive…

CARLSON: But…

MADDOW: … the media…

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: But the truth is, we are covering it. It was on our air today. And it’s on our air…

MADDOW: Because of an enterprising blogger.

CARLSON: It’s…

CRAMER: Where would you rather vacation, Aruba or West Philly?

MADDOW: West Philly has…

(CROSSTALK)

CRAMER: Forty-second and Baltimore is nothing like Aruba.

(LAUGHTER)

Hah hah, poor people suck!

It says “chicken,” but it’s really an IED

I concur with Atrios’s assessment of this: !?!?!?!?

JESSICA SIMPSON wants to know where missing footage of her and husband NICK LACHEY’s harrowing trip to Iraq got to – because she thinks Americans would like to see just how bad conditions are there.

The pop singers-turned-reality TV couple travelled to the war-torn nation to visit US troops as part of a recent ABC TV variety special, and they were both left shellshocked by what they saw.

But all the controversial moments and harrowing footage of the trip didn’t appear in the fun-filled TV show.

Simpson says, “It was unbelievable. They didn’t show a lot of what really went on with the enemy attacks and the shelling. There was so much stuff that went on and somehow the tapes got mysteriously misplaced.

“It put everything in perspective for me. It really did teach me the definition of sacrifice. I can’t even fathom being out there right now. I was ready to come home.”

When can we expect Mike Gallagher’s anti-“Dukes of Hazzard” concerts?