Michael Moore’s new film Where to Invade Next

I had been wondering when Michael Moore would come up with another of his zany documentaries and whether he was working on one at all. I was glad to see that he was and that he did it in secret to enable him to employ his usual guerilla filmmaking tactics more effectively. It is going to be out soon. In this one, Moore ‘invades’ Europe to see how those countries differ from the US and to seize all their good ideas, rather than invade countries for their oil.
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Matt Taibbi tears into Thomas Friedman, again

Readers will have noted that I am an admirer of Matt Taibbi’s writings, quoting extensively from his articles because I see him as an accurate observer of the American political scene with a witty style. I also cannot stand New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and am baffled by the admiration he seems to generate with his vacuous pieties. I first came across Taibbi a long time ago when he was writing for a regional paper because of his hilarious and brutal takedown of Friedman’s inanities. Taibbi and Friedman seemed to be made for each other. (See here, here, and here.)
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Nudity in classical art

Anyone who has been to any art museum, especially those featuring traditional works, will know that they contain rampant full frontal nudity. This is a problem for the media in the US when they have to report on record-breaking auction sales of art works like Modigliani’s Reclining Nude because they have to deal with readers and viewers who are offended by the sight of naked humans even in paintings and sculptures. Should they show the work as is or cover up the naughty bits?
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What the post-debate debate on the debate teaches us

There has been an intriguing post-debate debate on who ‘won’ the Democratic debate. I commented before that the professional pundits in the media seem to be overwhelmingly of the opinion that Hillary Clinton won while my opinion of it was that Bernie Sanders did much better. Of course, all these are just subjective opinions and colored by one’s own preferences. Since I am a Sanders supporter and a Clinton skeptic, my views have a high probability of being skewed.
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The internet forces people to really read Playboy for the articles

It used to be a standard joke that when anyone referred to something that had appeared in Playboy magazine, they would quickly add that they read the magazine just for the articles. This was actually plausible because the magazine did publish many serious pieces, and was known especially for its interviews with prominent people including the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Fidel Castro.
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Donald Trump upsets the Fox News apple cart

The always-entertaining Matt Taibbi has a new article where he says that Donald Trump is upsetting the business model that Fox News has created and forced them to consider treating the nutty Ben Carson as their candidate. The relationship between Trump and Fox, once so cozy and full of mutual admiration, began to fall apart following the angry exchange between Megyn Kelly and Trump.

“[Fox News Chairman] Roger [Ailes] was not happy,” a Fox source told New York Magazine. “Most of the Fox viewers were taking Trump’s side.”

Neither Ailes nor Murdoch are too dense to know what this means. They know they’ve spent a generation building an audience of morons. Their business model depends on morons; morons are the raw materials of their industry, the way Budweiser is in the hops business.
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The Fox News-Donald Trump soap opera

The relationship between Fox News and Donald Trump oscillates between hot and cold with remarkable rapidity. Trump was a favorite on Fox but when he was seemingly ambushed by the moderators during the first debate, he took umbrage and attacked Megyn Kelly in particular and vowed to never appear on their shows again. Fox head Roger Ailes than quickly apologized and Trump agreed to withdraw his boycott, though he continued to occasionally lob attacks at Kelly.
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Even the New York Times has realized that Republicans are nuts

The curse of the American media is that the major ones refrain from calling out stupid statements by major politicians for the nonsense they are but instead treat them as one side of a debate to be counter-balanced by an opposing view, leaving the impression that the truth lies somewhere in between. But we have entered a stage in politics where Republicans are making flat-out wrong statements that are simply not even debatable.
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