Saturday, December 01, 2007

Regal? Coronation-By-Media Begins

regal: [ rg'l ] royal, characteristic of or suitable for a king or queen, especially in grandeur or magnificence [14th century. Via French< Latin regalis< reg-, "king"] - MSN/Encarta Dictionary

Raw Story has emphasized, in a headline at the website today, that an AP wtiter has used the word "regal" to describe Senator Hillary Clinton's demeanor after the situation with Leeland Eisenberg, who walked into a Rochester, N.H. Clinton campaign office and took hostages yesterday, was resolved by New Hampshire authorities.

"When the hostages had been released and their alleged captor arrested, a regal-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton strolled out of her Washington home, the picture of calm in the face of crisis," [the AP's] Glen Johnson wrote. "The image, broadcast just as the network news began, conveyed the message a thousand town hall meetings and campaign commercials strive for — namely, that the Democratic presidential contender can face disorder in a most orderly manner."

I asked myself the following, just because it's like me to question...

Did anyone from the AP ever call John Edwards or his wife Elizabeth Edwards "regal" on the day that they stood before America and had to tell them that Elizabeth' cancer had returned?

I checked. I mean, if I could think of a day when two people stood by looking mature graceful, serious, determined and strong, it was certainly Mr. and Mrs. Edwards.

The AP made no mention of their demeanor nor did they submit adjectives regarding the Edwardses' appearance that day at all.

When is an ordeal not an ordeal?

At the time Mrs. Edwards had made her announcement, the AP had quoted and properly placed in the article Hillary Clinton's statement about Mrs. Edwards:
“I admire her optimism and strength in the face of adversity, and I look forward to seeing them both on the campaign trail.”

...but the AP writers never commented on nor did they submit gushing adjectives about their opinion of Elizabeth's appearance...or John's demeanor. I would guess that's because good journalism tells you the facts and let you decide the rest for yourself.

Six months after Elizbeth Edwards' difficult public announcement, an AP writer referred to Elizabeth as "pit-bull."

Hardly a term to inspire the classic vision of a future first lady.

Hillary Clinton isn't in line to be a Queen and I think the AP writers, to say the least, went overboard, considering Senator Clinton merely stood vigilant and caring and hoped and prayed, as all of us did, that no one would be hurt in Rochester.

Edwards: "This is not class warfare. This is the truth."

In Vienna, Virginia yesterday John Edwards gave a speech at the winter DNC meeting that framed him as the fighter that the country needs to turn it in the right direction and to stand up proudly for American working people. Playing on the Reagan-era phrase that once pointed to a new day for progress in Eastern Europe, Edwards turned the message back toward home, stressing that there's a wall around Washington, D.C. that has been built by the powerful and rich that has stopped too much American progress for profits' sake and must be taken down.

There’s a wall around Washington and we need to take it down. The American people are on the outside. And on the other side, on the inside, are the powerful, the well-connected and the very wealthy. That wall didn’t build itself or appear overnight. For decades, politicians without convictions and powerful interests gathered their bricks and their stones and their mortar, and they went to work. They went to work to protect their interests, to block the voice of the American people, and to stop our country’s progress. They went to work to protect, defend, and maintain the status quo. link

Edwards stated that no one has worked harder on the wall than the insurance companies, drug companies, and HMOs, who have all contributed to building of the wall to assure that their profits will continue to soar while citizens struggle to continue to pay for healthcare.

While their profits rise, who gets sick? Who loses their house when their mother gets Alzheimer's [disease]? Who begs for cancer treatment for their children? Who loses their job and healthcare because it's cheaper overseas to run a factory without the burden of healthcare costs? The big insurance companies, drug companies, and HMOs..they want that wall up there forever. We're going to take it down by making universal healthcare available to every man, woman, and child in America. That's who we are. That's what we stand for.

This is a message that will surely carry over to more than just Democrats if John Edwards should become the Democratic party nominee in 2008. A recent ad sponsored by AARP's "Divided We Fail" campaign represents a collaboration of Hollywood's leading nonprofit organizations, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF). They've joined the "Divided We Fail" national movement (led by AARP) to bring attention to the domestic issues that worry Americans most: health care and financial security:

The policy plans of each candidate, including John Edwards', can be seen and voted on at the Divided We Fail site.

A comment about the Edwards DNC winter meeting speech made by a citizen-supporter at shows how Edwards is clearly making his change-message more pointed and distinct than the hope/change-message of Senator Obama and how his character is coming more clearly into focus with speeches like this one:

He has hit upon the key distinction between him and either Hillary or Obama, who have been characterized by playing it safe, maintaining the status quo...already! Sure there are surface differences, but we are grown ups here.

John Edwards is showing himself to be The Boxer, Mr. Smith, Atticus and Spartacus, and David against Goliath...all rolled into one. But I should not stop there. He was also more like Martin Luther King than any politician that has come around in decades, including [Bill] Clinton...who lacked the selfless passion and discipline, although sharing some of the vision. Tonight's speech found John rising to new heights, fueled, it seemed, by a deeper understanding into why it is so important that he win, and not someone who will roll over or "incrementalize".
His love and sense of stewardship for future generations brands him the true grail king, if you will. The true champion of the people. and his related care and passion for the environment are a personal endorsement of the legend himself, Al Gore...who would certain play a key role in an Edwardian Renaissance.

May this speech be given wide distribution.
And may those on the fence go ahead and stand with John on this historic renaissance. link

You can see the DNC speech in its entirety at (it's about 27 minutes long)

Note: I am sorry that Senator Cliton was unable to give her speech at the DNC meeting due to the unfortunate circumstances in Rochester, N.H. yesterday. I'm personally glad to know that no one was hurt and commend the local police for their superb handling of the situation.

World AIDS Day 2007

FAITH's Renee Gadoua writes about Rev. Michael Bassano, a Roman Catholic Maryknoll priest who has volunteered at a Buddhist temple in Lopburi, Thailand, which houses a hospice and hospital that cares for patients with HIV/AIDS.

[..] Most people, their families have left them or dropped them off at the temple and never come back," he said. "I am their family."

He changes diapers, serves cold drinks, and massages the feet of the suffering.

As he bears witness with patients through illness and pain, Bassano is living Jesus' message to serve the least of our brothers and sisters and Buddha's call to compassion for all beings. [..]

[..] Stifled by stigma and ignorance, many families bring ill relatives to the temple's gates, leave them there and walk away. [..]

There is an audio interview with Rev. Bassano available here.


The Baltimore Sun recently did a feature on HIV researcher David Pauza of the University of Maryland's Institute of Human Virology. Dr. Pauza and his colleagues are testing an HIV vaccine candidate that could halt the spread of the virus. The vaccine would be triggered by a trait that the virus exhibits the moment that it attacks a healthy cell.


Syracuse-area native Richard Gere has received the ninth annual Marion Anderson award for, among his many humanitarian efforts, his work with Healing the Divide, a nonprofit dedicated to helping communities at home and abroad address social and cultural challenges such as HIV/AIDS awareness. The Heroes Project, co-Chaired by Richard Gere and Parmeshwar Godrej, seeks to harness India's communication power and potential to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and reduce stigma and discrimination.


Making the call for and a commitment to renewed leadership on the HIV/AIDS crisis, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says that this year’s World AIDS Day theme is ‘Keep the Promise – Leadership.’ She says it's a reminder that we all must do more and that opportunities exist for each of us to do more. Increases in new HIV infections and new AIDS cases in the U.S. will require stronger leadership. Speaker Pelosi points to this year's largest increase in seven years for the Ryan White initiative and pending increases for HIV prevention, the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program, health research at the NIH, and the Early Treatment for HIV Act.


International Carnival of Pozitivities, the blog carnival dedicated to international news and diverse stories about those affected by, living with, fighting against, trying to prevent and educate, and dying from HIV/AIDS can be seen each month at contributors' blogs. Carnival creator Ron Hudson has shared his own thoughts on this World Aids Day.
Stigma associated with HIV/AIDS is one of the most pernicious aspects of this condition. You can help out by talking openly without hesitation about HIV/AIDS to those who might not normally see people living with HIV/AIDS in a positive light. You can share your personal stories with others about those you know and love who have been affected. You can wear your red ribbon and not just on December 1st.

Please do whatever you can to dispel the negative perceptions about people living with HIV/AIDS and help us recall the need for compassion, prevention and education. The virus is the enemy, not those who are infected.

HIV/AIDS related charities around the world need your help. You can volunteer your time, or you can make donations of goods, services or money. Perhaps one of the most rewarding ways you can help is to visit those who are in need of companionship and to spend time getting to know them and their life stories. Bring them dignity by listening, by holding their hands, and by sharing your hugs and compassion.

AIDS is not a one day event for those of us living with HIV. Please keep us in mind year round.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"quarterlife": New Web-Only Series

There' s a buzz out in the media about "quarterlife", a new made-for-web-only series produced by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick [who produced the popular 80's television series "thirtysomething" and the film "Blood Diamond"]. "Quarterlife" is going to be unencumbered from many big network language constraints and from other content that some television networks might censor.

Here are some excerpts from a November L.A. Times article by David Sarno:

Web-only series? Yep. Audience?
By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 11, 2007


From the new quarterlife series:
Actors Bitsie Tulloch (L) and Scott Michael Foster (R)
Photo by Elizabeth Caren, Reuters

.. "Quarterlife" is about kids a few years out of college trying to find their way in the real world. It hopes to speak to college kids, in their own language and in a medium they can relate to.

.. Most of us over 25 are familiar with the work of Herskovitz and "quarterlife" co-writer Edward Zwick, the creative team behind "thirtysomething," the term-coiningly iconic TV series of the late 1980s, and "My So-Called Life," which, if its status as the best teenage drama ever is not universally agreed upon, then only a handful of people need their minds changed.

Having nailed the 30s in the '80s and the teens in the '90s, Herskovitz, 55, and Zwick, also 55, have left themselves with a difficult pair of decades in which to complete their epic of growing up: the 20s, and this one.

"Quarterlife" valiantly attempts to navigate a perilous strait: On one side it's a tale of young artist-types trying to get a handle on real-world living, and on the other it's an ambitious exploration of a new media genre whose waters are largely uncharted: the short-form Web drama. Which means that both its characters and its medium are experiencing rapid, whirling change on the one hand and a pervasive sense of uncertainty on the other.

.. Widely thought to be the most expensive Web-only TV show yet, "quarterlife" is financed by a combination of venture capitalists and advertisers, according to Herskovitz, who would not offer exact budget numbers. "Quarterlife" has advertising deals with Pepsi, Target and Toyota, and it's not a leap to guess who's riding shotgun, given that one of the show's main subplots has two young filmmakers making a commercial for a Toyota dealership.

Links to "quarterlfe" on the web:
quarterlife at MySpace
quarterlife at Youtube
quarterlife Group at Facebook [Care to join?]
quarterlife at imdb

Other articles:

'quarterlife' ready for Internet debut []

Show Series to Originate on MySpace [N.Y. Times/Michael Cieply]

"Quarterlife" highlights Web role in writer strike [Bob Tourtellotte , Reuters at]