You are browsing the archive for 2020 November 24.

Avatar of admin

by admin

"Paris is Burning" premieres in theaters

November 24, 2020 in History

By History.com Editors

After more than five years of fundraising, shooting, and editing, the documentary Paris is Burning debuts in New York City on March 13, 1991. The groundbreaking look at the culture and characters surrounding the city’s drag ball culture changed the way many people thought about drag, queerness and even documentaries themselves.

Paris is Burning chronicles the “Golden Age” of ball culture in New York, drawing from extensive interviews with drag queens and others associated with the elaborate balls and complex social networks surrounding them. Filmmaker Jennie Livingston had almost literally stumbled across the subject while taking courses at New York University, striking up a conversation with two men whom she saw voguing (a stylized modern dance in which participants often competed at balls) in Washington Square Park. While cobbling together small amounts of funding from disparate sources, Livingston interviewed a cross-section of those associated with the ball, documenting the various categories of competition, extensively cataloguing slang, and conducting tying the experience to larger issues such as the AIDS crisis and the bigotry that routinely faced and even took the lives of the gay, transgender, and otherwise queer subjects of the film.

Paris is Burning was an instant hit, winning prizes at the Sundance Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the Los Angeles and New York Critics’ Circle Awards, the GLAAD Media Awards, and more. Its failure to garner an Academy Awards nomination, along with the exclusion of other minority-focused documentaries like Hoop Dreams, led the Academy to revise its system for nominating documentaries in 1996. The Library of Congress added Paris is Burning to the National Film Registry in 2016.

…read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Gloria Steinem publishes part one of "A Bunny's Tale" in SHOW magazine

November 24, 2020 in History

By History.com Editors

After enduring a brief but grueling stint as a Bunny in Manhattan’s Playboy Club, feminist writer Gloria Steinem published the first half of her landmark account, “A Bunny’s Tale,” in SHOW magazine on this day in 1963. Steinem’s undercover reporting increased her profile and stripped back the glamorous facade of Hugh Hefner‘s empire to reveal a world of misogyny and exploitation.

Steinem, a freelance writer, was commissioned by SHOW to apply for a job at the Playboy Club under a fake name and document her experience. Ads for jobs as a server at the club, whose female employees were all known as Bunnies, portrayed the work as something akin to paid participation in a party straight out of Playboy Magazine. As Steinem quickly learned, the truth was far uglier. Bunnies were paid less than advertised and subject to a system of demerits, which could be given for offenses such as refusing to go out with a customer in a rude way (even though Bunnies were strictly forbidden to go out with most customers) or allowing the cotton tale on the back of their uniforms to get dirty.

Steinem’s account was replete with examples of the toll the work took on Bunnies: uniforms so tight one could barely move, swollen and blistering feet from hours of working in high heels, and near-constant harassment by the drunk businessmen who made up most of the clientele. After one night when roughly 2,000 people came through the club’s doors, Steinem estimated there had been maybe ten who “looked at us not as objects … but as if we might be human beings.”

“A Bunny’s Tale” was one of the first feminist attacks on Playboy and the “sexually liberated” but male-centric lifestyle it embodied. Hefner tried to take it in stride, stating that Playboy was on the side of the women’s liberation movement and asserting that applications to work at the Playboy Club had increased thanks to Steinem’s article. He also ordered the club to stop giving new Bunnies mandatory blood tests and gynecological exams, practices Steinem had questioned in her article.

Though it helped an early-career Steinem establish her credentials as a reporter and a feminist, she regretted the piece for years after it ran, dismayed by a slew of offers to take on sexualized undercover roles and haunted by photos of herself in the Bunny costume, which had been taken during …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Paul Ryan urges Trump to accept defeat — but gets ridiculed for taking so long to say it

November 24, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan has been keeping a low profile since exiting the U.S. House of Representatives in early January 2019, but this week, the Wisconsin Republican spoke out about the results of the 2020 presidential election — and he made it clear that he considers Joe Biden president-elect of the United States.

During Bank of America’s European Credit Conference on Tuesday, Ryan called for an “orderly transfer of power.” The former House speaker, according to Politico, said, “So, the election is over. The outcome is certain, and I really think the orderly transfer of power — that is one of the most uniquely fundamental American components of our political system.”

President Donald Trump and employees of his campaign have refused to accept the election results, filing a long list of lawsuits and making the baseless claim that Trump was robbed of a victory because of widespread voter fraud. But Ryan obviously doesn’t buy into that, and he stressed that Trump needs to accept the fact that Biden won.

Noting that the General Services Administration has formally moved to begin the transition from Trump’s outgoing administration to Biden’s incoming administration, Ryan explained, “I think maybe even more important is that these legal challenges to the outcome and the attacks on our voting system really need to stop, in my opinion. The outcome will not be changed, and it will only serve to undermine our faith in our system of government, our faith in our democracy.”

Ryan knows what it’s like to be part of a losing presidential ticket. In the 2012 presidential election, he was Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate — and Ryan debated then-Vice President Biden during 2012′s vice presidential debate. Much to Ryan’s disappointment, Romney lost the election when President Barack Obama won a second term. The former congressman acknowledged that it is a “terrible feeling” to “lose a national election.”

“I know there are a lot of people in this country who are …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Researcher reveals how far-right media is feeding viewers' post-election detachment from reality

November 24, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

President Donald Trump was furious when, on Election Night, Fox News’ decision desk called Arizona for Joe Biden — and many of Trump’s followers share his sense of betrayal. Trump has been urging his MAGA base to look to sources other than Fox News or Fox Business for information, and according to Renée DiResta — a technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory — some right-wing social media outlets are happy to tell Trump devotees what they want to hear.

After Fox News called Arizona for Biden, DiResta notes this week in an article for The Atlantic, the internet was full of anti-Fox hashtags from his supporters. And Trump devotees, according to DiResta, are also angry with Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

DiResta explains, “Throughout Election Day, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube had been cracking down on a flurry of allegations about voter fraud in Arizona; the platforms quickly applied warning labels to new posts containing false or disputed information and reduced the distribution of groups spreading them. In response, pro-Trump influencers exhorted their followers to congregate on Parler.”

DiResta cites the social media app Parler as one of the right-wing outlets that has been willing to help Trump promote “baseless conspiracy theories.” And she points out that for some Trump supporters, Newsmax TV and One America News have become far-right alternatives to Fox News.

“For most of Trump’s term, Facebook and others had been loath to crack down on even baseless conspiracy theories, including those repeated by the president himself,” DiResta explains. “Freedom of expression, the argument went, covers the right to think and say even floridly false things, which were best addressed through corrections and counter-speech. Yet the major platforms concluded that misleading theories about the election were a distinct class of misinformation because of their potential to cause significant harm to the body politic.”

Other Trump-friendly outlets, DiResta observes, range from the tube sites Rumble and BitChute to the social media site Gab — which has been described as a far-right equivalent of Twitter.

“People are joining Parler today to find like-minded users to validate their own beliefs, but ultimately, some percentage will get bored and move on,” DiResta argues. “That subset will ultimately drift away from the app. It’s less user-friendly than Facebook, and it lacks one …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Here's how Trump supporters are reacting to his losses on the ground as distrust in the election festers

November 24, 2020 in Blogs

By Independent Media Institute

Georgia’s Trump supporters are not giving up. On Saturday, scores massed outside the statehouse in Atlanta, a small sea of mostly men in red MAGA hats hoisting signs hurling accusations against Joe Biden and wearing campaign tee-shirts saying “STOP the STEAL.”

It barely mattered that Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had certified Biden’s unexpected nearly 13,000-vote victory one day before. Also irrelevant was Georgia’s unprecedented manual hand count of presidential votes on 5 million paper ballots, which was more than any 2020 swing state has done since Election Day to verify its votes.

Instead, Trump supporters in Georgia, like many across the country, are not just embracing a growing catalog of vote-counting conspiracy theories as the president pressures state officials to reject the popular vote and select him, via Electoral College slates, for another term. Among Trump’s ranks are activists who witnessed the latest vote-counting steps as credentialed GOP observers and have studied these steps via social media and online forums. These activists appear to be coalescing into a new right-facing election reform movement, much like left-leaning activists launched a progressive “election integrity” movement after the fraught presidential elections in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004.

“Oh my God, where do I begin?” exclaimed Stacey, an official Republican Party observer during Georgia’s hand count last week in DeKalb County near Atlanta. Stacey, who didn’t want her last names used, was a blond woman in her 40s wearing an American flag sweatshirt and a bracelet with red, white and blue rhinestones and Trump’s name spelled out in baby beads. She was taking a break with a friend, another GOP observer.

The pair, like many Trump supporters watching Georgia’s audit, said they were citizens who cared about democracy and honest elections. But instead of appreciating that Georgia’s first-ever hand count of millions of paper ballots had found and fixed mistakes that added more than 1,000 votes to Trump’s total, they were increasingly incensed by the fine print in the election process they witnessed. Their discovery that election administration was under-resourced, complex, opaque and at times, mistake-prone, only affirmed their belief that the process had conspired to defeat Trump. Election officials across Georgia might have been counting every ballot, but that exercise and the overall process lacked the tools to convince a slice of the public that was critical and cynical.

“We’re not allowed …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

McConnell pushed Trump to pick Amy Coney Barrett the night of Justice Ginsburg’s death: documentary

November 24, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

On Friday night, September 18, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell learned that liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died of cancer at the age of 87. And according to PBS’ “Frontline,” McConnell contacted President Donald Trump that very night and made it clear he wanted to see Judge Amy Coney Barrett nominated for the seat and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as quickly as possible.

Josh Holmes, McConnell’s former chief of staff, explained to “Frontline” that on September 18, “McConnell told (Trump) two things. McConnell said: First, I’m going to put out a statement that says we’re going to fill the vacancy. Second, he said, you’ve gotta nominate Amy Coney Barrett.”

That quote is from the PBS documentary, “Supreme Revenge: Battle for the Court,” which premieres this week.

PBS’ Patrice Taddonio notes that McConnell’s response to Ginsburg’s death was totally different from his response to Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016. Scalia, a far-right Ronald Reagan appointee, died eight months before that year’s presidential election — and McConnell wouldn’t even consider President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. McConnell argued that it was unfair to nominate Garland that close to a presidential election, but he had no problem with Trump nominating Barrett in September.

Taddonio explains, “As sources recount in the documentary, charges of hypocrisy did not deter McConnell. In the aftermath of Ginsburg’s death, McConnell’s political maneuvering went according to his plan — with Barrett’s speedy confirmation days before the 2020 election serving as a crowning achievement in a hard-fought, decades-long effort to tilt the ideology of the nation’s highest court to the right.”


On Night Ginsburg Died, McConnell Pushed Trump to Nominate Barrett | Supreme Revenge | FRONTLINE

youtu.be

Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville, one of the interviewees for the documentary, told PBS, “What it meant for Sen. McConnell was to cement a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s something that McConnell has longed for, dreamed about, worked for during his entire career in the Senate.”

“Supreme Revenge: Battle for the Court” not only deals with recent Supreme Court history, but goes back to the 1980s — when Reagan was president and his nomination of Robert Bork was derailed.

Taddonio notes that the documentary “traces how a 30-year-old grievance — starting with the bruising and failed confirmation hearing of President Reagan’s Supreme …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Paul Krugman: Trump and the GOP have shown we're 'sliding into banana-republic politics'

November 24, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

In his New York Times column as well as his newsletter and his Twitter threads, liberal economist Paul Krugman has warned that the United States is not immune to the types of economic or political problems that developing countries have faced. And this week in his newsletter, Krugman cites the Trump campaign’s refusal to accept the 2020 presidential election results as a disturbing example of “banana-republic politics” coming to the U.S.

Krugman recalls that in his 2009 book, “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008,” he argued that the U.S. had “indeed suffered the kind of economic crisis we used to identify with the Third World.”

“What I didn’t see coming was the political side,” Krugman explains. “It’s not just that America has been suffering from Third World-type economic crises. We’ve also been sliding into banana-republic politics, becoming the kind of country in which a president can refuse to acknowledge a clear election defeat — and be backed by most of his party.”

President-elect Joe Biden has enjoyed a decisive victory, winning 306 electoral votes and defeating President Donald Trump by over 6 million in the popular vote. Regardless, Trump has refused to acknowledge Biden as president-elect, vowing to keep fighting the election results in court and claiming, without evidence, that he was the real winner in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other battleground states. A Trump campaign lawsuit that Judge Matthew Brann dismissed in Pennsylvania asked the courts to throw out millions of votes in the Keystone State and block Biden from receiving Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.

According to Krugman, the Trump campaign’s refusal to accept the election results demonstrates that “our democracy is very close to failing.” And the economist writes that there are three disturbing takeaways from Trump’s response to the election results.

“First, don’t dismiss it because the antics of the Trump team — Four Seasons Total Landscaping, melting Rudy Giuliani — are so ridiculous,” Krugman warns. “Authoritarian rulers are often ludicrous, because their hangers-on won’t tell them how silly they look. When the president of Turkmenistan erected a giant golden statue of himself on horseback, he didn’t become a national laughingstock — because nobody in his nation would have dared to laugh.”