Monday, September 09, 2002

letters, we get letters

we got an email from reader kkirschbaum who wondered about our bad joke concerning the fox tv show '24' : "sounds as if you did not like 24 if so i was wondering why not"

here is what we replied:


first of all, thanks for reading my blog. please come back. feel free to leave comments. we appreciate your patronage.

actually, i was a little more flip about 24 than i really felt, in the service of making a good punchline.

i watched all 24 episodes of 24 religiously, as did mrs. skippy. we both felt the same thing:

the first 3 or 4 episodes were some of the most exciting television we had seen in many moons. but about then, the characters started doing weird things that were completely out of character with what had been established by the actor and writer; things that were obviously used just to serve the plot.

for instance; early on (episode 3 or 4??) when jack's wife teri was driving with the supposed father of the other missing girl who had gone off with kim, jack and teri's daughter, (but who later turned out to be a bad guy who wound up killing that same girl in the hospital); they were stopped by a cop.

well, the pseudo-father guy really started ranting and screaming, making the cop get all cop-like out in the street. this caused teri to get out of the car, thus missing an important cell phone call from jack, and causing plots to move forward. that's when my wife and i thought the show 'jumped the shark.' because (a) if the guy was really the father, looking for his girl, he would have tried to stay calm in the midst of all this, and tried to get the cop to help them find the girls, or (b) since the guy was really a bad guy, the last thing he needed was a cop on his case.

[ed. note: please read the 'jump the shark' link, it has far more plot holes than even skippy's crack staff could remember]

other bs: teri freaking out and screaming when she was brought to the mulholland compound, making kim, squirreled away in a cabin about to try to escape, look out and see teri, and decide not to escape (yeah, right!);

the whole teri-has-amnesia crap (luckily it was that rare form of 5 hour amnesia);

dennis hopper; please, you'd think a film actor that good could act on television;

lou diamond phillips got shot; not really a bad plot point, just he's a good actor, they could have used more of him;

if nina meyers turned out to be the mole, which she was, why did the drazen group order jack to shoot her (in the second or third episode)? did they suspect jack would secretly put a flak jacket on her and not kill her, so she could continue in the nefarious plot? and, why did she go back to secret spy headquarters, and not try to get back to the drazen team?

which brings me to my biggest laugh about the whole show: apparently, there's no traffic in los angeles. everybody got from down town to the valley to mullhullond drive out to ventura county and back in a matter of 20 minutes or so. my favorite was when jack drove from spy headquarters out to the electrical substation in ventura county at 6 pm (rush hour!!!) in less than a half an hour. please!! (not to mention, nobody ever needed to sleep or eat that day).

it was a great idea, a great concept. but it needed to have been mapped out from the beginning, from hour 1 to hour 24. it became painfully obvious around 7 or 8 am that a handful of writers were scrambled to make sense of what somebody else had written before, while trying to keep suspense up.

i guess my problem was that the first few episodes lead me to believe i was watching ground-breaking television, but it wound up only breaking my suspension of disbelief.


message from truthout

we got this email from truth out, thought we'd post it here for you. disclaimer: the opinions stated in this email do not necessarily reflect those of skippy and his staff, except for one guy, but we're letting him go soon anyway.

Time is critical !! YOU can help stop the war against Iraq !! MASS INT’L ACTION!!

1) Do ANY or ALL of the below actions to stop the war against Iraq. Bush is obsessed with the war because:
1) Information is now becoming mainstream that he with the help of his brother and Kathleen Harris STOLE the election
in Florida.
2) the TOP selling books on expose either Bush’s absolute incompetence in preventing 9-11, or his complicity in it, and it is now beginning to actually be discussed in mainstream media thanks to the courageous efforts of the 9-11 widow Kristen Breitweiser, who appeared on Donahue and in Vanity Fair this month. BUSH WILL STOP AT NOTHING to distract America and the world from the above revelations. ACT NOW!!!

2) ATTEND the March on Washington DC, or sister action in San Francisco on October, 26th to stop the war. Bush is expected to attack Iraq in early
November. This action is CRITICAL to stop it. This is being organized by International ANSWER, who got 100,000 plus to the March on Washington in April, 2002. WE CAN GET A QUARTER OF A MILLION THERE IN OCTOBER IF WE “ALL” BEGIN NETWORKING THIS OUT FAR, WIDE AND FAST. [Contact: for info on the mass action.]

3) FOR INTERNATIONAL ACTIVISTS – if you cannot attend the actions in America – CREATE SISTER ACTIONS IN OUR CITIES/NATIONS!! [Contact: for info on the mass action.]

4) EVERYONE, PLEASE dedicate yourselves and your networks, organizations, to BLASTING this action alert out to as many activists and groups, and bulletin boards as you can across the world. LET’S HEAR THE ENTIRE PLANET SAY “NO” TO BUSH’S ENDLESS AGGRESSIVE WAR PLANS!!! [for a list of 800 activist group discussion groups you can join and post this action alert to reply with "Send Disc Groups."

VISIT: act now to stop war and racism for mass action details for October 26th, events. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT, act now to build a global drumbeat for this action.

Visit:,, Read: The War on Freedom, Hidden Truth, 9-11: The Appalling Fraud [and urge everyone you know to read them as well.]

message from fair

we got this email from fairness & accuracy in reporting, and we thought we'd post it for all of you to read:
(disclaimer: skippy and his staff, while admiring fair's work, do not necessarily endorse the buying any materials mentioned herein. we leave it up to our readers to make up their own minds, because, unlike other blogs, this one has readers with minds to make up).

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism

Join FAIR for some media activism--

Reclaim the Media-- A Community Media Convergence
September 10 – 15

The Cascadia Media Alliance, a media democracy group in the Pacific Northwest, is hosting a Community Media Convergence to coincide with the
National Association of Broadcasters' 2002 radio convention in Seattle. Join us for rallies, teach-ins and independent music as activists come
together to challenge the NAB and its efforts to further consolidate corporate media. Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman will give the keynote
address, and FAIR staffers will be speaking at the teach-ins and rallies. For more info, check out their website .


FAIR presents

"A Quiet Loss of Liberty: 'Anti-terror' laws criminalize dissent, media miss story"

a talk by Nancy Chang, Center for Constitutional Rights & Rachel Coen, FAIR
Friday, September 20, 6:30 PM
Housing Works Used Book Cafe
126 Crosby St (between Prince and Houston), New York
Free and Open to the Public

Since the terrorist attacks last September, the Bush administration has introduced sweeping changes to the U.S. legal system that threaten our civil liberties. Thanks to the USA Patriot Act-- which passed with only superficial media coverage of its provisions-- the government has vast new powers to conduct surveillance and secret searches, and to deny non-citizens entry to the country on the basis of their political beliefs. Perhaps most alarmingly, the Act also created a new crime of "domestic terrorism" so broadly defined that it may include non-violent civil disobedience. In the name of fighting a "war on terror," is the government waging a war on dissent? And why isn't mainstream media doing more to inform the public about these issues?

Please join FAIR for this important talk about what the USA Patriot Act means for democracy, and what role media play in the current crisis of civil liberties.

Nancy Chang is the senior litigation attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit legal group. She is author of Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties.

Rachel Coen is a media analyst with FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting).

This is the latest of FAIR’s monthly media talks at Housing Works. Past topics have included media coverage of AIDS drugs and Africa, the “drug war” in Colombia, the Battle of Seattle, biotech, the Zapatistas, Iraq, and more. All talks are free and open to the public.
Please support FAIR by subscribing to our bimonthly magazine, Extra! For more information, go here. Or call 1-800-847-3993.

FAIR produces CounterSpin, a weekly radio show heard on over 130 stations in the U.S. and Canada. To find the CounterSpin station nearest you, visit this web page.

FAIR's INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: FAIR accepts internship applications for its New York office on a rolling basis. For more information, see this web page.

Feel free to respond to FAIR ( ). We can't reply to everything, but we will look at each message. We especially appreciate documented examples of media bias or censorship. And please send copies of your email correspondence with media outlets, including any responses, to .

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