Dan Savage writes Savage Love, an advice column. It's a national one carried in many weeklies. He follows in a long line of advice columnists and, like many before him, he moved the conversation a little bit forward. Dear Abby and Ann Landers were seen as advanced when they started out (I'm not slamming them) because they were more aware than the standard advice columnist and Dan was when it came after them.
He was on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (NPR) this week and here's an excerpt:
SHAPIRO: In those early days, how unusual was it for any advice columnist to thoughtfully answer questions about things like kink and nonmonogamy and other aspects of love and sex that might be seen as fringe?
SAVAGE: It was really unusual. What really distinguished my column, besides that I'm pretty pro what works for the couple - and if that's monogamy, I'm pro, and if it's nonmonogamy, I'm pro that - is that I let people use the language they actually use when they talk about sex with their friends in my column in print, which was really rare. There was - you know, 30 years ago, everyone used this kind of Sanskrit, separate, distinct, archaic language when they talked about sex or relationships or sex in the context of relationships.
SHAPIRO: Intercourse or whatever.
SAVAGE: Yeah. And I let people use the word they actually used in print.
SHAPIRO: NPR does not (laughter). We can't use those words in our conversation. But yes.
SAVAGE: But I think maybe you should. I think everyone should because that's how people feel heard. It's how people are best understood. And sometimes it sounds less explicit when people use the standard, off-the-shelf, "crude," quote-unquote, euphemisms for sexual activities, somehow that's less graphic than when you use descriptors that are more sort of medical. And so, yeah, that really was what set "Savage Love" apart. It sounded like a group of friends in a bar having a conversation about their sex lives when they were drunk. And it still does.
SHAPIRO: When you started the column, people couldn't easily look up information online, and now everything is Google-able. So how have search engines changed the kinds of questions that you get and the kinds of answers you give?
SAVAGE: Search engines - you know, I was writing the column before the internet came along. And search engines made my job harder because I used to get a lot of how-to questions or what-is. People would hear about something or overhear something, and they wouldn't have a place to go where they could look that up very easily, and they'd ask me. And those columns were easy to write. I won't use the example I usually use, but - what is this particular sex toy? Well, now that particular sex toy has its own Wiki page, as does almost any sex act that you can think of, which means all of my questions are situational ethics.
SHAPIRO: It's all judgment.
SAVAGE: Yeah, I did this; they did that. Who's right? Who's wrong? What do we do with all these hurt feelings? How do we get past this? Those questions are a lot harder to answer. It's much more of a high-wire act.
I always wanted to like Dan but I really haven't. I've never forgotten that he support the Iraq War or that he did so to look 'manly.' He does that too often and it goes to the mistakes he makes over and over. For example, he should have unleashed on ABC over cancelling THE REAL O'NEALS. The show got cancelled because of remarks Noah Galvin made. He publicly, in an interview, called out Bryan Singer for Bryan's 'alleged' abuse of young men and boys. Yeah, I think Bryan's guilty too. And ABC forced Noah to apologize and shortly after they axed the show. Dan tucked his tail between his legs and refused to defend Noah.
It was a good show. Dan always sides with power -- that's why he was for the Iraq War, that's why he refused to stand with Noah Galvin. Dan's always struck me as someone trying very hard to pass for what was considered 'normal' when he was a young man.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to e-mails obtained by The Post.
The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the e-mail reads.
An earlier e-mail from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.
The blockbuster correspondence — which flies in the face of Joe Biden’s claim that he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings” — is contained in a massive trove of data recovered from a laptop computer.
The computer was dropped off at a repair shop in Biden’s home state of Delaware in April 2019, according to the store’s owner.
Other material extracted from the computer includes a raunchy, 12-minute video that appears to show Hunter, who’s admitted struggling with addiction problems, smoking crack while engaged in a sex act with an unidentified woman, as well as numerous other sexually explicit images.
The press ignored the contents, Facebook and Twitter censored THE POST. If you go back to the way we covered it in October and November of last year, you'll note we refuted the claim of "hacking" over and over. And we did that because that was one of the lies being used. "We're not censoring the story, we just don't report the contents of something when it was hacked." First off, lie. Second of, it wasn't hacked nor was the laptop stolen. If I take one of my guitars in to be restrung (which I honestly do from time to time, I hate putting on new strings myself) and I don't pick it up, it's not my guitar. It's not someone's job to hold onto my guitar for six months or more. They have limited space and if I haven't paid for the work done, it's no longer mine. Hunter left his laptop to be repaired. He never paid the bill and he never picked it up. At that point, the computer repair shop owned the laptop. They were not 'hackers.' They were not thieves.
Those are basic facts and it felt like we were having to repeat that over and over here back then.
Glenn's compiled a video report of what the media did in terms of censoring the story.
He's also covered that terrain in text form:
A severe escalation of the war on a free internet and free discourse has taken place over the last twelve months. Numerous examples of brute and dangerous censorship have emerged: the destruction by Big Tech monopolies of Parler at the behest of Democratic politicians at the time that it was the most-downloaded app in the country; the banning of the sitting president from social media; and the increasingly explicit threats from elected officials in the majority party of legal and regulatory reprisals in the event that tech platforms do not censor more in accordance with their demands.
But the most severe episode of all was the joint campaign — in the weeks before the 2020 election — by the CIA, Big Tech, the liberal wing of the corporate media and the Democratic Party to censor and suppress a series of major reports about then-presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. On October 14 and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation's oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden's son Hunter at a repair shop.
From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published obviously genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post's archive, and they matched word-for-word. One of Hunter's own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden's profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity. Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real: something they of course would have done if they had been forged or altered. In sum, as someone who has reported on numerous large archives similar to this one and was faced with the heavy burden of ensuring the documents were genuine before risking one's career and reputation by reporting them, it was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real.
Despite all that, former intelligence officials such as Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led a group of dozens of former spooks in issuing a public statement that disseminated an outright lie: namely, that the laptop was "Russian disinformation.” Note that this phrase contains two separate assertions: 1) the documents came from Russia and 2) they are fake ("disinformation"). The intelligence officials admitted in this letter that — in their words — “we do not know if the emails are genuine or not,” and also admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”
The new discussion taking place (by some, many in the media remain silent) resulted from Ben Schreckinger's new book THE BIDEN'S: INSIDE THE FIRST FAMILY'S FIFTY YEAR RISE TO POWER. He discussed the book with Krystal and Saagar on BREAKING POINTS below.
In related news, Jerry Dunleavy (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) reports:
Hunter Biden boasted of having "access to the highest level” in China, according to emails of his business contacts published on Thursday.
The alleged claim by President Joe Biden's adult son was discussed in a Jan. 28, 2015, email obtained by Business Insider from Democratic donor Sam Jauhari to Saudi business tycoon Sheikh Mohammed al-Rahbani, as the men tried to put together a plan to free Libya’s many billions in frozen funds.
“The commission has committed itself to announce the results of the elections within 24 hours,” the head of the electoral commission Jalil Adnan Khalaf said at a press conference. “Yesterday's simulations were to ensure that.”
Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) counts 3,249 people in all seeking seats in Parliament BROOKINGS notes this is a huge drop from 2018 when 7,178 candidates ran for office. RUDAW is among those noting perceived voter apathy, "Turnout for Iraq’s October 10 parliamentary election is expected to be a record low, with a recent poll predicting just 29 percent of eligible voters will cast ballots." Human Rights Watch has identified another factor which may impact voter turnout, "People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Without urgent changes, hundreds of thousands of people may not be able to vote. The 36-page report, “‘No One Represents Us’: Lack of Access to Political Participation for People with Disabilities in Iraq,” documents that Iraqi authorities have failed to secure electoral rights for Iraqis with disabilities. People with disabilities are often effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places and significant legislative and political obstacles to running for office." Another obstacle is getting the word out on a campaign. Political posters are being torn down throughout Iraq. Halgurd Sherwani (KURDiSTAN 24) observes, "Under Article 35 of the election law, anyone caught ripping apart or vandalizing an electoral candidate's billboard could be punished with imprisonment for at least a month but no longer than a year, Joumana Ghalad, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), told a press conference on Wednesday." And there's also the battles in getting out word of your campaign online. THE NEW ARAB reported weeks ago, "Facebook is restricting advertisements for Iraqi political parties and candidates in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections, an official has told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site."
THE WASHINGTON POST's Louisa Loveluck Tweeted: of how "chromic mistrust in [the] country's political class" might also lower voter turnout. Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) also notes, "Experts are predicting low turnout in October due to distrust of the country’s electoral system and believe that it will not deliver the much needed changes they were promised since 2003." Mistrust would describe the feelings of some members of The October Revolution. Mustafa Saadoun (AL-MONITOR) notes some of their leaders, at the recent Opposition Forces Gathering conference announced their intent to boycott the elections because they "lack integrity, fairness and equal opportunities." Distrust is all around. Halkawt Aziz (RUDAW) reported on how, " In Sadr City, people are disheartened after nearly two decades of empty promises from politicians."
After the election, there will be a scramble for who has dibs on the post of prime minister. Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has 90 candidates in his bloc running for seats in the Parliament and one of those, Hassan Faleh, has insisted to RUDAW, "The position of the next prime minister is the least that the Sadrist movement deserves, and we are certain that we will be the largest and strongest coalition in the next stage." Others are also claiming the post should go to their bloc such as the al-Fatah Alliance -- the political wing of the Badr Organization (sometimes considered a militia, sometimes considered a terrorist group). ARAB WEEKLY reported, "Al-Fateh Alliance parliament member Naim Al-Aboudi said that Hadi al-Amiri is a frontrunner to head the next government, a position that can only be held by a Shia, according to Iraq’s power-sharing agreement." Some also insist the prime minister should be the head of the State of Law bloc, two-time prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki. Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters do not agree and have the feeling/consensus that, "Nouri al-Maliki has reached the age of political menopause and we do not consider him to be our rival because he has lost the luster that he once had so it is time for him to retire."