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The New TV Season: An Inside Look

Laughing Liberally previews the hottest shows of the 2007 season

This Old Hospital
Watch Norm Abrams and the gang fix up Walter Reed as critically wounded soldiers look on from their creaky beds in Building 18. Is it a hospital or a construction site? It’s both! Our workers won’t know whether to plaster the walls or the casts as they do an extreme makeover of this embarrassing eyesore as it recuperates America’s bravest. Look out, is that spilled paint? No, it’s blood! This hospital is a real fixer-upper! Viewer Warning: Contains vermin and other disturbing images. (PBS)

You Cannot be Syria’s!
Tennis legend John McEnroe hosts this docudrama which follows the adventures of intrepid explorer Johnny Mac and trusty sidekick Hans Blix as they search Syrian weapon stockpiles looking for Iraqi WMD’s. (The Discovery Channel)

The Devil Wears Pantsuits
A weekly Fox News panel discussion where eminent conservative scholars and theologians attempt to prove Hillary Clinton is the Antichrist to the dozen or so Fox News viewers that aren’t already convinced. Evidence presented includes quotes from ancient religious texts and unflattering photographs of the Senator and former First Lady. Hosted by “Democratic Strategist” Dick Morris. (Fox News)

Duck Blind Justice
Each episode follows Justice Antonin Scalia as he hunts with a celebrity guest who also has a case pending before the Supreme Court. Viewer Warning: To preserve the authenticity of the hunting experience, this program contains impact shots and questionable ethics. (Court TV)

Who’s Left?
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and Laura Ingraham gather each week to discuss the pervasive liberal media. Four hour talk show moderated by John Stossel, simulcast on Clear Channel radio outlets and CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.

Fishin’ Accomplished!
A nostalgic look at George W. Bush’s years in the Texas and Alabama National Guard. “W” may miss roll call but he doesn’t miss a chance to hang with his buddies talkin’ bout the one that got away (the Vietnam War) with a little fishin’ and a lotta drinkin’ in a band of brothers that refer to themselves as “Swiftboat Veterans for Trout.” No violent scenes. This is must viewing…unless you know somebody, then you can skip it. (OLN)

All My Sons
Reality show which documents Mitt Romney’s boys’ service to their country in Iowa, New Hampshire, and beyond. Romney, who once said, “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected,” has since vowed to have more children if necessary. “I’ll do whatever it takes,” said Romney. “I’ll have’em two at time if I have to, I love this country.” (ABC Family)

Let’s Do Cooking Right
Demonstrates a conservative approach to food preparation emphasizing wholesome ingredients and American-style cooking…no ethnic foods in this kitchen! Learn to cook fair and balanced meals for the whole traditional family (with the occasional exception for a dish like “Mary Cheney’s Meatless Chili”). Featured recipes in the series include classics like Oysters Rockefeller, but also contemporary entrees with a neoconservative twist like Water-boarded Sockeye Salmon, Alaskan Caribou Steaks (dredged in oil), and sinful desserts such as New Orleans Forgotten Cookies and Heckuva Job Brownies. Hosted by Katherine Harris. (The Food Network)

Touched by an AttorNey GenEraL
It’s bedtime for Gonzo in this one hour drama as each week the ghostly image of a certain A. G. hovers over the sickbed of a desperately ill patient and pressures them on important decisions. The shady apparition also materializes to fire U.S. Attorneys with witty quips like, “Hasta la vista, baby!” and, “You serve at the pleasure of the President, bitch!” Missing this show would be torture! (FX)

The House on Abstinence Street
Finally, a primetime soap for the whole family! This soap opera features no premarital sex, no extramarital sex, and no marital sex! Viewer Warning: May contain suggestive glances. Note: Critics predict the lowest-rated television show of all-time. (PAX)

Some Like It Hot
Examines the benefits of climate change…Imagine a future with coffee plantations on the North Slope, Spring Break on the Aleutian Islands (over 20 hours of daylight!), hosted by Patricia Heaton. Safe viewing for the whole family, no Gore. (The Weather Channel)

HBO ½ Hour Comedy Special: Dick Cheney Uncensored! Live from an Undisclosed Location
Cheney builds on the comedy act he delivered at the Correspondents Dinner in this new HBO special. Early reviews are mixed. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times calls Cheney Uncensored, “A Revelation!” while The New York Times said Cheney is “Funny as a heart attack.” Viewer Warning: Explicit language and extreme denial of reality. (HBO)

Best Week Ever
Sunday news magazine that looks back at the highlights of the previous 7 days of the Iraq War, emphasizing progress in reconstruction and GI’s distributing candy. Each show ends with a random list of U.S. soldiers who were not killed or wounded that week. At long last an unashamedly positive look at the Iraq War. Hosted by Elizabeth Hasselbeck. (The Military Channel)

Cavemen
A weekly roundtable featuring Don Imus, Isiah Thomas, and Hootie Johnson discussing women’s issues, with a special appearance by Sean Connery. Hosted by Geraldo Rivera. (Spike TV)

Whose Wife is it Anyway?
A quiz show where contestants are asked to match Republican Presidential candidates with their current and former wives. Hosted by Chuck Woolery (Game Show Network)

A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Reality show which follows the Bush Administration process for naming high level appointments, from open calls across the country to regional competitions leading to confirmation hearings before finding the one candidate who best strikes the delicate balance between incompetent yes-man and political hack. (C-Span 2)

Tax Cuts of the Rich and Famous
See how the other half (okay, top 1%) lives, as we tour mansions, yachts, and look over the hedge funds of the primary beneficiaries of the Bush tax cuts. Co-hosted by Robin Leach and Billy Bush. Viewer Warning: Obscene wealth. (The Style Network)

Every Breath You Take
A dual examination of the Bush Administration’s domestic spying program and the emasculation of the Clean Air Act. (Airing on Oxygen...for a limited time)

Phony-ing it in

Clear Channel: "Rush Limbaugh's listeners are too stupid to think for themselves."

Via Salon:

The Clear Channel affiliate that airs Rush Limbaugh's show in Palm Beach, Fla., is refusing to run VoteVets.org ads dealing with Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" remark on the ground that the ads "would only conflict with the listeners who have chosen to listen to Rush Limbaugh."

To be fair, if your diet consists solely of swallowing bullshit, I imagine any abrupt change in that diet would cause a massive shock to your system. So, really, Clear Channel's just trying to protect the people. Good lookin' out!

As for Rush, I'm sure his drug-addled mind is just confused. It happens when you're a drug addict. Besides, how would he know what a real soldier is? The only soldiers he's ever seen are the ones he avoided serving with.

Blackwater Runs Deep

Is privatized security really the answer? Have we forgotten the lessons of Robocop? Wasn't one "Republican Guard" in Iraq enough?

This is the description of Blackwater Worldwide from their website:

"Blackwater Worldwide efficiently and effectively integrates a wide range of resources and core competencies to provide unique and timely solutions that exceed our customer’s stated need and expectations."

Good stuff. There's nothing better than core competencies. Just a thought, though, you might want to stop "exceeding [your] customer's stated need and expectations." At least until the heat's off.

"We are guided by integrity, innovation, and a desire for a safer world. Blackwater Worldwide professionals leverage state-of-the-art training facilities, professional program management teams, and innovative manufacturing and production capabilities to deliver world class customer driven solutions."

I agree. Just as NRA members believe we'd all be safer if everyone carried guns, I believe we'd all be safer if everyone had their own private security firm. And “state-of-the-art training facilities” is right. No monkey bars in the desert for this outfit.

"Our leadership and dedicated family of exceptional employees adhere to an essential system of core corporate values chief among them are integrity, innovation, excellence, respect, accountability, and teamwork."

In case anybody's wondering...profit's place as a core corporate value at Blackwater? A distant 7th. Blackwater is a family, and just like any family, Blackwater has someone who gets drunk and causes trouble around the holidays.

This really is a great website, and even though it looks like an evil-action-movie-villain cliché, I've been assured it is real. There's a "proshop" and everything. [Is your daughter's Barbie safe? Can you afford to take a chance? Buy her a Blackwater action figure!]

All that's missing is a corporate slogan. Here are a few suggestions...

Blackwater: We kill more Iraqis before 9am than most people do all day
Blackwater: Army strong; corporate earnings
Blackwater: So secure it hurts

Please Don't Petraeus in a Bad Light

“I've got to admit it’s getting better.” In a stunning result, Iraq’s Al Anbar Province has landed on Money Magazine’s list of the “Top Ten Best Places to Live 2007.” Unknown to most Americans until mentioned numerous times by President Bush, General Petraeus, and others on American television as an exemplar of the improving situation in Iraq, Al Anbar surprisingly finished 2nd in the latest poll, ahead of Hanover, New Hampshire, but behind Middleton, Wisconsin. “Some places have everything any family could want—economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a sense of community,” according to Money Magazine, but just what does Al Anbar Province offer? “Well…it’s less Hellish than it was six months ago,” said an Anbar resident who asked not to be identified. Some in the media have linked Anbar’s place in the poll to its use as a Republican talking point, but a spokesman for the Bush Administration said, “We’d love to take the credit, but I think you’ll find it has taken place organically, a little reduction in ethno-sectarian strife goes a long way.” Look out Middleton, Al Anbar may not be #1 right now, but they’re #2 with a bullet…or is that an RPG?

The Surge...It Tingles

That tingling sensation you feel?…that means it’s working. Remember the old ads for the dandruff shampoo Selsun Blue? One side of the guy’s head was covered with Selsun Blue, the other with “the leading brand.” The Selsun Blue side was tingling. According to the commercial, that means it’s working. Or it could just be that it causes skin irritation.

I was reminded of that ad recently while watching Fox News Sunday. My whole body tingles when I watch Fox News Sunday but that’s another blog entry. When Juan Williams pointed out that the U.S. has suffered greater casualties since the surge, Brit Hume responded with vintage, aged-in-oaken-casks, condescension, “Juan, you didn’t honestly think the surge would lead to less U.S. casualties did you?”

Now I understand. More U.S. casualties means the surge is working. I can process that. Still, the whole “the surge will obviously lead to more casualties you idiot” thing wasn’t exactly one of the Administration’s key selling points back in the old pre-surge days.

So, as I understand Brit Hume and Fox News…

fewer casualties = good news
more casualties = good news

It’s no wonder Fox News* is head and shoulders above the competition.

*[by the way, try the new Fox News Shampoo—available along with the latest Factor Gear—for “fair and balanced” hair]

The Power of Prayer

As we observe the passing of yet another September 11th, I pause to reflect on what I did on September 11th, 2001. I'll never forget it. After watching the tragic events unfold, I bowed my head and prayed. I prayed hard. I prayed that, in time, after the dust settled and the smoke cleared, that our government would use the attacks as a pretext to invade a country that had nothing to do with what happened that day.

Could Ted Haggard be Larry Craig's Knight in Shining (but "Completely Heterosexual") Armor?

Dear Senator Craig,

Congratulations! Yesterday, a Minnesota court granted your request to withdraw your guilty plea! But I'm still worried about you. At first I was sure you were straight as an arrow, framed by those determined to silence the Singing Senators, the quartet that sings truth to power whose reunion concert curiously took place a night after the sex sting. But then as the Republicans turned on you, doubt started to creep into my faith in your heterosexuality. And your recent behavior, pleading guilty and then withdrawing your plea, resigning and then reconsidering, suggests a strong bi-curious tendency that worries me.

But it's not too late to get your life back on track! You can't do it alone, though, and I think I know just the person to help you.

You may know Pastor Ted already, but if not, you should reach out to him ASAP. You two have so much in common. You are a family values-defending, homosexual agenda-fighting, god-fearing, married-with-children, conservative Republican who sometimes plays footsie with men in public bathrooms. He is a family values-defending, homosexual agenda-fighting, god-fearing, married-with-children conservative Republican who sometimes pays for massages and crystal meth (which he throws away before using) from male escorts. As a senator, you vote against protecting gays from hate crimes and for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. As a pastor, he preaches against homosexuality and same-sex marriage. You are both close to George Bush. Ted used to talk to the President once a week!

So you can trust his advice and follow his example. After Mike Jones came forward and announced he’d had a three-year long, sex and drug-filled relationship with Pastor Ted, Haggard confessed to being "guilty of sexual immorality." After being fired from the New Life Church, Ted attended a 12 step "spiritual restoration" program and emerged, a mere three weeks later, "completely heterosexual." And you can too, Senator Craig! Who knows how to deal with your particular dilemma— trying to save America from the sinning gays, but kind of sinning yourself—better than Ted? He's been there, done that! And, Ted, along with his wife, is going back to college for a degree in counseling, which will make him even more equipped to save others, starting with you!

Before Ted can help you, though, you need to help Ted. You see, as he explained in a recent letter, "It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years." He cannot survive on the $115,000 plus a $85,000 bonus he made last year, the $138,000 in severance pay through 2007, and the royalties from his literary ouvre, which includes which The Jerusalem Diet:The "One Day" Approach to Reach Your Ideal Weight--and Stay There
and From This Day Forward: Making Your Vows Last a Lifetime, which he co-wrote with his wife Gayle. What is Ted supposed to do? Sell his $715,000 Colorado Springs home? I don't think so.

According to Ted, any financial help be will "rewarded in Heaven." You can make a tax deductible donation to Pastor Ted through the organization Families With A Mission. They'll receive 10% of the donation, but that's OK because they are a worthy cause too, directed by Paul Huberty, an upstanding patriotic military man who was married with three children when his career was cut short by multiple sex crimes convictions, including sexually assaulting a minor and "dishonorably fondling his genitals." It's clear Huberty has spiritually recovered because the outgoing message on his answering machine says "God Bless You." So what are you waiting for Senator Craig? Donate today! In turn, heaven aside, you will have the best earthly guide to get your life back on the straight and narrow.

Now Larry (may I call you, Larry?) the liberals, as usual, have it all backwards. They think you and Pastor Ted are hypocrites. They don't mind that you're gay, they mind that while you preach homophobia on the one hand you practice homosexuality on the other. Well, I don't think you two are hypocrites. I think that when you're carrying the moral weight of the world on your Atlas-like shoulders, shielding America and our values with one hand, and spearing the homosexual agenda with another, it's easy to slip up with your other body parts. So, whatever you do Larry, don't come out of the closet or abandon your committed stance against the gays. Straighten yourself, and America, out one anti-gay bill at a time.

P.S. Remember you don't want to end up a "bad, dirty, nasty boy."

Lessons from Bush's Bio

Reading Bush's biography Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush is a truly enlightening experience.

Now we have known that the President has a penchant for nicknames.

Nickname for Alberto Gonzalez: "Fredo"
I think because Bush thought his name was Alfredo.


Nickname for Karl Rove: "Turd Blossom"
Because of his Turd Blossom hip-hop move

Nickname for Vladimir Putin: "Pootie-Poot" Because after you say this about someone: "I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul," not using a nickname just makes no sense.

And now, thanks to Dead Certain, we know that Bush has a nickname for Dick Cheney. Referring to the decision to "mission accomplish" Iraq, Bush says: "This group-think of 'we all sat around and decided' -- there's only one person that can decide, and that's the president."

So, now we can add Bush's nickname for Dick Cheney: "the president."