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So it's come to this.
September 8, 2002 5:33 PM   Subscribe

So it's come to this. I don't know about you, but in the midst of various orgies (911, West Nile and kindernappings, to name but a few), I've never hated our media more.
posted by donkeyschlong (51 comments total)

 
Slightly off-topic (and slightly off-color), I saw the photo of Claire Shipman, didn't read the caption, assumed it was a photo of the mistress in question and thought, "damn, his woman is a white girl? This story's gonna be interesting."
posted by risenc at 5:41 PM on September 8, 2002


yeah, that is pretty lame. leave it to the american media to care about saddam's sex life. thats personally the last thing i ever wanted to know. so he's what, a senior citizen by us standards. whats wrong with using viagra?
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 5:43 PM on September 8, 2002


You know, stuff like this is only effective if people, say, draw attention to it by posting links in high-traffic forums.
posted by toddshot at 5:45 PM on September 8, 2002


In other news:

Bin-laden hates America because of a comment about his penis.

Perhaps that's why Hitler was so driven to kill the Jews.

Strange how all our enemies seem to have sexual dysfunctions, isn't it?
posted by 4easypayments at 5:47 PM on September 8, 2002


Does anybody remember that italian porn chick who offered herself to Saddam back in the day to try and avert the Gulf War? Maybe this is why he didn't take her up on it.
posted by jonmc at 5:52 PM on September 8, 2002


I think Bob Dole's gonna have trouble with the revelations about Viagra use.
I can't resist a comment about the contrast between using Viagra and raising his own meat.
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 5:56 PM on September 8, 2002


Reality once again pre-empts The Onion. Is this story for real?
posted by mogwai at 5:56 PM on September 8, 2002


Does increasing amounts of crap really impact your appreciation of what's good? I suppose it could make it harder to find, but unless you have a good excuse for visiting the drudge report you can hardly complain.
posted by Wood at 6:01 PM on September 8, 2002


Strangers in the night
Exchanging gunfire...
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:05 PM on September 8, 2002


Following the time honored tradition of commenting on the comment rather than the link...

The media is a business. They report what will draw viewers, readers and listeners. Saddams use of Viagra is about as important as Clinton getting head, Kennedy boffing Marilyn Monroe or Bush Sr. sleeping with his mother (she was his mother, right?).

You and I can say what we want, we can scoff at the trailer trash that watches Springer and pride ourselves on not watching television or reading Drudge (oh wait, that's me)... but as long as these stories get attention and ratings they'll be around. And if you ask me, they damn well should be. I can't think of more fun that Midget Threesomes vs. Nazi Skinheads, Temptation Island and Celebrity Boxing... American culture at it's finest.

If it offends your sensibilities don't read them and don't draw even more attention to them by posting something so unimportant. There are far better examples of media bias and impropriety than Saddams sex life. Before you ask, no, it's late and I'm not Googling squat :)
posted by cedar at 6:11 PM on September 8, 2002


Does anybody remember that italian porn chick who offered herself to Saddam back in the day to try and avert the Gulf War?

Yep. It was the inimitable Ciccolina!
posted by hama7 at 6:21 PM on September 8, 2002


And I think it's about time we though about Saddam Hussein's needs, too.
posted by hama7 at 6:37 PM on September 8, 2002


So it's come to this. I don't know about you, but in the midst of various orgies (911 backlash, West Nile backlash, kidnappings backlash, to name a few), I've never hated ignorant "commentators" on our media more.

Honestly, when bitching and moaning about the "over-coverage" of 911 is frontpage news (on Plastic, Salon, and MetaFilter, to name a few), how can you think you're revealing anything new and interesting to us?

Saddam uses Viagra. Okay. As other posters have pointed out, sexually stigmatizing our enemies is a practice that goes back quite measurably to World War II--and most assuredly, farther than that.

Furthermore. Consider your source. The Drudge Report. I can't imagine that Drudge could really pick any other headline. But if you, you know, actually read the story? The source reveals more than Saddam's Viagra use: She describes him as tender and affectionate. Names his favorite drink. Details his fashion preferences. His favorite movie. His favorite song. He swims. He drinks milk and honey in the morning. He raises, nurtures, and slaughters gazelles.

He met Osama bin Laden. And gave him money. Twice.

Yeah, donkeyschlong. I'm as tired as you are of vapid, hysterical news stories. I'm tired of warmongering, I'm tired of stereotyping.

But this is newsworthy. This is interesting, revealing, inside information on a person who looms large over our lives right now. As a journalist, Shipman did her job, and as an editor, I'm proud of her.

Of course, as an editor, I find Drudge's spin on it disturbing. And I worry about how the Primetime segment will turn out. But I know that in my newsroom, Viagra does not lead.
posted by kjh at 6:42 PM on September 8, 2002


"thought"
posted by hama7 at 6:43 PM on September 8, 2002


I'm curious how Shipman proved to her superiors at the network that this woman was Hussein's mistress. I don't imagine you get a diploma, and I doubt she was photographed standing next to him at the Martyr's Day festivities in Baghdad.
posted by sacre_bleu at 6:49 PM on September 8, 2002


Maybe we should hold off on hating this report until ABC actually reports it. I'm guessing that there might be more to the story than the freaky tidbit that caught Matt Drudge's attention, assuming he even reported it accurately.
posted by rcade at 6:51 PM on September 8, 2002


Are you counting Drudge as the media, or the ABC News chick? This woman from Iraq is being interviewed everywhere at the moment, like here. Now that's a decent treatment of the story. Trivialising the war aspect somewhat, but, hey, that's what propaganda's about!
posted by tapeguy at 6:59 PM on September 8, 2002


But if it was a story about Bush using Viagra, you'd be laughing your ass off, hey donkeyschlong?

It seems that the whole "Oh the carping on this whole trivial 9/11 thing is just so lame!" meme that is circulating around the uber-cool crowd is actually much more annoying and troubling than the "media sentimentality" that you're so worried about. If it bothers you so much, why are you reading Drudge? Do yourself a favor and, like all good leftists, boycott the 'tee vee'. You'll be a lot happier and I won't have to listen to your complaining.
posted by evanizer at 7:01 PM on September 8, 2002


Yeah, all good leftists advocate boycotting television.
posted by SPrintF at 7:25 PM on September 8, 2002


But if it was a story about Bush using Viagra, you'd be laughing your ass off, hey donkeyschlong?

If it was printed by the Iraqi press I suspect he'd think it just as lame.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:29 PM on September 8, 2002


Wow, this revelation adds a whole new level of irony to that Pepsi ad where Saddam watches Britney bumping and grinding.
posted by Daze at 7:33 PM on September 8, 2002


Lets see now. I live in fear for decades cuz saddam has a jones for my groove thang. He imprisons my husband, my teenage daughter gets raped by his son. So after all these years, I can take it no more and risk my life to escape.

So where do I find safety? Lebanon
I wear a veil 24 7 so no one will recognize me. Now that

I'm safe and hidden in Lebanon, what am I gonna do next...go to Disney World?

Nah. Screw my newfound safety. Safety's not as much fun as I imagined it would be. I homesick for the blanket of mortal fear I enjoyed for all those years.

What am I gonna do?

I know! I'm gonna call me up the American media down the street from me and tell them all the inside skinny on Saddam.

Its all so very plausible
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:33 PM on September 8, 2002


Sigh. Does anyone else remember when Drudge was email only? His stuff was often great, coming from someone who seemed like an equal opportunity punkass motherfucker who got off on smacking the mainstream media in the face. It was pretty sharp in the pre-Lewinsky days.

That sure didn't last long. Now look at him. As usual, reduced to leaking details from somebody else's hard work in the most salacious way possible. I'm with those who are surprised that anyone would find this new or noteworthy, let alone indicative of "our media." Sure, ABC, CNN, the NYT, et al can be manipulative and unfair, particularly when protecting their own business interests, but taking a sexy Drudge attention-getter as an example of the mainstream press is just ridiculous.

Do yourself a favor and, like all good leftists, boycott the 'tee vee'.

Are deliberately inflammatory overstatements ok for conservatives but not liberals now, evanizer?
posted by mediareport at 7:33 PM on September 8, 2002


I think there are far better reasons to hate the media than this. I mean if the media does it to US Politicians, I'm surprised it took them this long to take the schtick abroad. If the choice is between Saddam Boner jokes or watching the WTC explode a few hundred times all day (on 9-11), I'll choose "A"...
posted by stifford at 7:38 PM on September 8, 2002


> ...this revelation adds a whole new level of irony to that Pepsi ad where Saddam watches Britney bumping and grinding.

Things like this make me realize that I'm missing a whole rich backdrop of awareness of the mediasphere because I can't get American TV here (no great loss, perhaps), and thus unqualified to say intelligent things about it.

Bummer.

'Course that never stopped me commenting before...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:40 PM on September 8, 2002


Yep. It was the inimitable Ciccolina

She is now a member of the Italian parliament so please show some respect.

Drudge deliberately placed that nice photo near Saddam's. Let's have a poll how many of you thought that she was the one.

If Saddam wanted to hide his Viagra that would not be too hard in such a warm loving relationship. Maybe he is proud that he can buy US products.
posted by neu at 7:52 PM on September 8, 2002


What? AFKN not enough for the wonderchicken? You could always shell out for satellite, but that does strain the extra-cirricular activities, doesn't it?
posted by hama7 at 7:53 PM on September 8, 2002


(realizing my penis isn't as potent as it used to be. growing out your prime is less fun.)
(becoming evil)
(/realizing my penis isn't as potent as it used to be.)
posted by the aloha at 7:54 PM on September 8, 2002


(realizing my penis isn't as potent as it used to be. growing out your prime is less fun.)
(becoming evil)
(/realizing my penis isn't as potent as it used to be.)


Somebody, please please turn this into a top 40 hit.
posted by mediareport at 8:08 PM on September 8, 2002


(I do get the Armed Forces Network, hama7, but given my political leanings and the degree to which it is a propaganda arm of the US military, I'm disinclined to watch it much. Even BBC World, which is the only other channel I get in English and which is an order of magnitude better than the snippets of CNN on AFKN, has me yelling at the tube once in a while, much to the chagrin of my apolitical wife.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:10 PM on September 8, 2002


yeah, that is pretty lame. leave it to the american media to care about saddam's sex life.

Here's what's lame: Believing that there is a single, monlithic "american media." Hey: If I can find a *single* distasteful news item in all of Europe, can I dismiss the "European media" in one swipe?
posted by Ayn Marx at 8:18 PM on September 8, 2002


much to the chagrin of my apolitical wife

Mine wonders why I'm always dazedly sitting in front of:
"that blue screen again !"
posted by hama7 at 8:40 PM on September 8, 2002


The sad part is, there may actually be news in the interview, but they choose to highlight something as inconsequent as his sex life. You would think something like this:
Hussein met Osama bin Laden on two occasions and gave money to the al Qaeda leader in 1996, Lampos explains to the cameras.
would be far bigger news than any medication Hussein takes.
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:18 PM on September 8, 2002


So now I know Saddam uses viagra, but I haven't seen a single thing on tv about the massacre yesterday in Nepal (luckily it was on Yahoo's front page briefly today). Great going media.
posted by bobo123 at 9:22 PM on September 8, 2002


For some reason all this makes me think of is the South Park episode with "Chinpoko Mon."

"We cannot achieve much with so small penis..."

"You Americans have such humongous bulbous penis."

"The Primary Main Objective is to DESTROY THE EVIL POWER! And what is the evil power?"


[silence]

"The Evil Power is....The UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT!"

Cartman: "Ohhhhhh..."

posted by ruggles at 9:30 PM on September 8, 2002


Anyone sexually dysfunctional is unamerican and in cahoots with the terrists.
posted by Espoo2 at 10:10 PM on September 8, 2002


I agree Espoo2. Doesn't Bob Dole use viagra?

Seriously, Shipman is one of the better TV journalists out there. The fact that the story is bizarre reflects more on the state of American media than on the reporter. Perhaps this story should be explored by Jerry Springer?
posted by zaelic at 11:22 PM on September 8, 2002


Folks, this is a war, and this drudge scoop is war propaganda. "Saddam Hussein is impotent. He has wrinkles and dyes his hair. He raises cute little animals and slaughters them. He's met with al'queda!"

Well..okay. As other posters have mentioned, spreading rumors of your enemy having a sexual dysfunction is nothing new. Rich people get cosmetic surgery, and public figures dye their hair. It's not as much of an indicator of insecurity as a warhawk would probably think. Killing animals he raises doesn't make him coldblooded. As for the al qaeda charge: bin Laden was extorting money from Saudi Arabia, so one would imagine he'd be inclined to do the same thing to a country like Iraq, which doesn't hold to the same radical religious trends he's fond of.
posted by jbrjake at 11:32 PM on September 8, 2002


This is fucking pathetic.

Are they really trying every fucking avenue, every angle to see which condom feels best to him and her? This is absolute recklessness.

But alas, the Viagra brand is far too powerful to succumb to a media sideswipe such as Saddam actually using viagra. Really, are the people getting their antibiotics and pennecillin? There's the story guys. The people are painted as those who seek the liberation of America, who's own get no benefits or health coverage, but nevertheless, irrepressibly fight for freedom worldwide, while Saddam takes the pecuniary Viagra and holds back the medicine his people need.
posted by crasspastor at 11:36 PM on September 8, 2002


So now I know Saddam uses viagra, but I haven't seen a single thing on tv about the massacre yesterday in Nepal (luckily it was on Yahoo's front page briefly today). Great going media.

You all do know that there are many places to get your news, right?
posted by vacapinta at 11:40 PM on September 8, 2002


I was very surprised too, thay talked about Sinatra and Viagra and, in the end, just this little bit about Saddam allegedly meeting Osama (not that we care, of course)

A great Drudge-NYPost moment (btw, why can Bob Dole take Viagra and Saddam can't? Maybe, in exile -- I doubt that they'll take him out after Baghdad falls, but I dont want to derail the "Saddam's dick" discussion -- Former President Hussein'll become Pfizer Middle East spokesman, who knows)

She is now a member of the Italian parliament so please show some respect.
No she's not. She was, 15 years ago, briefly. (I love the "member of Parliament" thing, suits her good). And no, I don't have a problem with that -- I didn't vote for her, strange people can get elected sometimes

risenc: "damn, his woman is a white girl? This story's gonna be interesting."

why should that possibility make it more interesting?
and, explain your definition of "white"? Maybe you meant Aryan?
posted by matteo at 12:54 AM on September 9, 2002


Mine wonders why I'm always dazedly sitting in front of:
"that blue screen again !"


Well, that's Windows for you.
posted by Grangousier at 2:10 AM on September 9, 2002


Damnit. I meant to write insulin, not pennecillin (sic).
posted by crasspastor at 2:35 AM on September 9, 2002


Drudge, styles himself as being against the traditional media, was fired by Fox TV. Your observation makes no sense.

(separately, Drudge is Dreck; an irresponsible, rumor monger.)
posted by ParisParamus at 3:02 AM on September 9, 2002


What? Drudge is dead? Oh my goodness!
posted by mediareport at 3:28 AM on September 9, 2002


Saddam's scud can be faulty for all I care.

This is just merely more war propaganda. Look at the ABC article.

""He don't believe in his mother, he don't believe in God, he didn't believe in nobody," Parisoula Lampsos, 54, told ABCNEWS' Claire Shipman in an interview from a safe house in Lebanon that will be broadcast this week on ABCNEWS' Primetime Thursday.

"He believe only for Saddam," Lampsos added. "He look at the mirror, 'I am Saddam.' He went like that. He looks. 'I am Saddam. Heil Hitler!'""

How fucking convienient? Somebody we hate uses 'Heil Hitler', of course it's true, since some woman who claims that she screwed Saddam said it.

and she could never hold anything against Saddam or want him dead, right? :)

Bleh...
posted by RobbieFal at 5:05 AM on September 9, 2002


do you remember a few years ago the stories about saddam setting bums on fire for the fun of it and watching them burn and scream, all that stuff?
it all came from the Iraqi National Congress, the CIA's favorite Iraqi opposition group (they fund it, after all)

Saddam is one of the biggest pricks around, no doubt about that. One of the worse and most cruel -- but let's watch out at least for the grossest and most dubious pro-war stories.
posted by matteo at 6:26 AM on September 9, 2002


Funny, Saddam didn't seem to have any trouble getting it up for satan.
posted by quibx at 7:20 AM on September 9, 2002


So Saddam uses Viagra? Seems like the bulk of right-wing talk radio listeners do as well. Or at least you'd think so, given the number of ads for "male-potency" ads you hear on those programmes.

They also seem to have a problem with baldness, small penises and skin problems (such as eczema) if the frequency of the ads is any indication.
posted by tpoh.org at 8:02 AM on September 9, 2002


Right on, tpoh! I wondered why Drudge would go out of his way to insult his primary readership. What's next--Elton John is gay! Madonna shocks the British! Condaleeza has cooties!
posted by troybob at 8:54 AM on September 9, 2002


I thought most news is written so a third grader could read it. So in light of that, I think my age now is enough to not only read it yet understand it by figuring out the truths and lies. How is that, well gossip is wrong. Why?, your not suppose to gossip which is a common manner in most societies. I think this is called reading between the lines.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:54 AM on September 9, 2002


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