Archive for the ‘media’ Category

By John Ruberry

Five years after the fictional story of the Naperville, Illinois crime family, the Byrdes, began streaming on Netflix, Ozark has come to an end. 

Late last month the final seven episodes, comprising of Season 4 Part 2, were released. 

If you haven’t heard of the Byrdes, the family is headed by Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), a financial planner whose firm makes the fatal mistake of laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel run by Omar Navarro (Felix Solis). Marty is married to Wendy (Laura Linney), a former Democratic Party operative, although the word “Democrat” hasn’t been mentioned for the past two seasons. Their children, Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz), and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner), are reluctant partners in the family business, which is based in the Lake of the Ozarks region of Missouri. A riverboat casino is the centerpiece of their laundering operation.

Leaving an organized crime network is much harder than joining one. But that’s what the Byrdes continue to strive for, looking back at the Chicago area as a safe haven. For real. Clearly, the Byrdes haven’t been keeping an eye on the dramatic rise of violent crime here. 

The Byrdes have formed a shaky alliance with a member of a local small-time crime family, Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner). A two-time Prime Time Emmy winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for that role, Garner is simply fabulous. Marty and Wendy can’t protect and grow their operation, let alone leave it, without assistance from other villains, convenient and tired ones, including a former Republican US senator from Illinois, Randall Schafer (Bruce Davison), and the CEO of a Chicago-based pharmaceutical corporation, Clare Shaw (Katrina Lenk). Yawn. Republicans bad, pharmaceutical firms, also bad. The money laundering Brydes? Not so much, at least according to the scriptwriters. Wendy, to protect their rackets, finds herself a reluctant participant in a Midwestern vote-suppression scheme that Schafer is behind. 

In real life, between the release of Part 1 and Part 2 of Season 4 of Ozark, the decades-long Democratic boss of Illinois, Michael Madigan, was indicted. But never forget, in television land, the GOP is evil.

Oh, what was that about Netflix losing subscribers?

A character introduced in Season 4, a disgraced former Chicago Police detective with good intentions, Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg), confronts the Byrdes over their hubris gained from their power and money, equating them with the Kennedy family and the conservative Koch family from Wichita. Slow down there. There is no Koch-equivalent to the Kennedys using their influence to allow Ted Kennedy to walk away with only a hand slap after arguably murdering Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick

Okay, I’ve hit the things that I didn’t enjoy with Ozark. Back to the good stuff–and there is plenty of it. 

The Navarro family has its own struggles. Omar’s nephew, Javi Elizondro (Alfonso Herrera), has plans that don’t coincide with those of his uncle. One of the many appeals of Ozark is the shifting of alliances–and the betrayals that accompany them. And of course, so are the performances–led of course by Garner–of the major characters and minor ones. One of the minor characters, Rachel Garrison (Jordana Spiro), makes a surprise return.

The cinematography of Ozark is at a feature-movie level. 

While of course set in Missouri, Ozark except for some Chicago scenes in Season 1, is filmed in the Atlanta area. In Part 1 of Season 4 I noticed a light rail train in what was supposed to be downtown Chicago. What were called streetcars way back when haven’t been running in Chicago for decades. In Part 2 of the final season, I spotted what appears to be a cabbage palm tree in front of Ruth Langmore’s Lazy-O Motel. That tree cannot survive a Midwestern winter.

And what about Wendy and Marty Byrde? As I remarked in a previous review, they are the television version of Tom and Daisy Buchanan, who in The Great Gatsby “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness.”

All four seasons are available for streaming on Netflix. The series is rated TV-MA for graphic violence, drug use, nudity, and obscene language.

Earlier post:

Review: Ozark Season 4 Part 1.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

While calling public figures “Orwellian” goes back decades, usually it’s an exaggeration. 

Not so with the new Misinformation and Disinformation Governance Board, whose existence was revealed by the soulless hack Alejandro Mayorkas, Joe Biden’s secretary of Homeland Security. The board’s executive director is Nina Jankowicz, a misinformationist. 

Among other things, Jankowicz in 2020 called into question the veracity of the Hunter Biden laptop revelations.

George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” in 1984 of course propagandized lies. 

The Democrats’ Orwellian attacks on their opponents began during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, when he created groups such as “The Truth Squad.” 

This morning on Twitter, former Democratic member of Congress and 2020 presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, pointed her finger at the instigator on the Dems’ obsession with “disinformation,” Joe Biden’s former ticket-mate.

“Biden is just a front man,” Gabbard Tweeted. “Obama, April 21: social media censors ‘don’t go far enough,’ so the government needs to step in to do the job. Six days later, Homeland Security rolls out the ‘Ministry of Truth’ (aka Disinformation Governance Board).”

Obama’s “Truth Squad” made its first appearance in during the 2008 Democratic primaries. It was ramped up for the general election. A KMOV-TV St. Louis anchor reported that fall, “Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign.”

“Prosecutors and sheriffs from across Missouri are joining ‘The Barack Obama Truth Squad,'” reporter John Mills added, he then named Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis circuit attorney, and Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor for St. Louis County, as members.

Mills continued, “They will be reminding voters that Barack Obama is a Christian who wants to cut taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 a year.” 

What about those prosecutors?

“If they’re not going to tell the truth,” McCulloch told KMOV, “somebody’s got to step up and say, ‘That’s not true. This is the truth.'”

Jim Geraghty of National Review summed up the Missouri threat concisely at the time, “While the report never quite comes out and says that anyone running an ad saying those things would be subject to prosecution, that certainly is the message implied.” 

Truth, like knowledge, is nearly never a settled construct, especially in the political arena. 

Leftists, like Barack Obama, undoubtedly disagree with me. Rather, under the cloak of “truth,” they now label criticism of their policies, as well as reports that harm their side, such as the revelations from the Hunter Biden laptop, as “misinformation” and “disinformation.” The Obama quote referenced earlier comes from a Stanford University conference about “misinformation” held in April. Earlier that month, longtime top Obama campaign aide, David Axelrod, was a co-host of the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference at the University of Chicago.

Obama, ironically, was the recipient of PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” award in 2013. That’s the truth.

Informers are an integral part of any un-free society. In 2009, an Obama administration media flack, Macon Phillips, under the guise of–wait for it–fighting “disinformation,” asked Americans to rat out any who disparaged ObamaCare. “If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy,” he said, “send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”

In 2012, the Obama-Biden campaign launched “the Truth Team.”

Never forget, the Democrats war on what they call “disinformation” began with Obama.

John Ruberry, and this is certainly the truth, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

…is Taylor Lorentz claiming to have PTSD from being a Washington Post Journalist during a visit to MSNBC:

I mean yeah, police, firemen, soldiers, nurses and the people of Ukraine might have to deal with death, destruction and life and death on a daily basis, but that’s NOTHING compared to the nasty feedback she gets from doing things like Doxing the “libs of tic tock” account person who has the audacity to take videos that people deliberately put on a public worldwide forum and post them on a public worldwide forum.

I mean can you imagine how the children of such a woman would be prepared for life? Can you imagine them being able to cope with anything with such a person as their primary role model?

Granted abortion is murder and Birth Control is a sin and every person is made in the image of God (including Ms Lorenz) and with God all things are possible but if I was the left and wanted to try to persuade people that Abortion should be an option I’d put her on the posters saying: “Do you really want people like this raising children?”

All kidding aside Ms. Lorenz reminds me of something else.

Could you imagine the reaction if a male reporter claimed PTSD over online feedback?

Our “betters” keep telling us that women are men are equal yet we keep hearing stories about how hard women have it or their inability to cope.

So which is it elites? Are woman just as strong, tough and competent as men or are in need of special protection? Choose one.

(In fairness to our elites as they can’t define “woman” or “man” this question might be too much for them.

Closing thought: Totally unrelated headline via Citizen’s free press & NPR

It’s time to screen all kids for anxiety, physicians’ task force recommends

By John Ruberry

Last year, in his farewell column, longtime Chicago journalist Phil Kadner spoke of his praises, and he indeed deserved his own pats on the back. Kadner mostly covered the generally overlooked, but corrupt, south suburbs of Chicago. I grew up there, they are a rat-hole of graft.

A creature of the left, who called for President Trump’s impeachment in 2019, Kadner discussed in that final column, his anger after Trump said the media was “the enemy of the people.”

Is Kadner an enemy of the people? No.

But with a few exceptions, most of the media is. 

The latest example of why that is true took place at the University of Chicago, which hosted along with the Atlantic, the Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy conference. A quick look at the speakers at the event betrays what kind of conference it was, there were no conservative panelists. Only the self-appointed “cool kids” are allowed in the tree house.

Ah, but there were at least a couple of conservatives there, including freshman U of C student Daniel Schmidt, who challenged one of the speakers, the Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum. Schmidt blew the whistle on her for dismissing the importance of the Hunter Biden laptop revelations in 2020, which at the time Applebaum wrote that it “barely registers” with her.

Her response? “My problem with Hunter Biden’s laptop I think is totally irrelevant.” Applebaum continued, “I mean it’s not whether it’s disinformation or, I mean, I didn’t think the Hunter Biden’s business relationships have anything to do with who should be president of the United States, so I don’t find it to be interesting, that would be my problem with that as a main news story.”

Ah, now here is an enemy of the people to be sure, Anna Applebaum.

Hunter Biden, if not Joe Biden, because of what has been discovered on that laptop, can rightly be called as I’ve remarked before, the head of a Chicago-style influence peddling ring

It’s arguable that the Biden family has sold out America to our enemies, particularly China. 

The Clown Prince of Disinformation is CNN’s Brian Stelter, the host of the laughably misnamed Reliable Sources. He spoke on the next day at the conference. And it was the turn of another University of Chicago freshman, Christopher Phillips, who said of Stelter’s network, “They push the Russian collusion hoax, they push the Jussie Smollett hoax, they smear Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh as a rapist, and they also smeared Nick Sandmann as a white supremacist,” Phillips told Stelter. “And yes, they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop affair as pure Russian disinformation.” 

Phillips continued, “With mainstream corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the [Biden] regime, is it time to finally declare that the canon of journalistic ethics is dead or no longer operative?”

Stelter quipped, “Too bad, it’s time for lunch,” but then gave a meandering reply that didn’t address any of Phillips’ points.

The Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy conference was reminiscent of a bad Hollywood thriller, where the protagonist is finally able to report his findings of an anti-government conspiracy after escaping captivity, only to learn that those he trusts in the government are part of that nefarious plot too. 

I believe there are two possibilities in regard to what has gone wrong with the mainstream media, and neither are good. The first is that the most members of the fake-news media are indeed propagandists for the left and the Democrat Party. The second is that they’ve deluded themselves into believing that they are indeed truthful providers of information, reminiscent of when legendary New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle, while downing booze during breakfast, remarked to a reporter with a straight face that he’s not an alcoholic. 

Mantle died of liver cancer, despite receiving a liver transplant, and alcoholism very likely contributed to his death.

Where will the mainstream media end up?

Right now, the media, most of it, is indeed the enemy of the people.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.