1st Quarter 1998
Episodes 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143.

Note: The first week of the First Quarter 1998 was the last week of the last month of 1997, which includes the program broadcast on 12/29/97-- Episode #115, a rerun from the Second Quarter 1997. Go figure.

Episode #136: What The Fuck Is He Talking About?
First Broadcast: 1/12/98 -- Program started 1 or 2 minutes late, and end credits were cut off as a result.
Successfully Repeated: 1/19/98
The title of this week's episode is a rather obvious question, based on an article in the 12/30/97-1/7/98 edition of the Resident, (a tiny local paper in Manhattan) in which the author advocates eliminating one of our public access channels and replacing it with Turner Classic Movies, because the author is under the mistaken impression that the public access channels in Manhattan (the same channels which broadcast our program--or one of those channels, anyway) are used by Ruth Messinger --or whoever's occupying the office of Manhattan Borough President lately (i.e., C. Virginia Fields) for her own personal patronage. Aside from being completely incorrect about who runs Manhattan Neighborhood Network (it's an independent non-profit organization which is not controlled by city government), the article is so pompous in it's advocacy of "classic movies" over free speech that I just might reprint it here so that everyone can laugh and be angry at it just as I was when I taped this program. Some people are just plain fucking idiots.

Episode #137: 1000 Different Shows
First Broadcast: 1/26/98
The rant from Episode #136 continues.

Episode #138: Deep Throat
First Broadcast: 2/2/98
No, not the porn movie. This week, we jump into the media circus with both feet, and discuss the whole Monica Lewinsky thing, and whether or not she was indeed the "Special Assistant to the President in charge of blowjobs." And, because I'm such a generous soul, I donated 2 ideas for Saturday Night Live to use in their next episode (since I have more than a feeling that they watch public access for inspiration for their sketches). In brief: The President makes his traditional phone call to the winner of Super Bowl XXXII--while he's getting a blowjob ("Live from New York--It's Saturday NIIIGGHHT! OH GOD!"); and Bill, Monica, and Hillary turn up as guests on the Jerry Springer show--where fists fly as soon as Hillary walks on stage. Will SNL use it? Will I get a thank you? Who knows. Stay Tuned.

Episode #139: I Now Pronounce You Head Guy
First Broadcast: 2/9/98
A slightly somnambulistic Chris F. discusses topics ranging from Iraq to the "Asian Crisis," all while wearing an Eeyore T-shirt.

Episode #140: Little Icons
First Broadcast: 2/16/98
More about Iraq, and the 1991 Gulf War in general, where I also mention the title of Episode #28 at the end.

Episode #141: Same Fucking Opinion
First Broadcast: 2/23/98 Repeated: 11/16/98
This week's title goes as much for our show as it did for CNN's so-called "International Town Meeting" in Columbus, Ohio on February 18, 1998. "This isn't a town meeting! This is a media event!" said one man in the audience. Ain't that the truth. 1) It wasn't international, since all three members of the "panel" were from the US Government, the meeting took place in the United States in an audience full of Americans, and only a fraction of phoned-in questions came from people who weren't Americans; 2) Since those three people-- the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and a National Security Advisor --were not only all from the US Government, but all from the same branch of the US Government (hence, they all had the "same fucking opinion" in favor of bombing Iraq) there wasn't even a pretense of diversity on the panel; 3) The White House and CNN made this event an exclusive feature for CNN, allowing all the other networks to only show 2 minutes of footage afterwards, not allowing any other network to carry the event live, and not allowing any other reporters (besides the 2 from CNN) to ask questions, so neither the White House nor CNN was truly interested in having many Americans watch this program either. What was the program's purpose then? Well, since Iraqi officials have openly admitted to watching CNN a lot, my guess is that the President intended to intimidate Saddam Hussein, et. al., by showcasing 3 high-ranking White House executives explaining exactly how the US was going to destroy Iraq, with 5000 Americans cheering them on (The commercial for the Air Force One video--with Harrison Ford sneering "I'll never negotiate!" through his teeth was also a nice touch.) and CNN was only too happy to comply. Unfortunately--for the White House-- more than a few people in the audience recognized what a huge farce this event was, and wasted no time in screaming out their protests against the panel and US warmongering in general ("1-2-3-4, We don't want your racist war!" "Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!" and cutting off Madeleine Albright's assertion "There's a bully in the region--" with a loud "THE U.S. ARMY!" were some of the many, many highlights), shattering the illusion that people in the US were united in favor of killing more Iraqis and commiting more acts of violence on an already weak and shattered nation. Kudos to the protestors in the audience for getting their point across the only way they could, since there was no opposing view on the panel. Let's hope they keep it up across the nation, as a constant reminder that Americans are not going to stand idly by and watch their military murder people by the hundreds for no good reason--not this time, anyway.

Episode #142: Wooden Nickels
First Broadcast: 3/2/98
Does our illustrious mayor want New York to be more "civil," as he says, or does he just want New York to be more like Singapore, where everyone is neat, clean, polite, and living in fear of being hauled off to jail for even the smallest offense? Gosh, I wonder . . .

Episode #143: All Right, Fine
First Broadcast: 3/9/98 Repeated: 3/5/01 (Episode began at 1:59 AM and ended at 2:28 AM)
Yet another episode from our past that is again strangely current, in light of recent events.
So, the US wanted to bomb Iraq because Saddam Hussein can't be trusted to own "weapons of mass destruction" (even though both Iraq and the US have attacked people with such weapons in the past)? So, because we're more civilized over here, we can openly discuss whether or not the US should assassinate Saddam Hussein? Can you imagine what would happen if the Iraqi legislature was openly debating whether or not they should assassinate Bill Clinton? Or what might have happened if it turned out Cuba decided it was in their best "national interests" to assassinate President Kennedy? (Never mind that the US actually did try to assassinate Castro more than once. I guess that's not important enough for the "mainstream" media to mention at the moment.) The US fired 23 cruise missiles at Iraq in June, 1993, in "retaliation for an alleged Iraqi attempt to assassinate ex-President Bush in April on a visit to Kuwait." ( World Orders Old and New, by Noam Chomsky, pp. 16-17) If the US has the right to attack another nation for even an alleged attempt to kill a former president, wouldn't another nation have an even greater right to attack the US if the US actually kills a current president of that nation (Saddam Hussein is still the President of Iraq, after all)? This is the boldest example of hypocrisy yet to emanate from Chuck Robb and company. It's one thing for the US to be a sore loser in the wake of Kofi Annan crushing its plan to bomb Iraq yet one more time; it's quite another to start assassinating people because of it.

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