The voice of Rocky and Natasha and Cindy Lou Who died

This got lost the shuffle of last week’s insanity:

Animation legend June Foray, the voice of both Rocky the Squirrel (of Rocky and Bullwinkle) and Natasha (of Boris and Natasha), has died at 99.

Her New York Times obituary is fascinating—apparently the woman could do nearly any voice requested of her, was basically the female Mel Blanc and was known in the business as “First Lady of Animated Voicing”:

I grew up on many of these voices:

When police get away with murder

The right wing outrage machine doesn’t get fired up over certain things.

Like this, which happened yesterday:

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop was acquitted on all charges by a jury Friday, a decision that came nearly a year after the encounter was partially streamed online to a rapt nation in the midst of a painful reckoning over shootings by law enforcement.

Probably because it’s happy with this, which is happening all the time:

WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND other domestic extremists maintain an active presence in U.S. police departments and other law enforcement agencies. A striking reference to that conclusion, notable for its confidence and the policy prescriptions that accompany it, appears in a classified FBI Counterterrorism Policy Guide from April 2015, obtained by The Intercept. The guide, which details the process by which the FBI enters individuals on a terrorism watchlist, the Known or Suspected Terrorist File, notes that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers,” and explains in some detail how bureau policies have been crafted to take this infiltration into account.

Although these right-wing extremists have posed a growing threat for years, federal investigators have been reluctant to publicly address that threat or to point out the movement’s longstanding strategy of infiltrating the law enforcement community.

No centralized recruitment process or set of national standards exists for the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, many of which have deep historical connections to racist ideologies. As a result, state and local police as well as sheriff’s departments present ample opportunities for white supremacists and other right-wing extremists looking to expand their power base.

In a heavily redacted version of an October 2006 FBI internal intelligence assessment, the agency raised the alarm over white supremacist groups’ “historical” interest in “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.” The effort, the memo noted, “can lead to investigative breaches and can jeopardize the safety of law enforcement sources or personnel.” The memo also states that law enforcement had recently become aware of the term “ghost skins,” used among white supremacists to describe “those who avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.” In at least one case, the FBI learned of a skinhead group encouraging ghost skins to seek employment with law enforcement agencies in order to warn crews of any investigations.

Why do I say it’s happening all the time? Because I remember what happened when the issue was brought up in President Barack Obama’s first year in office:

IN 2009, SHORTLY after the election of Barack Obama, a Department of Homeland Security intelligence study, written in coordination with the FBI, warned of the “resurgence” of right-wing extremism. “Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African-American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda,” the report noted, singling out “disgruntled military veterans” as likely targets of recruitment. “Right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”

The report concluded that “lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” Released just ahead of nationwide Tea Party protests, the report caused an uproar among conservatives, who were particularly angered by the suggestion that veterans might be implicated, and by the broad brush with which the report seemed to paint a range of right-wing groups.

Faced with mounting criticism, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano disavowed the document and apologized to veterans.

So, yeah. American conservatives are just fine with police shootings. In fact, they encourage them.

Adam West. the Batman of my childhood, died at 88

From Variety

Adam West — an actor defined and also constrained by his role in the 1960s series “Batman” — died Friday night in Los Angeles. He was 88. A rep said that he died after a short battle with leukemia.

“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight, and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero,” his family said in a statement.

West became known to a new generation of TV fans through his recurring voice role on Fox’s “Family Guy” as Mayor Adam West, the horribly corrupt, inept and vain leader of Quahog, Rhode Island. West was a regular on the show from 2000 through its most recent season. West in recent years did a wide range of voice-over work, on such shows as Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken” and Disney Channel’s “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.”

But it was his role as the Caped Crusader in the 1966-68 ABC series “Batman” that defined West’s career.

With its “Wham! Pow!” onscreen exclamations, flamboyant villains and cheeky tone, “Batman” became a surprise hit with its premiere on ABC in 1966, a virtual symbol of ’60s kitsch. The half-hour action comedy was such a hit that it aired twice a week on ABC at its peak. But within two seasons, the show’s popularity slumped as quickly as it soared.

West’s portrayal of the superhero and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, ultimately made it hard for him to get other roles, and while he continued to work throughout his career, options remained limited because of his association with the character.

Adam West’s Batman definitely wasn’t the sociopath we know and love today. His Batman had a kiddie show quality with lots of bright colors and ’60s go-go music:

Today’s Batman would mumble and drop you off a building. In a battle between the Dark Knight vs. the Bright Knight, the Batman of the ’60s would be destroyed.

But I was a kid in the ’60s, and my life revolved around the two days of Batman episodes in the middle of the week on ABC television. Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Adam West and Burt Ward were in DC (the city, not the comic company) a year ago at Awesome Con, talking about the old days:

Another icon of my youth, gone.

Roger Ailes, serial sexual harasser, dies at 77

The man who created Fox News is dead:

Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a cable powerhouse before leaving the company last year, died Thursday morning at the age of 77.

The Ohio-born television pioneer was a confidant of presidents and an acknowledged master of communications. He founded Fox News in 1996 and built it into the nation’s long-running No. 1 cable news network.  Ailes resigned from Fox in July amid charges of sexual harassment.

Yeah, that’s right. I linked to Fox News because the pump truppets won’t believe it otherwise.

There are all kinds of things I could say, but I’ll defer to Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors:

There is nothing nice I could say about him when he was alive, so there is nothing nice I can say about him now. There is probably no one more responsible for the toxic divide in this country than Roger Ailes.

I wish for Ailes everything he ever wished for us on the left.

I will note one thing, though. According to the lying New York Times:

The cause was complications of a subdural hematoma that Mr. Ailes sustained when he fell and struck his head on May 10 at his home in Palm Beach, Fla., the local authorities said.

This means that if he hadn’t been a sexual harasser, he would have instead been at work at Fox headquarters in New York the day he fell, and he would be alive today.

So Karma is a bitch. And she got even with him for sticking his slimy tongue on her face.

A colorful memory in black and white

One thing I noticed when Mary Tyler Moore died last week was this photo accompanying her obituary:

ap7008290251This is a 1970 still from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Anyone notice anything strange about it?

It’s 1970. They had color TV in 1970. The show was in color.

Here. I’ll show you. This is the famous line from the first episode:

Why is the photo black and white?

Here’s a link to the obit in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Even the Guardian in London went black and white.

I suspect it’s because the networks sent production stills to newspapers in black and white because few newspapers had color capacity in the 1970s. (That’s right, kids. Color was a relatively new thing for newspapers in the late 20th century. That’s probably why print is dying.)

Or maybe we were all poor back then and only saw the show on black and white televisions and don’t remember it any other way?