The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Thursday, December 14, 2000

U.S. Supremes Vs. Cartoon Network

InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: I think of myself as a clear-thinking, intelligent man who is not prone to buying into conspiracy theories and crank philosophy. And yet, in the weeks since the election, I have come to believe that nothing short of a coup has taken place in America. Last night, Al Gore, with nowhere left to go, stepped aside and conceded the presidency to W. The Republican party, utilizing Republican sympathizers in no less than the Supreme Court, as well as the Florida legislature, have put a man into the White House who, it appears, did not actually win the election. Each time vice-president Al Gore seemed to be on the verge of seeing the Florida election votes manually counted, he was foiled. First by the Florida Secretary of State, who for all intensive purposes is on the Bush payroll, then by a small-time judge who, it turns out, was reprimanded time and again by the Florida Supreme Court. And, finally, by the U. S. Supreme Court justices (some with clear conflicts of interest), who intervened this past Saturday and stopped the vote count that the Florida court had ordered. (And then, of course, there is the Florida legislature, which has picked a team of electors who will, with certainly, cast their votes for Bush.) On the night of Dec. 12, the U. S. Supreme Court shut Al Gore down. I would have hoped that the U. S. Supreme court would have issued a bold decision, reinforcing the fact that the right to vote, and to have one's vote counted is at the very core of our democracy. But no, instead, this partisan court, this court that has made so many wrong decisions over the past few years (against women, against minorities), offered a confusing, even contradictory decision. All I can think of is W., in his jeans and short "I'm-an-old-cow-hand" jacket, swaggering along the path near his ranch, telling himself over and over, "I'm the President of the United States. Really! I'm the President of the United States. I'm gonna pinch myself! I'm the..." On December 11, while the Supreme Court justices heard the arguments, W. was holed up in the Texas governor's mansion. I figure he was glued to the Cartoon Network.

Datastream: In addition to Johnnie Johnson, the piano man who, with Chuck Berry, helped create rock 'n' roll in the mid-'50s, guitarist extraordinaire James Burton will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the "Sideman" category this coming March. Burton added his trademark country-rock riffs to classic records by Elvis, Merle Haggard, Ricky Nelson and Jerry Lee Lewis, and played on both of Gram Parsons' amazing solo albums, GP and Grievous Angel. Also worth noting is the coming induction of Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, the man who brought reggae (including Bob Marley and Toots and the Maytals) and African music to America. While Blackwell is known for the hitmakers he discovered, including U2 and Traffic, as well as for releasing some of Tom Waits' best work, I think he should also be applauded for signing both Nick Drake (all the late British singer/songwriter's work was done for Island) and John Martyn, whose Solid Air remains a truly amazing work — 27 years after it was first released. Nice also to see the still-subversive Steely Dan being inducted...

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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