THE THING ABOUT PAM airs on NBC and it is a limited series starring Renee Zellweger as Pam.
Who is Pam? A fake woman who kills her supposed best friend Betsy (Katy Mixon from AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE and MIKE AND MOLLY). Pam kills her best friend and frames her husband Russ (Glenn Fieshler).
I learned of the series from Ava and C.I.'s "TV: What wins out" in which they noted:
Women win for acting. They have to go all out, most years. While men can be stoic (stiff) onscreen but still win.
Bette Davis, Jane Fonda, women like that have to really deliver. They have to dig deep and serve it up onscreen.
If you doubt it, think about Sally Kirkland. ANNA (1987) was one of the worst films ever. But Sally did deliver in it and she got a Best Actress nomination. You won't catch any actor -- even if he delivers -- from a third-rate, C-picture getting nominated. And actors are rarely asked to deliver any real range when being handed an Academy Award. Think about that when they're handing out Oscars at the end of the month.
And think about the fact that when a woman wins she has delivered. If she wins twice -- for example, Jane Fonda, Bette Davis, Jessica Lange, Hillary Swank, Olivia de Havillind, etc -- then she's really something. That list would include Renée Zellweger
If you doubt that, check out NBC's limited series THE THING ABOUT PAM. The six part series has just started airing but already Renee's delivered excellence. Pam, her character, is a liar and a killer and she's unlike anything Renee's created before. There are no hints of CHICAGO or Bridget Jones or Judy Garland or JERRY MCGUIRE or ME MYSELF AND IRENED. As with her NETFLIX series a few year back (WHAT/IF), Renee's created a brand new character and fully inhabits it.
Josh Duhamel delivers as well. We love Josh so it does our hearts no joy to note that no one will notice Josh in the series. Again, he does an outstanding job; however, Renee is on fire and she steals all the attention as a result. Katy Mixon also delivers but, again, it's Renee's show. She's not eating the scenery, she's not trying to upstage, but she's gone so deep into her character, she holds your attention.
Renee's delivering art and maybe that can elevate us as a people? Or maybe the dominant response the series will receive is some sort of prurient, crime-porn fascination? Again, we like to believe that we grow better as a society -- trends and events don't always bear that out.
Ms. Zellweger deserves an Emmy. She is outstanding. I caught up with it online today, watching the first episodes that have aired so far (three episodes) and it is really something to catch. And Ms. Zellweger is scary and goes to places I would not have expected. Pam is just evil and it is not the role I expect from the star of ME, MYSELF AND IRENE and CHICAGO and the Bridget Jones films. She is spooky.
I cannot wait for next week's episode. This is a very tight drama.
What is even scarier is that this is based on a true story. From WIKIPEDIA:
Pamela Marie Hupp (née Neumann; born October 10, 1958) is an American woman who on August 16, 2016 murdered Louis Gumpenberger, a crime for which she is serving a life sentence. Gumpenberger, who suffered from severe mental and physical impairments, was shot to death in Hupp's home in O'Fallon, Missouri. Hupp's claim that she had shot Gumpenberger in self-defense after he pursued her into her home wielding a knife was not accepted by law enforcement, and she ultimately entered an Alford guilty plea before charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action could go to trial.
Testimony from Hupp played a key role in the 2013 conviction of Russ Faria for the murder of his wife, Betsy Faria, who was stabbed to death in her home in Troy, Missouri in 2011. Russ Faria was exonerated in a second trial in 2015 after his defense attorney was permitted to introduce evidence that had previously been withheld from trial, some of which implicated Hupp as having killed Betsy Faria. Law enforcement have theorized that Hupp tricked Gumpenberger into entering her home and then murdered him in a failed attempt to frame Russ Faria. In July 2021, Hupp was charged with the first-degree murder of Betsy Faria.
Hupp has also been investigated in connection with the death of her mother, Shirley Neumann, who died in 2013 from injuries sustained in a fall from the balcony of her third-floor apartment in Fenton, Missouri. A tip-off to police accused Hupp of killing Neumann for financial gain. Neumann's death was initially ruled an accident, but in November 2017 the chief medical examiner for St. Louis County changed the cause of death to "undetermined", referencing the events in O'Fallon and Troy. An investigation into Neumann's death by the St. Louis County Police Department was inconclusive.
The killings of Betsy Faria and Louis Gumpenberger have been the subject of significant media coverage, including extensive reporting from the local Fox affiliate station KTVI in St. Louis and five Dateline NBC episodes airing from 2014 to 2019, as well as the inaugural Dateline NBC true crime podcast. A scripted television series featuring actress Renée Zellweger as Hupp, The Thing About Pam, premiered on NBC in March 2022.
It airs Tuesday nights on NBC.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Wednesday, March 23, 2022. The cerafully crafted narrative on Ukraine continues to unravel and a major report is released chornicling the persecution of the LFBTQ community in Iraq.
Every day, JUS President Joe Biden and the White House lose a little more control of the narrative regarding Ukraine. Every day the action becomes less popular. Every day, people realize how much they've been manipulated I said "people," that doesn't include Amy Schumer. After all, there's a reason we don't let her on the furniture.
Dan Cohen (MPN) reports on how the whole effort has been sold to the public by numerous public relations firms:
Since the Russian offensive inside Ukraine commenced on February 24, the Ukrainian military has cultivated the image of a plucky little army standing up to the Russian Goliath. To bolster the perception of Ukrainian military mettle, Kiev has churned out a steady stream of sophisticated propaganda aimed at stirring public and official support from Western countries.
The campaign includes language guides, key messages, and hundreds of propaganda posters, some of which contain fascist imagery and even praise Neo-Nazi leaders.
Behind Ukraine’s public relations effort is an army of foreign political strategists, Washington DC lobbyists, and a network of intelligence-linked media outlets.
Ukraine’s propaganda strategy earned it praise from a NATO commander who told the Washington Post, “They are really excellent in stratcom — media, info ops, and also psy-ops.” The Post ultimately conceded that “Western officials say that while they cannot independently verify much of the information that Kyiv puts out about the evolving battlefield situation, including casualty figures for both sides, it nonetheless represents highly effective stratcom.”
Key to the propaganda effort is an international legion of public relations firms working directly with Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to wage information warfare.
According to the industry news site PRWeek, the initiative was launched by an anonymous figure who allegedly founded a Ukraine-based public relations firm.
“From the first hour of war, we decided to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help them distribute the official sources to show the truth,” the nameless figure told PR Week. “This is a hybrid war: the mix of bloodily struggling fight with a huge disinformation and fake campaign lead by Russia [sic].”
According to the anonymous figure, more than 150 public relations firms have joined the propaganda blitz.
The international effort is spearheaded by public relations firm PR Network co-founder Nicky Regazzoni and Francis Ingham, a top public relations consultant with close ties to the UK’s government. Ingraham previously worked for Britain’s Conservative Party, sits on the UK Government Communication Service Strategy and Evaluation Council, is Chief Executive of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation, and leads the membership body for UK local government communicators, LG Comms.
Everyone sang from the same hymnal for a reason and it wasn't because they were citing facts. It would be interesting to know how many celebrity 'influencers' were paid off to share tehir deeply, held and long standing beliefs that all developed about six weeks ago.
The man heading the neo-nazi government in Ukraine continues to step in it and track it all over their well laid plans. Richard Medhurst reviews how his propaganda has gone off script.
The reality is getting out. And that's why you see the Whoopi Goldbergs losing their s**t on air. The narrative has collapsed. And is collapsing.
The truth is out there and people are catching on. Be cute if all the liars who delibertaely lied -- for money, to egg on war, whatever -- got held accountable. They won't. But we cand ream.
The Ukraine War is now making Russian citizens, at the behest of various quarters, undertake acts of purification in various foreign theatres. They are being told to engage in crude demonstrations of loyalty (or, in some cases, disloyalty). Admit you hate Putin, and you can attend a tournament to earn your crust.
UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has taken a keen interest in this daft effort, hoping to encourage the organisers of Wimbledon, the All England Law Tennis Club (AELTC) to take a more severe approach to players from “pariah states” as long as they do not include such angelic wonders as Saudi Arabia. Before a select parliamentary committee, Huddleston noted that, “Many countries have agreed that they will not allow representatives from Russia to compete. There are also visa issues as well. When it comes to individuals, that is more complex.”
Complexity and Huddleston do not get along. “We need some potential assurance that they are not supporters of Putin and we are considering what requirements we may need to try to get some assurances along those lines.”
Tennis player Daniil Medvedev and his colleagues are facing the prospect that not engaging in public denouncement of the Kremlin will be insufficient to enable them to compete. They are already not permitted to compete under the Russian flag, and they are being told that a Russian winning Wimbledon would be unpardonable for the glorious British tournament. Their country has already been banned from competing in team events such as the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King tournaments.
And The Queen of Lard Amy Schumer is trying to get the Academy to put this on stage? She doesn't nknow about art, she doesn't know about fitness, she doesn't know about comedy. All of her commentar sare driving viewers away. SHe needs to shut her mouth now. She has not been given a post that tells her she can speak on behalf of the Acadmey. She is entertaining at the Oscars as a co-host. That is all. Knowing her, she won't provide much entertainment.
This was a huge mistake to make her a co-host and everything she's done in the last two weeks has made that obvious. She is turning off potential viewers and that's not why she was hired. She was hired. Grasp that. She's working there. She's not nominated for anything. Probably never will be. But she thinks she can use this post -- mis-use it -- for her own personal politics? No.
Turning to Iraq,, a major report has been issued by Human Rights Watch and IraQueer regarding the ongoing targeting of LGBTQs (and those thought to be) in Iraq. The report is entitled "Everyone Wants Me Dead’: Killings, Abductions, Torture, and Sexual Violence Against LGBT People by Armed Groups in Iraq," Rasha Younes (Human /rights Watch) notes:
In February news circulated that a 23-year-old transgender woman, Doski Azad, had been killed by her brother in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. I read the news, having just concluded my research on armed groups’ killings, abductions, torture, and sexual violence against LGBT people in Iraq, and thought, how can LGBT people get justice and accountability when they can be killed and abused with impunity, even in their own homes?
Over the past six months, I interviewed 54 LGBT Iraqis who have survived harrowing violence at the hands of Iraqi armed groups and the police. Some of them also had intimate knowledge of other LGBT Iraqis who had been killed or disappeared by armed groups due to their gender presentation or perceived sexual orientation.
Our new report documents 8 abductions, 8 attempted murders, 4 extrajudicial killings, 27 instances of sexual violence, 45 threats to rape and kill, and 42 cases of online targeting by armed units within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), groups nominally under the prime minister’s control since 2016, against LGBT people in Iraq. In eight cases, abuses by armed groups and police were against children as young as 15. In thirty-nine cases, the victims were able to identify the armed group behind the attack against them.
The numbers are most likely much higher. The attackers are known. Yet, as with so many killings and disappearances in Iraq, the perpetrators have not been held accountable.
Many of the people I interviewed were young enough to have just graduated from high school, yet the fear and isolation they described stretched as far as they could remember. Most had never spoken to anyone about what had happened to them. I found myself on several occasions setting aside my interview questions and just talking to them. I listened to a 27-year-old gay man describe how his boyfriend was tortured in front of him. “Then they shot him five times,” he said.
From the summary of the report:
The Iraqi government has failed to hold accountable members of various armed groups who in recent years have continued to abduct, rape, torture, and kill lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, with impunity. The cyclical nature of abuses against LGBT people, emanating from the family and stretching into every aspect of their public life, renders any “suspicion” of homosexuality or gender variance a cause for potential violence, which not only results in the death of LGBT people but makes their lives unlivable.
This report is focused on killings, abductions, torture, and sexual violence against LGBT people by armed groups in Iraq. It is based on 54 interviews with LGBT Iraqis who have survived violence and discrimination by state and non-state actors, based primarily on their gender expression and presumed sexual orientation.
Human Rights Watch, supported by the Iraqi LGBT rights organization IraQueer, documented eight cases of abductions, eight cases of attempted murder, four extrajudicial killings, twenty-seven cases of sexual violence—including gang rape—forty-five cases of threats to rape and kill, and forty-two cases of online targeting by individuals who identified themselves as members of armed groups against LGBT people in Iraq. In eight cases, abuses by armed groups and state actors, including arbitrary arrest and sexual violence, were against children as young as 15. In thirty-nine cases, individuals were able to identify the armed group behind the attack against them.
The public nature of the abuses documented, mostly occurring in broad daylight in the streets, coupled with their chilling intentionality, signal the climate of impunity afforded to perpetrators. The arbitrary nature of the attacks demonstrates that individuals are targeted as part of a larger scheme to intimidate those who do not adhere to normativity and to punish aberration. The Iraqi state’s failure to tackle the discriminatory social norms that underpin violence against LGBT people, as well as its reinforcement of these standards by way of promoting an anti-LGBT discourse through ‘morality’-based policies, contribute to fueling violence against individuals perceived as non-normative.
The abuses documented in this report, including enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture, and killings, are not unique to LGBT people. Other ordinary Iraqis also face these forms of violence. But in the case of LGBT people, the violence emanates from and is exacerbated by their gender expression or perceived sexual orientation.
LGBT people across Iraq face routine violence from security officials, who verbally abuse and sexually assault them, arbitrarily arrest them, and detain them. Security forces also physically, verbally, and sexually harass people at checkpoints whom they perceive to be LGBT.
LGBT people can be arrested under a range of vague provisions of the penal code aimed at policing morals and public indecency and limiting free expression. Human Rights Watch documented 15 cases of arrest by security forces of 13 LGBT people in Iraq. In June 2021, police in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) issued arrest warrants based on article 401 of the penal code which criminalizes “public indecency” against 11 LGBT rights activists who are either current or former employees at Rasan Organization, a Sulaymaniyah-based human rights group. As of March 2022, the case remained open pending investigation, though authorities had not detained the activists.
Most of the arrests of LGBT people documented in this report had no legal basis, even under Iraqi law Individuals stopped at checkpoints and subsequently arrested were rarely charged or convicted in accordance with the law. LGBT people arrested reported being forced to sign pledges stating that they had not been subjected to abuse and being denied access to a lawyer. The conditions of their detention included being denied food and water, the right to access family and legal representation or obtain medical services, as well as being sexually assaulted and physically abused. One 18-year-old gay man said he was subjected to a forced anal exam when he was 17 years old. Another 18-year-old gay man said officers attempted the same when he was 17.
Twenty-seven of the fifty-four LGBT people Human Rights Watch and IraQueer interviewed said they had experienced sexual abuse and violence by armed groups, including unwanted touching, rape, gang rape, genital mutilation, and forced anal examinations.
Human Rights Watch also documented cases of digital targeting and online harassment on social media and same-sex dating applications by armed groups against LGBT people. As evident from the accounts of those interviewed by Human Rights Watch and IraQueer, the offline consequences of digital targeting are long-lasting. Individuals targeted reported being forced to change their residence, delete all social media accounts, change their phone numbers, and in some cases flee the country for fear of being monitored, blackmailed, and entrapped by armed groups.
The accounts documented detail a cycle of abuse, including a pattern of attempting to hunt LGBT people down to perpetrate harm against them, amounting to structural violence against them. The combination of hypervulnerability, loosely defined “morality” clauses, and the absence of domestic violence and anti-discrimination legislation and reliable complaint systems, are formidable barriers that impede LGBT people’s ability and willingness to report abuses they suffer to the police, or file complaints against law enforcement agents, creating an environment in which police and armed groups can abuse them with impunity.
Forty out of the fifty-four LGBT people whom Human Rights Watch and IraQueer interviewed reported experiencing extreme violence at least once by family members, almost always by male relatives, for their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. Such violence included being locked in a room for extended periods; being denied food and water; being burnt, beaten, raped, electrocuted, attacked at gunpoint, subjected to conversion practices, and forced hormone therapy; being subjected to forced marriages; and being forced to work for long hours without compensation. Unlike the KRI, Iraq has no domestic violence legislation, instead its penal code allows for violence against women and children.
Each of the LGBT people whom Human Rights Watch and IraQueer interviewed reported experiencing harassment in the streets, ranging from verbal abuse to being attacked at gun point. Lack of access to protective mechanisms limits LGBT people’s mobility to a debilitating extent and deters them from seeking redress for abuses committed against them. Children facing violence from family members or others may be completely isolated, with nowhere to turn for safety.
As a result, many LGBT people said they felt they were forced to hide who they are to stay alive. Those who could not or did not wish to conceal their identities described a form of self-imposed house arrest, by which they refrained from leaving their homes at all, due to fear of harassment and the possibility of being stopped at checkpoints or targeted by armed groups. Sixteen LGBT people interviewed by Human Rights Watch and IraQueer said they attempted suicide at least once.
All 54 LGBT people interviewed for this report said that they would not report a crime committed against them to the authorities, either because of previous failed attempts where the complaint was dismissed or no action was taken, or because they felt that the blame will be redirected at them due to their non-conforming sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions.
The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting Iraqis’ right to life. Iraqi authorities should investigate all reports of armed group or other violence against people targeted due to their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, prosecute, fairly try, and appropriately punish those found responsible, and publicly and expressly condemn all such violence. The government should take all appropriate measures to end torture, disappearances, summary killings, and other abuses based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identity, and compensate the families of all victims of unlawful killings and survivors of serious abuse.
Iraqi security forces should stop harassing and arresting LGBT people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender expression and instead ensure their protection from violence. Iraq should introduce and implement legislation protecting against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Human Rights Watch and IraQueer also call on states providing military, security, and intelligence assistance to Iraq, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, to urge Iraqi authorities to investigate allegations of abuses by armed groups and the role of their own assistance in these alleged violations. These states should suspend military, security, and intelligence assistance to units involved in these violations and explain any suspension or end to military assistance publicly. These states should continue to suspend assistance until the government adopts measures to end these serious human rights violations.
This is ongoing. And that's why we call it out and that's why we call idiots on our side (the left) who try to glorify a terrorist who targets LGBTQs in Iraq. Let CODESTINK go down that road all by their lonesome. I'm not joing them to walk among the homophobes and mourn their passing. People like the 'poet' and general they publicly mourned over and over have terrorized the LGBTQ community and we won't mourn trash like that. We'll side with the people, with the LGBTQ. Not their attackers.
The following sites updated: