I’m a Helper

Now that Current.com has been wiped off the face of the Interwebs for a reason that still remains an utter mystery to me, all my “You’re Not Helping” columns have disappeared.  I, however, still have them and think they should be online and accessible in perpetuity – especially since they bring up some pretty important issues. With that said, here’s a “reprint” of the first:

From 6/5/2012:

I’m not sure how I feel about the term “War on Women,” but I do know that if there is one, we – as women – don’t need to be handing the enemy free ammo. It’s time to call out the women – and sometimes the men fighting alongside them – whose actions set us back. Welcome to “You’re Not Helping,” my contribution to the crusade.

you're not helpingRock the Slut Vote, you’re not helping.

I rock. I vote. But when I hear the word “slut,” I cringe. Why? Because it’s a horrible word, derogatory by definition, and you can’t change the actual meaning of a word by owning it. If the word starts off innocuous and somehow acquires an unfavorable tinge over time, it has potential. The word “liberal” comes to mind. There’s nothing wrong with being liberal or being a liberal, but over the years, the right wing has worked hard to hijack the term, and some liberals have come to prefer calling themselves progressive. Today, bold progressives are determined to take back ownership of the liberal label, and it’s doable because liberal didn’t start out as a slur. In fact, it started out as a good word, taking root from the Latin liberalis “of freedom.”

But slut? Not so much. It’s always been a negative. A dirty woman. A promiscuous woman. A slovenly woman. Declaring you want to own a word that inherently means something unflattering is absurd, ill-informed, and feeds right into the hands of the men you’re aiming to disempower. Branding yourself with an insult starts you at a disadvantage, and considering we already make less money and hold fewer positions of power, the last thing we need is another obstacle to equality – let alone a self-imposed one.

According to an ABC News interview with Susan McMillan Emry who founded “Rock the Slut Vote,”

“The site aims to ‘re-appropriate’ the word ‘slut’ so that Limbaugh and other Republicans cannot use it to ‘bully and silence women,’  Emry said. ‘It’s really about taking the power away from that word more than it is about Rush Limbaugh,’ she said. ‘He gave the word the notoriety but we are trying to take it back.”

Rush and his fellow conservative cronies didn’t make “slut” famous. It’s been used for far too long by many a man aiming to control and demean a woman. And frankly, I find Emry’s little “You Might Be A Slut” quiz offensive. I don’t want the word  “slut” anywhere near the life choices and values I believe in.

Emry can call herself whatever she wants. I’m liberal like that. But if she’s truly committed to getting women more politically engaged and inclined to vote – if she’s really as angry as she claims – then she should channel that rage into owning words and actions that intrinsically celebrate women, not disparage them.

Leave No Trace

Well, that was quick. Would have been nice to get a heads-up so we could have pulled some content before it all disappeared. Oh well. Onward and upward.

Current.com today

Current.com today



Update: Since this means all links to any content once housed on the Current website are now dead links, I’ll work on getting some of my columns and segments uploaded here shortly.

What’s Cookin’

jacki cookingAs many of you know by now, tomorrow – August 15th – is the last day for Current which means the last airing of Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show on this particular channel. Al Jazeera America bought Current in January, and it’s launching all new programming next Tuesday.

I feel so fortunate to have been recruited to join Steph’s show about 18 months ago and even luckier to have been so warmly welcomed into the fold of the Stephanie Miller community.

Of course, I’ll miss the daily broadcast banter, but I’m not really going anywhere. I’ll be as active as ever online, and you are more than welcome to connect with me on here or through Twitter or Facebook.

First up after the show is catching up on sleep. Mom’s coming to visit, and then I’m heading off on a long-overdue vacation. That rounds out August. After Labor Day, I should have a better idea of what’s on tap worth sharing on the work front.

Until then, a huge thank you to everyone who’s been so incredibly kind and supportive during my time w/ Current.

Definitely more to come!

Come On In

jax on tytWell…um…hi!

Time for an update, I suppose.

If you found me here via Current, The Stephanie Miller Show, TYT, Full Court Press, or some other related outlet, you’re probably slightly curious as to what this is and why it lives.

When I left CNN in 2007, I was looking for a way to stay engaged in the online world as I figured out my next steps. I’d bought my name domain years before simply to protect it from being snagged by someone else for whatever ridiculous reason that might have happened. So I set up a blogger account and started writing about whatever felt relevant in the moment. I documented the surprisingly decrepit condition of my new rental apartment and the absurd process of getting it cobbled back together. I covered politics and pop culture developments from the comfort of my living room couch – when I finally found one that fit through the doorway. I declared my desire to work on health care reform, and six months later, I found a way to do it.

Once I joined HCAN, I used the site to help publicize the day-to-day work we did to try to get quality, affordable health care for everyone. Now that I look back through posts from those couple of years, I’m thrilled to have a record of every step of the fight and how we felt about it as it was unfolding.

The site slowed when I left for Spain in April 2010, and once I got back to DC, I continued to take time off to unwind and regroup. I tried to pick up the pace again after moving to Miami in 2011, but something felt different. I didn’t have the same passion for keeping the blog up-to-speed. I moved it over to WordPress with the intention of folding it into something larger, but then I changed my mind.

About 3 months ago, I made a big decision and came out to Los Angeles for the opportunity to work for Current. It’s a role that continues to evolve, but I’ve found a real kindred sprit in Stephanie Miller, and her team has been incredibly generous in making me feel like a true part of the family. As of this week, I have three new jingles. Crazy, right?

Update: I’ve handed off the Bill Press baton and now get to sleep in until about 3:30am. I also do early morning news cut-ins for Full Court Press hosted by Bill Press out of DC. You can catch them at the top of each hour – 3, 4, and 5am PT.

Later in the morning, I’m tasked with bringing you little news nuggets after Stephanie’s show at 9 and 10am PT.

Recently, I’ve been participating in health care reform coverage for TYT on Current, TYT’s live online show, and Michael Shure’s TwenTYTwelve. Getting to continue to champion a cause I feel so strongly about has been a real gift.

And I’ve started a column on Current.com called You’re Not Helping which calls out women – and sometimes men – whose actions are working against our gender’s greater good.

So that’s the scoop in a nutshell. I do have a Facebook page, but it’s always been on the private side, and I’d like to keep it that way for now. I’m less possessive of Twitter, and you are more than welcome to follow and/or communicate with me there through @JackiSchechner. I’m totally open to suggestions, story ideas, general comments, etc.

With all that said, feel free to poke around. The site dates back almost 5 years now. I’ve noticed there are some broken links and missing images which I may get around to fixing someday, but until then, there’s plenty to explore. If you’re so inclined, of course.


– Jax

Where I Am

current logo I’m on Current doing live political news updates every hour at the top of the hour from 6am to noon ET. That would be 3am to 9am in Los Angeles.

I’m in Los Angeles.

Not sure you get Current? Here’s where it is on some major cable and satellite providers:

  • AT&T Uverse: Channel 189
  • Comcast: Channel 107
  • DirecTV: Channel 358
  • Dish Network: Channel 294
  • Time Warner Cable: Channel 103 (NY), Channel 142 (LA)
  • Verizon FiOS: Channel 192

You can also check by zip code on the Current site. I pop up during Full Court Press with Bill Press and Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller – both smart, interesting, engaging shows. Come hang out.

And We’re Back…

To say there have been some changes would be an understatement.

I’ve moved to the beach. I bought a car. I’m working as a social media consultant. I haven’t owned a TV in months, and I’ve decided it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to start writing again.

Happy New Year. I think it’s going to be a good one.

My Life Ate My Blog

I know. I know. It’s not like me to be so quiet. Truth is I’ve been enjoying some time away from the usual chatter and indulging in a bit of political and media detox.

I’ll be back in the mix shortly. In the meantime, you officially are free to see other blogs.

If anyone asks, we were on a break.