September 13, 2006

Bill Clinton, lunching with the bloggers.

Come on, you'd fly to New York City, to eat "southern chicken" with Bill Clinton and pose for a group photo, wouldn't you? And then you'd go home and blog about how he's good on your issues and how you're totally impressed, right? And, omigosh, "He's got beautiful blue eyes."

Hey, this blogger wrangling... it's easy when you've got blue eyes and chicken.

And check out the photo:



Let's just array these bloggers... randomly.

UPDATE: This discussion continues here.

109 comments:

Goesh said...

Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair?

SteveR said...

Southern Chicken? I take it that's not Southern Fried Chicken. If you've never had Southern Chicken, you might be from the south.

Meade said...

Goesh said...
Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair?

Dunno, but by her expression, it looks as though she may be getting "a small glimpse at greatness."

MadisonMan said...

Well, it does seem very bloggable to fly somewhere to meet a famous person who wants to meet bloggers. But the whole thing seems a little inbred -- were there no representatives from the right? So Clinton was just preaching to the choir?

Pity the poor man who had to phone in to the meeting!

Palladian said...

For the right chicken dinner, I would lunch with any politician.

Bill sure is pink, that amazing corned-beef color that some white men become at a certain age.

The Drill SGT said...

I dont understand the "random" comment.

Here are the attendees and menu


The bloggers in attendance, in no particular order:

Jane Hamsher and Christy Hardin Smith from Firedoglake
Atrios
McJoan from Daily Kos
John Aravosis and Joe from AmericaBlog
Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers from MyDD
Bill Scherer from Liberal Oasis
Dave from SeeingtheForest
Steve from The Carpetbagger Report
Jessica from Feministing
Barbara from Mahablog
Jeralyn Merritt from TalkLeft (and the TL Kid)
Attending by phone: John Amato from Crooks and Liars
Also Attending: Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton's Online Communications Director and creator of the Daou Report.

Lunch was suberb -- southern chicken, fresh salad, baked sweet potato fries, sauteed spinach, corn, cornbread, and a cherry cake like dessert. Even the iced tea was wonderful. All our plates were clean at the end.

Derve said...

How liberating that we can freely discuss the looks of men as well as women, eh?

Bet you'd be right there munching chicken too, if you'd gotten an invite and could clear your schedule.

tjl said...

"I dont understand the "random" comment."

Take another look at the photo and observe who is standing in front of Bill.

bill said...

Certainly is a diverse group. Some wore blue, some gray; some are blonde, some brunette.

SMGalbraith said...

Lefty bloggers who complain that "moderate" Democrats have sold the party out and are unwilling to take on the right wing noise machine hobnob with Mr. DLC himself William Jefferson Clinton.

Hmm, I wonder if Mr. Clinton regaled the group over the success of his welfare reform or how he brought the party back to the center away from the ideological left?

Politics has strange lunchmates.

SMG

Wurly said...

Boy, that group really "looks like America" (if your America is limited to a Vermont town meeting). I do like Gray Shirt's three-quarter pose and WJC's head-tilting chest peek.

bill said...

Since we don't know who she is, this is quite the cheap shot: Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair?

As such, it would be beneath me to respond, I don't know, but she can deliver my pizza any day.

Pogo said...

Monica has a blog?
Who knew?

Does she let Linda Tripp leave comments, or is she banned?

Oh, I should really let the poor man alone. But hasn't he got any sense at all, after all that?

Pastor_Jeff said...

Lefty bloggers who complain that "moderate" Democrats have sold the party out and are unwilling to take on the right wing noise machine hobnob with Mr. DLC himself William Jefferson Clinton.

SMG,

Go read the comments at the first link. The attendees may have been charmed, but it's no love fest for Clinton among the rank and file progressives.

Goesh said...

- no mention of after-dinner cigars I note....

tcd said...

"He's got beautiful blue eyes."
I didn't realize that liberal men also wet their panties at the sight of Bill like their female counterparts.

Jennifer said...

Poor guy - must not be fun to be the one short guy shoved in with all the ladies. Or, maybe it is fun. Hmmm.

JohnK said...

The woman with the black hair in the middle is really quite attractive. It is funny that the "reality based" community so committed to diversity and tolerance and bringing back real "progressive policies" is whiter than a Klan meeting and sucking up to a President who made a special trip back to Arkansas while governor to execute a mentally retarded man and whose biggest accomplishments as President were NAFTA and welfare reform.

Ron said...

"For the right chicken dinner, I would lunch with any politician."

I dunno -- Stalin had better throw in some peach cobbler! I've got standards!

Doyle said...

This post and thread are incredibly depressing.

Ron said...

Seeing Bill and hearing these "beautiful blue eyes" remarks, brings to mind lyrics from that Who song, "Behind Blue Eyes."

But my dreams they aren't as empty, as my conscience seems to be.

Other verses in the song may also be appropriate.

MadisonMan said...

This post and thread are incredibly depressing.

It's the weather. Day 5 of clouds and drear.

John said...

Comment from the blog:
Posted by Avedon
September 12, 2006 04:24 PM

I'm afraid I'm with the chorus on this one. He can say whatever he wants, but what did he do for me when it counted? Bupkis.


Lotsa love for the "greatest President of all time".

If anyone goes to any event like this looking for something other than a meal, they better have big bags of money ready.

Adam said...

Take another look at the photo and observe who is standing in front of Bill.

Um, the shorter people?

Ann Althouse said...

Palladian: I agree that Clinton looks really pink, but why are you assuming it's some generic old white man thing? He could be inflamed with sexual desire. Or teetering on the edge of a heart attack.

And really, I've got to wonder about all the commenters here who don't see the humor in the situation. I don't hate Bill Clinton. I voted for him twice. But, jeez, you've got to be able to laugh at him.

And you've got to laugh at bloggers who show this kind of pliability. This is high on my list of things that make bloggers look different from journalists.

Mark Daniels said...

http://markdaniels.blogspot.com/2006/09/ill-take-jaded-mainstream-media-any.html

AJ Lynch said...

Tcd said:

"I didn't realize that liberal men also wet their panties at the sight of Bill like their female counterparts."

Then I guess you have never watched Chris Matthews (not sure if he counts as a man?) on Hardball.

dick said...

I dunno. I just find it funny that they go to such lengths to call themselves progressive when all the progress that has happened lately from the downtrodden they support has come from the policies of the non-progressive, even from the policies signed by the man they flew in to have a meal with. And then we hear all about their inclusiveness when you see them have a dinner in Harlem with absolutely no blacks there at all. Delusional!!

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Ron-

You peach cobbler W-H-O-R-E!

Anyhoo you gotta couple of problems;

you'd have to hope the peaches were not of the soylent green variant and well.....

Stalin is dead or stuffed in your scenario.

madawaskan said...

Wait....

Stalin on Ice-twice as nice!

Sigivald said...

For top notch fried chicken (and do you think Bill has anything but quality fried food? I don't.) and sweet potato fries, I'd have lunch will Bill Clinton, and I find him distasteful.

Because, damn, fried chicken. And cornbread!

(No worse than that, but still, distasteful.)

dearieme said...

Who counted the spoons?

Paul Brinkley said...

Goesh:
"Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair?"

Meade:
"Dunno, but by her expression, it looks as though she may be getting 'a small glimpse at greatness.'"

me:
"That, or a great glimpse at smallness."

DaveG said...

And then we hear all about their inclusiveness when you see them have a dinner in Harlem with absolutely no blacks there at all.

Don't be ridiculous - our first black President was right there in the room, wasn't he?

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcd said...

AJ,
I've better things to do with my time than to watch Matthews spittle on the tube. Things like watch paint dry, grass grow, water boil, etc...

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fenrisulven said...

Also Attending: Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton's Online Communications Director and creator of the Daou Report.

Which was the point of the meeting/lunch I assume? I wonder if there will be another "Townhall Directive" to take it easy on Hillary.

Hope they got tested afterwards.

Jessica Feministing said...

The, um, "intern" is me. It's so nice to see women being judged by more than their looks. Oh, wait...

Finn Kristiansen said...

You guys are so racist and judgmental. The black bloggers were there, but someone had to make the food.

Bill is no racist!

Ann Althouse said...

Well, Jessica, you do appear to be "posing." Maybe it's just an accident.

Jessica Feministing said...

It's a picture; people pose. And I'm not sure I understand your logic anyway. If I "pose" for a picture (as opposed to sulking and hunching over?) then I deserve to be judged for my looks? I don't see anyone talking shit about the other bloggers smiling pretty for the camera.

Ann Althouse said...

Jessica: I'm not judging you by your looks. (Don't flatter yourself.) I'm judging you by your apparent behavior. It's not about the smiling, but the three-quarter pose and related posturing, the sort of thing people razz Katherine Harris about. I really don't know why people who care about feminism don't have any edge against Clinton for the harm he did to the cause of taking sexual harrassment seriously, and posing in front of him like that irks me, as a feminist. So don't assume you're the one representing feminist values here. Whatever you call your blog....

Jessica Feministing said...

Of course--the one "representing feminist values" must be the person judging a woman and her "behavior" off of a picture.

pluripotentate said...

Most of the people on this thread are stupid assholes and don't deserve my time, but I'll point out that a few people in the picture are turned a little sideways. It helps get more people in the picture. It's called inclusiveness. Look it up some time.

Lexie said...

Ann, who are you to judge anybody based on anything in that picture? I mean, I could look at your picture and judge that you have dyed your hair an awful shade of blonde to retain some semblance of fading youth, but I have no idea, so I won't. It's irresponsible and unkind.

Jessica, congratulations on being such a wonderful blogger that you got an opportunity to have lunch with a former president, regardless of how you feel about his stances.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, there's a new post discussing this comments thread. Go here.

Lexie, I'll just judge you by your brains: You're awfully dumb.

This isn't a post about how Jessica looks. This is a post about the way she and a bunch of other bloggers played up to Clinton.

Tom Head said...

As I said in another blog: It'd be a much bigger honor for me to pose next to Jessica Valenti than Bill Clinton. The fact that y'all don't recognize her is to my mind more problematic from a feminist perspective than whether or not she's standing nearest the former president, or non-orthogonically in proportion to the camera.

There are some real intellectual heavyweights in the room. Bill is the one who should have felt honored, and I wouldn't be surprised if he did.


Cheers,

TH

Ann Althouse said...

Mr. Head, since my whole original point was that I'm disgusted by bloggers who gush about how "honored" they are to be in the presence of Clinton, why the hell do you think I could care at all about who you, whoever you are, would be honored to have standing so close to you? But since you said it on another blog, it must be significant.

George said...

What's even more interesting in the photo--aside from the fact that the young lady is trying to hog attention away from the former President of the United States of America--is how sloppily dressed most, if not all, of the interns are.

I like to think that if I were going to have my picture taken with the former President of the United States of America I would wear my very best clothes...

And hope that the photographer would have the common sense to organize everyone better than seen above.

Tom Head said...

What you do and don't care about isn't my business; I'm posting my thoughts, which is what I assume the comments field is for. And I'm not all that crazy about Clinton, either, but if you're going to go after bloggers for being honored to be in his presence, it doesn't really seem all that sensible to act as if he's the only person in the room worth talking about. From a feminist perspective, I don't think he deserves to tie Jessica Valenti's bootlaces. Do you seriously disagree with that sentiment?


Cheers,

TH

Lexie said...

Ann: What? It's not a post about how anyone looks? Gee, I didn't really get that vibe from this:
"I'm judging you by your apparent behavior. It's not about the smiling, but the three-quarter pose and related posturing." No mention of playing up to Clinton at all. Hmm. Odd.

I'm not saying that you're not entitled to feel however you want to about bloggers being "honored" by having lunch with a man who was once leader of the free world. I'm just saying that you're original comments towards Jessica didn't express any type of that sentiment, and it's silly to try to argue that they did. I'm sure you can see the problem of judging someone based on how they stand.

the Rising Jurist said...

[I]t doesn't really seem all that sensible to act as if he's the only person in the room worth talking about.

But who is Jessica Valenti? I had never heard of her before today. From her own blog, I see she is a 27-year-old feminist (as if that's a profession), with a Masters Degree. So she's been out in the real world for maybe 4 years, tops. And in that time she's ticked off a laundry list of work with the big players in the women's movement. I'd be more impressed by one long stint with a respectable think tank (or even a reputable periodical).

She may be a rising star in the young feminist community, but I don't think she has earned the title "intellectual heavyweight." And her own contribution to these comments does nothing to dissuade me.

Ann Althouse said...

Mr. Head: Your fetishistic image of Clinton, Jessica, and bootlaces says more about you than anything else.

Furious|T| said...

Ann, this post wasn't petty enough. Try harder next time.

Melissa Pang said...

I'm truly amazed that this bland, corporate-style photo is arousing such ire. The physical position of Jessica is both (a) a perfect mirror image of the female beside her and (b) disinteresting and (c) irrelevant. Maybe I'm too far removed from the feminist community, but I find this photo rather dull and its commentary utterly perplexing - both its existence and its content.

Honestly, I think some of you should take the afternoon off and watch some teenage-targeted television, and maybe that'll give you some perspective on this image. You've gone off the deep end and are finding things objectionable that that are actually neutral and unimportant.

I mean, this is like finding something morally reprehensible about a pattern in office carpet.

I suggest devoting those irrepressible feminist energies of yours, Ann, to something that actually has some affect on the planet.

Ace said...

As I said in another blog: It'd be a much bigger honor for me to pose next to Jessica Valenti than Bill Clinton. The fact that y'all don't recognize her is to my mind more problematic from a feminist perspective than whether or not she's standing nearest the former president, or non-orthogonically in proportion to the camera.


Hilarious.

Thanks for the laughs.

dmbeaster said...

I'm judging you by your apparent behavior. It's not about the smiling, but the three-quarter pose and related posturing... and posing in front of him like that irks me...

You have to be beyond Clinton obsessed to make this nonsensical comment.

Who has the problem if an attractive young women being photographed in a crowd with Clinton provokes such rantings?

dmbeaster said...

p.s. Comparing this picture to the Harris' behavior (I assume in the video of an interview shortly after her boob job in which she pointedly profiles herself throughout the interview, even though it required an awkward stance to do so), makes no sense either.

Robert-Paul said...

I agree that this post is depressing. Stupid, banal, and pointless.

don't you have better things to write about? If not, I suggest you stop blogging.

Sean said...

Hey Ann,

Why no comment about the last woman on the left? She is also in a three quarter pose and she also has committed the sin of having breasts. Why isn't her "behavior" questionable?

Clinton has a penis!! And he was standing near a woman with breasts!!

Your insight is truly yawn inspiring.

Bob said...

You should be mortified that you even started this discussion.

"three-quarter pose and related posturing"

I count at least 5 people in three-quarter poses. And where does "related posturing" come from in that photo?

Lame.

Leila said...

I am a feminist, 44. I don't care for Bill or Hilary all that much. I think the question about where were all the bloggers of color is valid. BUT... Criticizing that young woman for her looks, her pose or her clothes is *NOT* a feminist position. It's woman-bashing and I don't like it. Yuk.

ethan said...

Ann:

You're a sad person.

I feel sorry for you.

mdhatter said...

wow. Intern jokes.

the desperation is now tangible.

thank you.

Ed said...

To recap for those who have apparently missed the whole point: the problem isn't the way that any of the people is dressed (although if one is going to meet a former head of state of any nation, formal attire is de rigeur) nor how anyone is posed.

The problem is that someone who self-identifies as a feminist is cheerfully having lunch, and cheerfully having her picture taken, with a man who is a probable rapist and who definitely sexually harassed his employee.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled logical fallacies.

David Manus said...

Any reasonable person looking at that pic would have to say this girl is standing so her bewbs are profiled to the best advantage- yeah, the lady on the left is standing the same way, but she's on the outer rim of the group. This Hooter's girl in grey has her back on half the congregation- she's nearly in the center and she's standing in profile.

It just looks bizarre. She probably didn't realize how ridiculous she looked.

The bigger matter is all these rabid "progressives", of the ilk that regularly condemns Joe L. to be ousted from the party, kissing up to the man who probably did more damage to the "progressive" cause than any other single person in the last 20+ years.

And that's beside the fact feminists like June Cleavage whine about everything from studies that show women who have children live longer to the the fact they can't register a t-shirt catchphrase with the word "cum" but they don't seem at all put off by (at _least) an admitted serial sexual harasser and possible rapist. But then girls like her are more worried about lewd jokes in the American workplace than Iranians stoning young girls to death.

Can't Look But Can't Look Away said...

Ann Althouse has a reputation as being a kindergarden level thinker, and this thread just proves why... and the majority of the commentators aren't much better either. Let's just look at the FACTS shall we?

1.) Neither Bill Clinton nor the Bloggers in question arranged the picture themselves, did they? Because they are IN it. You might have an argument if you could state exactly who it was who did, especially if you could prove that person worked for either the Clinton Campaign or the Blogger you are all burning at the stake. But the Photographer isn't even named in this thread. You don't know who he or she even is, let alone what their motives in arranging this picture were.

2.) But... Putting the men behind the women is a tradition as old as photography itself. Because men on average tend to be TALLER than women. Do I even need to supply supporting evidence for this?

3.) The brunnette woman has very attractive breasts, which is why you all look at her... It's Selection Bias, so much so that it blinds you to the fact that HER POSE ISNT EVEN UNIQUE WITHIN THIS INDIVIDUAL PICTURE. At least two other women are standing in a side on pose too. Of course, you don't spot them because you don't get any vicarious thrills from looking at them. Whereas our subject well, "She's asking for the attention" isn't she? She probably deserves all the abuse heaped upon her.

4.) But Bill Clinton, very bad man.

5.) Miss Althouse then goes on to talk about the pliability of Bloggers, why Journalism of her school is apparently so much better... But is there a link to what the event actually TALKED ABOUT? What the Bloggers actually said after the fact? Nope. No contex for yoooooou! Here's a picture instead. And although one should not address the point too openly, Journalistic standards you know, if you look carefully one might see two rather inopportune points...

That's IT? That's the whole point of this thread? Haven't any of you learnt to understand the existance of, shock-horror, breasts yet? Are you all still stuck in that childhood world where the relative size of third person mammaries defines your entire world view and social stature? Meeting with a former President or obsessing about someone you've never even spoken too's tits? And you lot think YOU are more relevant and classy?

The Undistinguished Gentleman said...

tjl: Take another look at the photo and observe who is standing in front of Bill.

Aha! I see your point. They cleverly arranged the photo so that the shortest person there would be standing in front of Bill Clinton.

The cads.

Laini Taylor said...

I've never read your blog before and probably never will again, but it's irritating you're getting publicity for being snarky and dredging up irrelevant old issues under the guise of some kind of feminist watchdog bullshit. Leave the boobs alone.

Ann Althouse said...

Laini: Unfortunately, I'm giving Jessica publicity, and this is much more of a benefit to her than for me, so that theory's shot to hell. Try reading more of the posts, and maybe you'll grasp some new ideas, possibly even the point of the post.

roula said...

Nope, Jessica's definitely also giving you publicity. At least for some of us. I've never been here before, and I'm a little disappointed with myself now that I have. Jeez.

I'm just saying, if you really had Important Points to make -- such as, a starry-eyed meeting with Bill Clinton may not gel with your actual politics, which I think is legit -- then why on earth would you make the main event a clump of snide personal remarks that really DON'T make an important point, unless you were too wrapped up in your snideness to realize its likely effect?

It doesn't play well to start playing feminist-police against feminists (by saying "NICE BOOBS, SLUT," no less!) when you're probably only doing it BECAUSE she's a feminist and pisses you off. Come to think of it, if you accept the plaudits from doceasel, who criticizes Jessica over mountain vs molehill ("Iranians stoning women vs sexist jokes"), you might also recognize that you're sneering at something you mostly cooked up, and ignoring ALL THE OTHER UN-FEMINIST STUFF WOMEN DO ALL THE TIME, which I noticed you don't talk about enough, so you must be a hypocrite, just like Jessica. Did I get all that, DW?

Patriarch Verlch said...

A woman with boobs...that is so weird...bu then so is this sad, sad, post..

The Undistinguished Gentleman said...

Laini: I've never read your blog before and probably never will again, but it's irritating you're getting publicity for being snarky and dredging up irrelevant old issues under the guise of some kind of feminist watchdog bullshit. Leave the boobs alone.

Althouse: Unfortunately, I'm giving Jessica publicity, and this is much more of a benefit to her than for me, so that theory's shot to hell. Try reading more of the posts, and maybe you'll grasp some new ideas, possibly even the point of the post.

Of course. By insulting Jessica of Feministing as being shallow, or consorting with former Presidents, or actually having the gall to have breasts and not tape them down, you're "giving her publicity" and doing her a favor.

I think that it's fair to say that Jessica deserves better favors.

Whetstone said...

Don't flatter yourself, Ms. Althouse. This post--and your behavior following it--makes me ill.

If you had any honor, you'd apologize to Jessica. It's clear that you are ignorant of feminism, have serious body issues, and more arrogance than sense.

I'm stunned. You teach women her age. I hope you hold them to different standards in person than you do in photographs.

You need to apologize before you write another word.

I'm really just stunned. I often disagree with you, but this is the first time you've ever done anything morally abhorrent.

Nittacci said...

Ann Althouse said...
...and posing in front of him like that irks me, as a feminist.

"as a feminist."

Bwahahaha*snort*hahaha*ohjeez*haha.

She said "as a feminist."

Hoohoohahaha.

mdhatter said...

Ed,

your continued seething anger with Bill Clinton is very reassuring.

thank you, please continue to focus on Clinton and stay out of the grownups way.

thank you.

mdhatter said...

Ann Althouse said:

"Unfortunately, I'm giving Jessica publicity, and this is much more of a benefit to her than for me... "

Were I you, I would look in the mirror before blaming her, us, or anyone not named ann althouse for that distinction.

Tex Lovera said...

Anne-

An excellent post. Some folks can't handle seeing their hero's feet of clay, or the mind-twisting contorions of his supporters.

Norwegianity said...

I spent the best part of a decade in a tire factory back in the '70s when women were fighting for equal pay and opportunities. They put up with catcalls, ass patting and worse, but frankly, nothing in the factory was as unforgivably rude as the "Christians" in this comment thread passing judgment on others based on their looks only.

I left the Republican party when it became a haven for the disgraced racists thrown out by the Democrats, but I had no idea that the GOP had also lost ALL of its class along with its principles.

This is a standard photo of people arranged by height. Your comment thread however, is a snapshot of the ugly right stooping to insulting complete strangers for cheap jokes. I've never seen so much one-handed typing in my life.

C. JoDI said...

Oh, to be young and attractive again, eh, Ann?

Ann Althouse said...

C. JoDI, you've contributed a sexist, ageist comment, which I won't delete, because I want people to see the hypocrisy. Aren't you the liberal?

Sophist said...

C. JoDI, you've contributed a sexist, ageist comment, which I won't delete, because I want people to see the hypocrisy. Aren't you the liberal?

But don't you see Ann? He's not judging you by your age or sex. (Don't be ridiculous.) He's quite clearly judging you by your apparent behavior, which is totally different action and to which no criticism could possibly attach.

p.s. It's funny, though, that while the women just to her right is wearing an equally form fitting top, is at an angle to the camera, and is also directly in front of Clinton, no one has yet commented on her breasts. I wonder why that is?

Nicki said...

Count me among those who are disappointed,Ann. I am an infrequent reader of your blog, and I have never really seen feminism as one of your primary attributes. In fact, I had you pegged as a conservative women who likes to claim feminism as the basis for policies which actually limit women's opportunities. So, you're simply reinforcing that view.

As a feminist, I would expect Valenti to take an opportunity to get together with other bloggers and hone her craft. I would also expect her to be interested in a figure who was a prominent fixture in public affairs for roughly 15 years. Because that's what feminism is about -- supporting women in their aspirations and activities, rather than sniping about what they wear while they do it.

tiny said...

Hey! Look! Those two guys are holding their huge packages. Quick, somebody do a post about John Aravosis and his shameless exploitation of their maleness.

Ann Althouse said...

Nicki: I'd loke bloggers to hone their craft, but what this post is about is how they're so awed by a political celebrity that they just beam and gush. I want them to develop acute observations and write about them in sharp language. I'm just not seeing that. I don't want to read the writing of fans and political hacks.

Ann Althouse said...

Uh, "tiny," have you got a problem?

Tilde said...

A woman's breasts, like her womb, have magical powers over the minds of others, and so must be controlled. Others will discuss the problem and get back to Jessica with their decision.

censor1126 said...

Anne: I agree with you. We need to send some money to this impious blogger so that she buy herself a nice Burka.

Do you have any colors recommendations, for black burkas are a little to much for America, maybe a pink burka will do?

kurichina said...

Meow.

Nicki said...

Anne, that's what your post was about. But your comments are another matter, and they're catty. As the saying goes, you should not be surprised to become dirty when you lie down with the pigs. You can -- and sometimes do -- much better.

I'll be back, and hope to see the higher road taken.

PeaceBang said...

Ann! Never met you before, never read a word you've written, and never will again.

You just want bloggers to hone their craft? Yes. Absotootly. As long as they don't have great bodies and wear form-fitting garments while they do it.

You just won PeaceBang's Asshat of the Week Award! Congratulations!

Jacky Tar said...

Anne ranted: Nicki: I'd loke bloggers to hone their craft, but what this post is about is how they're so awed by a political celebrity that they just beam and gush. I want them to develop acute observations and write about them in sharp language. I'm just not seeing that. I don't want to read the writing of fans and political hacks.

Anne, here's a clue - sometimes blogging is just for fun. Sometimes they don't want to write in 'sharp language'. And if you don't want to read the writing of fans and political hacks - don't! The 'Web is vast; look elsewhere for someone or something in which you may stick your pins.

Ann Althouse said...

Jacky: Nicki raised the question on bloggers "honing their craft," which isn't the same as just blogging for fun. Hence, your criticism is misplaced... and hardly funloving.

drumgurl said...

Ann, if you are looking for a feminist to say that Clinton is a pig who disrespects women, then I am proud to say it. But I am curious... how could you, as a feminist, vote for him? TWICE? I was too young to vote in 1996, but I would not have voted for him anyway.

Personally, I would rather stand next to the guy than vote for him. Who is the hypocrite?

pb said...

The low point of the Blewinski scandal for me was seeing Betty Friedan (I had just read The Feminine Mystique) explain on CNN that you don't go after everyone who gropes: "After all, Bobby Packwood did us a lot of good." Domestic politics doesn't get any lower than that. (In foreign affairs, sadly, realpolitik with the morally challenged is more of a rule.)

I will note something else no one has pointed out: In the large flickr.com JPEG of this picture, the texture of her top makes her boobs far less noticeable: artifacts created by shrinking the JPEG makes them stand out a lot more. That said, Jessica seems to be in near-schizophrenic denial that posing for a photo in such a top in front of Bill Clinton is like me posing in front of Gerald Ford with a half-unpeeled banana in my hand. It isn't half about her (though she and some of the guys are way underdressed to meet an impeccably turned-out former President), it's who she's standing in front of. Had this lunch been an outdoors barbecue, likely no one would have noticed.

Ann's original post was entirely tame. She didn't even connect the dots. Likewise, the comments on that post are quite tame until until Li'l Miss Can't Be Wrong shows up, whereupon everything goes south rather quickly.

Bint Alshamsa said...

After seeing this post referenced on several other sites, I came here expecting to see where Ann called Jessica everything but a child of God. Instead, it seems to be much ado about nothing. Here's how I see it:

If I had been anyone who worked for either the former President or Senator Clinton, I'd have found a way to make sure that, regardless of height, Jessica was not positioned where she was just as if I were an employee for Bush, I'd never let him be photographed next to a banner for that Mission Impossible movie; Any failure to consider the impact of such a picture will almost assuredly result in jokes or criticism that simply isn't to the politician's advantage.

Do I think Jessica looks ridiculous in this photo? Yep. All of the people in that picture look absurd to me but it has nothing to do with anyone's goofy pose. The reason why they look so foolish to me is because I've had the chance to read what several of them have had to say about this visit which provides a lot of insight on what sort of people they are.

Like many others, I do not see how this meeting did anything positive for feminism. For me, it's not about how Jessica's breasts looked; It's about the fact that, a self-professed feminist was so obviously delighted to be able to schmooze and pose with a man who used his position of power to sexually harrass women--women that looked just like her.

The part I don't understand is this: Who did Jessica think she was aligning herself with when she decided to be a part of this picture? If she truly believes that a woman deserves to be seen as more than a collection of sexually-appealing body parts, then why would she choose to associate herself with Clinton of all people? It just doesn't make sense. Then today when I visited her website I see this post: http://feministing.com/archives/005708.html#c51169

Now, can someone please explain to me how Jessica could have a post on her site talking about how a woman posed nude in some photographs and still have some justifiable complaint about people discussing her breasts? Am I the only one who noticed that the link on that post is to another post entitled "Somebody Slap this Slut"?

Given all of this, I see her gripe regarding a discussion about her breasts to be quite hypocritical. If Ann's post was as "un-feminist" as Jessica seems to think, then what should we think of what's on her website? How can someone with a blog featuring a discussion about how a woman's nude photos showed her "open wide" really have room to complain about this post? I'd love to hear some of those who are so offended by Ann's post show how that's logical.

As for the idea that Clinton should have felt honored to be in the room with these bloggers, all I can say is this: I think that all of these people deserved each other because I figure every politician needs sheeple who support him and Peter Daou went out and found Clinton a group of bloggers who were willing to sell out progressive causes in order have the opportunity to take that photo.

Ann, since I gave up on feministing months ago when the writing on the wall came in the form of Jessica

1.decided to allow her readers to repeatedly make racist comments to a blogger that she had interviewed

and

2. leaving this interview (along with the despicable comments) on the site despite the interviewee's request for feministing to remove the post since she no longer wanted to be associated with what they were willing to allow there.

That means I have a little more time to explore other blogs. You can count me in as one of those who will be returning again after reading this post.

fatwalker said...

Disgusting that women are there at all. Give them a little room and they become in front of everything.

NYMOM said...

Unfortunately, you can't always speak the truth without hurting someone's feelings.

Anyway, looking at the picture I'd have to agree with you 100%...Clearly she posed herself smack dab, right in the middle of the whole darn picture for maximum exposure of HERSELF and her boobs...

AND I think that's the point people are missing. Everytime women do this in order to get attention for their bodies, they take away attention from the more serious issues that are usually taking place...

This is not just an issue on the left either. I've seen Ann Coulter numerous times on tv wearing a too-short skirt and between that and the bleached blond hair she manages to keep the attention off the issue as the men she converses with attempt to try to avoid looking up her dress...

Women need to focus on the serious issues not trying to get attention for their boobs, butts or legs.

I read somewhere that about 90% of bloggers are doing it to meet someone online. This is a perfect example of what they were talking about. A young woman hyjacking a serious event so she could advertise her availability to men...

Thank you for having the courage to bring this up...

Ann Althouse said...

Bint, NY Mom: Thanks.

The Law Fairy said...

Oh Good Lord.

First of all, I agree with the others who point out that Ann is acting in a manner unfit for a professor. There have been valid points raised here about the bloggers' political hypocrisy and whatnot, but the pose (which she likely took after at least some minimal direction from the photographer) is irrelevant. There is virtually no good reason to raise it, unless we're doing a post on posture (and Jessica's appears to be reasonably good, from the photo).

Here's the important point I can't believe no one's raised yet: the comments here are borderline (or perhaps even past it) ad hominem. As I *really hope* you know, Ann, ad hominem arguments are a logical fallacy. Want to see how this is ad hominem? Here:

1. Jessica is a feminist.

2. Jessica is a female.

3. Jessica is acting in an allegedly un-feminist manner.

4. Therefore, Jessica is a silly girl (the most adult criticism I've seen here is "hypocrite"; most of what I've seen does not rise to that level, however. I think the best catchphrase for the heart of the accusations here is "silly girl").

Do you see how this works? Jessica's not allowed to have her photo taken with Bill Clinton because she is a female feminist. We'll put aside the blindingly obvious political problems with this (e.g., holding the woman accountable for others' actions and perceptions, as in "well, if she didn't want to get raped she shouldn't have dressed that way; she was asking for it") and focus on the ad hominem problem. The criticisms about her standing near Bill Clinton don't have anything to do with her reasons for going, or her synopsis of the meeting, or her opinions about Bill Clinton. I have a picture of myself with Al Gore taken when I was a kid -- Mom took it because she figured he'd be super-important someday, and it would be cool to have a picture with someone important and powerful. This in spite of the fact that both my parents are *avowed* Republicans. Somehow by your calculation I take it this makes my mom a hypocrite... Bizarre, but we're all entitled to our opinions, I suppose.

Anyway, if Jessica were a male feminist (and if only there were more of those), I can't imagine she'd be greeted by this sort of criticism. This is a typical case of blaming a woman when your problem is with a man. It's ad hominem because you're trying to claim that the problem stems from the fact that Jessica is a feminist, and a woman. What does that have to do with posing for a photo op with a former U.S. president, of which there have been less than fifty in the history of the world? The answer: nothing. Political leaders ROUTINELY pose with people of whom they've been outspoken critics. They routinely dine with them and talk to them and even say fake nice things to their face and inquire after their families as though they gave a shit. And yet I don't see you calling all these MALE leaders "hypocrites" for it.

Ann, what is your *real* problem with Jessica, and how *precisely* does this problem tie in with "how" she is posing in the picture, even *if* we *assume* she posed that way on her own, with no direction whatsoever from a photographer?

drumgurl said...

So why *did* you vote for Clinton, Ann? I mean, if you're such a feminist?

Ann Althouse said...

Redneck: I voted for Clinton in 1992 and 1996. The Lewinsky events were after that, in 1998 and 1999.

Law Fairy: That's long but so loaded with distortions, I can't begin to respond. You need to have the decency to get what I said straight, and you have not done that.

The Law Fairy said...

Here, I'll boil it down using direct quotes to make it easier for you.

Ann: "Well, Jessica, you do appear to be "posing." Maybe it's just an accident." (clear implication here that "posing" is somehow the issue)

Ann: "Jessica: I'm not judging you by your looks. (Don't flatter yourself.) I'm judging you by your apparent behavior. It's not about the smiling, but the three-quarter pose and related posturing, the sort of thing people razz Katherine Harris about. I really don't know why people who care about feminism don't have any edge against Clinton for the harm he did to the cause of taking sexual harrassment seriously, and posing in front of him like that irks me, as a feminist. So don't assume you're the one representing feminist values here. Whatever you call your blog...."

How I read this: the problem is 1) she is "posing" and 2) as a feminist, she should not "pose" for a picture with Bill Clinton.

My point remains: would you have the same issue with a male feminist? If not, your "argument" is ad hominem.

(And I look forward to hearing about the difference between men who "pose" in pictures a la Katherine Harris, and those who don't)

Ann Althouse said...

Law Fairy: What sort of pose? What would the comparable thing for a man be? Anyway, I don't agree that objecting to a woman adopting a breast-enhancing pose in front of Clinton is ad hominem. It is a general type of behavior. What would it mean for a man to do the same thing? But yes, I have a problem with the male bloggers sucking up to Clinton the way they did. I made fun of one of them in this post (the guy who gushed over the blue eyes). I don't mind that bloggers went to the lunch, just that they blogged so lamely. It was all just, wow, I met Clinton. He was great. That was lame. They totally deserved to be made fun of for that. The photo was laughable, which I pointed out. Jessica chose to show up and make herself the issue, to claim everyone was talking about her looks, and even to admit she was posing. So, really, what are you talking about?

drumgurl said...

Ann: What about Paula Jones? Did you not hear her story in 1994, like the rest of us?

And then there's always Gennifer Flowers. Her allegations were made in 1992, prior to the election.

So really... why did you vote for Clinton? I hear NOW is looking for members if you want to join the hypocrisy.

Ann Althouse said...

Redneck: I had voted for Democrats since 1972, so the presumption in favor of them was quite strong. Frankly, I cared little that Clinton had an affair (with Flowers). Didn't George HW Bush also have an affair? I thought he did. And basically, I don't vote for President based on who's more sexually pure. The Paula Jones things were too low profile to have caused me to switch to the other side in 1996, though I have a lot of affection for Bob Dole.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm closing this comment thread. Tired of monitoring comments on this topic.