November 10, 2006

Outed and out.

Unrelated, presumably. Maher outs Mehlman. Mehlman to step down.

I've always liked Mehlman, but I thought he looked awfully worn out on election night.

59 comments:

Gerry said...

"Unrelated, presumably"

I assume you mean that Maher's being a dick and Mehlman's stepping down are presumably unrelated.

But, perhaps, things like this also play into your depression about the election? That you know the party you used to support, that you wish would reform itself with regard to national security, also has a base which has gotten quite sleazy? And that the success of this election will only embolden them in this regard, and make things like this more common, not less?

Dave said...

Wait.

Haggard's gay.

Now the chair of the Republican national committee is gay?

So....gays are resolute in their claim that no Republicans are gay and conservatives are resolute in their claim that being gay is immoral...

And yet...

Explain to me how any of this is logical?

Gerry said...

This would be fantastic, if it comes to be.

And Dean would continue to duck in perpetuity.

Pogo said...

The Democrats repeatedly expressed their horror that the government might be listening in on phone calls or viewing financial transactions. The core argument was about invasion of privacy.

But Maher reveals the true Party doctrine: privacy exists only for the nomenklatura of democrats. Everything else is public.

One only has to read the stories of ordinary citizens suffering under communist governance to see how similar it is to the manner in which the Dems treat non-Party members, and to imagine how they would enforce national compliance with any agenda they enact.

Anything is fair game to these people, and their only plan is power.

Too Many Jims said...

Gerry,

I hope Prof. Althouse and others hold the Democratic party to account for the nefarious things that Maher says and does to the same extent that they hold the Republican party to account for the things that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter say and do. (Though it does seem that Limbaugh/Hannity/Coulter are much more involved in carrying water for the Republicans than Maher is for the Dems.)

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I guess this explains why Bush's fix-ups for Ken with Condi were a bust.

al said...

Michael Steele as the head of the RNC would be awesome.

As for Maher - it seems strange to me that some people delight in outing people, who for whatever reason, have chosen not to come out publicly.

Too Many Jims said...

Pogo,

You have to be smart enough to see a difference between the government intruding on communications between two people and a private citizen revealing something. But thanks for comparing governance under dems to a communist regime, that is as helpful to the discussion (and as accurate) as comparing Republicans to fascists.

Just to be clear, I think "outing" is stupid and wrong. I think Maher was a dick for doing it.

The Tiger said...

This really wasn't news. Rumours about it had been going around for quite some time.

So I doubt it had an impact. Mehlman's out because (a) he didn't get the job done and (b) he has other things to do. (Work for Giuliani, maybe?)

knoxgirl said...

Though it does seem that Limbaugh/Hannity/Coulter are much more involved in carrying water for the Republicans than Maher is for the Dems

Horseshit. Maher has become mind-numbingly boring in his far-left liberal--not libertarian, which he claims to be--take on every. single. issue since Bush took office.

And if you don't approve of his outing Mehlmann, you have a funny way of showing it. Your posts are more critical of commenters here than they are of Maher.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that people like Bill Maher are on television. Maher is stupid and talentless and is always flapping his jaws. He is like a cold sore that won't go away.

MadisonMan said...

So am I the only one who didn't think Maher was really serious? Granted, I just read the transcript. Maybe the body language said something different. If he did mean to out him, well, that's inexcusably rude.

But I do think they're unrelated. If the Democrats had lost, I'd expect turnover at the top. The Republicans lost, so the guy directing the elections is out. This is a surprise?

knoxgirl said...

RS: Yes, he has nothing interesting to offer anymore. The video version of Air America. Lots of ranting, not much else.

reader_iam said...

Madisonman: When I saw the show, it seemed Maher was serious to me. And I did it see it, the whole thing.

This really wasn't news. Rumours about it had been going around

No offense to the commenter, but I really can't stand this rationalization. I can understand other arguments, pro and con, for the sort of outing that's going on, but this one I just can't abide. That rationalization--not argument--could be used used in all sorts of situations, and it would be self-serving in every one.

The existence of rumors means people gossip, period, but justifies nothing, before or after the fact.

Oh, and I'm against these "outings, and I found Maher's delivery to be especially cheap and "oh well-ish," especially in a context in which he was saying he was planning to name names (emphasis plural) on an upcoming show.

Internet Ronin said...

MadisonMan: Perhaps you missed it, but Maher claimed that he was going to out more people on his next show, to be aired tonight. We shall see.

But, as the tiger says, I thought this was already well-known (or assumed) about Mehlman.

Zeb Quinn said...

(Though it does seem that Limbaugh/Hannity/Coulter are much more involved in carrying water for the Republicans than Maher is for the Dems.)

Puh-leeeeeeeeze. Both sides have their water carriers, and when it comes to the mainstream media and popular culture outlets, those carrying the Democrat's water outnumber those for the Republicanss by at least 20 to 1. As for Maher, if he seem punier in this respect it's only on account of the fact that he is puny by nature and therefore gets lost in the crowd. The Republicans have a relative few, and as such they stand out.

And am I the only one who thinks that dave needs a personality transplant?

MadisonMan said...

Well, I won't be watching Maher's show anytime soon. What a moron. Of course, I wasn't watching it before either. What an especially horrible way to earn TV ratings -- by revealing the secrets of others.

Reminds me of Michael Palin's blackmail sketch on Monty Python.

LoafingOaf said...

It is unfortunate that people like Bill Maher are on television. Maher is stupid and talentless and is always flapping his jaws. He is like a cold sore that won't go away

I think Maher laughs to the bank for the cushy gig he's got. Never has to worry about ratings, is on vacation 90% of the year, doesn't spend any time preparing for interviews, stacks the audience with people who will applaud anything he says, and just repeats the same mantras over and over.

Having a show on HBO provides an opportunity to do whatever you want without worrying about censorhip or attracting a massive audience. Why doesn't HBO hire someone who'd put effort into it and take advantage of the opportunity? I don't think Maher gives a crap about his show. His team of writers comes up with a few "new rules" and he rants about how Iraq needs Saddam back in power, Clinton is cool because he got blow jobs, and Bush is dumb, then heads to the Playboy mansion to get laid.

And he's always saying how pro-science he is compared with all the dumb people in the GOP. This is a man who once said for PETA: “To those people who say, `My father is alive because of animal experimentation,’ I say `Yeah, well, good for you. This dog died so your father could live.’ Sorry, but I am just not behind that kind of trade off." So Maher is against quite a bit of cancer and AIDS research that scientists say is important, it's just that his anti-medical-progress views are leftist, but no less religious-like.

Too Many Jims said...

knoxgirl said... And if you don't approve of his outing Mehlmann, you have a funny way of showing it. Your posts are more critical of commenters here than they are of Maher.

Let's see, I said: "I think "outing" is stupid and wrong. I think Maher was a dick for doing it."

I wasn't critical of gerry at all. I was critical of Pogo, but that is because it annoys me when dems compare republicans to Nazis and it annoys me republicans compare dems to marxists.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Pogo: The Democratic Party did not out anyone, nor did it support or applaud the outing of anyone.

Mehlman's sexuality has been more open of an open secret than, say, Foley's. He has been asked and always just declines to answer. I don't think this should come as a big surprise for most political types.

While outing isn't nice and it doesn't reflect well on the person doing the outing, its hard for me to understand how talking about this kind of information is really very shocking, especially when its a pretty open secret. I'm frankly impressed that the media has been able to refrain from discussing the issue for so long. We get daily updates on the sex lives of all kinds of public figures, from Paris Hilton to Prince Charles. Why should the fact of one's homosexuality be more privileged than, say, who they're dating or sleeping with or having kids with or cheating on?

You can decry this star-stalking media culture, and its nice to dream about a world where the only coverage we have of public figures is of the stuff they choose to do in public. But the market has created this culture and I don't see it getting any less intrusive anytime soon. For someone like Mehlman, who has been a pretty big public figure in the Bush administration, I'd frankly expect that he'd get more coverage of his private life than he has gotten. The reason he hasn't gotten more coverage seems to be some special exception the media have created for closeted gays that exempts them from the usual saturation coverage of the sex lives and romantic entanglements of our public figures.

I haven't seen the Maher clip and I'm sure part of the motivation was to attract attention to himself and to strengthen his own image as someone who will say the things no one else will. But on the other hand, I can see Maher thinking something like "Oh, c'mon, everyone knows he's gay so let's just talk honestly about it instead of pretending its that shameful love that dare not speak its name."

The partisan moderate said...

Maybe Maher will provide more evidence on his show but Ken Mehlman has at times denied it and other times just said it wasn't appropriate to answer. There were rumors Scott McClellan was gay because he supposedly had hung out in Austin gay bars. The rumors were put to rest when he got... married... to a woman.

Furthermore, Mehlman appears to be relatively socially liberal so I am not sure what is to be gained by Maher by "outing" him, if it is true. Maher sees to take the position that anyone who is not for gay marriage is someone who is bigotted despite the fact that this whole push for gay marriage is a relatively recent movement.

Ann, I am surprised that you would post something that you don't know to be true? It is like hearing a rumor in grade school (which usually turns out not to be true) and continuing to spread it, no matter what the repercussions.

Maye Ken is a hypocrite, I don't know but people shouldn't be spreading unsubstantiated rumors.

Pogo said...

Re: "You have to be smart enough to see a difference between the government intruding on communications between two people and a private citizen revealing something."

Of course, but the tendency for intolerance in the Democratic party bodes poorly for the kind of government they would give us. Maher, Moore, Franken, the NYTimes, LATimes, WaPO and others like them are the media arm of the Democrats. So Maher isn't just some joe in bar telling another schmoe that "Mehlman's gay", He's outting Mehlman on a pro-dem national news channel for political purposes.

Surely you're smart enough to see that. The tie-in to leftist politics (e.g. Lenin) is obvious. The US Left did this all the time in the 1960s and 70s. It's their slash-and-burn view that the personal is political that ought to scare the shit out of people.

reader_iam said...

For someone like Mehlman, who has been a pretty big public figure in the Bush administration, I'd frankly expect that he'd get more coverage of his private life than he has gotten.

I guess I've missed something. We get lots of coverage over the private lives of political administrators and staffers? Since when?

Who the hell would want that beat? I mean, we're not talking Hollywood celebrities here, or even Paris Hilton.

Sex lives of wonks and administrators! Film at 11! [or, worse: The series continues!]

Please, by all that's holy, spare us.

reader_iam said...

Maybe it could be a reality show ... and Ann could liveblog it!

Each season, there would be the Faye Dunaway character and the William Holden character (remember that sex scene in "Network"?), and ... .

Internet Ronin said...

reader_iam: Thanks for aying what I was thinking, and much more forcefully, too!

I can just imagine if the press started reporting all they know about the private lives of politicians and the staff working in Congress. Add to that the private lives of all the career officials in the different departments.

Joseph Hovsep said...

reader_iam: The Paris Hiltons of the world are sexier and do a lot more self-promotion, but the media also routinely asks about the romantic lives of and covers the sex lives of such notable inside-the-Beltway hotties as Henry Hyde, Condi Rice, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich. There's plenty of coverage of the sex lives of people you wouldn't want to think about actually having sex.
Mehlman ran Bush's reelection campaign and then the chaired the RNC. I guess you can call him a political administrator, but he's a pretty public one. I'm not saying we SHOULD care about his sex life or that the media SHOULD cover it, I'm just saying it seems consistent with the other things they cover without shame.

Pogo said...

Re: "I'm just saying it seems consistent with the other things they cover without shame."

But only covering it if it's pro-Democrat. The sexual proclivities of democrats aren't on the news. Married democrats who are bisexual don't get outed by the leftist press, unless they oppose SSM.

The politics of personal destruction appears to be a plank in the Democratic party platform. Just watch what can happen when they get access to medical records under National Health Care. And you thought telephone spying was a threat. Ha!

Joe Baby said...

Bill Maher.

I remember when he used to practice being a comedian.

A smug man, always over at Hef's, trying to hook that older, weird Playmate who reeks of halitosis.

Now on LKL, outing himself as despicable.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Pogo: The sexual proclivities of democrats aren't on the news.

Hmmm... I could spend a lot of time rebutting that ridiculous statement, but I think I'll just let it stand as a testament to your credibility.

Pogo said...

Joseph:

Do tell! Has Fox started a Dem Sex Lives show? Did I miss it? Did you TiVo?

Face it, this is a Leftist media propaganda tactic meant to shutter and silence gays, blacks, browns, women, and white who don't bow to the Democrats.

MadisonMan said...

Paris Hilton is not sexy. Unless sexy has been redefined to mean vapid.

Internet Ronin said...

MM: in her case, sexy is defined as $$$$$$$$. Lots of it makes anyone sexy. See Aristotle Onassis.

Charles said...

First a gay party chair, now an African-American.

Love my diverse, big tent party.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Um. As inventive a bunch of artisans the Republicans are and as much as I congratulate them for building the gay party chair, I hope the "African-American" isn't forced to sit in the "gay party chair". That would really set their image back.

Simon said...

MadisonMan,
Re Paris, on that much, we certainly agree.

dklittl said...

Pogo,

I can see that you are taking the election hard, but you are just swinging wildly in these comments. I must have missed the show that I guess you are describing as some Republican sexual witchunt. The same media that you speak of drove McGreeevey out of office, so how is it just Republicans again. There have been internet rumors for a few years about Perry in Texas and Crist in Florida, but nobody is reporting that. You need to stop with the paranoia.

Also, Maher is truly an ass, but if you ever saw his show before the Republicans used him as a 9/11 pinball you would know that he's no liberal or Democrat. At this point he just hates Republicans to a core, and after Ari Fleisher's "watch what you say" quote and the right's demand for his scalp, I kind of can't blame him.

Jimmy said...

Ridiculous. Maher didn't out anyone. Almot everybody that follows politics knows that Mehlman is gay. I knew Mehlman was gay simply by reading newspapers and political magazines. In fact I even mentioned it on the comments section of this blog. Ann deleted that post (possibly because she thought I was outing him though I was simply stating what was obvious.

Hey said...

Comparing Republicans to Nazis is a favoured trope of the Democratic House and Senate Leadership and an article of faith to their staffers. The fact that Dem staffers and activists have large majorities of socialists and marxists is a lie. Riiiiight.

The Dem base truly does want to do away with capitalism, and capitalists. Read any "alternative" weekly, or look at stock characters in media and entertainment. Business is bad. Government is good. Linking people like murder and Soviet agent Ted Kennedy with the crimes of Communism isn't a stretch. Nearly every left wing student group was subverted by the KGB. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, VVAW, etc were all Communist front groups. Jane Fonda and Ted Turner are but the most notorious examples of true blue communists working with and funding the "Democratic" party.

But saying all of this makes me a crazy right winger, never mind the Soviet archives.

johnstodderinexile said...

HBO should cancel Maher's show. He's not someone who deserves a public platform. He is a moral cretin and a creep.

By the way, I have it on excellent authority that Maher pleasures himself before each show and doesn't wash his hands afterward. I'm not making this up. I assume he's okay with my disclosing this. I didn't set the standard, he did.

Wade_Garrett said...

Pogo - The think you're missing is that Melhman's homosexuality was not private! Everybody in Washingon D.C. knew it, just like everybody in Washington D.C. knew that Mary Cheney was gay as far back as ten years ago, at least. The fact that most of his constituents didn't know he was gay doesn't mean that it was a secret. He wasn't "outed," not by a long shot. The conservative media is using that verb, "out" because they don't know what else to call it.

johnstodderinexile said...

The same media that you speak of drove McGreeevey out of office, so how is it just Republicans again.

That's untrue, which you probably know. McGreevey was driven out of office because the media was about to disclose that his lover was on the state payroll as a Homeland Security official, in a job he had no qualifications for. If McGreevey had simply been sleeping with some nice guy he met at a party, I doubt the media would have done anything with it. If McGreevey were a single man who put his girlfriend in a state homeland security job for which she had no qualifications, that would have been as much of a scandal as what in fact happened. The media hook was the governmental scandal, not the sexual one.

Pogo said...

Re: "but you are just swinging wildly in these comments. I must have missed the show that I guess you are describing as some Republican sexual witchunt."

My apologies. I thought we were discussing liberal Maher on liberal CNN with liberal Larry King outting Republican Mehlman. But everyone knew! So, you know, no foul. Must be why Maher brought it up, because, you know, he thought it was bland old unimportant information that was of no interest to anyone. Nope, not a political cheap shot in any way.

My bad. Thanks for clearing that up.

Maxine Weiss said...

Would you rather hear about :

1. The Economy

-or-

2. The personal Proclivities, Peccadiloes, and Predilections of Goverment Officials.

Wow, that's a tough choice, now isn't it?

Peace, Maxine

Internet Ronin said...

As John Stodder said, McGreevey was driven out of office because of good old-fashioned corruption. The ensuing circus was largely McGreevey's doing as well, as he attempted to alter the reality that he was corrupt by pretending he was being hounded for being gay. That might have played in the 1970's, but not the 21st century.

Internet Ronin said...

Hi Maxine - Proclivities and Predilictions provided they are properly prurient, of course ;-)

(P.S. Hope you saw my apology on another thread - wasn't criticizing you, just expressing surprise.)

Revenant said...

I find it darkly amusing that the left is (a) trying to drive gays out of the Republican leadership and (b) trying to appoint a homophobe to run the DNC.

LoafingOaf said...

dklittl: Also, Maher is truly an ass, but if you ever saw his show before the Republicans used him as a 9/11 pinball you would know that he's no liberal or Democrat.

He's a Democrat who says a few contrarian things (such as, inexplicably, that the Vietnam War was right-on) but is sounding more and more like a Green Party socialist (for example, his anti-rich rhetoric on his last show). His supposed libertarianism is mostly limited to sexual matters.

At this point he just hates Republicans to a core, and after Ari Fleisher's "watch what you say" quote and the right's demand for his scalp, I kind of can't blame him.

You need to check out this Slate column by Christopher Hitchens, where Hitch goes over the complete Fleischer transcript and shows how Fleischer was slandered: Fear Factor: How did we survive Ari Fleischer's reign of terror?
http://www.slate.com/id/2149377/?nav=tap3

You've taken Ari Fleischer out of context. It's not your fault; you're a victim of anti-Bush propaganda. As is so often the case (Plamegate, for example), your basis for justifying Maher's excessive hatred for Bush flows from your believing a lie about the Bush administration. Fleischer was asked about comments a Republican congressman made about people with diapers on their head that had upset Indians. Fleixher stated: The President's message is to all Americans. It's important for all Americans to remember the traditions of our country that make us so strong and so free, our tolerance and openness and acceptance. All Americans—and we come from a very rich cultural heritage, no matter what anybody's background in this country. And that's the strength of this country, and that's the President's message that he expressed in his speech to Congress and as he has done when he visited the mosque a week ago Monday, and in the meetings that he's hosting here at the White House today with Muslim Americans and Sikh Americans.

A few questions later he was asked about Maher, to which he said he didn't even know exactly what Maher had said. So he referred back to what he said about the Republican's politically incorrect comments and only meant to say that people be sensitive given what we all were going through. You call this Ari Fleischer calling for Maher's scalp and that is untrue.

TMink said...

Who exactly cares who is gay? Is it relevent to anything? Well, I care if my wife is gay, but aside from that????? Melman, is gay, OK. I don't care. I DO care that he did not deliver, but if he delivered he could be Queer for a day for all I care. Homosexuals can't be for smaller government? Fags can't be against getting married? This is America. Well for now anyway.

Trey

Mortimer Brezny said...

(b) trying to appoint a homophobe to run the DNC.

Harold Ford loves Jesus. That doesn't sound homphobic to me.

The partisan moderate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The partisan moderate said...

As I mention previously, no one has provided any kind of any evidence that Mehlman is gay other than that it has been rumored that he is.

When discussing someone's sexuality, I believe the characters of Jerry and George on Seinfeld's line is most apt: They deny profusely that they are gay before adding "not that there is anything wrong with it."

In other words, it is still considered a slur of sorts to be called gay. As a single straight male, I can't think of anyone who would like to be called gay, when they are not. While it shouldn't be considered a slur, it is, so Maher is in essence using a slur to potentially defame Mehlman.

It is disappointing that without any evidence as Maher lives in LA and doesn't know Mehlman personally he would allegations based on his rumored sexuality.

He (other than it is rumored on Capitol Hill) has never been spotted with a boyfriend (unlike Foley).

Once again, I am adding my displeasure that this blog is engaging in grade school gossip. If it is proven true, fine, but until people should stop trafficking in gossip.

downtownlad said...

Only bigots think that calling someone gay is a slur.

Maher said that Mehlman is gay because he likes to have sex with men. Yes - it's possible that Mehlman likes to have sex with men and isn't gay, but personally I doubt it.

And this is six years old. Please. This is not news.

Tom Cruise is gay too. Shocker.

Tim said...

Whether Melman is gay or not, it is apparent Maher really wishes that he is.

I wonder why?

downtownlad said...

I find it offensive that people insist that Mehlman might be straight. That's a disgusting slur. What proof do you have that he's straight? Name one woman he has ever dated.

I can name men he's dated.

Internet Ronin said...

I can name men he's dated.

Do tell, DTL! Do tell! Break the story wide open right here on Althouse and prove it.

Maybe the rest of us ought to develop a list so you can name even more names.

Pogo said...

Re: "Only bigots think that calling someone gay is a slur."

Well, and Democrats like Maher.

TMink said...

If the slur fits . . .

Trey

downtownlad said...

Oh I see Internet Ronin. GQ magazine published the fact that Mehlman way gay ages ago.

And Ann Althouse is allowed to talk about it. And Republican blogs are allowed to talk about it. But god forbid Bill Maher mentions it, god forbid I mention it - that's verbotin.

That's some pretty sick twisted logic you have there.

Don't want to be outed? Then don't go out in public with your boyfriends.

TMink said...

I can answer my own question. "Who cares if Melman is gay?" Answer: Only liberals. Because liberals know how ALL gay people should act, think, feel, and most importantly vote. And they cannot be conservative or Republican because that is absolute proof that they are self hating.

The party of acceptance and diversity can accept you too, as long as you meet their oh so accepting and tolerant (wink wink nudge nudge) criteria.

Trey