March 26, 2007

Bloggingheads!

It's me and Garance Franke-Ruta.

Topics and times:
Do women like looking at women? (07:41)

'Momoirs' and third-wave feminists (10:23)

Polygamy in NYC, wife-beating in Germany (09:25)

Too much Gore in 'An Inconvenient Truth'? (09:30)

Candidates and their wives and husband (08:20)

Is Ann a conservative? We don't know, but she gets really mad here (10:36)

Whew, that's over. Let's talk about things guys write on the web about women (17:01)
ADDED: There's an interesting discussion in the first segment about the ways of the journalist. Garance says, "I'm used to sitting quietly and using awkward silences to learn things." This makes me ask her if this is "a sort of a trick."
GARANCE: It's one of the ways that people report. It's a reporting technique. Being incredibly awkward. It's a reporting technique. There's also: seeming like you don't know what you're doing.

ANN: Oh! So it's a scam?

GARANCE: Well, I mean, that was the whole book: "The Journalist and the Murderer." Right? I mean...

ANN: Yeah, I read that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

GARANCE: I mean, there's this idea that a journalist is inherently a somewhat... I mean, you're forging a bond in which it's very instrumental. It's a very instrumental bond.
Althouse thought: So is this what you're going to try to do to me in this diavlog?
ANN: But it's interesting that there's a pretense of ineptitude. It does remind me of sort of like a stereotypical male-female dating where the woman acts sort of helpless and is actually really thinking about everything that's going on and trying to control the situation by appearing helpless.

GARANCE: Right! Right.

ANN: You think there's like a gender relationship in journalism?

GARANCE: Maybe. I mean, maybe only because you're in the questioning role, and you're sort of putting yourself in that subservient questioning role.
Althouse thought: Does this make me the boy here?

MORE: There's a lot of discussion about how angry I get in that one segment. Some folks think I should pull my punches and adopt some sort of mentoring role. Ridiculous! Garance is an adult. She's over 30 years old and a senior editor at a major newsmagazine. Either I am in a debate with her or it's a mismatch.

UPDATE: Here's a neutral starting point if you want to peruse the evidence that this episode has gone viral. I hope Bob Wright is happy!

ANOTHER UPDATE: So a huge swarm of lefty bloggers in unison declared me to be an absolute witch for getting angry for one minute when Garance -- the woman who began the dialogue by owning up to the technique of "seeming like you don't know what you're doing" -- sprang a touchy old subject on me. What does it all mean? I think either: 1. ordinary human emotion frightens bloggers out of their wits or 2. the lefty bloggers are demonstrating my point that they are vicious and nasty. Of course, I think it's #2. I really find it too hard to believe that they are so numb or robotic that anger seems bizarre and insane. I could be wrong, but I think that's terribly sad. Or are you thinking: Ooh! Sadness! How crazy! No, no, you guys are just boring politicos -- still ready to do anything to defend your man Bill Clinton and to say whatever you must to deny that he set feminism back 20 years.

268 comments:

1 – 200 of 268   Newer›   Newest»
Simon said...

It's the second official divalog. ;)

Simon said...

Is it actually depressing to you that conservatives like you better than liberals do? :p

Simon said...

Yikes. Garance looks like she's being disemboweled during the, ahem, exchange. Pwned.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You know, men are aware of women playing up those stereotypes to their advantage. Women never fail to underestimate the intelligence of men. Yeah, I'll fix that right away. :)

Fen said...

Yikes. Garance looks like she's being disemboweled during the, ahem, exchange. Pwned

Heh. To be fair, I think Garance truly was ignorant that she was using Valenti spin to broach the subject.

Ann, were you already irritated with her before the Valenti comment? I was very annoyed at the way Garance was equivocating about the vitriol of the "progressive" blogosphere. Just wondering if you went off on her as a result of her being such a weasel on the topic.

And yes, the "tolerant" Left hates you because you talk to us "brownshirts".

Fen said...

You know, men are aware of women playing up those stereotypes to their advantage

Eventually. You should see my learning curve on that one. Ouch.

I know that when women enter a bar they tend to check out the other women, because stiff competition usually indicates there are desirable men around. But why would they be interested in "checking out" women on the tele? Fashion and carriage?

ASX said...

Wow. That was unbelievable.

(I skipped straight to the screaming part.)

Simon said...

Fen,
"Heh. To be fair, I think Garance truly was ignorant that she was using Valenti spin to broach the subject."

Oh yeah. Totally - look at her body language. She has the stunned look of someone who picked up what looks like a large metal green olive, pulled out the pin-like thing, and suddenly has no left hand.

But lookit: Garance clearly knew enough about the controversy to disinter it in the first place. So you really have to think about what was her mindset in bringing it up before concluding that she didn't get what she deserved. I get the impression that she was aware of the story, but all she knew was what the people on one side of it - Valenti's - were saying, and she had the glib dismissiveness in her voice of someone who so totally accepts one version of events that she isn't even aware there's more to the story. But if you're going to go on BHTV with the person on the other side of that, doesn't it behoove you to find out what the other side is before you bring it up?

To me, watching after the fact, it seems like something of an overreaction to hang, draw and quarter her on camera. There are other ways to interpret (or at least rationalize) her remark than as an attack, but I wasn't there in that moment, and most of all, I've not been on the receiving end of the catty crap over that incident that Ann was, some of which was quite unbelievably out of line, so I defer to her conclusion as to what response the situation merited.

Simon said...

I'll add (I'm skipping back to the substance now) that I can't overstate how much The Beauty Myth impacted my thinking, and although I guess it's a valid criticism that other people had made similar points before Wolfe did, the book came out when I was 11 and I didn't read it until I was, I guess 15 or so, so it was new material to me. So that's a book that's meant a lot to me, whatever criticisms there might be against it, and it seems counterproductive to fight a turf war over who had what idea first as long as the idea's being communicated. The smartest thing that any President's ever said was said by Harry Truman: it's amazing what you can get accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit. Feminists who have beef with Wolfe should keep that in mind.

felix said...

Ann
You seem to get angry at women much younger than you, no?

Robert said...

I won't claim to know the ins and outs of what happened with the Valenti affair. But when I google TAPPED for "Althouse," as the Professor suggests in the segment, I only get a smattering of hits.

One is a post by TAPPED contributor Mark Schmitt joining Professor Althouse's criticisms of a Linda Hirschman op-ed. Another, written by non-contributor Linda Hirschman but posted by contributor Anne Freidman, is a rebuttal. The last post I see dealing with Professor Althouse is by Scott Lemieux. While he implies that he does not respect her (hardly polite), he goes on to agree with her on a point about the historical legacy of civil rights legislation.

Honest question: what am I missing here?

Fen said...

Simon: But lookit: Garance clearly knew enough about the controversy to disinter it in the first place... I get the impression that she was aware of the story, but all she knew was what the people on one side of it - Valenti's - were saying, and she had the glib dismissiveness in her voice of someone who so totally accepts one version of events that she isn't even aware there's more to the story... doesn't it behoove you to find out what the other side is before you bring it up

Very true, and I don't think she was treated unfairly. In fact, your points hit their mark thoughout that clip: she's ignorant about the right-wing blogosphere [hell, even I read FDL], she doesn't understand why the Left doesn't have a talk radio [a journalist unaware that AM talk radio started because conservatives were driven out of the MSM?], she claims to have followed the Valenti mess but never thought [again, journalist?] to check out the other side, etc.

That might be whats behind her talk radio is more vicious tu quoque fallacy. Alot of lefties bounce around in their own echo chambers, get completely misinformed, then try to challenge someone like Rush or Hannity on the air. So of course they feel ambushed. Like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Fen said...

Honest question: what am I missing here?

Short version: Ann was criticizing feminists like Valenti who suck up to Clinton, cluelessly affect Monica-like poses with him for PR pics, and pepper their weblogs with sexual imagery. Valenti et al responded with the "why do you hate my breasts" card. They've been distorting the exchange ever since, because they don't want to face up to what Ann was really getting at.

Doyle said...

You seem to get angry at women much younger than you, no?

Hmmm... Mickey Kaus is the same way (Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias).

Ann Althouse said...

Fenn "Ann, were you already irritated with her before the Valenti comment? I was very annoyed at the way Garance was equivocating about the vitriol of the "progressive" blogosphere. Just wondering if you went off on her as a result of her being such a weasel on the topic."

I wasn't lying in wait. I was genuinely offended, as I said, by her dredging up the old subject in those terms. I was put in a dilemma where I could either defend myself and bore ordinary bloggingheads listeners or I would have to try to squelch it and seem repressive and weak. I did not like being put in that position. But I wasn't otherwise averse to what was going on, except to the extent that I was disappointed that she didn't cotton to my idea, expressed early on, that we should change the subject a lot and be free form.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I think your reaction to Garance was really unfair. You said you didn't understand why liberal bloggers treat you badly, and in response she said she only really knew about that Valenti-breasts controversy. She was not trying to attack you. She was trying to explain what seems like an unavoidable topic given your question. And her reference to and very brief description of it was not character assassination.

Ann Althouse said...

Joseph: I think it may be true that she wasn't intending to attack me. (But she may have been. Look at who's on Tapped, and think about what they said to her as she prepared to confront me. This isn't an innocent young woman. This is a 35 year old woman who graduated with honors from Harvard. Your protective instinct is bullshit.) But she reflected her environment on Tapped, and she shows what the atmosphere there is, and I called her on it. I'm not happy that I got as mad as I did, but I think her routine of looking think the wounded lamb was just that, a routine. Listen to the revelations at the beginning about the guile of the journalist.

Joseph Hovsep said...

My protective instinct is bullshit?

Jeez. I'm not being protective. I'm being reasonable. You seemed eager to engage on the topic of why liberals hate Althouse. How can that topic be discussed fairly without reference to that controversy? I was surprised it took so long in that segment for it to come up. If you decided ahead of time that that was off limits, then I'd be sympathetic, but it seemed to me like you were really the one pressing the issue and then when she said the obvious, you blew up at her.

Simon said...

Joseph Hovsep said...
"You seemed eager to engage on the topic of why liberals hate Althouse. How can that topic be discussed fairly without reference to that controversy?"

That point might carry some weight were it true that liberals only started demonstrating brutal hostility for Althouse after "that controversy." But that isn't the case, is it, Joseph?

Ann Althouse said...

Well, Joseph, I hope you watched the beginning, where Garance talked about her journalistic techniques. Your interest in defending her is in fact bullshit and -- sorry to shock you -- sexist. This is an adult woman, who is in her 30s and a senior editor at a prominent newsmagazine. She's not a little girl in need of your protection. If you see her appear to cringe and look hurt and you feel protective, you are being played. Listen to the first section and use your brain. You imagine that I'm immensely powerful and she's a fragile flower. That is absolute bullshit.

Fen said...

Joseph: My protective instinct is bullshit?

Men tend to go all chivalric over a damsel in "distress". I seen men defend behavior from women that they would not tolerate from another man. Thats how it can be sexist.

Joseph: How can that topic be discussed fairly without reference to that controversy?

For starters, you broach the subject fairly, without validating the distorions of one side. For example, if I were to discuss Bush's incompetence, referring to him Chimpy would not be fair.

And Ann has a valid point. Garance admitted to the deceptive practices of her field - establish a relationship with your subject that usually ends in betrayal for the scoop. She also dropped the I didn't realize you were so sensitive card a few too many times for my taste. Deliberate? Who knows. But its not unreasonable to wonder if she was being deceptive. Women tend to engage in a much more nuanced attack than men.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Wow. I can own up to some things about me that are probably sexist, but I'm just calling it like it is here. I have nothing invested in Garance and am not interested defending a "fragile flower." I thought her reaction was natural and predictable and yours surprising. That's just my honest and fair reading of the exchange. Your assumption and accusation that I'd only defend her because I think she's some helpless little girl is what's sexist.

The way you respond to my good faith response to the exchange by telling me I'm peddling sexist bullshit is an example of why some people may react more harshly to you than you may like.

Simon said...

I wouldn't say it's necessarily bullshit on Joseph's part. It's certainly likely that you're right about what she was up to, but it's possible that she was just naive, that she really just wasn't thinking about it, that she really wasjust trying to respond -- however inartfully, however weakly -- to your question. Even with the benefit of emotional distance and instant replay, I think it's still a judgment call (I'm no judge of body language, but if she was faking, she should get a Daytime Emmies nomination). Which isn't to say that you reacted inappropriately in that moment, because you have to evaluate it in the moment with the information to hand and the impressiona available. But from a viewer's perspective, it's not a total slam-dunk case in hindsight.

And you shouldn't confine the context just to her comments at "the beginning, where Garance talked about her journalistic techniques" - consider also her remarks going into the "is Ann a conservative" section: "I don't get this from your blog, per se, but I understand that you're apparently a conservative?" C'mon, Joseph. Are you kidding? If you saw that line, Garance couldn't be more clearly on a fishing expedition if she'd held up bait, tackle and a rod to the camera. So I'm inclined to think that Ann was right, even in hindsight, and even if that weren't so, it was far from an unreasonable reaction in the context of the moment.

Fen said...

Joesph, at least recognize that the way Garace framed the Valenti issue boxed Ann in. What would you do? Waste time responding to the distorion or allow the misrepresentation to stand? Perhaps it was accidental, but do you really believe a Harvard grad/journalist has never employed this tactic before?

felix said...

Jeez, just because Ann may have a legitimate beef with Garance's comment does not, in any way, justify her rather frightening explosion.

Intellectualize it all you want - Ann looks unhinged. If this is how she deals with a barb or provocation, then she obviously belongs on that liberal side of the blogosphere she deems to be so nasty and vitriolic.

Fen said...

Garace: There's also: seeming like you don't know what you're doing.

Or pretending you don't see what the complaints are about: Vitriol? Us? Oh heavans, I think they only hate you because you hate them for hating you. Like totally.

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

I'm just 2 minutes, 19 seconds into That Section and I'm stopped dead at this sentence:

"It's about partisanship; it's not about positions."

Word.

Sad.

Jeff said...

I'm trying to get to the part of the diavlog that everyone is commenting on, but I find that Garance's voice grates on me so much that I have to pause frequently. She has the speech patterns of someone who watches too much "Gilmore Girls" while trying to sound slightly bored and model-UN about everything.

reader_iam said...

I'm not whacking Garance for saying that, by the way. I think what she said had a great deal of truth, and for people on both sides of the spectrum.

Just to be clear.

Now, I'll go back and attempt to watch the rest (we're in prime time around here, with homework & piano & baths & dinner; sometimes it's so comforting to know that life just goes rolling along).

reader_iam said...

Hmmm. I certainly think there are parts of the Right, and the right blogosphere that also seeks to enforce conformity.

---

You know, I think I'd better close this tab, lest I end up liveblogging the divalog here.

Consider this "Spring Is Here" gift to you all.

Brian said...

Ann,

I'm not a regular poster here, but I am a regular reader, so I'm not just floating around here looking to attack you.

But your reactions both to Garance and to Joseph in the comments were as aggressive and vitriolic as anything I see you get from respected members of the blogosphere.

You didn't even respond to the meat of Joseph's post, you simply called him a sexist, cursed at him and dismissed him.

And you criticize Garance for playing a "fragile flower." Maybe she was a bit shocked by the fact that in the midst of a seemingly pleasant conversation you exploded with little to no provocation. She clearly doesn't follow inter-blog controversy very closely, and brought up the most prominent example that involved you. And her description of it (the Valenti-breasts controversy) was in no way, shape, or form biased against you. YOU attacked HER with no provocation, and are now acting like she's playing a damsel in distress by not yelling back. Maybe...she was just showing the politeness and courtesy that you failed to show?

XWL said...

Garance comes across as someone so steeped in her own privileged, biased, incestuous, insular, and narrow bubble that she's not aware that she's surrounded by a tiny bubble, incapable of perceiving anything outside of that bubble without grave distortions, and that this bubble she floats in is easily pierced from the outside.

But that's OK, cause she's part of a "MOVEMENT".

(no BM jokes, please)

And folks in the legacy media wonder why their influence wanes (which American Prospect can be considered a part of).

As far as the blowup, basically Garance was offering a version of, "It's been widely reported that you are a wife beater, would you care to comment?"

Anger would seem to be a reasonable response.

Also, I haaaate long voooowel talkers, and question talkers, and Garance does both.

Shouldn't an editor for The American Prospect know more about the conservative blogosphere?

Most conservatives will read the other guys (I do myself), but "progressives" seem incapable of doing so.

Why is that?

ASX said...

The whole thing is unreal, and I find it amazing that Ann or any commenter would attempt to defend it, rather than immediately apologize. It started when Ann attacked Garance's place of employment and her co-workers. Garance then simply said, "I wasn't aware of anything until the Jessica Valenti breast controversy...

And that was it. That simple statement caused Ann to explode with rage and hurl baseless accusations.

I think it's funny how Ann, Fen, Simon, et al., are using their self-proclaimed mind-reading abilities to justify Ann's behavior. They contend that Ann's outburst was justified because of what Garance was secretly doing to provoke Ann. If you watched Garance and didn't see her "nasty" "character assassination" and "insults" "in a way that makes [Ann] look bad" and "is an assault on [her]" and "undermining and against the whole context of trying to have a conversation," then you obviously can't read minds as well as Ann, Fen and Simon.

But bullshit excuses aside, Joseph is right: Garance made a totally innocent, offhand comment about a very notorious part of Ann's history, and Ann instantly went into an hysterical fit, screaming with rage and hurling baseless accusations. It was absolutely mind blowing.

I'm confident that just about everyone sees it the same way that Joseph does.

Ann should apologize, because she made a number of accusations that simply cannot be defended.

Ann Althouse said...

ASX: Since I do apologize in the video, what are you saying? I'm not happy that I got as angry as I did, but that was a genuine response, and Ruth Anne is basically right in her characterization. Garance snipes at me and then plays the lamb.

Maxine Weiss said...

Once again: Brunette vs Blonde

Why does it always come down to that?

How cliche!

My only complaint is Brunette's irritating name. Why can't she adopt something easier that rolls off the tips of the tongue like, say....Linda Jones, or Debbie Sue Smith ???

Something easy. All the good Brunettes have simple names: Barbi Benton. Liz Taylor etc..

Other than that there's nothing about Brunette I can point to. Her attire is appropriate.

In fact this time Brunette outdoes Althouse in apparel. I thought Althouse looked too dark in black, and it's now Spring. The Black isn't "Spring-y" enough.

I liked Brunette's hair, somewhat. It looks like Brunette did a little something with it. There's a slight bend, well, maybe not a full-on shampoo/n/set but there did look to be some sort of styling.

Dr. Helen's limp split-ends are still very much a worry of mine.

Peace, Maxine

Jeff said...

If Garance was a man would everyone be leaping to defend "him" against Ann? I think not. So why all of the sexist chivalry?

Mortimer Brezny said...

This isn't an innocent young woman. This is a 35 year old woman who graduated with honors from Harvard.

Yes, but she certainly had a naive liberal viewpoint on the polygamy/multiculturalism point. She really struggled with the idea that there might be tension between multiculturalism and promoting equality, as if pluralism and egalitarianism necessarily go together. If you force egalitarianism on people, they don't. She also seemed to think that it's okay for the state to promote her conception of liberal feminism by disrupting the harmless cultural practices of ethnic and religious minorities in the privacy of their own homes, but yet thought that an enlightened woman has such a right to privacy that she is justified in filing a bogus intentional interference with prospective economic advantage claim to abuse court process just to chill a man's public speech about whether she looks pretty. So: The state can invade the privacy of the home when there's no harm justifying the invasion and thought control of men is okay so long as it protects a woman's vanity. She didn't even seem to get your point that people can just be cohabitating and having sex and think they are bonded spiritually without that having anything to do with patriarchy. She may not be innocent, but she didn't make any coherent or consistent arguments and I do think the casual Valenti throwaway was meant to tickle the tummies of her cohorts she knew would be watching. I thought it was out of line, too, and I thought your response was substantively on point. And, you are so hot angry.

Simon said...

Brian:
"[Garance's] description of it (the Valenti-breasts controversy) was in no way, shape, or form biased against [Ann]."

The mere choice of terminology is clearly leading. To take an extreme example (I hesitate to use this, but no better alternative springs to mind), if you refer to "the so-called 'holocaust'" when talking about world war 2, that is not a value-neutral choice of words. Clearly you mean to frame the debate, to telegraph your opinion. Likewise, Garance sees - and wants to frame the debate - in terms that reflect Valenti's spin on that controversy.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Mortimer. That was apt, in my view.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Oh, and a bazillion-gazillion times smarter than her.

Brian said...

Simon,

I do understand that Ann was suggesting that. But I don't understand how the phrase "Valenti-breasts controversy" frames it in a pro-Valenti light. Is your point that only Valenti supporters think that the controversy was about her breasts, while Althouse supporters would suggest it was about being a Clinton sycophant?

I guess I could see your point there, but I don't think the bias is so strong that it reflects malicious intent on Garance's part. If she had said something like the "Valenti-having-breasts controversy" I'd see your point, but it seems clear to me that this was a completely innocent "mistake" (if it was that" on the part of Garance.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I'm glad we agree that you are so hot angry, Ann. What say you, Simon?

Fen said...

She may not be innocent, but she didn't make any coherent or consistent arguments and I do think the casual Valenti throwaway was meant to tickle the tummies of her cohorts she knew would be watching.

After a refrigeration and back again for leftovers, I'm noticing that too. She's punching above her weightclass on alot of topics, esp the "they hate you because you hate them for hating you" dodge. This is a harvard-trained mind?

And after watching it again, I don't think the breast line was for the Valenti crowd. If you watch again you'll notice Ann is hemming her in with regard to the vitriol of the lefty blogs: Garance cannot defend, her evasions sound sloppy and illogical, so she tries to push back with a cheap shot.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I guess I could see your point there, but I don't think the bias is so strong that it reflects malicious intent on Garance's part.

I don't think it was vicious but I do think it was intentional. I think it was an attempt to subtly toss red meat to her viewers without triggering a response from Ann. But it didn't fly under the radar. It got taken down by Ann's missile defense shield.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Fen,
Maybe that's a better explanation, just a cheap shot because she was losing. But I don't think it was intended to anger Ann. I think it was intended to sit there on the record, unnoticed by Ann, but picked up on the particular frequency that Tapped readers hear.

Brian said...

If you watch again you'll notice Ann is hemming her in with regard to the vitriol of the lefty blogs: Garance cannot defend, her evasions sound sloppy and illogical

Fen,

That's only what it looked like if you go into it thinking like Ann does. From my perspective (I'd say that the left and right blogospheres are about equally nasty), it looked like Ann just kept repeating a statement with no particular backup and Garance simply did not agree. Ann just repeated her own anecdotal experience and treated that as if it were confirmed fact. yeah, most conservatives in the blogosphere think the left is nastier. but guess what?! liberals think the same thing about the right! amazing, huh?!

Ann Althouse said...

I hope some of you who see my side of this will participate in the comments over at Bloggingheads.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Oh no! I'm officially one of Ann's minions.

Josh said...

"The mere choice of terminology is clearly leading.".

I don't see this. In September 2006 Althouse made a point of objecting to Jessica Valenti's "pose" in the Clinton photograph, and indirectly accused her of adopting a "breast-enhancing pose" here. ("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.").

Moreover, in her follow-up blog
entry, Althouse accuses Valenti of "breast-blog[ging]" because of the mud-flap girls (or whatever they're called) that are part of the Feministing logo.

I don't see how anyone can see the phrase "Valenti-breast conspiracy" as anything but a pithy description of what happened back in September 2006. I am puzzled why Althouse took such umbrage at Franke-Ruta.

ASX said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

I hope some of you who see my side of this will participate in the comments over at Bloggingheads.

Ann,

That's just the point. The people who see your side of this are the ones who read your blog and have loyalty to you as a blogger. Objective viewers simply did not see it your way, cause what you did was largely indefensible.

I'd also like to note the considerable irony in the fact that this whole thing stemmed from you thinking Jessica was fawning over Clinton, and when you do something bad you take refuge in your little army of sycophantic commenters (Mortimer, Fen, Simon).

"OMG, Ann you're teh hawtz!"
"Wow, Ann. You were sooooo kickass in that diavlog!!"
"LOL, Garance was pwnz0red!"

ASX said...

Ann,
I missed your apology, so I apologize for suggesting otherwise.

I must say, however, that it looked to me like you and Garance were having a very pleasant conversation. I do not agree that she was trying to needle or provoke you at all.

somefeller said...

Ann, you completely lost it in that exchange. You were ranting, and she was behaving like any normal person would react in such a situation, with her mouth agape and hoping the whole situation would end. If Garance went off on you like that when you criticized the American Prospect (she had that opportunity), I would say that she lost it. But she didn't do that, and you did.

The commenters who are saying that you won that exchange are either deluding themselves or trying to spin the result.

Ann Althouse said...

ASX: Most of the conversation was pleasant. The friction was about 2 minutes in a conversation of well over an hour. But much as I regret having friction, I didn't say anything I didn't mean. I've rewatched what I said several times and I don't consider myself to have misspoke.

Tyler Simons said...

Ann, I love your blog, but I don't really see the offence. It seemed like you got carried away by your emotions. I hate it when that happens to me. I'm rather alarmed by the folks who seem to think you should be proud of the outburst. I'm glad you apologized.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the objected-to phrase was the "whatshername breast controversy." Ann, you seem to think that this phrase itself stacks the deck against you and what you were trying to say in the most mean-spirited way possible. I just don't get it. I never the things other writers at Tapped wrote, but I'm willing to entertain the notion that they were dismissive, nasty, brutish and evasive of your real concerns.

That said, this was a controversy about breasts, right? The girl was displaying hers prominantly in the picture and displaying images of them on her blog. This bugged you, right?

Maybe Garance was playing dumb and was more informed about the whole dust-up than she let on. It still looked like you were yelling at her because of things that other writers for Tapped said. You also were asking her why her friends were so nasty to you. How should she have responded?

Would you have reacted with more reserve had she said something like, "Well, as you know, a lot of my co-bloggers disagreed with you vehemently about that whole thing with the photo of the "progressive" [man does it bug me when someone uses that word as much as Garance] bloggers with Bill Clinton. How the leap is then made to over-the-top personal nastiness, I'm not so sure..."?

What's the appropriate way to bring up the whole thing? It is, as has been noted above, bound to come up in a discussion of your notoriety in the liberal blogosphere. Even if folks were nasty before all that, it is the paradigmatic case of anti-althouse nastiness.

Your die-hard fans and the folks who would never let themselves agree with someone from tapped or a similar source seem to think that your explosion was justified. Some, somewhat disturbingly I think, seem to think it totally rocked. I wish you had shown that you owned the controversy a little more. I could tell that you were very upset, but I really couldn't see why. I wish you had said,

"I object to your calling it the 'Whatshername Breast Controversy' for this and such reason. I was really thinking more broadly about women and their relationship with power [or something] than just breasts. I would call it..."

What?

Fen said...

From my perspective (I'd say that the left and right blogospheres are about equally nasty), it looked like Ann just kept repeating a statement with no particular backup and Garance simply did not agree. Ann just repeated her own anecdotal experience and treated that as if it were confirmed fact. yeah, most conservatives in the blogosphere think the left is nastier. but guess what?! liberals think the same thing about the right amazing, huh?!

Not amazing, just human nature. But watch the vid again - Garance raises your point and Ann bashes it down: if both sides are just as nasty, how is it the Right disagrees with Ann so warmly while the Left disagrees so hatefully?. The examples are right here on this very blog. We disagree with Ann with reasoned discourse, the Lefties here [with a few exceptions] disagree by calling her nasty names.

I would also add that when the Left says "both sides do it", they mean it as a justification for their nasty behavior. The Valenti incident illustrates this perfectly - they distorted Ann's comments to make them appear nasty, to justify their nasty responses to her.

Ann Althouse said...

The "Valenti incident" was, in my view, about lefties trying desperately to put up a smokescreen so they wouldn't have to talk about Bill Clinton and sexual harassment. My point was then and is now -- and I probably should have stated it in the diavlog -- that feminists sold out to support the Democratic Party and that Bill Clinton destroyed years of work that feminists had done on the issue of sexual harassment. The bloggers posing proudly in front of Bill Clinton enraged me for that reason and every time Democratic party saps criticize me for what I said, they simply reinforce what I believe: that feminism sold out to Democratic partisan interests. I thought this long before I started blogging, I should emphasize. My personal experiences simply make me feel more strongly about it.

Mortimer Brezny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

That's just the point. The people who see your side of this are the ones who read your blog and have loyalty to you as a blogger.

Not all of the regular commenters here agree with Ann.

Objective viewers simply did not see it your way

By objective, you mean Garance, Valenti, Marcotte and their crowd?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Hmm. I think Ann got too (visibly) angry. But she was still right. And what was probably infuriating about it was that Garance insisted on denying what she did. I hate when people try to slip stuff like that in. I would have gotten angry, too.

There is virtue in getting angry at the right time. If you believe Aristotle.

Jeff Shepley said...

Oh my goodness. Ann. You. Go. Girl.

Brian said...

The examples are right here on this very blog. We disagree with Ann with reasoned discourse, the Lefties here [with a few exceptions] disagree by calling her nasty names.

Fen,

Here's my theory. If someone labels themselves as being on your side, and then agrees with the other team,javascript:void(0)
Preview it's frustrating, cause it suggests that your arguments aren't logical, or that your ideas are losing in the marketplace.

On the other hand, if someone labels themselves as being on the opposite team, but then agrees with you, it's like a validation of your ideas. The sheer logic of your ideas has overwhelmed partisanship and tradition and brought this person to your side of the debate. That's satisfying.

That's why you see the left embrace Chuck Hagel and revile Joe Lieberman. Is Chuck more liberal than Joe as you go down the list of liberal issues. Nope. Not even close. But his divergence from Bush on Iraq sort of validates the opinions of the left, while Joe's divergence from the Democrats undermines it.

Ann is a Joe Lieberman figure in this analogy. This is why conservatives embrace her and progressives tend to dislike her.

Brian said...

By objective, you mean Garance, Valenti, Marcotte and their crowd?

Not unless you think EVERYONE over at the BH.tv comments is a left-wing automaton.

Fen said...

Not unless you think EVERYONE over at the BH.tv comments is a left-wing automaton

Well, I just got back from reading the comments: most are from previous Althouse-haters who either distort the exchange or make judgements that reveal they haven't been exposed to both sides of the issue. That sounds like the Valenti-Marcotte crowd to me.

George said...

Not nearly as interesting or, to me, substantive, as the Reynolds talk-event a few weeks ago.

How amusing it was for a Harvard-educated senior editor at a prestigious "think" mag to acknowledge that she knew nothing of the blogosphere flamewar that irked you. Clearly, she had not done her homework. Would you, as a lawyer, go on TV to talk about Issue X knowing nothing about it? I doubt it. The journalist you spoke with was unprepared, and like most journalists was expert at sounding as though she's an expert on everything when in reality she's just...good with words. Unpleasant to see you angered, but you made her look like a poseur.

You asked rhetorically why the left-side of the blogosphere is so angry at you. My reaction? When people at both ends of the political spectrum are allowed to make anonymous comments, some number of them will behave thuggishly. On your blog, you should shut down anyone who uses any kind of insulting language. Lock them out. I mean, CBS doesn't let people off the street stand by Katie Couric's newsdesk and spit at her while she reads the news.

Anyway why not just interview the low-impact guy or some expert on polygamy? Do what a good reporter/editor does--think of interesting people to interview and do it. You've got the cache to talk with anyone...

Why interview a "journalist," particularly one from an obscure think-mag? I put "journalist" in quotes because I never heard her comment on any subject she'd actually reported on. Just a lot of fancy talk about "modernity" "proto-memoirs" "the rise of Protestantism" "hot medium" and "resurgent progressive partisanship" Please. You'd get more common sense from an Indiana farmer's wife.

PS--Don't let on that people get your goat. It only makes them try harder.

Robert said...

Brian,

The Hagel/Lieberman analogy is a great one. I think part of the reason that Giuliani is doing so much better than McCain is that, even though Giuliani is clearly the more liberal candidate, he never spoke out against certain conservatives the way McCain did in 2000 and in the early years of the Bush presidency.

Contrarians are never appreciated by the side they "should" belong to, and always appreciated by the side that believes it can convert them. Everyone seeks converts, and everyone hates heretics.

Simon said...

Brian - You mistake respect and affection for sycophancy. When I disagree with her, I will and have criticized her views no less sharply than I've gone after anyone else.

Mort - No, I don't disagree on any particular point; I think your 8:05 PM comment basically nailed it. Again, I'd go back to the fishing expedition Garance announced at the beginning of the segment, noted in my 7:03 PM comment. If it weren't for that, I might be a little more inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt, but since she was clearly fishing for a reaction, I'm inclined to the less charitable reading.

Simon said...

Brian said...
"Not unless you think EVERYONE over at the BH.tv comments is a left-wing automaton."

Shocking that a videoblog operated by a liberal and a neoliberal and featuring in the vast majority of diavlogs left-of-center characters might garner a predominantly liberal following.

Maxine Weiss said...

See how nice Ann looks when she puts makeup?

Ann has better skin.

..and an easier name.

I like one-syllable names.

Someone needs rhinoplasty and it isn't Ann.

Nose jobs have really come down in price, nowadays, and Brunette could be stunning with one of those cute retrousse noses.

If she works as an editor at a major news magazine, she must have money. Maybe her parents, or publisher, would give her one as a gift.

She dresses well though. I like Brunette's blouse.

Peace, Maxine

Fen said...

Ann is a Joe Lieberman figure in this analogy. This is why conservatives embrace her and progressives tend to dislike her.

No, the Lieberman analogy fails. Ann criticizes the Left because she is a Democrat who wants her party to improve.

And conservatives don't embrace Ann because she's someone from the other side who validates our opinions. We like Ann because she's someone from the Left who is sane, someone we can have a civil conversation with, someone we can bounce our ideas and philosophy off of. For example, Ann and her lefty commenters have done more to moderate my opinion of gay marriage than any other set of Democrats.

So I think you've misread this one. We like Ann because we disagree with most her positions but can still learn and grow from the exchange of ideas.

And the hard left wants to shut this blog down because they despertately need to demonize people like me, and they don't want me to have contact with people like Ann who might serve as a character witness, ie Fen's political philosphy is kinda loony, but he would never round us Lefties into concentration camps. In fact, he'd risk his life to prevent it

Mortimer Brezny said...

Someone needs rhinoplasty and it isn't Ann.

Nose jobs have really come down in price, nowadays, and Brunette could be stunning with one of those cute retrousse noses.

If she works as an editor at a major news magazine, she must have money. Maybe her parents, or publisher, would give her one as a gift.

She dresses well though. I like Brunette's blouse.


Oh, wow. So much better than my vanity point.

Jeff Shepley said...

On second thought, Ann, I don't think GFR meant that comment to be derisive. I think your anger is justified at those who attack you, but GFR does not represent those people.

Daryl Herbert said...

The vast majority of women are bisexual. They just choose to act straight because of our culture.

There's a name for this phenomenon, "LFU" (Lesbian For Undergrad)

Simon said...

Maxine said:
"I liked Brunette's hair, somewhat. It looks like Brunette did a little something with it."

It looked kinda... I dunno. It was very Jackie O, don't you think? IT had a kind of forced wannabe 60s vibe.


Jeff said...
"If Garance was a man would everyone be leaping to defend "him" against Ann? I think not. So why all of the sexist chivalry?"

Because I'm chivalrous, damnit. Sometimes my chivalry overwhelms my sense of reason and I hit "publish comment" despite my better judgment screaming "you're going to regret that." And I don't like deleting comments having commited to them, although tehre are occaisions when I've done so.


ASX said...
"They contend that Ann's outburst was justified because of what Garance was secretly doing to provoke Ann."

It wasn't that much of a secret. It was pretty obvious watching the video and listening to what she said that she was looking to provoke.

XWL said...

I think Tom Maguire captures something interesting about American Prospect in general and Garance Franke-Ruta's style in particular.

There's a serious lack of self awareness going on over there.

(and an excess of self seriousness)

In the diavlog, her advocacy for a non-anonymous, more tightly controlled internet is telling, though.

"Progressives" always seem prepared to limit free speech for the good of the downtrodden.

Whether it be through new laws, frivilous lawsuits (as Franke-Ruta seemed to suggest as a remedy for the AutoAdmit crap), harrassing comments (as happened here), or burying opposing views at presumptively open forums like Digg, or something like the Kaplan mess, "progressives" have an odd notion of what progress means when it comes to speech.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Now that I think about it, I disliked Garance's little riff on how Ann is weird because she voted for Gore in 2000, but Bush in 2004 after being affected by 9/11 and being unable to trust Kerry with stewardship of the war. Given how many Democrats hold the same position (and given Kerry had to flip-flop because a third of his party supported the war), this isn't weird at all. I didn't vote in 2000 because I preferred Bradley and found Gore cold. And I voted for Dean in the primary and Bush in the general because I didn't trust Kerry in 2004. I can't recall any of my Democratic friends having any rationale to support Kerry's candidacy other than that he might win. A number of prominent Democrats criticized Kerry's incoherence on the war, including his own advisers and consultants. And most swing voters voted on the basis of Iraq/War on Terror and Bush carried them because of Kerry's incoherence. I fail to see what is weird about that. We all saw it.

Fen said...

Brian: your little army of sycophantic commenters (Mortimer, Fen, Simon).

BTW Brian, if you would like to keep our conversation here civil, leave the ad homs at the door. Do you intend to be the example that proves Ann's point?

See? I could have easily flamed you back. Both sides DO NOT do it.

Simon said...

John said...
"I suspect that in the heat of the argument her pantlegs get hiked way up so that a wide band of white leg shows above each sock."

Dang, that's hot.

Mortimer Brezny said...

There's a name for this phenomenon, "LFU" (Lesbian For Undergrad)

No, they are LUGs.

Lesbians Until Graduation.

Fen said...

I disliked Garance's little riff on how Ann is weird because she voted for Gore in 2000, but Bush in 2004 after being affected by 9/11 and being unable to trust Kerry with stewardship of the war. Given how many Democrats hold the same position (and given Kerry had to flip-flop because a third of his party supported the war), this isn't weird at all

Garance: "I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon"

Simon said...

Doyle, every time Ann does a diavlog, the comments section at BHTV lights up like a christmas tree with people whining about her return. I'd be willing to bet that you won't find a single critic there who hasn't previously criticized her and made up their mind to do so every time she's featured.

Maxine Weiss said...

Yes yes yes, a definite Jackie O vibe.

Or, well a Jewish Jackie O, with that nose.

There are places, medical students/schools do plastic surgery on the cheap; and a nose job is a basic procedure--nothing complicated.

Nose job and change of name---and that's easy too, all you do is fill out the form and file it.

...and Brunette would really be stunning.

I love doing makeovers on the Althouse Blog!

Peace, Maxine

mrgumby2u said...

I have to say that every time I come here I'm struck by what an incestuously self-congratulatory relationship you have with your readers. After reading your entry, I was just going to comment on Garance's "journalistic" technique and how it compares to similar techniques in negotiations and interrogations and my surprise that you've seemingly not encountered something similar in the law (that is to say, you didn't mention that you had), but after reading your thin-skinned "defense" of your pretty whacked out attack on Garance and your readers' chivalrous choruses of figurative "that's right"s and "the chump had it coming," I couldn't help but change the focus of my comment.

And Ann, by any rational analysis you flipped out and overreacted. You asked a question, you got the obvious answer to that question, and you went ballistic. More than apologizing for your reaction, I think you need to go off to a quiet place and analyze why you reacted that way.

Ann Althouse said...

Commenters who have been banished need to know that they can never post again. It doesn't matter what you say. You are out. Any attempt to post is regarded as harassment. DO NOT POST. I WILL CONTACT GOOGLE ABOUT YOUR VIOLATION OF THE TERMS OF SERVICE. You know who you are.

Daryl Herbert said...

Something very weird happens: you both fix your hair at the same time at at least one point--even though you can't see each other's video while you're filming.

You were pushing her to admit that collecting information could be intrusive, and she reluctantly went along, but started meddling with her hair, and you immediately followed suit.

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

Mary - you've got it backwards. I wasn't referring to any misplaced chivalry towards Ann, I was referring to my chivalry in defending Garance, upthread.

John's comment just bit into me a little because it reminded me of a spectacularly ill-advised admission in a comment here a few months ago re misguided efforts to be chivalrous.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Did anyone else half-expect Ann to pull out a pair of ball bearings and start rolling them around in her hand?

Is Garance aware that Bush got over 11 million more votes in 2004 than he did in 2000?

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anton said...

simon said: "I'd be willing to bet that you won't find a single critic there who hasn't previously criticized her and made up their mind to do so every time she's featured."

You have failed.

(I'm the one who hasn't previously criticized her and has not made upmy mind to do so every time she's featured, and I say EXACTLY THAT in the bh.tv. forum)

Simon said...

Ruth Anne - I get touchy about that, because when people refer to "the war between the states" or similar language, it strikes me as a post hoc attempt to validate secesssion. A civil war is necessarily fought within one nation or state; a war between states carries no such connotation, and can play on the ambiguity between the American "state" and the concept of a "state."

Anton said...

(as Undertoad)

Internet Ronin said...

Given the circumstances, I can understand why Ann reacted the way she did in the diavlog. At the same time, I strongly disagree with Ann's reaction to Joseph's initial comment.

Too Many Jims said...

I think there is a difference between the lefty side of the blogosphere and the righty side. I don't understand why people think that vitriol is a good way of pursuading others. Further, I think that Prof. Althouse did a good job limiting her comments to to her experience.

That said, I think that there are some right of center bloggers who "switched sides" (for lack of a better way of putting it) and have also been subjected to vitriol and ostracism as a result (e.g. John Cole and Sullivan). It should be noted that they haven't been particularly swayed by the petty bickering either.

somefeller said...

Mortimer says: "There is virtue in getting angry at the right time. If you believe Aristotle."

That is true. This, however, was not the right time. Ann gave a $50 response to a $5 comment, which is generally evidence of a raw nerve or some sort of complex. She lost her cool, and lost that part of the discussion (was it supposed to be a debate?) to Garance.

Simon said...

Anton - what's your BHTVf username?

Fen said...

somefeller: which is generally evidence of a raw nerve or some sort of complex.

I think you would react similarly if I distorted your comments and started a blogswarm over it. Then brought it up again every time your name was mentioned.

Ann Althouse said...

Mr. Grumby: Since I've already said that I regret getting so angry, what is your point?

You know, sometimes human beings show emotion. It's not such a big deal. I was being taunted, I said I intended to stand my ground, and then I did. Sure, I wish I'd maintained a steely demeanor throughout, but I'm not all that upset that I didn't. I'll maintain a steely demeanor defending myself against the charge that I failed to take a steely demeanor. I mean, really, what is the big deal? Have you read the crap that is written about me on a daily basis by Tapped contributors? If not, you don't understand why I felt like hitting back.

Michael said...

You should apologize to Garance immediately. If it were up to me, you'd never be allowed again on bloggingheads.tv. With all of the intelligent contributions that site has, there just isn't room for your childish outbursts.

By the way, have you considered why you're so popular with conservatives? Well, let's look at conservative talk radio: trivial ad hominem unjustified attacks. What does your blog provide? Pretty much the same thing.

Brian said...

a point-by-point response, Fen, as I was watching the thoroughly depressing end of the Knicks game for the last half hour.

Well, I just got back from reading the comments: most are from previous Althouse-haters who either distort the exchange or make judgements that reveal they haven't been exposed to both sides of the issue. That sounds like the Valenti-Marcotte crowd to me.

true, that bh.tv could have a liberal bias in the comments section, but bob wright noted himself a conservative shift in recent weeks, and when i checked it before there were ZERO althouse supporters. take it for whatever it's worth.

And conservatives don't embrace Ann because she's someone from the other side who validates our opinions. We like Ann because she's someone from the Left who is sane

how am i supposed to debate this point? I think you're wrong. I think there are tons of people who are sane but who aren't as receptive to conservative ideology or policy. could you really say matt yglesias is anything but "sane"? but you probably won't see conservatives embracing him like they embrace Ann because he doesn't divert from the beaten liberal path as often. i simply disagree with you here, and i don't think there's much chance to debate this.


BTW Brian, if you would like to keep our conversation here civil, leave the ad homs at the door. Do you intend to be the example that proves Ann's point?

See? I could have easily flamed you back. Both sides DO NOT do it.


I'm sorry, but it really seems to me that you're being sycophantic. Maybe it was a cheap shot, but it seems to me that your unquestioning support of Ann in this can only be attributed to sycophancy, and not any sort of logical argumentation.

And, again. The fact that I dissed you and you didn't diss me back isn't sufficient proof that the left-wing is meaner than the right-wing. it's a single data point.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I'd also like to note the considerable irony in the fact that this whole thing stemmed from you thinking Jessica was fawning over Clinton, and when you do something bad you take refuge in your little army of sycophantic commenters (Mortimer, Fen, Simon).

Wow. Is it really that small?

Simon said...

Something else the critics should consider: it's easy to get sucked into the illusion that BHTV participants can see each other. They can't. Listen to the whole thing again with your eyes closed (or at least your monitor off), going only by what you can hear.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Just to be clear, I'm talking about data points.

Brian said...

You know, lady, if you plan on out-batshit-insaning Atlas Juggs, you're really gonna have to look at pumping up the tits.

Dave, you're a god damn moron. I'm trying to make a point here, and then you come along and make dumbass sexist, vituperative comments that make everyone on your side look like a fucking troglodyte. Seriously, who do you think you are with this objectifying bullshit? You call yourself a progressive (I assume)? You'd want your female friends to know that you comment on blogs harassing women about the size of their breats?

You're an idiot.

And you're completely undermining my point.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mrgumby2u said...

Ann- "Have you read the crap that is written about me on a daily basis by Tapped contributors?"

Ann, I read Tapped daily, and I hate to break this to you, but they're really just not that into you over there. You don't get mentioned all that much. Is that the real problem?

Maxine Weiss said...

"You know who you are."--Althouse

It's not me. I just gave Althouse a compliment.

Isn't telling someone they DON'T need Rhinoplasty a compliment?

Peace, Maxine

Randy said...

What Brian said.

I wasn't lying in wait. I was genuinely offended, as I said, by her dredging up the old subject in those terms.

Then perhaps you should consider how deeply offended by your comments Jessica Valenti was.

I was put in a dilemma where I could either defend myself and bore ordinary bloggingheads listeners or I would have to try to squelch it and seem repressive and weak. I did not like being put in that position.

You put yourself in that position.

Simon said...

Brian (9:28 PM comment) - at least in this moment of discord, we can all unite around one thing: dave is collossal idiot.

Simon said...

Maxine - it's me. She's sick of the "sycophants." ;)

Dilan said...

Prof. Althouse:

I understand that you believe the Valenti issue was about her fawning over President Clinton. Ms. Valenti made it about her breasts.

And I can't speak to Garance Franke-Ruta's motives. I don't know the woman.

But I do know that before today, if I were to mention the Jessica Valenti-Ann Althouse controvery in casual controversy, I might have very well called it a "breast controversy". Indeed, I might have said something like "the only controversy involving Ann Althouse that I followed at all was the one involving Jessica Valenti's breasts". I would not say that because I was taking her side in the dispute. I really don't have any opinion about the dispute one way or the other.

Rather, I would say it because when calling it up casually in my mind, I would remember that there was some issue involving Jessica Valenti and some issue about breasts. So I would stammer out something about a Jessica Valenti breast controversy.

The point is, I think you overreacted. I do understand that your dispute with Ms. Valenti was heated. I understand that you didn't intend to make any point about breasts in your original post about Ms. Valenti, and Ms. Valenti brought that up in response. I understand that the best way of labeling this issue is probably NOT to use the word "breast". But it is entirely possible that Ms. Franke-Ruta was saying exactly what it sounded like she was saying to someone who wasn't hearing any code-words, i.e., that the only controversy that she remembered had something to do with Jessica Valenti and breasts. And its better for civil discussion to assume that your interlocutors are arguing in good faith, unless you have pretty good evidence to the contrary. Otherwise, tempers flare and discourse becomes uncivil pretty fast.

reader_iam said...

Never mind.

Normal Public Library said...

Jessica Valenti Breast Controversy.

Robert said...

"Ann, I read Tapped daily, and I hate to break this to you, but they're really just not that into you over there. You don't get mentioned all that much. Is that the real problem?"

I finally figured that part out. At least one commentator on TAPPED does post about Professor Althouse regularly, however, he does not do it on TAPPED. See Lawyers, Guns, and Money. A search of Ezra Klein's blog will also generate some hits.

Fen said...

Then perhaps you should consider how deeply offended by your comments Jessica Valenti was.

See? This is still all about Valenti's crowd getting revenge for an imagined slight that happened 6 months ago. We'll see another 100 comments from them bringing up a flame war they can't let go of. While insisting that their side of aisle is not unhinged or vitriolic.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Then perhaps you should consider how deeply offended by your comments Jessica Valenti was.

Jessica Valenti is posing inappropriately in that picture, as anyone can see. Her pose is intended to be dramatic and sexual, contrasts her from the rest of the bloggers there, and was clearly calculated. How do you not see the inconsistency of a self-proclaimed feminist criticizing male power structures on a daily basis and then litlerally prostrating herself before a male who habitually abuses his power to sexually exploit women because he's like so totally dreamy? Are you stark raving mad? Is this not obvious? If she didn't want to be called out for selling out her principles, perhaps she shouldn't maintain a blog where she self-righteously advocates them every goddamn day as if ideological purity and rigid consistency to liberal feminism is the only thing in life that mattered. Clearly that's not what she believes, it's just some bullshit she says to pay the rent, which is why she showed up in her sexiest number to shake what her mama gave her for Slick Bubba. Jesus. Get a brain.

Randy said...

Commenters who have been banished need to know that they can never post again. It doesn't matter what you say. You are out. Any attempt to post is regarded as harassment. DO NOT POST. I WILL CONTACT GOOGLE ABOUT YOUR VIOLATION OF THE TERMS OF SERVICE. You know who you are.

Ann, a word to the wise: they won't do anything. I was being slandered on a blog and their response was to suggest that I write the blog owner - if they list an e-mail address.

Simon said...

Ruth Anne Adams said...
"Simon [9:17 p.m. comment]: The touchiness by what you call the conflict is my point. Do you call it the Valenti-breast-blogging blow-up or the Althouse-faux-feminist slap-down?"

You mean the incident where a bunch of two-bit jumped-up supernumeraries deperately tried to rebut a damaging criticism by mounting a personal assault on Ann? Mainly I call it "insulting upwards."

John said...

I guess Ann doesn't "get" my sense of humor. The substantive point I was trying to make in the post that got deleted is, it's hard to distinguish Ann's behavior here from Clinton's in the infamous Chris Wallace interview, which she seemed to find contrived and creepy. Whether this is symptomatic of AA's larger blindspots is an exercise for the reader.

I don't really think that either Althouse or Clinton is fat.

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

Is it because she's a woman that she gets a pass for these emotional outbursts and over-reactions?

My point in citing Aristotle is that men do this all the time to defend their honor and they aren't considered overly emotional; they're traditionally considered rational and just. You're just mischaracterizing her as emotionally unstable because she's female. She was justified and she apologized to the extent it appeared to be in bad form. You have no legitimate reason to criticize her at this juncture.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Dilan's 9:40 PM comment should be commended and regarded as a model of how to disagree civilly on this issue. Other critics should take note.

Fen said...

Jessica Valenti Breast Controversy.

No, its the Jessica Valenti-Intern Controversy

Simon said...

Fen said...
"Jessica Valenti Breast Controversy. Her breasts aren't contraversial. In fact, they look rather nice."

Give it twenty years and I'm sure they will.

Internet Ronin said...

True, Dave, yours probably involves a bottle.

Simon said...

^ See, that there's one of those comments I'm going to regret in the morning.

Fen said...

LOL. Echo. :P

Simon said...

John,
Well, you managed to raise my blood pressure - and probably Mort's, actually - so you've accomplished something here tonight. ;)

Randy said...

Jessica Valenti is posing inappropriately in that picture, as anyone can see.

Mortimer Brezny,

Then why don't you tell that to Jessica Valenti, perhaps face to face?

Better yet, you should offer a course on modleing and demure posing.

How do you not see the inconsistency of a self-proclaimed feminist criticizing male power structures on a daily basis and then litlerally prostrating herself before a male who habitually abuses his power to sexually exploit women because he's like so totally dreamy?

She's not lying down, so your "literally prostrating" comment is well, wrong. As for the rest of your comment, well, your level of hysteria speaks volumes about the thinness of your argument.

I have a brain. Perhaps you should grow up.

Fen said...

Brian: Dave, you're a god damn moron. You call yourself a progressive (I assume)? You're an idiot. And you're completely undermining my point.

Brian, Dave is one of our lefty trolls. We usually just ignore It. Saves Carbon Credits.

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

Ann Althouse said...
"Mr. Grumby: Since I've already said that I regret getting so angry, what is your point?

You know, sometimes human beings show emotion. It's not such a big deal. I was being taunted, I said I intended to stand my ground, and then I did. Sure, I wish I'd maintained a steely demeanor throughout, but I'm not all that upset that I didn't. I'll maintain a steely demeanor defending myself against the charge that I failed to take a steely demeanor. I mean, really, what is the big deal? Have you read the crap that is written about me on a daily basis by Tapped contributors? If not, you don't understand why I felt like hitting back."

For one thing, Mr. Grumby was discussing how many of the commenters here (including yourself, perhaps) seem to think that you won the debate. Sorry, you lost. You tried to hit back, and instead of hitting your mark, you swung wildly and missed. And an apology does not turn a defeat into a victory.

Also, I read TAPPED on a daily basis. As stated, you aren't mentioned on a daily basis, or even very frequently at all, so your rant about the horrors of the American Prospect crowd is weak.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Randy,
I didn't say "literally prostrating". I wrote "litlerally prostrating herself". So if you want to be literal about language, your rebuttal is irrelevant to what I literally wrote.

You might also note that I used "to prostrate" as a verb, not an adjective, so it technically does not mean "lying down" but rather means "To put or throw flat with the face down, as in submission or adoration". The photo is a snapshot in time and I'm describing a motion that cannot be captured in a single frame.

You might also consult a usage guide and realize that "literally" is often used to mean "figuratively". You might also note that Slick Bubba got in trouble for receiving fellatio, and a woman in the process of dropping to her knees to perform the act could be described as prostrating herself. In other words, it was a clever implication, not a literal statement.

I will criticize Jessica Valenti to her face. You pick the place and the time. I'm sure you can arrange it, seeing as you carry her bathwater. (And apparently were present at the photo shoot.)

While we're at it, why don't you make your modeling and posing comment to my face? I suppose we'll really see which one of us is the immature coward and which one of us has the courage of his convictions. Name a time and a place and I'll be there, Randy.

Fen said...

randy: I have a brain. Perhaps you should grow up.

Valenti's pose looks affected. That by itself could be written off due to Murphy: yes, unfortunately for me, my photo op with Clinton made me look a Monica-wanna-be [shrug] Just my luck. But it was her responses afterwords that made it worse - she was clueless to the damage Clinton did to feminism. She was ignorant of the most basic feminist arguments - it wasn't just about sex, it was about denying promotions to suboridinate employees who wouldn't blow you [Jones], groping campain volunteers [Wiley], rewarding employees who blew you with inteviews at the UN and Revlon [Lewinksy], to say nothing of all the other hard working women who were passed over for promotion because they didn't spread their legs for you. Valenti was ignorant of all these basic facts. She is a fraud.

Posing with Clinton like an intern [however unintentional was just the pic that summarized details. Its no different than a civil rights leader posing with David Duke with a confederate battle flag. And when called on it, the civil rights leader proclaims all the great things David Duke has done for blacks.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You're just defending her tears and tantrums because she's female.

No, I actually think Garance's arguments were hot, incoherent mess. And I think you are criticizing the professor because she gave you bad grades. I'm not a feminist.

Maxine Weiss said...

"You know who you are"---Althouse

I have a funny story. In 9th grade somebody spit on our English teacher. (English teachers are the worst--she deserved it.)

Anyway, it wasn't me. But someone , when the teachers back was turned, let loose a major spit on the 9th grade teachers hair, and the teacher felt it, too, and was livid.

The teacher turned to the whole 9th grade classroom and demanded whoever had spit on her, own up and confess, right now.

Uh, right. What were the chances that some hapless 9th grader was going to come up in front of the whole class and say: "Yes, Mrs. Boatman, I'm the one who spit on you!"

(That was her real name Wilma Boatman---she's dead now, so I can use her name.)

To make a long story short (And it is turning out to be quite long winded, huh?)

...surprise, nobody would come up to the front of the class and confess. And she was shocked! Absolutely shocked!

Ann Althouse reminds me a lot of Wilma Boatman. The righteous indignation, the unrealistic expectations, the contrived grievances etc..

Love Maxine

Fen said...

somefeller: For one thing, Mr. Grumby was discussing how many of the commenters here (including yourself, perhaps) seem to think that you won the debate.

You think that was a debate?

I think the Garance-Valenti-Marcotte crowd is taking this waaay too seriously. I can see them furiously typing their talking points to spread at the secret Townhall meetings. Geez.

Jeff said...

Enough already.

Ann, is it just me or were you and Garance agreeing that under the table polygamy is ok as long as there is no outright abuse and the people involved are adults and from foreign cultures? WTF?

Fen said...

Brian: you take refuge in your little army of sycophantic commenters (Mortimer, Fen, Simon).

Mortimer: Wow. Is it really that small?

And it gets worse. I'm the CO. Simon's the XO.

Simon said...

^ I'm the what, now, Fen? *chuckle*

Fen said...

Mary: Professional men don't call public attention to a young woman's breasts -- even if they suspect she might be "posing".

You don't think Clinton noticed her breasts and remarked about them to men on his staff?

You don't think Valenti noticed Clinton noticing?

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

I'm the what, now, Fen? *chuckle

XO = Executive Officer. 2nd in command.

And Mort is like that anonymous guy in the red engineer's uniform who gets beamed down planetside.

Poor Mort.

Robert said...

Grouping together Franke-Ruta and Marcotte is a good way of showing how little one knows about the liberal blogosphere.

Mortimer Brezny said...

And Mort is like that anonymous guy in the red engineer's uniform who gets beamed down planetside.

Ha. The redshirt? I am at least Bones, if not Spock.

Mortimer: Wow. Is it really that small?

This was not referring to the paltriness of the army.

Simon said...

I'm flattered. I always thought I was one of the cannon fodder in red tops. :p

brooksfoe said...

Jessica Valenti is posing inappropriately in that picture, as anyone can see.

I'm really interested in Mortimer's use of the phrase "as anyone can see" here. As it happens, I was just posting a response in a thread on TPMCafe to a pro-Palestinian commenter who'd used the phrase "as the whole world sees," with regard to alleged Israeli genocide.

The phrase is of course also familiar from press communiques of the Soviet and Maoist eras: "As the whole world knows," "As has always been true throughout history," and so forth. It's very often used when totalitarian regimes are trying to justify their own acts of violence and aggression by tortuously claiming that it is in fact their enemies who struck the first blow, "as all the world can see".

It's an extremely aggressive move to characterize the way someone is standing in a photo as a deliberate and condemnation-worthy political statement, particularly when that reading also alleges sexual intent. The use of phrases like "as anyone can see" is often found in conjunction with these sorts of convoluted and aggressive accusations of other people's bad intentions, in order to justify one's own attacks upon them.

Maxine Weiss said...

Hey, what's going on with all those Utah and Colorado polygamy lawsuits making their way through Federal Court, right now?

And, those people can make a freedom-of-religion argument, too.

Doyle: Have you ever had rhinoplasty?

Peace, Maxine

Fen said...

Grouping together Franke-Ruta and Marcotte is a good way of showing how little one knows about the liberal blogosphere

Key word I used was "crowd". As in their sychophants are all parroting the same talking points

Mortimer Brezny said...

I'm really interested in Mortimer's use of the phrase "as anyone can see" here. As it happens, I was just posting a response in a thread on TPMCafe to a pro-Palestinian commenter who'd used the phrase "as the whole world sees," with regard to alleged Israeli genocide.

Hmm. Wow, so I use the modal auxiliary "can" and therefore I support genocide? How reasonable.

What I meant by "as anyone can see" is that it is possible for any person to see it. Much like anyone in the room with you can see your head up your ass.

Fen said...

It's an extremely aggressive move to characterize the way someone is standing in a photo as a deliberate and condemnation-worthy political statement, particularly when that reading also alleges sexual intent.

Try standing that way in front of a mirror. Rotate your torso and arch your back. Obviously, women have a better idea what poses are affected and what are natural. And its not unlikely that its normal posture for Valenti. Even Ann said: Well, Jessica, you do appear to be 'posing.' Maybe it's just an accident before Valenti got all snarky about it.

But the pose is not the point. It merely provided a visual representation of Valenti's attitutde towards Clinton. She thinks he's been great for women, except for all that subordinate sex stuff...which is really no one's business other than his wife's...

somefeller said...

Fen says: "You think that was a debate?"

As I intimated earlier, I'm not sure if it was a debate or something else. However, Ann appears to think it was a debate, given her comment that "Either I am in a debate with her or it's a mismatch", and others seem to agree.

Either way, it did turn into some sort of competition between Ann and Garance, which Ann lost.

brooksfoe said...

Much like anyone in the room with you can see your head up your ass.

This is also the kind of response one used to get from the Soviets when one pointed out that they were the ones doing the attacking.

Mortimer Brezny said...

This is also the kind of response one used to get from the Soviets....

Yes, because saying something is obvious is equivalent to tyranny and genocide.

pablo H said...

I feel cheated.

Althouse "Unhinged"; Althouse in "Angry Rant", Althouse goes "Crazy" and "launches shocking attack".

Damn, its just Althouse raising her voice for a couple of minutes.
I call it an outburst.

Bob Wright's been ten times angrier at Kaus over Ann Coulter, i.e. "that woman".

Two men, same situation, no one would care. And any man who reacted to Althouse's outburst, like "Gervance" would get ridiculed

Whats shocking is that "Gervance" is a 30'ish woman, a Havard graduate and a senior editor at a Newsmagazine. I thought she was a obscure 20 something left-wing blogger brought in as a last minute replacement. I was even more shocked at how ignorant and unprepared she was.

Fen said...

You're really in love with your Alpha Lady meme, eh?

What about petty, innane, and vindictive qualities? Do you have an archetype for those traits too?

brooksfoe said...

Try standing that way in front of a mirror. Rotate your torso and arch your back.

I apologize if this threatens to re-fight the whole long controversy, which I followed the first time only at its very inception. But look: in my experience it's natural for your back to arch that way when you're being congratulated by someone you really admire -- whether that's a leader figure, a crush, whatever. Is that why she was arching her back in this shot? Maybe. Or maybe she just learned to pose that way for photos. How the hell do I know? I don't know what thoughts or emotions were going through her head.

And it seems to me that a certain restraint about our ability to interpret other people's motives lies close to the heart of the rational liberal tradition -- "liberal" in the sense of liberal democracy, of respect for the individual's freedom of conscience. Obviously, this will always be a judgment call: a photo of a guy grabbing his crotch and sticking his tongue out at the camera is clearly a pose, with a fairly restricted set of possible meanings. But when I read these threads, I find that an aggressive and negative specific interpretation of the way Valenti was standing in one photo has hardened into an article of absolute ideological faith among some of the posters, and must be hauled out and affirmed as absolute truth at the beginning of any conversation on the subject. And I am genuinely struck by how closely that resembles the need within vanguard political parties to embrace the "correct" interpretation of what are in fact very complex and ambiguous phenomena, and then to insult anyone whose views differ with phrases like "as all the world can see".

Fen said...

You don't think folks remember the outbursts, and come to know bloggers' names not for their inciteful social commentary but for their amusing public dustups?

Not really. There are some who fixate on such dustups. They tend to be petty, innane, and vindictive. And they come around once in a blue moon when the object of their hatred stumbles. For some reason, its very important too them.

ASX said...

Brooksfoe,
Very well said. Well written, well reasoned, well done.

Fen said...

I find that an aggressive and negative specific interpretation of the way Valenti was standing in one photo has hardened into an article of absolute ideological faith among some of the posters, and must be hauled out and affirmed as absolute truth at the beginning of any conversation on the subject

Nah. I don't insist her pose was affected. And I'm one of her worst critics here. Again, the picture merely sums up her attitude, her clueless ignorance about feminism in relation to Clinton. And thats why the Valenti defenders distort Ann's point and claim its just about Jessica's breasts. They beleive Clinton's mess was just about sex. The feminist movement betrayed its principles to support Clinton, and Jessica's picture [unfortunately] symbolizes that. Again, its like a civil rights leader posing with David Duke.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I am genuinely struck by how closely that resembles the need within vanguard political parties to embrace the "correct" interpretation of what are in fact very complex and ambiguous phenomena, and then to insult anyone whose views differ with phrases like "as all the world can see".

Except "anyone of average intelligence is capable of recognizing a particularly convincing interpretation of an event that is claimed by some to be beyond human comprehension" is not the same as "everyone in the world must see it exactly the same way by necessity". Try not insulting the intelligence of other people and pull your head out of your ass.

ron st.amant said...

Since I don't think I can add anything new to this extended commentary, I'd like to ask Ann a question unrelated to the disagreement but related to the bloggerheads appearance.

You mention you'd like to see Gore run, and you also mention you don't find much in the current field...so...

Besides Gore are there any other notables not currently running you would like to see in the field?

Maxine Weiss said...

Oh Puh-lease: I think Althouse needs to get a T-Shirt that says "I'm not your Mother!"

All these little twits that expect to be spoon-fed and mentored, and then have a temper tantrum when Mommie won't oblige, and indulge their lesbian fantasies. Boo hoo!

(My evil-Twin comes out this time of night!)

Peace, Maxine

Fen said...

Good lord fen. Just don't go painting your fingers purple to prove some odd point about how the Republican party is doing such good for the women and children of Iraq, okay?

Huh? Where did this come from? I didn't say anything about the GOP or Iraq? Have you lost your bearing?

We women sure must be dumb folks not to see how the GOP supports loyal women Bushies of all kinds, eh? Talk about biting the hand

And a tu quoque fallacy as spice. I thought you were made of sterner stuff. Are you being smurfed?

Look, the whole Valenti-Althouse "dustup" comes down to one thing: Valenti made a casual mistake by proudly posing with Clinton, then compounded it by revealing her cluelessness of the most basic feminist issues relating to Clinton. You and others want to rewrite that narrative so that the "dust up" is about some imagined slight of Valenti's physical appearance by Althouse. You're fixated on spreading gossip and inuendo about Althouse to distract from the real points she was making about feminism. And people here are not defending her because she's a woman, we're defending her because she's being unfairly attacked for something she did not do.

Fen said...

Think about it Mary: if Al Sharpton found himself in a photo op with David Duke, would he have the awareness to not be placed kneeling in front of the confederate flag?

When called on it, would he have the sense to not say I'm proud of David Duke, he's been good to the civil rights movement?

brooksfoe said...

And thats why the Valenti defenders distort Ann's point and claim its just about Jessica's breasts. They beleive Clinton's mess was just about sex. The feminist movement betrayed its principles to support Clinton, and Jessica's picture [unfortunately] symbolizes that.

Well, there we have a nearly unbridgeable ideological divide. If, like most feminists, you felt that the support of feminists for Clinton underlined a shift towards more ambiguity in judging sexual relationships, and away from attitudes that had come to seem puritanical and were widely accused of re-inscribing women's desexualization and disempowerment in the guise of liberation, rather than a "betrayal of principles" ... then you really can't be expected to see the photo the way Althouse does. And then she, as the one who raised the issue of an inappropriate pose in the first place, looks like the aggressor; and her subsequent expressions of outrage all look increasingly unpersuasive and self-inculpating.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann, I'd like to clarify, from my perspective and what I've observed here, the problems that your left detractors have with you. We've explained this in pretty simple terms but you choose to mischracterize.

It is not, as you falsely characterize in this chat, that we demand conformity.

1) You propogate, without criticism or critical evaluation, false rumors perpetuated by the right wing. Then you bury the correction days back in your blog when people have moved on.

2) You function like a signal repeater for the right wing echo machine.

3) Stuff like you think the Drudge Report is a viable news source. That you continually pick up false stories there and run with them, to your embarassment, does not deter you from quoting Drudge again.

That's the kind of problems people on the left have with you. "Conformity" has nothing to do with it, which I think you know damn well, and it's disingenuous of you to say so.

reader_iam said...

Oh, my stars and garters!!!

Love Maxine (10:16 p.m., Monday, 3/26/2007)

Even the unflappable Maxine, it seems, was--at least temporarily--set adrift from her moorings by this comments thread.

Peace, reader_iam

reader_iam said...

The burning question is, then, of course: Did Maxine abandon her pleated skirt for old cut-off shorts in the aftermath?

Rock my world.

; )

Beth said...

The bloggers posing proudly in front of Bill Clinton enraged me for that reason and every time Democratic party saps criticize me for what I said, they simply reinforce what I believe: that feminism sold out to Democratic partisan interests.

That's the best, most concise and understandable description of the Velenti brouhaha that I've seen Ann present. And I can agree with the point she makes about party interests. But during that whole dustup, I became disgusted by the ensuing exchanges, and mostly by the fact that here, on this blog frequented mostly by conservative men--some of whom I quite like and respect, I must add--what I saw developing in the comments had little to do with feminist discourse and any actual concern about Clinton's effect on feminism, and a lot more to do with a bunch of guys who never have and never will care about feminism but sure enjoyed seeing Ann take on a young feminist, and getting to use any number of synonyms for breasts while they crowed about it. I'm sure there were comments that can't be characterized that way, but I wasn't going to wade knee deep through crap to find them.

So, as I said, I understand and agree in principle with Ann's position on the harm to feminism that is Clinton's legacy. But I'm sick to death of this battle between Ann and the so-called left blogosphere.

reader_iam said...

If, like most feminists, you felt that the support of feminists for Clinton underlined a shift towards more ambiguity in judging sexual relationships...

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Which sexual relationships?

I'm not asking this in context of this dia/diva/vlog, but more generally.

I'm asking a serious question here, apart from everything else in this thread, and even this post, and Althouse, and Valenti, and etc.

Which sexual relationships?

matt said...

Ok, I mean, even if you think that garance is dong her interviewing tactic on althouse...which seems unreasoanbale because this is supposedto be a conversation, not a journalistic interview, even if you assume that, garance wasn't baiting althouse at all. If you look at her immediate reaction, she was shocked and clearly didn't really know the ins and outs of the valenite-althouse spats and repeatedly apologized for bring it up. Althouse, at the end of the diavlog was apologetic and courteous...and then to come back and spew this vitriol and innunendo at garance is unfair and pretty unclassy. I think she'll eventually come to her senses, hopefully. Because i'm such a huge bloggingheads fan, i hope this episode gets a ton of attentions and everyone watches bob wright's amazing site.

Beth said...

She's an embittered old crow.

So, is that emblematic of your commitment to feminism? You know, there's no magic leftist potion that protects leftwing boys from being sexist, just 'cause they're leftwing.

I agree with Ann that some very public feminists made compromises with their beliefs in order to maintain access in party politics. Beyond that, I have no praise for her singling out Jessica Valenti in the way she did, and in the terms she chose to use. I don't, however, doubt her feminism (even if I think it's sometimes trumped by her self-marketing.) I expect the Valenti thing will be one of those events on which Ann's perspective and mine will mostly diverge. Thus far, that hasn't made me lose interest in or respect for the whole sense of what she does as a blogger.

Victor said...

The funniest part of Althouse's outburst was that she claimed somehow discussing the Valenti-breast dustup was inappropriate on bloggingheads?

Looked like Garance touched a raw nerve, and her laid back - almost befuddled style worked perfectly. Althouse worked herself up into a rage over . . . comments Althouse made . . . . .

Funny.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Beth:

Re: your 1:19 comment

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

I was so disgusted at that time by the devolution to gleeful toss-offs of the word "rack," for example--without sufficient counterweight objection, I felt, about that specifically--that I posted at DWM two pictures to illustrate the difference between "breasts" and "meat."

Truth be told, that was a turning point, of sorts. I've never felt the same about the comment community here since.

Beth said...

reader_iam,

Thanks. I haven't posted on this at all until now, to my memory. I must have formed a little defensive wall around it in my mind. It's good to hear from someone who understands my response (and always good to see you here in the comments, conflicted feelings and all.)

reader_iam said...

You know, for what it's worth (and, yeah, I know--at this point, the worth of this is beside, well, the point), there was quite a bit of interesting conversation back and forth in this diavlog overall. That's not going to matter anymore, or be remarked upon, or maybe even be noticed. I'm wondering, now, what fraction of the people who went over to BH watched anything other than "The Exchange" part of this diavlog. Yeah, I suppose hits are hits--but surely Bob Wright is aspiring to more than just that?

Two women with interesting things to say, and who said interesting things on interesting topics and, I thought (at least "until"), in the sort of conversation I'd cheerfully and unabashedly eavesdrop on at the local cafe. But screw all of that: This is going to be known as--what? Well, I don't know what catchy little nutshell titles will ultimately be attached to this one. Whatever: They're just going to end up, functionally, as euphemisms for "catfight," 'cause when it comes down to it, this how this interaction is going to be remembered and referred to, by and large. No matter who thinks who won what.

Nothing else is going to count; how depressing is that?

JimM47 said...

These comments just exemplify why I wish blogger used threads and nesting like Slashdot. I came here wanting to comment on something completely unrelated to some overdone aged blogwar, but since the entire thread is about Ann's response to the "breast controversy" comment, anything on any other subject will just get burried in a mass of other comments that no one will bother to read through.

Daryl Herbert said...

I fell for it, too. But here in the comments it's pointed out that Garance is a 30-something, Harvard grad, journalist. Surely she knows something about pushing peoples' buttons during interviews and avoiding sensitive subjects. That's what they're trained to do--what else separates a professional journalist from an average joe with a notepad and a camera?

Or is she just an average person who isn't especially good at anything?

---

I don't know how much she knows about the law, but she was totally outmaneuvered in discussing suing people for what they say online. When asked if she was in favor of frivolous lawsuits, she said yes, instead of saying that if there's a decent chance of winning, it's not frivolous (so filing some lawsuits to test and maybe extend the boundaries of our law is not an abuse of the judicial process). That would have been an acceptable response, even if from a policy standpoint you don't like the idea of it being easier to sue people for what they say online. But I would chalk that up to her non-expertise with regard to law.

---

How is it Ann takes grief on her blog for pointing out a lie--that polar bears aren't really in trouble on the iceberg--but bringing up an old sore point out of the blue is completely innocent? Journalists are trained to mess with people that way. I certainly don't trust them.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann- "Have you read the crap that is written about me on a daily basis by Tapped contributors?" Ann, I read Tapped daily, and I hate to break this to you, but they're really just not that into you over there. You don't get mentioned all that much. Is that the real problem?"

I'm sorry. I should have made if obvious that I'm referring to mainly to a Tapped contributor who writes about me not in his Tapped posts but on a separate blog. In addition to that, there is some crap on Tapped, but that isn't frequent. But if I search for my name on Tapped, I find some pretty ugly stuff.

Ann Althouse said...

John said..."I guess Ann doesn't "get" my sense of humor. The substantive point I was trying to make in the post that got deleted..."

Oh, I understood the reference. I just found it offensively personal, and I thought most readers wouldn't get it and would take it as more of an insult than it was. You should have thought about that part.

Ann Althouse said...

But it's a good point about Clinton. He did leap at Wallace -- who, like Garance, is a journalist -- for something he suspected was there. Many people thought it was an overreaction, and he had his reasons for seeing something and smashing it down decisively, which, it's true, is exactly what I did.

Ann Althouse said...

Ruth Anne Adams said.."Was Bloggingheads "selling" this episode as "Girls Gone Wild" or "Catfight"?"

It might surprise you to know that I wrote the episode title and the segment titles.

bill said...

Transcripts, anywhere?

Ann Althouse said...

NOTE: If you see I am deleting all your comments, it means you are banned from posting anything, ever, on this blog. If you are in this category, you know that your continued commenting is regarded as harassment and stalking. Get a life.

Ann Althouse said...

Jeff said..."Ann, is it just me or were you and Garance agreeing that under the table polygamy is ok as long as there is no outright abuse and the people involved are adults and from foreign cultures? WTF?"

Wow. Substance! At last! That was a weird part of the discussion. I was saying something specific and provocative, and she pretty much nodded and went along with it without examining it.

Anyway, my point was about what the government should do. I don't think people who privately celebrate marriages or call themselves married should be punished as if they had procured marriage licenses from the government. And since people who don't call what they are doing marriage are allowed to live together and have multiple sexual relationships within a household, I don't think the people who call it marriage should be punished for polygamy. To do so would be punishing them for speech or beliefs.

I'm not saying it's good, and I think polygamy often goes along with other wrongs and that those should be treated as wrongs (just as they would be for people who don't say that they are married). Basically, private labels for relationships are none of the government's business. I see this as a matter of individual rights.

Ann Althouse said...

Maxine Weiss said..."Hey, what's going on with all those Utah and Colorado polygamy lawsuits making their way through Federal Court, right now? And, those people can make a freedom-of-religion argument, too."

I think the crimes charged there are things like rape and sex with minors.

Ann Althouse said...

Please don't respond to the commenter "Mary." I am deleting all her posts. She has been very clearly told that I regard her posting as harassment.

Marti said...

*Yawn* You need better acting skills. I've seen better acting on Different Strokes.

bill said...

What a ripoff and misrepresentation. I thought this was about Jack Valenti's perversion of a ratings system and the FCC's freakout over Janet Jackson's breasts. Or at least something interesting.

I think Reader_Iam said it best at 9:42: Never mind.

Simon said...

Beth said...
"[The bloggers posing proudly in front of Bill Clinton enraged me for that reason and every time Democratic party saps criticize me for what I said, they simply reinforce what I believe: that feminism sold out to Democratic partisan interests.]

That's the best, most concise and understandable description of the Velenti brouhaha that I've seen Ann present.
"

But Beth, that's the same point that she's been making all along - almost verbatim, in fact! That's what makes it so mystifying to see the criticism, and so impossible to take seriously Garance's coy attempt to play innocence abused. The point was always so abundantly clear that it's hard to take seriously claims from Valenti, Franke-Ruta et al that they just "misunderstood" the nature of the claim, which has effects for how one views their response.

"I understand and agree in principle with Ann's position on the harm to feminism that is Clinton's legacy. But I'm sick to death of this battle between Ann and the so-called left blogosphere."

I'm willing to bet I know someone else who's getting pretty sick of it -- or more specifically, the misrepresentation of her side of it -- too.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Beth: I don't, however, doubt [Ann Althouse's] feminism (even if I think it's sometimes trumped by her self-marketing.)

I'm beginning to realize that self-marketing plays a bigger role on this blog than I assumed. I suspect that these interpersonal dramatic controversies involving Ann Althouse are contrived to stir buzz about her online celebrity, a la Donald Trump/Rosie O'Donnell. Hence, the encouragement of commenters to leave comments on other sites, link to Memeorandum, the self-promotion of an unflattering exchange.

Jennifer said...

My take: Ann got more angry than she would have liked and reacted emotionally and probably not altogether professionally. Garance may or may not have intended that, but once she saw what was happening it appeared to me that she played to it. "I didn't realize it was such a touchy subject for you." "I didn't realize you were so sensitive about it." Classic push-button lines.

Also, she has an incredibly irritating voice.

P.S. Would anybody be flipping out like this if two men were debating/conversing and one of them raised their voice and showed anger?

jsmdlawyer said...

Shorter Ann Althouse:

Everybody notice me! I'm over here! I'm not getting enough attention! Look, I'm throwing a fit! Hey! Over here!

The next time someone finds an Althouse post that doesn't involve transparent grubbing for attention (and/or complaining about lack of same), please let me know. If I were Ann, I'd be embarrassed. But it appears that Ann had her capacity for embarrassment (not to mention self-control, restraint and some semblance of dignity) removed a long time ago.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm amused by the countertheme that I'm just acting --and that I'm a bad actor. Hey, if I'm such a bad actor, why do so many people think I went crazy? Or are they acting. It's easier to "act" in writing than on camera, of course. Come on, if you think I was acting, you have to give me credit for being a terrific actress. Or you have to say the people who think I'm losing it are unperceptive or liars. Which is it now?

Simon said...

Jennifer said...
"Would anybody be flipping out like this if two men were debating/conversing and one of them raised their voice and showed anger?"

Clearly not - I'm pretty sure Bob got almost that mad at Mickey recently.

I'd reiterate my comment earlier -- remember that these people can't see each other while they're conversing. All you can go by is tone of voice, verbal inflection, choice of words and so forth. It's like a telephone conversation.

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