April 2, 2007

Bob Wright on why I thought I was "ambushed" on Bloggingheads.

Sorry, this isn't the post about the new Supreme Court case. I'll get to that later. Remember, I'm on vacation. But I've just got to post about the new Bloggingheads episode in which Bob Wright and Michael Kinsley talk about me.

Bob introduces the topic by saying that under "the new Bloggingheads business model," he's going to have to yell at Kinsley and threaten to hang up. It's "the precedent" and "a proven traffic-generation model." Kinsley says he's fine with that, "the sooner the better."

Referring to the precedent, set, of course, by me, Michael says:
I didn't completely understand it. I certainly sympathize with Ann, the woman who felt she'd been abused by the bloggers.
Bob says that's good and notes that I didn't get much sympathy from the Bloggingheads commenters. He goes on:
I'm sympathetic. You're sympathetic because you recently got trashed by liberal bloggers. I'm sympathetic because I am myself prone to fly off the handle.
Michael asks for an explanation of what exactly it was that upset me, and Bob tries to explain. You can go over and listen to the explanation, which I don't entirely agree with, because it lacks context. He makes it sound as though all I ever wrote about was that a woman posed in a way that accentuated her breasts!

Now, Bob says: "Ann, I think, thought it was a set up. She... and I'm slightly culpable for this in a way I could go into and now that I've said this, I guess I have to go into it." He explains that before a Bloggingheads episode, the diavloggers agree to a series of topics, and that Garance Franke-Ruta and I had not agreed to talk about that old controversy -- what Garance referred to as "the Jessica Valenti breast controversy." (I would have refused, by the way, and in the past, Bob has tried to get me to diavlog with someone on that subject, and I have declined.) Bob: "Ann thought this was an ambush. Okay?"

Michael guesses that it was within a larger topic of "people being rude on the internet." But that was not one of the agreed-upon topics either. Bob says he doesn't know what our topics were, but says he's "sure" the topic of "mean left-wing bloggers" was. Well, it wasn't!

Bob says, "so from Garance's point of view, there was a legitimate context." But, no, in fact, she introduced the whole topic.

Bob goes on: "Ann thought it was an ambush, and here's my culpability." He explains that when he was arranging the diavlog with Garance, she had said she'd like to diavlog with -- guess who? -- Jessica Valenti! Bob didn't think that would be a good idea, because he assumed the two of them would just agree about everything, and so he suggested me instead. He makes a point of saying that he didn't realize that Valenti was the subject of the old controversy, however. But he did see me as an "ideological opponent" of Valenti's, based on the way her name had come up in my diavlog with Glenn Reynolds.

Bob reveals that he'd given me all that background and says that he sees it as a basis for me to have assumed Garance and Valenti are "kind of allies." This "increased the plausibility that this is an ambush," he says.

Bob invites Kinsley to comment on it, and Kinsley says, "it makes for good video when people are really upset and threatening to leave" and tells a story about Christopher Hitchens storming off the set of "Crossfire."

I'm not planning to keep bugging you with the old Bloggingheads story (which is a continuation of the old Clinton-lunching-with-the-bloggers story), but Bob Wright and Michael Kinsley were talking about me.

123 comments:

Bob said...

All vortex, all the time!

reader_iam said...

Boy, Bob Wright comes off as a real amateur as a producer and booker, which is how he's functioning at BHTv. Very illuminating.

Frankly, everyone involved comes off as amateurs in one way or another, whether they are or not, and even though they didn't need to.

New media is going to replace the MSM. All hail citizenjournalists and citizenpundits. Just anybody--in fact, everybody!--can do this stuff!

Yeah, right.

reader_iam said...

Dave: Ever hear the saying, "Variety is the spice of life?"

Daryl Herbert said...

They're never going to stop mentioning it to attack you, if you ignore 'em it won't make 'em stop because they know it irks you, and if you respond, they'll say you're obsessed with it (and that's just proof of their thesis, that you're obsessed with Jessica Valenti's Breasts)

Ridicule is a powerful weapon. Of course, you know that--you were bragging about how successful you were in ridiculing the bloggers in that photo. Now they've done the same to you.

Obviously they want to shut you up. The most effective thing you could do to be a thorn in their side is to keep going.

reader_iam said...

OK, now part of what I wrote in my comment is sort of silly. It was a gut, even off the cuff, reaction--born out of irritation by how this whole thing started out and was handled.

Obviously, Wright is not an amateur with regard to media in general. I do and did know that. I also know the backgrounds of Franke-Rute and Althouse. So, at least with regard to the two journalists, a chunk of my third paragraph could rightly be viewed as not making much sense, in context.

I still stand by the second paragraph thought, and especially due to the experience of the people involve.

Fen said...

ASX: That was supposed to say -

Hysterical.

You guys have planted you flag on such innane terrain.

ASX said...

Daryl,
You must admit: Ruining a photograph is such a small goal, while ruining one's own reputation is such a massive price to pay.

Ann pulled the rug out from her defenders today (but trust me, they won't mind) by changing the story all of a sudden. After months of playing the victim, she now admits that she was the "cruel," "mean," and "nasty" person "who started it." Well gosh, Ann, that's what we've been saying all along -- and what you have been denying, and encouraging your pack of comment-wolves to deny on your behalf.

Ann also admits that she complains only "for effect." In other words, her complaining is dishonest and disingenuous.

Why someone would want to play victim is beyond me, especially when 99% of the population sees right through it. I heard a rumor Ann was writing a book about her mistreatment at the hands of liberal bloggers. (What a sad topic for a book.) But perhaps that's what this is all about: manipulating people like Garance into giving her material for her self-indulgent, self-pitying posts and other future ambitions.

Fen said...

Again, I'm not interested in refuting your assertions, as its obvious you cannot comprehend what you read. Waste of my time.

Simon said...

"Bob says, 'so from Garance's point of view, there was a legitimate context.' But, no, in fact, she introduced the whole topic."

Ann, help me out on something that I don't think's been made clear. I've said that I think Garance's first line in that segment of the divalog was loaded ("I don't get this from your blog, per se, but I understand that you're apparently a conservative") and that it forms part of the relevant context. But was that section -- talking about whether you're a conservative -- even on the list of topics for discussion, or was it something she brought up that you played along with pursuant to your previously-stated desire to more more freely between topics?

AJD said...

Advice for Ann: take a vacation.

Seriously. A real one.

george said...

Ann-
Please get over yourself.
More comment on the university, the profession of law, the neighborhood, and the weather will be appreciated.
Thanks, George

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: She brought it up. It wasn't on the list.

"I heard a rumor Ann was writing a book about her mistreatment at the hands of liberal bloggers."

Care to say where you heard that or why that's even worth writing? Sheer stupidity.

Ann Althouse said...

People who think I shouldn't post when Bob Wright and Michael Kinsley talk about me for 10 minutes on line just don't make any sense to me. I'm not interested in dragging this out, and there are many, many things that I've ignored... but not that.

M said...

Ann 9:24
---that's really too bad. The high road is so much more interesting.

Enjoy your vacation. I long for one but doubt
I would spend it deleting comments from first-time commentors. To each his own.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann, enjoy your vacation. Sounds like fine idea. Madison's (big) sister city is enjoyable.

Here's an example from this week of Matt Drudge pushing false information as "news."

In this case he's saying that Michael Ware, the CNN correspondent from on the ground in Baghdad, heckled John McCain. Turns out Ware never said a thing and, when he raised his hand to ask a question, the press conference promptly ended. Video at the link...

Drudge pulls this stuff all the time which is why bloggers seeking credibility will not repeat his attacks.

Simon said...

Ann - okay. I'm really not done with this in other places yet, and the point came up on another blog.

Daryl Herbert said...

Here's an example from this week of Matt Drudge pushing false information as "news."

Matt Drudge didn't post false information if he was telling the truth: a McCain staffer told him that Ware heckled McCain at the press conference. Drudge relayed that to us. You want to hang a journalist because he's betrayed by one of his sources? That's silly.

What's even sillier is the modern journalistic rule that even if a source lies to you, manipulates you, gets you to make a fool of yourself, you have to keep their identity secret. But you'll have to take that up with the left-wing journos who make the rules (Drudge doesn't).

Funny that you would bring up Drudge and rumors on a thread about Bill Clinton.

ASX said...

I no longer recall where I heard you were writing a book. The idea was a book that would look at differences between the left and right blogospheres. It could have even been a joke that I misinterpreted.

In any event, I honestly am sorry this whole thing has blown up like it has. I have enjoyed your blog, your style, your BHTV appearances, etc., for a long time. I remember watching your last BHTV with Bob Wright and thinking how the episode really did illustrate your genuinely moderate nature, and your pleasant personality.

But your behavior with the original Valenti incident was shameful, and you compounded it enormously with your treatment of Garance.

You should have done a long time ago what you finally did today by admitting your own instigating role, your own deliberate decision to be mean, nasty, and cruel to advance your anti-Clinton agenda.

Why on earth would you complain so vociferously about people reacting to you with vitriol when you started it yourself? I guess you answered that when you said you do it "for effect."

You keep saying, "I know what I'm doing," suggesting a master plan that explains it all.

But to the rest of the world, it just looks crazy. Unhinged. And you don't deserve that reputation. But people recall the bad more than the good, and are especially unforgiving with those who refuse to apologize or take responsibility for vicious personal attacks on undeserving targets. I mean, really, Ann. Calling Jessica ugly? (You said "don't flatter yourself," which is the same thing.) And then after that kind of low blow you play the victim.

I guess we all know this isn't the last Althouse controversy. So, who's next on the hit list?

Daryl Herbert said...

Ruining a photograph is such a small goal, while ruining one's own reputation is such a massive price to pay.

Do you really think you can ruin peoples' reputations just by hating at them long and hard enough?

The real question is: why are you so obsessed with carrying out the politics of personal destruction?

Do you think you can mock dissent into nothing? That you can ridicule away everything you don't like?

The result is, sooner or later you start to ridicule 80% of the populace, and people treat you with contempt (see, e.g., Amanda Marcotte and her comments on "hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit"). People stop finding ridicule funny once they realize you're laughing at them behind their backs.

ASX said...

Drudge pulls this stuff all the time which is why bloggers seeking credibility will not repeat his attacks.
Good point. However there is safety in numbers, and if the pack of bloggers running with Drudge's lies is big enough, it provides a kind of cover -- and a plausible deniability -- that allows them all to run with it.

And let's face it: They don't care what the truth is. They want rocks to throw, and they aren't particularly concerned with the truth of their attacks.

Take Ann's promotion of the "Lonely Kerry" photos.

Ann was obviously smart enough to recognize it as a smear job. Any person with a brain could recognize that there could be a hundred different explanations for why Kerry appeared the way he did in that photo.

But Ann doesn't like Kerry, and wanted to throw a rock at him. She saw what all the other bloggers were saying, so she jumped on board to join them.

I'll give Ann credit, at least, for correcting the record after the facts became evident.

That's more than her "warm" and "welcoming" friends in the right-o-sphere were willing to do.

quimby10 said...

Wait, now I'm confused. Ann, I thought the reason Garance brought up the Valenti episode is because you were discussing how left-wing bloggers dislike you?

Maxine Weiss said...

george, honey, we need to have a little chat, just us two, nobody else.

Has anybody ever talked to you about women? Didn't your mother ever warn you about them?

Peace, Maxine

Simon said...

"Wait, now I'm confused. Ann, I thought the reason Garance brought up the Valenti episode is because you were discussing how left-wing bloggers dislike you?"

Right, but Garance brought up the subject, and brought up the subject in an extremely loaded manner at that. And then proceded to frame a response in a loaded manner.

reader_iam said...

People who think I shouldn't post when Bob Wright and Michael Kinsley talk about me ... .

It really is an obvious post to make, honestly, given that we're talking about Wright and Michael Kinsley, for pete's sake, and especially given what Wright had to say. That's what makes this different from another sort of post on the topic might bne.

No matter how anyone feels about anyone involved, and regardless how one feels about the let-it-go issue more generally, Althouse's reaction to what Wright said is an obvious part of the narrative arc of this story.

After I clicked over here to see if Althouse had a response to the BHTv segment and what Wright had to say, I also clicked over the Garance's blog to see if she was going to weigh in. Well, it's sort of a natural progression of curiosity--of story--on the part of onlookers (consumers of media, to make it more generic). Blogging is like other media in a number of ways, after all, at least in the bigger leagues--think of consumers, and what are they likely to want? Given info X, what's their next question going to be?

If one were standing back and just writing an article, of course you'd want to get the reaction of the others involved. J101.

On the other hand, under the same analogy, I ALSO would have thought that the background Wright provided today would have been better and more logically provided a week ago, and by any of those involved.***

So what do I know?

***(Althouse, did you only, just this week discover this information about Wright's thoughts and conversations?)

Simon said...

Reader - JAC reminded us all of Bob's comment last week.

Ann Althouse said...

Quimby: "Wait, now I'm confused. Ann, I thought the reason Garance brought up the Valenti episode is because you were discussing how left-wing bloggers dislike you?"

No, Garance introduces the topic of whether I'm a conservative and is trying to understand why she got the idea that i was a conservative when, reading my blog, she didn't see how I was. My response was then to say that that is how lefty bloggers characterize me, etc. She brought up the topic, which was not on the list. Listen to the segment again and you'll see.

quimby10 said...

Right, but Garance brought up the subject, and brought up the subject in an extremely loaded manner at that.

Simon, that's absolutely not true. Althouse brought up the issue of her treatment by liberal blogs.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse, did you only, just this week discover this information about Wright's thoughts and conversations?"

No. We were in touch by email, and I knew all along he was sympathetic to me.

quimby10 said...

Ann, I think I'm misunderstanding? In today's post, I thought you meant that the topic of "mean left wing bloggers" was off limits. Rewatching the segment, it seems that you brought up that topic when Garance started a discussion on how she (mis)perceives you as a conservative?

Simon said...

Quimby - I mean Garance brought up that entire subject, and did so in an extremely loaded manner.

I finally got around to watching the Wright-Kinsley diavlog, and that just goes to add to the weight of context that I've previously noted. I mean, there really isn't anything left, at this stage, of an argument that mightb put Ann's response beyond the pale. All the detractors are left with is those with preexisting hostility and those who just don't KNOW the context.

quimby10 said...

Simon - by "the subject," you mean the Valenti episode? To be honest, I think that's a legitimate response by Garance - she's been posed a question about the liberal blogosphere's feelings towards Ann.

Ann Althouse said...

ASX said..."I no longer recall where I heard you were writing a book. The idea was a book that would look at differences between the left and right blogospheres."

Where did that come from? That's just weird. I'd find that topic really boring. What's to say there? What I have to say on that subject, I've said.... already more than I want to say too.

reader_iam said...

Daryl Herbert:

Technically speaking, Drudge's report didn't specifically identify the "official at the press conference" as being a McCain staffer, or any other specific person's or entity's staffer, which I found curious when I first read it.

An "official at the press conference" has to be one of the more lame-o anonymous-source description I have seen.

Grudge has developed lots of contacts and sources over time. He can be a good source of leads, sometimes a very good one. But a journalist? No way. Not in my estimation, and I don't give a rat's ass how much print-press jargon he throws around.

And yes, protecting sources is absolutely a cultural norm in the journalism profession. Yes, you learn stuff like that in journalism courses. Yes, you hear a lot about in newsrooms. Yes, it's even very important in a number of courses. But it also can be gratuitously used, overused, too quickly offered, and even abused.

Note that I said it's a norm (and that I'm not dismissing the norm: there are very compelling reasons for the impulse, very good ones--as well as bad ones and indifferent ones). It's not a RULE, though, in the way that you use that word, much less a LAW. It's not a WRIT handed down from on high. Individual newspapers, and sometimes even reporters, can choose to handle the issue in a number of ways.

And liberal/conservative, left/right really is irrelevant in this case.

reader_iam said...

in this case.

"Context" is a better choice of word than "case" for what I was trying to say.

Simon said...

Quimby - no, I mean that entire section of the video was driven by Garance. That's what I was asking Ann upthread - the discussion starting with Garance's ludicrously coy question ("I understand you're a conservative") -- and remember, playing coy is SPECIFICALLY one of the devicies Garance had spoken about earlier in the diavlog as one of her techniques for manipulating interlocutors -- was brought up sua sponte by Garance.

Hoofin said...

Don't look now, but Salon does have a piece up about liberals who go on Fox News to be used as pawns, to make the Democratic Party look extremely liberal.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/04/03/fox_news_democrats/index.html

So this must be theme of the month, to start p-ing matches with (or picking at people) who are not following the party line on issues.

I believe the JVBC has simply become a surrogate issue for menacing a free-speech artist.

reader_iam said...

Eh, too busy multitasking--I'm getting to old!!!--to keep the typos down to a tolerable level--in comment terms--tonight ("courses" for "cases"?--well, really).

Generally speaking, though, I think we're in story-handling territory now, and conflicting expectations for how people are to be, or shoudl be, informed and kept informed in order to make legitimate judgments. What's manipulative and what's not. And the fact that manipulation--in all its forms--appears to be a pretty generally accepted practice across the board, these days. In blogging. In vlogging. In journalism. At news-rumor sites.

I think it's a dangerous game, no matter who's playing it, how and why. But then again, what do I know?

quimby10 said...

Simon - no. Garance asks if Ann is a conservative, at which point Ann brings up the topic of her treatment by the lefty blogs.

Simon said...

Quimby - in answering Garance's question in the negative, she explains how it could be perceived that way since so many lefties on't get and/or dislike her blog.

AlphaLiberal said...

Drudge is constantly peddoing false information.

To whoever that was defending him, a reporter's job is not to run to pres with the first rumor, but to check out the story and corroborate it with other witnesses or factual evidence.

This time it was so bad even Glenn Reynolds couldn't avoid `fessing up.

"MORE: Ware denies the heckling, and he's got video. Looks like Drudge got burned, as, to a lesser degree, did those of us who relied on him."
http://instapundit.com/archives2/003803.php

Drudge, lying piece of crap.

dave™© said...

I'm not interested in dragging this out...

The fuck you aren't, lady. It's all you've got.

Elizabeth said...

You want to hang a journalist because he's betrayed by one of his sources? That's silly.

Drudge is not a journalist. If he was, he would seek at least two sources before "reporting" something.

Yes, it's the job of an actual journalist to confirm what he or she is told by a source. Reporting is more than typing what a political operative tells you and saying, "well, it's accurate, if by accurate you mean this is an accurate transcription of what I was told."

That's why the "new media" of blogging is not going to replace actual reporting. Instapundit to his credit followed up when this was shown to be false, but his linking to it in the first place is good evidence that none of those folks, not Drudge, not Malkin, not Instapundit, is a journalist. They'll link to something because it's interesting, because it fits their agenda, because someone else linked to it. That's not reporting, it's gossip.

Dr Zen said...

You'd think people wouldn't lie about what happened, given that it was done by video and we all have access to it. Ann was doing her usual "the lefties all hate me for no reason" and when Garance mentioned the only reason she could think of, Ann went off her head. Actually, to use the slang of my native land, she seems to spend a lot of time off her tits. Maybe she'd been hitting the vino collapso before turning up to vlog.

reader_iam said...

Elizabeth: We keep running into each other these days, here, again, as used to happen quite a bit ago. And agreeing, quite a bit, again.

What's up with that?

I will say that, though I very much value the ideal, sometimes you can't always get those two or more [better yet, at least somewhat independent] sources, and sometimes the judgment (legitimately) may be to go ahead anyway. But I'd certainly feel better if I were sure that, as a general rule, the ideal was valued as the goal, if not always the practical reality.

That sureness eludes.

Elizabeth said...

Hey again, reader:

It is good to keep crossing paths. I'm starting to look forward to it.

I agree that there are rare times when a single source story might be justified. But it ought to be rare. Drudge does it as a matter of course, as do too many blogs. The more I see blogs linking to unsubstantiated stories, the more I relegate them to the realm of interesting and creative reading--not a source of information. Powerline is still trying to find a way to make this story work (they're at "okay, no heckling but Ware is still a big old weinie" now).

mcg said...

Squirrels with a food fetish, I tell you.

reader_iam said...

In a world that truly involved story resolution, or at least a respect, if not commitment, to narrative trajectory, there'd be plans afoot for a BHTv between Wright and Althouse, in which **the pertinent subjects** would be on the roster (plus whatever). Also one between Wright and Franke-Ruta, same thing.

And then between Althouse and Franke-Ruta, same thing.

Taking bets for the likelihood(s).

Takers? Takers? Takers? (With a voice-tone nod to Ferris Bueller.)

reader_iam said...

It wouldn't have to be three separate BHTv episodes (we don't want to be boring, after all).

No, I'm thinking more along the lines of segments within an episode. Like "pick-your-fave" or punditry show. Or, even, Love American Style.

Maybe it even could incorporate the that show's theme song, a snippet here linked from the original 1966 episode.

Better yet--oh, crap! I had forgotten that Happy Days actually "debuted" as a segment on Love American Style--this version of the theme song.

"Not funny, reader_iam"?

Oh, well. Tastes differ. What can I say?

Maxine Weiss said...

Oh oh oh...I finally watched the Garance thing with sound. With sound !!!!

It's a whole new world for me.

There's a delay. There's a lag between the time that Garance brings up Jessica Valenti, and Althouse goes postal.

Althouse, why the delay?

I wonder if it took Althouse a little bit of time to work up steam. She has to build to that point.

Garance is a wimp. If I were Garrance I'd have really pressed the issue. This is like gold, I seriously want to see Althouse hang up and be left with dead air. What would it take to get Althouse to storm off. Has that ever happened, Bloggingheads be left with dead air !!! That would be so cool.

I wanna see someone really provoke Althouse and keep going with it.

It might have to be me. I could do it.

Peace, Maxine

reader_iam said...

Like "pick-your-fave" news or punditry show.

johnstodder said...

dave™© said...
I'm not interested in dragging this out...

The fuck you aren't, lady. It's all you've got.


Oh, dave™©, you rapscallion you!

By the way, your Mom was going to talk to you about licking your handkerchief after blowing your nose!

(cue laugh track.)

rgajria@uwm.edu said...

Well, I hope you continue appearing on blogginheads.

Simon said...

Maxine -
"There's a delay. There's a lag between the time that Garance brings up Jessica Valenti, and Althouse goes postal. ... [w]hy the delay?"

See Ann's comment here and my comments here et seq. and here

Paco Wové said...

Jeez, isn't this thing over yet?

...well, I'm changing the channel until a new show comes on.

Doug said...

"Garance brought up that entire subject, and did so in an extremely loaded manner."

From this angle it looked like Garance simply uttered the words "Jessica Valenti breast controversy" and Ann took that lone phrase as her cue to flip out, but it takes diff'rent strokes to rule the world, I guess.

The only thing Garance did wrong was that she didn't call out Althouse for being the petulant child that she was. This whole controversy, to the extent that there still is one, was started by Ann, which she now freely admits; if she can't do any better than to throw a tantrum and lob charges of "character assassination" whenever someone so much as brings it up, that's nobody's fault but hers.

Simon said...

Doug said...
"From this angle it looked like Garance simply uttered the words "Jessica Valenti breast controversy" and Ann took that lone phrase as her cue to flip out ..."

That fails even on its own terms. As Maxine points out above, and as Ann pointed out previously, it isn't that phrase in isolation that is the lonely cue, although I readily agree that it lights a fuse - rather, it's about a minute or so later after Garance interrupts her.

If your point was merely that it was a bad judgment call, or regardless of the merits of the judgment call an overreaction, then I might be willing to buy that as a reasonable point. The only question, so far as I'm concerned, was whether it was reasonable, in view of all the context that lead to that moment (the general context of how the leftosphere has treated Althouse in the last two years, the specific context of previous comments in the diavlog, and Bob Wright has no added yet another layer of context), for Ann to interpret a highly loaded term uttered by someone who is at a minimum a movement leftospherian (to coin a phrase), and who we now know (and Ann knew at the time) is pals with Valenti, as a verbal slight. As long as that snap judgment call can be considered a reasonable call -- even if it didn't stand up in hindsight (although I think it does) -- that's the only issue, and I'm willing to defer to Ann's judgment as to what was and wasn't an appropriate response. Since you weren't that person there in that moment, so should you.

Y.G. Brown said...

This is quite the interesting rhetorical game, Ann. You have acted in an admittedly "cruel" and "deliberately nasty" fashion, though many think that your conduct is most aptly described as childish and unhinged. You also admit that your complaints about the response you've received to your little fit(s) are not really valid but should only be taken "for effect."

While you're doing that two-step you are also crying out that anytime anyone discusses your "cruel" childishness in a manner that is not to your personal liking that it is character assassination and that you as a victim of mean-spirited attacks.

You must have professional dance training or something. I don't know how you can contort yourself like this without pulling a muscle.

Simon said...

Y.G. Brown-
"You must have professional dance training or something. I don't know how you can contort yourself like this without pulling a muscle."

She's extraordinarily flexible, you know. Now, try to calm down...

SippicanCottage said...
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SippicanCottage said...
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RogerA said...

I second Sippian's remark.

Kathyb said...

In the Wright-Althouse bloggingheads, I thought I heard surprise in Bob's voice that you identified yourself as a feminist. You did not seem to fit his definition of a feminist perhaps you are being type cast as too second wave. This whole flame war seems to me to be more about slotting you as second wave and Garance-Ruta and Valenti as third wave.

Meade said...

I object to Sippican's remark.

This isn't piffle. It's real. It's interesting. It's illuminating. It goes all the way back to the Clintons' betrayal of the principle feminist ethic of equal opportunity and the willingness of the phony Left to close ranks and join in with the Clintons in their pathetic sense of entitlement, their greed and hypocrisy.

AlphaLiberal said...

Wow. You guys are still talking about this?

Garance made a single reference to a contgroversy. That is not rude. If you're going to have a public life, as Ann seems to crave, then you can't dictate to other people not to bring up controversies that you've stoked.

There nothing judgmental in Garance's description of the controversy, simply a non-judgmental reference.

And Ann was frequently interrupting her, so what?

Trivial piffle indeed.

Fen said...

Elizabeth: The more I see blogs linking to unsubstantiated stories, the more I relegate them to the realm of interesting and creative reading--not a source of information.

alphaliberal: To whoever that was defending him, a reporter's job is not to run to pres with the first rumor, but to check out the story and corroborate it with other witnesses or factual evidence

Well, it would be nice it reporters did that to begin with. CBS pushing forged docs that their own experts wouldn't support, Newsweek push the false Koran Flushing story [which resulted in riots and deaths], CNN admitting [only becasue they were about to be busted] that they deliberately kept info re Saddam's torture chambers and rape rooms from the public? And yet, you and your kind still use these propagandists as information brokers.

At least Instapundit and Powerline issued corrections. When the media [routinely] gets the facts wrong, they issue a correction a week later on page A18, after their "myth" has wormed its way into conventional wisdom.

Elizabeth: Powerline is still trying to find a way to make this story work (they're at "okay, no heckling but Ware is still a big old weinie" now).

No. You are being deceptive:

First, along with Instapundit, Powerline corrects the story:

The Drudge Report continues to post its exclusive report on the allegedly inappropriate behavior by CNN reporter Michael Ware in Baghdad. We took the report at face value before Raw Story posted the video disputing the Drudge account, which appears to be inaccurate. Hot Air comments here. Glenn Reynolds comments here. Drudge owes his readers an explanation regarding the story and, if he got it wrong, an apology to Michael Ware.

As for maintaining Ware is a "weenie", they have a valid point:

Ware thus accuses John McCain -- American hero, frequent critic of the administration, and frequent critic of the administration's handling of the war -- of bad faith and intellectual dishonesty.

By any objective measure, the surge has had a positive effect on Baghdad. Civilian casualties are down sharply since January; execution style deaths are half of what they were; and other killings have declined by almost the same factor. But even in the absence of such statistics, there would be no defense for Ware's accusations of bad faith on the part of Senator McCain and others. Ware's reporting itself constitutes heckling.

When a reporter becomes this much of an advocate, he should no longer cover the story. If CNN were a credible news organization, it would reassign Ware.


Elizabeth, you condemn those with agendas as not credible - so how can you snark at evidence that people like Ware have their own agenda? Do you still trust CBS? Why? Do you still trust CNN? Why?

Elizabeth said...

I keep mulling over the many, many things that bother me about this ongoing thing--call it what you will. I understand Ann's anger at the lack of a feminist Sistah Souljah moment for Clinton, fine. But what does she want feminists to do? Cross party lines? No, that whole "9/11 happened" is far too cryptic a reason for me to vote for Bush, and I have to ask where's Ann's Sistah Souljah moment for Bush--how is it Ann feels fine supporting him, after, for instance, his signing the gag order his first day in office. Surely he has women's blood on his hands from that one. But that's okay? That's somehow not as bad as Clinton's sexual transgressions?

No, this all rings very false. I can't recognize moral authority in outrage against Clinton from people who don't even question their support for a president who's done more to harm women than Bill did.

This really is trifling, piffling nonsense. And becoming more and more boring to boot.

Now, I'll step aside so the Republican, conservative men can lecture me on why I'm not a good feminist.

Fen said...

AlphaLiberal; Wow. You guys are still talking about this?

Only because your kind continue to parrot lies and distortions that need to be corrected.

Garance made a single reference to a contgroversy. That is not rude

Case in point - you pretend to be completely ignorant that Garance broached the topic [however inadvertently] with Valenti-spin. Ann had a right to call her out on that. Keep covering your eyes and ears, its hysterical the length you'll go to maintain your commitment & consistency, just like your defense of Clinton's sexual abuse.

Elizabeth said...

Fen, I don't trust any one network. But Ware's points are fair. McCain is peddling a big load of bullshit about the surge. His so-called safe little stroll was accomplished with an immense military escort. The death rate in Iraq is up, not down. The surge isn't working. And the Republicans know it. It's that strange little sliver of the faithful 30 percent who are misleading themselves.

Fen said...

I can't recognize moral authority in outrage against Clinton from people who don't even question their support for a president who's done more to harm women than Bill did.

Tu Quoque fallacy: I choose to deny critiques of Clinton because I beleive Bush is worse.

Fen said...

The surge isn't working.

The surge IS working. People like Ware have a vested interest in denying its success, and as such, should not be trusted to objectively report on it.

Elizabeth said...

No Fen, I tend not to defend Ann in her ongoing critique of feminists for being hypocrits because of her own hypocrisy. She specifically critiques those feminists who viewed supporting Clinton as strategically important; I think she's doing the same thing with Bush.

Elizabeth said...

What is Ware's vested interest, Fen? And what is your evidence that the surge is working, other than saying it over and over?

Fen said...

Even the NYTs [3-18] is forced to damn with faint praise:

The American fatality rate since the surge began is down from previous weeks. The number of civilian fatalities in Baghdad since mid-February has dropped modestly as well.

The young cleric Moktada al-Sadr has told his Mahdi Army to lie low, and coalition forces are encountering only sporadic violence in most of Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood as a result. Remarkably, towns like Ramadi in Anbar Province are gradually stabilizing. Intelligence tips are increasing. . .

There is a real glimmer of hope, but no proof of progress, from the surge so far.


And Wapo [3-11]:

Some observers are reporting the shift. Iraqi bloggers Mohammed and Omar Fadhil, widely respected for their straight talk, say that "early signs are encouraging." The first impact of the "surge," they write, was psychological. Both friends and foes in Iraq had been convinced, in no small part by the American media, that the United States was preparing to pull out. When the opposite occurred, this alone shifted the dynamic.

And AP [2-27]:

The Baghdad security operation has been under way less than three weeks, but it has already registered a success: a sharp drop in the number of bullet-riddled bodies found in the streets - victims of sectarian death squads.The number of bodies found so far this month in Baghdad - most of them shot and showing signs of torture - has dropped by nearly 50 percent to 494 as of Monday night, compared with 954 in January and 1,222 in December, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

Since the crackdown was formally launched Feb. 14, a total of 164 bodies had been found in the capital as of Monday, according to AP figures, which are compiled from police reports. The AP count showed 390 bodies were discovered in the same period in January.

“The intensive security measures have forced the gunmen to leave Baghdad and quit throwing bodies in the streets,” said Kamil Abdul-Nour, a 42-year-old Sunni teacher. “Still, I am afraid that this phenomenon will appear again if the security measures end,” he said.


Elizabeth, just for the record, you're hoping that the Surge will work right?

Elizabeth said...

Fen, we don't even have a criteria for what it means for the surge to work. I'm for equipping the Iraqis to govern themselves and and letting them get on with that. Any idea that we're going to eventually subdue all areas and parties in Iraq and waltz out leaving a peaceful scene behind us is fantasy. It's about choosing the right time to leave now.

Elizabeth said...

Fen, we don't even have a criteria for what it means for the surge to work. I'm for equipping the Iraqis to govern themselves and and letting them get on with that. Any idea that we're going to eventually subdue all areas and parties in Iraq and waltz out leaving a peaceful scene behind us is fantasy. It's about choosing the right time to leave now.

Ann Althouse said...

Elizabeth: "and I have to ask where's Ann's Sistah Souljah moment for Bush--how is it Ann feels fine supporting him, after, for instance, his signing the gag order his first day in office. Surely he has women's blood on his hands from that one. But that's okay? That's somehow not as bad as Clinton's sexual transgressions?"

I rarely mention Bush. I voted for him because I had to vote for one of two candidates and I thought he was preferable. I support the war because we are in the middle of fighting it and need to win. I wasn't blogging or talking about the war back when it started, so I never took a position on whether it was a good idea or anything like that. I've never written on the topic, in fact.

The idea that I'm here promoting Bush and/or the Republican Party is utter hogwash. So I really just don't get what you are talking about. The comparison between me and those Democratic Party-promoting feminists is completely inapt.

Fen said...

What is Ware's vested interest, Fen? And what is your evidence that the surge is working, other than saying it over and over?

To dovetail both questions: Ware is misleading you about the success of the surge.

Any idea that we're going to eventually subdue all areas and parties in Iraq and waltz out leaving a peaceful scene behind us is fantasy.

Like the Left's strawman that "Saddam wasn't behind 9-11". Of course we're not going to waltz out leaving a peaceful scene behind us. Why are you moving the goalposts? We expect to leave forces [air support and trainers] in Iraq for at least another decade. And we expect the violence to continue, though not at a level the Iraqi Army/Police can't handle themselves.

Nikolai said...

Okay. Not knowing anything about it and considering myself a neutral party I checked the now notorious Bloogingheads episode. My impression was that until Ann's blowup it was a boring conversation. Garance may be a good writer (I have never read her stuff), but judging her from that BHTV episode her video persona is rather uninteresting. Ann comes across as much more dynamic and articulate. Having said that, I think it's an exaggeration to say that Garance's comment was a trap or that she started the whole thing with a loaded opening. I don't think that Garance knew that it was such a personally sore subject to Ann. She was surprised and taken aback by Ann's over the top reaction. So although the blogs probably exaggerated and unfairly maligned Ann, as to the episode itself Ann was definitely the more culpable party. But all this is tempest in a teacup. I also looked at the infamous photo and was very surprised by it. It is an uninteresting and very ordinary group photo. I did not read what Ann wrote about it, so maybe she never made a big deal about it, but there is absolutely nothing wrong in the way any of the women posed. Another tempest in a teacup.

I guess such silly tempests make office life more interesting.

Joe Baby said...

I'm not even sure what feminism is at this point. I know it's Anita Hill and not Paula Jones. I believe it's Ashley Judd...but probably not Naomi Judd. It's not Lynne Cheney -- no way, no how. I think it's for doing whatever you want, unless what you want to do is perceived as part of an antiquated power structure, or some such term.

I think being a stay at home mom is not feminism, unless you applaud Rosie and fill your daughter with Gardasil and recommend she harvest her eggs.

There's no secret why this issue continues to resonate. Bill Clinton flogged Washington with his nether regions (and Arkansas before that) for 8 years, and the sternest feminists laid down and became his hoocy-mama. Oh, and helped in smearing his previous victims (they must have wanted it!). And every once in awhile, Althouse shoots a perfectly aimed arrow that hits that sore spot, that wonderful place where the armor is missing.

And now we've got this rip-roarin' race for '08, and the best feminist candidate we got is Judith Nathan.

RogerA said...

Re Elilzabeth's point about strategic choices: I can understand why feminists would ally themselves with President Clinton given his stand on the issue of reproductive rights; I can also understand why some feminists such as Althouse could see a failure to condemn his actions as hypocritical. Isnt it ultimately a matter of which particular value is more salient to the individual? And why should that be a subject of such disagreement?

Elizabeth said...

Ann, I disagree, obviously. The problems feminists face with the Democratic party (which is why I'm registered Independent) is that for the most part, it's the party that addresses our issues. Clinton's behavior is the spanner in the works, but what's the alternative? The dilemma is how to support the party's work on feminist issues and react to Clinton. I'm with you, unreservedly, in believing there should have been a moment when national feminist leadership gave him his own Sistah treatment. It would have sent the right message, and I don't think it would have lessened feminist influence in the Democratic party one whit--probably because there's already limits to that influence.

When you laid out your support for Bush, during the campaign, I never saw you grapple with his failings to feminism. You aren't a GOP party booster, but you spent a good while in your public persona debating the merits of Kerry and Bush, and by ignoring the feminist issues, you chose a strategic position, which is what you criticize other feminists for doing regarding Clinton.

One sticky area here is differentiating between Clinton and the Democratic party, and Bush and the GOP. I'm focusing on Clinton and Bush, not the parties. You bring up the feminist active boostering of the Democrats in comparison, and it's true that you don't comparably boost the GOP. In the end, what I see is feminists who looked at Clinton, knew he was a flawed leader, but decided they had to stay with his party. On your side, I see a feminist who looked at Bush, thought about 9/11, and ignored other issues. That's politics at work, and I weary of the war between feminists.

Elizabeth said...

Fen, you dovetail two questions and answer neither one.

johnstodder said...

McCain is peddling a big load of bullshit about the surge. His so-called safe little stroll was accomplished with an immense military escort. The death rate in Iraq is up, not down. The surge isn't working. And the Republicans know it.

My problem with evaluating the surge through the media is the opposite of the anti-war side's. I'm trying to imagine how successful the surge would have to be before the Democrats and the liberal side of the media would even rate it as "so-so."

Flowers would have to be involved, that's for sure.

The only position to take where you won't have your underpants handed to you later is: In the fog of war, it's too early to tell whether the surge is working or not. It's like owning a stock. Check back in six months.

Elizabeth said...

johnstodder, that six months thing keeps turning up. It's always "give it six months" with this war.

And despite being promised flowers in the street, I'm not looking for them.

One thing the surge has going for it, is it's clearly the anti-Rummie approach.

Fen said...

Elizabeth: you dovetail two questions and answer neither one.

No, I listed examples of reporting from NYTs, Wapo, and AP that are more fair to both sides of the coin. Ware does not, he only reports the negative news re the surge. And its biased by his animus towards Mccain and Bush.

It would have sent the right message, and I don't think it would have lessened feminist influence in the Democratic party one whit--probably because there's already limits to that influence.

Thats the entire point - feminism should not be applied along partisan lines. If the feminist Left had held Clinton's feet to the fire, it would have confirmed that they really believe in the things they lecture me about. And I would take their advice seriously. Instead, I now go to other sources when I need guidance re feminist principles.

Henry said...

Elisabeth - It's about choosing the right time to leave now

I know what you mean, that "now" is the right time to choose, not the right time to leave.

Still your sentence made me laugh. It sounds to me like the analytical powers of the Democratic party at work, in which the premise is the conclusion.

So the Democrats have decided that the right time to leave is September 2008, whatever the situation on the ground. If you want to talk about a lack of criteria for whether or not the surge will work, I'd start with that.

Elizabeth said...

Henry, read Henry Kissinger's latest comments on the war. He's saying it's no longer a case for winning, but about choosing when to leave. Choosing will, necessarily, involve setting criteria for when and how to start withdrawing. It won't be just the Democrats doing that; by August, I'd expect to see the Republicans in Congress fully involved in the process.

Naked Lunch said...

Elizabeth
I'm not sure where you're getting all these crazy ideas in your head where you seem to think you can form an opinion on this war. The Decider has told us repeatedly that his job is to protect the American people, and it's our job to go about our business and not to question him. The Decider will tell us when we've won someone else's civil war for them. And the next 6 months will be crucial, and the Decider will give us another update on what the situation on the ground is then.

Fen said...

And when the "Decider" is a Democrat, you'll fanatically follow along [like Kosovo], regardless of the situation on the ground. At least you're consistant in some way. And be advised that Clinton and Obama have both implied they would keep troops in Iraq.

Really, if a POTUS named Gore or Kerry had followed up on Clinton's Iraqi Liberation Act, you would have been singing a different song re Iraq.

Naked Lunch said...

Actually Clinton and Clark won that war in 78 days without one American casualty. I'm not sure anyone had time to get worked up about what the situation on the ground was. Speaking of which:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Doug said...

Really, if a POTUS named Gore or Kerry had followed up on Clinton's Iraqi Liberation Act, you would have been singing a different song re Iraq.

Oh, yeah? Well, if a POTUS named Bush had gotten a blowjob from an intern, you would have been singing a different song re getting blowjobs from interns.

Hmmm . . . that was kind of a stupid comment. Maybe conjuring up hypothetical scenarios and then claiming to predict what the other side's response would have been is a pretty dumb rhetorical strategy, wouldn't you say, Fen?

XICRYS said...

johnstodder:

"The only position to take where you won't have your underpants handed to you later is: In the fog of war, it's too early to tell whether the surge is working or not. It's like owning a stock. Check back in six months."


It is quite a lot like owning stock, actually. The short term is really difficult to connect with the long term, and the long term is the only thing that matters.

I think a lot of our discussion fails to consider the broad context of the whole thing. Countries with economies based on oil, or other natural resources, have a particularly poor record at democratization. Control of the state is just too lucrative for there to be peace or regularity in the way political power is regulated -- in most cases.

Then you have ethnic and sectarian divisions. Such divisions exist in most of the world, and some countries make it work, while others don't. When you reach the point of having sectarian groups with their own militias, along with a lot of daily violence, that path tends to lead to the dark side.

What's really missing from the Iraq debate is a broad (dare I say moderate) consensus that the task is exceptionally difficult, but also critical and unavoidable. So you get liberals who want to leave as the principle priority, and conservatives who think "the surge is working", most of who have been preaching some form of "stay the course" for the past four years.

The truth is that success in Iraq is tough enough (and our policy bad enough) so that only a wholesale reworking of things has much chance of success. The path is probably something like the bipartisan Iraq Study Group outlined and that foreign policy moderates like Senators Hagel, Lugar, and Biden have been preaching since the beginning -- regional diplomacy combined with Iraqi political reform and a gradual U.S. drawdown.

It isn't withdrawal versus surge, it's a reengagement with the region that will require diplomacy, Iraqi government reform, and careful continued U.S. engagement of a type that doesn't continue to foster dependency. It's a bunch of pieces that have to work together and that call for actual skill in the application of U.S. influence and resources.

Nobody is listening to that message. There's no political constituency behind it. It's all about the shouting match between left and right on this issue, when it will actually take a broader perspective (and more ambitious reshaping of policy) to set things in a positive direction.

Going back to the stock market analogy, conservatives are buying stock, and liberals selling, in an atmosphere of hazy uncertainty about the future. But the market for Iraq doesn't have the long-term positive tendencies of our domestic stock market. Things have a downward trend in this international market for stability and democracy. Conservatives are making a poor wager, and liberals, while wagering more "correctly", are failing to take hold of and really pursue the real national interests.

I fear for the future. We have an incompetent president. Top-tier guys like Guiliani and McCain who might replace him are lining themselves up behind the limited Bush military strategy. Guys like Obama and Edwards want to get out. And the ones who actually understand, like Biden and Hagel, have very little chance of winning their party's nomination.

It's a freakin' mess, and the terms of discussion all over the blogosphere are largely adding to the problem.

Henry said...

Lunch, I'm glad you followed up on Fen's Kosovo reference. I don't remember what Kissinger said about the NATO action in the Balkans, but I do remember experts of the realpolitik stripe assuring us that you can't win anything without troops on the ground and putting troops on the ground in the Balkans is historically insane.

The Balkan war was when I stopped listening to the realpolitik types.

Your point that Clinton and Clark won the war without a single U.S. casualty overlooks the fact that the war had lots and lots of casualties. Just not ours.

Maybe a few NATO casualties would have been worth the price of stopping the Srebrenica massacre.

There are two ways you can look a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq with approval. You can pretend that we're the problem (like in Vietname) and and nothing bad will happen (like in Cambodia). Or you decide that a more dead Iraqis -- a lot more -- don't bother you.

Fen said...

Doug Maybe conjuring up hypothetical scenarios -

Its not hypothetical. Clinton was busily sodomizing interns while Al Queda was plotting 9-11.

Elizabeth said...

Clinton was busily sodomizing interns while Al Queda was plotting 9-11.

Right at the very moment? You're sure about that? Was that while Newt was getting blown out in the parking lot, in the back seat of his Mustang?

God, Fen, is there nothing to stupid for you to say about Clinton? I bet Bush gets some now and then from Laura; are you saying if a president has sex while he's in office, the terrorists win? Just how much "sodomy" do you think Bill was doing, anyway? Anyway, Bush goes to bed at nine for his apparently untroubled sleep; Clinton stayed up late actually working, so I'm guessing it balanced out.

Fen said...

Elizabeth, how much time and energy do you think it takes to have mulitple affairs while keeping them from your wife, kids, and media? Clinton actually had to delegate some of that out to his staff and security detail. Imagine if he had instead spent those resources on stopping Al Queda.

Naked Lunch said...

Well Fen, good thing Republicans were all over Al Qaeda instead of spending years and tens of millions investigating Clinton's personal life. Huh.

Fen said...

spending years and tens of millions investigating Clinton's personal life. Huh

Right. Because we should immunize POTUS from all crimes, because any investigation my distract him from his duties. Perjury, subornation of perjury, tampering with witnesses and obstruction of justice are just personal.

Der Hahn said...

I'm sure these troops and their families would like to know Clinton's exit strategy for the Balkans.

I guess that's going to be Hillary's exit strategy.

Maybe you can explain to them how Clark and Clinton won the war 78 days, Lunchbag.

johnstodder said...

What's really missing from the Iraq debate is a broad (dare I say moderate) consensus that the task is exceptionally difficult, but also critical and unavoidable. So you get liberals who want to leave as the principle priority, and conservatives who think "the surge is working", most of who have been preaching some form of "stay the course" for the past four years.

This is a good point.

My contention all along has been, one way or another, the US military would have been forced to engage with post-Hussein Iraq. A post-Hussein Iraq would have inevitably devolved into some kind of civil strife involving the various factions, ethnicities and opportunitistic political and religious groups, even Al Queda. It is something about which we could not enjoy the luxury of indifference, given the delicate balance of power in the Middle East. As a country, we have always sought to curtail a hostile power from having too much influence in the region, whether it was the Soviets, Hussein's Iraq, or now Iran. We have done this because it matters to the economy and the peace of the world.

Because of oil. That's right folks. We will expend blood for oil until oil no longer drives the world's economy. Even if the US magically become energy-independent, whatever that means, we will still care about whether a Middle Eastern dictator or religious zealot can dictate terms to the rest of the world.

I wish my fellow liberals would just grow up and get this. It is childish demagoguery to pretend we can just put up a bunch of solar panels and, voila, the people of the Middle East can go cutting each others' throats to their hearts' content.

If Bush "lied us into war" in 2002, it is hardly relevant in 2007. We got to Iraq through the path Bush chose. We would have gotten where we are through some other path if not that one. Some might have been more advantageous, granted. Perhaps this one will prove to have been the worst possible way to insert ourselves into the region. That's for historians. I'm more interested in the facts on the ground.

We are down to the nut here. Who will control Iraq and the Middle East is of vital importance, especially given Iran's nuclear ambitions. Let's just face up to our duty, and get on with it.

But that "moderate" debate seems impossible in our current climate.

johnstodder said...

Well Fen, good thing Republicans were all over Al Qaeda instead of spending years and tens of millions investigating Clinton's personal life. Huh.

That is surely part of the tragedy of Clinton's incredibly self-indulgent personal life intruding on his official duties. Worse yet, when he made a 1/8th-hearted attempt to deal with Iraq, he was forced to second-guess himself because he knew it would look like a "wag the dog" gesture.

1998-99 were horrible years for American politics. Both sides behaved atrociously. Pointing out how deeply the Republicans failed this country during that period does not exonerate Clinton and his defenders for having failed the country just as profoundly. Everyone who served during this period should hang their heads in shame.

Doug said...

Right. Because we should immunize POTUS from all crimes, because any investigation my distract him from his duties.

Ironically enough, Fen, this sounds almost exactly like what the right wing has been bleating for the past six years anytime anyone suggests investigating one of the Bush administration's numerous scandals or cover-ups -- not that I'd expect you to recognize irony if it slapped you across the face.

By the way, you do recall that the impeachment trial failed to convict Clinton on either of the charges lodged against him?

Fen said...

Ironically enough, Fen, this sounds almost exactly like what the right wing has been bleating for the past six years anytime anyone suggests investigating one of the Bush administration's numerous scandals or cover-ups -- not that I'd expect you to recognize irony if it slapped you across the face.

For it to be ironic, it would have to have some grounding in this reality, ie. no one of consequence has ever said such a thing.

By the way, you do recall that the impeachment trial failed to convict Clinton on either of the charges lodged against him?

Wrong again. Of the four counts, Clinton was impeached on two. As per the Consitution, the sole power of impeachment resides with the House. You're confused because impeachment is somewhere between indictment and conviciton, its a different animal. The Senate imposes punishment, they cannot "acquit" - otherwise, why does Clinton remain impeached?

johnstodder said...

Let's face it, however. An impeachment that relies strictly on votes from the majority party in the House, against a president of the other party, lacks a certain necessary weight. Yes, technically and legally, Clinton is impeached. But history will forever see that as a partisan action, more like Andrew Johnson's than Richard Nixon's.

I'm curious: Can a future Congress (like the current one for example) vote to reverse a past impeachment? Could a majority of Representatives vote to remove the stain from Clinton's record?

Fen said...

Can a future Congress (like the current one for example) vote to reverse a past impeachment?

Maybe? The Senate voted in 1837 to expunge the censure of President Andrew Jackson. I would think the same could be done with impeachment [although the Senate was expunging their own censure, not the House].

Anyone?

Bea Arthur said...

Professor, so this is supposed to be high-toned political commentary? Let me tell you, Walter Lippmann this ain't.

Jesus, you blow up at some boring bitch on a crappy do-it-yourself "television" program, and it turns into a Federal case. Bug-eyed bald guys in polyester shirts are sitting in front of computers yammering about Andrew Jackson and how Clinton won World War II or something.

Get a life, people!

Remember Lawrence E. Spivak? I used to watch him sometimes when I wasn't working just to see how boring someone could be. You guys make him look like Cary Grant.

And by the way, Professor, you should have hung up on that bitch and just walked off on camera. It would have been better publicity than this turned out to be. You know, Jack Parr made walking off TV shows into an art form. He was on TV in England, and the snotty British talk-show host asked Jack about his "flouncing" off his show. He turned and said, "I didn't flounce. I'm an American, and we walk." He got up and off he went.

Classy guy.

Revenant said...

Could a majority of Representatives vote to remove the stain from Clinton's record?

If Clinton's impeachment was nothing more than partisan politics -- as you seem to believe, and as you think people will believe in the future -- then how is it a stain on his record? He was found not guilty, after all, and we'll all know he was really impeached no matter what Orwellian tactics Congress later pulls to undo it. Plus, of course, rounding up a bunch of Democrats to say "those Republicans were wrong!" isn't going to convince anyone of anything. If a *Republican* Congress expressed remorse for the impeachment, then maybe you'd have something.

On a final note -- wouldn't Congress also have to vote to undo its (non-partisan) censuring of Clinton, in order to remove the "stain" on his Presidency? As it is now, the official position of the US Government is that Clinton behaving atrociously, but not to an extent that merited removal from office. Are we now to correct them and say "not only was it right to keep him in office, but repeatedly lying to the courts and the American people isn't really that bad either"?

Elizabeth said...

And by the way, Professor, you should have hung up on that bitch and just walked off on camera.

More evidence that the Valenti kerfuffle just keeps raising the level of feminist discourse out there in blogland.

Bea Arthur said...

Honey, I'm not interested in raising the tone of feminist discourse. I just call them as I see them. And, if you notice, I was griping about the "tone" of the boring guys who go on and on about nonsense. So far, I haven't seen too many H.L. Menckens around here.

I like the Professor. She's turned herself from an unknown nobody teaching law in the middle of nowhere to someone who writes columns in the New York Times and has millions of visitors to her Internet site. I even heard her once on the radio. It was NPR, but you gotta start somewhere.

Anyway, she has a great feel for publicity. It doesn't hurt that the camera is her friend, too. I admire her spunk, her smarts, and her style.

And walking off that dinky computer "TV" show would have been a great stunt. More notoriety, and it would have sent a message to all the yokels that she doesn't put up with unprofessional crap.

ASX said...

Bea Arthur: Most entertaining commenter.

I don't agree with a thing you said, but you said it well!

Bravo!

Simon said...

Bea Arthur said...
"She's turned herself from an unknown nobody teaching law in the middle of nowhere..."

She hasn't been that since at a very minimum 1987. See Althouse, How to Build a Separate Sphere: Federal Courts and State Power, 100 Harv. L. Rev. 1485 (1987). Of course, fame is contextual: I suppose it depends on what circles you move in. Right now, I couldn't name ten NFL quarterbacks (every quarterback except Peyton Manning is "an unknown nobody playing football in the middle of nowhere" as far as I know), but I could throw out quite a few federalism and federal courts scholars.

johnstodder said...

Plus, of course, rounding up a bunch of Democrats to say "those Republicans were wrong!" isn't going to convince anyone of anything. If a *Republican* Congress expressed remorse for the impeachment, then maybe you'd have something.

Just to be clear, I wasn't recommending this. I just was playing Carnac the Magnificent. I can see it happening.

The Exalted said...

Fen said...
Elizabeth, how much time and energy do you think it takes to have mulitple affairs while keeping them from your wife, kids, and media? Clinton actually had to delegate some of that out to his staff and security detail. Imagine if he had instead spent those resources on stopping Al Queda.


is this snark or just stupidity?

Elizabeth said...

Simon, a few days back Ann found Joseph H. to be sexist for defending the Garance, a woman who Ann noted is a professional, well-educated, and certainly old enough to defend herself. I believe she ended up backing off the "sexist" description, but her original point, of objecting to knee-jerk chivalry, makes me wonder why your persistently, passionately chivalrous defenses of Althouse are not similarly offensive. Just asking-what do you think?

Elizabeth said...

bea, your suggestion that Ann would have been dramatically effective by hanging up is not what I meant to note. It's calling the other person involved a bitch. The whole Valenti thing brings out the sexist name-calling in these comments. How ironic, huh? Since it's all about Ann's concern for the fate of feminism, you know?

Bea Arthur said...

Simon, I read newspapers. I read the New York Times. I read magazines and watch TV news shows. I even listen to NPR (Love that Nina Totenburg; she's got a great voice.). I'm old enough to remember Edward R. Murrow on the radio. So, I think I've been well-informed. But, I gotta tell you, until she started writing in the Times, I never heard of the Professor.

I have a nephew who's a lawyer in Jersey. He never heard of her, either.

You know, when somebody said, "Constitutional law," my first thought was, "Oh, God!" My next was, "Lawrence Tribe." That boring bastard will be on TV, going on and on about Nixon or something.

So it's nice to see a smart, good-looking, sassy woman writing and talking about all this, because it is important for people to understand.

And I sure as hell don't want to have to watch Larry Tribe intoning long, long answers to short questions. He's such a boring twerp that he makes Lawrence Spivak look like Charlton Heston.

I'm really dating myself, aren't I?

Elizabeth said...

bea, please do keep commenting. I'm enjoying every minute of it -- except the "bitch" part, but no one's perfect.

Greg said...

Hmmm. Interesting, Fen.

"And Wapo [3-11]:

Some observers are reporting the shift. Iraqi bloggers Mohammed and Omar Fadhil, widely respected for their straight talk, say that "early signs are encouraging."

Ah… so that's a news article from the Washington Post, right? A news article? That's what you said--"No, I listed examples of reporting from NYTs, Wapo, and AP"

That's not reporting, and it's not news. It's from an *opinion piece.* By Robert Kagan. He's the brother of one of the *architects* of the surge. He said we won the war in 2003:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/03/11/
kagan/index.html

Not exactly a reliable source. Any reason you didn't, um, list the author or mention the fact that it was on the *opinion page* of the paper? Why not cite a news article from the Post? There must be tons, right?

Oh, and about those two Iraqi bloggers mentioned in Robert Kagan's piece:

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com
/archives/10350.html

Worth reading to check out the non-pajamas-media Iraqi bloggers.

Fen said...

Greg: Any reason you didn't, um, list the author or mention the fact that it was on the *opinion page* of the paper?

Gee Greg, you caught me. I was deliberately hiding the author's name and the fact that it was editorial - I would have gotten away with it too if you hadn't followed the link I provided... [rolls eyes]

Not exactly a reliable source

Well, here's ABC reporting the surge is having a large and positive effect [via Instapundit]

But I'm sure you'll insist ABC's Terry McCarthy is on the Haliburton payroll, or some such nonsense.

Simon said...

Elizabeth said...
"Simon, a few days back Ann found Joseph H. to be sexist for defending the Garance, a woman who Ann noted is a professional, well-educated, and certainly old enough to defend herself. I believe she ended up backing off the "sexist" description, but her original point, of objecting to knee-jerk chivalry, makes me wonder why your persistently, passionately chivalrous defenses of Althouse are not similarly offensive. Just asking-what do you think?"

I hope it doesn't come across as being animated by chivalry. I certainly don't see it that way - I think it was chivalrous for me to offer a limited defense of Garance in spite of my thinking that she was in the wrong. By contrast, I hold Ann in very high regard and I thought she was right in this case, so to the extent that I've offered "persistently, passionately chivalrous defenses" of her (I'm chuckling just quoting this phrasing by the way - that sounds like a somewhat backhanded compliment ;)), it's far more rooted in (perhaps misguided) outraged righteous indignation than chivalry.

I'd offer a comparison to a post I wrote last month "defending" Jan Crawford Greenburg against what I saw as a vicious and utterly disingenuous attack by Linda Greenhouse. I wasn't trying to be chivalrous towards Jan. I wasn't "defending her honor." ;) I was defending a good reporter against a contemptible attack by a bad reporter. Jan, too, is "professional, well-educated, and certainly old enough to defend herself" (as is Justice Scalia, for that matter, who I've also defended against ludicrous attacks), but that didn't mean that defending her, offering a counterargument, wasn't the right thing to do.

Likewise here: Of course Ann doesn't need anyone to jump to her defense (I suppose that if I didn't recognize that, then I'd be open to charges of "offensive chivalry," so to speak). But just because she doesn't need defending doesn't mean she shouldn't be defended against these outrageous attacks, and unless she tells me not to (let's face it, I'm not sure I can refuse a request from her), I'm going to defend her. Just because I'm on my high horse doesn't mean I have delusions of ex officio being Ann's white knight in shining chivalric armor, Elizabeth. ;)

Simon said...

Bea Arthur said...
"I gotta tell you, until she started writing in the Times, I never heard of the Professor. I have a nephew who's a lawyer in Jersey. He never heard of her, either."

Right, but most lawyers in private practise are not focussed on threshold doctrines - their job is to avoid threshold doctrines! ;) But you ask anyone in the academy who teaches federal jurisdiction...


"So it's nice to see a smart, good-looking, sassy woman writing and talking about all [ConLaw], because it is important for people to understand."

More to the point, a smart, good-looking, sassy woman who gets that the Constitution is primarily structural, and who has a thesis that explains why even liberal instrumentalists should be federalists. It's vital that people understand the Constitution, all the more so in a nation which is defined not by blood but (supposedly) by shared fidelity to certain principles, the most important of which are to be found in the Constitution. But all the more important is that they understand it right, that they understand what a constitution is, and what ours says. And I think Ann's made some important contributions to that.

Elizabeth said...

Just because I'm on my high horse doesn't mean I have delusions of ex officio being Ann's white knight in shining chivalric armor, Elizabeth. ;)

Excellent image! Thanks for getting the humor--I couldn't help but tease a bit.

hdhouse said...

Eliz...is fen an idiot or stupid.

frankly i think its too close to call. what do you think? i can go either way.