January 9, 2009

"Ann has her reasons, discernible in a parsing of her own comments following her post..."

I'm not sure if I like that or not. On the one hand, Sissy Willis, not bothering with my reasons, rolls along, lavishing praise on the project she has already bound herself to. ("Roger L. Simon is a genius.") On the other hand, it does encourage her readers to click over to this blog.

And those reasons of mine have to do with not wanting to be put in the position of needing to defend and promote a group project that I can't control.

Incidentally, the University of Wisconsin Law School is the greatest law school in the land!

51 comments:

Original George said...

Inside baseball.

No interest.

Fatboy A13370 said...

I didn't read her post as saying you had a problem with PJM... just that you have a problem with Joe.

Indeed, he's doing a great thing and it's not like he can go back to being a plumber (just as Palin's GED son in law can't live his life in peace either).

The hostility shown Joe is screwy as hell, and it's fair to assume people aren't being fair to him or PJM in their clever publicity stunt/legitimately good way to get news that isn't identical to the CNN BS.

And while this is probably in the top three for my favorite blogs, you don't have to be so thin skinned all the time. You have a lot to be proud of and it's unfortunate that you occasionally let people rattle your cage.

traditionalguy said...

On Wisconsin. Don't look behind you Professor,they might be catching up with a new trick or two. But never fear those envious bloggers, just let them keep watching and wondering how you do it.

MayBee said...

Do you want to say: The group project is "not valid" ?

Ann Althouse said...

"I didn't read her post as saying you had a problem with PJM... just that you have a problem with Joe."

That's why her failure to discuss my reasons is a problem. Did you read my post that she linked to?

Joe can do what he wants, and good luck to him as he pursues a media career. But I don't like the idea of having my reputation staked in a group project that seeks publicity this way.

Ann Althouse said...

And I wasn't hostile to Joe the Plumber during the campaign, when he was just a guy in his yard who had the temerity to ask Obama a question when Obama showed up there. I thought that was interesting and funny.

Ann Althouse said...

"And while this is probably in the top three for my favorite blogs...."

This is the first comment Fatboy A13370 has posted on this blog, but maybe he really is a big fan who's been a noncommenter all this time.

Ann Althouse said...

See, I don't think he is, because of all that "hostility shown Joe is screwy as hell" business. He's not familiar with how I wrote about Joe during the campaign.

Fatboy A13370 said...

Ann, to be frank, you don't always discuss your reasoning either. Such as the post you asked had I read, which is as veiled as many of your posts (and I'm not complaining, just noting).

It is pretty doggone reasonable to assume you are claiming Joe is not even a marginally adequate choice for a war correspondent. Why, I don't know, since he was among the most effective interviewers the new President has faced. He's precisely the Army of Davids (bleagh at my lack of a better metaphor) style of reporter needed for PJM to differentiate from the crowd.

Is there really anything wrong with the other side of his selection? That he's a famous normal fella who asked a famously embarrassing question?

So, unless I completely misunderstand your post (which I don't), then you were claiming Joe was nothing more than a ass-backwards stunt, when he's really a guy who has shown some real talent in withstanding a lot of unfair attacks.

You know, all Sissy said in response to you was that they are very proud of Joe.

So perhaps you and Sissy are guilty of similar crimes, I guess, in 'failing' to make their criticisms clear.

Henry Buck said...

I didn't read Fatboy's reference to hostility to Joe as "Althouse's hostility to Joe," but rather, general hostility to Joe in the media and by some commenters here. Don't assume he isn't a regular reader based upon that. Why he would first appear in the comments to this post, though, remains a mystery.

Also, the Althouse v. PJM cagematch is not new, and I read more into your post about not wanting to associate with PJM than you explained in the subsequent comments.

Lynne said...

FWIW, I felt forced to leave a group blog recently because the other members were beginning to push ideas I found repugnant. (Ironically, it was PJ-connected blog) At first I told myself that "everyone is entitled to their opinion" but eventually I began to worry that by posting there I would become associated with some ideas I could never endorse. I get little traffic on my own now, but I have the satisfaction of knowing I did the right thing. It was flattering and an honor to be asked to post there, but then things started going off the rails and I just had to leave.
So I think I get what you're saying.

Fatboy A13370 said...

And Ann, I am sincerely a big fan. I use gmail and don't want my actual name posted when I comment, so I took the trouble of figuring out that openID nonsense just to share with you that you shouldn't let anyone rattle your cage.

It was a sincere effort to be nice to you, not to troll you (or sockpuppet for Sissy or whoever).

Now, I did google on it, and yeah, you were pretty nice to Joe generally. But I didn't recall it (and is that really so hard to imagine? You were all over the place this election cycle).

and I think it's beside the point. I never said you shouldn't have been vague about your problem with PJM. I was interpreting Sissy's comment (that you put her in a position of defending Joe).

oh hell, screw it. This is not important to me, and I don't need to defend myself.

AllenS said...

Fatboy--

Here's something else that you don't know: she doesn't like being called Ann. Is she thin skinned? Hard to figure... maybe just fussy. Sometimes she's just being emotional.

jjm said...

"Incidentally, the University of Wisconsin Law School is the greatest law school in the land!"

So are you in control of the Law School or are you "in the position of needing to defend and promote a group project that I can't control"?

traditionalguy said...

Is notice that this cross-commenting stuff works like a SNL Tina Fey impersonation where the ridiculed Public Persona becomes better known than the real Public Person. But like you said,even bad publicity is valuable so long as you are also allowed to speak to the same audience [as trial lawyers experience every day]. I do expect to see some interesting points of view coming from Joe's reports. Very little is expected from him and people will watch to see if he falls off the high wire he is walking.

Ann Althouse said...

I believe you, Fatboy. But, anyway, I don't like being lumped in with the people who attacked JtP during the campaign. I think in the time since he rocketed to fame, he's failed to prove that he's a smart, interesting commenter, and he's been pushing himself and finally, after all this time, PJM picks him up and uses him to get a lot of attention for their project. JtP can go ahead and go to Israel and try to get some interesting interviews which I may read and judge on their own merit. What I am saying is that I'm glad I'm not part of a journalistic project that runs on this kind of energy. I wouldn't want that branding on me and I wouldn't like to find myself in the position of having to say it's a brilliant move.

And I'm no longer in a fight with PJM. I've had dinner with Roger L. Simon and several perfectly cordial conversations with him. Note that my original objection with PJM was that it didn't offer bloggers a good enough deal. I would have joined if I'd been offered the right amount of money.

Lynne said "FWIW, I felt forced to leave a group blog recently because the other members were beginning to push ideas I found repugnant. (Ironically, it was PJ-connected blog) At first I told myself that "everyone is entitled to their opinion" but eventually I began to worry that by posting there I would become associated with some ideas I could never endorse."

Yeah. I much prefer to read independent, individual blogs too. I like knowing that is one person with a vision and a point of view.

"I get little traffic on my own now, but I have the satisfaction of knowing I did the right thing. It was flattering and an honor to be asked to post there, but then things started going off the rails and I just had to leave.
So I think I get what you're saying."

Thanks.

Hazy Dave said...

On a totally 'nother subject, Professor, there's a UW association in this article you may find interesting or amusing.

...US scientists found that mother rats spent many more hours licking and grooming male offspring than female ones.

By tickling a baby female rat’s tummy for hours on end, the team from the University of Wisconsin managed to make the DNA clusters in its brain become more like a male’s.

sean said...

I think Prof. Althouse is being a little unfair: Joe the Plumber is surely just as interesting a commentator as Cindy Sheehan or Caroline Kennedy. Of course, Prof. Althouse isn't part of the antiwar movement or the Democratic party (I don't think?), so she isn't bound to defend those people. Note, though, that the kind of people who attack Joe the Plumber usually think Caroline Kennedy is the cat's meow.

Henry Buck said...

"What have you been doing in there for the past few hours?"

"Oh, I was just tickling the rat."

Uncle Jimbo said...

I worked for Pajamas Media and have great respect and admiration for Roger Simon. He is a brilliant and insightful writer. That is what makes this stunt such a shameful descent from seriousness into National Enquirer level garbage. Joe the Plumber is certainly moderatley entertaining, but the only reason PJTV sent him to Israel was to capitalize on the dumbass response from Old School media. He knew he would get a Drudge link and that was all he was aiming for.

Joe has no knowledge or experience that makes his "war reporting" valuable or informed. They would have been better served sending Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

Shark jumped.

Cordially,

Uncle J

Ann Althouse said...

"but the only reason PJTV sent him to Israel was to capitalize on the dumbass response from Old School media."

And this is while terrible things are happening in Israel. It's not time for fooling around.

Ann Althouse said...

Hi, Uncle Jimbo!

Dr Dre's Underpants said...

"US scientists found that mother rats spent many more hours licking and grooming male offspring than female ones."

They even link to their blogs.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, I made a new post for the rat belly thing. Move rat belly comments here.

Sissy Willis said...

Yet more grist for the blogmill. Thank you, dear Professor. I've blogged about your blogging of my blogging here:

Naval gazing R us

Zeb Quinn said...

I think in the time since he rocketed to fame, he's failed to prove that he's a smart, interesting commenter

Many will disagree with that.

former law student said...

it's not like he can go back to being a plumber

Prolonging his 15 minutes of fame hasn't made Sam any more insightful or interesting. He happened to say once, "Hey, Emperor. You're underdressed," and that is all.

Like Joe, whose lack of a city license did not prevent him from fixing plumbing, journalists don't need formal credentials. But good ones do need talent and experience. What attributes does Joe bring to the job?

Kirk Parker said...

"I much prefer to read independent, individual blogs too."

It's hard for me to imagine it otherwise: is there really anybody out there who prefers work done by committees? That being said, I haven't really noticed any difference in the writing of the pre- and post-PJM versions of Belmont Club, Instapundit, or even Roger L. Simon himself. Their blogs may now appear under the PJM banner and URL, but they're still individual blogs as far as I can tell.

Whether there are problems associating yourself with PJM is a different question, but I think most observers can distinguish between the individual and the group most of the time; I certainly don't hold everything stupid that appears in the NYT against Thomas Friedman, for example (and not just because Friedman doesn't need the help!)

save_the_rustbelt said...

The people in Toledo area think Joe is a huge joke, and not the fun kind.

Hopefully he fades away.

Derek Kite said...

What joe says or not is uninteresting. I haven't bothered registering to watch his videos.

What is great fun and worth watching are the gnashing of teeth and over the top reactions from journalists and tv news personalities.

I love a good poke in the eye, and PJM has done it right.

Derek

ps. as for experience, how about being caught in the middle of a nasty political battle and being the victim?

Nihimon said...

Thought about asking this yesterday, but left your original post thinking you weren't actually trying to dis' JtP, but were just expressing your relief that you weren't stuck in a relationship where you'd feel obligated to praise him. However, after reading this post, I have to ask...

Do you think JtP is somehow "unqualified" to do the job?

Part of the reason I am (and many others I'm sure are) excited by the prospect is precisely because he is an "everyman" and not already stuck in a group-think mentality. Ditto, Sarah Palin.

Personally, I am quite convinced that "normal" people are quite capaable of doing things that normally demand a great deal of "experience". Including running the country, and asking people what they think.

Nihimon said...

Another thought, is "Fatboy A13370" supposed to be "Fatboy Alito?"

1337 is hacker/gamer speak for "leet" for "elite".

Just wondering...

Joe M. said...

An unhealthy medium:

Even if one is sincere in one's good faith, it will never be taken as such by others. Furthermore, any attempt to demonstrate good faith will either be sneered upon as showing weakness or disregarded. And one can never count on good faith from others.

Kovacs said...

Maybe they can send that girl who carved the upside-down "B" on her face, too.

Trooper York said...

"An unhealthy medium"

No it's an unhappy medium.

Patricia Arquette just dumped her husband.

Beth said...

Joe the Plumber is surely just as interesting a commentator as Cindy Sheehan or Caroline Kennedy.

I agree. And I could go the rest of my life happily without hearing from or about either Sheehan or Kennedy.

Beth said...

Personally, I am quite convinced that "normal" people are quite capaable of doing things that normally demand a great deal of "experience".

I agree with this, too. But Joe the Plumber hasn't done much to reveal any capabilities beyond a sincere desire for fame. That's why I dismiss him.

Uncle Jimbo said...

The question is not so much is Joe qualified to be an unqualified commenter on events, of course he is. The question is should he be the flag carrier for new media, which consists of many who have put forth quality work, commentary, punditry and, dare I say, journalism. Sending out someone, who as it was noted simply called "Naked" as if that is the only prerequisite to be taken seriously damages the idea that an outfit like PJTV ought to be considered as an alternative to the fading media giants.

Send Joe to cover the red carpet at the Golden Globes. Send Bill Roggio, or Michael Totten if you want new media coverage of a shooting war.

Joe is a circus side show.

Cordially,

Uncle J

And hey Ann, I'm in DC staying 5 blocks from the Capitol. I will be neck deep in the Coronation. Video to come for sure.

Fatboy A13370 said...

Nihimon, the answer is 'yes'... that's the best I could come up with on short notice from myself.

I like Justice Alito, though. I didn't realize that Ms. Althouse didn't like being called Ann, either. Obviously, I'm not as avid a fan as some.

I think Joe's been OK, but he's clearly no giant. But he's been good enough to get a chance at this, and even though it's obviously a stunt, I do think (with help), Joe could be a terrific addition. Perhaps I just have a much lower impression of PJM's mission right now (get more attention and information out there cheaply). Of course, the huge action-adventure themed banner on my PJM email today leads me to suspect that PJM could be a bit more reserved in their use of 'The Plumber' who isn't fixing pipes anymore. And while it's easy to look at that stuff and note how it proves me wrong, check out Nancy Grace or Sean Hannity's promos. Joe is in that league of commentary, and he's a sharp improvement in quality.

knox said...

What's sad is that the mainstream media has been so bereft of talent, skill and principles for so long, and has so blatantly and arrogantly replaced real investigative curiosity with a political agenda... many people will readily conclude that "A plumber could do that job. Better." And they are probably not wrong.

I'll reserve judgment on Joe the Plumber until he actually starts this assignment, but I contend that PJM is not lowering the bar by making this move. The clowns at the NYT and the Big 3 took care of that a long time ago.

Republican said...

Insulting UP.

Nihimon said...

I hardly think PJTV is making JtP the "flag carrier for New Media."

And I hardly think asking "regular Joes in Israel" about their experiences on camera requires much skill or experience. It's certainly beneath someone like Michael Totten, who I imagine would rather go directly to the action in Gaza if he were going anywhere...

Nihimon said...

Oh, and I didn't know Professor Althouse didn't like being called "Ann" either.

I read this blog every day (pretty much Insty and Althouse and lolcats and engadget) but must confess I don't often wade through the comments.

Perhaps it was Sissy's casual use of "Ann" that actually irritated our dear host?

Howard said...

The longer the right desperately clings to JtP and Sarah Palin, the deeper they will remain buried by the left.

None of the PJ TV stuff is ready for public access cable let alone prime time. Big overreach by non-telegenic stiffs. Herr Professor Doktor Althouse was very wise not to jump on that bandwagon to oblivion.

Joe Welch said...

She also doesn't like being called Annie.

She also doesn't like it when people point out that she has flabby arms.

Ah, what thin skin you have, professor. And so much of it!!

knox said...

Oh, fuck off, Joe Welch

Fatboy A13370 said...

Howard, most of the good journalists I know of do not have degrees in journalism.

I read Sissy's post (that she linked in this comment thread), and while it's utterly pointless, she did mention in the comments that Peter Jennings was a high school dropout.

So maybe Joe will be the next Peter Jennings, only on the intertubes. Prolly not, of course, but we (the right, I guess) have lost nothing if he's just another lackluster internet personality.

Joe signifies something to the right: fascism from the left's enormous media apparatus, Obama's socialist heart (I don't find socialism to be abhorrent, but it was better hidden until Joe), and Obama's utter thin-skinnedness.

The way the story became about Joe, with the investigations, jokes, comments about his plumbing license and liens... all utterly beside teh point that Obama made such a huge gaffe (worse than the Palin gaffes)... Some in the media hate normal Americans who would look their 'leaders' in the eye.

I have no idea why so many on the right think Palin is the next big hope. She's a good leader, but it's crazy that our bench is so shallow.

Simon said...

Joe Welch said...
"She also doesn't like it when people point out that she has flabby arms."

Obligingly, she's done plenty of summer vlogs that give lie to that charge.

Don't you have some Hemlock you should be drinking?

somefeller said...

This article sums up the problem with sending JtP to Israel as a "war correspondent". There are plenty of good right-of-center correspondents PJM could have sent instead of that guy. This is just a publicity stunt, and should be treated as such.

Here's a question - does PJM actually make any money, or does it keep itself afloat by just sucking in investment money from ideologically committed donors/investors? Nothing wrong with the latter business model, though that's not so much a business model as it is a charity model.

Ann Althouse said...

Kirk Parker said. "I haven't really noticed any difference in the writing of the pre- and post-PJM versions of Belmont Club, Instapundit, or even Roger L. Simon himself. Their blogs may now appear under the PJM banner and URL, but they're still individual blogs as far as I can tell."

Well, there is the big difference when there are posts promoting Pajamas Media. I do think generally, they can write what they want, like op-ed columnists. As I said, I would have done it too, for the right price. I was offered an insultingly small amount. You can't make my reputation part of your reputation like that. We were asked to think that Pajamas would be a way to get traffic, but Pajamas were using blogs as a way for it to get traffic. It was a 2-way street, and it was going to get more than they were giving.

Uncle Jimbo said..."And hey Ann, I'm in DC staying 5 blocks from the Capitol. I will be neck deep in the Coronation. Video to come for sure."

Great! Email me when you have stuff. And let's have a drink together when you get back.

Nihimon said..."(pretty much Insty and Althouse and lolcats and engadget) but must confess I don't often wade through the comments."

I'm flattered that I rank up there with the lolcats.

Howard said..."None of the PJ TV stuff is ready for public access cable let alone prime time. Big overreach by non-telegenic stiffs."

Yeah, plus the players are slow and you can't make little clips to embed. I just can't understand why there is video instead of print. What is the point of it? Especially if it's just right-wingers talking to each other. I love Glenn Reynolds and I don't mind Michelle Malkin, but I don't want to watch Glenn interview Malkin. What's the point? I would watch O'Reilly interview Malkin. Not often though. There's an energy to it, and I can easily play it on TiVo.

Joe Welch said "She also doesn't like it when people point out that she has flabby arms."

I have 5-pound weights on either side of the keyboard and I pick them up frequently and heave them around, the better to clobber you with.

Palladian said...

"Joe Welch" is yet another incarnation of the ancient Althouse poltergeist "AJD". Look at "Joe Welch's" profile number: 02407299546060974148. Do a Google search for that number and you'll that old "AJD" has been haunting this site for years now. Maybe somebody should perform an exorcism.

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The power of Christ compels you!