October 2, 2012

"Hi Ann: I'm familiar with your blog and take it that, unlike a lot of UW-Madison profs, you tend to swing to the right politically...."

Emails a columnist, prefacing a question to me.

I respond: "That's not a correct characterization, and I won't comment on anything if that's the premise of the question."

He responds:
You could always correct my incorrect characterization, but I guess being snippy is easier.

Thanks anyway.
Discuss.

202 comments:

1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
Joe Schmoe said...

He could always courteously clarify his request, but apparently being snippy is easier.

If your response put him or her off, what a wuss.

TMink said...

That was not being snippy. That was saying you disagreed with his premise. The snippyness was all his.

Must be liberal projection.

Trey

bagoh20 said...

It was a compliment to soften you up.

Kevin said...

Yeah but even if the most egregious of our commenters characterisations of your political wimpiness and flip-floppery were 100% true, you'd still be on the right for Madison.

Trotsky would be on the right, for Madison.

Ron said...

1.) Start off on wrong foot.

2.) Complain when someone refuse to correct 'are you still beating your wife' misidentification.


Yep, got that interview technique down COLD!

chickelit said...

Althouse swings to right? Well swing on this!

Real American said...

obviously, the "journalist" had an agenda and you foiled it. good work.

Marshal said...

He can't be wasting his time with someone who isn't going to support the story he already has written.

Quayle said...

The case is closed.

You are rightwing and your snippyness proves it. QED.

If you were a gracious, loving, caring, generous lefty, you would welcome being told that you are a gracious, loving, caring, generous lefty.

Joe Schmoe said...

Leaving aside his (you referred to him as 'he') laziness about not reading any of your posts from the last few days. I guess that kind of 'research' is best left to the unpaid interns.

The Drill SGT said...

Am I to assume your intent is to avoid giving any open ended response that can be misquoted?

Ryan said...

More correctly - swings to the right on some issues, to the left on others. That is a moderate. They ignore the swinging to the left when it is convenient to characterize.

MadisonMan said...

You didn't give him the answer he was fishing for.

Joe Schmoe said...

You should be nicer to David Blaska...

Moose said...

That was a rather snippy response, Ann.

Colonel Angus said...

Well I could understand the columnist's impression as I thought you leaned more right then left based on previous commentaty. Then I saw your post on how Rush lost Romney for you and concluded you're just scatterbrained.

Lem said...

People conflate the professors politics with the politics of the blogs readership.

Thats what happens when people don't read the blog... the make assumptions.

Tank said...

Started right off with a lie.

Obviously not familiar with your blog.

Lem said...

That was a rather snippy response, Ann.

After what we put her through?

CJinPA said...

You could always correct my incorrect characterization, but I guess being snippy is easier.

Journal Entry 10/2/2012:

I approached the unusual Madison creature with caution. She snipped at me, foul-tempered, as these types of political specimens often are. I retreated to safety. I still know not what it eats, or its migratory patterns. They are a dangerous breed.

Joe Schmoe said...

Somehow I think this horse's ass would've construed any correction from your end as 'snippy'.

Another glory-hound lefty journalist who wants to BE the story rather than report one.

Matthew Sablan said...

I think it is fair to correct someone when they are in error; he should have just apologized, asked you how you would like to be characterized, and then asked if you'd be willing to continue with an interview.

C'est la vie.

SteveR said...

Not that familar with your blog, it seems.

cubanbob said...

A journalist with an agenda is a propagandist.

Of course the take of the predicate question is that all other UW Madison professors swing to the left so what's your maladjustment?

ricpic said...

We can none of us see ourselves as other people do,
But the occasional "Yes, I erred" beats snipping them in two.

Rustling Leaves said...

I think he was being sexist by calling you snippy.

Joe Schmoe said...

Civility, feh. Whatever happened to humility? How hard is it to say "We got off on the wrong foot; sorry about that. Let's try this again..." Humility among our politicians and press seems pretty fucking extinct these days.

Brennan said...

Clarence Page!

Rustling Leaves said...

If you were a man, your assertiveness would not be labeled "snippy".

MayBee said...

You were snippy.

You tend to want to direct people how they may discuss things. Perhaps a remnant of being an instructor.

Why not a "I don't swing to the right politically, but I'd be happy to answer your questions"

or
"I don't consider myself to swing to the right politically. Are there still questions you'd like to ask?"

Paddy O said...

He could have always substantiated his initial characterization, but being snippy is easier.

bagoh20 said...

If you read his reply over and over that "snippy" turns into racism.

phx said...

IMO journalists should do their best to refrain from taking shit personally.

Shouting Thomas said...

I agree, Althouse, that you are what a lot of us geezers have become... social liberal and fiscal conservative.

phx said...

Maybe he's not a journalist though. Just a "columnist" - or blogger.

MayBee said...


He could have always substantiated his initial characterization, but being snippy is easier.


He said he was familiar with her blog. So am I. Sometimes she seems to swing to the right to me as well.
Is that so awful to say?

purplepenquin said...

Like it has been said many times before, our hostess might not consider herself "conservative", but her blog sure is....


...if not, then these folks buying advertising are being lied to.

Mary Beth said...

It's funny how no one assumed that the mischaracterization was that swinging to the right was "unlike a lot of UW-Madison profs."

I'm catching up, I didn't think of six impossible things before breakfast, so I'm doing it now.

Amartel said...

Clearly he's NOT familiar with your blog. Plus, he's coming to you for a quote so he should be polite about corrections to his misunderstanding. Everybody acts so royal all the time now.

TWM said...

It did come off as rather snippy. However, when dealing with journalists it's better to be wary.

jacksonjay said...

Professor Improve Your Comments or I'm Gonna Stop Blogging, snippy? Naw!

furious_a said...

That wasn't very nice of you, Professor -- the poor, inkstained wretch had already written the lede prior to the interview.

Inga said...

The readership of this blog is mostly conservative, there is no denying that.

Althouse is the bee keeper. Sometimes she smokes the hive before getting the honey comb, sometimes she forgets (or doesn't care) that the hive is filled with angry little drones and workers with stingers on their asses.

Where Althouse actually swings in the arc of the pendulum, who knows? I know I love it when she shakes up her readers now and then.

jacksonjay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...

angry little drones and workers with stingers on their asses.

All in all they're really pretty impotent, although many take themselves very seriously.

gadfly said...

Ann:

You certainly are not as far right as Bill Jacobson, but you don't ride the fence very well anymore. If you define yourself as other than right-leaning, what remains is that ugly middle ground of being a "moderate."

Ayn Rand had this to say about moderates:

When people call themselves moderates, ask yourself: “Moderate—about what?” Since the basic question today is freedom versus statism, or individual rights versus government controls, to be a moderate is to advocate a moderate amount of statism, a moderate amount of injustice, a moderate amount of infringement of individual rights. Surely, nobody would call that a virtue.

Scientific Socialist said...

The reporter uses a non sequitur but you won't play that game. Brava!

mojavehicular said...

Let Althouse be Althouse!

Pete said...

Talk snippy to me.

Quayle said...

that the hive is filled with angry little drones and workers with stingers on their asses.

What, and you're the queen bee, Inga?

Shouting Thomas said...

... the hive is filled with angry little drones and workers with stingers on their asses.

Inga mines another liberal favorite! People who disagree with her are angry! Angry!

Inga, however, is calm and happy. As are all liberals!

Eric said...

I wouldn't say snippy, I'd say frisky.

Ann Althouse said...

"You tend to want to direct people how they may discuss things. Perhaps a remnant of being an instructor."

Yeah, he could have said "I'm not one of your students" like Scott Brown.

He was fishing for a quote. Something he wanted to attach my name to instead of him just saying it. He flagged that he couldn't be trusted by claiming to know my blog but displaying what is — to my eye — not getting it.

Inga said...

Why yes, Quayle! I can play that role.

Pragmatist said...

All of my friends on the Right think I am a pinko, all my friends on the Left think I am a reactionary and my crazy friends think I am nuts. When you do not fit into a box it causes a lot of confusion among the True Believers.

The Farmer said...

Pragmatist said...
All of my friends on the Right think I am a pinko, all my friends on the Left think I am a reactionary and my crazy friends think I am nuts. When you do not fit into a box it causes a lot of confusion among the True Believers.


Amen, brother! or sister!

ricpic said...

Humility is not the way she rose up to the top,
Though using misdirection she threw hillbillies the sop
That maybe just perhaps she dug their crude benighted trip:
A fool assumed...she puffed right up and cut him, snip snip snip.

Inga said...

And why shouldnt a blog owner direct discussion? That's her right. Although the commentariat seems to have their own mind despite any direction by the blog mistress.

Ann Althouse said...

Liberals think I'm right wing and conservatives think I'm a liberal of a not particularly virulent type.

That could be averaged out, not putting me in the middle, but somewhat conservative. But I think liberals have a way of shunning, getting hysterical, and viewing conservatives as toxic. Therefore, I think the evidence shows I'm right in the middle.

Shouting Thomas said...

Dealing with journalists is one of the more painful parts of being in the music biz.

On the music biz side, journalists are even more inclined to assume you agree with them about everything, even before they meet you or have any type of discussion with you. You must be an extreme leftist, they assume, or why would you be in the music biz.

Even more off-putting is their assumption that you are eager for their help.

Which is sometimes true, and sometimes not.

Lyle said...

He is a propagandist; not a journalist.

Meade said...

Joe Schmoe said...
"You should be nicer to David Blaska..."

That might be true but the unnamed journalist in this case was not David Blaska. Anyone familiar with David Blaska knows he is ever a gentleman and never snippy.

I wonder just how "familiar" with the Althouse blog this unnamed journalist really is. Familiar enough to come into these comments and discuss the post? I doubt it.

phx said...

Don't you have to be right-wing to listen to that much Rush? Or to ref the Drudge site that often?

Sometimes we do get a link to the NYTimes - but more often than not something disparaging.

The blogger definitely presents her topics with a right-wing spin most of the time. The exceptions aren't really convincing enough to deem her a political moderate.

Shouting Thomas said...

I get the feeling, Althouse, that in this instance, they writer thought you would be eager for the additional exposure, and that he got huffy when he discovered you were indifferent.

Robert Cook said...

I'm familiar with your blog and I certainly take the impression you skew more right than left, even if not dogmatically so.

In any case, if does seem pointless to respond in such curt manner to someone who admits they're unfamiliar with your blog. Why respond at all?

If you felt he warranted any response you could have suggested that he take some time and read back through several weeks' worth of the blog (or longer) to become more familiar with your point of view in the event this might change his perceptions before he poses any questions to you. Or, you could simply have corrected him by stating your own view of your views.

EMD said...

the hive is filled with angry little drones and workers with stingers on their asses.

Sometimes, people should think before they exercise their free speech.

phx said...

Liberals think I'm right wing and conservatives think I'm a liberal of a not particularly virulent type.

That could be averaged out, not putting me in the middle, but somewhat conservative.


Sure, average out the four liberal regulars against the overwhelming majority of conservatives. Where does anyone think that imbalance comes from anyway?

Shouting Thomas said...

Cookie,

Have you ever dealt much with people asking for interviews and conducting interviews?

If you have, you would quickly discover that those people have agendas of their own that they will quickly enact if you don't do something to dissuade them.

In other words, they're prosecuting their ambitions, often at the expense of the person they're interviewing.

They have to be viewed with extreme skepticism.

phx said...

Although I have to ask myself why I'm being so insistent that Althouse is really denying her conservative bent? It really doesn't make any difference one way or another.

What's wrong with me? Next, I'll be shunning, getting hysterical, seeing others as toxic!

Obviously I enjoy the blog.

purplepenquin said...

Pragmatist said...
All of my friends on the Right think I am a pinko, all my friends on the Left think I am a reactionary and my crazy friends think I am nuts. When you do not fit into a box it causes a lot of confusion among the True Believers.

Amen, brother! or sister!


^^^^this.

And thanks to whoever it was that gave me the mental pic of Inga as a lil' girl.

Sorin said...

Anyone “familiar” with your blog would know that you’re not an easy takedown. Just another columnist acting like a bitchy little girl. LOL

Shouting Thomas said...

Sure, average out the four liberal regulars against the overwhelming majority of conservatives. Where does anyone think that imbalance comes from anyway?

Disagree that purported imbalance exists.

It only exists if you accept the liberal assumption that disagreement on any single issue with the liberal party line makes one conservative.

Robert Cook said...

I see I misread the reporter as saying he was "unfamiliar" with your blog, when he said he was "familiar."
Well, then, as with me, he takes the impression that you swing more right than left.

phx said...

Disagree that purported imbalance exists.

There are definitely all shades and stripes here.

But to disagree that there's a numberical imbalance in Althouse comments favoring conservatives over liberals?

That'd be a hard sell to anyone but the most "original" kind of thinker, IMO.

Michael said...

Many of the "conservative" commenters here are classically liberal. The nomenclature has changed, it is all now political instead of philosophical.

the journalist wanted a quote from a self identified winger he had already written the story

MikeAdamson said...

I don't think that calling out nonsense from a right wing gasbag disqualifies one from swinging to the right politically. I'm not a daily reader but I've always identified Ms. A as more conservative than moderate.

phx said...

There are more than four liberals though, I did take some liberties with that number.

Meade said...

Inga said...
"Why yes, Quayle! I can play that role."

Well there are certain sections of the blogosphere, Inga, that I wouldn't advise you to try to play that role.

MayBee said...

He was fishing for a quote. Something he wanted to attach my name to instead of him just saying it. He flagged that he couldn't be trusted by claiming to know my blog but displaying what is — to my eye — not getting it.

But you know yourself better than any reader could possibly know you. You have an image of yourself that is important to you (we all do!) and you know what you are thinking when you write. That someone else does not see you as you see yourself is not really that person's failing. It's just the way human interaction happens.

You cut him off rather than correct him, which makes me wonder if what you really did not want was to be classified as "conservative" in a publication (again). In other words, you know you were a little snippy, and you were snippy with purpose.

n.n said...

I have noticed that journalistic bias has become unabashed and overt. The feedback mechanism in society intended to promote ethical behavior seems to have been circumvented.

Actually, there has been a dissociation from experiencing and even acknowledging individual risk. This is the foundation for the progressive corruption of individuals, institutions, culture, and journalists in a society.

Shouting Thomas said...

Well, then, as with me, he takes the impression that you swing more right than left.

Yes, Cookie, she swings more to the right of the commie party line which you espouse.

Big Mike said...

@Professor, I imagine that when compared to the typical UW-Mad faculty member you really do skew right. I think of you as center-left.

oneredquilt said...

He wanted to write a "Gorillas in the mist" story and got pissed when he discovered that one of them could talk.

William said...

Does the latent content of snip refer back to castration or gardening? I think it depends more on the snippee rather than the snipper. When cultivating a classroom discussion, it's a way of nourishing growth. When addressing someone equal or higher on the status pole, it's not the weeds that get snipped. A position in the middle is ideal for this type of snipping.....Men snipe. Women snip.

Inga said...

Meade, you are so right. If I am understanding you correctly.

Brennan said...

Maybe he's not a journalist though. Just a "columnist" - or blogger.

Ann should reply asking from which basement they write and which version of Cheetos is their favorite. And CC Joe Scarborough on the email.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

Liberals think I'm right wing and conservatives think I'm a liberal of a not particularly virulent type.

That could be averaged out, not putting me in the middle, but somewhat conservative. But I think liberals have a way of shunning, getting hysterical, and viewing conservatives as toxic. Therefore, I think the evidence shows I'm right in the middle.


The thing is that you're a sensible person surrounded by less sensible people. In a Blue environment -- and it doesn't get much Bluer than Madison -- you look Red. In a Red environment, you would certainly look Blue.

Proof that this is mostly optical illusion is that you manage to retain the readers you do. I'm not sure everyone realizes how rare a comment section like this is, where there is wide ideological diversity and reasonable civility. The Volokh Conspiracy has one (well, depending on the blogger and the topic -- when David Bernstein posts anything remotely related to Israel, things get very ugly very fast). Megan McArdle has done it, though with her move to the Daily Beast she now has to start almost from scratch again. Just when she had nearly gotten the Atlantic commentariat up to the level of the one at her solo blog, yet.

Rocketeer said...

Don't you have to be right-wing to listen to that much Rush? Or to ref the Drudge site that often?

Uh...no??? I spedn quite a bit of time at HuffPo, and more than a fwe lefty blogs. I'd say you just have to be curious, and unafraid to have to "suffer" through a viewpoint that's different than yours. Are you implying that's too high a standard for you? Because that's sure what I'm inferring...

Robert Cook said...

"Many of the 'conservative' commenters here are classically liberal. The nomenclature has changed, it is all now political instead of philosophical."

Oh, brother!

furious_a said...

Mr. Columnist's first presumption was one of familiarity: Hi, Ann.

Proper form of address, especially for what appears to be a first contact asking someone to take time out of *their* day to help you do *your* job, would have been:

Hello, Professor Althouse.

Meade said...

@William: With due respect and all humility, gardeners don't snip. We judiciously prune.

CJinPA said...

But to disagree that there's a numberical imbalance in Althouse comments favoring conservatives over liberals?

It's like the imbalance in U.S. newsrooms: No one denies it exists or that it has an impact, the only debate is over the degree of impact.

phx said...

Are you implying that's too high a standard for you? Because that's sure what I'm inferring...

That's not a correct characterization, and I won't comment on anything if that's the premise of the question.

Pat said...

You were kind of snippy.

phx said...

Discuss.

Marshal said...

phx said...
Sure, average out the four liberal regulars against the overwhelming majority of conservatives. Where does anyone think that imbalance comes from anyway?


It is true that most blogs are so relentlessy left conservatives consider any blog willing to discuss the issues honestly a welcome home. It's revealing that the left interprets this as a reason to attack.

karrde said...

You could have said something like "You must have the wrong blogger, if you think I swing to the right politically..."

Out of curiosity, what question did the journalist attempt to ask?

purplepenquin said...

Therefore, I think the evidence shows I'm right in the middle.

Other evidence shows that ad-space is being sold on your blog under the stated premise that it is not only a conservative blog, but you're considered one of the nation's top ones.

*shrug*

Gerad Hibbs said...

phx said...
. . .Sure, average out the four liberal regulars against the overwhelming majority of conservatives. Where does anyone think that imbalance comes from anyway?

As a conservative leaning libertarian I would argue that Althouse is now essentially a moderate who wishes she were liberal but the liberals have left her behind by going so far left they have emerged into fascism/insanity. So, Althouse seems to be more of a 70's liberal for whom the wisdom of age and experience has tempered the most extreme and unrealistic of her liberal views though still there her sympathies lay.

The reason I think I and a great many rightish types read her blog is because while we often disagree with her she is intellectually honest. It says a great deal about the left, I think, that that quality makes Althouse almost unique in the blogging world today. Further, I would say that it says about her commentariat that we want to engage and understand liberalism and that this is a good outlet for that desire. Similarly, it seems clear that she wants to engage and understand the right and displays respectful discourse -- though from the professorial perspective of above -- in conversational questioning and sharpening of our views.

As iron sharpens iron I appreciate that tension between our viewpoints and reading Althouse has given me reactions from strengthening my views while have a greater understanding of the liberal mindset to alternatively moderating my views when she makes some great points.

I think that if certain journalists had approached her with the above understanding her reply would have been less snippy (though still possibly corrective :-)

caplight45 said...

Meade said: " Meade said...
@William: With due respect and all humility, gardeners don't snip. We judiciously prune."

Hairstylists and barbers "snip."

So do Urologists.

furious_a said...

Unforgiven
_____

Columnist: You'd be Ann Althouse, out of Wisconsin...unlike alof of UW-Madison profs, you tend to swi...

Althouse: That's right. I've snipped trolls and OT'ers. I've snipped just about everything that walks or crawled or wasted space on my blog. And I'm here to snip *you* for presumin' what I believe.
_____

Columnist: I don't deserve to get snipped like this. I was writing a column.

Althouse: Deserve's got nothing to do with it.

Columnist: I'll see you in hell, Ann Althouse.
_____

Althouse: It's a helluva thing, snippin' a columnist. Take away his premise -- everything he's got and everything he's gonna have.

Commenters: Yeah, well, we guess he had it coming.
_____

phx said...

As a conservative leaning libertarian I would argue that Althouse is now essentially a moderate who wishes she were liberal but the liberals have left her behind by going so far left they have emerged into fascism/insanity.

I'm sorry but if you're posting a five-paragraph comment and you would like me to read and consider it or even argue with it, don't start out with something so insulting. You're insulting my intelligence and needlessly demeaning your opponents.

Show respect. You known what Churchill said: Just because you have to kill a man doesn't mean you shouldn't be polite about it.

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
Liberals think I'm right wing and conservatives think I'm a liberal of a not particularly virulent type.

That could be averaged out, not putting me in the middle, but somewhat conservative. But I think liberals have a way of shunning, getting hysterical, and viewing conservatives as toxic. Therefore, I think the evidence shows I'm right in the middle.

10/2/12 11:58 AM

Whats in the middle is usually roadkill. I suspect that fiscally conservative and socially liberal is leading you to a path that you might feel uncomfortable with, the outer edge of libertarianism. But then again what do I know?

Freeman Hunt said...

IMO journalists should do their best to refrain from taking shit personally.

This.

Calls from journalists are not social calls. They're doing a job. Taking a call from a journalist is like taking a sales call; you don't owe them, you're doing them a favor.

The journalist should appreciate the to-the-point-ness.

Additionally, journalists shouldn't be wussy.

What happened to His Girl Friday?

phx said...

Let's do a thread where we try to identify the ideologies of everyone who shows up in it. See what we get. See how many libtards and thuglicans there really are.

DADvocate said...

You could always correct my incorrect characterization

You did correct his incorrect characterization. Maybe he's explaining why he's being snippy. It's easier. If not, why the fuck would you have to defend anything to him in particular? He can read/not read your blog like the rest of us.

Mary Beth said...

Familiar with this blog probably means he became aware of it during the Madison protests and made assumptions based on how the protestors reacted to the posts about them.

cubanbob said...

Gerad Hibbs said...

Very well said indeed sir.

Astro said...

How many other UW-Madison profs are friendly with, and frequently linked by, Glenn Reynolds? How many other UW-Madison profs cite Rush Limbaugh or even take his comments seriously? How many post images from the Drudge Report? How many others have put in writing their disillusionment with Obama?

Compared to other UW-Madison professors, how far off was his characterization? I bet a lot of people reading your blog would make the same characterization.

Joe Schmoe said...

Your bee metaphor is quite cunning, Inga. Get it? Cunning Inga? Have you met Colonel Angus?

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Jana said...

I'd read it as snippy, but sometimes that's how it comes off when in the form of e-mail. I've watched more than my share of Althouse Bloggingheads (do another one!), and I can imagine a look of bemusement while responding to the columnist.

Lem said...

See Furious @ 12:20 PM

Gerad Hibbs said...

phx,

Well, I see your point. I wasn't really responding to you but to your point and to the journalist. Your comment was just the jumping off point.

However, I would view the Kos types as being in insanity. See: California. It is insanity to think that is going to end well and yet continue on that course. If you identify with that trend and taking that road then I think you insane. If you don't identify then I am not talking about you.

As to fascism, I have just come off of reading this. Again, if you think restricting speech is good, as much of the left is beginning to argue, then I think you fascist. If you don't identify with that then I wasn't talking about you.

That said I did indeed quote you so I apologize for implicitly putting you in with those who think California is going the right direction and would like to restrict speech.

Nichevo said...

She's not snippy, she's a coward. Professor Althouse, or Ann as we dasn't call her to her face, is someone who is happy to tell you what she's not , but not so happy to tell you what she is, because then she would have to own it. Somehow that would lift off the mask.

Robert Cook is the same way. He loves to disagree with any characterizations, but won't actually ID himself or his views. Cedarford is the same way. Most of the worst people on the blog are this way. All squids hiding in a cloud of ink. Chickenshits.

Snippy? Um, yeah! On the other hand, it was an ill-phrased question posed in an over-familiar way, and she had no reason or incentive to make things any easier on him. It's hard to blame her, given who she is, and who he is.

In fact, she got him to fuck off pretty easily, without any further digging, harassment, insistence on a quote which she might have been loath to give even if he asked her with suitable honey.

Freeman Hunt said...

Can you imagine taking a call from a salesman, and when you answer something directly but not rudely, he says, "Well! No need to get snippy!" Ha ha ha.

This is equivalent.

traditionalguy said...

Journalists that ask for an interview always have assigned speaking parts in the fiction they are planning to publish as real.

That is why they need yours and others comments to interviews... so they can lie about what was said but their fictional piece will have a reality appearance to it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Of course, a salesman might do that if he thinks it could get you to listen or feel some obligation to him.

Paddy O said...

"Sometimes she seems to swing to the right to me as well.
Is that so awful to say?"

There's swing and then there's swing. Althouse does sometimes swing, but she doesn't trend as a swinger. If you start from the premise that she's a liberal who is convinced by some conservative arguments and issues, that's fair. If you start from the premise that she's conservative-that she consistently swings--it's a mischaracterization.

If then, her being conservative is a premise, that's missing a lot of what she says around here. And, giving how journalists do fish for quotes from the representative Other, it seems right to resist playing that game.

That's the funny thing about the whole brouhaha of who Althouse is voting for. It seems to be that the default is always the Democrat. So, of course she would drift toward voting for Obama--especially as Obama represents a lot of policy choices on social issues and such that Althouse seems to agree with.

The right premise to start with is that Althouse is a liberal in a liberal enclave, resisting the sheep mentality of her context, and so particularly questions the liberal status quo, and in questioning sometimes finds liberals are wrong or misguided.

If you're a conservative, Althouse is not on your side. But she's willing to listen.

That's my understanding at least.

Curious George said...

"karrde said...
Out of curiosity, what question did the journalist attempt to ask?"

Yes, forget the reporters response. What was the question?

MadisonMan said...

What happened to His Girl Friday?

Didn't she marry the Boss?

(Haven't seen that movie in AGES)

Meade said...

I knew the term "snippy" reminded me of something -- of one of the reasons I like the man, George W. Bush so much:

'Circumstances,' [Gore] said, once through to the Governor of Texas, 'have changed. I need to withdraw my concession until the situation is clear'. 'Let me make sure I understand, Mr Vice-President,' said Bush. 'You're calling me back to retract your concession'. 'There's no need to get snippy about it,' said Gore. Bush replied that his brother Jeb was the Governor in charge of the Florida ballot. Gore's voice retorted: 'It may surprise you but your younger brother is not the ultimate authority on this.' 'Mr Vice-President,' said Bush's voice, 'You need to do what you have to do.'

So, before you accuse me of being snippy, Mr. ManBearJournalist, take a look at your own scissorhands.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2000/nov/12/uselections2000.usa1

Methadras said...

Leading question is leading. Anything else Mrs. Snippy person?

RonF said...

"I want to put you in a particular box. If you don't agree, let's talk about what I'm thinking about you instead of what you're thinking about issues."

F him.

phx said...

Gerard Hibbs. A gentleman.

phx said...

Of course, a salesman might do that if he thinks it could get you to listen or feel some obligation to him.

Ha! Cagey. "Journalists" can be pretty cagey too.

William said...

"Judicious pruning." That why gardeners are such regular guys.

CJinPA said...

Calls from journalists are not social calls. They're doing a job. Taking a call from a journalist is like taking a sales call; you don't owe them, you're doing them a favor.

As a former reporter, his response had all the marks of a guy who really didn't want to have to talk to the person he called. Now he can just say "She refused comment" and write what he was going to write anyway.

Meade said...

Curious George said...
"karrde said...
Out of curiosity, what question did the journalist attempt to ask?"

Yes, forget the reporters response. What was the question?


The question was something along the lines of: "I presume you don't like people you work with who have different political orientations from you own. I'm lazily working on a column that will make me look smarter than the Lefties you are forced to work with. Since I think I'm also smarter than you, Ann, can you give me a quote which bashes your colleagues, makes me look sharper than I really am, and all the while lets me sit on my lazy ass?

TWM said...

"If you're a conservative, Althouse is not on your side. But she's willing to listen."

That's always been my take. Of course the vast majority of liberals don't like to listen to opposing views (or even acknowledge their legitimacy) and so they certainly don't like other liberals listening. It upsets their reality you see, so they must accuse her of being right-wing or their heads might explode.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Freeman Hunt,
I am reminded of the movie "Fargo" where Sheriff Marge Gunderson was interviewing guilty-as-hell Jerry Lundergaard and she said something like, "Geez. No need to get snippy with me."

And then he fled.

creeley23 said...

Hi Ann: I'm familiar with your blog and take it that, unlike a lot of UW-Madison profs, you tend to swing to the right politically...."

That's an entirely fair characterization of Althouse based on this blog for the past two years in which posts critical of Obama and his policies far outweigh other political posts.

I'd say her response was "snippy." She could have offered a couple of clues about her position that would have helped the guy out, but no.

It appears that Althouse is a standard liberal of the sort: "I'm too special to be categorized. How dare you!"

The Professor needs a new tag: "neutrality bullshit."

RonF said...

Meade, around my house the plant maintenance occasionally requires the use of a chainsaw. Neither "snip" nor "judiciously prune" quite fits the bill in that case.

Curious George said...

"Meade said...
The question was something along the lines of: "I presume you don't like people you work with who have different political orientations from you own. I'm lazily working on a column that will make me look smarter than the Lefties you are forced to work with. Since I think I'm also smarter than you, Ann, can you give me a quote which bashes your colleagues, makes me look sharper than I really am, and all the while lets me sit on my lazy ass?"

Can we get it uninterpreted?

roesch/voltaire said...

Now if he had written I understand you favor "crispy conservatives" it would have shown he has read her blog and maybe gotten a crispy and not a snippy reply:)

I Callahan said...

I don't think your response was snippy at all. This is a classic example of the "journalist" starting with a narrative, and he expected you to go along with it.

I think what you did was refreshing. I wish politicians (especially on the right) would correct these loaded questions and mischaracterizations right from the word go, but alas, that would require one have a pair.

Meade said...

She doesn't snip it. She nips it. In the bud.


dbp said...

If he had read her blog he would know that Althouse is a liberal who, pretty unusually for a liberal, listens to and understands conservatives without becoming one.

Indigo Red said...

"You tend to want to direct people how they may discuss things. Perhaps a remnant of being an instructor."

Of course, she does. I've not met a teacher at any education level who doesn't - it's what teachers do, it's what they've trained and studied to do.

My brother is a retired teacher and sports coach. He lives his life telling people what to do, how and what to think, how to act and perform.

Using professional training in personal lives is often impossible to stop as it becomes part of who and what a person is and unfortunately, in the case of teachers, can appear overbearing and manipulative.

With a single word, "discuss," the good professor has garnered over 130 comments from commenters who've mostly not even questioned the blatant order to discuss a personal email as if this were an exam.

Master manipulator? You bet! Master followers? You bet!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

creely23,

That's an entirely fair characterization of Althouse based on this blog for the past two years in which posts critical of Obama and his policies far outweigh other political posts.

I'd say that's factually incorrect; Ann has written far more in the last two years about WI politics than she has about Obama. I mean, the coverage of Occupy and of the Walker recall effort was extensive (unequaled, really, by any other journalist, paid or not).

Though your gist is correct -- her political posts have been mostly to the right of Dane County, though I'd say to the left of half or more of the electorate.

So does that mean that she -- who voted for Obama four years ago, and blogged in detail about why she did it -- "swings right," as measured by Madison, or "swings left," as measured by most other places in her own state, not to mention other states?

gadfly said...

We know that Althouse is not a left-winger and we know that she does not want to be labeled right-wing - so that leaves the safe and secure middle, which stands for and asserts nothing. Ayn Rand turns on the flood lights in order for us to better see these "moderates."

When people call themselves moderates, ask yourself: “Moderate—about what?” Since the basic question today is freedom versus statism, or individual rights versus government controls, to be a moderate is to advocate a moderate amount of statism, a moderate amount of injustice, a moderate amount of infringement of individual rights. Surely, nobody would call that a virtue.

Meade said...

Fine, Ms. Rand, but I would remind you that extremism in the defense of a moderate amount of general welfare is no vice!

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Levi Starks said...

Before he can converse with you, you must first prove to him that you're not who he thinks you are.

Mike said...

Hey Penguin, go look on some conservative blogs (try powerline for starters) and see the ads that are placed there. You can't tell the content of the blog from the advertising. Here's a clue. Advertisers are trying to persuade the audience, build the market for their principles.

JAL said...

Ahhh Annie my gal, you always do snippy snippily.

(Sorry Professor.)

Rusty said...

I think of you more as an emotional classic liberal.
You get a lot of leeway because you're blonde and cute.

tiger said...

As I've been saying for years 'E-mail needs a "context button'.

The tone of something read can certainly be different for the tone if the same thing is said.

It did sound a tiny bit snippy but nothing out of bounds.

Krumhorn said...

Ann is a paradox.

I love the blog. I deeply respect her. But , whether contrived or real, she's a paradox.

-Krumhorn.

Dante said...

"I love the blog. I deeply respect her. But , whether contrived or real, she's a paradox. "

Receptionist: How do you write women so well?
Melvin Udall: I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.


Or, as Ann likes to claim "I'm in the middle."

raf said...

If you're a conservative, Althouse is not on your side. But she's willing to listen

This makes her worse than a mere conservative; she is a potential apostate (on specific issues. Even if she can resist this temptation (her faith is strong!), she is risking exposing liberal "thinking" to people who might learn how to respond.

The thing is that you're a sensible person surrounded by less sensible people

I've always thought there was a fair streak of contrarianism, perhaps fueled by an irritation with sloppy thinking, which leads her to postulate positions in oppostion to received wisdom or inelegant pronouncements. Like a teacher, she is grading (not on a curve) and red-penciling flaws.

raf said...

"You think that was snippy? You don't know snippy. I'll show you snippy!"

Tibore said...

"Discuss."

Ok. You were snippy bordering on rude.

Maybe the columnist was a jerk or was someone you dealt with in the past. If that was the case, he deserved it, and you were justified in being snippy and rude. If they start it, they get what's coming to 'em. But then again, maybe he was someone who didn't really know you and was approaching you with honest motives. If that's the case, you were unjustifiably snippy and rude.

Context is key.

Sorry Professor. 90+% of the time I don't have any problems with your posts or interactions with people. Your short handling of Kevin Barrett was even more blunt, but all the more deserved because of his awful character. This guy, though? Well, without context there's no way to tell. But without context, the default presumption is that he's a well meaning person, and if that's the case, your response was off-putting.

Baron Zemo said...

My Dear Snippyness!

You fool no one with a brain in their head.

You like to fool some foolish people by occasionaly cloaking some of you posts in conservative trappings but you a dyed in the wool liberal Madison lefty!

Pro-abortion. Pro-affirmative action. Pro the worst excesses of the homosexual agenda without ever a demur. Anti-religious freedom by supporting the attacks against those who refuse to lay down before the assualt on their religious values.

You are as liberal as liberal can be.

Anyone who can't see that is fooling themselves.

You will be voting for Obama. No reasonable person could doubt that.

That is who you are. Own it.

Meade said...

Trooper, why'd you change your name from Trooper York to Baron Zemo? Trooper York was a good name. Own it.

David said...

Snippy?

When you cut his balls off, it will be snippy.

I doubt the emailer,was a woman.

karrde said...

@Meade,

thanks. That paraphrase of the question may be a little hard to revert to the actual question of the journalist. However, the question looks loaded.

Thus, the decision to reject the question appears defensible, and probably quite intelligent.

@Curious George,

I don't think snippy is an accurate description of Ann's response.

The word pedantic might be accurate...but I would not think that a denigration in this case. Pedantry by a law professor is not a surprise.

I count the don't be snippy response as a failure of expression on the part of the journalist.

Is accuracy in use of adjectives not considered normal among journalists anymore? Even in quickly-composed emails?

Per Ann's answer: I don't think she did wrong. If I had been in her shoes, I might have responded with a bland response, something like:

This message must have reached me in error. If you intended to address a law-professor from UW who blogs and who considers themselves distinctly right-of-center, you have sent your message to the wrong person.

Perhaps if you point me to the blog in question, we can get your message to its intended recipient.


But my personal communications style is different.

Ann's response fits her style. It apparently had an effect that wasn't far from its intended effect.

To come to a different conclusion, I would have to assume that this reporter (or reporters in general) are somehow deserving of a great deal of respect from everyone. Even if the journalist doesn't treat his sources and their words with respect.

I don't assume that. If you do, then we will have a hard time agreeing about Ann's response to the journalist.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sdharms said...

It was snippy. I guess Ann is offended that someone would think she leaned right. Why not just correct him? But maybe Ann is too good for that.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

Baron Zemo said...

"Meade you silly boy!

Stop trying to be a dective. It ill becomes you.

Isn't it almost dinner time? Dinner won't get on the table all be itself. "

But Baron York, that's just it - I don't HAVE to try. It's all right there -- "dective".

Synova said...

If a reporter is so easily discouraged they couldn't function.

Most likely the premise of the "question" was just what Althouse said.

And without the premise there was no question.

Meade said...

You know what's funny, Troop?

You.

596e4000-0cd5-11e2-841d-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Instead of refusing to answer, why not simply correct the mistake AND answer the question.......?

I.e., "First of all, I want to correct your premise... Now, onto your question....." Etc.

596e4000-0cd5-11e2-841d-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Instead of refusing to answer, why not simply correct the mistake AND answer the question.......?

I.e., "First of all, I want to correct your premise... Now, onto your question....." Etc.

Baron Zemo said...

Meade you are very silly.


ricpic said...

Professor Althouse...is someone who's happy to tell you what she's not, but not so happy to tell you what she is, because then she would have to own it.

Thank you, Nichevo. I've been groping for the longest time with what it is about her that gets my goat and there it is in a nutshell.

I was starting to fall into that counter puncher stance as a young man when my Dad brought me up short: "Have the courage to stake out a position and own it. And have the courage to disown it if you're proven wrong. Just don't be a tear down. It's unworthy."

It's a tough standard to live up to. Not all of us are aware it exists.

edutcher said...

All he had to do was look at her Wiki page and know, like a great many people, she is a mix of Conservative and Liberal.

You get the feeling this guy gets his info from Hatman and shilol.

PS Oop forever gets a knot in her bustle because I tease Ann about a fictitious predilection toward dominance, but, from some of the thing he/she/it says here, it sounds like dominatrix is more his/her/its thing.

jr565 said...

It's a fair question,considering Althouse SEEMS in some ways to be libertarian or at least conservative in some ways. But then again she voted for Obama. But then again her voting for Obama was not based on any policy decisions (either right or left). At least not stated.
She's very coy about who she's going to vote for but intially professed positive thought for Sarah Palin during the last election. She said that Mccain lost her because he wasn't authentically conservative enough and she seems to be anti unions in Wisonconsin> Then again she is pro choice and pro abortion, and again is suggesting that she will vote for Obama again.

There is meat for both sides to chew on and find thngs in her position that would suggest she is on both sides. Nuanced, idiosyncratic or schizophrenic depending on your view.

I think its fair for someone to assume you are right wing. No need to be snippy or catty because he finds things that are suggestive of non lefty thought in some of your posts. If there is an assumption that he's made, he's not the only one. Why not clarify for him (and the rest of us) where in fact you do stand.

Baron Zemo said...

Ooooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Now it's a party!

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!!!

phx said...

If that's trooper I want an invitation to his blog. I like the movie stuff.

phx said...

tee vee stuff.

Baron Zemo said...

Quick work Detective Boy!!!!

I just hope you are not always so quick on the trigger!!!!

That would explain some of the more petulant posts!

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!!!

Snort. Giggle.

Meade said...

Ha. You should've just come in the front door. We'd forgive you.

Baron Zemo said...

Forgive what? That is not my style.

I have not done anything wrong.

Baron Zemo said...

I just like to drop my pithy comments in the punch bowl.

As a great man once said "It is like pinching a loaf."

Baron Zemo said...

I posted here long ago and have just returned from my home in Argentina.

But thank you for the warm welcome.

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!!!

Mark said...

Hatchet job: Avoided.

Marcus Carman said...

Got to be Chris Rickert from the Wisconsin State Journal. It's exactly what he would say.

chickelit said...

Baron Zemo said...
I posted here long ago and have just returned from my home in Argentina.

A Baron from the Andes...that reminds me of something...link

Penny said...

I can see the headline now...

"Columnist Convicted of Future Calumny"

Baron Zemo said...

I have returned because my comrade
Johann Schmidt has requested that I be part of the next "Avengers" film.

How could I resist such an evil companion.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harrogate said...

"Liberals think I'm right wing and conservatives think I'm a liberal of a not particularly virulent type.

That could be averaged out, not putting me in the middle, but somewhat conservative. But I think liberals have a way of shunning, getting hysterical, and viewing conservatives as toxic. Therefore, I think the evidence shows I'm right in the middle."

The hero of her own story, Althouse. You can take that to the bank every time.

Only hystericals and overreactors could find a blogger right wing who: repeatedly aligns with conservatives on economic and foreign policy issues. Because, you know, she's a "social liberal." And that balances everything out, you see.

creeley23 said...

Liberals think I'm right wing and conservatives think I'm a liberal of a not particularly virulent type.

Aren't you special?

Neutrality bullshit.

willy99 said...

You could just ask the question without finding Ann's leanings or what color shoes she is wearing.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

harrogate,

Only hystericals and overreactors could find a blogger right wing who: repeatedly aligns with conservatives on economic and foreign policy issues. Because, you know, she's a "social liberal." And that balances everything out, you see.

Actually, I don't think AA blogs much on "foreign policy issues." Economics, a bit, as in "this state is practically broke, and can't we please try to find a fix?" (I paraphrase; Althouse didn't say that). Nearly everything here that could be construed as political has been about "social policy," write correctly -- that is, about how the State of Wisconsin ought to be run.

Honestly, harrogate, I think you're conflating Althouse with Reynolds. He actually sort of fits your description, as a fiscal-conservative, free-marketer, social-liberal hawk. That makes him a right-winger. A guy like Pat Buchanan or Mike Huckabee -- a social-conservative, protectionist, fiscal-liberal dove -- is also a right-winger, because this is the kind of test on which you fail if you get any question wrong.

Julie C said...

The journalist probably expected to talk to someone who would be thrilled, just THRILLED, to talk to a real reporter and hopefully see her name in the PAPER!! The person who clips all her press and pastes it in a nice little bound portfolio.

Instead he got bitch-slapped. Nicely done.

The Crack Emcee said...

He responds:

You could always correct my incorrect characterization, but I guess being snippy is easier.

Thanks anyway.

Discuss.


He's right:

You're losing it.

Why couldn't you just tell the man you're a moderate (or whatever) and see what the question was?

Fucking bizarre,...

harrogate said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson, you write:

"Actually, I don't think AA blogs much on 'foreign policy issues.'"

Bullshit. The history of affection for Bush and alignment with his foreign policy are intertwined. Remember the whole I-voted-for-Obama-so-Democrats-would-take ownership-of-the-war-on-terror narrative?

"Economics, a bit, as in 'this state is practically broke, and can't we please try to find a fix?' (I paraphrase; Althouse didn't say that)."

Again, please. The alignment with conservatives on economic policies, not only in Wisconsin but nationwide, is an even more stable characteristic than foreign policy. A gross distortion to characterize her policy as "we're broke, let's fix it."

"Honestly, harrogate, I think you're conflating Althouse with Reynolds. He actually sort of fits your description, as a fiscal-conservative, free-marketer, social-liberal hawk. That makes him a right-winger."

Well. Perhaps this blog is a bit less hawkish than Reynolds or some others. I'll cede that.

"A guy like Pat Buchanan or Mike Huckabee -- a social-conservative, protectionist, fiscal-liberal dove -- is also a right-winger, because this is the kind of test on which you fail if you get any question wrong."

Buchanan and Huckabee are so extreme in their positions (on a variety of fronts), that it is no wonder that only fools will claim either.

Tim Tabor said...

Well, I swing to the right and Althouse is one of my favorite blogs, perhaps the favorite, including the posts that are not particularly right wing. For what its worth.

Roadkill said...

Ann, I read your blog daily and find your views and commentary most interesting, but damn, lighten up; I think that the journalist had the best of that exchange.

rcocean said...

A more accurate opening:

"Hi Ann: I'm familiar with your blog and take it that, unlike a lot of UW-Madison profs, you're not a bat shit crazy left-wing Marxist and tend to take a few conservative positions...."

Craig Landon said...

I would have enjoyed something like:

"That's not a correct characterization. I'm cruelly neutral, as I've often said, and will entertain the question from that perspective."

Seeing "cruelly neutral" make it into print would have made my day.

Marshal said...

harrogate said...
Only hystericals and overreactors could find a blogger right wing who: repeatedly aligns with conservatives on economic and foreign policy issues.


This is such crap. She points out stupid shit that annoys her: the media spin, the stupid government lies. It doesn't mean she agrees with conservatives on the underlying policy question.

SGT Ted said...

"Swing to the right" is lefty speak for "moderate Democrat".

If he thought you were "rightwing" he'd call you a racist.

creeley23 said...

Seeing "cruelly neutral" make it into print would have made my day.

Oddly enough, if you consult a dictionary, the word "neutral" has nothing to do with "cruelly" or "cruelty."

That's just an ego trip on the part of Professor Althouse to let people know how special her opinions are.

Neutrality bullshit.

MayBee said...

Paddy O- fine, but this guy says he is familiar with her blog, not that he has spent a great deal of time analyzing Althouse over the years.

Regardless, Meade's paraphrase of the question makes it clear Althouse was snippy because she wanted to get rid of the guy. Althouse's comment about the left treating conservatives as toxic gives us a good indication as to why she wouldn't want to be written of as a conservative for all the liberals in Madison to see (I get that. I feel the same way in LA)

So mission accomplished.

Rusty said...

I don't know, MayBee. My first impression was that she was ticked that he made an assumption about her from a cursory reading of her blog.
Liberals especially like to make assumptions about conservatives or classic librerals and I know that annoys me.
So the dumb ass set himself up for a snippy.

MayBee said...

Rusty- from Meade's paraphrase of the question, I gathered the guy was a conservative (he wanted her to be critical of her left-leaning colleagues).

He may have set himself up for snippy. She didn't like the way he approached her because she feels he mischaracterized her. She was snippy. He called her snippy.

MayBee said...

It's not like being snippy is a crime. Sometimes it's an accident. Sometimes it's a tool.

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