July 25, 2005

Plaidgate, an update.

Law Dork -- who's studying for the bar, so give him a break! -- got swept up unwittingly into what I'm calling Plaidgate. I've been trapped in the Plaidgate foofaraw since Thursday, myself, so I appreciate his insight:
No, all public discussion of important issues shouldn't be on this level, but some, it seems to me, should -- and always has been. From Mark Twain to Chevy Chase to Chris Rock, not everyone will find humor about public figures to be funny. That does not, however, make it a gay-baiting whisper campaign.

UPDATE: Plaidgate is noticed by Instapundit ... and The Washington Post. I guess it's a loud plaid.

AND: Let me say, in case you're only reading this post, that I didn't write that the NYT is trying to tell us they believe Roberts is gay, only that they knew what they were doing when they called attention to "Peppermint Patty" and lined up the pictures they way they did. I think they found it amusing, just as newspaper editors found it amusing to frame photographs of John Ashcroft with that bare-breasted statue hovering over him. The NYT layout of photographs on any page is very well-thought-out -- and beautifully done, one of the best reasons to subscribe to the paper version, as I do. Most people reading my comment are just looking at the on-line slideshow. I was describing the way the top of a two-page spread looked. I stand by my opinion that they deliberately tried to make him look gay. Obviously, they also have total deniability, so you don't have to point that out to me again.


leeontheroad said...

I don't disagree with your overall assessment, but since whatever the Times did (and I think it was "meaningful"), there's no way to make someone "look gay." One can point out all the wsays that someone's been involved in things that are stereoypically "gay," in a campy way, in this case.

For my part, I respect Roberts more to the extent that he's apparently comfortable enough with his heterosexual identity to have played Peppermint Patty, or whatever. Meanwhile, PP is "supposed to be" (i.e., said by some to be) an example of some "uderlying lesbian narrative," anyway. I'm not aware of gay men trying to play lesbian characters (since the Globe Theater and similar at least); even if they are, hail John Roberts for just doing what he does and apparently well.

That's totoally separate from whether I'm going to like what decisions he renders as a Justice, a position for which he seems well qualified and to which I expect he will be easily confirmed.

Walter said...

Could you fix the link to Law Dork's web site?

Ann Althouse said...

Walter: Thanks. I've fixed it.

Contributors said...

I would like to thank Ann and all those who commented on this days-long fascinating topic for not using the phrase, "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

It says much for all involved.

erp said...

I'm behind the curve again. I thought it was four year old Jack Roberts who was gay because he was wearing a plaid seersucker short pants suit and was caught on tape doing a special gay toddler karate kick which is a secret message that only other gay four year olds can decode.

Okay that makes sense.

Now it's his father who seems to be the gay one? Was he spotted wearing plaid seersucker short pants too. If so, please post picture.

David said...

So where do you all stand on the plaid vs tartan thing. Here is a picture of the late Payne Stewart iin his tartan Knickers. I always thought he was oddly cool. It takes a real man to be out in public dressed like that, but he always pulled it off.


Ampersand said...

As written - in either the original Broadway production, or in the recent revised revival - Peppermint Patty doesn't actually appear in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." So it's a bit puzzling that the Yearbook said Roberts played Peppermint Patty (assuming the Times didn't make it up).

It's possible that he played "Patty" - who is, as all true Peanuts fans know, not the same character as "Peppermint Patty" - and that either the Yearbook or the Times messed up and thought that "Patty" must refer to "Peppermint Patty."

Or it's possible that his high school added a few extra chorus parts that weren't in the script, and named them after various Peanuts characters.

Or, I guess, it's possible that the Yearbook reference was some sort of in-joke between the Yearbook writer and Roberts.

Frankly, this is the one mystery about the Times story that interests me, and I bet they haven't even assigned any investigative reporters to resolve this obviously essential question!

Mark Daniels said...

I move that henceforth on any and all blogs, no scandal name may have the suffix "gate" appended to it. If a scandal is insufficiently scandalous to generate its own designation, it's probably not worth our time. Or a name.

Larry in Gibbsville said...

Please..... Everyone knows Lucy is the real Drama Queen in the Peanuts bunch...

vbspurs said...

Smart money is on Linus. I mean, he plays the piano, knowwhattamean?

In fact, this post is to announce that I finally succumbed to the siren call of Plaidgate.

In my blogpost today, I ask a question regarding class in American politics, which may go a longer way to explain why some people think Roberts may be gay.

And Ann, I apologise in advance for calling you a fish-wife.

Where I come from, that's a compliment. Honest.


Kev said...

"Smart money is on Linus. I mean, he plays the piano, knowwhattamean?"

That would be Schroeder who plays the piano. But he also (thanks to the late Vince Guaraldi) plays some jazz piano in addition to the mandatory Beethoven, so that softens the stereotype you were going for...

AST said...

I have yet to see any photograph of anybody taken during his/her high school years that doesn't make h/h look like a dork.

It's always good for a cheap laugh, especially if you can get old movies or video tapes of someone mugging for the camera.

Does the Times do this sort of thing a lot? Do you have a link to Pat Leahy's high school photos? I know the photos of John Kerry growing up, even those of him during the campaign last year, weren't particularly impressive.

I hope there aren't any photos lurking out there of Roberts windsurfing. Something tells me his legs are as white as mine.

How about O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, or any other of the supremes? Where are the photo spreads on them?

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