April 20, 2018

What Clinton loyalist Philippe Reines said to NYT reporter Amy Chozick: "I didn’t know I had to say it was off the record when I was inside you."

That line — which Chozick called "grossly gynecological" — is from the movie “Thank You for Smoking," and it came up in a discussion of whether a prior conversation was off the record. Chozick didn't reveal Reines's name in her new book — "Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling" — but the WaPo reviewer (Carlos Lozada) revealed it, and Reines confirms, as he gives his riposte to Jezebel:
Amy deserves credit for confessing. Because anyone who’s seen “Thank You for Smoking” knows the problem isn’t Aaron Eckhart’s language or behavior, it’s Katie Holmes’s ethics and tactics. I said it then, I’d say it again today. Oh, one more thing: she and [New York Times assistant managing editor Carolyn] Ryan should know this about my own book I’m currently writing: there are tapes. And unlike some, I don’t bluff.
I'm not someone who's seen "Thank You for Smoking," but I can understand Reines's defense and its limits. He used a line that, he wants us to see, expressed the idea: I thought we had a close relationship, and you're a bad person if you use our closeness in a way that hurts me.

The limits:

1. The movie reference would only work if he knew she was quite familiar with the movie. I don't know the answer to that. Maybe he did!

2. He's bringing up sexual intercourse metaphorically. That suggests a level of familiarity that might have existed. It might be used to intimidate a woman, but it might suggest that the woman was included in the group, more like a man, that she was in the "locker room" where sexual metaphor is freely used. It's possible that Chozick is repeating intimate talk to outsiders who don't understand the style of repartee, and her ew, gross is really quite unfair to Reines.

3. Why would the analogy work? She was a NYT reporter and he was a campaign aide. Even if Chozick achieved phenomenal access to the campaign, how could it possibly equate to his getting "inside" her? Does Reines mean to say that she tricked him into believing that she was a lover and not a real journalist and now it's wrong of her to reveal herself as someone who never really loved him?

4. How could Reines possibly have been so naive? Anyone halfway sophisticated knows what Janet Malcolm famously wrote in "The Journalist and the Murderer":
Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse. Like the credulous widow who wakes up one day to find the charming young man and all her savings gone, so the consenting subject of a piece of nonfiction writing learns—when the article or book appears—his hard lesson. ...

The catastrophe suffered by the subject is no simple matter of an unflattering likeness or a misrepresentation of his views; what pains him, what rankles and sometimes drives him to extremes of vengefulness, is the deception that has been practiced on him. On reading the article or book in question, he has to face the fact that the journalist—who seemed so friendly and sympathetic, so keen to understand him fully, so remarkably attuned to his vision of things—never had the slightest intention of collaborating with him on his story but always intended to write a story of his own. The disparity between what seems to be the intention of an interview as it is taking place and what it actually turns out to have been in aid of always comes as a shock to the subject.
5. I'm just going to guess that Reines is bullshitting, playing the faux naif today, even though back at the time he meant to flummox Chozick. As for Chozick, I think she's making a power move too. She must know how devastating it is in these #MeToo times to accuse a man of sexual harassment in the workplace, which is more or less what she is doing. I think Reines is scared, but he's trying to act tough — There are tapes! I don’t bluff! She's unethical! Like Katie Holmes!

6. I love the utter tininess of this dispute. It's so Friday. Such a relief from all the Comeosity.

72 comments:

Sebastian said...

It's fun, of course, to see a "Clinton loyalist" get embarrassed, if it even counts as embarrassment. But the larger point is that, in interaction with progs, anything you say can and will be used against you, if it suits them. (Of course, they are also the people who insist we must be free to abort because privacy is a sacred value, enshrined in the Constitution somewhere.)

Jupiter said...

" (“The words hung there,” Chozick recalls, “so grossly gynecological.”)"

Could just as easily be proctological. In fact, considering the people involved are a bunch of assholes ...

Caldwell Titcomb IV said...

OK.

I hoped it was going to be something like -

Clinton loyalist Philippe Reines walks into a bar and NYT reporter Amy Chozick says "Why the long face?"

And Clinton loyalist Philippe Reines says "Well, they just filed a bogus lawsuit against Trump's presidential campaign, the Russian government and the Wikileaks group, claiming a broad illegal conspiracy to help Trump win the 2016 election and I could use a double shot of your cheapest whiskey."

Ken B said...

Why just gynecological? Why not penile?

Char Char Binks said...

It only works if he had actually been inside her. Otherwise it really crosses a line. I've seen the movie, and I liked it, but I didn't remember the line. I don't see how people are supposed to know it was figurative, or that it was a movie quote. It's not up there with "put your lips together and blow", or anything like that.

Virgil Hilts said...

Apparently what happens while inside Chozick doesn't stay inside Chozick.

rcocean said...

Damn it, I Knew it. the New York Times was in the tank for Donald Trump.

"They" won again!

rcocean said...

BTW, all this "sex talk" is better when you don't see their pictures.

Mark said...

I really do not understand this propensity of a tortured analysis of things.

"He used a line that, he wants us to see, expressed the idea: I thought we had a close relationship, and you're a bad person if you use our closeness in a way that hurts me."

No, he used a line that expresses the idea that he was inside her. Literally. Penile-vaginal penetration, i.e. they have had sex.

That is the plain understanding of it. And there is no indication he meant it metaphorically.

Jupiter said...

Char Char Binks said...
"I don't see how people are supposed to know it was figurative, or that it was a movie quote."

Um, "people" aren't supposed to know. The question would be whether, when Philippe Reines used this rather suggestive quote to impugn Amy Chozick's profresssional ethics during a conversation between the two of them, he believed that she would recognize the quote. Which seems rather likely, as it would otherwise be ineffective as commentary on her poor ethics. Ethics again.

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

I'm not even sure that saying that the Clintons, Dems, and progressives routinely bend people over and f*** them in the ass is metaphorical.

Virgil Hilts said...

That's the problem when you scan things. I assumed Philippe Reines was sleeping with Amy Chozick. Why would you otherwise say something like that.

gspencer said...

"Anything said during the sex act is not operative; even if considered inside information"

alan markus said...

The Washington Post’s review of Chozick’s book notes Chozick’s names for the guys—“Brown Loafers Guy,” “Policy Guy,” “Hired Gun Guy,” “Outsider Guy”
and “Original Guy,” the latter of whom is named by the Post as infamously combative Clinton loyalist Philippe Reines


Looks like he wants to claim the name "InsideHer Guy"

Murph said...

BTW, the movie is based on a book by Christopher Buckley (yes, that Buckley family). I've read and enjoyed immensely several of his books: Thank you...., Boomsday, No Way To Treat a First Lady, and Florence of Arabia, are the ones I remember reading. He is quite the clever writer.

Lucien said...

“Comeosity”? Why not “Comescuity”?

Bay Area Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bay Area Guy said...

Thank You for Smoking - by Chris Buckley- is a very funny book.

The movie was just ok, although Katie Holmes was quite hot.

In contract, no book about Why Hillary Lost, Reason No. 4,424,211 will be funny, and Amy Chozick is not hot.

Michael K said...

Joe McGinness and Jeffrey MacDonald are an excellent example of a reporter lying and deceiving the client. That, in fact, may be the example she is writing about.

gspencer said...

There once was a man named Skinner
Who took a Democrat-ette to dinner
At quarter to nine, they sat down to dine
And at quarter to ten it was in her
The dinner, not Skinner
Skinner had been in her before dinner

robother said...

On the bright side, Cosmo should do a spread on this interesting technique of doing press interviews during sex as a way for Bright Young Things to help men avoid premature ejaculation, (Why should men have to go through the 70s Reds lineup, followed by the 60s Packers?) Talking about Hillary is about the most effective way to avoid ejaculation ever invented.

n.n said...

Integrated sex locker-room talk loses something in translation.

madAsHell said...

Choznik was sleeping with Reines? A NYT reporter was sleeping with a Clintonista?

Color me surprised!!

Bill said...

Chasing Hillary ? What a title!

What a concept!

Khesanh 0802 said...

Ann, Given some of the junk you have forced yourself to watch, admitting that you haven't watched "Thank You for Smoking" shocked me. Great movie and Aaron Eckhart's performance is absolutely outstanding. Wtach it soon.

Jason said...

What a classless ass.

Then again, Democrats are always projecting their own insane misogyny on normal people.

Jason said...

I will never understand why Hannity has to disclose a conversation or two with Cohen but liberal journalists never have to disclose whom they're sleeping with.

HT said...

"North Korea says it will suspend nuclear and missile tests, shuts down test site"

It's not the same thing as disarmament, but by all means, Clinton on!

Matthew Sablan said...

In the movie both characters are unlikable. Being screwed over helps the guy become a better person.

Matthew Sablan said...

If she wasn't sleeping with him, the line makes no sense. Wht does Clinton surround herself with sexual harassers?

Ann Althouse said...

It doesn’t make any sense to think that Chozick and Reines had actual sex!

There’s nothing about Chozick’s writing that supports that.

Reines’s comment is offensive because he’s sexualizing a nonsexual relationship.

If you have material from the book showing that I’m wrong, please let me know.

It would be super weird.

The review would have made that plain.

Molly said...

Help me see what I am missing.

Reines's comment makes perfect sense if the context is: Chozick reported on something that Reines told her while (or approximately "while") they were having sex. "You reported something I said while we were intimate; I assumed that comments then were off the record without having to say 'this is off the record'."

So why doesn't it make "any sense to think the Chozick and Reines had actual sex!"

What's (apparently) in Chozick's writing is something anodyne like "sources close to the Clinton campaign say that there are concerns about her health."

Do you expect that Chozick's article would say something like, "sources close to the CLinton campaign who spoke to me during sexual intercourse say that there were concerns about her health"?

So, yeah, I haven't read the book. BUt I think if you look at the blog post and comments you will see why people are responding as they are.

Matthew Sablan said...

I don't think they had sex. That's my point. The statement makes no sense given that.

Lydia said...

I don't understand how anyone working for Hillary could possibly think they had a close relationship with Chozick after what she told ABC News back in 2015:

New York Times reporter Amy Chozick, who follows Clinton closely, told ABC News that she was surprised by the extent of Clinton’s drinking when she began covering her.

"She likes to drink," Chozick said. "We were on the campaign trail in 2008 and the press thought she was just taking shots to pander to voters in Pennsylvania. Um, no."

Ralph L said...

She should have turned around and spread her ass cheeks.

Men make sexual remarks about each other all the time without scandal or hashtags.

Rabel said...

"Reines’s comment is offensive because he’s sexualizing a nonsexual relationship."

Jeeze, Althouse. It's simply a power play - "You weren't saying that when I was fucking you!"

Softened only slightly by using the movie quote, it's offensive because it's intended to be offensive - to belittle the female, and to let her know that in the speaker's mind she's nothing more than a cunt to be used, regardless of whether or not she was actually used.

It doesn't take a lot of in-depth analysis. Most high school boys could put it together.

That an adult male in a position of great responsibility would use that line with an adult female in a working relationship shows what type of horrible people made up the Clinton camp.

Freeman Hunt said...

"That an adult male in a position of great responsibility would use that line with an adult female in a working relationship shows what type of horrible people made up the Clinton camp."

This.

traditionalguy said...

Comeosity uber alles.

As for actual sex vel non, I would say don't presume a smart, aggressive man has any trouble surprising the next lady waking up in bed with him the next morning. Tactics and emotional intelligence seldom miss. We used to call that Chemestry.

Ralph L said...

It's shocking that a Democrat would feel the need to record his discussions with a subordinate.

YoungHegelian said...

This is Philippe Reines we're talking about here. He was the Clinton coterie's designated asshole, in a coterie where to earn distinction as such took some major work. A NYT reporter like Chozick who's covered Clinton for ages is surprised that PR talks obscene smack to her like that? Oh, bullshit! She's just telling us because she wants her readership to know what suffering she had to undergo to cover these horrid people. The poor, long-suffering dear of a girl!

Hell's bells, I wouldn't be surprised Philippe Reines talks to his momma like that!

holdfast said...

Clearly Chozick and Reines boned at some point, though more likely during the 2008 campaign.

Hard pass.

https://charlie-p-2ac84d7056ca7f9d.s3.amazonaws.com/clips/thumbnails/000/028/499/feat_full/1HYR3MX_001_lt.jpg?1469547559

traditionalguy said...

Accepting his point about intimate relations creating a confidentiality, what effect does wearing a condom have on that? Protection for the betrayer should be included with using a condom.

Ralph L said...

Atrios: One of the great mysteries of Clintonland is they both surrounded themselves with people who are truly horrible at their jobs.

I would leave off the last three words, and I did.

Ralph L said...

TheSlot at Jezebel!

“They’d gotten in my head, and I let them,” Chozick admits. Says the WaPo review.
Feminism at its finest.

And they were all inside her.

rhhardin said...

The vagina is an exterior surface of a woman, strictly speaking, not an inside.

PB said...

see the movie. it's fun.

the 4chan Guy who reads Althouse said...

I get it -- mansplaining is bad -- but sometimes a man's explanation is, like, needed because chicks don't get it sometimes. Because chicks think all men mostly think about is sex, and they're right, but they don't understand how men think when they think about sex.

Like, the two biggest emotions a dude can have are really wanting to bang a chick, and getting betrayed by a chick you banged going off and banging some other dude. I mean, there are some other emotions probably, but those two are the ones that make you do great things, or cause you to end up in jail.

So this thinking is, like, about sex, but everything is about sex to a dude, so you think that way about things that aren't even directly about sex. I hope that makes sense to the chicks out there, I'm trying to help you, not call you, like, dumb or anything, it's just that you're not a dude, even if you're one of those chicks who thinks she's really a dude inside and shit.

Anyway, when a dude uses sexual talk with a chick he isn't banging, it's either because he really wants to bang her, or she has really gotten under his skin. So it's kinda like a compliment, really, he's expressing his emotions in the most honest way that he can and shit. Because if a dude says something to a chick that can't be taken in a sexual way it just means he's gaming you sideways, usually.

Because if a dude says something like 'that chick really fucked me in the ass' he is saying that she really hurt him in a way that he thinks hurts the most, which is some pretty sensitive shit. Of course, it could also just mean that she pegged the dude, because some dudes are into that shit.

I post my shit here.

Clyde said...

Blue-on-blue. More popcorn, please!

bgates said...

It doesn’t make any sense to think that Chozick and Reines had actual sex!

This guy who's in politics says to a woman reporter, "I didn’t know I had to say it was off the record when I was inside you", which is a quote from a movie - delivered (in the movie) by a guy who's in politics to a woman reporter who he's been fucking - and some of you are making the leap from that to thinking that Chozick and Reines had actual sex?

Cmon, she described him as "a manipulative, sometimes-charming, often hilarious, possible sociopath" - who on earth would talk like that about someone she used to have sex with? She doesn't even name him, just mentions little clues like that he had been the Trump stand-in during debate prep, which doesn't necessarily mean she was talking about the author of the Politico piece, "What I Learned From Playing Donald Trump: My three months of immersive debate prep taught me being Trump means never having to face the consequences of your actions" by Philippe Reines.

Ralph L said...

One Intact Glass Ceiling

Can we just refer to it as "the Hymen" now?

It's what the gals say to the people above them.

Anonymous said...

From reading the excerpts of Chozick's book, it sounds like it is more about Amy C -and her feelings- than Hillary C. Why would any serious & mature reporter give a hoot in Hades what her subject thought of her?

SteveR said...

The shit eating grin smug smart assery of Reines is a good example of the reasons HRC lost.

narciso said...

One of the few people who ever set reines straight was Michael Hastings during benghazi, and we know what happened to him

Yancey Ward said...

Sayre's Law.

Yancey Ward said...

She should have just replied, "Look, I was the one wearing the strap-on."

Comanche Voter said...

Loathesome toads--both of them.

Xmas said...

"Thank You for Smoking" is a good movie, you should see it. When it was made, it was a bit absurd, especially in its portrayal of US politics and corporate machinations. But, now it just seems a bit prophetic.

And, dropping that line on a female reporter is either calling her out for her unethical behavior or the speaker being a terrible asshole. (Or, why not both?)



Xmas said...

I mean, something like this from that movie kind of nicely sums up the last 10, 20, or 30 years of American politics.

chickelit said...

Best scenario: "structural" layoffs at the NYT followed by rehiring NOT based on sex or sexual orientation.

MadisonMan said...

Why are they discussing Hillary at that point in their relationship. I know -- maybe they're not and it's all metaphor.

But Eew. Just Eew.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

How could Reines possibly have been so naive?

He thought what everybody thought, she's a reporter so she's in the bag for Hillary. You can say unflattering things about Hillary around reporters because there is no chance they would actually repeat it in print. Its like Hillary could collapse at a 9/11 memorial service and have to be thrown into a van like sack of potatoes and the press wouldn't report it unless some guy got video of it and posted it to the internet. Oh, wait. That actually happened.

Birkel said...

This is the same Reines who is the brother of a CBS executive, right?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

That an adult male in a position of great responsibility would use that line with an adult female in a working relationship shows what type of horrible people made up the Clinton camp.

Yep. These people are all about power and apparently have no moral compass whatsoever. Which would seem to be a necessity if you are going to work for Hillary Clinton. Comey claims that Trump is morally unfit for the presidency. That's also the refrain from the never-Trumpers. But what are Trump's moral failings? He is a philanderer, obviously, but that's a mild peccadillo compared to Hillary Clinton's moral failings.

Birkel said...

Leftist Collectivists only care about power. That is not unique to Hillary.

Given the chance they will put us against the wall.

LarsPorsena said...

In coitus veritas

Crazy Jane said...

The quote comes from "The Journalist and the Murderer," Malcolm's excellent takedown of Joe McGinniss, an author who ingratiated himself and seemed to sympathize with Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted killer. McGinniss then wrote a book that said MacDonald was guilty was guilty as hell. The murderer sued McGinniss and won.

McGinniss died several years ago but if he hadn't there still would be people who'd want to kill him. (Sorry for all the homicide talk.)

The quote comes up often because it is so perfect and true.

Political operatives and political reporters deserve each other. Skullduggery of that sort is not for idealists or the faint of heart.

Doug said...

Oh, Jupiter (at 5:43 p.m.) you naughty thing, you!

Jim Gust said...

Xmas at 11:38. I was going to try to describe the scene that you linked to, it is my favorite from that movie, one of my favorites from any movie. Brilliantly written, perfectly acted by both actors.

Thanks for linking to it. After seeing this scene, I want to watch the whole movie again. I recommend it to anyone who ever watches movies.

Yancey Ward said...

Birkel,

I think you have him confused with Ben Rhoades.

Krumhorn said...

Given the chance they will put us against the wall.


I couldn’t agree more! Given the steaming current political environment, I’m wondering if (or when) it will get to the point that it might come to open street warfare. The lefties are such nasty little shits, it’s almost inevitable.

- Krumhorn

Birkel said...

Thank you, Yancey Ward.