"You're a funny man, Sully ...

that's why I'm going to kill you last."


Saturday, October 23, 2004

THE BRITISH LEFT: I became a Tory because I despised them so much.

Oh? So it wasn’t the high-minded philosophies of Michael Oakeshott then? Or the huge tax rates prevailing in late 1970s England? Or William Hague’s speech to the 1979 party congress? Not even Boris Johnson’s charming good looks?

posted by Sully 10/23/2004 06:50:00 PM

Friday, October 22, 2004


Really, that Lancelot Finn is a piece of work. Where else could Sullivan get such high-quality sycophancy as:

... my erstwhile hero Andrew Sullivan, the rock star of the blogosphere ...


His blog soon became my most trusted news source, a daily companion, a source of entertainment, a lens through which to view the world.

I admired Sullivan most as an eloquent advocate of the war in Iraq, and a filter for the best of the broader news media, but I soon learned to appreciate as well Sullivan’s game of exposing and mocking other writers and news sources, part of the blogosphere’s mission to keep Big Media honest. BBC anti-war spin was punished by calling them the “Baathist Broadcasting Company.” A vintage act in this genre was Sullivan’s “Imminence Watch.”

And so forth for a few grafs in the style of an eighth-grade book report. No wonder Sullivan linked to him!

But what he doesn’t share is this criticism, which is entirely correct:
Yes, Bush is running a big deficit, but that is caused
mostly by 1) a tax cut which Sullivan supported, 2) a war Sullivan supported, and 3) a recession Sullivan doesn’t think Bush caused.


And anyway, Sullivan’s hero Ronald Reagan was a big deficit spender, too. So why should Sullivan turn against Bush now? It doesn’t add up.

The real scandal, of course, is that he revisits the source of the Sontag Award, and notes that:
It sounds to me like a legitimate point of view; in fact, it’s mostly right, and though Sontag no doubt does not see it this way, it was a pre-emptive justification for Bush’s policy course over the last four


While Andrew Sullivan launched a one-man inquisition against Sontag, Bush internalized her valid critique, and had a change of heart.
It gets to be even more fun, of course, when you read Sullivan’s response:
My power, it frightens me.
Oh? And just how long ago was he bragging that he had helped take down the executive editor of the New York Times who booted him from the magazine?
A simpler explanation is that I'm a blogger who tries to call things as I see them.

Rule #1: when a pundit has to actually tell you he’s telling it like it is, he’s as much as admitting he’s a washed-up hack.
I will not stint in giving myself multiple retroactive Von Hoffmann awards. Promise.

We’ll call you on this one, but you may be relieved to hear that we doubt it will be necessary.
Nothing would give me more pleasure.

Not even this?

posted by Sully 10/22/2004 01:21:00 PM

Thursday, October 21, 2004


P O’Neill picks up on some of our earlier blogging and has fun with yet another rhetorical misstep.

Who said anything about UN troops? Presumably he caught a glimpse of stories like this one from the NYT, which referred to a shortage of UN election monitors.

Later on he seems to catch himself and realise that the issue is whether there are enough US troops to induce UN monitors to come — but the incoherence neatly mirrors Dubya’s own on the topic.

In fact, given Sully’s continued weak spot for Dubya, we’re not ruling out him offering a last minute endorsement, along the lines of Butt-head’s trenchant analysis of Radiohead's Creep: “if it wasn’t for the parts that suck, the other parts wouldn’t be as cool.”

posted by Sully 10/21/2004 10:59:00 PM

If you think I’m the only angry homo out there ...

posted by Sully 10/21/2004 10:52:00 PM


Oops! Lambert also reports on just how wet the critics of the global warming hockey-stick are.

posted by Sully 10/21/2004 01:52:00 PM


Tim Lambert, who actually lives in Australia, on the attempt to pass off the election results as an overwhelming endorsement of a war the Aussies are quietly getting out of in any event.

posted by Sully 10/21/2004 01:49:00 PM


Atrios context-checks the Kerry quote.

UPDATE: So Sullivan got stung on this one. But he should have really just tried not to argue himself out of it further.

For what he has printed clearly demonstrates that Kerry is not talking about the outsourcing of the job of getting bin Laden to local Afghan warlords, but the decision to lay siege to Tora Bora in the first place rather than send troops into a dangerous, unmapped system of tunnels. The siege could have just as easily been handled by U.S. troops instead of locals who for all we know might have been on bin Laden’s payroll.

posted by Sully 10/21/2004 10:58:00 AM


One of the few things we liked about the kids behind The Hatemonger’s Quarterly was that, after our little contretemps with them a couple of weeks ago, they had the sense (decency is giving them too much credit) to just drop it and go on to doing what they what do best: making complete asses out of themselves without much help, or interest, from the rest of us.

We honestly thought we’d never hear from them again, until perhaps recalling the incident months from now and checking to find out the blog had been, as so many others are, abandoned.

Well, apropos of nothing we found out that they were apparently bursting at the seams to inflict more of their wit on the blogosphere at, they seem to believe, our expense, and did so, under the pretext of discussing ad hominem attacks. It seems they want to be to us what Amber Pawlik is to Sadly, No! More than we want them to be ...

At first, all one notices is the florid, affectatious prose, which the writers seem to be hoping will be seen as a put-on but in reality betrays them as young male conservatives desperately trying to repress their longing to strip the Oxford shirts and chinos off each other and re-enact scenes from Another Country (In this context, we could say something about their apostrophe about them being “the crack young staff” but we won’t).

But then you notice the dissings (as they were) of all African-American history departments, not just Harvard’s, as “exercises in political grievance-mongering masquerading as legitimate academic enterprises” and “are hardly beacons of intellectual respectability,” thus confirming us in our earlier judgement of their covert white-boy racial prejudice (they will, of course, try to say that they’re only criticizing an academic discipline, but the excess of the language gives it away, rather like seeing the erection in Bill O’Reilly’s suit pants must have for Andrea Mackris while he insisted he was only joking). Then they devote another, entire post to the urgent task of ridiculing Phil Collins, something that was played long before 1990.

All we have to say, boys, is:

Your average daily hits.

Our average daily hits.

Numbers don’t lie about who’s what rate.

posted by Sully 10/21/2004 01:05:00 AM

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SAFIRE? I’ve never thought of him as a purely partisan attack-dog ...

C’mon, Andrew, the man wrote speeches for Richard Nixon for Pete’s sake! As nice and subtle and libertarian as he can sometimes be, and his youthful support for Bill Scranton, his true nature is not the Jekyll who writes the “On Language” column in the magazine but the Hyde we have seen more recently. He would never have worked for Nixon if he couldn’t hate like Nixon did.

posted by Sully 10/20/2004 08:35:00 PM


Steve Mussina has one little thing Sullivan left out about why that theater in PA canceled its showing of the anti-Kerry film.
Campbell may also sue Sinclair, and has told a movie theater in Philadelphia that the movie is defamatory. The theater canceled a showing of the film. (Unless you consider libel to be protected free speech, I don’t think this should set off civil-liberties alarm bells.)

UPDATE: Jo Fish has another perspective.

posted by Sully 10/20/2004 08:29:00 PM


Given that Milbank started his career at TNR under Sullivan’s tutelage, that’s a helluva thing to say and do.

And in any event, how could Sully miss that Milbank was clearly being glib? Is he really so desperate to make things up with the Bushies that he’ll carry any dirty water for them?

posted by Sully 10/20/2004 08:26:00 PM


We were about to blog suggesting that we’re now not so unhappy we haven’t been able to keep up as much as we usually like with this year’s NFL season because of that Easterbrook Derrida item, but then we go over to TMQ and find that ... Easterbrook didn’t actually write that, contrary to what Sullivan seems to believe (and we are once again relieved for Easterbrook, because he can do better than that. Hell, Jay Leno could do better than that). It was a reader item Easterbrook chose to run.

Either Sullivan is still very sloppy about reading what he links to, or he’s as clubby with TNR people as we always feared.

Or, worse yet, it’s his way of admitting that he makes up some of the email he purports to receive.

posted by Sully 10/20/2004 08:19:00 PM


Nick Confessore over at TAPped provides the context for Teresa’s remarks.

posted by Sully 10/20/2004 08:12:00 PM


Roger Ailes has the goods on Sully running the Sinclair documentary ad.
Sully’s never had qualms about taking cash from anti-gay bigots. Now that it appears the Father’s Rag is no longer publishing Sully’s tepid gruel (maybe he’s just on hiatus until November 3!), he’s got to earn his crust from other cretins. And Carl Limbacher and his crew are as cretinous as it gets.

posted by Sully 10/20/2004 11:44:00 AM

Monday, October 18, 2004

I doubt if Alec Baldwyn, or Arec Bardwyn as Kim Jong Il calls him, will ever recover from this brilliant skewering.
Uh ... where, exactly, was Baldwin (or anyone in his family for that matter) such a big star that this skewering is something they would need to recover from?

posted by Sully 10/18/2004 01:58:00 PM

I doubt if Alec Baldwyn, or Arec Bardwyn as Kim Jong Il calls him, will ever recover from this brilliant skewering.
Uh ... where, exactly, was Baldwin (or anyone in his family for that matter) such a big star that this skewering is something they would need to recover from?

posted by Sully 10/18/2004 01:58:00 PM


Read this from the back grafs of the hockey-stick paper.
If you are concerned about global warming (as I am) and think that human-created carbon dioxide may contribute (as I do), then you still should agree that we are much better off having broken the hockey stick. Misinformation can do real harm, because it distorts predictions. Suppose, for example, that future measurements in the years 2005-2015 show a clear and distinct global cooling trend. (It could happen.) If we mistakenly took the hockey stick seriously — that is, if we believed that natural fluctuations in climate are small — then we might conclude (mistakenly) that the cooling could not be just a random fluctuation on top of a long-term warming trend, since according to the hockey stick, such fluctuations are negligible. And that might lead in turn to the mistaken conclusion that global warming predictionsare a lot of hooey.

So, the writer does not think that global warming has been totally debunked, just one particular argument for it (y’ know, kind of like understanding that the Killian memos were unreliable yet still being convinced that Bush really did worm his way out of his Guard commitment).

posted by Sully 10/18/2004 01:46:00 PM


Mystery Pollster makes a good case as to why his like doesn’t generally bother with primary and exclusive cell-users when calling to poll (legal and financial issues) and that it affects too few voters to really make a significant difference in poll outcomes (the idea being, these are primarily younger GenX voters who have been showing a strong bias for Kerry in most other internals).

The issue is certainly a significant one, going all the way back to 1936 and the infamous Literary Digest phone poll which predicted a handy win for Landon but merely wound up being when that magazine jumped the shark — as we all know now, or should, their reliance on the phone book for their sample resulted in an oversampling of the wealthy population, the let’s-go-down-to-the-Biograph-and-hiss-the-Roosevelts vote, and missed the many voters who lived in homes where phones were party lines at best or a hoped-for luxury item, who were strongly Democratic. 20 years of successful election predicting

We’re not convinced, alas. Various commentators bring attention to other issues that also arguably throw off the sample size of younger, more wired voters, and Blumenthal’s followup makes even clearer that pollsters cannot say with any certainty what effect this has on the numbers. All he’s conclusively been able to demonstrate is that calling cell-users raises too many issues for pollsters to make it worth it, issues that even fresher data may not be able to address.

So the jury’s still out on this one.

And, if Kerry wins a big one with the help of those missed voters, this time around it will be Gallup with egg on its face that it may not be able to clean off.

posted by Sully 10/18/2004 01:24:00 PM

But then I’m a sucker for “r” and “l” jokes

And pseudo-macho homophobic presidents who strut around in flight suits and lie shamelessly to start wars. And so many other things.

posted by Sully 10/18/2004 01:12:00 PM

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Also worth checking out


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Greatest Hits (ours):


The Alaskan climate graph examined

Proof positive that Sullivan cannot, and should not, be trusted as a journalist to get his facts right.


The fisking of Norah Vincent

How we drove her out of Blogistan almost all by ourselves.


Excerpts from Lee Siegel's 2001 Harper's piece

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Why we blog the way we blog

A reply to some legitimate and friendly criticisms from Andrew Edwards


Why we blog the way we blog, Part II.

A reply to some of the same criticisms from the less friendly (back then) Arthur Silber


Bush-hating and proud of it

Our response to David Brooks.


Who Was That Masked Man?

The Horse remembered.


How the media lynched O.J. Simpson

Off-topic and our most controversial post ever.


Journalists behaving badly, updated.

Our wedding gift to Ruth Shalit, former TNR It Girl




Eve Tushnet's classic zinger

Sullivan has never quite been put in his place like this. Even Mickey Kaus thought it was funny.


"Bush reveals his poisonous colours"

Diane E. goes digging through the memory hole and finds a Times of London column Sullivan would prefer be forgotten.


The Datalounge list of potential titles for his memoirs

As reposted by Atrios


"The Princess of Provincetown"

Jim Capozzola goes further in that direction than we would ever dare.


Sullivan urges the Bush Administration to lie to the public

Brendan and Ben catch him in the act.


The Washington Times: An irredeemably left-wing rag

Bob Somerby shows the consequences of Sullivan's own logic of media bias


The Central Tenets of the Blogosphere

Derived from Sullivan’s blogging by s.z. of World O’ Crap and posted as a comment at Sadly, No!