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

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


Saturday, September 25, 2004


some context: the graf he didn’t quote.

In Elizabeth Edwards, the Democrats finally have a down-to-earth, appealing mom-messenger to bring the swing voters home. Funny and family-oriented, aware of the struggles of middle-class working moms, she is even the size of the average American woman. She alone can counteract the urbane wealth of Teresa Heinz Kerry, who reads as being so unmaternal that her denying the small, scared Edwards child his thumb resonated nationally.

And second, the challenge.

Sauce for the candidate ought to be sauce for the pundit. If Sullivan has glommed onto Theresa-bashing as his succor for his falling-out with Bush, then let him post The Boyfriend’s name on his blog and let us judge him by the company he keeps.

Also, just what is it with Naomi’s weird idea that women in the heartland don’t wear black? We don’t consider ourselves fashion followers (though some of the photography is just fantastic), but even we know that black never goes out of style. Yes, it may have its East 70s associations, but women in the heartland are a hell of a lot more likely to wear black then, we think, Park Avenue matrons are to don powder-blue suits with little floppy ties for the Junior Leauge lunch.

Do they not have funerals in the heartland? Or
work at Victoria’s Secret?

If Naomi really thinks this, she is an even more out-of-touch ivory tower feminist than we had previously thought.

UPDATE: We don’t get to link to Jim Capozzola often enough for all the wonderful commentary he provides on a variety of subjects, but he weighed in on this one today as well:

Wolf’s crankiness leads me to present, not only for her benefit but for the edification of Republican pundits and voters who are also carrying around this bag of bile (Michelle Malkin, please call your office.), the following question: What do Midge Decter, Frances Lear, and Erica Jong have in common?

Give up?

Decter, Lear, and Jong each retained — professionally, in the public sphere, if you will — the surname of a previous husband from whom she was divorced (N.B.: Divorced, not widowed.), even after her subsequent remarriage to another man.

If you want to be the one to call Norman Podhoretz “cuckolded” — and by a then still-living man at that — be my guest. I think I’ll pass.
We won’t. Norman Podhoretz deserves to be called a lot of things that he hasn’t been yet. Cuckolded is merely the mildest.

LATER UPDATE: Seb reads and adds:
To SullyWatch’s (and Jim Capozzola's) comments we’d only add this: a column that simultaneously praises Republicans for going all Oprah (with great success,) written by the woman who launched the earth tones debacle of 2000, should be a bit more careful to realize that black, well, it isn’t always that bad really. Seriously you guys.

posted by Sully 9/25/2004 01:35:00 PM


Now that we’re on the subject of Yglesias, we ought to address Aaron Schatz’s email (from Big Media Matt’s own post on the subject, it seems the recipient thought the email was meant to be private, something Sullivan has had problems with in the past, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment other than explaining why there is no accompanying link).

Aaron says:
If you go back into Sullivan’s archives and read his writings about Bush prior to September 11, or even once the post-Sept 11 national devotion to Bush had died down, you will see that he is wary of Bush’s profligate spending and Bush's dismissal of the concept of deficit from the very beginning, even when he was a fervent supporter of Bush in most other areas.

Weeeelll, as that portion of Andrew Sullivan’s institutional memory not affected by ideological blinders, we ... well, diplomatically let’s say we have our own take on that.

Sullivan did indeed start making casual asides about Bush’s fiscal profligacy even in 2002, and eventually began to more seriously worry about it. But it was not the deal-breaker he would like it to be seen as now. Yes, it worried him at the time, but he didn’t see the way the rest of us did that this was indicative of larger flaws with Bush’s character and management style that could and would be problems in how they managed and mismanaged the Iraq war rather than being just a problem in that one area, and he also seemed to think that eventually he would put things right.

At the time, his adoration for Bush was so loud that it all but drowned out any skepticism he may have had or expressed.

More importantly to this is Sullivan’s culpability beyond merely cheerleading. It’s one thing to yell them on. It’s another to do what he did in the Spinsanity bit we’ve long had in our blogroll but repost here, with emphasis, in case you haven’t already read it.
The fact that Bush has to obfuscate his real goals of reducing spending with the smoke screen of ”compassionate conservatism” shows how uphill the struggle is.

Yes, some of the time he is full of it on his economic policies. But a certain amount of B.S. is necessary for any vaguely successful retrenchment of government power in an insatiable entitlement state.

Now would be a particularly apt time for Sullivan to be put in a position to have to explain this.

It must have been so nice back then when you really were that naïve ...

posted by Sully 9/25/2004 01:53:00 AM


Matt Yglesias finds a gap between Peter Bergen’s coverage of Afghanistan and the reality reported in daily papers there:
As reported with official spin, that’s good news, but it certainly doesn’t make Fahim sound neutralized. It sounds a lot like he’s Minister of Defense, which is exactly what he was before this alleged neutralization. That’s just the portions of Bergen’s op-ed that are contradicted by today's edition of the Afghan press monitor. Who knows what tomorrow will hold?

posted by Sully 9/25/2004 01:48:00 AM


From Bob Reno comes this interesting story (well, interesting to us).

It seems that a kicker for the football team at Virginia Polytechnical Institute, better known as Virginia Tech, posted some pictures of himself online. Among them were pictures of himself drinking alcoholic beverages and engaging in activities commonly associated with doing so, for the amusement of his friends, as college students are wont to do.

However, there was a slight problem. He’s not 21 and thus cannot legally consume or drink alcohol. Not for a few weeks. So naturally this created a stir.

His response has been to claim, via his coach, that it’s a “privacy issue.”

Sound familiar?

This is a natural issue for Sullivan to pick up on. Everything is almost the same.

But we don’t think he will. No matter how you slice it, there is just no way you can defend the privacy interests of someone who posts pictures of themselves on a public website without sounding silly.

posted by Sully 9/25/2004 01:16:00 AM

Friday, September 24, 2004


Jo Fish on Sully’s trashing of Teresa Heinz Kerry:
Top form for the Duchess today ... he’s now pushing the “loud-mouthed Chick” philosophy (aka “Hitlery” meme) about Teresa Heinz Kerry ... because she has her own life, does not live eternally in John Kerry’s shadow and has the means and desire to be independant, why (no stereotyping here, Tinkerbell...)


As always Der Duchess wants to have it both ways, making a comment that critcizing THK, well it really isn’t fair. I notice that he says that as he washes the knife off in the sink.

Ah, speaking for the women of the “heartland.” Whatta gal. Oh, and forgive me, before she was a “liberal” she was a Republican. How do you like them Apples, fool?

And he would have found a similar way to hate Judy Dean, too.

posted by Sully 9/24/2004 03:15:00 PM

Thursday, September 23, 2004


If he’s going to express befuddlement about a particular piece of cutesy British slang (you can find it defined here) he ought to at least explain to his Drudge-addled American readers what exactly “Blighty” is (Manchester).

Yes, we know that this same online glossary defines it as Britain as a whole, but it’s our understanding that that started among Mancunian soldiers in India to refer to their hometown and gradually spread to the rest of the army and the country until it became generalized.

(Actually, we should thank him for the sudden burst of nostalgia that moved us to go put on that Smiths CD, and right now as we type we are listening to the title track, which, we realize, we also paraphrased in a hed a few posts back).

posted by Sully 9/23/2004 01:20:00 PM


It’s also very much worth recalling that
three weeks ago his attitude toward Schrock’s outing was very different.

Wonder what changed his mind? By his standards, he owes us an explanation.

Oh, and he hasn’t mentioned
Dreier, either.

ADDENDUM: It just occurred to us that Crouch gave the gay rights movement Bibilical justification for tolerance of homosexuality (besides, of course, the admonitions of Jesus to love your brother as yourself. But fundamentalists need to hear it from one of their own, not some guy who died and got resurrected two millenia ago).

Here’s the passage he cited post-coitally:
There are six things which the LORD hates, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers.

Hey, if it’s good enough for Paul Crouch, it should be good enough for Schalfly, Swaggart et al.

posted by Sully 9/23/2004 11:51:00 AM

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Steve Brady feared for Sullivan’s sanity.

posted by Sully 9/22/2004 11:56:00 PM


Reread this and then this (or just scroll up) and see if you think Sullivan has any right to criticize Dan Rather.

posted by Sully 9/22/2004 11:37:00 PM


We were going to try to link to a recent Economist piece on the struggle within Islam, but Onanism Today unwittingly came to the rescue and published it himself, or at least the excerpt to which we desire to call your attention, eliminating the need for us to remember our subscription information. And you

Anyway, here’s what we wanted to highlight:
For their part, the jihadists voice the conviction that sympathy for Muslim causes never existed in the first place. Islam, they say, is so imperilled that fighting for its survival is not merely right, but a sublime duty. And so vicious are its enemies that any means may be used to deter them, the more shockingly cruel, the more effective.

Sound familiar?

In the heart of every Little Green Footballs commentator, there is an Islamist fighting to get out.

posted by Sully 9/22/2004 11:21:00 PM


The Sontag Award. You’d think he’d forgotten it existed.

posted by Sully 9/22/2004 11:17:00 PM


P O’Neill critiques Sully’s critique of Goldberg on Churchill and Bush:

Two things to note. First, the tendency of American conservative opinion writers to aim for a writing style that in their mind is matched to Gin and Tonics at the Club with the rest of the colonial expats.

And second, the predictably dubious command of history underlying this amazingly low benchmark: Churchill was Prime Minister for at best one month when Dunkirk happened, so it’s preposterous to see it as reflective as a strategic mistake on his behalf. He had no time to plan, unlike with Dubya’s war of choice. And anyway, in the ability to evacuate so many troops who could be used against the Nazis later, Dunkirk was not the debacle that amateur historians and professional neocon spinners make it out to be.

posted by Sully 9/22/2004 01:10:00 PM


While his current estrangement from Bush and the war is exactly the sort of poetic justice we never imagined would befall him even a year ago, some of his other recent posts on other subjects do require some context.

John Whiteside comments on Sullivan’s complaint about the Iraq Body Count site being so “biased”:
Why is Andy upset? Why, because “its biases are so blatant and so hostile to the liberation.”

Yes, keeping track of the dead citizens undermines our glorious liberation. Andrew won’t stand for those counter-revolutionaries, I mean counter-liberationists. Dosvedanya, Andrew, I’m done with you again for a while; but I’m sure you will continue to root out counter-revolutionary thinking wherever you find it, comrade.

And Atrios quotes Gene Lyons reminding us of another error made by the Sullivan TNR to Bill Clinton’s detriment:
I saw pundit Andrew Sullivan on CNN clucking over CBS’s mistakes. In 1994, when Sullivan edited The New Republic, it ran a cover story accusing Bill Clinton of corruptly enriching his wife’s law firm by changing Arkansas usury laws as governor. In fact, the deed was done by public referendum under Clinton’s Republican predecessor.

That doesn’t even begin to get into Ruth Shalit, either.

posted by Sully 9/22/2004 01:03:00 PM


1. That he goes to the extent of saying he can’t authenticate the purported military email on Hugh Hewitt’s blog only in the wake of the CBS Killian scandal (Let’s see him vouch for the authenticity of all those supposedly in-the-know emails he gets and gleefully reposts on his own site, however).

2. That he takes a potshot (however mild) at Hewitt, so soon after Hugh has surpassed him in daily traffic stats.

posted by Sully 9/22/2004 01:00:00 PM

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Rick Brookhiser, sane as ever ... [note corrected link]

Jonah Goldberg's column today strikes me as excellent — honest, candid, and largely persuasive. It reminds me why he’s easily the best conservative writer of his generation ...

Take it away, TBogg!

Seriously, Jonah is the best conservative writer of his generation ... but that says more about his generation than about him.

posted by Sully 9/21/2004 03:57:00 PM

Monday, September 20, 2004


He’s been too busy snapping at Dan Rather’s heels to notice the many articles making the point that nothing would have happened with the memos had mainstream news organizations not taken up the story.

Which the rightbloggers would say is exactly their point. But it’s too narrow a point. The real point is that, the CBS memos aside, major media organizations have the resources to do this sort of reporting (bloggers, as we noted before, had a rare advantage in that the memo .PDFs were posted online and it was possible to Google a lot on the history of typewriters. But it still took the Post to find and interview Killian’s secretary.

Cathy Young in the paper Sullivan doubtless reads every morning given where he spends much of the year points out:
Yet a few words of caution are in order. First, as veteran blogger Glenn Reynolds of points out at the Tech Central Station website, the “big media” still do virtually all of the actual news-gathering; a lone wolf with a home computer and a strong opinion simply doesn’t have the resources to compete in that arena. In that sense, the blogosphere feeds off the mainstream media — though it often provides excellent commentary, analysis, and fact-checking. Reynolds believes the relationship between “new” and “old” media is symbiotic more than adversarial.

Second, media hoaxes and forgeries have been exposed before the Internet. (Remember the “Hitler diaries” published in 1983?) Assuming that the Killian memos are indeed fake, it’s quite likely that the forgeries would have been exposed even without the intrepid bloggers, though later rather than sooner.

Third, while competition is a wonderful thing, a firestorm in the blogosphere can generate more heat — and smoke — than light. As I tried to follow the early debate on the CBS memos, I was utterly confused by the cacophony of agenda-driven charges and countercharges, insults, and clashing pronouncements by self-styled experts whose credentials had to be taken on faith. The pro-Bush blogs shrieked that the incriminating documents were obvious computer-created fakes; the anti-Bush blogs shrieked that, beyond any doubt, typewriters capable of producing these memos were available in the 1970s. No offense to the upstart blogs, but what finally settled my doubts was reporting by mainstream media such as ABC News and The Washington Post.

Ben Wasserstein in the LA Times has a bucket of even colder water:

But Malkin and other bloggers are getting ahead of themselves by asserting that the CBS disputed memos represent the death knell for traditional journalism.

First, it’s worth remembering how many other news stories — basically, er, all of them — have not been broken by the logosphere.

The obvious analogue to the suspicious memos about Bush’s National uard service was last month’s spurious attacks on Kerry's military service in Vietnam. Though decried by leftie bloggers, the charges were not adequately debunked until newspapers like the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune reaped the reward from Freedom of Information Act searches of decades-old military records and published eyewitness testimonials. Old-fashioned reporting won that round.

When we read Wasserstein’s piece, we thought at first his mention of the Lott affair was to John Lott rather than Trent — and that reminded us of stories that have really been broken blogospherically. By the left.

The serious questions about whether John Lott even conducted a survey in which respondents told him that 98 percent of the time it was merely enough to brandish a firearm to prevent a crime had already been raised when Julian Sanchez found by tracing a comment left on his blog that Lott had been using a sock puppet, “Mary Rosh,” to boost his work and trash critics online for some time (No need to seed this with links; everything you need to know is here). And the story, despite its juicy and salacious bits, got little play in the mainstream media.

And what is the most significant story broken by the blogosphere? No one has noted this yet, but we think it was Billmon’s compilation of all the statements by the hawks expressing their certainty that WMDs would be found in Iraq. Within weeks that slowly percolated out of the blogosphere, into emails among Democrats, and finally into the media and suddenly the Bush administration was having to account for itself. Without blogs that would never have happened.

But you won’t hear about that from the right-wingers.

Meanwhile, if you want to see some original reporting done on this story, by the way, Steve Mussina has found a possible connection between the Freeper who first broke this story and the Bush administration, lending some credence to the theory that the Bushies may have orchestrated this (though they may not have forged the memos).

posted by Sully 9/20/2004 02:45:00 PM


Jo Fish explains things to Sullivan:
The Duchess does math. Again. When Andrew does numbers, the only thing he ever manages to print are the numbers 9 and 11 and somehow bring them to bear on anything that he writes about Iraq. Hell, Andrew that talking point is past being discredited.


Perhaps you’re beginning to see that an invasion is not always a liberation. Or in your case, maybe not.

posted by Sully 9/20/2004 02:38:00 PM


Not that we’re in the business of defending Jimmy Swaggart (indeed, this is the first time we’ve heard anything of importance being ascribed to him since he was brought down by a scandal involving a motel outside New Orleans, a woman he wasn’t himself married to and the presence of a rival televangelist whose adultery he had exposed) but why did Sullivan find it so important to italicize Louisiana in his item on a story
already broken in the left blogosphere a few days ago?

Swaggart was born and raised in the Bayou State and continues to minister from there. The amendment at issue has nothing to do with it ... he would likely have said the same thing no matter when or where he was.

(And why didn’t Sully harp on the obvious failing of the amendment ... it could clearly allow incestuous marriages through not mentioning them, by trumping whatever statute Louisiana has on the subject?)

UPDATE 9/23: OK, Elementropy, it worked.
Yes, this is Bush’s base; yes, Jimmy Swaggart is a detestable person. But do you really think Jimmy Swaggart has ever changed or ever will? Do you think his homophobia and political allegiances have altered in the least bit in, say, the last thirty years? He’s always been like that. And he’s always represented the Republican base.

But then you have always been until now just another crusty coprolite left behind the elephants at so many GOP homo-hating parades. How on fucking earth could you not know that these people have always detested who you are? You came to conservatism in, what, 1984 or so? At any rate you’ve partaken in unqualified cheerleading for the Republican party for at least 20 years, and as such, you had to have known its true nature.


You have no fucking excuse for just coming round to seeing what has been painfully obvious to everyone else for years. The Republican Party, as a rule, hates gay people. Are you really that slow on the uptake, Sully? I rather doubt it. And so I’m thinking, your tolerance for “Derbyshire award winners” is actually rather higher than most people’s. So either you’re stupid, or you're cynical and potentially opportunistic. Which is it?

posted by Sully 9/20/2004 02:28:00 PM

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Blogging the Blog Queen


“appl[ying] a magnifying glass to Andrew Sullivan’s performing-flea antics” – James Wolcott, Vanity Fair, April 2004.

Passionate rebuttal to Andrew Sullivan's frequent rants.

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There Is No Crisis: Protecting the Integrity of Social Security

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More blogs about Andrew Sullivan.

And for satire:

Neal Pollack (on hiatus as well)

Our inspiration:

Media Whores Online (presently out to pasture, but hopefully to return soon now that they are needed again)

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The small village of bloggers who try to keep Sullivan honest (among other things):


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Other blogs of interest:



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skippy the bush kangaroo

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are you effin’ kidding me?

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Trust me, you have no idea how much I hate Bush.

Beautiful Atrocities




Also worth checking out


The Cursor

Journal of American Politics

The George Bush AWOL Project

The Daily Kos



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

Online here exclusively.


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!