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

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


Friday, June 17, 2005


Bruce Carroll (and we’ve been getting more dirt on him from some of Orangeperson’s classmates; to come later on) has been outed as Gay Patriot now by the Washington Blade for, oh, a couple of months.

Here’s the column linked to with an image that just reeks of “supercilious little shit” just as much as the real thing did when you were in the same room with it, whether that was at 744 Ostrom or elsewhere.

Seems to us that perhaps Sullivan should have some issues with his “Gay Patriot,” who agrees with Der Papstenführer that anti-gay backlash happens because gays are ... gay.
This decision by our supposed leaders to push gay marriage onto center stage in America at this time and in this election year has resulted in a colossal setback that is solely the fault of those same groups.
More later. We are having more fun than humans should be allowed to have.

posted by Sully 6/17/2005 12:48:00 AM


If you’ve been hanging round the liberal blogosphere all day you’ve no doubt seen Sullivan getting slapped around for trying to slap Kos around.

Kos himself naturally gets his in, but the best post strictly on the subject is Attaturk’s:
First of all, who gives a fuck about your awards?

Second, it’s not Kos’s responsibility to teach you how to read in context, you braying jackass, that’s your problem.
But where we want to take you tonight is where both these posts lead: Billmon, who seems to poaching our franchise of Gulag/Gitmo comparisons (not that we mind), with generous excerpts of relevant writings from ... Solzhenitsyn, compared with contemporaneous accounts of the war on terror suspects. Sounds way familiar, that (see links below).

All we can do is say thanks. The more this gets used and reused by other people, the more potent it gets.

posted by Sully 6/17/2005 12:20:00 AM

Thursday, June 16, 2005


As we read GayPatriot’s coming-out letter, we thought the name Bruce Carroll sounded familiar. Could it be him? we wondered, but the two names are fairly common and there are lots of Bruce Carrolls in the United States of America.

Then we scrolled down and saw the bit about how he grew up in smalltown southeastern Pennsylvania. Hmmm. It would still be a good chance of coincidence, we thought.

Finally we came to this:
I am a 1990 graduate of Syracuse University where I received a Bachelor of Arts with dual majors in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. I was the Opinion Editor and then Editor-In-Chief of the award-winning Syracuse student newspaper, The Daily Orange. I had to work my way through college and held such exciting jobs as book-shelver at the Syracuse student library. *sarcasm*
It’s him!!! Who woulda thunk it?

See, let’s just say that a member of the SullyWatch team is also a 1990 Syracuse grad (Wayne Mahar, knew someone on Pan Am 103, Hungry Charlie’s in the Alley before it was a brewpub, Westcott, the skull incident ... [cue REM] talk about the passion — ahh, lake effect). And this person remembers Bruce quite well ... better than Bruce remembers himself, shall we say.

To give the “you never can tell” brigade its due here, s/he will say that they never even speculated back then that Bruce was gay. Or conservative, for that matter. Nor did others.

What s/he can tell you is that back then, nobody (especially those people who worked for him at the DO) had any problem telling that Bruce was a complete shit.

What Bruce Carroll doesn’t want you to know from that little bright-college-days self-blurb is that his tenure as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Orange came to an unnatural end midway through the 1989-90 academic year when the rest of the editorial staff had finally had enough of the cockiness and attitude of him and managing editor Jay Strell and got together and told them, either you two go or we go. The next week’s issues had nothing about this save the change in the masthead and the complete absence of their bylines (This can be confirmed in the archives of both the DO or the Syracuse New Times, the city’s alt-weekly that was the only place it got reported on. We highly doubt they’re online from that far back).

You could have seen this coming. The previous year, as editorial page editor, Carroll had a regular habit of writing the sort of ill-informed, sweepingly judgmental pieces, both signed and unsigned, that ... well, conservatives are good at. That pissed a lot of people off.

One of his pieces, for example, complained in what its author seemed to think was some sort of lighthearted, amusing style about how fast and reckless drivers from New York and (especially) New Jersey were.

Well, given that those two states account for a pretty clear majority of Syracuse’s undergraduate student population, that was not smart, and after the shitstorm he got in the letters column (some of it pointing out that Pennsylvania drivers like Mr. Carroll have entirely the opposite problem) he was suitably chastened and never wrote about other states’ driving habits again. But he continued to be an asshole, and apparently still is, judging by the dismissive reference to his work at Bird Library (apparently he is still deeply ashamed among what is perhaps his present company to admit, as he seems to, that that was a work-study job).

About the only worthwhile thing he did at the DO was organize opposition to the godawful-corporate logo the university tried to foist upon the community in late 1988, right before SU suddenly had a little 9/11 of its own to worry about (at the time, it didn’t seem to work, but by the mid-’90s the Dump the Logo Coalition had won the war as it is no longer much in evidence on the university’s website)

And that seems to be about it for our Bruce.

Now, of course, college was the past and people do tons of stupid things there. That’s partly the point of college.

But, Bruce, you can’t put forth your history there as a way of establishing your creds and not make full disclosure on your missteps. Because if you don’t, someone else will. There are plenty of people out there who remember what you choose to forget.

posted by Sully 6/16/2005 08:28:00 PM

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I’m nervous about starting an online mudfight that I don't have the time to monitor.
He means:
I’m nervous about starting an online mudfight that I have to take responsibility for, seeing as I start online mudfights all the time that I usually skunk out of, as Amy Welborn can attest.
You know, what about putting all that pledge money toward someone like Reihan who can monitor the comments section? Hmm?

posted by Sully 6/15/2005 12:47:00 PM


He laments in one post the “
increasing morbidity in conservative intellectual circles” and then goes right on to take the broadest swipe at the entire Democratic Party (not just liberals, mind you, this includes Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller as well)? All we can do is just roll our eyes.

Sure, it’s hard to dispute the evil power of hackish tracts like Mein Kampf or Mao’s Little Red Book. (I’m surprised the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” didn’t make the grade.)
– Sullivan, yesterday.

Yup, these books are up there with Mein Kampf, and ahead of, say, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion or the works of the Islamist Sayyid Qutb, which don't make the list.
Steve Mussina of No More Mister Nice Blog
on May 31 (i.e., two weeks ago).

It’s not just that the left side gets the story first. It’s that the right feels free to be, uh, suspiciously unoriginal.

Steve, good work and now you have a personal cause against Sullivan too. (Steve also had a nice attempt up at starting a liberal version of the same list).

posted by Sully 6/15/2005 12:36:00 PM


Hmm, right after the “interesting” post about how left-wing blogs are growing, he attacks Atrios, who as we predicted he would a long time ago has pretty much traded places with him in N.Z. Bear’s traffic rankings. Coincidence?

No, of course not. As our faithful readers will remember, back in January 2004, during a radio chat Sullivan took a completely out-of-the-blue swipe at Duncan’s anonymity (we still think Duncan isn’t his real name), whining that no one knew he was (so, of course, who was he to dare draw the traffic a former New Republic editor is entitled to?) Looks like there’s still a little bitterness there, especially now that the almighty numbers have had their say.


While Sullivan is not alone in looking askance at Atrios’s phrasing (you want it worse? Go here) it is far more significant that he confirms just he misled he is on Iraq by claiming Friedbrain is a “lonely voice of pro-war reason.” As Yglesias rejoins:
And who are even these liberals “who don’t want to talk about Iraq?” Friedman’s the only dedicated foreign-affairs writer I know of who ignored the subject for months in order to promote his new book.
And if you really want to know just how out of it Friedman is when talking about Iraq by extrapolating from his experience covering Israel and Lebanon in the early 1980s, give Riverbend, an actual Iraqi, a read.

“Talking out of his ass” is too kind a phrase to use as criticism.

posted by Sully 6/15/2005 12:08:00 PM


We predicted a while back that Sullivan’s still-poor record as a prognosticator would hold and Michael Jackson would be convicted.

This time, we were wrong. We admit it.

But don’t think this makes Sullivan any better at being right. You know what they say about broken clocks ...

UPDATE: Yes, unlike OJ (see blogroll) we really believe there’s no doubt that Michael is a pedophile, and recommend you to this Slate piece as to how it happened — basically, just like the Rodney King trial, the prosecutors overreached, taking what was a sure double ball and trying to put it in the cheap seats (Those of you who continue to insist on Simpson’s guilt might also agree that Marcia Clark et al made the same mistake in that case).

It was worth it for only one small thing ... watching Nancy Grace get her face rubbed in it, we agree with Sullivan (and others) on that.

Steve Gilliard is also worth reading on this one.

posted by Sully 6/15/2005 11:45:00 AM

Monday, June 13, 2005


While we actually sort of agree that the Downing Street Memo revelations haven’t been getting much media play until recently because it’s not all that surprising that Bush had made up his mind to go to war even before we went through that little charade with the UN (the reason the corporate media in this country downplayed stories questioning the idea that Iraq had anything like the WMD facilities to justify the war, which should actually make you more disgusted than the idea that they did so because they wanted to be seen as team players with the Bush administration), we think Sullivan’s aside about his two-year-old conversation with the Sunday Times of London editorship is more deserving of note here:
I distinctly remember telling my London editors that summer that of course the decision for war had already been made. Wasn’t that obvious to everyone at the time? I guess not among the British public.
Well, it wasn’t obvious at the time because you, Käpitan von Behrbach, among so many others were actually trying to humor the idea of having a debate as to whether going to war with Iraq might be the thing to do. Because in peace-loving Western democracies, there is this idea that wars, especially wars of choice, require some modicum of popular consent.

Now, we see that you were just wasting our time. And to think he uses that as an opportunity for a putdown of his own people! Execrable (as he’d say). Is it any wonder that a war supposedly fought for such idealistic reasons but implemented so cynically should have come to such ill?


Just to clarify why we tend to agree with Steve Gilliard (and some others) that the DSM story is a check Democrats should be very careful about trying to cash, is that in addition to all the reasons he gives, and Kinsley’s note that it’s not really news or surprising, the response from the great American middle is, or is going to be: So? or, Lot of good that does us now.

You can’t uninvade Iraq. This memo would have done a lot of damage, and maybe even prevented the war, had it come out at any time prior to March 18, 2003. Now, all it’s likely to do is make it that much harder for the administration to argue for action against Iran, which is probably a forlorn cause anyway now that it’s managed to turn a Tiffany military into something you might get on sale at Wal-Mart.

And to another group of people in the center, this will be immaterial because we need to support the troops. Most lefties fail to realize the political head game the Administraton played by putting as many troops as it did in harm’s way. They knew that the reflexive desire of a great many people to put yellow ribbons on their cars and houses, to have some sort of red-white-and-blue campfire to rally around, would blunt much of the potential skepticism the war would attract otherwise. To put it another way, it is not so much a matter of supporting out troops because they are in Iraq, it is that the troops are in Iraq so that they can be supported.

This cynical misuse of one of the best aspects of the American people is hardly surprising from this administration (it is, after all, their “lesson” from Vietnam), but let us hope that it is the one that casts the greatest stink down the halls of history. (We once heard Arthur Schlesinger Jr. talk about why he was opposed to the War Powers Resolution: all wars, he pointed out, are quite popular during their first 90 days and would easily survive a vote under it. He was right).

It’s these people who can be reached not by focusing on the past, however recent and relevant, but by following Steve’s advice and focusing on the present, the reality of Iraq and our situation there here and now. Steve has another excellent post up about the real turning point of Vietnam in American public opinion: the battle of Hamburger Hill about 26 years ago. The account he reprints, and his comments, are an excellent corrective to the misleading, pro-conservative movie version of the battle — we actually learned some things we didn’t know.

Just around the corner in Iraq, there is going to be some sort of shocking act of mutiny, something most of the population thought was safely tucked away in the lore of Vietnam, similar to what Steve alludes to, that will have a similar effect on US opinion on Iraq, already going downhill. We may already have gotten a foretaste this weekend. The public wants to support the troops because it sees them as good soldiers and marines doing a tough job under miserable conditions. But if it’s harder and harder to deny that they’re cracking under the strain, that the Army is fighting itself with as much if not more vigor than the insurgents; then, as in Vietnam, the public will increasingly want to pull out (and for only that reason, we should keep in min ... as in Vietnam, a large part of the population will still think we were doing the right thing).

So be careful overplaying the memo. Keep in mind what’s described above, and you’ll see how it’s too easy to get yourself into a position where you fit the right’s stereotype of the ranting, raving Bush-hating liberal.

Now if you do want to pursue something from the administration’s past that we think would have an effect, find the evidence (it’s got to be there) that the administration had committed itself to not just the general idea but the specifics of invading Iraq before 9/11 (Kinsley alludes to this near the end of his column). Because that event, unfortunately, gave great latitude to the Bushies in the popular mind.


Another reason the memo won’t have the political fallout we’d all like it to is that the left doesn’t realize that a good chunk of the prowar support is from people who don’t care about the particulars of U.S. action, just the general idea of pushing back hard against whoever it was that pushed us on 9/11. Reagan drew a lot of support from this worldview, even though he rather prudently never gave in to it (then again, he never had a terrorist attack on US soil to deal with)

To this mindset, whether we accomplish anything in Iraq is beside the point, it’s that we did it in the first place. It feels right, and that’s what counts.

You won’t convince these people (many of whom are rabid pro-war Bush-worshipping conservatives anyway), but fortunately, however it may seem they are not as numerous as you fear.

posted by Sully 6/13/2005 12:44:00 PM

Sunday, June 12, 2005


P O’Neill on why no English Conservative worth his or her autographed picture of the Iron Lady should accept Sullivan’s professions of friendship.

posted by Sully 6/12/2005 11:50:00 PM

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“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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More blogs about Andrew Sullivan.

And for satire:

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Our inspiration:

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are you effin’ kidding me?

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Beautiful Atrocities




Also worth checking out


The Cursor

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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!