Patterico's Pontifications

10/26/2006

Bombshell: Webb Novel Contains Fictional Passage Depicting Character Doing Something Illegal and Disgusting

Filed under: General,Politics — Patterico @ 10:18 pm

The latest big bombshell in the Webb-Allen race is that Webb wrote a novel containing a scene that depicts a man performing oral sex on a young boy.

Let’s stipulate that such practices are illegal and disgusting. However, this is a novel. All sorts of odd things happen in novels. Creative people need freedom to let their imaginations run wild without having people assuming that every fictional scene is an expression of their internal desires.

Allah makes good points:

It’s an odd little vignette, to be sure, but the other characters seem as mystified by it as the reader is. The story’s about Vietnam; maybe he’s describing some obscure cultural practice that he encountered there. Or, just maybe, he made it up. Have we actually reached the point where Senate seats now turn on the sex scandals of fictional characters?

And also:

If George Allen had written this book, not only would the left be going berserk, they’d be circulating lists of characters in his other books whom they suspect of being gay.

Indeed to both.

96 Responses to “Bombshell: Webb Novel Contains Fictional Passage Depicting Character Doing Something Illegal and Disgusting”

  1. At such a critical point in our history for the campaign to be centered on such trash as a Congressman’s salacious instant messages and another’s even more lurid fiction (the boy was the son of the man BTW), boggles the mind.
    As a brilliant rocket scientist friend of mine keeps reminding me, half the voters have IQ’s under 100.

    clarice (c49871)

  2. Politics turn uglier as Allen unearths Webb’s writing, releases excerpts of passages that show underage sex and incest….

    Yea ok, I get it already.  Politics is ugly.  In my last blog I noted that this is the ugliest election year I can remember.  Well this is that much more so.
    This is as ugly as I have ever seen.  But…at the same time, if Foley…

    Leaning Straight Up (16154e)

  3. sheesh, this isn’t going to help. our culture is in the gutter. maybe something new will come out on allen in the next week.

    assistant devil's advocate (39ab67)

  4. I think democrats have gotten over what Webb did as a republican.

    actus (10527e)

  5. Bombshell Dud? Or Bombshell bounces off Webb,
    destroys Allen?

    The reason this won’t hurt Webb, but could damage Allen, is Webb is protected by none other than Dick Cheney’s, (Ex-Chief of Staff), Scooter Libby.

    Libby wrote a novel, “The Apprentice”, that has 10 year old girls being raped by bears in a cage so to train the girls for sex with adults.

    This plays right into the White House corrupt morality idea.

    Plus, John McCain likes the novel and has stated so.

    Allen just may have stepped on a land mine planted by Scooter Libby.

    James (be9a4d)

  6. I was in southern Virginia two weeks ago. South of the Beltway, I did not see a Webb sign. Not one. The Washington Post is hysterical to beat Allen. Today’s love letter to Webb is one more in a long string that will end abruptly if Webb loses. His new friends will drop him and previous fans like me will never buy another of his books. Too bad. He must be one angry dude.

    Mike K (416363)

  7. clarice said a friend, “…keeps reminding me, half the voters have IQ’s under 100.”

    That may be true of the general population, but not of voters. Voters are more likely to fall into the “half” which is above the average. Not by all that much by any means, but enough to often exceed the margin of error, and enough to differentiate voter opinion from general opinion. The two are not necessarily divergent, but it is the case often enough to maintain a distinction between the categories. And, to take note when it occurs.

    It’s a small point, but one which is common enough to cause confusion and can lead to faulty conclusions, especially in polls taken prior to elections. It is voter opinion which is the better indicator of election results.

    Black Jack (539ee5)

  8. What’s good for the goose…

    As disappointed as I am in Bush and the Republicans, I CANNOT STAND THE DEMOCRATS. What a disgusting thing to write about.

    Matt (7c99ca)

  9. [...] Via Dan Riehl, in the wake of the Webb story from last night, now a Democrat is going after a Republican for writing smut. [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » And the Candidate Once Used the “F” Word!!! (421107)

  10. What is your take on A SENSE OF HONOR, Pat?

    TCO (5e2e67)

  11. Have we actually reached the point where Senate seats now turn on the sex scandals of fictional characters?

    Perhaps it shouldn’t or won’t be a determining factor for some, but I would suggest that it’s certainly legitimate for a voter to consider and weigh the significance of that the published works of a candidate for the U.S. Senate include descriptions of pedophilia and incest.

    Diffus (ead439)

  12. Allen has significant support south of the James. Despite all the Mudcat discussion, when I pulled into my (very large) union site, south of the James, I saw a big poster truck with “Sportsmen for Allen” on it. Webb will need to get to where he is going by winning hard up in NoVA. The fact that he is really a centrist will help depress turnout maybe, or the turnout that would happen if he were a typical liberal Democrat. But he is not going to win the Southern-leaning parts of the state.

    All that said, Webb would not be that bad of a Democrap (Robb-like). Allen is a goober (although very fascinating when he talks about something that animates him like libertarianism or football–when he just does his slimy generic smiling politician stuff, I hate that.)

    If Webb wins and the Senate reverts to Democrats, it is not the end of the world. Al Queda will like it, but I’m convinced that even heart of hearts appeasement Democrats will act warlike with the American people holding them accountable (so the Bush fear is misplaced…is really just about trying to “win the football game of politics”). On domestic issues, we might even do better with an obstructionist minority then we do with the accomodationalist majority.

    TCO (5e2e67)

  13. Okay… It’s not like we don’t already know that the vast majority of our elected representatives are power-obsessed, congenital liars whose “novels” are little more than an outlet for their myriad twisted perversions.

    Why the hell can’t we, the electorate, get this shit right? Why do we keep electing the scum of our society to decide our fate?

    I am so sick of lameass wankers like Webb and Libby making money by selling choppy pornographic novels, and then passing themselves off as “writers”.

    Bastards…

    Leviticus (43095b)

  14. [...] Others blogging about this: Patterico, Don Surber, John Hawkins, Flopping Aces, [...]

    Sister Toldjah » The REAL issue in the Webb/Allen Senate race: the Washington Post’s pro-Webb bias (1466f5)

  15. Leviticus, there was a “My Turn” column in Newsweek several years ago whose theme stuck with me. “My Turn” is (or was; I haven’t read Newsweek in years) a column written by someone in the general public.

    As I recall, this particular column was written by a prominent Seattle resident who was being solicited to become a candidate for elective office — mayor or city council, I think.

    He declined because he didn’t want to expose himself or his family to the inevitable attacks and misrepresentations that would accompany his candidacy. He wondered, as do I, how many good people, many of whom just might be motivated not by greed, self-importance and ego, but by a genuine desire to serve, also choose not to enter the political arena for the same reasons.

    Diffus (ead439)

  16. We need to start over. Just throw all their asses into the streets and start over with publicly financed campaigns…

    And I know that this isn’t feasible, or advisable, or anything… but it sure sounds nice to me. At least it would break the routine…

    Leviticus (43095b)

  17. Public financing is a bad idea. Government funding will beget government control of political speech.

    The best campaign finance reform can be encapsulated in just six words: No limits, no cash, full disclosure.

    Diffus (ead439)

  18. [...] Others Bloggin on this Subject: Michelle Malkin Sister Toldjah Hot Air Bill’s Bites Stop the ACLU Patterico’s Pontifications [...]

    Webloggin - Blog Archive » What a Tangled Webb… (a2d188)

  19. “No limits, no cash, full disclosure.”

    -Diffus

    Explain, if you would. I understand, generally, but expound a little.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  20. One of the lawyers might be able to find the actual Maine Supreme Court case mentioned in this speech, which describes what appears to be the identical behavior Webb does. It seems to me that Mr. Webb is guilty of at most correctly describing the world he saw.

    From here:

    Here’s an example that has recently come to my attention. My example comes from a legal case in the state of Maine. One of the problems of life in a multicultural law and order society, especially for immigrant and minority groups, is that the law of the land often presupposes and codifies the substantive beliefs, values, emotional reactions, aesthetic standards, and pictures of the world peculiar to the group with the most power. And this was the case when, in 1985, the state legislature of Maine wrote a law making criminal any sexual act with a minor, non-spouse, under the age of fourteen, and went on in its wisdom to define a sexual act as, among other things, “direct, physical contact between the genitals of one and the mouth of another.” Thus, in 1993, when Mr. MK, an Afghani refugee, who had been residing in the United States for three years, was seen kissing the penis of his eighteen-month-old son, he found the police descending on his house, and he was arrested and convicted of gross sexual assault in Superior Court. A few years later, his conviction was overturned by the State Supreme Court, relying heavily on cultural analysis. As it turns out, kissing the penis of a young child is commonplace in MK’s cultural community and is viewed as a sign of love and affection. It is precisely the father’s willingness to kiss what is viewed as an unclean or unholy part of the body, a place where urination takes place, that makes the act such a powerful display of love. Photographs of this type of act are displayed proudly in family photo albums in the community. After taking testimonies from members of the relevant local community and expert witnesses, it was possible for the Supreme Court to construct an alternative understanding of the meaning of MK’s act, although at great cost to the defendant and with no assurance that the law will be amended so as to make room for alternative cultural understandings of sexuality and touching—and with no assurance that other Afghani residents of Maine will not have the police knocking on their doors.

    htom (412a17)

  21. Not just Scooter Libby. Lynn Cheney wrote a novel describing *gasp* lesbian relationships. You guys are really grasping at straws to run with this one.

    zen_less (577e34)

  22. This kind of stuff only depresses voting. People don’t go to the polls at all or, if they do, skip over both candidates. I will be interested to see how many people voted for Senator compared to the total number of people who voted. This gives the advantage to the party with the best organization which can bring out its faithful. If all citizens over the age of eighteen were ever to vote at once, the party system of this country would explode.

    nk (bfc26a)

  23. Of course, the fact that the passage has nothing to do with incest and pedophilia but deals with tribal rituals and how out of place the American characters felt when seeing it, means nothing?

    The hell with truth and context, there are elections to be won!

    Ed (c24f2d)

  24. What about all the other passages, Ed? Or is quartering a banana with your vagina a ritual too?

    Is it so hard for you to admit that the guy is a pervert? Also, do you think it’s really going to matter?

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  25. I think as all of our lefty commenters deftly argued in the recent Mark Foley threads, voters shouldn’t reward a man who ‘writes’ about minors in a sexual context with authority over pages on Capitol Hill.

    This race is done.
    Put a fork in it.

    Desert Rat (ee9fe2)

  26. htom: I have a friend who is a fiscally conservative environmentalist, who is currently a member of a city council in the bay area.

    he’s not running for re-election because his family doesn’t want to deal with the character assassination attacks.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  27. aphrael — the only question in my mind is how he was convinced to run in the first place; I want to be sure to avoid it if someone tries it on me. (Not that there’s much danger of that, I’ve been asked to run more than once and I know what could be found in my history, and how it would be painted.) People running for office in today’s political climate are either very brave, very foolish, or both, and that makes me very sad.

    htom (412a17)

  28. htom: i didn’t know him then, so i don’t know. i do know that for the most part he very much enjoyed it, and he has had some astonishing successes (including one battle in which he successfully defeated the major business organizations in silicon valley).

    the funny thing is that he started out being distrusted by conservatives and loved by liberals (because he’s an environmentalist) but he ended up being disliked by liberals and embraced by conservatives (because he’s a fiscal conservative).

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  29. Does anyone recognize the close parallel to the O.J. Simpson murder trial? The defense portrayed LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman as a racist, and its case for him racism relied on the question of whether he had ever used the word “nigger.” Furhman denied that he had, so the defense called the woman with whom he was cowriting a novel. She testified that in Fuhrman had written dialogue for the book in which characters said “nigger.” Therefore, Furhman was a racist, and O.J. was innocent. Case closed.

    By that logic, Webb is guilty of any number of horrific things. But misrepresenting an author as personally approving of everything that all of his characters say and do is common; it isn’t an error committed only by conservatives and Republicans — and it’s usually effective.

    Gary Imhoff (dd14bc)

  30. Just why did Webb put those passages in ?…

    Like Allah, I didn’t understand why Webb thought it necessary to include those passages. The passages didn’t add anything to the storyline, they could have easily been left out.. or, at the very least, been written in a style akin to a movie director…

    Thoughtsonline (d3e296)

  31. The Webb novel story is just a defense against the blatant lying about Allen and his alleged use of the “n-word” in college. Larry Sabato, who has been used by Fox News as a political “expert” was caught lying in that instance. I hope he never shows his ugly face on there again. The “deer’s head” story by another ex-friend (some friend) of Allen was an obvious fabrication by a Democrat activist in Richmond. If Webb is going to try to tiptoe through this crap, he gets his shoes dirty.

    Allen did not start this although the “macaca” comment was dumb. This is a war on Allen by the Washington Post with all stops pulled out. Webb could have said no and run on principle. He might even have won. I don’t think he will now and he doesn’t deserve to. He got in bed with the wrong people and wound up with lice.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  32. The passages didn’t add anything to the storyline, they could have easily been left out.. or, at the very least, been written in a style akin to a movie director… – Thoughtsonline

    I saw a Steven Spielberg picture in which children got killed. Added little to the storyline. Does that mean Steven Spielberg supports child murder?

    Do you seriously not understand how a writer, musician or filmmaker can tell stories that involve characters doing bad things – stories that involve rape, murder, incest, protitution, war, famine, genocide, death, adultery and such – and that these are not an expression of the artist’s personal affection for rape, incest, murder, war, etc…?

    steve (6810ef)

  33. Mike K., do you have any evidence Sabato lied about anything, or have we reached the point where anyone who believes something you don’t believe must be a liar?

    Oh wait, I get it. You probably get all your “news” from Hot Air. You didn’t watch the interview on Hardball (who did?), in which Sabato claimed to “absolutely believe” Allen had said the N-word but also made clear that he had not personally heard Allen say anything. Instead, you likely took Allah’s word when he falsely implied Sabato had claimed to have heard Allen say the n-word himself. But who could blame you for trusting that site? They are, after all, one of the best (and perhaps the best) site in existence.

    Xrlq (5938d1)

  34. Steve (#32): what were you smoking to infer what you did from my post? Where in my post did I state or otherwise imply that a director or author who tells stories about characters doing bad things is supportive of that behavior?

    My point – since you must only have skimmed my post or otherwise not paid attention – is that a director or writer never needs to explicitly include such scenes in their story. Viewers don’t need the Tarantino treatment to get the idea that the world is a violent place. Viewers don’t need Spielberg in Saving Private Ryan showing bullets hitting flesh to understand that war ain’t a barrel of laughs. Sure, directors and authors are free to do what they want… but we’re also free to wonder what is going on in their minds when they choose to include what they don’t need to include.

    steve sturm (d3e296)

  35. I look at this from a different perspective. In my travels I have been around many “creative” people. Actors, musicians, writers, songwriters, the works. And I have come up with my own theory on “creativity”. Truly creative people, people who think “out of the box”, think out of the box because they are “out of the box”. Their brains aren’t wired the same way most peoples are. Please note I said most people, not normal people. I consider it normal not to have everyone’s brain wired the same way.

    Take Michael Jackson (please). Truly creative person. Also, a whack job. Someone who does not seem to have a clear grasp of reality. I’m not equating Webb or others with Jackson. But I do believe that people who are “creative” are so because of the differences in how they think. My question would be How far out of the box is Webb? That is what potential voters need to decide.

    rudytbone (913207)

  36. Sorry to disagree in the case of Webb, rudytbone. It’s not “thinking out of the box”, it’s just hack writing. His books are basically third-rate commercial time-wasters “spiced up” with the gratuitous garbage he’s now being questioned about. I’d vote against him based on my Green leanings — the trees that were cut down to print his mental pollution.

    nk (41da82)

  37. Said X:

    You probably get all your “news” from Hot Air. You didn’t watch the interview on Hardball (who did?), in which Sabato claimed to “absolutely believe” Allen had said the N-word but also made clear that he had not personally heard Allen say anything. Instead, you likely took Allah’s word when he falsely implied Sabato had claimed to have heard Allen say the n-word himself. But who could blame you for trusting that site?

    Who did? Most of our readers: I embedded video of the interview right there in my post so that they could judge for themselves — a fact you conveniently neglect to mention, X, in painting us as some sort of widely discredited WhatReallyHappened-esque news site.

    Here’s what Sabato said on Hardball, via the transcript you linked. Emphases mine:

    SABATO: I can‘t say how frequently he did it, but I don‘t believe him when he denies never having done it.

    MATTHEWS: Well that in this country, for that generation, is a very hard test. The accusation here, I believe is that he was distinctive in what is being called racial hatred, that he regularly used the awful word, the “N” word with some sort of attitude. Is that true?

    SABATO: Well I‘m simply going to say that I‘m going to stay with what I know is the case. And the fact is that he did use the “N” word, whether he‘s denying it now or not. He did use it. It was the ‘70s, you‘re right, it was a harsh term, it was an obscenity at this as far as I‘m concerned.
    *
    MATTHEWS: How do you know about the “N” word? How do you know, Larry, about the “N” word?

    SABATO: Because there is other evidence that I‘m not going to go into on your show, Chris, sorry.

    MATTHEWS: But you can swear to this?

    SABATO: I absolutely believe that he used the “N” word. That is absolute correct and I do believe that. Also I must tell you, Ken Sheldon is a very able, dependable fellow, highly regarded.

    MATTHEWS: But you never heard him use it, did you?

    SABATO: Chris, I‘m not going to go into any more details.

    And here was my comment on it in the post:

    [Sabato] refuses to say how he knows but it sure sounds like he’s heard him use it himself.

    Doesn’t it? He says he “believes” Allen said it but then says he “knows” it’s true — that it’s a “fact” — and acts coy when Matthews asks him how he can be so sure. Others may interpret it differently but I don’t see the need for the sarcasm, as though it’s ludicrous that any reader would trust us. Patterico reads us every day (or so he says) and he seems to trust us.

    Anyone’s welcome to e-mail us if they think we’ve got something wrong, you know. We’re purposely trying to distort facts. We screwed up just the other day and corrected the error in red font, right in the headline, as soon as we learned of it. That’s more than, say, Rick Ellensburg would ever do, although admittedly that’s setting the bar awfully low.

    Allah (bab333)

  38. Er, that last paragraph? Should read “We’re not purposely trying to distort facts.”

    That wasn’t a Freudian slip, I swear.

    Allah (bab333)

  39. Doesn’t it [sound like Sabato has heard Allen say the N-word himself]?

    Indeed it does, but only because you conveniently elided the part of the interview in which Sabato made it clear he had not heard him say it:

    MATTHEWS: [*]

    How do we know who to believe? You say believe the accusations, right?

    SABATO: I’m saying only about the “N” word. I’m not saying about the other instance. I wasn’t there for those incidents. But…

    MATTHEWS: How do you know about the “N” word? How do you know, Larry, about the “N” word?

    SABATO: Because there is other evidence that I’m not going to go into on your show, Chris, sorry.

    Granted, there is a slight difference between “I wasn’t there” and “I didn’t hear it,” but it’s not as though Sabato implied he had heard Allen say the word on the telephone, or that he’d planted a microphone and a wire on one of his friends just to hear George say the N-word without actually having to be there. Thus, the only rational inference to be drawn from the interview was that Sabato had not personally heard Allen say the word. Yet you rashly decided that he had, from which your readers extrapolated that Sabato himself must have claimed that, and just like that, Sabato’s truthful statement becomes a “lie.” This is not the wonderful New Media that brought down the high and mighty Dan Rather over forged memos. This is just a new format for a well-known component of the old media, namely tabloids.

    Anyone’s welcome to e-mail us if they think we’ve got something wrong, you know. We’re [not] purposely trying to distort facts.

    I’ve never accused you guys of deliberately misstating anything. My beef with you all is that you seem to care more about Getting. That. Scoop. First. than you do about getting the story right. And if you were serious about finding about about your errors, rather than just getting more fan mail in your comment sections, you’d open up the comment section permanently. Requiring registration is bad enough; closing registration most of the time and opening it up every now and again with little fanfare all but guarantees that you’ll rarely hear from anyone who doesn’t think you crap ice cream.

    We screwed up just the other day and corrected the error in red font, right in the headline, as soon as we learned of it. That’s more than, say, Rick Ellensburg would ever do, although admittedly that’s setting the bar awfully low.

    Indeed it is. Worst still, it’s also setting the bar too high for at least one of your co-bloggers, Ian. Just the other day, he did a hatchet job on Martin O’Malley, whom he falsely accused of lying about a DUI solely because he didn’t publicly discuss the arrest (which, I might add, can scarcely even be called a DUI since it did not result in a conviction), and whom he accused – with no supporting evidence whatsoever – of having concealed the arrest from the Maryland Bar. When a commenter inquired as to whether O’Malley was even supposed to report his non-offense to the Bar, Ian brilliantly responded:

    It seems, according to the article, the MBA has a rule where you must report it.

    Actually, the article doesn’t say jack shit about whether the Maryland Bar has any such rule or not. All it says on the topic is that O’Malley’s staff “refused to discuss whether the mayor disclosed the arrest” on his application. Any responsible journalist or blogger would not extrapolate anything from that without first researching (1) whether the arrest was required to be disclosed on the application, and (2) if so, whether there’s one shred of fucking evidence that O’Malley failed to disclose it. Yet Ian didn’t even try to do these things after being challenged by one of the few non-sycophants who managed to make her way into the Commenters Club.

    That wasn’t Ian’s entire comment, BTW. The rest is even worse:

    Typical liberal response, trying to get around the matter instead of addressing it directly.

    But if this was a Republican, you’d be all over it.

    Yep, that sounds like a site people should rely on for news.

    Xrlq (5938d1)

  40. I, for one, know how to tell the difference between “I believe he said that” and “I heard him say that” all on my own. I never believed he heard jack. When I want what was said, I watch the video and read the transcripts. When I want commentary, I read Allah. I do not get what is so screamingly bad for you.

    Anwyn (d24425)

  41. As for the sycophant/comment registration thing, I commented at xrlq.com but will repeat it here: I’m not a sycophant for having registered to comment on a site I thought I might want to comment on down the road. Turns out I was right, I did want to comment occasionally.

    And why don’t you ask Patterico when I usually begin commenting? He found that it’s when I find something to disagree with.

    Also, when I do feel like commenting, I like that Hot Air can’t become a billion comments on each post like some of the crazier lefty sites, or even like a wildly popular rightsite like Ace’s. It starts to become pointless to comment after a certain volume is reached.

    Anwyn (d24425)

  42. I am so sad the WaPo went wading into the Macaca mud. No wait. They flung themselves into that ridiculousness with full force.
    One of the best news outlets in the country, and that’s how they treated a campaign for a Senate seat in the most powerful country in the world.
    Then ABC flung themselves in the muck with the strangely misleading reporting of the Foley page IMs/non-sex scandal.

    I don’t know how a candidate is supposed to respond in this environment. How low can you go and still stay above the fray? Reporting fiction about an underage stripper’s round glistening breasts hardly seems an outrageous response, given the outrageousness of the entire situation.
    Yeah, it’s fiction. I’m glad Allen isn’t digging up dirt on Webb’s real family.

    MayBee (8aec89)

  43. In defense of Webb (and in harsh criticism of Allen), it was *not* sexual and it *was* a cultural thing. Check out the facts.

    How about that. It’s not just a figment of Jim Webb’s sick, perverted mind after all…

    Thira Srey, office manager for the Southern California-based Cambodian Association of America, said it is acceptable for a mother or caretaker in Cambodia, especially those from rural areas, to kiss the penis of an infant or put it in her mouth as a sign of respect or love.

    The child is usually 1 year old or younger, “but no more than 2 years old,” he said.

    The act has nothing to do with sexual feelings, he said, noting that it can be viewed as a sign of high respect by a caretaker for a future “master.”

    Here’s more:

    Such kisses are signs of affection, not sexual abuse, ruled the Maine Supreme Court in 1996 when it overturned a sexual assault conviction of an Afghan immigrant who was similarly photographed with his 18-month-old son. The court ruled that the father kissing his son’s penis was a common cultural practice and not a sexual act.

    “Kissing a young son on every part of his body is considered a sign only of love and affection for the child,” the court said in its ruling. “There is nothing sexual about this practice.”

    “It shouldn’t be looked at as a crime,” said Ludwig Adamec, a professor emeritus of Middle East history at the University of Arizona’s Center for Near Eastern Studies, who testified as an expert in the Maine case.

    I’m a former Virginian. Up until three days ago, I was a huge Allen fan. I loved what he did as governor. No more. Webb accurately portrayed Vietnamese culture. For that he’s attacked. I find that disgusting.

    Joe Martin (151ecb)

  44. Mid-Term (Open) Must-Read List…

    Michael Barone, Quin Hillyer, John McIntyre, Tod Lindberg, Jay Cost, Sheryl G. Stolberg, Peggy Noonan, Bill Whalen, Carl Leubsdorf, Abby W. Schachter, Clive Crook, Rich Lowry, John Heilemann, Jed Babbin, Wynton Hall, Chuck Todd, Donald Lambro, Mona C…..

    The Right Nation (59ce3a)

  45. You know what?

    At this point – I wouldn’t vote for either of the saps. For any office, anywhere.

    Webb sucks … and Allen has made me embarrassed of being a conservative. They both suck. Thank God that I got to vote for someone I actually admire this morning.

    Sorry, Virginia.

    Professor Blather (c65bfa)

  46. [...] But he’s hot and bothered now about Hot Air, one of my favorite sites. He finds Allahpundit & Co. to be too quick in jumping the gun, downright wrong about some things (comments #33 and #39), and unwilling to listen to corrections because the comment section is limited to registered commenters culled during short, limited registration periods. His disdain came as a surprise to me, because while I’ve known Michelle Malkin, who runs Hot Air, isn’t his favorite person in the world, I had no idea he harbored a similar opinion of Hot Air, which, almost needless to say, I don’t share. Hot Air is a great political site, which helps to concentrate many of the issues I care about in one place and brings me relevant video clips that I don’t watch when they’re on TV because I’m too busy watching, um, serial dramas, and if the comment section is not the easiest at which to find good discussion, it is not quite the Sycophants’ Hall of Fame that Xrlq finds it to be. [...]

    Anwyn’s Notes in the Margin » Blogfight (e8be5d)

  47. I’m just now stumbling upon this comment thread, X, but have you not noticed that the part you say Allah conveniently elided actually supports his assertions and contradicts yours?

    In the part you quote, Sabato is saying he wasn’t there for incidents *other* than the “N” word incident. He seems to be suggesting he was there for the “N” word stufff.

    You appear to have made a relatively isolated mistake. Ergo, per your logic, I can’t trust you or your site anymore!

    Patterico (de0616)

  48. And you base that conclusion on … what, exactly? I base mine on grammatical number:

    SABATO: I’m saying only about the “N” word. I’m not saying about the other instance [sing.]. I wasn’t there for those incidents [pl.]. But…

    Yes, it is possible Sabato was just being sloppy, using the singular to describe the non-N-word incidents the first time, and quickly correcting himself and using the plural the second. Or perhaps that he was drawing a fine semantic distinction between “instances” and “incidents,” whereby multiple related incidents constitute a single “instance.” It is also possible – and IMO probable – that Sabato used the plural the second time because he meant he had not been present for any of the alleged incidents, including those involving the N-word. Any other interpretation begs the question of where he was going with the “but” that immediately followed. It would have been nice if Chris Matthews had let him finish, but that’s a bit much to hope for. However, Matthews’s next question to Sabato made it pretty clear he did not believe Sabato had witnessed anything:

    MATTHEWS: But you were there for the N-word incidents, right?

    Whoops, I just channeled Chris Matthews channeling Allah. The actual question was:

    MATTHEWS: How do you know about the “N” word? How do you know, Larry, about the “N” word?

    That’s a very odd question to ask a guy who you think just implicitly claimed to have been present while Allen allegedly used the N-word. Note that when Matthews finally did get around to asking him that, it was in the form of “you’ve never heard… have you,” not the question you’d ask if you thought the answer was yes.
    Regardless of whether “those incidents” do or do not include the N-word “instance(s),” it is hardly a slam dunk either way, and readers should have been provided with the quote in full context so they could decide on their own, coupled with Allah’s own explanation of why he thinks “those incidents” does not include the utterances of the N-word, notwithstanding the fact that Chris Matthews responded as though they did. At that point, there’s another part of the exchange Allah also conveniently elided:

    MATTHEWS: But you never heard him use it, did you?

    SABATO: Chris, I‘m not going to go into any more details.

    MATTHEWS: No, that’s a yes or no. I mean, if you have, you have, if you haven’t, you haven’t.

    SABATO: Yes. Well, and there are the two choices and you just presented them and we’ve had a nice talk.

    That doesn’t “sure sound like” Sabato heard Allen use the N-word. It “sure sounds” to me like he flatly refused to answer the question, one way or the other. But then again, I’m not named after a deity, so what do I know?
    At least one other commenter, Anwyn, says she saw the full interview and did not get the impression that Sabato had heard Allen use the N-word. So far, I’ve yet to encounter a single blogger or commenter who did get that impression – except Allah, and a gazillion readers who got their news from him. Later entries make it clear Sabato denied firsthand knowledge in a later interview, but AFAIK not one points out that Sabato never made that claim in the first place. So they myth that Sabato was caught lying lives on. All hail the New Media.

    Then again, maybe this is not a bad thing? If Hot Air aspires to be the New York Times of the blogosphere, I guess every NYT needs its Maureen Dowd.

    Xrlq (3e8d4f)

  49. … Anwyn, says she saw the full interview and did not get the impression that Sabato had heard Allen use the N-word.

    Alas I’m afraid I didn’t see the whole interview, but just from the transcript I thought it was clear that the guy didn’t hear anything. “I believe he said it” really was all I needed. He was weaselly.

    I guess every NYT needs its Maureen Dowd.

    Xrlq, I think it’s barbs like that that are making this whole issue look worse than it has to be. You say that, but you also said, at my blog:

    It’s not the sites themselves, or their authors, that have me hot and bothered. It’s the hero worship.

    If it’s in poor taste to cross-post stuff you said elsewhere, I apologize, but I’m trying to reconcile those two. If it’s hero worship that is bothering you the most, and not any particular person, then may I suggest that insulting a particular person is not only highly unlikely to mitigate anyone’s hero worship, but quite the opposite. Do you want to dissect Allah and thus get people defending him personally, or do you want to give worthwhile criticism? Because calling him Maureen Dowd isn’t it.

    Lest anybody get the wrong idea, I don’t know Allah and have no relationship with him outside of reading Hot Air and the occasional “tip” emails. But so far I think this is a bit unwarranted and you’re making it worse with comments like the above. As I’ve said elsewhere, I want to read what you’ve got by way of criticism of how they do things at Hot Air, but I think you’re starting out in attack mode. It doesn’t look good.

    Anwyn (d24425)

  50. Xrlq, I think it’s barbs like that [Dowd analogy] that are making this whole issue look worse than it has to be.

    “Dowdification” is a pretty well established name for the practice of selectively editing other people’s quotes to make it sound as though they said something other than what they actually said. It doesn’t make Allah the Prince of Darkness, but it does make him guilty of the same offense for which Dowd is so (in-)famous.

    As to how that ties in with hero worship, let’s just say that Allah’s occasional inaccuracies wouldn’t matter so much if there weren’t so many readers out there like Mike K. who can’t seem to differentiate between Allah’s random musings and The Gospel Truth.

    In fact, the more I think about it, “it sure seems” is not, strictly speaking, a factual error at all; more one of those weasel-words so heavy on opinion and so short on factual content that it cannot be factually right or wrong – kinda like an L.A. Times editorial assertion attributed to critics, some or many. But it planted the seed for one factually incorrect conclusion (Larry Sabato heard George Allen say the N-word), which quickly morphed into another (Larry Sabato claimed to have heard George Allen say the N-word) and then into a third (Larry Sabato was “caught in a lie” when he stated unequivocally that he had not heard George Allen say the N-word), all in a matter of days if not hours. While Allah is not to blame for the false inferences other people like Mike K. made on top of his own false inferences, the fact remains that a nasty rumor persists in the Blogosphere, and it’s one Allah helped create. For that reason alone, a correction and clarification is in order. This post is a start, but it’s only a start, as it won’t be read by everyone who reads the original post, and it does nothing to clarify that the whole idea of Sabato having heard anything originated with Allah, and not with Sabato himself.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  51. Yeah, I know what Dowdification means, but things like frequency, agenda, and intentions matter. Allah doesn’t measure up even close on a Dowd-o-meter.

    Anwyn (d24425)

  52. Fair enough, but whether you’re a first timer or a habitual offender, a murder is still a murder and a dowdy is still a dowdy.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  53. But there’s a difference between committing “a dowdy” and actually being Dowd. That’s my objection–you’re implying Allah does this all the time, for grins or out of ignorance.

    Anwyn (d24425)

  54. Not really. Here’s the statement once again, in context:

    Then again, maybe this is not a bad thing? If Hot Air aspires to be the New York Times of the blogosphere, I guess every NYT needs its Maureen Dowd.

    The context is this: either this particular dowdification is a legitimate problem, as I think it is, or it’s no big whoop, as Allah, Patterico and you seem to think it is. If the idea is to be the NYT, then having one guy on board to engage in this behavior routinely is just the ticket. If it’s not, then a single instance is a serious error. That was my point; I did not intend to suggest that Allah dowdifies on a regular basis.

    As an aside, WTF is up with Firefox 2.0′s spell checker not knowing the word “dowdify?” Nor, for that matter, the abbreviation “WTF?”

    [You misstate my position by saying I don't think Allah's alleged dowdification is important. Instead, I don't believe there has been a dowdification, period. You persistently suggest that Allah didn't include the full context, while "conveniently" failing to mention that he posted the video itself in the very post you're bitching about. -- P]

    Xrlq (7afef3)

  55. You misstate my position by saying I don’t think Allah’s alleged dowdification is important. Instead, I don’t believe there has been a dowdification, period.

    I’d apologize for the error but I’m not sure how one “apologizes” for mistakenly attributing a reasonable position in lieu of a truly goofy one. Saying that a dowdification is no big deal is a tenable position, particularly for one who considers comparisons to Matt Drudge to be a compliment rather than an insult. Drudge is frequently inaccurate, too, and for largely the same reason: when “know[-ing] everything the second it happens” is the goal, something has to give, and as often as not, that something is accuracy. If getting the latest gossip is what’s important to you, and tolerating the inevitable inaccuracies is part of the deal, great, but in that case, an occasional dowdification probably isn’t that big of a deal, either.

    On the other hand, to deny that there WAS a dowdification her is, quite simply, to bury one’s head in the sand. It’s one thing to argue that a word or phrase has Definition A (the correct one) vs. Definition B (yours). It’s quite another to smugly assume B is so obviously, self-evidently right that the sentence can safely be left out altogether. I wouldn’t have faulted Allah if he had included the sentence in question and argued (wrongly) that it had the definition you attribute to it. I fault him for leaving it out completely.

    You persistently suggest that Allah didn’t include the full context, while “conveniently” failing to mention that he posted the video itself in the very post you’re bitching about.

    Wrong on two levels. First, the reference to dowdification relates to Allah’s comment in this thread, not any post on Hot Air. Second, even if the reference had been to “the very post I’m bitching about,” my response would have to be … puh-frickin’-leeze. If a garden-variety dowdification can be cured simply by slapping on a link to video that you know only a tiny fraction of your readers will even bother to watch, then what exactly is your problem with Dowd herself, and could it be cured by a simple link to some video server (which she too could safely assume would be viewed by only a small fraction of her viewers, and viewed defensively by a smaller fraction still)? How about about Glenn Greenwald? He’s frequently inaccurate, of course, but he just loves links. As often as not, actually following the links is enough for any fair-minded reader to figure out that Greenwald is full of crap. So, employing your logic, and substituting links for video, would you say no harm, no foul?

    Then again, maybe we’re getting bogged down in semantics, as seems to occur every time I accuse a fellow conservative (except maybe Ann Coulter – should I try it on her just for grits and shins?) of “dowdifying” anything. So let’s forget the d-word, and focus on the following two questions, instead:

    1. Would you characterizing Mike K.’s above statement that Larry Sabato was “caught lying” as a serious error of fact, a minor error, or no error at all?
    2. If serious, please offer your best guess as to where he got that idea from.
    Xrlq (7afef3)

  56. Xrlq quotes Larry Sabato as saying:

    SABATO: I’m saying only about the “N” word. I’m not saying about the other instance. I wasn’t there for those incidents. But…

    Then Xrlq makes a tremendous big deal out of the distinction between “instance” (singular) and “incidents” (plural).

    Except that, I’m not sure that Xrlq’s transcript is right. Here is another possible transcript, which sounds equally accurate to my ears — and I’ve listened to it about 10 times:

    SABATO: I’m saying only about the “N” word. I’m not saying about the other incidents. I wasn’t there for those incidents. But…

    If this is correct — and it sounds right to me — then Sabato is suggesting that he was there for the “N” word incident.

    At least that’s how it appears to me — someone who has actually watched the video.

    And how did I make this transcript? Why, I made it by consulting the original source — the video itself. And where did I see the video? Why, here . . . embedded in the very Hot Air post Xrlq was complaining about.

    Because, you see, Allah EMBEDDED THE SHORT VIDEO ITSELF IN THE POST.

    So Xrlq jabs Allah for some mysterious dowdification, when Allah actually says: “He refuses to say how he knows but it sure sounds like he’s heard him use it himself.” Which is 100% accurate. Then Xrlq makes a huge deal out of the supposed amazing distinction between a plural and singular word, when to my ears it might well be the same plural word twice — and I learned this by looking at the video IN ALLAH’S POST.

    Xrlq, this is just absurd on your part.

    Patterico (de0616)

  57. Indeed, it’s every bit as absurd as accusing Glenn Greenwald of dishonesty whenever he links to sites which, if actually read, would reveal the truth.

    Care to answer my two simple questions?

    Xrlq (7afef3)

  58. My comment was written before I saw X’s.

    To sum up: if my transcript is correct, it’s no dowdification — it’s further support for the contention that Sabato actually heard this . . . which Allah didn’t even claim was true, but simply said (correctly) that it sounded like it was.

    I agree with that, largely on the basis of the material Xrlq complains Allah left out.

    Plus, his huge dowdification complaint isn’t even with respect to something said on Hot Air, but in a comment here. Jesus.

    Patterico (de0616)

  59. I’d characterize Mike’s statement as an overstatement. As I said at the time, I think Sabato was being weaselly.

    And I’m not blaming Allah for Mike making an overstatement based on whatever information he was using.

    Now, answer me these questions one: if you actually go to the SOURCE (the video, available on the Hot Air post) instead of the secondary source you relied on (the linked transcript) and listen to it with my interpretation in mind, can you say it’s wrong?

    Patterico (de0616)

  60. For the sake of rhyming, let’s make it “answer me these questions three”:

    1) The one I just asked.

    2) Do you admit you relied on a secondary source when Hot Air provided the primary source?

    3) Isn’t this an exceptionally silly complaint on your part?

    Patterico (de0616)

  61. I’d characterize Mike’s statement as an overstatement.

    Saying someone “lied” by flatly refusing to answer a simple yes-no question is not an “overstatement.” It is pure, unadulterated horse shit.

    And I’m not blaming Allah for Mike making an overstatement based on whatever information he was using.

    That wasn’t my question. I asked for your best guess as to what that source is, not whether or not you consider that source blameworthy. So are you telling me you have no idea where he got that idea? Or can I safely infer from your oddly defensive posture toward this anonymous source, known only as “whatever infomration he was using,” that it could have been … SATAN? Or, barring that, Hot Air?

    Upon re-hearing the video, I agree that the transcript is probably wrong, and he probably did actually say “incidents” both times. As to that particular statement, that’s good enough for me. It doesn’t change the fact that the overall interview did not make it seem as though Sabato were claiming firsthand knowledge of anything, except maybe in Life of Brian, where only the true Messiah denies his divinity, only a virgin objects to being asked if she’s a virgin, and only a guy who has personally heard George Allen say the N-word would flatly refuse to say whether or not he’s heard George Allen say the N-word.

    Xrlq (7afef3)

  62. Well, let’s take this a step at a time.

    If Sabato said “incidents” both times, did Allah dowdify anything?

    Patterico (de0616)

  63. Xrlq has already answered this question:

    Patterico was right about the dowdification, which in fact appears to be an error in MSNBC’s own transcript.

    Now, I’d like to see Xrlq apologize to Allah for falsely accusing him of dowdification. Xrlq? Don’t you think that would be appropriate?

    Patterico (de0616)

  64. Once the elections have come and gone there is still going to be a simmering teapot left on the stove. Confusion reigns across America with this unresolved issue about the n-word. African Americans greet each other all the time with the n-word which is not only confusing but begs the question whether or not there is a double standard being practice. Instead of waiting for this teapot to boil over perhaps an effort should be made to not allow any of this to rise above a simmer. For some answers please visit:

    http://www.burythatsucka.com

    H. Lewis Smith (994a6b)

  65. Now, I’d like to see Xrlq apologize to Allah for falsely accusing him of dowdification. Xrlq? Don’t you think that would be appropriate?

    Sure. Allah, I apologize for accusing you of dowdification.

    Now, perhaps you’d care to answer question 2? To recap (slightly paraphrased now, to compensate for being yanked out of context):

    Please offer your best guess as to where Mike K. got the idea that Sabato had “lied” about hearing George Allen say the N-word.

    You can either answer it, or I can apply Allah’s logic and answer it for you:

    Patterico refuses to say where he thinks Mike K. got his wacky ideas, but it sure sounds like he knows firsthand that he got them from Hot Air.

    For his part, Mike K. himself has been less than forthcoming, which is odd since my original swipe was directed to him, not to Allah, and since I’ve asked him point blank whether he did in fact get it from Hot Air (coupled with a dearth of other sources, which is the real problem here). Again, by Allah’s logic:

    Mike K. refuses to say whether he learned about Sabato’s “lie” from Hot Air, but it sure sounds like he got it there himself.

    Hey, this is fun!

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  66. Where did Mike K. get the idea Sabato lied? Well, starting from the assumption that his belief is predicated on the notion that Sabato seemed to claim personal knowledge, it could be:

    Captain Ed:

    Initially, Sabato’s claims suggested that Allen used the word around Sabato himself . . .

    Perhaps the video itself, in which Sabato said:

    SABATO: I’m saying only about the “N” word. I’m not saying about the other incidents. I wasn’t there for those incidents. But…

    I’m saying only about x. I’m not saying about y. I wasn’t there for y.

    Implication: I was there for x.

    You initially resisted this logic by positing that the two values of y were not equivalent. Now, you have admitted they are. This revives the issue of Sabato’s implication.

    Patterico (de0616)

  67. I have noticed that you didn’t answer my other questions, Xrlq. I’ll withdraw the third as argumentative, but I’m going to press this one:

    2) Do you admit you relied on a secondary source when Hot Air provided the primary source?

    That one is arguably rhetorical, but I still want an answer. Because I find the obvious answer (“yes”) rather ironic.

    I’m making my argument based on the primary source — the video, which I saw at Hot Air. You made your incorrect argument based on a secondary source: a transcript.

    Ironic, given your complaints about Hot Air not giving the full picture, and about its readers relying on secondary sources like Hot Air and Jay Leno.

    I hate to be harsh with you, X, but you have been way over the top with this, and your arguments — that Allah is a dowdifier or somehow distorts and/or hides primary sources — are complete nonsense. They don’t have a shred of merit to them. I consider them an attack on the reputation of someone who has done nothing to deserve the attack. I’m not letting up until you admit this or twist yourself into a pretzel trying to avoid the admission.

    Patterico (de0616)

  68. Et tu, Captain Ed. I think I even remember that entry now, but assumed at the time it was based on Hot Air’s entry, but I see it doesn’t link there so must presume the captain made the same blunder independently of Allah. Unfortunately comments are closed there now.

    Given that there are at least two major blogs from which Mike K. could have gotten his erroneous information, neither of which appears to have derived it from the other, I suppose my original rant against Mike K. could be made a bit more generic:

    Mike K., do you have any evidence Sabato lied about anything, or have we reached the point where anyone who believes something you don’t believe must be a liar?

    Oh wait, I get it. You probably get all your news from blogs. You didn’t actually watch the Hardball interview (who did?), in which Sabato claimed to “absolutely believe” Allen had said the N-word but flatly refused to say whether or not he had personally heard Allen say anything. Instead, you likely took some blogger’s word when he falsely implied Sabato had claimed to have heard Allen say the n-word himself. But who could blame you for relying on the blogs? All hail the New Media!

    Happy?

    [You're dodging the point that Sabato implied he was there. -- P]

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  69. Do you admit you relied on a secondary source when Hot Air provided the primary source?

    As to the narrow question of whether Sabato claimed in the middle of the interview NOT to have been present for the N-word incidents, yes, but only in the sense that my reading of the secondary source may have colored by interpretation of the primary source. If that’s your idea of “relying on a secondary source when Hot Air provided the primary source,” then I’ve got plenty of company – probably including you. How many Hot Air readers can truthfully say they opened the entry, went straight to the video, watched it, formed their own impressions, and only then read Allah’s commentary?

    In any event, this further discussion is silly, as it only goes to the issue I’ve already conceded, yet you inexplicably won’t let die: Allah’s alleged (and now unalleged) dowdification in this comment thread. The primary/secondary distinction has no bearing on the greater point, which is that it is ridiculous to accuse a person of having implied X when he was twice asked point blank about X, and both times flatly refused to address X one way or the other. I’m not aware of any discrepancy between the primary and secondary sources on that issue. Care to address it?

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  70. Youre dodging the point that Sabato implied he was there. P

    I’m not dodging that point at all. From the start my position on that “point” has been clear: it’s crap. Refusing to answer a question does not “imply” a yes or no answer. If it suggested anything at all, it weakly suggested Sabato was not there, as a “yes” answer would have further strengthened the point he was trying to make, while an explicit “no” answer could have weakened it.

    [Here's what you didn't respond to:

    I'm saying only about x. I’m not saying about y. I wasn’t there for y.

    Implication: I was there for x.

    Correct as a logical matter? -- P]

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  71. No, not correct as a logical matter. Under the rules of logic, “I wasn’t there for Y” makes no representation whatsoever about X. With the right intonation, it could, but that intonation wasn’t there – and in any event, would not be a matter of logic if it were.

    Xrlq (bf65e5)

  72. Oh, jeez. I’m not talking about strict symbolic logic. I just put it into symbols to strip away the irrelevancies.

    I am asking: using common sense, wouldn’t most people conclude that a person making such a statement is implying he wasn’t there for y?

    If I send that question to 10 people, what do you think they’ll say?

    I mean, really.

    Patterico (de0616)

  73. Also:

    Do you have an extant complaint against Allah?

    Yes or no?

    Patterico (de0616)

  74. I just ran the question by two relatively prominent bloggers who were unaware of the controversy. I put the question in symbolic terms:

    Someone says to you:

    I’m saying only about x. I’m not saying about y. I wasn’t there for y.

    Does that read to you as an implication that they were there for x?

    Both said yes.

    Try it yourself, X. I bet 9 out of 10 people will agree with me. There is an implication there.

    I’ll go try it on the wife now.

    Shoot, I may post it, if you remain obstinate.

    Patterico (de0616)

  75. The wife sees an implication that the individual making such a statement was there for x.

    I’m 3 for 3.

    Patterico (de0616)

  76. I am asking: using common sense, wouldn’t most people conclude that a person making such a statement is implying he wasn’t there for y?

    In a vacuum, sure, but this part of the exchange didn’t occur in a vacuum, did it? The very next word out of Sabato’s mouth was “but.” That alone should be enough to cancel any such inferences, even if he hadn’t later been asked directly whether he was or wasn’t there – which, of course, he was.

    Do you have an extant complaint against Allah?

    Yes. Not a huge one, but yes. Having publicly made the silly inference that snowballed into the lie about Sabato lying, he really should post a clarification/correction to make clear the whole thing about Sabato hearing anything from Allen directly was a figment of his imagination, and not a representation by Sabato himself.

    Xrlq (bf65e5)

  77. even if he hadn’t later been asked directly whether he was or wasn’t there – which, of course, he was.

    And which he was coy about.

    Look. Chris Matthews is interviewing someone about whether Suzy kissed Bart. It goes like this:

    Q: Are you saying you saw Suzy kissing Bart?

    A: I can’t say how frequently she kissed him, but I don’t believe Suzy when she denies ever having done it. That is simply not true.

    Q: Did she kiss him?

    A: I’m simply going to stay with what I know is the case, and the fact is that she did kiss him, whether she’s denying it now or not. She did kiss him. Kissing is nasty.

    Q: You say believe the accusations, right?

    A: I’m saying only about the kiss. I’m not saying about the other acts of affection. I wasn’t there for those acts of affection. But there’s other evidence –

    Q: How do you know she kissed him?

    A: There’s other evidence that I’m not going to go into on your show. Sorry.

    Q: Could you swear to it?

    A: Could I swear to it? Well, I absolutely believe she kissed him. Did I see it? Well, I’m not going to go into that.

    A commenter posts the video and says: He refuses to say how he knows, but it sure sounds like he saw it himself.

    HOW INACCURATE!!!! Let’s all besmirch that commenter’s reputation!!!

    Patterico (de0616)

  78. he really should post a clarification/correction to make clear the whole thing about Sabato hearing anything from Allen directly was a figment of his imagination, and not a representation by Sabato himself.

    Did it ever occur to you that your interpretation might not be the only correct one in the world?

    I see that video — which I have now watched too many times — and I think Allah’s comment on it is exactly accurate, for the reasons stated in the previous comment.

    He says he “knows” it’s true.

    He says he’s only saying about the N-word, not about other incidents, because he wasn’t there for those. Non-hair-splitting implication: he was there for the N-word.

    “The whole thing about Sabato hearing it from Allen directly” is not something Allah CLAIMED. He explicitly said Sabato did not claim that — but that it sounded that way.

    Which it damn well did, for the numerous reasons already cited.

    Patterico (de0616)

  79. even if he hadn’t later been asked directly whether he was or wasn’t there – which, of course, he was.

    And which he was coy about.

    He wasn’t coy about it at all. He was asked directly, twice, and flatly refused to answer the question both times. Funny how you keep ignoring that point, along with that pesky “but…” that also somehow didn’t find its way into your little experiment.

    Xrlq (c9b943)

  80. He wasn’t coy about it at all. He was asked directly, twice, and flatly refused to answer the question both times.

    In my book, that’s coy.

    Coy: “showing marked and often playful or irritating evasiveness or reluctance to make a definite or committing statement.”

    Matthews asks Sabato twice whether he was there. Sabato says he won’t answer. Matthews says: you were there or you weren’t. Sabato says: that sure does sum up the possibilities. It’s been nice talking to you, Chris! (These are paraphrases, but accurate ones. If you contest even that, then I’ll get you the Goddamned exact quotes.)

    Coy.

    To say he wasn’t coy about it at all is infuriatingly thick of you. Are you trying to piss me off? Are you trying to get me angry and obfuscate because you know you’re wrong and have a personality flaw that prevents you from admitting it? Or what?

    So in one place he implies he was there. It’s followed by a “But there’s other evidence that I’m not going to go into on your show.” And asked point blank if he heard it, he’s coy.

    So, the question in this Goddamned stupid argument that I’m only having because you attacked a good man’s reputation for no Goddamned good reason, is this:

    With that as the background, is it absurd for someone to note that the person won’t say how he knows, but it sure sounds like he heard it himself?

    And the answer is an obvious and resounding NO.

    And for someone to slam someone’s professional reputation for that completely fair characterization is wholly, utterly unreasonable.

    Patterico (de0616)

  81. I mean, if you can’t even admit Sabato was coy with Matthews about whether he heard this himself, then we’re in two completely different universes. We can’t even communicate.

    Since you’re a talented communicator, that makes me wonder what’s going on here.

    By denying the most screamingly obvious assertions possible (such as the one that Sabato was being coy), are you trying to get me to drop the subject in frustration?

    Patterico (de0616)

  82. Good lord, what a couple of fussbudgets.

    XRLQ’s right about the Sabato testimony. He is falling over himself to make Allen look like a racist without quite committing slander, and I was surprised that Allah didn’t see it that way. Like most every other blogger in the world, I immediately thought that Sabato’s allegations were suspicious. And, as Sabato’s subsequent admissions revealed, I was right.

    But to conclude that Allah’s take on that video–on which reasonable people could disagree– somehow undermines the entire Hot Air enterprise…dude, XRLQ, that’s really quite a jump. On balance, I think Allah’s been a little hard on Allen, but comparing him to Maureen Dowd (who elides quotes to serve a partisan agenda) is an extreme overreaction. There’s no reason to think that AP was acting bad faith or…whatever it is you’re accusing him of. He just got something wrong. And we know that because he included the primary source right there so we could check him out. Better than the NYT does.

    Meanwhile, as for Patterico, you homed in on the instance/incidents question and completely ignored the next lines of the interview:

    MATTHEWS: How do you know about the “N” word? How do you know, Larry, about the “N” word?

    SABATO: Because there is other evidence that I’m not going to go into on your show, Chris, sorry.

    When asked how he knew about the N-word, Sabato shied away from a chance to say “Because I heard him say it.” Instead he said “Because there’s other evidence”.

    That’s how he “knew” about it–other evidence. Not because he saw it.

    I don’t think your position is indefensible, Patterico, but it’s certainly a minority position and it’s only barely defensible. And it’s certainly not worth all this bad blood and angst from either of you. Allahpundit can take care of himself (and has): XRLQ is free to write off Hot Air over a single missed call, and go rely on the NY Times for his accurate news and insightful commentary; Patterico is free to try proving that it clearly looked like Sabato said what he was breaking his back trying not to say; and I’m free to go to bed and wish you guys would get back to more productive blogging endeavors.

    Good NIGHT, sirs.

    See Dubya (fe4494)

  83. Matthews asks Sabato twice whether he was there. Sabato says he won’t answer. Matthews says: you were there or you weren’t. Sabato says: that sure does sum up the possibilities. It’s been nice talking to you, Chris! (These are paraphrases, but accurate ones. If you contest even that, then I’ll get you the Goddamned exact quotes.)

    That would be a very good idea. What you’ve just paraphrased was the second refusal to answer at the end of the exchange. It came on the heels of this:

    Chris, I’m not going to go into any more details.

    Real coy, that. Please.

    Similarly un-coy was Sabato’s earlier statement that “But there’s other evidence that I’m not going to go into on your show.” If that evidence had turned out to be Sabato’s firsthand knowledge, then arguably, that would have been coy. There’s nothing playful or evasive (unless, in your mind, refusing to answer a question is inherently “evasive”) about either of these answers. By the time he got to quaint/playful bit about “you’ve summed up the possibilities and we had a great chat,” he’d already told Matthews twice, in no uncertain terms, that he was not going to answer his question. Not coy. At all.

    See-Dubya’s right, though, this thread has gone way too long.

    Xrlq (c9b943)

  84. Hypo:

    Q: Did you see it?

    A: Not sayin’.

    Q: Did you see it?

    A: Not sayin’.

    Q: Did you see it? I mean, either you did or didn’t.

    A: That sums up the two possibilities and it’s been a nice discussion.

    Now let’s go to the audience. Mr. Rational Observer, was the answerer being coy there?

    Rational Observer: Duh. Of course. Have you looked up coy lately?

    Thank you. How about you, Xrlq?

    Xrlq: Not at all. Note how the answerer refused to answer the question the first two times. These answers don’t even come close to showing a “marked and often playful or irritating evasiveness or reluctance to make a definite or committing statement.” Rather, the answerer repeatedly showed reluctance to commit to an answer, irritating the questioner and ending with a playful evasion. That’s not coy. At. All.

    Yes, when someone argues like that, threads do tend to go on and on.

    I think the point here is simply for Xrlq to wear me out with increasingly jaw-droppingly bizarre arguments.

    That way he can get away with maintaining a completely unreasonable position, and instead of admitting it, get us in an interminable argument so that onlookers will throw up their hands and say “You two!”

    It’s a classic Internet tactic.

    Well played, sir. Well played.

    Patterico (de0616)

  85. Maybe I can discuss this with someone who will argue rationally, rather than saying something so obviously false as that Sabato was not being coy.

    See Dubya, what did Allah get “wrong” here??

    Patterico (de0616)

  86. Patterico is free to try proving that it clearly looked like Sabato said what he was breaking his back trying not to say

    No, he was breaking his back trying not to answer the question one way or the other, but in context, with the various phrases I have discussed, it sounded like, if he were to answer the question “Did you hear it yourself” the answer would be “Yes.”

    It’s a matter of opinion. But my opinion, and AP’s, was reasonable and backed up by many things he said. Together with the undeniable fact that he was coy about it when confronted with the question directly — as any rational person will admit, unless they have had their reasoning powers addled by pride.

    Patterico (de0616)

  87. Well gee whiz, Patterico. All along, I thought that repeatedly telling someone “no” in no uncertain terms, and finally given them a more flip answer when it becomes clear they won’t take a simple “no” for an answer, is if anything the opposite of “coy.” But now that you’ve identified a guy named Rational Observer who says otherwise, well gee willikers, with a name like that who am I do disagree with him?  Nor would I have attempted to deny your dubious premise, had you merely warned me earlier that it was an undeniable fact, complete with boldface and all.

    Between this silliness, your increasingly shrill tone, and obsessively bringing up Allah in three separate discussions that weren’t even about him, I’m really starting to wonder what you’re trying to accomplish. It doesn’t reflect well on you – particularly when it appears in the very same thread where you accused me of going over the top. You want over the top? I’ll give you over the top. How about this (all emphases in originals):

    To [disagree with me on a particular point of contention] is infuriatingly thick of you.

    Or this:

    Are you trying to piss me off? Are you trying to get me angry and obfuscate because you know you’re wrong and have a personality flaw that prevents you from admitting it?

    Someone recently posted both of these shrill (shall we say, “unhinged?”) comments in this very thread, and it wasn’t me.

    [So now Sabato said “no” instead of “I won’t answer”????? News to me. I didb’t say he was being coy about whether he would answer the question, but about whether he heard it himself. Are you rewriting history by saying he answered *that* question no? Because he didn’t. He refused to answer. He was coy. — P

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  88. You two!!!

    (Throws up hands)

    See Dubya (13ab1e)

  89. I didb’t say he was being coy about whether he would answer the question, but about whether he heard it himself.

    That may have been what you meant, but it wasn’t what you said, at least not in the recent comments I was responding to.

    So what exactly are you arguing? It sounds as though you are arguing that mere refusal to anser any question – however direct, committed and non-playful that refusal may be – is inherently “coy” about the substance of the question itself. Is that really how you understand the word? If a nosy co-worker asked me my annual earnings, and I told him it was none of his damned business, would you consider that “coy,” as well? Because if that’s your definition of “coy,” then of course Sabato was “coy,” but in that case the word doesn’t mean anything.

    [Very slippery of you, as has become your habit. You want to shift the argument yet again. I don't. Rather than chase the non-issue of your mischaracterizations of what I said above, let me put the question to you directly, in a way you'll have a hard time wriggling out of: looking at the ENTIRETY of his remarks TAKEN AS A WHOLE, including the "quaint/playful" bit at the end, was Sabato coy on the issue of WHETHER HE HEARD THE N-WORD REMARKS DIRECTLY? I don't see how a rational and fair-minded person could answer anything but "yes." How do YOU answer? -- P]

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  90. Very little time away from houseguests, just long enough to say: this is now past ridiculous.

    Patrick, I venture to suppose that if you had somebody on the stand who spoke as Sabato did, you would press him until he answered “yes” or “no” to “Did you hear him say it?” because you knew the answer would be “no.” That said, Xrlq, “sounds like he heard it himself” is not completely out of the realm of reasonability, although as I’ve stated I didn’t think it sounded that way. It’s not enough for, imho, Allah to need to put an addendum or correction to that post. It is, however, enough that nobody should have said Sabato was “caught lying”–whoever said it, as I don’t have time to follow the links.

    It’s gotten pretty bad when there’s a knock-down drag-out about the meaning of the word “coy.” So here’s another Anwyn Summation, Without Benefit of Law School:

    Xrlq was a initially bit too hard on Allah personally, as his second post tends to show by the fact that it mostly centers on questionable interpretations/opinions of Michelle, Ian, and Bryan and leaves Allah completely alone. Xrlq’s motivation for being hard on Allah seems to have been that his missteps are bigger than others because more people trust him much farther than they can throw him.

    I’ll have a post before too long about the bigger criticisms of Hot Air, but the main thing is: this thread here has gotten silly.

    Anwyn (d24425)

  91. OK, I phoned Xrlq about this today. I like Xrlq quite a bit and have found this discussion distressing. It was much easier to communicate over the phone.

    I told him that I think Allah is a very cautious blogger who doesn’t deserve to be raked over the coals in some kind of crusade against Hot Air. We agreed to disagree about whether it was reasonable for Allah and me to view Sabato’s interview as suggesting that he had personal knowledge of the N-word allegations. I continue to believe he coyly evaded the issue; Xrlq doesn’t understand the word “coy” the way I do and prefers to call his responses “unresponsive.” We both agreed that there were parts of the interview that pointed to personal knowledge and others that didn’t. Where we disagreed was on his conclusion that it is “silly” to reach the interpretation that Allah and I had reached.

    It would be nice, I think, if Xrlq would clearly say that he has no complaint against Allah other than that conclusion, with which I strongly disagree. I told him that, and maybe he’ll be kind enough to say so.

    Sometimes Web communication is a terrible way to communicate.

    Patterico (de0616)

  92. I’d add that I bet a lot of Internet disagreements like this could be better resolved through a simple phone call. Too bad that’s not easier to do. It’s much easier when you already know the guy, as I know Xrlq.

    Patterico (de0616)

  93. I’ll come close: I have no complaint against Allah, period. I still think that his conclusion on Sabato hearing Allen say the N-word was a bit silly, but “silly” isn’t exactly one of the seven deadly sins. I do think he should issue a correction or at least a clarification to the post, though. Not because of his own relatively harmless error (or, shall we say, conclusion that I find erroneous), but because of the major ones others have made by taking his conclusion and running with it. The same would hold for a post that was 100% accurate, but which its author learned was being used to promote a nasty rumor that wasn’t.

    Xrlq (44e5d0)

  94. [...] So the fight turned out not to be between Xrlq and Hot Air, but between Xrlq and Patterico, who wound up a ridiculous amount of comment thread going back and forth over whether Allah’s initial interpretation of a weasel’s remarks was a reasonable one. With that more or less put to rest in that same comment thread, this is old news, but I promised an answer to Xrlq’s calmer post taking Hot Air to task. [...]

    Anwyn’s Notes in the Margin » Blogfight Redux (e8be5d)

  95. [...] I ma former Virginian. Up until three days ago, I was a huge Allen fan. I loved what he did as governor. No more. Webb accurately portrayed Vietnamese culture. For that he s attacked. I find that disgusting. — more — [...]

    Vietnamese Culture - Vietnamese Culture » Vietnamese bonsai. I visited Hanoi during the APEC time. There … (da05be)

  96. [...] doing bad things – stories that involve rape, murder, incest, protitution, war, famine, …http://patterico.com/2006/10/26/bombshell-webb-novel-contains-fictional-passage-depicting-character-…HumanTrafficking.org | News & Updates: Vietnamese Trafficked into …Vietnamese Trafficked into [...]

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