Patterico's Pontifications

9/1/2008

Andrew Sullivan’s Hypocrisy on Privacy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:15 pm



Andrew Sullivan, May 31, 2001:

I think a fair assessment of these tactics would be blackmail and intimidation. I ignored them as I have learned to ignore most such threats over the years. To answer them is to give legitimacy to the very premises of their argument: that the most intensely personal details of someone’s private life can and should be used for political purposes. The truth is: no-one’s legal, consensual, adult private life should be plundered and exposed for political purposes.

I ignored the requests for comment because there was nothing to comment on. . . . I was asked to confirm a story presented anonymously, the only salient details of which I believed to be untrue. Why should I answer?

The controversy, of course, was his posting of personal ads seeking risky, unprotected gay sex — despite a public position against such sex.

Andrew Sullivan, September 1, 2008:

Why not kill this rumor with Palin’s medical records? A 43 year old woman’s pregnancy with a Downs Syndrome child would have been intensely monitored, and the records must be a mile long. Just release them, ok? If necessary in a closed room for reporters, just as with McCain. And we can all breathe a sigh of relief and move on.

Privacy for me, but not for thee.

54 Responses to “Andrew Sullivan’s Hypocrisy on Privacy”

  1. Nicely done! I hope that Our Mr. Sullivan responds in some fashion.

    On the other hand, maybe he should just go away!

    Again, great post.

    Eric Blair (642d37)

  2. Miracles have happened before… maybe Our Boy Andi is finally getting it. He just now put up a post linked to the following, from a liberal who gets it:

    http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/09/sarah-palins-ch.html

    qdpsteve (dc65ab)

  3. Sully is as usual compromised seven ways from Sunday. An examination of his career reveals that he frequently “forgets” what he’s said from one day to the other.

    As much as I’ve been enjoying the schadenfreude, it’s perfectly obvious that Palin is under no obligation to expose anything to anyone. I really can’t comprehend why Sully can’t see that.

    David Ehrenstein (961ad1)

  4. That might be — fuck it, it is the most reasonable thing you’ve ever written here.

    Icy Truth (a7ead4)

  5. What Icy said.

    qdpsteve (dc65ab)

  6. Y’all might be unfamiliar with Dave’s role in exposing Sullivan’s personal ads.

    Got the link, Dave?

    Patterico (e887d7)

  7. Give him a moment folks. He will be back to his vile ways soon enough. Sully is a douchenozzle, of the highest order.

    JD (5f0e11)

  8. What’d I said? I forgot already.

    Oh yeah. Ehrenstein is embarrassed by Sullivan’s antics.

    Icy Truth (a7ead4)

  9. I’m a big fan of hypocrisy in politics; doing one thing and saying another have been very important to America’s political history. Let’s remember, if you couldn’t own slaves and say that all men are created equal, which do you think was going to give way first, the principle or the practice?

    I just wish that the benefit was more apparent or that the stakes were higher in Sullivan’s case. I mean, the chances of McCain winning the election are slim, why bother with something so transparently false and so obviously craven? That’s why I liked Freddoso’s book so much, it cut the crap on the fever-swamp stuff and moved on to the real questions and the real problems. Let’s be honest: Palin’s already got those in spades.

    Fritz (a2e65a)

  10. Patterico 1 – Sullivan 0
    Game Over.
    Next!

    liontooth (0edfdb)

  11. I’m not embararassed by him at all. We’ve loathed one another since 1992.

    Do you imagine that the fact that we’re both gay means I’d defend him? I’d no more defned him than I would Roy Cohn or Ernst Roehm.

    David Ehrenstein (961ad1)

  12. Let’s be honest, Fritz is an unmitigated Troll.

    Dmac (874677)

  13. Fritz, I don’t think Mccain’s chances are slim. It’s baffling to me that so many are dead certain that Obama will win. Same sort were saying that Bush had no reelection prospect.

    The race is tied, and without a GOP convention. And with the bradley effect, I imagine this means the race is not tied. I have put a bit of money into InTrade, where Mccain seems deeply undervalued, so I hope I’m right that Obama only has an even chance at best of winning election. Mccain has won many elections as underdog, Obama has one a single primary, and that not by actual vote, but by caucus shenanigans. The race has just really begun, and I think there’s no reason to say either of them have a slim chance.

    What does Palin have in spades? Your post seems to say she has problems in spades. What I’ve seen is that she has solutions in spades. Look to her record of accomplishment. Has any governor ever attained such success so fast? Perhaps 1 or 2.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  14. I misspelled ‘won’ because I am about as smart as a doorknob.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  15. Fritz – What does Gov. Palin have in spades?

    JD (5f0e11)

  16. JD…
    Other than looks, competency, back-bone, drive, …
    Is that what you mean?

    Another Drew (72d59a)

  17. I am not one of those persons calling Barack Obama a mulsim or terrorist. Plus I am a Daily Dish Sullivan Reader from way back when Sullivan first started after 9/11. I defended Sullivan when he called Hugh Hewitt on his past excesses (although I never recall Hewitt attacking a politician’s kids). I have also defended Sullivan in the past from Ace, HotAir, Michelle Malkin, Jonah Goldberg, John Podhoretz, etc. I often do not agree with Sullivan’s take, but I thought he was an honorable voice. For me to attack him now is a big deal, but it is justified.

    Sullivan crossed a line with this nonsense. You do not attack a candidate’s children without good cause and solid evidence. A Daily Kos echo chamber is not a legitimate source. Sullivan played the role of a dirty gutter hack. And he did it all on his own.

    This is truly despicable behavior on Sullivan’s part. If he thinks he helps Barack Obama with this he is kidding himself.

    Joe (8102a5)

  18. Other than looks, competency, back-bone, drive, … Is that what you mean?

    — She make-a my backbone slip!

    Icy Truth (a7ead4)

  19. Juan why McCain picked Palin. It was not a crazy pick, it was a calculated risk: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/09/what_the_heck_is_mccain_up_to.html

    Rasmussen reports that McCain has support from Republicans equal in spirit to those Democrats supporting Barack Obama. That is huge. Without GOP support McCain could not win. He might still lose, but this improved his chances. Of course if Palin crashes and burns that may change. Hence the dishonest attacks by Andrew Sullivan, still upset over Kerry’s loss.

    Joe (8102a5)

  20. Well, it is true that Palin is seeking a higher position than Sullivan’s, though that would apply to most any position out of the gutter.

    The other relevant difference is that most people understand that you are unlikely to find any politician who has some positions inconsistent with their overall philosophy. Sullivan, otoh, is selling himself as a pundit, a thinker, etc. and his positions are increasingly consistent only with whatever serves Sullivan’s Id at the moment.

    Karl (1b4668)

  21. Can we put this rumor to rest finally? Palin’s daughter is 5 months pregnant; it’s not possible that she gave birth in April.

    Steverino (1dda08)

  22. First, I’m not a huge fan of McCain. I found Matt Welch’s book utterly persuasive. Anybody whose idea of reform is to evicerate the 1st Amendment’s protection of political speech is problematic in my book. Second, I would prefer McCain to Obama. Again, principle only goes so far when the practical effect is much, much worse.

    Why do I think that McCain is goind to lose? Because he is tied in states where he should be crushing Obama.

    Full disclosure: I worked for a couple years about a decade ago for an Alaskan politician. In so far as Stevens and company came to national prominance, it’s wasn’t because of their brilliance as much as their capacity to serve out the years. Alaska has to be chalked up as evidence that those who complain about the unequal representation and power of small states aren’t necessarily completely wrong. I’m worried that Palin won’t wear well and that already low expectations won’t be met.

    Fritz (a2e65a)

  23. I hope that Our Mr. Sullivan responds in some fashion.

    Whatever particular words he chooses, one thing you can bet on: He’s the real victim in all this.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  24. Can we put this rumor to rest finally?

    It barely even woke up.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  25. Sullivan: “we can all breathe a sigh of relief and move on.”

    — Maybe he can breathe a sigh of relief after he shits out that stick that’s up his ass.

    At least I hope that’s a stick.

    Icy Truth (a7ead4)

  26. Treacher, YMB.

    m (cf4670)

  27. […] press: Awful. Awful. Clear threats to business as usual in Washington DC: McCain/Palin? Patterico: taking on Andrew Sullivan and Privacy. He’s maaaaaad! Kim at Wizbang More differences: between Palin and Obama. Sisu: Strong Men, […]

    Sarah & Bristol meltdown the haters | The Anchoress (a05f7c)

  28. Treacher, YMB.

    IHTG! (I Hope That’s Good)

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  29. Sorry about the outage, folks. Apparently the server was experiencing a heavy load.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  30. Hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty is the democrats strategy. That way they are always right.

    Capitalist Infidel (c4ec46)

  31. it’s a direct hit, below the waterline. the good ship HMS Andy is going down! Er, I mean…

    Born Free (6d00ac)

  32. I demand that she release them no less then 5 years after John Kerry releases 100% of his navy records!

    Curtis (e21caf)

  33. THis is nothing really – read Peter Wehner’s devastating take down of this clown for his flip flop on Iraq ( its in the Commentary blog) – after reading that Sullivan should have hung himself if he had anything called shame.

    Apparently he doesnt.

    Naga (2b84ec)

  34. […] Patterico slams Sullivan for his hypocrisy. But for my money, it’s still small potatoes compared to Sullivan’s […]

    The Blog @ Spolitics » Atlantic.com to Palin: Prove He’s Your Baby (302b94)

  35. I’m amazed that there are still people who bother to read Sullivan. Who takes him seriously?

    b10621 (df882e)

  36. #29 Patterico:

    Apparently the server was experiencing a heavy load.

    I jes’ figgered it was a response from the O! campaign, supporting Sullivan’s position claim to privacy…

    EW1(SG) (625c58)

  37. Don’t like Sully’s position on an issue? Check in later in the week to find a new one that you may agree with. Seriously, the guy is a third rate hack. He does need to be called out and I think it’s good to see him called out for his dishonest hackery on this. He’ll no doubt be able to reconcile it with his “conservatism” in the next 2000 word screed teed up for tomorrow.

    Chris (da1e70)

  38. I know Ace is raging against Sullivan and wants bloggers to deny him any links.

    Perhaps many conservative bloggers can organize an effort to influence Google search results so that searches for Sullivan can result in something nasty, along the lines of:

    Derangement Caused by Aids

    I know the Google bomb isn’t as effective as it once was, but if bloggers can do whatever it takes with SEO, perhaps there can be some payback to the slimeball.

    PC14 (ec0516)

  39. Treacher, YMB.

    Oh, I just looked that up. Well, if that’s the way you feel, FOAD.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  40. Don’t like Sully’s position on an issue? Check in later in the week to find a new one that you may agree with. Seriously, the guy is a third rate hack.

    I deeply resent that implication and demand a retraction.

    Third Rate Hack (99243e)

  41. You’re right. He does give third rate hacks a bad name.

    Chris (da1e70)

  42. I wonder how all this is influencing the very youngest voters–the ones who saw Juno 2 or 3 times. Or may be seniors in high school, maybe getting ready to vote the first time. Or at least thinking about registering in the next year or two.

    Which party looks more sane to you, if you were an 18 year old? The one tearing apart a 17 year old girl?

    KateCoe (824f18)

  43. Not too long ago, people kept saying to leave John Edwards alone because he wasn’t running for public office. I guess those were the good old days.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  44. I would like Obama’s full medical records.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  45. […] I refuse to ever link him again, however I found this interesting comparison of Andrew Sullivan’s ever-shifting views on privacy on DU of all places: […]

    The Malcontent » Blog Archive » The Tortured Logic Of Sully (853bc8)

  46. Treacher writes:

    Not too long ago, people kept saying to leave John Edwards alone because he wasn’t running for public office. I guess those were the good old days.

    Like on Aug. 5th:

    I think the reason the MSM is leery of this story is because someone else has actually claimed to be the father of the child in question and because Elizabeth Edwards is extremely sick, and this story would be an horribly traumatizing question for a cancer patient to deal with. And there’s enough to this story already to bar any near-future public office for Edwards.

    So, yes, occasionally the press is humane. Sometimes, that’s a good thing.

    Apparently, traumatizing a pregnant 17-year-old is totally cool, however.

    Karl (1b4668)

  47. 39 Treacher
    No! It was supposed to be a humorous compliment. I stole “YMB” from Ace, where he compliments Karl Rove with that string (RYMB).
    I apparently did that hamhandedly, alas.

    m (cf4670)

  48. You didn’t highlight the funniest part of Milky Loads’ 2001 piece:

    “I know I’m not a hypocrite. Anyone who has bothered to read my writing with any care knows that as well. I know I’m not a moralizer.”

    What a pretentious, self-righteous, little phony Obama-boy is.

    Evil Old Rich White Guy (6dddf3)

  49. […] Patterico writes on Andrew Sullivan’s privacy hypocricy […]

    Amused Cynic » Blog Archive » Vileness update…. (691ade)

  50. Between this posting and some of the other postings I’ve read on Mr. Sullivan’s website, here’s the email I sent to him earlier today. Although I rather doubt that it will make his “Reader Reax” feature on his website:

    I have been a avid reader of your website for the last six years or so. Normally, I enjoy your out-of-the-box takes on political and cultural issues, but no more. Your relentless cheerleading aside, the sheer gall and zealotry you are presenting about Ms. Palin is just gob-smacking (to use one of your own appellations). Let me see if I understand this correctly:

    Regarding Andrew Sullivan: “I think a fair assessment of these tactics would be blackmail and intimidation. I ignored them as I have learned to ignore most such threats over the years. To answer them is to give legitimacy to the very premises of their argument: that the most intensely personal details of someone’s private life can and should be used for political purposes. The truth is: no-one’s legal, consensual, adult private life should be plundered and exposed for political purposes. I ignored the requests for comment because there was nothing to comment on. . . . I was asked to confirm a story presented anonymously, the only salient details of which I believed to be untrue. Why should I answer?” (May 31, 2001 — http://time-blog.com/daily_dish/main_article.php?artnum=20010531).

    Regarding Sarah Palin: “Why not kill this rumor with Palin’s medical records? A 43 year old woman’s pregnancy with a Downs Syndrome child would have been intensely monitored, and the records must be a mile long. Just release them, ok? If necessary in a closed room for reporters, just as with McCain. And we can all breathe a sigh of relief and move on.” (Sept 1, 2008 — http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/the-rebuttal.html).

    [the above taken from Patterico] So, basically, your privacy is fine and dandy, but hers (or, more to the point, the privacy of her minor child) is not. But, wait: I can hear your objection already. “That’s different, because she’s a public figure”. (As a side note, any time I hear someone say “But that’s different”, it’s a shorthand way of saying “Dammit, I just got caught by my own logic and have to find some way out of my own rhetoric”.)

    Regarding John Edwards: “I think the reason the MSM is leery of this story is because someone else has actually claimed to be the father of the child in question and because Elizabeth Edwards is extremely sick, and this story would be an horribly traumatizing question for a cancer patient to deal with. And there’s enough to this story already to bar any near-future public office for Edwards. So, yes, occasionally the press is humane. Sometimes, that’s a good thing.” (Aug 5, 2008 — http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/08/why-cover-the-e.html).

    Okay, that’s not directly on point; *you* are not saying that the Edward’s private life should be respected, but rather that *the press* is respecting their private life while you hand them approbation for their restraint.

    Regarding Obama’s daughters: “Lastly, I was gob-smacked by the Obamas’ decision to include their children in a soft-focus TV interview. I can barely credit that Michelle Obama agreed to this and that Barack Obama went along with it – it’s not what they would have done a few months ago. One great aspect of the Obama marriage has been the way in which they appear to have brought up their daughters as very regular girls, down-to-earth, normal and sane. Displaying them in this way was bad judgment and poor parenting. Fame is a toxin. Children deserve to be protected from it as much as they would from lead paint.” (Jul 10, 2008 — http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/07/the-hubris-of-o.html).

    Ah, maybe now I’m starting to see. It’s better for the children of a politician to be kept out of the limelight. Except when you think they shouldn’t. I’m sure that you will point out that Palin somehow “used” her children during her introduction. I haven’t watched the tape (and I’ll allow that I might be wrong), but I would bet that Obama had his children around when he announced his run for president. I do know that his children were involved in the Democratic convention on Monday night with their mother. But, I know — “that’s different.” Now that I have that understanding, let’s move on to Obama’s past connections and Palin’s

    Regarding Palin’s connection to the Alaskan Independence Party: “”I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.” The late Joe Vogler, founder of the Alaskan Independence Party. Sarah Palin and her husband are said to have been members from 1994 to 1996.” (Sept 2, 2008 — http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/alaska-first-al.html).

    Regarding Obama’s connection to Rev. Wright: “Look: it’s clear that Obama has kept contact with the kind of politics that Wright represents; but it is also apparent to any fair observer that Obama himself represents a clear and powerful break with the culture and language of permanent black victimhood and identity politics.” (Apr 29, 2008 — http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/04/rush-on-wright.html)

    Hmmm…. So, having a connection with a group that many might find offensive is okay, so long as a denunciation is issued. Someone alert the McCain camp — they’ll have a speech out inside of a few hours which will both satisfy your need for a strong, well worded speech *and* point out that the connection between Palin and the AK separatist group is both shorter in duration (2 years vs. ~20 years) and further in the past (over a decade vs a few months ago).

    As much as I have enjoyed your writing in the past, it has become increasingly pedantic and monotone in it’s unfailing support for Mr. Obama without any regard for the principles to which you claim such high allegiance. And I say that as someone who did not vote for Mr. Bush either time and did vote for Mr. Obama in the VA primary this year. I’ll try to stop back by in a few months; maybe by then some semblance of rationality will have revisited your writing and it will be enjoyable to read. Until then, I can summarize your future writing with a few sentences:

    McCain/Republicans bad.
    Obama good.

    With regrets,
    Casper

    Casper (003c13)

  51. […] own — even though his own rather publicly promiscuous “private” life demonstrated stunning hypocrisy — Sullivan is busy trying to dig up anything that he can on Palin, simply to push the idea […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Why We Need to Link Andrew Sullivan (b16ea8)

  52. […] Andrew Sullivan: “The truth is: no-one’s legal, consensual, adult private life should be plundered and exposed for political purposes.” […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Andrew Sullivan: Hey Everyone! Let’s Second-Guess Sarah Palin’s Decision to Have an Amniocentesis! (b16ea8)

  53. […] Andrew Sullivan: The truth is: no-one’s legal, consensual, adult private life should be plundered and exposed for political purposes. Now, here’s an approving link to a hack of Sarah Palin’s private […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Shorter Andrew Sullivan (b16ea8)

  54. […] help, Mr. Sullivan.  Or at least find less embarrassing ways to spend your […]

    Mission Accomplished, Mr. Sullivan! : Pursuing Holiness (e6211d)


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