Patterico's Pontifications

12/17/2009

Goldstein’s Losing Argument Supporting Sex Jokes About Sarah Palin’s Child

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:38 am



In a comment thread to a post trying to put dirt about me on Google — which doesn’t particularly worry because the source is now identified as a violence-threatening crank — Jeff Goldstein continues to defend David Letterman’s sex joke about Sarah Palin’s child. He doesn’t have the courage of his convictions to put his specific points in a full post, but rather makes his specific arguments in a mere comment. (His most recent post fails to set forth the same specific losing arguments.)

I respond to each point below, but I am astounded by the conclusion:

[F]rom a strategic standpoint, standing by and watching a bunch of screeching conservatives berate a comedian was troubling, because it reinforced what many Americans already believe about conservatives: that they are scolds who wish to legislate their own morality.

Got that? The real victim was not Sarah Palin’s children, but David Letterman — “berated” by “a bunch of screeching conservatives” upset at a prominent TV personality making a sex joke about Sarah Palin’s child.

One of Goldstein’s several failures of understanding is echoed several times in this passage: a fundamental inability to distinguish between a constitutional right to say stupid things (on one hand), and a non-existent “right” to say whatever the hell you want without fear of criticism.

With rights come responsibilities. If we say something that deserved to be criticized, we may get criticized. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that says you get to be free from criticism for saying stupid things.

Yet it is a common “defense” of stupid statements to say “well, I should have the right to say it.” Yes, and nobody is saying you don’t. We’re saying we have the right to call you stupid for saying it.

I’ll refer to this concept again and again, because this fallacious mode of argumentation absolutely permeates Goldstein’s defense.

With that in mind, let’s take his points one at a time.

1) I said: “now that we’re speaking to each other again — however roughly — I’d like to put it to him directly: how in the world did he defend David Letterman for joking about the statutory rape of 14-year-old Willow Palin?” Goldstein responds:

I didn’t. Letterman didn’t mention Willow. He mentioned Bristol.

No, he did not say Bristol. He said:

One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.

The daughter at the game was Willow, age 14.

Goldstein assumes that Letterman meant Bristol — as Letterman later claimed he had meant to refer to Bristol. But as his commenter Lying Pablo said at the time, Letterman might have been lying:

I’m gonna go with the latter [the concept that Letterman was lying when he said he was referring to Bristol]. [T]he former might have flown until after Monday’s A-Rod/slutty stewardess cracks and the ensuing OUTRAGE, he doubled down on Tues[da]y with the Spitzer joke. He (by which I mean the writers) couldn’t have not known on Tuesday that the kid in tow was Willow, not Bristol.

In any event, he did not say “Bristol” as claimed by Goldstein.

2) Next, I said: “What Goldstein didn’t seem to understand in that post is that nobody was arguing that comedians should be deprived of the right to make decisions — but that they should exercise those decisions responsibly. Specifically: teenaged children are off-limits when it comes to sexual jokes — even (especially?) teenaged daughters of political figures.” To which Goldstein responded:

Bristol had a kid out of wedlock. The baby daddy had already been on the talk show circuit. Bristol was a public figure.

Your idea of what is “responsible” differs from Letterman’s. And probably George Carlin’s. And Lenny Bruce’s. And Richard Pryor’s.

Don’t care. In this context, my idea of what is “responsible” is clear: comedians should not make sex jokes about people’s children. It wasn’t funny when Deb Frisch did it to Goldstein’s child, and it wasn’t funny when Letterman did it to Sarah Palin’s child.

And Goldstein never once addresses my point that what really supposedly made Bristol a “public figure” was 1) the fact that she didn’t get an abortion, and 2) the fact that a Big Lie pushed by the left suggested that her baby was really Sarah Palin’s. I think that accepting her as a “public figure” and thus fair game for jokes by late night comedians plays right into the hands of a false narrative being pushed by the left, as well as a desire to punish a girl for serving as a role model for young women who don’t want to sacrifice their babies on the altar of expedience.

3) I argued: “First, the girl at the game was Willow Palin, aged 14, and not Bristol. All the linguistic arguments in the world can’t paper over that simple fact.” To which Goldstein responded:

So? Letterman was making a joke, not doing a Discovery Channel special on the travels of the Palin family. I said at the time and I’ll repeat it again: Letterman didn’t have the first idea who Willow Palin was. The joke was about Bristol. He said Bristol. The behavior he was lampooning tracks with the public narrative of Bristol.

Again, he did not say Bristol. Goldstein has no idea whether Letterman knows who Willow is or not. I did, at the time Letterman made the joke. Why are we to assume Letterman didn’t?

Mocking Bristol could have tracked a broader (yet false) “public narrative” of mocking all of Sarah Palin’s children as trailer trash. Why are we to assume that the aging lecher Letterman would be above such a disgusting tactic?

As for language theory, I argue that it matters whether the actual girl at the game was Willow. If (as Pablo argued) Letterman knew the girl at the game was Willow, that should have caused him to modify his speech to specify which daughter he was joking about. Changing his speech in that way would be desirable, to avoid a hurtful effect on the listener Willow — even if he didn’t “intend” it. Knowing the likely reaction of a totally innocent listener, Letterman should not have phrased his joke in a way that it would suggest the real butt of the joke was a 14-year-old child.

This goes to the heart of the linguistic debate I have had with him: the fact that, under some circumstances, a speaker’s knowledge of the likely effect on a listener (here a 14-year-old girl) can justifiably cause a speaker to phrase comments in a different way. Otherwise, you’re defending making a sex joke about a child, knowing that a 14-year-old might take it as a totally uncalled-for joke about her.

4) I said: “Second, the idea that anyone could consider this joke funny (and while Goldstein said he didn’t find the joke funny, he nonetheless defended Letterman for telling it) ignores the fact that the equation of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy with “snowbilly trashiness” is just another Big Lie of the Left.” To which Goldstein responds:

Of course it is. That’s why the joke was made for this audience. It was lazy. So? Letterman has the right to tell bad, lazy jokes to an audience that is receptive to such jokes.

There’s that fallacy again: the confusion of First Amendment rights with the idea that one has the right to remain free from criticism for idiotic speech. Nobody is talking about yanking Letterman’s constitutional rights here. So the fact that he has such rights is irrelevant.

At the time, Goldstein wrote his post explicitly to “justify” Letterman’s joke. There is no justification for it. He has the right to say it, and we have the right to criticize him for it.

I have already addressed Goldstein’s passive acceptance of the Big Lie of the Left, as well as the way he ignores Bristol’s refusal to abort her child — and how that refusal is exploited by the left to make her seem trashy, rather than what she is: principled.

5) Finally, I said: “The argument, linguistically speaking, is simple. Sure, the intent of the speaker is what it is. We should strive to determine it. But when your philosophy of language impels you to utterly ignore the way your speech will be received — even when that speech has the effect of dragging a 14-year-old girl into the spotlight as the casual object of derision for a disgusting old joke-teller (who, as it happens, has some little morality issues of his own, as we later learned) — it turns out that the effect on the audience is not something to be ignored after all.” To which Goldstein responds:

a) I have never said the effect on an audience should necessarily be ignored. That’s rhetorical strategy. Covered this in the Hot Air piece. Likewise, nothing in intentionalism “impels you to utterly ignore the way your speech will be received”. Nothing.

But you have suggested it again and again, with sanctimonious lectures on how conservatives CANNOT modify their message to guard against a poor reception by the audience — or else THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON!

b) Bristol Palin, again, is not a 14-year old girl

Willow Palin, again, is.

c) Nothing about intentionalism leads me to “justify a very public verbal assault on a 14-year-old girl”. I justified Letterman’s right as a late-night comic in the US to do a joke in a monologue.

Yet again: a right to do a joke does not equal a right to do jokes without criticism.

This is the famous argumentation that is supposed to leave lesser mortals quivering in their boots? Conflating First Amendment rights with the non-existent right to be free from criticism? Insisting on the importance of SPEAKING YOUR MIND AND IGNORING THE LISTENER’S LIKELY REACTION — even if an innocent 14-year-old girl is made the butt of a sexual joke told by an aging national comedian?

I am not impressed by this logic — nor should any rational person be.

250 Responses to “Goldstein’s Losing Argument Supporting Sex Jokes About Sarah Palin’s Child”

  1. I’m going to summarily delete any comment that whines that this debate is uninteresting, or something along those lines. If your comment contains any hint of such a sentiment it will get nuked.

    You don’t join a group discussion to piss on it. If you don’t like the topic, there’s always the next post or the next blog. I post about what I find interesting. If you happen to find it interesting as well, how lucky. If not, move on.

    This discussion will not last forever, as it will not interest me forever. But for now, it does.

    Patterico (64318f)

  2. Trashy people support aborting this. Untrashy people are principled enough to let him live. Principled untrashy people admit they made a mistake.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  3. I think you are being very generous in your use of the word logic.

    I find it interesting that so many of his commenters disagreed with him openly on this, and tonight he’s taken note of who is commenting here and who is remaining neutral, if not comfortable.

    Not that he’s accusing anyone of betrayal because that is not his intent.

    It'sReallyLate (c2c6c2)

  4. what’s ironic is that if anyone mentions Goldstein’s child, even in some non-direct, tangential way (like, for instance, “geez, the way you threaten people at the drop of a hat with violence, you must be a real pleasure to live with IRL”) he goes off in a nuclear fashion. However, other people’s children, and their real life jobs, family and friends are all fair game if you cross him. I know this from experience.

    However, it’s not too tough to play him, because he’s not as smart as he thinks he is 😉

    docweasel (b970ac)

  5. Yup, he’s full of irony all right.

    I know he’s not as smart as he thinks, but this doesn’t even seem like ego, more ‘feelings of grandeur’ in a scary way.

    I really did used to enjoy him and took him (and his commenters, many of whom are no longer there) at his word about just being picked on.

    But I’ve been doing some research on my own and yikes! Yes, I have way too much spare time and I could and should use it more productively.

    Still, the whiny is pretty off the charts. Along with plenty of persecution and anti-semitic complaints.

    It'sReallyLate (c2c6c2)

  6. I know this isn’t germane (and a lot of my comments have been tangential, sorry), but if he was sexualizing Bristol, does that mean his joke was defensible? It still seems offensive to me. Bristol was just some politician’s kid. She was also a child. If she wasn’t, we wouldn’t have been so interested in her pregnancy, but she sinned and that makes it OK since none of us had sexuality before 18 (or 14).

    On point, after this story broke, Letterman made another joke about keeping Eliot Spitzer away (from having sex with ) Palin’s “daughter”. He knew his last joke was taken as against a 14 year old, and felt no need to specify what daughter was the target of molestation in his Spitzer joke?

    Again, it seems pretty messed up to make the joke about an 18 year old, anyway.

    I also just don’t see why it should matter what Letterman meant to do if he’s a sane adult. We can hold him responsible for the impact of what he says by recognizing his basic obligation to consider his words. Employees when over this joke, he knew he was dissing a politician’s kid, and he should have been more careful.

    What’s the moral theory where he didn’t have that proactive preemptive obligation?

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  7. I also just don’t see why it should matter what Letterman meant to do if he’s a sane adult. We can hold him responsible for the impact of what he says by recognizing his basic obligation to consider his words. Employees when over this joke, he knew he was dissing a politician’s kid, and he should have been more careful.

    What’s the moral theory where he didn’t have that proactive preemptive obligation?

    I don’t think Jeff is really arguing these points, although I think they’re valid, fwiw. His POV seems to be Letterman is a comedian, his joke was spot on for his intended audience, who believed Bristol was part of the joke.

    When there was outrage, his POV seemed to be ‘Hey, then the joke’s on you, it still worked for Letterman’. The fact that he (Letterman) was now joking about a 14 year old, is not relevant to Dave’s intent you see. It was a joke, and now it worked on two levels, his original intended audience and the bonus of the outraged audience.

    I’m not trying to be disingenuous, but I really don’t think Jeff is making any sort of argument.

    Of course, I’m no Intentionalism Linguist, so I could be wrong!

    It'sReallyLate (c2c6c2)

  8. Jeff Goldstein is bug#$%^ crazy.

    Aw shoot, “bug#$%^” is a codeword because Buggsy Siegel was Jewish and Goldstein is Jewish. Aw shucks again, I said “Goldstein” and that’s a Jewish-sounding name so that’s a codeword too. Darn it, darn it, darn it ….

    nk (df76d4)

  9. it’s really late, you’re not being disingenuious at all. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  10. And I’ve already said this at Jeff’s site: Police, lawyers and judges (actually everybody involved in criminal justice) see people, all the time, who have nothing else to than work out in the gym all day. And they send them to a place where they have even less to do and can work out more.

    nk (df76d4)

  11. And just for that, I am not going to accept an invitation I got to a Chanukkah party. I’m going to spend the evening with my mother, instead.

    Dammit, I said “mother” and that’s a codeword because of all the stereotypes about Jewish mothers. Maybe I am an anti-Semite.

    nk (df76d4)

  12. I think that’s the heart of what bugs me about Jeff’s position: he insists, repeatedly, that Letterman said Bristol.

    Jeff, lemme help you out here, pal: He NEVER said “Bristol”! Not once. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

    If Jeff were insisting that Letterman meant Bristol and not Willow, fine. We could argue that point, and it would probably be hard to divine the intent of Letterman. We could speculate, we could ascribe motives, etc., but in the end, all we would have is conjecture.

    But Jeff isn’t saying what Letterman meant. He’s telling us what Letterman said…which is something that Letterman didn’t say. JG is making himself look like a hopelessly irrational rube by sticking to this “Letterman said ‘Bristol'” line of reasoning.

    Crush Liberalism (2b09b0)

  13. What do you do to earn you daily bread, serr8d?

    nk (df76d4)

  14. I don’t see any reason for you not enforce your rule about people who disparage your job, on your own site, in this instance, Patterico.

    nk (df76d4)

  15. We dont joke about raping women, We dont joke about raping children, we dont joke about the imagined sex lives of women, we dont joke about the imagined sex lives of children

    Jeff is sinking lower and lower into turdom

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  16. Don’t worry so much about me, nk. I earn more than you.

    What you should worry about is your friend, Pat Frey. You should proactively put together a group and try to do an intervention.

    Trust me, it would be for his own good.

    serr8d (b66d8a)

  17. serr8d, did you copy and paste that? You diiiiid, didnt you? The LA Times is the 5th largest paper in the country, and they’ve been unable to pull the stunt you, internet crackpot, are attempting. This dude lives off what you’re spewing. He wants to represent the Harangues that expose the basic problem. Jeff’s basic problem is that he’s coarse beyond understanding of decency.

    And you aren’t hurting his cause.

    It seems like we have to start somewhere artificial with our morality. It’s not a priori and we shouldn’t let ethics systems become sin pacts. Ad hoc? Of course. so if you’re not part of the basic culture, it’s really hard to develop and ethical system that others can work with.

    this idea that morality is only established after scaling the Mt Olympus of psychologies is highly compatible with assholish behavior. This isn’t a coincidence.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  18. 17.Don’t worry so much about me, nk. I earn more than you.

    But you like to swim is sewers, which is what Jeff’s and Darleen’s site is these days.

    nk (df76d4)

  19. Those comments are actually three separate comments that I left last night, stitched together. But they are my comments.

    Oh, should I enlist the help of the LA Times, is that what you’re implying? Great idea! I’ll bet there’s several people there who would be very, very, very interested in Patrick Frey’s ongoing meltdown.

    Again. The problem is NOT Jeff G, or me. You know this, in your heart.

    Help the man Patrick Frey. Do SOMETHING!

    serr8d (b66d8a)

  20. nk

    sewers are somewhat useful and actually perform a vital function…..

    Jeff on the other hand…

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  21. Serr8d, your nick is some kind of reference to knives? Are you a knife mogul industrialist?

    I’ll probably be K-Lined if I keep feeding trolls. Do you have an argument about why Letterman’s comments are not indefensible. I think they are so obviously so that if a system of morality say they aren’t, that system is debunked. You don’t need Jeff’s system here. What do you think?

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  22. If Jeff Goldstein did not have his cesspool of a site and his fantasies of being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, what would he have? That’s an existentialistic question.

    Oh, darn it, again. I said “existentialistic” and it’s a codeword because there were Jewish existenstialist philosophers. Just tattoo a swastica on my forehead.

    nk (df76d4)

  23. Been reading most of the comments on most of these Goldstein threads (and over at PW too), w/o a word, and have reached a few conclusions–

    *clears throat*

    1. I like both PW and PP but Jeff’s oversensitive for hearing “Jew” when “moneygrubbing” was said, and an oversensitive jerk for trying to attach the former to the latter out loud. Don’t even know that I agree that Jeff is moneygrubbing but if he were, that’s a personality trait that a lot of people share and mentioning it doesn’t attach to “Jew.” That’s JEFF stereotyping, not Patterico.

    2. Pretty sure Jeff was joking with the “gonna break their knees” comments, including the one about Scott Jacobs (sorry, Scott). Bad joke? Yep. Real threat? Nope. Could be wrong and if I am, it was right to ban him.

    3. Both Jeff and Patterico are making sense from their own points of view about Letterman’s vile series of jokes. (BTW, Jeff is wrong that Letterman said Bristol – he didn’t – but I think he meant Bristol. That doesn’t make the joke OK.)

    4. Patterico really, really needs to let this argument – and the many posts on Goldstein – go. It’s taking on the smell of “admit you’re wrong or I’ll never stop writing,” and the places where that ends up are rarely pretty. Someone made an amusing comment a day or two ago about strawberries and geometric logic. Teh funny, but Patterico isn’t really like that. Howevah if he keeps this up he might make himself sound like it, especially if he keeps writing about a person who he just rebanned.

    I know # 4 breaks your rule up top (you’re always complaining people don’t read your posts carefully – oh, we do, we just ignore the instructions cuz we feel like it :) ) so if you want to delete it feel free. At least I said it.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  24. I’m not saying Jeff Goldstein violates all the unwanted puppies at the SPCA. But I bet he thinks about it!

    coverdale (c83bf3)

  25. Dustin, I was exactly on the opposite of Jeff G. on the Letterman issue. When Letterman was caught cheating on his wife four months later, I did an obligatory schadenfreude dance.

    Why, again, are we revisiting this old argument? Could it possibly be because Patrick Frey is grasping and clawing for anything with which he can use to bludgeon Jeff G. ?

    Doesn’t that unnerve you?

    serr8d (b66d8a)

  26. When LA County starts laying off ADAs, don’t you think they’ll keep the best and the brightest?

    You’ll be left at the station when that train pulls away. All for lack of proper focus and concentration on what’s important, Pat.

    This illustrates nicely why Jeff and his sheeple have such a hard time with other folks in these interwebs.

    Note the disciplined, rigorous approach to the argument. They manage to stay on target always because it’s the issue that’s important. If everyone else would stop with the personal attacks, you can see they clearly win on merit. Or repetition, which is practically the same thing.

    It'sReallyEarly (c2c6c2)

  27. I have always had a slightly different take on the Letterman thing.

    A doctor can write a prescription for any legal drug for a patient. However, with that “right” comes the reponsibility of ensuring that the patient is not allergic to it (e.g., one of my family is lethally allergic to penicillin). Doctors KNOW that there are members of the population with such allergies.

    Even if Letterman was truthful about his specific ignorance, he cannot possibly make a straight-faced claim that he did not KNOW that Palin had other daughters younger than Bristol. Particularly with such a nasty sexual joke, he had an absolute responsibility to ensure that the Palion daughter at the baseball game was of age.

    Would a doctor be able to defend a drug reaction death by saying he did not KNOW the patient was allergic to penicillin?

    jim2 (6482d8)

  28. noyk, whether he meant to hurt people or not, that’s such a corrosive way to discuss philosophy and politics that banning if mandatory if you don’t want to drive off the good commenters. And frankly, I think he’s as credible a threat as Deb. He’s just too graphic in his fantasies.

    It never made much sense to me mad at that animal, Ms. Frisch. Can you imagine what her day, today, is going to be like? Lonely, angry, scared. The more Jeff was kidding about threats the dumber he is as a communicator, and the less Jeff was kidding, the worse his life is. Either way, though, it’s flagrantly incompatible with discussion.

    Your #3 is succinct and fair.

    Serr8d,

    Unnerve? What? Not really. I am passionately on one side… no hiding that. But I’m enjoying this. It and coffee is going to help me as I outline for finals. I’m grateful that I’m anonymous to the Jeff faction, that clearly wants to take arguments to the IRL side of things.

    About timeliness… I think there’s a broader discussion of what the GOP should be. Should we moderate our message, etc. I haven’t followed this well, but I thought that was the basis You’re telling me that it’s deeply ridiculous to have a back and forth on blogs, months apart (though really, it’s obviously been more ongoing), but you’re completely sane to threaten someone’s job over such a behavior. That is not fair.

    Anyway, I asked you if you had an argument on this, and I still am curious. I think you want to talk about Letterman’s joke.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  29. Letterman is a creep who has an audience which thinks nastiness is humor. If not for his enablers, like Goldstein, CBS would have shipped him back to Indiana long ago.

    nk (df76d4)

  30. jim2, I keep trying to make that argument, and you did so much better than me. Others seem to think this is outside the parameters of what Patterico is criticizing intentionalism for. But to me, this obligation applies to David.

    His product was harmful.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  31. Why not just recognize that you and Jeff are just different kinds of morons and that you’ll never agree on this?

    imdw (de68b8)

  32. because neither of them are morons, and their philosophies aren’t all that different?

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  33. Dustin, he is yesterday’s news and out of the mainstream. He’s done, finished; an old, broken man with very little substance and zero credibility.

    (Wait…are we talking about Letterman now, right? )

    serr8d (b66d8a)

  34. Well, I agree with you on that, Serr8d. Don’t you think this is a good way to discuss this problem?

    Rush Limbaugh said “I want him to fail”, implying that Obama sees success as something very contrary to a good result for us. Some read this as meaning that Limbaugh wanted Obama to damage our country greatly, so that this pain for elect Republicans.

    Why should be give Rush credit for what he meant (I agree strongly with him, btw, and disagree with Patterico), when he knew how he reacted when democrats cheered Bush’s failures in the economy and war effort. Remember, this isn’t a statement about censorship or Rush being the GOP’s leader… it’s just a criticism of someone’s management of their message.

    this one is hard to argue, because a lot of people’s brains cheat when they know what they want said about Obama. So we need to discuss the root logic, using other examples.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  35. This argument here:

    “No, he did not say Bristol. He said:

    One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.

    The daughter at the game was Willow, age 14.”

    Dumb.

    imdw (25f8a9)

  36. People forget the process that gets dialogue on the air – it is written and reviewed not only by Dave but by the legal staff, the producers

    it was a calculated delivery – letterman has writers w/o it he would be just another Whole Foods produce manager supervising Jeff

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  37. “Pretty sure Jeff was joking with the “gonna break their knees” comments, including the one about Scott Jacobs (sorry, Scott). ”

    You’re just wrong, no one you know, and if you spend enough time reading the comments around the comments I linked, you’ll find that the threats are part of a proud philosophy that if you say something that offends Goldstein, he’ll beat up you up.

    The internet wouldn’t be such a cesspool if there were consequences for certain behaviors. Instead, we have tucked away blowhards like Scott Jacobs going after me with abandon from the safety of their computer nooks.

    These people feel quite superior until the real world intrudes.

    He is quite serious about this. Read through some of the entire threads around the linked comments.

    Patterico (64318f)

  38. Jeff G is correct in that there is nothing new to say about the Letterman episode; nor is there anything he need defend. It is Letterman’s first amendment right to say whatever joke he pleases regardless of how distasteful any of us find it. As Jeff noted, it was lazy, in poor taste, relied on stereotypes held by a particular segment of the population, and was indeed meant to demean Palin as well as elicit a predictable response that could later feed into yet another predictable exercise in ridicule of “the intolerant right”…

    Letterman’s biggest error was the flawed assumption on his part, or on the part of his writers, that it was Bristol in attendance with Sarah that night instead of Willow. Since CBS nor his advertisers had any problem with it, the only ones who could hold him accountable for it vis-a-vis taste, and he ate enough crow for the Palin’s to accept his apology; who are we to decide what he is “allowed” to say?

    Like it or not it’s his boorish right…

    Oh, and the whole, “Jeff threatens people in flashes of anger!”, is no different than a lot of the smack talk floating around the internet. It appears to be a red herring to me, meant to impute some element of bad character to JeffG in the same way that the charge of Racism based on a long ago “gotcha” quote was supposed to tar RSM.

    I personally have been threatened a lot by anonymous internet supermen. And Jeff uses his real name, as do I, so the idea that he “gets away with” routinely bullying people is patently absurd. And in some instances he’s merely giving as he got-so to speak…

    I wish you could put this all behind you, as there are bigger fish to fry. And, since this all seems to be an outgrowth of an argument that began when you declared Obama to be “a good man”, made it your mission for a time to take to task any who declared their wish for him to fail in implementing his legislative agenda, and folks like Jeff took issue with it igniting a cross-blog flame war that led directly to where we are today, I humbly suggest that you atart the chain of apologies by admitting thatthere was nothing wrong with wanting to see Obama fail at achieveing his political and legislative agenda. Perhaps Jeff will respond in kind, especially if you un-ban him for good.

    I may be mistaken and off-base, but I say this with all due respect and sincerity, and as one that has read here for some time, but only commented sporadically. I’d like to see you fellows bury the hatchet, in the metaphorical sense of course, and get back to sending the volleys down range where they belong, instead of engaging in this fratricidal friendly fire…

    Regards,
    Bob

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  39. Bob

    Ahh the first amendment does not mean you can say anything

    never ever did

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  40. Y tu mama tambien. (Which means, And your mother also.)

    I like the sound of that entire phrase, but it is a mistake to say it to a man born in South America.

    I remember being in my early 20’s (1986) and living in San Francisco; all the people I knew there were black and it was the first time I was hanging around with black people. I surprised to learn that black people said, “What’s up n*****?” as a common greeting. Some would even greet me by saying, “What’s up n*****?”

    I only used the above saying once, but I could tell that the man I addressed it too, some one I had been friends with, partied with, was deeply offended. The only reason why he didn’t try to attack me was because I was a lot bigger than he was.

    So, I think it safe to say, that unless your intention is to insult, saying either of the above phrases is a bad idea. No matter what your intentions are. No matter how good your intentions are, what may be a perfectly pleasant greeting may not be received that way in a different context. An innocuous phrase when said to music, may well cause grievous insult, even if you are trying to be funny.

    When I have offended people they tend to NOT be interested in my intentions, and they don’t care what I ‘meant’.

    Jack (e383ed)

  41. Though a fan of Goldstein, I have to disagree with his stance on this. Letterman DID NOT mention Bristol by name. And, if he is half as politically aware as I think he might be, he knew it was Willow at the game. I think he saw an opportunity to bash Palin by proxy by using her kid…BUT…by not naming which daughter he gave himself cover; plausible deniability, as it were. Or so he thought.

    Kids of politicians, pundits, bloggers…or ANYONE should be off limits. Jeff had an experience himself regarding hiw own son a while back that should have given him pause.

    beedubya (46b990)

  42. Eric,

    Then just what does the first amendment mean, vis-a-vis speech.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am1

    Admittedly, I’m no attorney like many here, only a simple man. But in stating that congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech it seems pretty clear that one can say what they wish; indeed that right seems to have been extended to images as well, since foul t-shirt sales and wearing has been upheld in my former state, the people’s republic of Maryland, no matter how vile the phrase…

    Mark well thoughm that I never said that in turn others did not enjoy the right to tell me either how wrong I am or what an ass I may be for what I chose to exercise my right saying…

    A reality Mr. Patterico states clearly in this post…

    Regards

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  43. People are generally far kinder to this little country’s skeezey political class and their skeezey families than they deserve I think.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  44. “It is Letterman’s first amendment right to say whatever joke he pleases regardless of how distasteful any of us find it.”

    Did you read the post? One of my main points is what a red herring this argument is.

    Bob, from this one comment you seem like a decent sort. I haven’t combed through the threads at PW to see if you are leaving similar entreaties over there, but I doubt it. And if you are, they are being rejected.

    “I humbly suggest that you atart the chain of apologies by admitting thatthere was nothing wrong with wanting to see Obama fail at achieveing his political and legislative agenda.”

    There is no need to “admit” it. I proudly oppose Obama’s political and legislative agenda, and want him to fail at enacting it, and I support anyone who clearly says that. Anyone who misunderstands that doesn’t understand what I was arguing in March. And why should they, when my message was serially misrepresented by the man you’re defending.

    Patterico (64318f)

  45. “Admittedly, I’m no attorney like many here, only a simple man. But in stating that congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech it seems pretty clear that one can say what they wish.”

    Within certain limits. For example, if you drive to a rival gang territory with a fellow gang member and yell “Shoot him!” upon seeing a rival, and one of your pals does shoot him and kill him, your First Amendment defense will fail when you are prosecuted for murder for aiding and abetting.

    Patterico (64318f)

  46. “And Jeff uses his real name, as do I, so the idea that he “gets away with” routinely bullying people is patently absurd.”

    Deb Frisch is her real name. Use of real names does not mean you are not psychotic or responsible.

    Patterico (64318f)

  47. Thank you for entertaining my comment. I don’t make a habit of naysaying, nor defending, authors here or at any site. If I misunderstood you in March, I am sorry; I read a lot of material daily, and am guilty of skimming sometimes. I seemed to recall you being very hard on Limbaugh for being so vocal about wanting Obama to fail, and that stuck with me; not a justification, but an explanation…

    Regards

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  48. All of this friendly fire is teh suck.

    JD (c7b6c7)

  49. Nuke me Please, you pontificating, ignoramus. You are completely out of your depth when it comes to debating.

    “I’m going to summarily delete any comment that whines that this debate is uninteresting, or something along those lines. If your comment contains any hint of such a sentiment it will get nuked.”

    Gee that’s a fair forum.

    FrankM (2352be)

  50. “Friendly”?

    Did you notice who starts shooting, every single time?

    Patterico (64318f)

  51. Comment by imdw — 12/17/2009 @ 6:16 am

    To the left, it’s dumb to use facts in an argument. Feelings are more important, and the left feels Palin (and her family) deserve what ever they get.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  52. I’d like to see a discussion of the post, anyway, JD. Any thoughts on that?

    Patterico (64318f)

  53. This is why I have not been commenting, which is prolly a net positive for all of you 😉

    JD (c7b6c7)

  54. Oh, and thanks for outlining a particular exception to the first amendment. Even as a layperson I could never believe that it’s provision could be twisted for use as a justification for an act like the one you described; it clearly intends to cover public pronouncements.

    Abd when I mentioned the part about using a real name I meant that anyone who made or followed through on any plausible threats could be easily apprehended and brought to justice.

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  55. FrankM,

    Your comment stays. I’m not deleting comments that say I’m wrong. I’m deleting comments (actually none so far) that come onto the thread just to proclaim it uninteresting or a waste of time.

    You make a fine argument on the merits.

    Actually, let’s be honest: you don’t. You just make a declaration with no support. That’s kind of the definition of sucking at debating.

    Patterico (64318f)

  56. I think Palin supporters are coming from every bit as much a feelings-intensive place as her detractors really. Maybe more, even.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  57. The First Amendment applies to government suppressing speech. Originally to the federal, but then it was extended to the states, and then to private civil actions enforceable in court (New York Times vs. Sullivan, libel). So far it has not been held to create an obligation on individuals to put up with anything somebody else has to say. So far.

    nk (df76d4)

  58. Instead, we have tucked away blowhards like Scott Jacobs going after me with abandon from the safety of their computer nooks.

    Wait wait wait…

    HE threatened ME, and *I* am the one going after him?

    What the fuck?

    Seriously?

    Holy shit, the man *is* insane.

    Then just what does the first amendment mean, vis-a-vis speech.

    Then how about this… Go to Washington DC, and stand in front of the white house, and talk about how you’d like to kill the President. I suspect that in short order you’ll have a few guys there who really don’t agree with your right to “say anything”.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  59. Comment by Patterico — 12/17/2009 @ 7:26 am

    Ouch. That’s gonna leave a bruise

    quasimodo (4af144)

  60. Nuke me Please, you pontificating, ignoramus.

    There’s no comma after “pontificating” in the sentence, nor is the “p” in “please” capitalized here.

    I mean, I hate to be the grammar police here, but if you’re going to call someone an “ignoramus”, it helps to not be one yourself.

    Irony: it’s not just for breakfast anymore.

    Crush Liberalism (9d23b9)

  61. In my opinion, Johnny Carson set the standard for late night television hosts. On many levels, Letterman fails to meet that standard. As a guest host on the Tonight Show, he showed some talent however when he got his own show, that seemed to disappear. Anyone who thinks it is OK to joke about the statutory rape of a 14 year old girl by a star baseball player is a sick MFer in my humble opinion. It is what I have come to expect from Letterman. It has been 20 years since I have watched his program. I see no reason to change that habit.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (57cae1)

  62. And the only reason Letterman is not in court, against either Alex Rodriguez or Willow Palin through her guardian, defending a libel case he would lose by directed verdict, is because neither plaintiff chose to bring it.

    nk (df76d4)

  63. I used to be interested in your thoughts and comments about things that things which were topical, i.e. LATimes slant. Now, this blog fighting is really boring. And your semantics fight is bad for your rep, whether you win or lose.

    As I said before, racism doesn’t mean jack shit any more. And trying to accuse or defend the positions is completely fruitless. Give it a rest. This is not a trial. Nor is it a very good defense in terms of free speech.

    You want us now to turn our attention to a new post that you made. Good luck, Cheetah Woods.

    FrankM (2352be)

  64. This is why I have not been commenting, which is prolly a net positive for all of you

    I’m very much beginning to suspect that you’re right, JD.

    You have no idea how much that bothers me.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  65. You’re mean as a snake and twice as dumb, David Letterman. Go suck eggs you … stupid jokey joker.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  66. If I missed A-Rod telling Letterman off, BTW, forgive me. But I’m glad we chased him away from Cubs Park.

    nk (df76d4)

  67. Nuke me Please, you pontificating, ignoramus.

    There’s no comma after “pontificating” in the sentence, nor is the “p” in “please” capitalized here.

    I mean, I hate to be the grammar police here, but if you’re going to call someone an “ignoramus”, it helps to not be one yourself.

    Irony: it’s not just for breakfast anymore.

    Hey that’s a great comeback. WTF? Wow, I’m impressed by your reading skills. I assume you missed the point entirely. Dream on teenaged queen.

    FrankM (2352be)

  68. This is why I have not been commenting, which is prolly a net positive for all of you

    I’m very much beginning to suspect that you’re right, JD.

    You have no idea how much that bothers me.

    I do not follow. Explain, please?

    JD (c7b6c7)

  69. whaaaa?

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  70. Hey that’s a great comeback. WTF? Wow, I’m impressed by your reading skills. I assume you missed the point entirely. Dream on teenaged queen.

    Comment by FrankM — 12/17/2009 @ 7:44 am

    Intentionalism means “It’s your fault that I’m an illiterate, inarticulate jackass”.

    Right, FrankM?

    nk (df76d4)

  71. […] Way News: Palin pokes fun at herself at journalists’ dinner Patterico’s Pontifications: Goldstein’s Losing Argument Supporting Sex Jokes About Sarah Palin’s Child Dave Cook, CS Monitor: Sarah Palin: What she said at Gridiron dinner Frugal Café Blog Zone: […]

    Keepin’ It Classy… Left-Wing Loon Throws Tomato at Sarah Palin in Mall of America, Hits Cop « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  72. I do not follow.

    I know you don’t.

    And that’s why it bothers me.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  73. Go to Washington DC, and stand in front of the white house, and talk about how you’d like to kill the President.

    Scott,

    I’m pretty sure that it is actually illegal to threaten the Presidents life; but again, I’m no attorney. And I also believe that in some states a credible threat is also actionable. But, I’m not sure that internet smack talk, that you reciprocated, would be considered a credible threat. But, I’ve been known to be wrong before…

    Now if we speak of aircraft, rockets, or matters relating to aerospace engineering, there I have a shield of absolute infallibility akin to the Pope’s!

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  74. I am not so good with the oblique. If you have something to say to me, please do.

    JD (c7b6c7)

  75. You’re just wrong, no one you know, and if you spend enough time reading the comments around the comments I linked, you’ll find that the threats are part of a proud philosophy that if you say something that offends Goldstein, he’ll beat up you up…..He is quite serious about this. Read through some of the entire threads around the linked comments.

    Comment by Patterico — 12/17/2009 @ 6:39 am

    Fair enough. Apologies to you and to Scott Jacobs if I’m wrong **goes to read more at links**

    no one you know (196ed7)

  76. Is this a deep well from which one can draw refreshing lessons about human kindness?

    Not so much, no. There’s a certain humorless rudeness what prevails really.

    oh. That’s too bad.

    Tomorrow is another day.

    Friday if you want to be specific.

    Just so.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  77. I think Scott is upset that people are not criticizing the threats made against him.

    Patterico (52402d)

  78. I’m pretty sure that it is actually illegal to threaten the Presidents life; but again, I’m no attorney.

    But… But how can that be? “Shall make no law” means it can’t be illegal, right?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  79. As happyfeet once said, teh intranets, they are grumpy.

    JD (c7b6c7)

  80. At times one has to wade in and do hand to hand combat in the muck, as our host is with this JG fellow.

    At other times one can say, as I’m doing now, that when someone needs to give long explanations why it is “OK”* to say such trash, they have forgotten the forrest for the trees.

    In civilized societies people do not think it is humorous or entertaining to make “jokes” as Letterman did. If JG or someone wants to argue that what Letterman said was simply “typical” of television shows, perhaps they would be correct, if similar examples were seen commonly elsewhere. But the bottom line would be that civilization is getting harder to find, not that Letterman is “justified”* in what he said.

    “OK” and “justified” carry the meaning that there is a moral appropriateness, not just that it is commonly done.

    Some “stone age” cultures regularly practiced killing people that offended them and then retribution was required. I dare someone to tell me that murder is “OK” because it was common.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  81. Mr. Frey, about those Jeff Goldstein’s an angry threatening violent-y guy comments from your post below?

    I have to say that I can’t help but agree with you. In the last couple of days it’s become harder and harder to read all of those disturbing posts Goldstein put up . It’s like being on the interstate in an ice storm and seeing a chain-reaction collision happen in front of you, watching all those cars pile-up, knowing you’re going to be sucked into it and there’s nothing you can do to make it stop. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones that go into nauseating detail about just what it is that he plans to do Scott Jacobs, and how he’s going to do it and how good it’s going to feel? It’s just sick, sick stuff –like torture porn or something. Jeff’s obsession with getting over on those who’ve offended him shows he is deeply disturbed, deranged even.

    Now self-righteous indignation? Something completely different. Entirely ordinary. Totally worth obsessing over. Ten, twelve, however many posts it takes –it’s all cool.

    Schreiber (a3afa6)

  82. Hey that’s a great comeback. WTF? Wow, I’m impressed by your reading skills. I assume you missed the point entirely. Dream on teenaged queen.

    Comment by FrankM — 12/17/2009 @ 7:44 am

    Intentionalism means “It’s your fault that I’m an illiterate, inarticulate jackass”.

    Right, FrankM?

    Comment by nk — 12/17/2009 @ 7:54 am

    I can see by this response that you can’t judge a sentence by its words However let me be clear, O sycophant nk. BTW, (in case you don’t understand, that means By The Way, which by the way means pretty much nothing, as does most of your puerile BS on this blog). And don’t let me forget the original griper of punctuation, Crush Liberalism.

    Now to the post (corrected) that so offended your sensibilities:

    “Nuke me please, you pontificating ignoramus. You are completely out of your depth when it comes to debating.

    ‘ “I’m going to summarily delete any comment that whines that this debate is uninteresting, or something along those lines. If your comment contains any hint of such a sentiment it will get nuked.”

    Gee that’s a fair forum.”‘

    There you are. I stand by the statement. Regardless of the argument taking place, this preamble to a comments blog pretty much biases the entire discussion. And as I have noticed in other discussions here, nk seems to be a waterboy for most of what Patterico and some others say.

    And finally nk:

    Intentiionalism: the theory that a literary work should be judged in terms of the author’s intentions.

    Intentions, not punctuation.

    FrankM (2352be)

  83. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones that go into nauseating detail about just what it is that he plans to do Scott Jacobs, and how he’s going to do it and how good it’s going to feel? It’s just sick, sick stuff –like torture porn or something. Jeff’s obsession with getting over on those who’ve offended him shows he is deeply disturbed, deranged even.

    Oh please link me to this. You can e-mail them to sjacobs DOT patterico DOT blog AT gmail DOT com

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  84. My mistake Scott,

    The illegality is limited to written threats.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/718/usc_sec_18_00000871—-000-.html

    So I stand corrected on the legality issue, but again, I’m no lawyer like many here are.

    Indeed, I don’t want to “jack” this thread but would appreciate any of the law professionals weighing in on the illegality of threats and any stipulation of the credibility of thise same threats; against the President or otherwise…

    That said Scott, why are you taking such a combative and adversarial tone with me? I’ve wronged you in no way that I am aware of…

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  85. I would note that I have always believed that Letterman knew full well that Bristol was not the daughter at the Yankees game with her mother.

    Otherwise, if he had thought Bristol were there, he would have said something like:

    “… [knocked up] again. This time by ….”

    The absence of “again” implies that it would have been the first pregnancy of that daughter.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  86. Scott,

    Schreiber was being sarcastic.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  87. The absence of “again” implies that it would have been the first pregnancy of that daughter.

    Maybe Andrew Sullivan is a writer for Letterman?

    :)

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  88. One of you PW regulars please go remind your Duke Nukem of intentionalist language theory that he needs a timeout to bathe and to feed his cat.

    I’m getting really worried about his cat.

    coverdale (4b0c6a)

  89. That said Scott, why are you taking such a combative and adversarial tone with me? I’ve wronged you in no way that I am aware of…

    Because you seem to think that “consequences” shouldn’t be attached to what people say.

    Letterman has the right to say whatever he wishes, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be fired for saying the wrong thing.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  90. Jeff G is correct in that there is nothing new to say about the Letterman episode; nor is there anything he need defend. It is Letterman’s first amendment right to say whatever joke he pleases regardless of how distasteful any of us find it.

    I disagree. Neither CBS nor David Letterman own the airwaves over which they broadcast their show. Those airwaves are leased to them by the Federal Government with conditions regarding their use. Even beyond Congress, there is a quasi-judicial commission given the right (and duty) to regulate the use of those airwaves.

    The 1st Amendment guarantee which applies is the part regarding redress of grievances.

    Fritz (771258)

  91. Scott,

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. I never said that consequences shouldn’t be attached to what people say. What I did say was that neither CBS nor any of his advertisers chose to penalize him for the remarks, and that the Palin’s had accepted his apology.

    And that in and of itself is no reason to take such a tone of ill will with me; especially when you’re talking about the consequences of speech.

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  92. As much as I disagree with what Jeff G. writes on this topic, I do have to wonder when and why it became out of fashion to beat the stuffing out of another man.

    The comments I’m seeing along the lines of, “What a sick, twisted, disturbed man he is for threatening to kick your ass,” are mother-hen clucking at its finest. For God’s sake, grow a set you bunch of ninnies. Complain about Jeff G.’s muddled logic, not his desire to be a tough guy.

    With that said, I’m just wondering how both Patterico and Jeff G. envision the end-state of all of this. I’m certainly not saying that this discussion is stupid, or that it should not be occurring. I’m just wondering what each of them want from each other and how they picture they’ll arrive at that point.

    RWL (4400c6)

  93. a) Just because Palin accepted the apology (and what was she supposed to say? “Fuck you, Letterman, you’ll be hearing from my lawyer”? Hardly what a politician would say) doesn’t mean we have to forget that it was said.

    Bad joke or not, he still thought it was good enough to be said out-loud.

    And we’re free to hold it against CBS and/or his advertisers that they did nothing.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  94. The comments I’m seeing along the lines of, “What a sick, twisted, disturbed man he is for threatening to kick your ass,” are mother-hen clucking at its finest. For God’s sake, grow a set you bunch of ninnies.

    As the person who’s ass JeffyG threatened to kick, Let me just say the following.

    Fuck you.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  95. Fritz,

    I don’t believe that Letterman violated any FCC statute; is there one you’re aware of that I’m missing?

    I think Letterman’s attempt at humor was loathesome, toadish, and in bad taste; and it was a very thinkly veiled attempt at insulting Bistol Palin, Sarah Palin and thise who admire her-myself included. But barring any regulation you can uncover, CBS and his advertisers chose to not make an issue of it; indeed I’m sure his contract gives him the widest possible latitudes when it comes to content.

    As the host here said Letterman’s right to say it doesn’t diminish our right in turn to be critical of it, but that doesn’t change the facts about what happened nor the dynamic of free speech in our society…

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  96. Comment by RWL — 12/17/2009 @ 9:23 am

    With that said, I’m just wondering how both Patterico and Jeff G. envision the end-state of all of this. I’m certainly not saying that this discussion is stupid, or that it should not be occurring. I’m just wondering what each of them want from each other and how they picture they’ll arrive at that point.

    I’m sure that their disagreements or feud will end when they agree about how many angels can dance on pin head, or maybe which pinhead. Man that was boring and illuminating about who writes this stuff.

    FrankM (2352be)

  97. or maybe which pinhead.

    I nominate you.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  98. I’m going to summarily delete any comment that whines that this debate is uninteresting, or something along those lines. If your comment contains any hint of such a sentiment it will get nuked.

    You don’t join a group discussion to piss on it. If you don’t like the topic, there’s always the next post or the next blog. I post about what I find interesting. If you happen to find it interesting as well, how lucky. If not, move on.

    This discussion will not last forever, as it will not interest me forever. But for now, it does.

    Got that? The real victim was not Sarah Palin’s children, but David Letterman — “berated” by “a bunch of screeching conservatives” upset at a prominent TV personality making a sex joke about Sarah Palin’s child.

    How can anyone whose nose isn’t the color of Patterico shit find your “arguments” anything but personal and idiotic when you can’t even keep yourself from employing the most ridiculous strawmen before you even get 1/4 of the way through your post? Jeff Goldstein said Letterman was the real victim? Nowhere in that post does he say anything that could possibly be construed as saying Letterman was the “real victim.” He attempted to refute your own arguments, and some of what he said in that linked comment made sense, mostly the part where Letterman, slug that he is, apparently didn’t know it was Willow and not Bristol with Mrs. Palin at the Yankees game. I think there’s no doubt that Letterman would not have made that joke if he was aware that it was Willow and not Bristol who attended. I can’t agree with his contention that it was a case of conservatives trying to push their morality on people, but he was, at least until he went too far (for me) in the paragraph you quoted, making sense to me in that the reaction to Letterman’s joke had more than a healthy helping of manufactured self-righteous indignation from some people.

    At least Goldstein cuts out the shit and goes right to insulting people, he doesn’t try to get cute like you do with it. Is Patterico a dishonest loon who will do and say anything to discredit Jeff Goldstein? Is Jeff Goldstein possessing a total lack of control over his temper and may possibly need a muzzle to go out in public? Unfair? You decide.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  99. Comment by Scott Jacobs — 12/17/2009 @ 9:38 am

    I nominate you

    Oh really, Scott! You’re a real badass aren’t you, on the blog. And you may recall one of your previous comments… # 95…Back atcha fella. What are planning to do about your anger at me and others?

    FrankM (2352be)

  100. As the person who’s ass JeffyG threatened to kick, Let me just say the following.

    Fuck you.

    The irony of severely criticizing a man for throwing around threats of physical violence and then using fighting words is apparently lost on you. But then again it’s lost on almost all the posters here. Hey maybe if I don’t specifically say I’m going to kick someone’s ass, I can say all the things that in real life would get someone trying to kick my ass and get away with it! How did you discover the secret Scott Jacobs?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  101. As the person who’s ass JeffyG threatened to kick, Let me just say the following.

    Fuck you.

    I like it! That’s the spirit you need, and what seems to be missing from a lot of these people fretting over whether Jeff G. is a psychopath or not.

    Frankly, I think Patterico should not only threaten to, but also make his best effort to, kick anyone’s ass who attempts to screw with his job. The enlightening, well-though-out arguments are great (and intellectually stimulating– I’ve learned quite a lot from these threads), but there comes a time when (and this throat is purely figurative, I’m sure), “every normal man must be tempted…to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”

    RWL (4400c6)

  102. You’re a real badass aren’t you, on the blog

    Indeed. Snark is so threatening.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  103. Indeed. Snark is so threatening.

    So is empty cursing, but hey who’s keeping track of what’s threatening and what’s not anymore?

    Barack Obama is president, after all.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  104. Crossbows, lances, poison tipped darts, catapults, razor edged rapiers, cutlasses, battle axes and flying daggers, there’s a way to settle this feud.

    We’ll need to agree on a large field so that the horsemen can maneuver.

    coverdale (4b0c6a)

  105. We’ll need to agree on a large field so that the horsemen can maneuver.

    It will also be better if each side is allowed to have a castle.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  106. Comment by Scott Jacobs — 12/17/2009 @ 9:56 am

    Indeed. Snark is so threatening.

    I wasn’t meaning it to be a snarky comment. Who are you going to be an F-U kinda guy to? Not anyone here. Can you actually back the words up? I doubt it.

    And to who. As chaos said, these are empty threats or aggressive taunts, and it serves what purpose? If you disagree with what I have written, then how about some logical argument?

    I’ll admit I was denigrating the god-knows-how-many comments re: racism/JeffG/etc. because I thought it was a fruitless debate, and it did not solve one problem.

    Hey I might come across as sarcastic, but taken in the context of a multitude of so-called intellectual arguments on these and other comment pages, that actually reached no conclusion – as far as I could determine – then I thought it meant as much as the old “dances on the head of a pin” debate.

    And that debate always meant to me that the people who were involved in arguing were pinheads.

    FrankM (2352be)

  107. chaos – #98

    You said, “I think there’s no doubt that Letterman would not have made that joke if he was aware that it was Willow and not Bristol who attended.”

    I disagree, for the reasons I stated in my #85.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  108. Nope. Still not about language theory. You can argue over which daughter Dave meant if you think it really matters, but you’re both sussing out your interpretations by arguing Dave’s intent. Disagree with each other’s conclusions all you want, but you’re using the same method.

    Furthermore, arguments that Dave should anticipate the reactions of others (besides his audience, I presume), while obviously worthwhile, have nothing to do with Jeff’s take on language theory. Anything beyond the mechanical act of communicating an idea, such as the speaker’s concerns for listener’s reactions, are beyond the scope of that debate. It’s like blaming your arms and hands for trying to push open a pull-door; your mechanics ain’t the problem. (This is also where the confusion over intent comes up, I believe. The speaker has several, on several different levels, starting with his literal intended meaning but often including the reaction he’s trying to provoke from his listeners. Linguistically, we can only look at the former.)

    Keep hashing out the joke if you want, but if we’re staying on point this was only brought up to poke holes in Jeff’s ideas of intentionalism. So far it hasn’t even touched on them.

    blah (7499b3)

  109. I find your argument rather unconvincing jim2. Completely actually.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  110. I wasn’t meaning it to be a snarky comment.

    I know you didn’t. You’re far too stupid to generate snark. You seemed to imply that I was somehow being threatening, when I have said absolutely nothing that so much as hinted at violence of any sort. What I did do was snarkishly imply that you were a pinhead, an act that you apparently were far too dense to notice.

    Who are you going to be an F-U kinda guy to? Not anyone here.

    Considering this thread alone, I would say at least RWL, and probably you as well. You seem to think “Fuck you” is a threat. It isn’t, actually. Sorry to disappoint.

    Can you actually back the words up? I doubt it.

    Huh? Do you mean ‘can I back up my desire to fuck you’?

    No. No I cannot, because I possess no such desire.

    If you mean ‘can I backup my threat of violence’, again I must tell thee nay, good sir, but only because I haven’t threatened you, nor do I even intend to do so. you see, I’m not the guy that makes random threats about beating the shit out of people. That would be Jeff Goldstein.

    That you can’t grasp that is both amusing and unsurprising.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  111. Huh? Do you mean ‘can I back up my desire to fuck you’?

    No. No I cannot, because I possess no such desire.

    Maybe he’ll throw down a glove and you’ll be forced to pick up your lance – or face disgrace and banishment from the court!

    chaos (9c54c6)

  112. I find your argument rather unconvincing jim2. Completely actually.

    Comment by chaos — 12/17/2009 @ 10:26 am

    Really, rather, sir.

    FrankM (2352be)

  113. Really, rather, sir.

    Perhaps I have a rather too generous view of David Letterman’s common decency. But perhaps not.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  114. Considering this thread alone, I would say at least RWL, and probably you as well. You seem to think “Fuck you” is a threat. It isn’t, actually. Sorry to disappoint.

    Well I certainly took it as a threat.

    RWL (4400c6)

  115. Well I certainly took it as a threat.

    “fuck you” is a threat now?

    If that is the case, than the instances of JeffyG threatening people just increased many-fold.

    “Because fuck you”.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  116. I guess you haven’t ever said Fuck You to someone and had your ass kicked. Believe me, you are living a sheltered life. Scott, may you continue to be behind mama’s skirts, and these comment forums. Otherwise reality might give you a black eye, good sir.

    When you say effyou it is not a colloquialism for how’s it going, good sir. Grow the Fuck Up. The fact that you are ignoring this is not amusing and surprising.

    FrankM (2352be)

  117. Checking back in on my lunch break, and I see I have been accused of sarcasm by Stashiu3. Scott, let me assure you that I was not.

    I can’t give you links because Jeff has deleted all of the posts. I think you could Google your name and “experience the joys of rectal-cranial inversion” and you’ll get something really revolting. Everything that you may have thought or heard about wrestlers and their psycho-sexual hangups is most certainly true.

    The other thing I recommend is visiting his sight between 3 & 4 am (central time –not sure what time it is where Jeff’s at). I think he’s putting these posts up while waiting for his gay wrestler porn to refresh. Anyway, they all disappear by the light of day.

    Stashiu3: Why do you think I’m sarcastic? What’s wrong with self righteousness indignation? If you yourself know your self is right, why shouldn’t you be indignant and do everything you have to show others why you’re in the right?

    Schreiber (aa80c5)

  118. chaos –

    You are perfectly entitled to your opinion. Consider, though, that if the daughter had been Bristol, the joke could have been even “stronger” with phrasings like I suggested. Something like, “… knocked up AGAIN! THIS TIME during the seventh inning stretch with Alex ….”

    It may not be any sort of decisive factor for most folk, but I am disinclined to give that person the benefit of the doubt.

    For that matter, I consider Letterman’s behavior with his female staffers even after marrying to be supportive of my initial view. He demonstrated that he is a serial liar w/o morals. Why should anyone give him the benefit of the doubt in the Bristol-Willow case?

    jim2 (6482d8)

  119. Stashiu3: Why do you think I’m sarcastic?
    Comment by Schreiber — 12/17/2009 @ 10:55 am

    Maybe because your two sockpuppet posts mocked the topic and Patterico? You wouldn’t be trying to stir stuff up, would you?

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  120. Maybe because your two sockpuppet posts mocked the topic and Patterico? You wouldn’t be trying to stir stuff up, would you?

    I mock the topic and Patterico and have been doing it since the beginning, I guess the line is drawn at sockpuppets?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  121. Comment by Schreiber — 12/17/2009 @ 10:55 am

    I’ll for the moment assume that you’re being credible (don’t take offense at my words, and I hope you understand my meaning).

    I think Stashiu says you’re being sarcastic because there is nothing on Jeff’s blog regarding the things you mentioned.

    However, if you aren’t being truthful, I think you should probably admit it now, since a search on Google using the terms you suggested turned up not a single hit.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  122. I guess the line is drawn at sockpuppets?

    I don’t think you’re one of the two, chaos.

    Pretty sure it’s RWL and Frankie…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  123. Comment by RWL — 12/17/2009 @ 10:41 am
    Considering this thread alone, I would say at least RWL, and probably you as well. You seem to think “Fuck you” is a threat. It isn’t, actually. Sorry to disappoint.

    Well I certainly took it as a threat.

    Yeah, I took it as badass trying to threaten someone into agreeing with them, without any force to back it up. Maybe he’s so used to telling people to Fuckoff on comment pages that he doesn’t consider that the words mean anything. He’s not mature by any account. Or else he thinks he is and come kick our ass, ROFL.

    FrankM (2352be)

  124. I mock the topic and Patterico and have been doing it since the beginning, I guess the line is drawn at sockpuppets?
    Comment by chaos — 12/17/2009 @ 11:15 am

    No, the socks weren’t intended to be taken as real in that sense (C. Johnson and Andy S.) and were not deleted or moderated. I said “stir stuff up” meaning with Scott. Sarcastic was the charitable interpretation, trolling might be more accurate now that he’s continued. Carry on.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  125. After reading the post and all the comments I have the following to offer:

    For what it’s worth,

    Letterman isn’t a comedian, he’s an obnoxious loudmouth jerk who picked on a little girl because he doesn’t like her mother’s politics. He’s not much of a man, ignore him;
    Goldstein is off his rocker, wish him a speedy recovery;
    Patterico is right, ad nauseum;
    Scott was threatened, he’s won the battle of words, and if Goldstein sees Scott coming he is well advised to step aside;
    Willow Palin was maliciously slandered on national TV, the mask slipped just enough to reveal the extent to which liberalism has poisoned itself with fear, envy, self-delusion and hate;
    Sarah Palin showed more class than the entire CBS network, and their fellow travelers combined; and
    No one gives much of a hoot in hell what anyone else has to say on this topic.

    PS: #103, coverdale, rapiers are not sharp edged weapons, rapiers are pointed weapons used for thrusting.

    ropelight (800568)

  126. I don’t think you’re one of the two, chaos.

    Pretty sure it’s RWL and Frankie…

    Well I had to make sure considering nk and SPQR were just certain that I was a retread troll from days of yore…

    chaos (9c54c6)

  127. Dave C’s theory is this:

    I’m not saying that this is what is going on. But I’m not not saying that, either.

    Pat: So, Jeff, what will it be for tomorrow?

    Jeff: I know! Drop some obscure slur for a Jew… like Shylock, or money changer—

    Pat: Moneygrubber?

    Jeff: Perfect. Then we’ll each put up post after post and get tons of hits between each of us from everyone trying to keep up.

    Pat: And do the occasional duking it out over at Little Miss Attila’s as well?

    Jeff: You bet.

    Pat: What started this off again?

    Jeff: I’ve forgotten.

    Can both please confirm or deny?

    vanderleun (444f85)

  128. I’m working on my own theory which centers on a Little Green Protein Footballs Pontifications metaphor, but I’m still gathering research.

    vanderleun (444f85)

  129. Can both please confirm or deny?

    The black helicopters are on their way to your house right now. And guess who’s in the lead one, just waiting to jump out and whip your ass? None other than Jeff Goldstein. And who is the pilot? I think we all know. His name starts with a P.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  130. and if Goldstein sees Scott coming he is well advised to step aside;

    He would have no reason to step aside.

    I don’t attack people. I have no need, as I have nothing to prove.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  131. I forgot to mention since I missed your last post there somehow… who do you think is going to be taking the pictures of your beatdown for Jeff and Patterico to reminisce over in their golden years? Chuckles Johnson of course.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  132. Pretty sure it’s RWL and Frankie…

    Wait…I’m a sockpuppet? This would probably be the worst sockpuppet in the history of sockpuppets if that were the case. I’m a real man, damnit, and I can prove it!

    RWL (4400c6)

  133. Wait…I’m a sockpuppet? This would probably be the worst sockpuppet in the history of sockpuppets if that were the case. I’m a real man, damnit, and I can prove it!

    YOU ARE MADE OF SOCKS

    SOCKS CANT TYPE

    chaos (9c54c6)

  134. RWL is the real deal. You might disagree with him on something, but he’s honest and honorable.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  135. #129, Scott said, “He would have no reason to step aside.”

    Not out of fear that you would attack him, Scott, he should step aside as a show of good manners.

    ropelight (800568)

  136. who do you think is going to be taking the pictures of your beatdown

    Waitwaitwait…

    I thought Jeff wasn’t serious. If he wasn’t serious, what beat-down are you talking about?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  137. Scott,

    I don’t know why Google didn’t turn anything up. Maybe because they hadn’t updated yet? or already had updated? I really don’t understand how this stuff works, I’m sorry.

    Andy S. and Charles J. are self-evident sock puppets. I was trying to make a point about pursuing an argument to the point of diminishing returns. Anyway, I kinda think I deserve half credit for not outright passing myself off as Andrew Sullivan or Charles Johnson.

    Let me just add that what I came across while dealing with an episode of insomnia was enough to make me reconsider.

    Schreiber (b49c8c)

  138. Can both please confirm or deny?

    Comment by vanderleun — 12/17/2009 @ 11:29 am

    Right Arm!
    Gotta love it!

    FrankM (2352be)

  139. Unless there’s a post I haven’t seen (& which has never been cited) “moneygrubber” is an invention of Goldstein’s, not something Patrick said. But “moneygrubber” fits Goldstein’s phony attempt to impute anti-semitism (or, if you prefer, his sarcastic feigning of a smear as a metaphor for “natural revulsion at interracial images” McCain) It’s a mark of Goldstein’s bad faith, dishonesty, and general twatishness that he’s now presenting it as something Patrick said.

    John Powell (736c45)

  140. Scott,

    I sent you an e-mail at the address listed above. Just to be clear– I’m on YOUR “side” of the debate. I just hate seeing people threatened and I’m currently going through a Susan Powter phase of tough love.

    Jeff G. isn’t insane, he’s just a bully. Stand up to the prick.

    Signed,

    Robert “Battling his childhood bullies through the beauty of the internet” L

    RWL (4400c6)

  141. Aw, Patrick, you’ve turned into a rather humorless fellow in all of this. I was just joshing with you with my little “please delete me” poem. Geez.

    Dave S (f00bfe)

  142. It’s come to this. I now see the whole kerfuffle as some sort of perverted naked Mexican wrestling match with Patterico and Goldstein locked in a hot sixty-nine of spite.

    I think they both should declare simultaneous orgasm and then retire to their corners for a hot-towel wipe down.

    vanderleun (444f85)

  143. I’m looking forward to the next blog containing
    Goldsteinlosingargumentsupportingsex jokesaboutSarahPalinchild

    (hope that striking works….)%>)

    Corwin (ea9428)

  144. Got that? The real victim was not Sarah Palin’s children, but David Letterman — “berated” by “a bunch of screeching conservatives” upset at a prominent TV personality making a sex joke about Sarah Palin’s child.

    If I may respectfully dissent; I think you’re misreading. The “real victim” was conservatives, who played into the stereotype of humorless scolds, reinforcing that stereotype and making it harder for conservatives to appeal to the broad middle. Given that you refer to “a false narrative pushed by the Left” in your argument, I assume you’re sensitive to giving extra weight to such narratives.

    Goldstein assumes that Letterman meant Bristol — as Letterman later claimed he had meant to refer to Bristol. But as his commenter Lying Pablo said at the time, Letterman might have been lying.

    I think this is the nub of the argument. You believe Letterman targeted Willow; Goldstein thinks the target was Bristol. This matters, because one is a 14-year-old, and the other is an 18-year-old who, fairly or unfairly, was at that point a public figure. An unfunny, unfair joke about a 14-year-old, and an unfunny, unfair joke about an 18-year-old, are two very different things. If there was agreement as to the target, I imagine there would be agreement on the whole. But that isn’t the case.

    I still think it’s unfair to cast Goldstein’s argument as defending a pedophile. If the debate were cast in terms of why one of you thinks Willow was the target, and why the other thinks Bristol was the target, then we’d stand a much better chance at weighing the evidence for each side. As it is, you unfairly put one side on the defensive, by stating that they stand with pedophiles. As a member of the camp who believes Bristol was the target, I take offense at your characterization of me. I know your ire is aimed at Goldstein, but your broad brush paints me as well, and I don’t appreciate it.

    I’d like to believe that people can debate in good faith, especially when those people share similar viewpoints on upwards of 80% of the issues facing us. But if scoring points in your personal vendetta with Goldstein is your primary motivation nowadays, I guess mine is a fool’s belief.

    Merry Christmas, all.

    Squid (9e6447)

  145. #146 – I think that is a good point. And when the dander is up, the trees are rarely in focus within the forest.

    Merry Christmas to you (and all) as well.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  146. At first when you started posting about this topic, I wondered why you were making such a big deal about a Lib troll who comes from the HuffPo I HATE PALIN style of answers to everything.
    But now that I’ve followed this a bit, I think you did the right thing. Run these stinking Lib posters to the ground when the post crazy stuff like he did. Make them explain their stupidity.

    Metallica (e4735c)

  147. Dude! That was intense!

    Slartibartfast (8894aa)

  148. Squid –

    How did Bristol become a “public figure”?

    If one has become a “public figure” unfairly, is one really a public figure?

    jim2 (6482d8)

  149. #146, Squid, you find a difference where none exists. It smacks of hair splitting.

    Letterman’s ugly reference to Palin’s daughter, no matter which one, was so far out of line that anyone possessed of the rudiments of human decency would reject it out of hand.

    Making excuses for the despicable act of a diseased mind sullies everyone associated with the slimy enterprise.

    Calling for a good faith debate requires a demonstration of good faith, and so far you don’t qualify.

    ropelight (800568)

  150. “I’d like to believe that people can debate in good faith, especially when those people share similar viewpoints on upwards of 80% of the issues facing us. But if scoring points in your personal vendetta with Goldstein is your primary motivation nowadays, I guess mine is a fool’s belief.”

    This isn’t coherent. Good faith is possible while trying to ‘score points’ (or demonstrate that someone’s general methods are faulty). Obviously Patterico is trying to demonstrate why Jeff G’s methods don’t work. This is conflated to saying that he was 1000% certain to be deliberately making fun of Willow, for dead sure, but this is unfair of you. I don’t think it’s bad faith of you, but it’s an error.

    Bad faith would be for Patterico to lie about Jeff’s view, not disagree about its implications and inconsistencies. I know PW is conflating this also, but no one has demonstrated it.

    There’s an awful lot of bad faith going on. Darleen is freaking out that Patterico jokes about Jeff’s unmasculine lifestyle while making macho threats, but dismisses the fact that she has no basis for supporting an anti-Semitic slur. That inconsistent view is bad faith. Jeff threatened people children (since all the people he threatened have family), but doesn’t hold that to the same standard as when someone threatened his far less graphically. That’s bad faith too. Hell, look at his recent post. He’s saying Patterico is demanding a reply, when really, he was trying to end this ugly insult fest with a reasonable discussion.

    Even if Patterico is wrong on every point, he argued in good faith. He unbanned someone who threatened to break people, only to be forced to ban them again for worse threats. He states his case and this thread fills with differing takes. Even if Jeff was right about this topic, his bad faith and abominable Al Sharpton/SEIU thug tactics are the reason this is a trainwreck.

    Of course, after all that ugliness, Patterico wants to ‘score points’. What matters is that he didn’t try to score them by saying Jeff is racist, or threatening to hurt Darleen, or the rest of it.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  151. Again, if you look at the timeline of the event, it’s possible that Letterman and his writing staff did not know it was Willow and not Bristol at the Yankees game when he told the A-Rod joke on Monday’s show.

    It’s impossible to believe that no one on the staff and/or the show host did not know Willow and not Bristol was with Palin in New York when he told the Eliot Spitzer joke on Tuesday night’s show.

    Letterman might have unknowingly told the first joke. But he pretty much just said, “F-it, I hate Palin,” when he told the second joke after it was common knowledge that Bristol hadn’t made the trip to New York (and if you assume the lame rationale that the joke was only targeting Spitzer, doesn’t that mean Dave was calling Elliot a child rapist if Letterman already knew the sexual target of the can’t-keep-it-in-his-pants ex-governor was a 14-year-old? And if that’s the case, why make a specific 14-year-old the subject of your rape joke?)

    Defending Letterman’s choice of jokes between Joke #1 on Monday and Joke #2 on Tuesday might be a little dicey, but at least there is an element of doubt at that time as to which daughter was at the game. Continuing to defend Letterman after Joke #2 means you’re simply doubling down on your own desire not to admit you were wrong to defend Dave in the first place.

    John (620750)

  152. Re # 142, wouldn’t it be better to give your readers some context for this comment by publishing the poem that I submitted earlier? In the chance that you agree with me, I’ll add it below as best as I can recall.

    Please delete me, let me go.
    I can’t read this anymore.
    To waste a blog on gruel this thin.
    Reflects the thinness of your skin.

    Now I want to point out that technically this comment is not about being bored with the topic, but is rather about the relevance of my earlier comment about being bored, which you deleted, to the #142 which you allowed. As a result, this one does not meet the criteria for automatic deletion as outlined in comment #1 above and should be allowed to stand as is.
    😉

    Dave S (e49415)

  153. Dave, the one with the thin skin isn’t the one crying anti-semite and ‘I’ll break your bones’.

    It’s the one saying ‘allow me to demonstrate my reasoning’.

    Either that or you’re being unfair.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  154. anyone possessed of the rudiments of human decency would reject it out of hand

    Not that it matters, but I do think Letterman was wrong. It’s in the matter of what follows from that observation, that we may (or may not) part ways.

    Slartibartfast (8894aa)

  155. It’s the one saying ‘allow me to demonstrate my reasoning’.

    The reasoning as to why he’s a bitch, liar, fraud, and money-grubber?

    Yeah, this whole “Patterico is acting honorably and Jeff Goldstein isn’t” deal is dishonest as hell.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  156. “Not that it matters, but I do think Letterman was wrong.”

    No, it matters. If it’s wrong, which it clearly is, then it follows that any system that defends it at least has the flaw of defending things that are obviously wrong. So it’s underinclusive and the way Jeff has relied on this method in the past, for example with “I want him to fail” is irrational.

    Your 155 is an example of good faith.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  157. The fact that it was actually Willow that was at the game is irrelevant to Dave’s moral culpability unless Dave actually knew that (or at the very least, suspected it but recklessly disregarded the suspicion). This should be clear to any lawyer. There is only accountability with the requisite knowledge and intent. There are no malem in se strict liability offenses. And specific intent cannot be assessed on the basis of what a reasonable person would know.

    Jurors could disbelieve Dave’s claim that he was talking about Bristol and, if this were a criminal court, they could convict him of the specific intent offense on that basis. But, if in actual truth, Dave WAS talking about Bristol, the jury’s conviction does not make Dave guilty; it makes him wrongfully convicted.

    In a discussion of how language works, like in a discussion of how gravity works, it would seem that the first step should be to assume ideal conditions. In the case of gravity, assume no friction and no air resistance. In the case of language and intent, assume no deception. Once you’ve worked through the basics on such assumptions, you can advance to a discussion incorporating the complicating factors.

    Anyway, I think Patterico’s convicting Dave on a questionable credibility determination, not based on “how language works.”

    ss (6519a1)

  158. “The reasoning as to why he’s a bitch, liar, fraud, and money-grubber?

    Yeah, this whole “Patterico is acting honorably and Jeff Goldstein isn’t” deal is dishonest as hell.

    Comment by chaos”

    Maybe, for some reason, you think Patterico is acting below your standards. I’m not crazy and I realize he’s repeatedly criticizing the same person. But his argument here is not that Jeff is a bitch money grubber because his system appears to defend or equivocate Letterman’s obviously immoral joke.

    His argument is that Jeff’s system can’t be relied on, in the ways Jeff has relied on it in other arguments, because of this flaw. And separately, that Jeff is a bad person, liar, fraud, bitch, whatever, because of various examples that prove that he indeed is such a bad person.

    Chaos, isn’t your conflation of the two and example of bad faith? I’m not condemning you, because we all get carried away and I have done so more than you have, but these are not one.

    Jeff’s basic dishonorable character is beyond any dispute.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  159. any system that defends it at least has the flaw of defending things that are obviously wrong

    “Wrong”. Meaning what, exactly? Worthy of the death penalty? Worthy of scorn? Incorrect? Not something you would do?

    See, it’s all in the interpretation.

    Jeff wasn’t defending Letterman, as he’s made endlessly clear. He was defending intentionalism. Patterico doesn’t get to decide what Letterman meant, because that’s an arbitrary decision. Either you can decide based on evidence, or you can’t. If you can’t, then one interpretation is as valid as another, and you can’t claim to have chosen the correct one. You sure as hell can’t claim to have decided based on evidence, and have that evidence be I just don’t believe him.

    All this has been gone over, though, so I’m not sure why I’m re-explaining it.

    Slartibartfast (8894aa)

  160. Waitwaitwait…

    I thought Jeff wasn’t serious. If he wasn’t serious, what beat-down are you talking about?

    How dense are you guys?

    How many times do I have to mock Jeff Goldstein’s physical threats before you figure out I’m mocking them?

    Also, yes, Patterico did call him a money-grubber, it isn’t made up, it’s in an actual comment of Patterico’s over at Little Miss Attila’s.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  161. ss, why are you using legal terms? You aren’t even doing it right, but it’s just silly.

    Also, his joke makes more sense if he was talking about Willow, since he seemed to be attacking the family as trashy altogether and makes no mention of Bristol’s pregnancy (which would have contributed to the point of his joke if your guess/assertion of fact is accurate). Also, it makes more sense that he knew Willow was there because of the existence of staff who research and fact check these jokes, and the high level of documentation that Willow was at the game (that they would see). Also, it makes more sense that he knew she was there because just after it was pointed out that People were taking his ‘Sarah’s daughter’ to mean Willow, Letterman made another molestation joke about Palin’s daughter with Spitzer.

    Can’t prove it perfectly, though the evidence is against you. Preponderance would be the standard in this case against two civil parties, but your lawsuit metaphor is ridiculous.

    Also, you, like many of Jeff’s supporters, conflate the entire argument with whether it’s provable that he was talking about willow. If it’s reasonable that he was talking about Willow, then of course he shouldn’t have phrased it in just an indecent and destructive manner. The idea that he didn’t know Palin had such a young daughter, with all the film shot of this family, is unserious.

    And even about Bristol, the joke is indecent, though this is outside the scope, I’m told.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  162. chaos, it’s just hard to keep up sometimes. That’s why I’m boorish instead of sarcastic. It kept blowing up in my face when I tried to make light of this situation, which I admit is ripe for comedy.

    I think ‘money grubbing’ was a funny way to describe the PJM griping and the foundation effort. But it’s good that you’re setting the record straight on that. I don’t know why Jeff conflates such valid factual joking with anti-semitism. Either he really thinks that way or he is a race hustler.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  163. I don’t know why Jeff conflates such valid factual joking with anti-semitism.

    It’s been spelled out a great many times, but I’ll give it another try:

    It Patterico is right that he can judge for himself what Letterman’s intent was, then Jeff has just taken that to mean that he, Jeff, can judge for himself what Patterico’s intent is.

    You want to make intent so capricious that it’s really driven more by your preconcieved notions than evidence? This is the result.

    Slartibartfast (8894aa)

  164. It’s also “underinclusive” to delete any post from loyal readers of this site who are merely asking P to get back on track to discussing the timely, topical and interesting.

    I am considering myself pre-nuked.

    harkin (f92f52)

  165. In other words, Jeff is pointing out how much what Patterico has done is just exactly what the race-hustlers do.

    Slartibartfast (8894aa)

  166. “tu madre” works better. Run the words together
    “tumadre” I’m not sure if this is grammatically correct, but “putatumadre” is a nice compact way to get a fight going

    If you want to yap at a Mexican this way, by the time you get to “tambien” you’ll have been interrupted by an overhand right..
    Getting busted in the eye when you are only 1/3 through your insult can be demoralizing. By the time you realize your mistake you’ll be looking at the soles of what seems to be twenty pairs of shoes

    If you are white, get in a fight with a Mexican gangbanger or “affiliate” (which usually means not busted for gang activity… so far) anywhere in CA and wind up held for that fighting, remember that they are experts at networking. Maybe even better than nk.
    I’d try to make bail ASAP before you find out the guy has more friends and family inside than you have outside

    SteveG (909b57)

  167. “Wrong”. Meaning what, exactly? Worthy of the death penalty? Worthy of scorn? Incorrect? Not something you would do?

    See, it’s all in the interpretation.

    Comment by Slartibartfast ”

    I can see why you think we’re talking past eachother.

    Wrong is something we ought not do. It’s a basic moral term that is extremely broad. Letterman’s joke was highly, and obviously, coarse and indecent. I don’t think a lot of Jeff’s readers recognize this, and so they have a hard time accepting the criticism or understanding what’s the big deal.

    It’s wrong more than the terms this system has been used to support, such as republican public speech (that originated this blogwar in March, I think). That means it’s being used inconsistently. This contradiction is the most basic of philsophical methods for criticism, and Jeff doesn’t understand that because he’s either showing bad faith or is not well versed on this stuff. I honestly think some of both, his sneering attitude showing some insecurity on the latter point.

    But anyway, Jeff’s very coarse. It’s unpleasant to read his blog even when one disagrees with him, because he’s so graphic, ugly, and full of penis jokes. It’s like a parody of Aceofspades without the soul and skill. People who are still really pleased with that might be swell people, but are far out of step with cultural decency.

    It’s just a basic premise of Patterico’s argument that this statement was indecent and wrong. This should be the easy part to accept, so we can move on to whether Jeff’s system is accurate. Of course, some won’t grant that premise, but that disqualifies them from attacking the reasoning.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  168. “In other words, Jeff is pointing out how much what Patterico has done is just exactly what the race-hustlers do.

    Comment by Slartibartfast”

    It matters what kind of hustle you’re pulling. If you don’t agree with Patterico’s logic, you can say he’s made a bad argument about intentionalism… something that simply isn’t that big of a deal.

    Actual race hustling is a big deal, is 100% what happened, and from the other direction. Conflating the two is strange, even though race hustling shares characteristics will all sorts of things, because race hustling is particularly outrageous. It’s not just an ad hom. It’s not just stupid. It’s an attempt to dehumanize, associate with deep hatreds, and bring sympathy on yourself. It’s so cowardly when compared to Patterico’s methods.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  169. It’s a basic moral term that is extremely broad.

    See, that’s just what I was thinking.

    Now, given that a wrong has occurred, what do you do? Kill the offender? Squawk like a chicken? What?

    I don’t think a lot of Jeff’s readers recognize this

    This is a very strong indication that you just haven’t been paying attention.

    I think the dividing lines between over here and over there are, in order of importance:

    1) Who gets to decide what Letterman meant, and
    2) What to do with that decision

    The answer to 1) we’ve gone over. 2) I’ve spoken to, but no one seems interested. So is it squawk like a chicken, by default? If not, what?

    Slartibartfast (8894aa)

  170. “It’s also “underinclusive” to delete any post from loyal readers of this site who are merely asking P to get back on track to discussing the timely, topical and interesting.

    I am considering myself pre-nuked.

    Comment by harkin —”

    No, you simply don’t understand what I said. Patterico is precise when calling people saying “Don’t talk about this” people who say “Don’t talk about this.”

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  171. Not sure if this has been covered, but advocating violence is protected under the Constitution. To fall outside the scope of the First Amendment, there must be an “imminent threat” of violence or unlawful conduct.

    Makewi (0864f9)

  172. chaos, it’s just hard to keep up sometimes. That’s why I’m boorish instead of sarcastic. It kept blowing up in my face when I tried to make light of this situation, which I admit is ripe for comedy.

    See I don’t care how much it blows up because goddamn it I am going to laugh about this if it’s the last thing I do.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  173. It matters what kind of hustle you’re pulling.

    Is this an acknowledgement that Patterico is pulling a hustle?

    you can say he’s made a bad argument about intentionalism… something that simply isn’t that big of a deal

    Maybe not, until it happens to you.

    Actual race hustling is a big deal, is 100% what happened, and from the other direction.

    You’re going to have to rephrase this, I think, because I can’t make head nor tails of it. Pretty much the same goes for everything that followed it.

    What I’m referring to as race-hustling is the act of using outrage over perceived slights vs actual slights to accomplish political ends. This is only possible when you (a person or a group) can claim to be the sole valid interpreter of the intent of others as a privilege of your status as a victimized class.

    But I’m out of my depth at this point, I admit.

    Slartibartfast (8894aa)

  174. Jim2:

    If one has become a “public figure” unfairly, is one really a public figure?

    I’d argue that one really is. Take one current example: Elin Woods is a public figure, due only to the fact that her husband was caught misbehaving. Does she want to be in the middle of the media circus? I doubt it. But there she is, soaking up quite a lot of media attention and late-night jokes.

    In the scandal resurrected by Frey: Bristol Palin was caught up in her mother’s campaign. I doubt she wanted to be made an example of on the national stage, but there she was, as a representation of her mother’s beliefs on abortion. As an 18-year-old adult, I don’t think she really had any way to get out of it, short of a major falling out with her mother that would have been a disaster to the campaign. So, yes, she was reluctantly a public figure, and became part of the cartoon version of the Palins that was constantly referenced by Letterman and his fellow travelers.

    Ropelight:

    Letterman’s ugly reference to Palin’s daughter, no matter which one, was so far out of line that anyone possessed of the rudiments of human decency would reject it out of hand. Making excuses for the despicable act of a diseased mind sullies everyone associated with the slimy enterprise. Calling for a good faith debate requires a demonstration of good faith, and so far you don’t qualify.

    I’m sorry you don’t think I’m arguing in good faith. I’d like to assure you that I really do believe that there’s a difference between a joke about an adult whose sex life (i.e. unmarried and pregnant) was already being discussed, versus sexual “humor” directed at a 14-year-old who quite rightly should be protected from such. I think the difference is significant, and amounts to much more than “splitting hairs.” We can disagree about my assertions, but I hope we at least can agree that I’m not trying to put words in anyone’s mouth, nor to misrepresent the arguments that others are making.

    Dustin:

    Bad faith would be for Patterico to lie about Jeff’s view, not disagree about its implications and inconsistencies. I know PW is conflating this also, but no one has demonstrated it.

    Patterico asserts that Goldstein (and I) are comfortable defending a guy who makes sexual jokes about 14-year-old girls. Leaving aside Goldstein for the moment: I do no such thing, and casting me as somebody who does is the very definition of acting in bad faith.

    For the record: I think Palin did a good job of defending her family. I think Letterman did a lousy job of handling the blowback; he should have apologized the moment he realized that he wasn’t making fun of who he thought he was. But given that his target at the time was an adult and a public figure, I thought the initial joke was just another unfunny attempt to play on the cartoon Palins for a cheap laugh from an audience who aren’t nearly as sophisticated as they’d like to believe.

    …He’s saying Patterico is demanding a reply, when really, he was trying to end this ugly insult fest with a reasonable discussion.

    I’ve noted before that I don’t believe an argument brought up months after the fact and filled with misrepresentations of the arguments that were made at the time is congruent with your assertion that this was an attempt at “reasonable discussion.” I stand by my earlier argument.

    With that, I’m afraid that I must be off to go drink a few beers with my wife and her co-workers. Best wishes to all.

    Squid (9e6447)

  175. Starl, I admit, I have a hard time reading through Jeff’s threads, but I don’t think you understand what I’m saying.

    there’s a contradiction in how Jeff’s interntionalism works. It’s not important to me what we do with the fact that Letterman’s statement was disgusting. We’re not talking about how to deal with some jerk on CBS. That’s missing the point of proving that Intentionalism leads to absurd results.

    With the result that intentionalism leads to absurd results, a lot of the other things it’s being used for, such as RSM’s quote or Rush’s quote, need to be taken with more salt.

    you say “of importance:

    1) Who gets to decide what Letterman meant, and
    2) What to do with that decision

    The answer to 1) we’ve gone over. 2) I’ve spoken to, but no one seems interested. So is it squawk like a chicken, by default? If not, what?”

    No one seems interesting because we don’t own CBS. We all agree with Letterman’s right to say indecent things. It’s not relevant anyway to the absurdity of intentionalism, once we’ve established that Letterman’s comment is obvisouly indefensible.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  176. Oh, and Slarti — I think Jeff’s point is that if Patterico gets to innocently inquire about Stacy McCain’s maybe-so-maybe-not racism, then there’s nothing to stop anyone in the world from innocently inquiring about Patterico’s maybe-so-maybe-not-anti-Semitism.

    I doubt that Jeff will stop until Patterico gives at least some grudging acknowledgment that intent matters, and that it’s not nice to engage in such public inquiries.

    Now, off to drink!

    Squid (9e6447)

  177. “I’ve noted before that I don’t believe an argument brought up months after the fact and filled with misrepresentations of the arguments that were made at the time is congruent with your assertion that this was an attempt at “reasonable discussion.” I stand by my earlier argument.

    With that, I’m afraid that I must be off to go drink a few beers with my wife and her co-workers. Best wishes to all.

    Comment by Squid ”

    First, stop acting insecure about having this discussion. You don’t need to prove that you’re a cool dude with a life. All of us are interested in this discussion and there’s no reason to be ashamed of it.

    Second, that’s not an argument, it’s your conclusion. This is such a dramatic and stupid way to handle differences. You assert that all these problems exist. Do you point to any of them? No! You just say they are there.

    I think Patterico would be happy to have someone point to some fundamental problem with his characterization of Jeff’s intentionalism. I have seen nothing like that. People disagree about the basic premises and what we can assume about David, but that’s just different analysis. No one has shown that this account is filed with misrepresentations.

    Jeff’s system has a basic structure. Of course, when disproving it, there are going to be differences about how it works. That’s not misrepresentation at all.

    you say something about the timing. Sorry, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the timing. Jeff used this system all week long. It is fair game, even if he didn’t. This is an ad hoc complaint that is totally irrelevant. If that offends you, you must be absolutely disgusted with Jeff’s excesses. It’s a good way to launch the analysis, and that’s all.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  178. …once we’ve established that Letterman’s comment is obvisouly indefensible.

    And yet, it is quite obviously not indefensible. If the third of the country that counts itself mildly to majorly progressive thinks that joke was a hoot, that Palin and her family brought this on themselves, and that they crave more of the same, then the defensibility of the joke in question suddenly becomes more in question. Unless, as you have done before in this topic stream, you are acting as arbiter of what is to be considered right and proper.

    How many witches must burn for your ego Dustin?

    Makewi (0864f9)

  179. My point wasn’t so much whether Letterman violated any particular judgment or regulation. Rather, that bringing out the “1st Amendment!” as a trump card to excuse any otherwise unjustifiable behavior fails to understand that television airwaves are publicly owned. Part of the licensing is that they have to serve the public good and are thus subject to more regulation than you would find otherwise.

    So, for example, we don’t in fact have to put up with obscene jokes on late night T.V., despite what some might have you believe. We may, as a society, choose to, but our regulations could change. Which is why, it’s clear to me, that JeffG misunderstands what it means to be a classical liberal and that he in turn isn’t a conservative.

    Fritz (771258)

  180. Comment by Dustin–”

    No, you simply don’t understand what I said. Patterico is precise when calling people saying “Don’t talk about this” people who say “Don’t talk about this.”

    I’m not talking about what you said, nor Patterico.

    I was using the word underinclusive and its precise meaning (not sufficiently inclusive : excluding something that should be included) to describe P’s treatment of ….well, I already said what.

    harkin (f92f52)

  181. Dustin,
    Legal language is relevant because so much of it relies on determinations of intent. One way in which it is irrelevant to this discussion, however, is the manner in which the law deals with uncertainty by forcing a conclusion of fact. For example, your statement, “the evidence is on our side” assumes a burden of proof, which, while so important to a factual determination in a legal action, is not relevant to a discussion on moral culpability or “how language works” because we are under no pressure, and have no divine ability, to make a final determination of truth. Obviously, neither a criminal nor a civil burden of proof applies in this realm. Truth does not operate in probabilities. While it’s convenient to make a judgment and move on, your judgment does not change the underlying reality. Hence, it is possible, even when supported by overwhelming evidence, for a jury to reach a wrong verdict and a poll to reach an incorrect result. The best we can do is to say, “if he intended thus, he was wrong.” To say he was morally culpable regardless of his intent is like castigating an epileptic for startling you with his seizures.

    ss (6519a1)

  182. Publicly owned has come to mean that a board of unelected politically appointed bureaucrats gets to decide for the rest of us just what the term “indecent” means and mete out punishment for it.

    Now that’s an adherence to the ideology of classical liberalism.

    Makewi (0864f9)

  183. I said, “Legal language is relevant because so much of it relies on determinations of intent.”

    I should have said, “because so much of LAW relies on determinations of intent.”

    I regret the error.

    ss (6519a1)

  184. ss – #158

    You said:

    “The fact that it was actually Willow that was at the game is irrelevant to Dave’s moral culpability unless Dave actually knew that (or at the very least, suspected it but recklessly disregarded the suspicion). This should be clear to any lawyer.”

    Letterman knew Palin had a daughter at the Yankees game. Letterman knew that Palin had daughters younger than Bristol.

    You words sound a lot to me like the, “Yes, I aimed and pulled the trigger, but I did not think the gun was loaded.”

    Would a judge accept that? A jury?

    jim2 (96d10c)

  185. unelected politically appointed

    Wait, wait. Like that unelected, politically appointed SCOTUS? Or, the unelected, politicall appointed Senate (before the 17th Amendment destroyed federalism)?

    Fritz (771258)

  186. Squid –

    Do you feel it is appropriate to make the children of public figures into public figures themselves, even when the children do nothing more than be with their parents?

    jim2 (96d10c)

  187. I will take note that there are a hell of a lot more words on this subject than your defense of Barack Obama sitting in a Pew of a racist Jew hating “preacher” Very telling that. Connected even.

    KT (69ca1a)

  188. Yes, I aimed and pulled the trigger, but I did not think the gun was loaded.

    This is a poor analogy. The gun was loaded with words, and the unintended target didn’t hear them. So: clean miss.

    Other than that: just like firing a gun and hitting an innocent bystander.

    Would a judge accept that? A jury?

    Dunno. Has anyone been arrested?

    Slartibartfast (101ae6)

  189. Slart and Squid – You guys keep demonstrating you don’t understand how language works.

    You should check out Patterico’s archives.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  190. But you do a nice duet together.

    Kudos.

    Jeff should be proud.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  191. Slartibartfast – #189

    The target certainly did hear them, and so did her family, and so did her friends, and so did her entire community. Those “bullets” fly damagingly for a long time in video, etc. And, I do indeed feel they inflicted injury, and I am confident that most would agree, even as you strive not to.

    And, as for the arrested, I think that would have been an appropriate outcome.

    jim2 (96d10c)

  192. daleyrocks, quit pulling my leg.

    Slartibartfast (101ae6)

  193. Slart – Don’t tell me it’s raining.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  194. Oh…that wasn’t my leg. My bad.

    Slartibartfast (101ae6)

  195. I think that would have been an appropriate outcome

    What charges would you envision, jim2?

    Slartibartfast (101ae6)

  196. SCOTUS has quite a farm team system set up. You actually get to prove your chops before being tapped for that gig. A gig which is actually mentioned in the founding document.

    Makewi (0864f9)

  197. What would be the appropriate equivalent experience for determining what’s indecent? A massive amount of time spent investigating internet porn?

    Makewi (0864f9)

  198. I’d start with endangering a minor and make sure every official, judge, etc. had a good understanding of the effects on the 14 year old. Maybe Letterman could remain in jail for a while as his case was considered.

    A slander civil suit against a minor would be next, and maybe he could be served before he left jail.

    While Letterman was in jail, he might be befriended by many due to his wit, and perhaps develop some better material for his show, if he still had one. Of course, his network would also be named, and maube the FCC could be asked to take an interest.

    jim2 (96d10c)

  199. I’d start with endangering a minor and make sure every official, judge, etc. had a good understanding of the effects on the 14 year old. Maybe Letterman could remain in jail for a while as his case was considered.

    A slander civil suit against a minor would be next, and maybe he could be served before he left jail.

    While Letterman was in jail, he might be befriended by many due to his wit, and perhaps develop some better material for his show, if he still had one. Of course, his network would also be named, and maybe the FCC could be asked to take an interest.

    jim2 (96d10c)

  200. “Would a judge accept that? A jury?”

    The point is that it doesn’t matter. It was either an accident or it wasn’t. It doesn’t matter what I can convince a jury of. I cannot RIGHTLY be convicted of intentional murder if I aimed and pulled the trigger while thinking the gun was unloaded. If I have some knowledge of the risks posed by guns, society may rightly punish me for my reckless action and hold me accountable for the consequences; but in that case, I’m being convicted for a lesser offense of recklessly causing a death, not intentional murder. An entirely different moral sphere.

    ss (6519a1)

  201. Sorry for the double post, though I’m not sure how that happened.

    jim2 (96d10c)

  202. I’d start with endangering a minor and make sure every official, judge, etc. had a good understanding of the effects on the 14 year old.

    That would fail. Bristol is not a minor. Making a bad joke is not endangering. You may think Letterman was making a joke about Willow, but can you imagine the courtroom argument? Letterman: but I’ve already said that I was talking about Bristol! You: I don’t believe you! The judges would surely swoon at your legal acumen.

    A slander civil suit against a minor would be next

    This is actually a more interesting idea. A-Rod would certainly have grounds for something like that, regardless of what Letterman really meant.

    But neither the Palins nor A-Rod brought suit. So either they’re not of the same mindset that you are, or they found they had little chance of success.

    Which brings up another thing: the only aggrieved parties here were the Palins and A-Rod, or so you’d think, until you happened to chance on this thread. This aggrievedness on another’s behalf seems awfully…well…liberal, to me. There may yet be a union out there for you to organize.

    Slartibartfast (101ae6)

  203. ss –

    I did not specify murder, but it’d be up to the judge/jury.

    What does it say about you if you pulled that trigger w/o REALLY checking that the gun was unloaded? For that matter, what does it say about you that you pulled the trigger while aiming it at an innocent person at all?

    jim2 (96d10c)

  204. Willow was the one at the Yankees game. That’s a matter of public record.

    That won’t work.

    jim2 (96d10c)

  205. Willow was the one at the Yankees game. That’s a matter of public record.

    You’ve skipped a few steps. Maybe several. But this leap from “Willow was at the game” to “Letterman was referring to Willow” requires a bit closer connection, as far as I’m concerned.

    DID LETTERMAN’S LEGION OF DILIGENT FACT-CHECKERS FAIL IN THEIR DUTIES? ENQUIRING MINDS NEED TO KNOW!

    Slartibartfast (101ae6)

  206. “what does it say about you…?”

    Are you doubting the truth of my hypothetical belief that I thought it was unloaded? Let me assure you that I hypothetically actually believed that.

    ss (6519a1)

  207. No, I was referring to your “courtroom argument” drama manifesto. It would be Letterman saying, “Yes, it was 14-year old Willow at the game and I said that the daughter at the game got knocked up but I meant that the daughter who was not at the game got knocked up at the game when she was there though she was not there.”

    It sounds like that reception scene in “What’s up Doc.”

    jim2 (96d10c)

  208. ss –

    But I hypothetically say that it hypothetically says a nasty lot about your hypotheticcal self!

    jim2 (96d10c)

  209. 197.SCOTUS has quite a farm team system set up. You actually get to prove your chops before being tapped for that gig.

    Maybe you can point to the language in the Constitution that makes your point. I don’t remember any language regarding minimum qualifications (unlike, say, the California Constitution), but maybe you can show me where I’m wrong.

    Fritz (771258)

  210. No Fritz, there is no language like that. So I am forced to admit that the FCC and the USSC are so similar that my earliest comment was in error. I hereby proclaim that it is an unqualified good that we have priests of virtue to ensure that we don’t have to decide for ourselves what is decent.

    Long live the thinking of others!

    Makewi (0864f9)

  211. Oh, by the way. In my hypothetical, I’m from Mars and think that pointing a gun at someone is a polite form of greeting. Plus I was sleepwalking at the time. See, in a hypothetical, you can’t make assumptions on my credibility or background knowledge, cause I can hypothesize it all away, leaving your judgment of culpability to nothing but my undisputed intent. Which is the nut, regardless of whether it’s real or hypothetical.

    You’re assuming Letterman had some knowledge about the possibility of a risk that the “daughter” at the game might be a minor. If we, hypothetically, accept that he mistakenly jumped to the conclusion that the “daughter” in question was Bristol, (just like you mistakenly jumped to the conclusion that when I pointed the gun and fired I was an Earthling who was not sleepwalking) then what?

    ss (6519a1)

  212. But your Honor, I didn’t mean to shoot Willow Palin. I thought it was Bristol instead. I mean you really can’t hold me accountable for shooting Willow when I meant to shoot Bristol instead.

    Your defense of Dickhead Lettertrash is repugnant. It doesn’t matter who he supposedly meant to insult with his crass “joke”, the shot landed on Willow. Just as if he were shooting at someone and mistakenly hits someone else. He would still be guilty of murder in any court of law, regardless of his “supposed intention”.

    peedoffamerican (1f629d)

  213. Think about it, under the original version of the Constitution, you could have an unelected Senate confirm unelected members of the SCOTUS, who didn’t even need a law degree, let alone prior experience. And the President, who nominated the judges in the first place, was himself indirectly elected.

    The knock against the bureaucracy isn’t that it’s undemocratic.

    Fritz (771258)

  214. “But your Honor, I didn’t mean to shoot Willow Palin. I thought it was Bristol instead.”

    Willow and Bristol are not interchangeable though, right? The reason it’s such a horrible, crass joke is because Willow’s a minor, yes? Ignoring that is like saying that if I shot at my friend, but it mistakenly hit a black guy, I’m guilty of a hate crime. It’s just not so.

    ss (6519a1)

  215. To be fair, the original Senators were elected, just by a smaller group of people who themselves had been elected.

    Makewi (0864f9)

  216. No idiot,

    It doesn’t matter who the intended target is, it would still be murder, not a hate crime! It is a crass joke because Dickhead Lettertrash is crass. It doesn’t matter who his supposed intended target is, it still landed on Willow. Even he admitted it. So quit your pathetic attempts to shunt the blame from him.

    peedoffamerican (1f629d)

  217. But Slart and Jeff can read Letterman’s mind. They just absolutely know what he meant when he said that joke. With like absolute certainty. Jeff’s the king of language, yannow, so you must go with his interpretation above all others. Plus as a connoiseur of comediens Jeff absolutely positively knows the joke would have failed if it had been about Willow, so there’s that, ignoring that Letterman has never had a joke fail before.

    Great intentionalist arguments from the PW side!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  218. “it would still be murder, not a hate crime!”

    Agreed. My murder of the unintended target didn’t get worse because he was black. And I’m saying that the crass joke about Bristol and A-Rod doesn’t retroactively get any crasser when Lettertrash subsequently discovers that the daughter at the ballgame was Willow, a minor. Unless, of course, he knew he was talking about Willow all along, which you’re also free to believe, though that has nothing to do with how language works.

    ss (6519a1)

  219. ss –

    Letterman said the daughter at the game. The burden of proof would be on him.

    He had the responsibility for his language, the public record, and the absence of “again” could even be an inference. He “knew” there was a daughter there, why would he not be presumed to know which one?

    jim2 (96d10c)

  220. Hitler was a genius. The man was able to motivate a people beatdown by the aftermath of WWI in a fashion that changed the world for decades.
    Early on in his tenure, an ordinary German might have had no problem conducting business with a Gypsy but at the same time feel an entirely natural revulsion at the prospect of having the Gypsy as a son in law. This was not racism. Eventually there were less and less Gypsies to worry about, the reasons for which have been documented elsewhere so the chances of an individual German being a racist towards Gypsies became less and less. The same might be said of Jews as well, but the mere mention of “Jew” in some circles gets a person branded as an “anti semite” so lets not go there. Imagine though if you will, the Jewish bank teller doing the math in his head like as if he was a Chinese on Adderall *and* cranking out blog posts and then picture him… without revulsion mind you, these people are sensitive, as your son in law…
    Back to Hitler, he ran an organized Olympics. It was said that he exhibited racism towards US sprinter Jesse Owens. It has also been said in anecdotal accounts elsewhere that Jesse Owens was so damn fast that Hitler never saw him anyway, but regardless, it is safe to say that Owens was not what Mr. Hitler was looking for in any quest for progeny. Hitler’s revulsion towards Owens, although quite natural to him personally, was likely intended racism, even as Hitler never was able to corral enough Negroes to make a dent in his phobia. Whether the Jews and Gypsies were slower or just more available to Hitlers quest is a debate for others; who are not racists.

    SteveG (909b57)

  221. Since this spat with Goldstein began with charges of racism, I though that [object] had a good thread on it.

    Moneyrunner (ea5fc8)

  222. Let me get this straight. Defenders of Lettertrash and Goldtrash are saying the following:

    Lettertrash mindrapes Sarah Palin and her 14 yoa daughter Willow. He later says when he is called on it that he only meant to mindrape Sarah Palin and her 18 yoa daughter Bristol. Yeah that really is a real stand up defense of a total scumbag.

    Anybody, and I do repeat anybody that defends such conduct is a total amoral piece of shit. Put youselves in Sarah’s place and see if you would be so understanding when it applies to your daughter/daughters. This was totally out of line and Lettertrash should be perfunctorily terminated.

    If he had done such prior to 1960, he would have been picking his ass off the floor after receiving Todd’s fist in the face. Pre-1900, he would have been just another loudmouth pushing up daisies on Boot Hill.

    So, come on and defend this piece of shit hypocrite. Prove just how tolerant you really are.

    peedoffamerican (1f629d)

  223. Oh, I left out this; So then it is A-OK to mindrape Sarah and her 18 yoa daughter? I guess in your totally warped and depraved minds that would make it just okey-dokey. Not to mention the fact that it would also affect the 14 yoa Willow that just had her sister mindraped on national television.

    peedoffamerican (1f629d)

  224. that’s kind of melodramatic

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  225. feets – Sometimes melodramatic is the way language functions. Real life too. Professional wrestling can be melodramatic, for reals.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  226. Daleyrocks I really don’t like you and I think you are an overdramatic piece of garbage with an overinflated opinion of yourself. My two cents.

    Feel free to insult me again go ahead I think I care more about my navel lint than your comments.

    Mr. Pink (bb8267)

  227. for reals

    Mr. Pink (bb8267)

  228. Pink, you were saying something about being overdramatic?

    SS,

    I do think Bristol and Willow are both very offensive targets for a joke. Some are very coarse or very partisan, and don’t realize just how obvious this is. They may not be interchangable in some way, but neither are legit targets.

    “You’re assuming Letterman had some knowledge about the possibility of a risk that the “daughter” at the game might be a minor.”

    A safe assumption that he and his staff knew exactly who was at the game, but a damn certainty that he knew that Palin had more than one daughter. You aren’t entitled to your own facts. This show runs their jokes by a fact checker and wanted this controversy.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  229. But Slart and Jeff can read Letterman’s mind. They just absolutely know what he meant when he said that joke.

    This is not even wrong, daleyrocks. Go back and read again, with comprehension this time.

    This crime you’ve ascribed to me is, in fact, exactly what Patterico has done.

    Slartibartfast (d553bf)

  230. Slart – I disagree. Perhaps everyone feels they can read Letterman’s mind. What you claim is not EXACTLY what Patterico has done, sorry.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  231. Slart – I also did not mention a crime, did I. Let’s not go there. I don’t want that violent Goldstein toi start threatening to snap ankles again.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  232. What you claim is not EXACTLY what Patterico has done, sorry.

    Same kind of thing, though, is it not? Patterico, you see, claims to be able to see through Letterman’s later clarification to what he really meant.

    If not; if I’ve completely misunderstood him, Patterico’s arguing about nothing. Nothing at all. And what a giant waste of fucking time that would have been, no?

    Slartibartfast (d553bf)

  233. Slart – Patterico is arguing about language. I have no idea what you are arguing about.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  234. “exactly what Patterico has done.”

    I thought P had stipulated something to get at the heart of the matter, by saying ‘what if he thought this’, which acknowledges that it’s not provable. The other side says ‘well, we know he didn’t so we won’t even attempt your hypo’.

    Who is playing Ms Cleo?

    Dustin (44f8cb)

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  236. “This crime you’ve ascribed to me is, in fact, exactly what Patterico has done.”

    Not at all.

    I’m arguing what I have argued all along: that likely listener reaction is a proper consideration for a speaker, and that knowledge of a likely reasonable reaction plays into intent.

    dicentra has this whole post about how Goldstein always argues only structure while I argue content — but in the Rush debate, we agreed on structure, though Jeff claimed we didn’t. We disagreed on content.

    Patterico (64318f)

  237. Slart – Patterico is arguing about language.

    No, he’s arguing about whether a given speaker should experience some unnamed consequences, should his statements be sufficiently ambiguous that the really determined in his audience can ignore what he said he meant, and point to things he might have meant.

    that likely listener reaction is a proper consideration for a speaker, and that knowledge of a likely reasonable reaction plays into intent

    Eh? One’s intent is a function of listener reaction?

    This is a bare assertion. Where’s your support?

    Letterman’s intent was what it was. You don’t get to decide what it was. You can choose to take it a certain way, but your choice doesn’t have to be shared by everyone.

    But, you know, there’s the attempted MINDRAPE! to be concerned about.

    Slartibartfast (101ae6)

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