Patterico's Pontifications


Conservative White Dude Named Dean at Harvard Law; Embittered Lefties Kvetch [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:38 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Harvard Law School, endowed initially by money from a slaveholder, today announced that Professor John Manning, a double alumnus of Harvard, will become the new Dean of the Law School effective July 1. Mr. Manning replaces the outgoing Dean Martha Minnow, whose tenure was marked by the modern cornucopia of race issues that infest campuses these days, and Ms. Minnow’s reaction was typically one of subservience to whatever demands the grievance industry happened to issue on any given day. Patterico covered this predilection a couple of years ago, and Dana reminded us that Harvard Law is home to a great number of snowflakes and crybullies. Mr. Manning, on the other hand, has conservative credentials, having clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia as well as for the late Judge Robert Bork. He also served in the George W. Bush administration in the Office of Legal Council and the Office of the Solicitor General.

So naturally, Mr. Manning’s appointment finds lefties in a state somewhere between embitterment and apoplexy. Over at Above the Law, Elie Mystal is, well, mystified that this job wasn’t treated as an affirmative action plum:

In related news, Manning was opposed by pretty much every legal “affinity” group you can think of on campus. If HLS admitted Martian law students, the Martians would have opposed John Manning. The choice of the non-white males at Harvard Law was professor David Wilkins. Wilkins’s scholarship focuses on the legal profession and legal ethics. THAT SEEMS KIND OF IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW. [All-caps repeated from original.]

But hey, score one for the white guys. We know things are tough for them right now, what with running all three branches of the government and all.

That’s right, folks. When white guys are in power in government, law schools have some sort of sacred obligation to balance that by appointing women and minorities to top positions. To bolster his argument that women and minorities are disappointed with the appointment of Mr. Manning, Mr. Mystal goes to that most authoritative of sources, Twitter:

Usually, when a new dean gets named at a prestigious law school, there are tons of well wishers commending the choice. Manning is no different. But for the past couple hours, I’ve been searching “John Manning” on Twitter, and in my unscientific scanning, I really haven’t seen non-white men taking to Twitter to congratulate the new dean. [. . .]

I know how the internet works, as soon as I publish this, conservatives are going to go find some women who support Manning, even if they have to create them like Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science. But if you look at social media (and, you know, my inbox of disappointed HLS grads who are women or of color) as of this writing, you’d think that Manning is here to serve only one segment of the HLS community. [Emphasis repeated from original.]

Stop the presses: left-wing Harvard Law grads are emailing a left-wing law blogger to express dismay at the hiring of a conservative dean! Who would have expected that? Left unsaid by Mr. Mystal is whether the appointment of a woman or minority would have led white males at Harvard Law to believe that their community would not be served, but I’m sure Mr. Mystal doesn’t waste one neuron of his brainpower pondering that question. But since he hasn’t yet exhausted his wellspring of bitchy snark, Mr. Mystal lets loose with a final observation:

To the extent that HLS was looking for a consensus choice among its diverse constituencies, the Manning rollout looks pretty pathetic. If all the white guys are grinning like they hit the Keno in Watertown, and but you struggle to find women or people of color to even send out a nice Tweet, your choice is perhaps more polarizing than you and all your white boy friends anticipated.

I guess white guys who went to Harvard Law School were due for a victory. The world can be so very very hard on them.

“Provocative” and “edgy” bloggers like Elie Mystal delight in caustically referring to their own subgroup as “white boys” in the belief that it buys them credibility with the various grievance groups from whom they long for acceptance. If you stop to think about it, white lefty self-loathing is at its very core simply sad and pathetic, though I suppose it’s all the rage among progressives in these mindless days.

I’m loath to have to respectfully suggest this to Elie Mystal and all the HLS grads who are filling his inbox with despairing messages, but perhaps Harvard Law chose Mr. Manning precisely because even they have grown tired of the whining theatrics of grievance-obsessed law students, and they no longer want a leader who indulges their every whim and fancy. I don’t follow these things, but a commenter on the Harvard Crimson article suggests that the perception of Harvard in the legal world has taken a hit over the past few years, so perhaps Mr. Manning was brought in to put an end to the grandstanding and moral preening that has infected every level of academia throughout the past decade and to restore a robust and intellectually-stimulating education in legal matters. Wouldn’t that be a wonder of wonders? You won’t find me saying this often, but rah Harvard.

[Cross-posted at You Know Where.]

UPDATE: It appears that I was wrong about Elie Mystal. I had been led to believe that he was a white guy, but it would seem pretty likely that he is instead black, and not in a Rachel Dolezal wishful-thinking sort of way. My mistake in making the assumption. So instead of his crack at “white boys” being self-loathing, it’s just run-of-the-mill bigoted. Glad to clear that up. I also note that I failed to provide a link to his post, but since I now know what a jerk he is I think I’ll go ahead and leave it out.


Comedian Kathy Griffin Now A Victim?? (Video Update Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:02 am

[guest post by Dana]

It’s Friday, so you’ll have to cut me slack for posting about such absurd happenings. But honestly, this fairly defines the absurd culture in which we find ourselves currently flailing about. I studiously avoided posting about the Kathy Griffin debacle when it happened because yawn, but now it’s gotten so ridiculous that it demands its own separate post. So, a comedian exercises very poor judgment in her attention whoring, as evidenced by drawing the unwanted attention of the Secret Service, is shocked when the masses soundly condemn her and the idiots claim she’s committed treason, and apologizes for her bad decision making but doesn’t apologize to the person she’s offended, yet now seems to believe that she is the victim in all of this. A victim of the president, no less. But of course. In the meantime, sane people just want off this crazy train of social psychosis.

First, here is Kathy Griffin expressing her intent to go all out on “‘President Piece of Shit’ Donald Trump,” and his 11 year old son:

For me, that’s Trump and all things Trump. It’s not about trying to be an equal-opportunity offender anymore because Hillary got such a beat down. It’s his turn. So I’m happy to deliver beat down to Donald Trump — and also to Barron. You know a lot of comics are going to go hard for Donald, my edge is that I’ll go direct for Barron. I’m going to get in ahead of the game.

To recap: D-list comedienne Kathy Griffin, along with photographer Tyler Shields, hatched up with a plan to photograph the wanna-be Joan Rivers holding a fake severed head resembling President Trump. It was gruesome and disturbing, and garnered all the outrage and attention that Griffin hoped would happen. President Trump expressed his disgust. First Lady Melania Trump also unloaded on Griffin, especially after 11 year old son Barron Trump got upset after seeing the photograph on television. The right-wing blogosphere condemned the comedian as well. Unexpectedly, so too did some members of the left: Chelsea Clinton, CNN co-host Anderson Cooper – even Slate – denounced her. By Tuesday night, Griffin released a video apology, claiming that she “went too far,” and asked forgiveness. Yet she did not directly apologize to the President. In the subsequent fallout, Griffin found herself dropped as spokesperson for Squatty Potty, her comedy shows were canceled and she was fired by CNN. (Side note: Sen. Al Franken, with whom Griffin was scheduled to host an event with in July, evidenced that his moral compass consists of sticking his finger in the air to see which way the prevailing winds of disapproval blow. Originally, after the photo appeared on Tuesday, his reaction was one of disapproval, saying it was “very unfortunate” and “unacceptable”. However, after Griffin came out with her apology on Tuesday night “begging for forgiveness,” Franken, who “believes in forgiveness,” said the show would go on. But by Thursday, after facing backlash from Minnesotans for his decision, he backed off, saying he had “come to the conclusion that it would be best for her not to participate in the event.”)

And then last night, there was a dramatic turn of events: Kathy Griffin became the victim. Because Hollywood:

Kathy Griffin and attorney Lisa Bloom have scheduled a press conference on Friday where Griffin will elaborate on her decision to do a photo shoot in which she held up a bloody prop that resembled Donald Trump’s severed head.

In a press announcement she posted on Twitter, Bloom said that she and Griffin will “explain the true motivation behind the image, and respond to the bullying from the Trump family she has endured.”

As actor Nick Searcy astutely observed:

What did I tell you? @kathygriffin is the victim now. Hollywood will reward her with her own show or with hosting the Oscars within 6 months

Now, for all of you who were outraged at the photo of Griffin with the fake severed head, how do you feel about it now being used by a Republican Super PAC to attack Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District election?

“Jon Ossoff believes what Kathy Griffin did was despicable and for Karen Handel’s Super PAC to say otherwise is a disgrace,” said Ossoff spokeswoman Sacha Haworth. “Karen Handel should immediately demand this ad be pulled before any more children have to see these disturbing images on TV.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


UPDATE: Here is video of the today’s news conference with attorney Lisa Bloom and comedian Kathy Griffin. In answer to the question of the post’s title, yes, Kathy Griffin is a victim – in her own eyes. I watched the whole thing. It’s pretty nauseating. I don’t know about you, but if making jokes about underboob sweat just doesn’t seem smart. But of course, this had nothing to do with smarts or remorse. Instead it has everything to with Griffin being attacked, being victimized, being threatened, losing jobs, being disavowed, and having everyone turn on her. EVERYONE! Not because of her own poor decision making, of course, but because EVERYONE ELSE! It seems like if the goal were to get past this as quickly as possible, a smart attorney would have advised her client to simply offer a humble apology of remorse directly to the president, or better yet, to Barron Trump. But obviously I’m not a smart attorney, or attorney of any kind, because that was not the game plan. Rather it appears the game plan is to squeeze this for all the self-righteous sympathy Griffin can get. Similar to the president, Kathy Griffin is a victim of her own poor judgement, lack of discretion, and self-indulgence.


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