Patterico's Pontifications

11/26/2005

Althouse’s New Comments Policy

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 8:43 am



Ann Althouse has a new comments policy, arising out of a blog fight between her and Jeff Goldstein. (The details of the blog fight are in the extended entry of this post, which quotes their comments back and forth and provides links to the comments and relevant thread. If you want the background first, skip to the extended entry, read the blogfight, and come back here.) The blogfight is interesting in the way that the aftermath of a train wreck is interesting, but my focus here is is the comment policy, announced in this post:

I’m not going to accept repetitious arguments, abusive language, and overblown accusations — which seem to have become the style in the last few days. This is my place. I like debate and am ready to read criticism, but what has been going on lately has crossed the line, and I’m adopting a new, more activist form of supervision.

I will delete comments that offend my standards, and I will turn off comments on posts where the conversation is played out to the point where it is attracting too many deletable posts. You’re welcome to practice your free speech on your own blogs. I intend to keep a civil dialogue on mine.

There is little objectionable about that in principle. But any comment policy is only as good as its implementation. You can see Althouse’s new policy in action in comments to another post of hers titled Fending off rabid attack poodles. You should read all of the comments in the thread for the full context, but I’ll pick out the parts that grabbed my attention.

The first thing that jumped out at me was that Althouse deleted a post that she believed was critical of her, but republished its contents once she learned that it was critical of others. This comment by tiggeril was deleted by Prof. Althouse. In a subsequent comment, tiggeril explained: “That wasn’t aimed at you, Ann!” Althouse then left this comment, republishing what tiggeril had said:

Sorry, Tigeril. You wrote:

“Jesus. I found more reasoned debate in my college classes. Why the hell do people take the internet so seriously?

“The ‘blogosphere’ died when the authors’ egos became more important than what they were writing about.”

I did take that personally, so I’m glad to hear it’s not about me. It’s been a long week!

Why would a comment become more acceptable based upon who it criticized?

There may be a partial answer to that question in this comment by Althouse, left just after tiggeril’s deleted comment, in which Althouse explains to Bill from INDC Journal that her readers don’t want to read repeated criticism of her:

Bill: This is my place, with my standards. It’s for me to push the envelope here, not you. You’re a guest, and you need to act like one, for the sake of the other readers, who are people who have a special interest in reading me, not you. If my blogging is as bad as you seem to think, my readers will go away. You’re coming here to talk to the people who haven’t gone away. Do you seriously think they want to hear you repeatedly say how terrible I am? At the very least, it’s boring!

To the contrary, I have found all of this very interesting.

I’m citing this material largely without commentary. I want to let the quotes and links speak for themselves. I hasten to add that any blogger has the absolute right to monitor their comments in any way they see fit. But, of course, that right does not make them immune from criticism for how they conduct those policies.

More from Goldstein and John Cole.

And in the extended entry, the blogfight that started it all:

[Extended entry: blogfight]

It all started when Prof. Althouse wrote a post titled “The M&Ms float crashed. Oh the humanity! As God is my witness, I thought M&Ms could fly.” She went on to explain the title in the post, which (before updates) read as follows:

That’s the reaction in the Pajamas Media live blogging when a Thanksgiving Parade balloon crashes and falls, along with a streetlight into a crowd. Here‘s an MSM report of the incident, quoting a spectator saying “It happened so fast. I said, ‘Oh, my God!’ It dropped like a rock.” Also: “A 26-year-old woman and 11-year-old girl were apparently hurt by the debris.”

Do our intrepid bloggers right themselves? Scroll at the first link to see how they carry on joking about the accident:

“Are we liveblogging someone’s death? Because I didn’t sign on to do parade snuff.”

“Ed, you’re thinking of skittles. Skittles have superpowers that M&M’s do not. It’s a generational thing.”

I was at the parade in 1969, when Bullwinkle deflated all over a bystanders near the Ansonia Hotel, who moved inside en masse and started Plato’s Retreat.

Yikes.

Jeff Goldstein left a comment saying that Althouse had been “dishonest” in the post, and explaining that the live-bloggers had not known someone had gotten hurt when they made their jokes:

To suggest, as you’ve done in this post, that we were callous, is rather despicable. CBS, the channel on which we were watching the thing, didn’t really stop covering the parade after the lampost fell. So we reacted to what was happening in the coverage.

We didn’t know who was hurt, or how badly.

I have no idea how much further into the gutter you want to take all this, Ann. But don’t let your amen chorus fool you — you are really doing yourself dishonor with misleading and moronic posts like this.

Althouse responded in a comment:

Sorry, Jeff. A lamppost hit a young woman in the head and you guys went on with a series of jokes, including the “snuff” one (which I quoted in my post), and a creepy homophobic-sounding one. You needed to be funny, and seeing something dangerous happen to a crowd that included kids didn’t stop you. Quit trying to intimidate me out of criticizing you guys. You know how I feel about bullies. It emboldens me! You’re putting up material to be read and blogged. You want to be immune from getting blogged? Try putting good material up if you don’t want to hear criticism. Do you seriously think the live-blogging of the parade was top-notch work? Give me a break.

Go9ldstein responded with this comment:

That is patently false, Ann. Were you watching the parade coverage on CBS?

You’re bringing in reportage from after the fact — details we didn’t have while we were blogging the event.

And who’s trying to bully you? I’m simply correcting the record because, well, I WAS THERE.

I don’t much care if you like the liveblogging or not. That’s a matter of taste. But you are suggesting here that we were callous or unconcerned — when the fact of the matter is, it wasn’t even clear to us what had happened.

In fact, I left that comment about the parade snuff after CBS cut to a shot of the casing from the lampost bulb on the ground. They hadn’t yet even MENTIONED that anyone might be injured. I just looked at the size of that thing and was a bit alarmed.

That I’m even having to defend a bunch of us from the suggestion that we don’t care about people getting injured is a testament to the kinds of base motives you seem to want to assign to a disparate set of people whose only real common bond is that they signed up for Pajamas media.

Yet now we’re all MONSTERS who LAUGH AT DEATH AND PAIN.

It’s mind boggling.

And Althouse responded with this comment:

Jeff: “Were you watching the parade coverage on CBS?” Why on earth would I do that? I’m not 7.

Anyway, I guess I hit a nerve, Jeff. Take it easy. Relax. Enjoy Thursday.

Goldstein responded:

“Anyway, I guess I hit a nerve, Jeff. Take it easy. Relax. Enjoy Thursday.”

Funny how accusing somebody of making light of the suffering of others will do that.

So to recap: you admit that you didn’t watch the coverage, so you have no idea what we were seeing and hearing.

I’ve explained to you what we ACTUALLY saw and heard, and how that differed from what you later learned from Breitbart (and that I learned, ironically, from you).

But instead of admitting you jumped to a conclusion and apologizing for thinking so ill of six people you don’t know, you have decided to prove that we all blithely ignored the seriousness of an incident that resulted in severe injuries by pointing out that — wait for it — I’m not happy that you’ve accused us of blithely ignoring the seriousness of an incident that resulted in severe injuries.

That about sum it up?

Althouse responded in a comment that has been lost to posterity. I never saw it. Where the comment used to be is now a statement:

This post has been removed by the author.

Immediately following that is another comment by Althouse, which is the last comment in the thread, after which she apparently shut down comments and announced her new comment policy. This final comment reads:

Jeff: I’ve been trying to avoid talking about Pajamas, believe it or not, but when I read the news report on Breitbart, I decided to go over and see how you folks treated the incident on your live-blogging effort, which I knew you were doing, but didn’t mean to talk about. Really, nothing interests me less than the Thanksgiving parade, and I thought it was surpassingly lame that you were live-blogging it, but I had meant to ignore it. But when I saw there was an accident, I wondered how you treated it. So I looked to see what you had, and frankly I could not believe you’d handled it so abysmally. Snuff films? This is the most evil pornography! Plato’s Retreat? Another sexual reference, though the joke is incomprehensible. And now you’re mad at me for calling attention to it? You come over to my blog and rant as if you’ve been given the assignment to be my personal Baldilocks? Really, you need to back off now. I won’t allow my comments section, known as a place of civil discourse, to be run into the ground.

I recommend that you read the entire comment thread, including Althouse’s updates, for full context.

53 Responses to “Althouse’s New Comments Policy”

  1. The whole comments issue in a nutshell

    Patrick Frey writes about Ann Althouse’s new comments policy. Bottom line: He’s not impressed.

    Look, I’m not nearly cool enough to sit at the lunch table with those kids, okay? They’re blogosphere superstars and I’m just this one guy who li…

    The Shape of Days (af7df9)

  2. Is this a trick question:

    “Why would a comment become more acceptable based upon who it criticized?”

    Perhaps because the criticism might be accurate and appropriate when applied to one individual, and consequently inappropriate or unacceptable if applied to anyone else?

    [So is Althouse saying it’s inaccurate and inappropriate to call her egotistical, unreasoned, and humorless (the accusations leveled in the deleted comment), but accurate and appropriate to use those terms to describe her opponents in this debate? — Patterico]

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  3. Much ado about…not much. In the end, it’s about who you like. Darling Ann bores my nads off, and I enjoy the heck out of Jeff. That’s all there is to it.

    Bane (2b85d0)

  4. Beg your pardon, but in the interests of accuracy, Althouse is involved in TWO blogfights that caused her to issue her policy. You’ve only described the one she’s having with the Right.

    She’s also fighting with Atrios on the Left. The details of that trainwreck are at my place here.

    I’ll say quite frankly that I am no fan of Jeff Goldstein, to say the least, and I daresay you’re not a big Atrios fan or have much love for his commenters.

    But in both cases Ann Althouse is being much less than honest and is playing games in comments to distract from warranted criticism based on facts.

    Thersites (03ce22)

  5. Patterico,

    I don’t know. I don’t have a dog in this fight. My answer to your question was hypothetical and did not reference specific individuals.

    As for Ann and Jeff, they should both take a few deep breaths and count to 10. I just don’t see the point of all this unless it’s a proxy fight for independent Blogs vs Pajamas.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  6. independent Blogs vs Pajamas

    Umm. That is one of the chief issues- the false notion that those of us who have chosen a different revenue stream are no longer independent. Ann keeps railing about us losing our ‘independence’ and violating the ‘spirit of blogging’ because we are part of this, but refuses to provide any evidence for these silly assertions.

    Really, it is an attack on our integrity. Right now, I have a ‘Larry the Cable Guy’ ad up (as well as others)- am I beholden to the ‘Larry the Cable Guy’ lobby? Have I surrendered my independence? Is Patterico beholden to his advertisers?

    This is just one of many smears Ann has leveled in the past week, and when corrected, she refuses to cede the point, deletes comments, and accuses people of ‘harassing’ her. Now she is rumbling that she is going to sue for the ‘coordinated smear’ against her, and is playing the victim of ‘sexist’ and ‘political’ attacks.

    BTW- A show of hands of those who have watched Pajamas media/OSM story unfold who think that the necessary ‘coordination’ is there to orchestrate a ‘smear campaign.’ That, in and of itself, is amusing.

    John Cole (5fab56)

  7. As for Ann and Jeff, they should both take a few deep breaths and count to 10. I just don’t see the point of all this unless it’s a proxy fight for independent Blogs vs Pajamas.

    Ah yes. The cycle of violence trope.

    Sorry, blackjack. Her post was dishonest and painted me and five others in a bad light based on a misunderstanding of chronology.

    I’ve tried many many times now to get Ms Althouse to make the correction. Instead of doing so, she has assumed the roll of victim.

    You might not think it’s a big deal. But I’d rather have a reputation as someone who just won’t let it go than have a reputation as someone who won’t stand up for his own character.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  8. I’ve been enjoying the Althouse/PJM dust-up as a spectator since Day One, but until now I’ve refrained from commenting on it much anywhere.

    This line helped me decide which side to weigh in on: Now she is rumbling that she is going to sue for the ‘coordinated smear’ against her

    That’s a lie. Althouse (10:13AM, Nov 26 comment) has specifically said she is not in the least interested in suing, but she wonders what the umbrella organization’s fiscal responsibility would be if someone did decide to sue one of the individual contributors. It’s an interesting question.

    Jeff said: Her post was dishonest and painted me and five others in a bad light based on a misunderstanding of chronology.

    Her post was not dishonest in the least. She did not bust the live-bloggers for not knowing that someone had been injured, she busted them for joking about the float mishap without even considering the possibility that someone might have been injured. Stop and think about it for a minute, Jeff: the parade route is lined with thousands and thousands of people. A float goes awry — and there has been a history of injury in these cases. Yet not one of you live-bloggers considered that it might be in poor taste to joke about it, because someone might have been hurt. That was Ann’s point, which her simple “Yikes” made aptly.

    You said in a comment (8:12PM, Nov 25) over at Ann’s:This speaks to intent and suggests that we blithely ignored — and continued to laugh at — injuries that we didn’t know about. And: But you are suggesting here that we were callous or unconcerned — when the fact of the matter is, it wasn’t even clear to us what had happened.

    You’re missing the point entirely, and by now I’ve come to believe you’re being wilfully disingenuous: you didn’t know about the injures. You admit that you didn’t know exactly what had happened. No one knew there were injuries at the time of the comments that Althouse quoted, which is exactly her point: not one of you considered the possibility that there might be injuries, which is not all an unreasonable unassumption. The fact that you joked without knowing whether or not there were injuries proves that you were, in fact, callous and unconcerned!

    The PJM live-bloggers looked foolish then, and your continued efforts to paint Ann as liar is just making it worse.

    Joan (1f3f15)

  9. “But I’d rather have a reputation as someone who just won’t let it go than have a reputation as someone who won’t stand up for his own character.”

    Okay; you stood up. But wouldn’t you prefer a reputation as someone who will stand up for his owncharacter but can still manage to withdraw graciously after he’s done so?

    See Dubya (e11a42)

  10. Joan-

    The comment Ann made regardin suing is such:

    Speaking of specific defamatory statements, do you think the Pajamas corporate entity could be liable for a concerted smear campaign among the member bloggers? I’ve heard they have $3.5 million, so I was just wondering. I’m not a tort lawyer. On the other hand, if the entity policy is to rein their members in, that would go against the assertions that they aren’t going to control content.

    In response to this (in which a commenter replies to Jeff):

    So you think it’s ok to say things like that as long as they are in the comments and not the blog entry? I honestly don’t understand that type of reasoning. How you can demand a retraction from Ann for what you believe was an implied slight while you persist in making specific defamatory characterizations of her is a bit hard to fathom.

    Sounds like someone who is making thinly veiled threats to sue, particularly since she refuses to take issue with the commenter who claims jeff and others are making ‘specific defamatory statements.”

    I think my characterization is spot on.

    John Cole (5fab56)

  11. Okay; you stood up. But wouldn’t you prefer a reputation as someone who will stand up for his owncharacter but can still manage to withdraw graciously after he’s done so?

    Sure.

    Which is why I never even put up a separate post about my travails with the Divine Miss A — just included it in an update to my original post announcing the liveblog. Later, I moved even that to an extended entry.

    The fact remains, Althouse has not corrected the record. I can’t help that she keeps putting up post after post to keep this alive. But when she does, I’m going to correct her in the comments there.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  12. Ann made remarks that went in both directions: 1) Jeff and Co. knew there were injuries, and still joked about it, and 2) Jeff and Co. saw the mishap, and should have assumed there might be injuries, and yet joked about it. As Jeff has pointed out, the merest expression of concern on his part put an end to the jokes within a few minutes, once everyone realized he was right and there might have been injuries.

    What Ann has never conceded is this: Jeff’s line that “I didn’t sign up to do parade snuff” (I might be paraphrasing slightly) was an expression of concern, albeit one that her she didn’t quite understand because of her own biases (literal-mindedness and a grudge against PJM).

    Attila Girl (c1b066)

  13. “I can’t help that she keeps putting up post after post to keep this alive.”

    What’s that proverb about when your enemy is committing suicide, get out of the way?

    See Dubya (e11a42)

  14. And Joan, you are wrong. Here is Ann’s opening:

    “The M&Ms float crashed. Oh the humanity! As God is my witness, I thought M&Ms could fly.”

    That’s the reaction in the Pajamas Media live blogging when a Thanksgiving Parade balloon crashes and falls, along with a streetlight into a crowd.

    This incorrectly states the chronology, as I have explained time and time again.

    That was NOT the reaction in the Pajamas Media live blogging when a Thanksgiving Parade balloon crashes and falls, along with a streetlight into a crowd; instead, it was the reaction when the CBS people said the M&M balloon’s strings got caught up in something.

    NOBODY KNEW AT THE TIME THAT A LIGHT HAD FALLEN.

    Let me say that again so it’s clear: NOBODY KNEW A LIGHT HAD FALLEN.

    Go look at the liveblog. At 8:33, the first mention is made of the M&M balloon getting caught up. At 8:37 I note that it’s possible somebody might have gotten hurt because CBS AT THAT TIME showed the lamp on the sidewalk. At 8:39, Ed Driscoll sees my post and reacts in a way that makes it clear that we HADN’T HAD ANY IDEA ANYONE MIGHT BE HURT: “Was somebody injured? Oy. I thought the only casualties were a lampost and a polypropelene float.”

    Part of the problem is that CBS ITSELF HAD SAID NOTHING ABOUT ANY POTENTIAL INJURY OR ANYTHING TO THAT EFFECT BEFORE MY REMARK. And if CBS, who was there covering the thing, wasn’t concerned — why the hell would we think to be?

    All we knew was what CBS told us; NBC didn’t even mention the accident in their coverage.

    So you see, we couldn’t be callous or unconcerned, because we weren’t made aware that there was anything to be callous or unconcerned ABOUT.

    I made it clear to Ms Althouse that we didn’t know anything about a lamppost falling because CBS barely mentioned the incident. It was me who actually made the connection — before CBS did — that someone could have gotten hurt. And I mentioned it. In real time.

    And once I did, there was no more joking about an off course balloon, save what got posted before people refreshed and saw my comment.

    Ann LEFT OUT THE POST where Ed realizes somebody might have been hurt. And in her comments she reargued the point: “A lamppost hit a young woman in the head and you guys went on with a series of jokes, including the “snuff” one (which I quoted in my post), and a creepy homophobic-sounding one. You needed to be funny, and seeing something dangerous happen to a crowd that included kids didn’t stop you.

    This suggests that we SAW something we didnt’, and that we were AWARE of something we weren’t. And it fails to acknowledge that when it’s clear we finally WERE aware of something WE DID STOP.

    It is you and Althouse who are being willfully disingenuous. If you feel the need to defend her, fine. But any honest assessment of this will show that Althouse WENT OUT OF HER WAY to think the worst of us — that we “went on” with jokes once we were aware a lamppost had fallen into a crowd.

    That is the plain truth of the matter. Her words say it.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  15. What’s that proverb about when your enemy is committing suicide, get out of the way?

    See-Dubya:

    See Joan’s comment above. This should make it clear to you why I’ve been forced to stay vigilant.

    I’m not going to let the story change into MY being disingenuous, because it is a total misrepresentation of what happened.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  16. By all means set Joan straight.

    Hey, do whatcha gotta do–I got no dog in the fight. But you’ve made your point, the other side is escalating instead of refuting it, and managing to look quite graceless and touchy in the process. I completely understand your indignation here but even if it’s well-grounded, it may create the perception of Althousia on your part as well.

    See Dubya (e11a42)

  17. I agree, See Dubya. I’m trying to keep my responses factual and confined to comments sections where I see these kinds of revisitations of the events.

    I stopped commenting over at Althouse’s site when the arbiter of blogospheric decorum decided to begin calling me “Jeffy.”

    I imagine had I begun calling her “Annie” she would have been shouting to the heavens of the inherent sexism in trying to diminish your rhetorical opponent in such a way.

    But then, Ms Althouse’s brand of feminism seems to me to be less about equality than it is about gleaning some advantage. Just my opinion.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  18. Jeff: So you see, we couldn’t be callous or unconcerned, because we weren’t made aware that there was anything to be callous or unconcerned ABOUT.

    1)A float fell. No one has any further information at that point as to damage or injury.
    2)Joking comments ensue on the PJM live-blog.
    3)Althouse quotes same and says you were callous.

    Sorry, but I’m still siding with Ann on this one: jokes were made, NOT KNOWING whether or not anyone was injured. IMO, that conveys a certain degree of callousness.

    Was it fair of Ann to stop her quotes from PJM where she did? No, but who says Ann has to be fair? Since when is the blogosphere “fair”?

    It’s good that you all gulped and quit joking when you realize someone had been injured. But you still look like idiots for making any jokes about the float accident at all.

    I concede your point that Ann’s post made you out to seem worse than you really were (joking while aware of the injury). It certainly would have been gracious of Ann to update her original post with something like, “They’ve come to their senses,” and additional appropriate quotes. She chose not to. I can speculate why: the following contrite posts in the live-blog did little to change her opinion of the stuff that came before.

    Why can’t you admit that you shouldn’t have been joking about the float accident at all?

    Of course you’re free to say whatever you want, but I can’t fathom why you’re defending such ingracious behavior. Are you going to say now that you all were only trying to be funny?

    This incident puts me in mind of the great wits of middle school who would always be ready to quip, “Have a nice trip? See you next fall!” whenever someone took a tumble on the playground.

    Joan (1f3f15)

  19. John Cole: it would have been kind of you to quote the comment I actually linked to, instead of the earlier comment in which Ann was generally speculating about the legal implications for PJM should someone file suit. In the 10:13AM Nov 26 comment, here’s what Ann actually said:

    Note: I’m not threatening to sue Pajamas for the antics of Goldstein and others. I believe in free speech and I have plenty of opportunity to respond with more speech, the best remedy for people who believe in free speech. Most of what they’ve said is either satire or opinion. There are lies, for example, saying I’m crazy. But no one really takes that as a statement of fact. It’s just stupid and debasing for him and Cole and others to carry on the way they do. They are themselves making the argument that Pajamas Media is not ready for prime time, not anything near the viable media enterprise the venture capitalists must have wanted to think they were.

    Joan (1f3f15)

  20. Joan- I did not see that comment, and thought you were referring to the comment I linked.

    Good. I am glad she has decided to stop winking and nodding and talking about suing, and has decided to come straight out and say she will not.

    John Cole (5fab56)

  21. First Deignan versus BitchPHD, and now Althouse versus Goldstein. Can’t we all just ….

    Andrew (08ba2c)

  22. Joan —

    We were asked to watch the coverage and make light of it. You now know that we weren’t aware of an accident (beyond that to an inanimate object) or any potential injuries, and that our source of information, CBS, didn’t alert us to the possibility of such.

    You concede that Ann’s post tried to put us into the worst possible light. But it goes beyond that: she refused to correct the post once I pointed out to her that her premise — that we went right on joking knowing a lamppost had fallen into a crowd with children — was mistaken.

    You likewise suggest Ann is under no obligation to be “fair” — which means you think it’s fine that she shaped her post in such a way that it shows us in the worst possible light, and that she then refused to make a clarification once all the facts were in.

    And you have decided — knowing all this — to throw your support behind Ann, anyway.

    Which is fine. But let me break this down for you:

    You have committed yourself to the position that 1) making lighthearted jokes about errant floats that were perfectly consistent with the CBS coverage and that were never intended to be offensive, and 2) that were made by people hired on specifically to make lighthearted jokes about the parade…

    …is MORE objectionable than

    1) Attacking people’s characters because you assume the worst of them, 2) then hiding exculpatory evidence that doesn’t jibe with your manufactured story.

    Just so you know where you stand.

    The idea that we need to be circumspect to the point of immobility simply because the world is filled with contingencies is absurd. As I said before, we took our cues from the coverage on CBS. They were THERE. Your criticisms would be better aimed at their producers if what you wish to argue is that once a balloon string hits a snarl we have to stop the world from spinning until we understand any and all possible outcomes.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  23. […] Patterico has the details. […]

    Pundit Review » Blog Archive » (698efa)

  24. I wonder if most of the problem is people who read text reports about the accident but didn’t see the video (live, or later on the news). There was no way to know that anybody could have been hurt, just watching the live video, or watching the wide-view setup shot most news reports used. The balloon was in obvious distress, but it hadn’t crashed, or done anything dangerous looking. It wasn’t possible to know something dangerous had happened until you saw the close up replay of a line catching the light pole, and torqueing it off. Or, as Jeff did, seeing the close-up shot of the lamp on the ground, and connecting the dots.

    It’s just objectively wrong to imply any callousness on the part of the parade live-bloggers (unless you’re point is that Jeff used a naughty word with pornographic undertones; yawn). It just is. If you’re arguing about this without having watched the footage, you need to stop arguing and watch the footage.

    Andrew Shimmin (8002e5)

  25. Oh; I had another point I forgot to make. This mess didn’t start with the parade live-blog. It started on the OSM launch day. Ms. Althouse linked Jeff’s fake live-blog as evidence that OSM was crap. She didn’t seem to have understood that it was a work of fiction; after finding out, she edited her post and turned on her snark after-burners. Then she spent the next several days picking at the scab. I thought the whole thing was over when, in her comments section (pre-new-policy) Jeff started replying to each of her jibes by plugging (in advance) the parade live-blog. Then, whaddyaknow? She has a problem with the parade live-blog.

    Something is up with her. I don’t know her, but I’ve been reading her for a long time and can’t remember a flamewar she ever took part in, much less instigated. Now she’s picking three fights a week. Something’s up.

    Andrew Shimmin (8002e5)

  26. Jeff G, you were no doubt provoked by Ann’s snark, but you aren’t innocent in this. If you really did just want peace rather than a blog fight you could have responded to Ann’s original post with a polite explanation of what happened.

    You didn’t need to use the words “despicable” or “moronic”. That tone made it much less likely that Ann would rethink what she wrote, and you were surely aware of that.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  27. Jeff.

    In spite of having the feeling that we’re all just circling a drain here, I’ll have one more go at it.

    I do not think Ann ever intended to attack the PJM live-bloggers characters, as in their honor or integrity. I believe that Ann’s point was to show the perils of live-blogging and to demonstrate another mis-step in PJM’s brief history. PJM hasn’t had all that much content, so anything that is put up is going to be scrutinized, and scrutinize Ann did.

    What did you expect would happen, when you joked about a parade float coming down? Why didn’t you follow the network coverage lead, and downplay it until you knew what was going on? Instead you all had a little riff on it, all the while in ignorance — and it did not reflect well on you. Can you at least admit that much?

    Did I ask or expect or ever even imagine that the live-blog should come to a screaming halt until the fate of the M&M float was determined? Oh, please: there’s plenty of mockable material in any parade coverage. Is such hyperbole really the best response you could muster?

    Bottom line: Ann got herself into this by reporting only the parts of the live-blog that irritated her, and by not updating with further information. Yes, that’s not fair. But so what? She had a point. Yes, her point was based on an inaccurate timeline, but even with the amended timeline you provided, the point still stands.

    As to where I stand, I think both sides of this little spat are being childish and over-sensitive. Ann could’ve updated her original post to reflect that you all realized you were being cads and repented. You could’ve given her the space in which to do that — in fact, I would bet that if your initial response had been, “Yeah, that was pretty stupid, but cut us some slack, we didn’t know anyone had been hurt,” that Ann’s response would’ve been different. You immediately leapt in to defend your bruised honor. Over-react, much? You’re all imagining winks, nods, and veiled threats that frankly, I just don’t see. Ann isn’t making new posts on this topic and I don’t see her floating around the blogosphere defending her point of view in comment threads, either. She doesn’t care that much. (Now I’m imagining you’re saying: Of course she doesn’t care, it wasn’t her honor that was besmirched!)

    Enough already. I’m neither wholly with Ann nor entirely against you. I only got into this because of the assertion John Cole made that Ann wanted to sue PJM, which was in direct contradiction to Ann’s own comment. Others have said it before in other threads and I’ll say it here: this incident has all the hallmarks of a good old-fashioned USENET spat: cherry-picked quotes, and quotes of context? check. Ignoring the stuff you don’t want to deal with? check. Emotions run amok? check. Imagined slights and insults? double check.

    I gave up USENET years ago… now I remember why.

    Joan (1f3f15)

  28. Man I don’t know what to say about this. I read Althouse and Goldstein both and I wish they’d both just cool it.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  29. Doc Rampage —

    Read Andrew’s post above yours. None of this happened in a vaccuum. I knew what Ann was doing with her post. Her response to me only confirmed it.

    Again, don’t take my word for it. Her own words: “A lamppost hit a young woman in the head and you guys went on with a series of jokes, including the “snuff” one (which I quoted in my post), and a creepy homophobic-sounding one. You needed to be funny, and seeing something dangerous happen to a crowd that included kids didn’t stop you.

    Making this claim about a bunch of people you don’t know — and doing so publically without having your facts straight — IS despicable. Sorry, but that’s the word for it.

    And the post itself — in that it was based on reportage that Ann received after the fact, that it didn’t take into account what we were shown, and that it was made without any familiarity with the network coverage we had at our disposal — IS moronic.

    Everything Ann did — from the pointed omission of the exculpatory post to here refusal to make the correction — runs completely counter to Joan’s strained insistence that “Ann’s point was to show the perils of live-blogging”; because if anything, our liveblog, however inadvertantly, provided more information on the balloon snafu than did the coverage of NBC (who completely ignored it). The only peril here is that people are arguing seriously that judging statements out of context in the light of later information not available to those who you are judging, is somehow a legitimate and serious point of view.

    No WMD? BUSH LIED!

    And seriously – anybody who suggest Ann just doesn’t care — after however many posts and updates she’s made about this — is delusional. Yes, I’ve been defending myself. But I’ve wanted only one thing from the start: Ann to say that she got the facts wrong, and that we didn’t, as she has maintained, see something bad happen in a crowd (we didn’t) and continue to make jokes (we didn’t).

    That’s all it would have taken to quiet me. Though I still think the post itself was meanspirited and amazingly petty.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  30. Now I’m done — except to say that for the record, I didn’t even make the float jokes. But the people who did, who I don’t know all that well, seemed like perfectly friendly and fine people to me, and I don’t suspect even for a second that there was an ounce of malice in their hearts.

    Which is another of the reasons I’ve felt so driven to hammer these points home.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  31. Selectively quoting from Joan’s last comment:

    “I do not think Ann ever intended to attack the PJM live-bloggers characters, as in their honor or integrity.”

    and

    “Ann could’ve updated her original post to reflect that you all realized you were being cads and repented.”

    Please explain how implying that someone is a cad (you’ve done it explicitly, but I suspect that you haven’t seen video of the event, and are doing so only because you don’t know any better than to take Ms. Althouse’s word for the matter) isn’t impugning his character.

    Andrew Shimmin (26ffa7)

  32. Joan –

    For the record – and not assuming that you care given the silly angle that you’re bothering to champion – but you putting forth the idea that Althouse was not implying that Goldstein, et al were joking in light of an injury – and were merely not prescient (omniscient?) enough to account for the possibility of an injury, and thus merited her brand of scorn … well, that’s either a lark, delusional or the product of a wildly theoretical (and slightly discomfiting outside of a well-compensated courtroom setting) legalistic mind. Give us all a break with that shit.

    And as for folks like Doc Rampage lecturing on the tone of any response, well, let’s just say that such an admonition doesn’t seem to contextually account for the real nature of the counter-argument in light of Althouse’s ridiculously repetitive and outrageous animus over the past week or so. I mean, some perspective; she’s been banging this drum like a certain red felt muppet on meth.

    I never really read Althouse much prior to this, but given Reynolds’ incessant linkage, I always presumed somewhat of a level head.

    But after much of the distracting, tortured, disingenous, intellectually inconsistent, martyrdom rationale that I’ve read in the past week – chauvanism is behind attacks on her, she’s speaking up for “the (real) spirit of blogging,” the motivations of her detractors are compromised by conspiracy and profit motive, a rhetorical bully squad is trying to silence her, the utilization of dishonest innuendo in the presentation of the parade post and, my personal favorite, situationally deleting offensive comments, yet reinstating them when they used the very same apparently repellant tactics on her enemies – well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t trust a thinker like that to feed my goldfish when I was out of town, much less regard her opinion on issues of substance with anything approaching intellectual interest or the default setting of respect that I afford most public commentators, even including the homeless man on the corner of M and 24th that launches rants about the CIA molesting him … in between rounds of soiling his knickers. (I’m only half kidding.)

    But I digress. You can feel the compulsion to defend her based on established respect for her and/or her work, and martial a dizzying array of situational logic to back your play (predisposition is a strong influence), but Althouse’s recent utilization of bad faith and self-aggrandizing argumentation represent cardinal sins of intellectually honest punditry. And given those sins, if I were you, I’d spend less time trying to justify them and more time constructively convincing her to tiptoe quietly back from the rhetorical ledge of lost credibility.

    But don’t listen to me.

    Because for all you know …

    … despite my clever claims of independence … I’m a sleeper agent, part of the C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y; the mysoginistic Pajamas hit squad deployed to silence the brave dissent of RADIO FREE BLOGGING.

    We’re everywhere.

    Bill from INDC (d1d947)

  33. You know, Bill, you made a modicum of sense before you went over the edge with that conspiracy shit.

    It doesn’t require prescience to think that someone might’ve been hurt when a float went awry. Maybe I’m just too empathetic, but whenever an accident of any sort mars a public spectacle, I’m always sorry for the people involved. You know someone is going to get reamed for allowing the screw up to take place. But maybe that’s just me, and you’ll never see me being paid to live-blog anything — or live-blogging anything unpaid, for that matter.

    At this point, it’s pretty funny that y’all are sticking to the “we were trying to be funny” and “we didn’t know anyone was hurt” non-defenses, because they’re lame. “But you didn’t see the video!” Get a clue, guys: live-blogging is written for people who aren’t watching the event being blogged! And the blog stays up on the site for eons after the event is over! The vast majority of the readership isn’t going to see the video — or didn’t you stop to think of that? Could you just yield on the point that mocking the float accident was clueless? I’m guessing no, from all that’s gone before.

    I could say a lot about Althouse, but there’s no point. You’ve got your take, based on recent events, and I have mine, based on reading her for well over a year. I’m not going to defend her any more than I already have — she does things that annoy the hell out of me, too, that comment deletion/re-instating thing being one example. But there’s one thing I can say for sure about Ann: she loves having a high profile, and she is psyched by how much traffic this is sending to her blog. Did you guys ever stop to consider that she’s playing this — and you — for all it’s worth?

    Joan (1f3f15)

  34. Maybe I’m just too empathetic, but whenever an accident of any sort mars a public spectacle, I’m always sorry for the people involved.

    See guys? Joan’s problem is that she just cares too much! If only you people had cared like Joan, you wouldn’t be in this pickle.

    Learn to care like Joan. If a big M&M gets tangled somewhere, don’t laugh. Learn to think, “this will likely end in tragedy.”

    rc (302dff)

  35. I only got into this because of the assertion John Cole made that Ann wanted to sue PJM, which was in direct contradiction to Ann’s own comment.

    Joan, not to pile-on, but I reject this characterization. It seems like I am hell bent on misrepresenting Ann, and I am not. Ann made a series of comments that clearly were designed to give the impression that she was thinking about suing, and only later did she state specficially that she DID NOT intend to sue.

    I saw the earlier remarks, not the later ones until you alerted me to them.

    And you know what- I did what Ann apparently can’t do- I corrected the record.

    John Cole (5fab56)

  36. Folks:

    Just to set the record straight (heh), Plato’s Retreat was a heterosexual sex club. Not homosexual.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd abHugh (f8a7be)

  37. Joan,

    I’ve read Ann Althouse for over a year, too, and I won’t be going back. Your quote confirms, perhaps unwittingly, her excessive ego:

    “But there’s one thing I can say for sure about Ann: she loves having a high profile, and she is psyched by how much traffic this is sending to her blog.”

    Her ego recently “inflated” beyond all reason and it apparently stems from the fact that OSM/Pajamas rejected her. Hell hath no fury …

    DRJ (15ed57)

  38. You know, Bill, you made a modicum of sense before you went over the edge with that conspiracy shit.

    Well, if it helps, the conspiracy shit was a joke on my part. On Althouse’s part, considering that she labeled one of my earlier comments as the effort of an “enforcer of the first rule of Pajamas Media … shut up,” when I have no afflitaion with or particular love for Pajamas Media … well to her it seems quite real.

    Bill from INDC (d1d947)

  39. So as I understand it – she got offended by some (arguably) inappropriate comments during the liveblogging, started a fight about it, and when she looked stupid and had to admit not actually watching the parade itself proceeded to amend her comment policy so that no one can criticize her?

    Don’t forget the perceived homophobia – sounds like the Democratic Underground to me!

    jvarisco (2c5028)

  40. rc: I have always had a vivid imagination, but it has taken new turns as my kids get older. Nightmare scenarios play out in my head whenever one of my kids does something like tip his chair back. It’s an occupational hazard, and it forces me to constantly evaluate real vs perceived dangers. I don’t think anyone can dispute that a falling parade float presents the possibility for real danger.

    Bill: I knew you were joking, but also that you meant it, as your subsequent comment confirmed.

    On the conspiracy angle: if a bunch of bloggers have the same take on an event, and pile on with posts and comments, it can easily take on the appearance of a coordinated attack to people who don’t understand how independent blogs really are. Most recently Mary Mapes & Dan Rather were bleating about the VRWC, when in reality what you had were hundreds of individuals who were drawn like moths to the particular flame that was Rathergate.

    Maybe Ann does believe there is a PJM “conspiracy”, but it’s more likely she thinks, like I do, it’s not surprising that a core group of people have been ferociously defensive of PJM, without requiring any coordination or pre-planning or even much thought. It gets back to that “spirit of blogging” business that Ann has explored over many posts in the past. Blogging is an individual exercise for the most part (group blogs obviously being different animals.) If there’s a convergence of interest, it’s nothing more than coincidence.

    John Cole: I appreciate your gracious reply after I pulled the quote in which Ann explicitly said she wasn’t going to sue.

    jvarisco: Here’s Ann’s version. She went to the PJM live-blog to see how they handled the accident, and was surprised to see the comments she quotes. Jeff called her on selective reporting, jumping all over her case. Ann refused to update her original post, leading to escalation of unpleasantness in the comment threads. At the same time, the tone of comments on other posts also took a dive. It wasn’t just the parade live-blogging that lead to Ann instituting her new comments policy. Many comments critical of Ann’s views are still standing; Ann says she’ll only remove repetitive attacks that aren’t advancing the discussion. So if you believe she hasn’t addressed a particular point and bring something up again, you may end up with an “Asked and answered, move along” reply, or your comment may get removed. I’ve seen both happen. I’ve also seen behavior that defies rational explanation, but I wouldn’t spin it as badly as Bill has done.

    Ann also remarked that the business in the live-blog about a float crash leading to the start of Plato’s Retreat, a swinger’s club, was vaguely “homophobic-sounding.” Since I’d never heard of Plato’s Retreat before I did not understand the original comment and couldn’t interpret it one way or another. Like Ann, I had a negative reaction to the “parade snuff” comment.

    You boiled this whole thing down and set it all on Ann’s doorstep. But I could just as easily summarize the events like this: the PJM live-blog made some tasteless jokes about the parade float accident, and when Althouse called them on it, Jeff & others, instead of admitting they shouldn’t have done that, immediately attacked Ann and filled her comment section with such vitriol that she was forced to institute a new comment policy to try and preserve civilized discourse.

    That’s not what happened, of course — not exactly. There are elements of truth in your version, and elements of truth in mine. But the bigger picture shows that both sides could stand to grow up. But comparing Althouse to D.U.? That’s absurd.

    Joan (1f3f15)

  41. I don’t think anyone can dispute that a falling parade float presents the possibility for real danger.

    Except that it was balloon, not a float, and it didn’t fall, a lamp did, and nobody knew that the lamp fell until the tv told them, and then the “tasteless” (?) joking about the M&M float, which wasn’t tasteless at all, stopped.

    You keep trying to fight for your inch of ground. But when you start of by saying “I could just as easily summarize the events like this: the PJM live-blog made some tasteless jokes about the parade float accident, and when Althouse called them on it, Jeff & others, instead of admitting they shouldn’t have done that, immediately attacked Ann,” you lose credibility, because there is nothing tasteless about balloon jokes, and the premise is faulty, because they weren’t making jokes once it became clear there was an accident. Or to be even more clear, once it became apparent a lamp had fallen, there was not a single joke, just an expression of concern.

    Ann’s post asks: “Do our intrepid bloggers right themselves?” and then goes on to excerpt a few comments to suggest they don’t. She leaves up the one where they actually do right themselves a few minutes later once they realize that the accident you keep going on about happened. She did that to suggest that they had acted shabbily. And she depends on people like you willing to judge people in retrospect to make her case for her.

    Ann Althouse misrepresented the facts, and people like you enable her by defending what she did.

    rc (302dff)

  42. she leaves up the one where they actually do = she leaves OUT the one where they actually do

    rc (302dff)

  43. rc: read my entire post. It’s ridiculous for you to quote something I specifically wrote to demonstrate bias as if it were something I actually believe — especially when I went out of my way to say “That’s not what happened,” so it would be clear. Obviously it wasn’t clear enough.

    I made the same mistake Ed Driscoll did, equating floats with balloons. Sorry about that. I still say that a falling giant balloon could reasonably be seen as dangerous. Don’t you?

    As to whether or not the PJM live-bloggers righted themselves, as far as I can see, they didn’t. I just masochistically revisited that train wreck and counted up 4 posts (170, 177, 180, 182) after the questioning, “Was someone hurt?” (#163), squeezing more humor out of the situation. In fact, the discussion of the accident was the longest sustained thread of conversation throughout the “event,” in which not much was actually said about the parade at all. It started at #156 and extended through #182, after which the coverage quickly petered out.

    Althouse needs enabling? I’m somehow capable of providing it? Laughable.

    Joan (1f3f15)

  44. Joan —

    The only thing laughable is your continued desire to defend Ann Althouse. You have it in your mind that these people are joking about injuries when it is clear that they were not.

    Your argument at this point is simply that you are much smarter and more sensitive to the potential for tragedy than were those who were watching the coverage and reacting to what was being shown and said on the air (as a point of comparison, an NBC spokesperson said, “producers knew something had happened with the balloon but didn’t know exactly what.”)

    Everyone was watching the same parade. Only you and Ann are claiming the benefit of hindsight to assert your superiority.

    How about we just concede that you and Ann are better and more caring in all ways, and that other humans pale in comparison? Therefore, both your and Ann’s criticisms are valid from your position as minor godheads.

    rc (302dff)

  45. Oh, except you and Ann weren’t even watching the parade. You just happen to know more about how it transpired on tv than the people who were watching.

    More of that godhead thing.

    rc (302dff)

  46. I’ve looked over a lot of the exchanges between the players on their websites and their comment sections and Jeff makes it clear that after Ed Driscoll raised the possibility that someone could have been hurt because of the float, the jokes ceased. I don’t understand, then, why Jeff writes this at 8:53:

    “…And the death of a bystander who was crushed by the enormous steel casing to a giant lightbulb.

    Happy Thanksgiving!”

    This comment came after the last comment on the subject by Ed Driscoll at 8:47:

    “OK, enough of the lamppost related deaths. It’s back to Fonzie and Tom Bosley on the Happy Days float!”

    If it really is the case that people stopped joking after the possibility of injury, why did Jeff so casually combine a bystander’s death with “Happy Thanksgiving”, 6 minutes later?

    That sort of comment does seem to indicate a glibness and an awareness that someone could have been hurt–even after Driscoll suggested that someone could have been hurt. That, in turn, calls into question Jeff’s story, since he has been so firm in asserting that everyone quieted down once the thought of harm emerged. Does this give cause for questioning other things he has said about this sort of thing–particularly his rather smooth claim to be liveblogging the CBS coverage of the parade coverage, rather than the actual parade.

    Tim (5c76b9)

  47. Tim —

    Remember, the software we were using forced us to refresh before we saw each others comments, and so other comment sometimes snuck between direct exchanges. That happened here. 176 snuck in between Ed’s comment at 175 and my response to it at 177,

    Here’s what the exchange actually looks like: Ed: “Don’t worry, Madeleine, we’re just making this all up. Any similarity between our comments and the parade is purely–entirely–coincidental. Well, except for the comments about Ron Popiel.”

    Jeff: “…And the death of a bystander who was crushed by the enormous steel casing to a giant lightbulb.

    “Happy Thanksgiving!”

    I didn’t want anyone to think the lampost thing was made up.

    Of course, we didn’t know about the extent of any injuries at that point — but you are now 14 or 15 minutes deeper into the coverage, and CBS had by this time noted that a few people in the crowe were being tended to, though there weren’t any specifics about severity of injuries. But there wasn’t any panic, either.

    For my part, I didn’t really think anyone had died (and of course no one did — the worst injury was 9 stitches, I believe). Instead, I was hyperbolizing to make a point in answering Ed and Madeleine — essentially, that what had begun as a morning of lighthearted riffing on dumb balloons and c-list celebrities had ended with injuries.

    I found that ironic. And the “Happy Thanksgiving!” attached to that was meant to convey the irony.

    Incidentally, you have several facts wrong: first, it wasn’t Ed who suggested someone got hurt. It was me, at 8:37 (post 159); second, I said that Ed acknowledged this at 8:39 (163), and after that the joking stopped.

    I don’t consider Ed’s transition out of the coverage of the lamp on the ground back to the floats an improper “joke.” And the post of mine that seems to concern you was offered for clarification.

    Jeff G (302dff)

  48. I don’t give a fuck how many people the lamp post or the baloon killed, how do you like that? All I care about is that a parade for retards causes more talk than the opening of the latest Samurai movie.

    Howard Veit (baba22)

  49. Well, I always chose to interpret that “snuff” comment in reference to the balloon attacking the lightpost comment, rather than your attempt to recognize and make clear that a person could have been hurt. Otherwise, isn’t it awfully glib to simultaneously raise cause for concern and make a snuff comment? I know you disagree, and of course you know what you meant when you said the things you said, but I also think that interpreting glibness into the typed comment isn’t so way out in left field, either.

    This, of course, isn’t the real concern–at worst you might have been too glib. Instead, even if your ironic statement about the “death of a bystander,” was in response to comment 175, it was still several comments and minutes after Ed’s last statement about possible lamppost deaths. Your return to the subject, several minutes and comments later, seems to suggest that the figuring of someone’s possible harm was still a part of the conversation *long* after the spectre of harm emerged within the liveblogging.

    And though irony is not a ha-ha kind of funny, it is an off-kilter way of making a point that invites a playful awareness of how things really are. And a willingness to make a point–via the figuring of a potentially harmed person–demonstrates a willingness to momentarily subsume that harmed person underneath your decision to make an ironic point. Yes, of course harmed bodies can be used to make points. But, after the sobering-up that was said to have occurred after the gradual awareness that harm might have befallen someone, it might not have been the most politic thing to make an ironic point by dragging the body back into things.

    Naturally, I think that nearly everyone has been unpolitic at times–especially in a pleasant exchange with friends on a pleasing holiday set to the backdrop of balloons! But, I also think that it is perfectly acceptable for your run of the mill reader to say: “Hey, that might be a little glib–someone could have been badly hurt.”

    Tim (725311)

  50. Well, she certainly showed Jeff. /sarc

    As she says it’s her party and she’ll cry if she wants to her blog and she can do what she likes, but frankly it just seems a little… craven… to take the last shot and then close comments – the more grown-up thing to do would have been to at least make an effort to say something simple like “this is not getting us anywhere, and I’m now shutting this thread down”.

    Scott (57c0cc)

  51. Let that be your last battlefield

    cultural icon reference
    blog reference
    photoshop by Jillian

    The Politburo Diktat (4aa448)

  52. Ann has become tiresome and sad. I used to find her posts intelligent and amusing, but she has become hopelessly self-important and lacks the fundamental sense of humility and humor to laugh at herself and accept meaningful criticism. As a commenter on her blog, I have received her wrath for daring to level gentle criticism or observations her way.

    My final comment there, on Thanksgiving, was taken to be an embrace of OSM at her expense, which had nothing to do with my words at all. Previously, I had made a comment that I saw an anti-male hue in her posts, which got her into a lather and had her claiming that I was calling her a “man-hater”. She’s become an unpleasant force in the blog world. She might take some writing cues from Jane Galt, a better blog writer than Ann, and one who doesn’t take herself so damn seriously.

    Brian (b0d240)

  53. I’m way late to this post, but I had a run-in with Ann Althouse last night that prompted me to do a quick search, which yielded this post. Ann stated over the weekend that she expects men to think of women in terms of “sugar tits” but that “[w]e assume men think things like this all the time but refrain from saying them.” In her view, Mel Gibson’s utterance of this term reveals “[n]othing significant” about his mind. I took offense to this statement, since I don’t believe most men are thinking sexist remarks all the time but somehow refrain from saying them.

    I pointed this out and Althouse responded with the ridiculously-transparent strawman argument that I wished to pretend to live in a world where men don’t have “instintive sexual impulses” for women, which, of course, is not what I said at all (in fact, I love those instinctual sexual impulses!). Still though, I guess she fancied that it was a nice strawman argument. I called her out on it and she responded that I was being “so abusive” that she should “delete” me, said that I wasn’t very “bright,” and that I was “embarrassingly worng.” Yes, this is the best response that this law professor could muster.

    I responded that it was amusing to hear her resort to grade-school name calling while calling me “abusive,” and, of course, she deleted our exchange. I guess I don’t blame her since her comments were an embarrassment — is this woman a law professor or a sixth-grader? Sheesh.

    Suffice it to say, I lost all respect for Ann Althouse last night.

    mh (5b638c)


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