Monday, September 30, 2002
9:38 PM | Posted by Smarter
Here’s Andrew Sullivan: “IN TRANSIT: In New York City tonight. My first trip out of Ptown since July - and my first Number 2 meal in a while. Heaven. Off to Alma College in Michigan today to talk about Catholicism’s crisis. I’ll do what I can to keep things posted on a timely basis today and tomorrow. But it’s difficult on a plane.”
“My first Number 2 meal in a while.”
Forgive me if I don’t get it.
Does this mean Sullivan is eating the shit he peddles on his web site and at the outlets who still think he’s a player?
6:03 AM | Posted by Smarter
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be a “useful idiot” than a useless idiot.
Sunday, September 29, 2002
5:53 PM | Posted by Smarter
Another Affirmative Action Break
At her blog today, Norah Vincent spills the beans. She has a new gig, yet another wholly undeserved affirmative action appointment based on her cleverly marketed persona: Vincent refers to herself as a “libertarian ‘pro-life’ lesbian,” though few can remember the last time she wrote about abortion and her claims of libertarianism rely wholly on a misguided interpretation of the writings of Ayn Rand and Jane Galt. (I wonder what Jane Galt thinks about this?)
Vincent’s latest, and from the standpoint of her employer, thoroughly misguided, venture is with the New York Sun, a recently launched and very thin “newspaper” with a circulation just shy of that of the Chemung County, N.Y., Pennysaver, and a “newspaper” that has already rejected at least one of her most bathos-laden purple-prose essays.
Don’t worry, Los Angeles Times readers, you’re not losing Vincent. As she writes at her blog: “Meanwhile, my LA Times column will run, as usual, on Thursdays, and cover, as before, a wide-range of non-academic subjects. As I mentioned in my last post, it will also now be available for syndication nationwide (actually I’m told worldwide, for all you orbiting limeys and Aussies, etc out there), so look for it in your local rag, or bug your local editor to put it there.”
Contrarily, readers might want to think about contacting their local paper and informing them--promising them--that you will cancel your subscription should Vicent’s mutterings be cast in ink in your city or town.
Is the L.A. Times the home base from which Vincent will launch an extraordinarily successful career as a syndicated columnist? I doubt it. I have it on very good authority that letters from the Times’ readers run quite heavily against Vincent’s discursive, pointless, and thoroughly anti-journalistic compositions.
Don’t pop open the champagne yet, Norah. Trust me when I say this is going nowhere.
3:27 PM | Posted by Smarter
In a doodle titled “Puritanism Comes Home,” Sullivan on September 26, wrote, “The war against smokers comes to Boston,” citing an article in the Boston Globe the previous day headlined “Menino Backs Smoking Ban.”
Sullivan, who over the past year or possibly longer, has abandoned, with a vengeance, the pharmacological Puritanism he displayed in his 20s and early 30s, becoming a tireless advocate of the asserted benefits and harmlessness of marijuana--which he likes to refer to as “bud”--a subject about which he and I are in minor disagreement, and ecstasy, an issue on which we are diametrically opposed, particularly when it comes to long-term use.
This is one of Sullivan’s latest “liberterian” hobbyhorses, a stallion he mounts periodically in order to establish his bona fides among the Randian fringe.
Not surprisingly, however, Sullivan has elected to turn cigarette smoking into a partisan issue, upbraiding Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino while completely ignoring the fact that the nation’s most prominent anti-tobacco elected official is none other than the Republican mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, a man whose draconian tax increases on tobacco products has all but invited the mafia to return to what had become a comparatively unprofitable business, namely, the smuggling of cigarettes to avoid the state and city’s confiscating taxes.
3:08 PM | Posted by Smarter
Isn’t is strange that, unlike almost every other weblog in the universe, Andrew Sullivan’s letter writers are never identified in any manner whatsoever? Sullivan provides no initials; no names, either full or partial; and no locations, unless of course they add “star” power to his sorry site.
Has he ever explained why this is the case?
Saturday, September 28, 2002
6:09 PM | Posted by Smarter
Just over a year ago, Andrew Sullivan made disparaging and condescending remarks about hairy gay men and drag queens, expressing a vicious disgust that he has repeated, in one form or another, since then.
The “money quote,” a favorite phrase of Sullivan that, in my mind at least, conjures up pornography and not serious intellectual discourse, came in the aftermath of an apparently wildly misguided trip by Sullivan to San Francisco for Gay Pride Day. It is no longer anywhere on line--Funny, that.--but I found a portion of Sullivan’s remarks at the web site of The Village Voice, in an article written by Sullivan nemesis Richard Goldstein:
“‘The streets were dotted with the usual hairy-backed homos,’ he had snarked. ‘I saw one hirsute fellow dressed from head to toe in flamingo motifs.’ Wandering into a gay bar, he recoiled: ‘Rarely have I seen such a scary crowd. Gay life in the rest of the U.S. is increasingly suburban, mainstream, assimilable. Here in the belly of the beast, Village People look-alikes predominate, and sex is still central to the culture. . . . I’d go nuts if I had to live here full time.’” (And yes, readers, you’re correct: “assimilable” is not a word.)
Strange, isn’t it, that Sullivan, who becomes absolutely rhapsodic about primitive masculinity and who not long ago raved that hairy chests were back in style, reversing a trend, particularly prevalent among gay men, favoring shaved chests, and ignoring the obvious popularity of salons featuring body waxing in such neighborhoods as Chelsea, the West Village, Dupont Circle, South Beach, Halstead, Montrose, West Hollywood, and elsewhere, is rankled by hairy backs.
And yet here is The New York Times on Sullivan’s friend, protégée, and ally, Norah Vincent: “Ms. Vincent believes that television producers are not going to be eager to broadcast the image of a woman who makes a point of looking like a man.”
I have not been able to find anything from Sullivan criticizing lesbians who have adopted, or chosen to adopt, a supremely, or even relatively, masculine affect. (If readers have encountered such remarks, I hope they will send them along.) But I think it’s fair to assume that since Sullivan practically demands gay men become homogenously masculine and suburban (though he himself lives in the city), he would be offended by “manly” lesbians. It’s odd that Sullivan has remained silent on this matter.
Sullivan’s appreciation of masculinity is one I share as much as the next gal, but his is a twisted, steroid-enhanced admiration that apparently only applies to lesbians and a certain select group of gay men, the great gay “A” list, membership in which, last I heard, Sullivan has been routinely rejected.
5:13 PM | Posted by Smarter
Andrew Sullivan is in a snit today because of a New York Times article about Father Mychal F. Judge, the former chaplain of the New York Fire Department, alleging, in a post called “Repeat After Me: He Was Gay,” that the Times “works itself into a pretzel” on the subject of Father Judge’s sexual orientation.
Of course, those readers who follow the link to the article itself will find something different entirely.
Here’s the sentence that has Sullivan’s knickers in a knot: “Some have spoken openly about what they say was his homosexual orientation, and the former New York City fire commissioner, Thomas Von Essen, said that Father Judge had long ago come out to him.”
As is abundantly clear to anyone not engaged in a psychotic vendetta, this sentence says, rather plainly, and from a named and well-known source, that FATHER JUDGE WAS GAY.
And while the Times quotes a retired police detective who objects to the characterization of Father Judge as gay--“To say he was gay after he was dead, and to say he said it, that's something I can't understand. There are a lot of people out there who are opportunists.”--that quote is immediately followed by this sentence: “He includes among them Michael Ford, a BBC journalist who wrote ‘Father Mychal Judge: An Authentic American Hero’ (Paulist Press, 2002). Mr. Ford writes extensively in the book about Father Judge as a gay man.”
And here is what Times reporter Daniel J. Wakin actually wrote, just before the sentence plucked out of context by Sullivan:
“Rev. Mychal F. Judge…has…become the center of a fervent following. A book about his life is already out and another is in the works. The French have named him to the Legion of Honor, and Pope John Paul II has accepted the gift of his helmet. And while five years must pass before Father Judge could be considered a candidate for sainthood, a group of admirers has established a Web site, www.saintmychal.com, to promote the cause of his canonization and collect reports of miracles. But the story is not as simple as the glorification of a good man who died bravely. Father Judge moved in many distinct circles. In death, those circles are overlapping in surprising and sometimes contentious ways.”
“His fellow Franciscans — who have established a Sept. 11 relief fund in his name — oppose any sanctification of Father Judge, saying such pedestal-building obscures the man's humanity. Many Roman Catholics find in him a positive, indeed shining, example of a priest at a time when the priestly image is suffering from the sexual abuse scandal in the Church. His Irish-American friends celebrate his Irishness. Firefighters across the country have embraced him as the chaplain of chaplains. Another group has publicly sung Father Judge's praises since his death: gay rights advocates.”
So, you see, the Times was presenting Father Judge in the fullness of his life, painting a biography with a broad brush, revealing that Father Judge was something quite a bit more than the narrowly categorized “gay Catholic priest.” And contrary to Sullivan--“Is it Catholic doctrine now that gay people cannot be heroes and saints?”--the article prominently mentions the start of a campaign to have Father Judge elevated to sainthood, and that by a group that, in the article at least, expresses no opinion on the matter of the priest’s sexuality.
Given that Sullivan’s primary claim to fame, and one of the main reasons some publications continue to tap him for what must be the most edit-worthy copy in publishing today, is that he’s a “gay Catholic conservative,” and that Sullivan has been ranting and raving lately about how gays are not, and should not be assumed to be, uniform in their political ideology nor in the manner in which they live their lives (though it’s clear he would prefer if gay men were homogenously as masculine and muscular as he purports to be or has drugged himself into becoming), his displeasure with this particular article in mystifying.
Then, of course, there is the more important issue that caused the Times to use the phrase, “some have spoken openly about what they say was his homosexual orientation”: FATHER MYCHAL F. JUDGE IS DEAD.
Of all people, Sullivan, a vocal opponent of all kinds of “outing,” should be aware of the importance of this fact in writing and editing the Times article in question. You see, with Father Judge being dead, very and irreversibly dead in fact, the ultimate and most reliable source to whom the question, “Is Father Judge gay?”, should be asked, i.e., Father Judge himself, CANNOT ANSWER IT.
So what did the Times do? It relied on second-hand sources. The Times had to, as anyone other than Father Judge discussing the matter would be a second-hand source. Moreover, a newspaper seeking balance in a report like that in question cannot come down on one side or the other: Why is a second-hand source who says Father Judge was gay more reliable than a second-hand source who says he wasn’t? After all, isn’t one source more likely to be “liberal” and the other more likely to be “conservative”?
Make no mistake. Do not be fooled. Andrew Sullivan is not a journalist. I don’t think he even knows what a journalist is. Yes, he worked at The New Republic, but TNR is not a newspaper, it is a magazine of opinion, and he has been published in the New York Times and the Times of London, but he is a pundit, not a journalist. Hell, Sullivan wouldn’t know balanced journalism if it were tugging at his nipple rings.
Yes, Sullivan is entitled to his opinions and he is entitled to publish them wherever he chooses or wherever he can convince a gullible editor looking for “diversity” on her pages that he has something worthwhile to say, but Sullivan is not entitled to twist facts, quote selectively, or smear the reputations of professional journalists. And yet, I have no doubt, he will continue to do so.
3:59 PM | Posted by Smarter
Andrew Sullivan: “As a gay guy with non-leftist convictions, I’ve never felt less alone.”
Reality: “As an unproductive writer and arrogant immigrant with a chip on his shoulder, a narcissistic personality disorder, and an ax to grind, I’ve alienated almost everyone I’ve ever worked for or with, and I’ve never been more irrelevant.”
Friday, September 27, 2002
4:05 PM | Posted by Smarter
You kiss mine, I’ll kiss yours.
Andrew Sullivan: “As usual, a really sharp comment from Virginia Postrel on Gore’s speech. She cites the passage where Gore says ‘that [sic] we ought to be focusing our efforts first and foremost against those who attacked us on September 11th and who have thus far gotten away with it ... I don’t think we should allow anything to diminish our focus on the necessity for avenging the 3,000 Americans who were murdered and dismantling the network of terrorists that we know were responsible for it.’”
Virginia Postrel: “This is a very interesting way of framing the task at hand: not to prevent future attacks on Americans but to avenge the deaths on September 11. Now there’s no question that many Americans, myself included, have entertained the desire for vengeance. But the only reason to act on that impulse is to make it clear that future attacks will be costly for the attackers. Vengeance for vengeance’s sake is just blood lust. It might feel good, but (leaving aside any humanitarian considerations) it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem. Vengeance may even make matters worse, by escalating blood feuds without eliminating threats. Gore’s pooh-poohing of the administration’s Iraq policy depends in large measure on his definition of the problem. If you want to prevent further attacks, you have to worry about state-sponsored weapons programs. If you just want to get revenge, you don’t.”
Sullivan: “I think that’s a brilliant insight.”
Brilliant? Brilliant? Brilliant? BRILLIANT?
Such are the standards at The Daily Dish. The pedestrian is termed “brilliant,” as long as the words come from the right person.
3:13 PM | Posted by Smarter
How could you not love SullyWatch when one is treated to lines like these:
“Unsurprisingly, The Blog Queen devotes himself to defending his good and great friend with no less than three items. Noteworthy among this is the horn-tooting. It never crosses his mind that maybe Hitchens himself complained to the AP ... after all, the whole world reads him, as we all know (and this from the man who corrects so many of his own errors, when he bothers to do so, as if a thief in the night).”
“Instead, his presentation of Hitchens shows that the two of them are birds of a feather, religion, sexuality and ideology notwithstanding: exiles from the margins of British society who found in America a place where, for a while at least, their irresistible impulse to social-climb could be passed off between libations as some sort of genuinely worthwhile contribution to the human race.”
(Too bad SullyWatch didn’t slip Tina Brown in there! Next time, I guess.)
“The Alterman item also needs revision. The penultimate sentence should read : ‘It’s about re-enacting your little adolescent psychodramas by alienating no less than three separate employers and publicly telling yourself it was all because they couldn’t handle the truth when they finally fire you.’”
And, of course, this:
“Before Sullivan waxes so rhapsodic about GI Joe the Clockpuncher again, he (and you) should read Nick Kristof’s column today about just what those guys are going to have to put up with to secure geopolitical Nirvana while Captain Bareback watches from his beach cottage.”
3:04 PM | Posted by Smarter
Do you suppose Andrew Sullivan will one day explain what this quote has to do with Susan Sontag?
“Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power: 21st-century market-capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons.” - Arundhati Roy in the Guardian.
Nah, probably not.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
7:24 PM | Posted by Smarter
To my fellow bloggers:
Who is “Henry Hanks”?
Is there really a person named Henry Hanks, or is he someone else entirely who uses “Henry Hanks” as a pseudonym?
I’m not absolutely sure, frankly, but I have a pretty good guess.
Do you save your old email messages? If so, look for messages from someone not named “Henry Hanks” that come from or refer with surprising regularity to a web site (or weblog) maintained by a certain “TVH”.
5:45 PM | Posted by Smarter
So is SullyWatch on a (non-testosterone-fueled) rampage lately or what?
Don’t miss these posts:
“GO TO THE MIRROR BOY”
“OK, WE CAN SAY THIS MUCH FOR APPLE”
“THAT ABOUT SUMS UP HIS ENTIRE POST-TNR CAREER”
“PHONY ARGUMENTS, INDEED”
“HERE COMES THE RAINES AGAIN”
“SCHRÖDER 1, SULLY 0”
And many, many more.
4:30 PM | Posted by Smarter
Incredulously, Andrew Sullivan today links to the weblog of the pseudonymous “Henry Hanks,” one of the world’s most prolific writers of letters to the editor.
I’ll bet Sullivan doesn’t even know that he’s been receiving mail from “Henry Hanks” of “TVH” -- albeit using a different name -- for years.
Saturday, September 14, 2002
7:45 AM | Posted by Smarter
Is it any wonder Salon is hopelessly in the red?
The online magazine recently brought Andrew Sullivan on to its roster of contributors, its latest attempt at establishing someone, anyone, as the house conservative following the miserable failures that go by the names of Camille Paglia, Norah Vincent, and David Horowitz.
Among Sullivan’s first contributions is “She’s Come Undone: Fisking Susan Sontag,” a tedious attempted dissection of Sontag’s essay, “Real Battles and Empty Methapors,” published in the New York Times on Sept. 10.
Sullivan’s article, which eloquently begins, “Er,” provides all the evidence needed to confirm that hiring Sullivan was a terrible mistake.
One can fairly ask why Salon is paying Sullivan--quite handsomely, one might assume, given how quickly Joe Conason took up the company line--to produce the same type of material he routinely publishes at “The Daily Dish.”
And to this add the mind-boggling notion that Salon expects to entice readers to pony up $30 a year in part to read even more installments of Sullivan’s tiresome, juvenile, and egotistical vendetta against Howell Raines and the Times.
Salon, presumably, is aiming for editorial diversity. What the site’s editors fail to realize is that Sullivan doesn’t offer the magazine diversity except in the strictest sense of prevailing cultural labels.
Instead, Sullivan brings to Salon a loathsome predictability that is unlikely to satisfy anyone involved in this endeavor other than himself.
Friday, September 13, 2002
7:49 AM | Posted by Smarter
Bad News: The contemptible Norah Vincent has started blogging.
Good News: SullyWatch is all over it.
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
7:28 PM | Posted by Smarter
Andrew Sullivan recently began acknowledging that the blogosphere extends beyond his precious home page, extending his imprimatur to a select, yet utterly predictable, group of conservatives, including the tiresome InstaPundit, fellow Johnny-One-Note Mickey Kaus, and the always dreadful Norah Vincent.
The latest site endorsed by his high holiness is Little Green Footballs, a blog that until today was known primarily for the disgusting cesspool that constitutes its comments section.
2:52 PM | Posted by Smarter
Andrew Sullivan’s knickers are in a haughty knot over Susan Sontag’s reasonable and rather unremarkable essay on today’s op-ed page of the New York Times, “Real Battles and Empty Metaphors.”
“Whose inspired idea was it to ask Susan Sontag to write an op-ed for the New York Times the day before the first anniversary of September 11?” asks Sullivan in a characteristic huff. He adds -- and I’ll bet you didn’t see this coming: “Sontag and Raines ... together at last.”
What Sullivan fails to mention is the controversy that exploded upon publication of Sontag’s contribution last year to a post-September 11 issue of The New Yorker, a controversy that Sullivan did much to ignite and sustain and that, reason would have it, makes Sontag a natural choice for a “check-back” one year after the fact.
“I’ll respond to her arguments later today,” promises Sullivan.
I can hardly wait.
2:43 PM | Posted by Smarter
Still no apology from Andrew Sullivan to Rachel L. Swarns and the New York Times for his despicable misrepresentation of her outstanding coverage of the horrific situation in Zimbabwe and the role played by its detestable leader, Robert Mugabe. (Kudos again to Ted Barlow for his work on this issue.)
If Sullivan intends to persist in describing himself as a professional journalist, it’s about time he started acting like one.
2:28 PM | Posted by Smarter
Eschaton nails Andrew Sullivan’s latest act of stupidity, a post from the mentally enfeebled Britisher in which -- big surprise -- he criticizes Howell Raines and the New York Times for their alleged bias.
I’ll let you know when he publishes a correction and/or issues an apology.
Monday, September 09, 2002
2:29 PM | Posted by Smarter
If you decide to pay a visit to the Q.E. II today, i.e., “The Daily Dish,” be sure to bring a towel.
Randian Andy is writing with a raging hard-on.
The testosterone is overflowing, the masculinity is overpowering, the mendacity is overwhelming.
My suggestion: Stop by, grunt a few times, and then move on.
Sunday, September 08, 2002
7:27 PM | Posted by Smarter
Stupid Andrew Sullivan last week wasted 176 words, including a 74-word excerpt from an article by the very talented and award-winning Rachel L. Swarns in the New York Times of Sept. 6, 2002, in an utterly futile and -- for Sullivan -- thoroughly humiliating, attempt to make a mockery of the vastly more capable Howell Raines, the paper’s executive editor.
(Visit Ted Barlow’s site for the devastating critique of Sullivan’s wholly unwarranted attack on Swarns, one for which Barlow is absolutely correct in expecting an apology from the once-interesting and now utterly boring and embarrassingly bitter Sullivan.)
I can only join readers in wondering when Sullivan will put aside this juvenile fixation on Raines and the excellent newspaper he and his colleagues publish day after day after day after day, as Sullivan, with his 1,000 words a day (his words, not mine) vanity site -- Whew! Such hard work! Way to go, old chap! -- stands on the (unpaid) sidelines, spewing completely unjustifiable, blatantly partisan, and generally noxious bile at his former employer in this ongoing and painfully obvious display of intellectual, professional, and personal immaturity.
[Edited for clarity, Sept. 9]
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
5:13 PM | Posted by Smarter
Does anyone else think it’s strange that Andrew Sullivan, who turned “gay marriage” into his personal five-year gravy train, is unable to say anything about the New York Times decision to include gay vows in what used to be known as its weddings pages other than that the first entry was NOT BORING?
Imagine hating or resenting one person so much, in Sullivan’s case, Howell Raines, that when the object of your ire takes a major step in support of the contents of your gravy boat you can’t summon a single word of appreciation or even respect.
Ah well, that’s Andy. Not a gentleman, just an ungrateful bitch.
4:46 PM | Posted by Smarter
This week we learn that Andrew Sullivan not only is abusing his Androgel prescription, he’s applying the stuff to the wrong body part.
Within just the last two days, Sullivan, eager to
“Now let’s get on with it.”
“I repeat: Now let’s get on with it.”
“It is way past time for a major, impassioned counter-offensive.”
Whoa, easy boy.
Sullivan should read the directions for use again. Androgel should be applied to one’s shoulders, upper arms, and abdomen, not to one’s chest (as he once marvelously described doing) and certainly not to one’s forehead.
Obviously, by this time Androgel seepage into Sullivan’s brain has sent him on a course from righteous indignation to psychopathic rage.
Clearly Solvay Pharmaceuticals needs to amend its list of contraindications for Androgel use to include crazed right-wing trigger-happy English Likudniks.
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