("Mad as a Wet Cat", starring Winston from Fourfour.)
Hoooo, lordy. Ann Althouse may need to talk to her doctor about the strength of her hormone replacement patches. She just about took poor Garance Franke-Ruta's head off in this bloggingheads-tv interview. Franke-Ruta is just trying to conduct a normal conversation about blogging, but Anodyne Outhouse apparently came to this interview with a rather large, heavy ax to grind. In fact, watching her display of histrionics, one gets the sense that she may have sat up all night getting ready for her close-up.
Ann Althouse to Garance Franke-Ruta: I know you know some of the people (among liberal bloggers) who are especially nasty to me, so why don't you ask them why they treat me so badly and come back and tell me what the problem is? I mean, not MY problem, what's their problem?
Yes, it's our problem because Princess Ann farts gold dust and shits diamonds, doncha know. We couldn't possibly object to her because she's a suck-up to a bunch of genocidal morons (and their wives) or because her shitty writing hurts like a bad hangover. No, it's because we're bad people, not at all like the warm, kind, inclusive people she's met on the Right who have made her feel soooo welcome.
But right after that is when things go batshit crazy in Annieland:
Garance Franke-Ruta: Well, I think, I don't know, I'm not aware of anything until the whole Jessica Valenti Breast Controversy…um, I know that there were some grudges and hostilities that came out of that. But that's the blogosphere, it's a tough place. Apparently, it's an extremely tough place. And one of the best things that I-
Althouse: Oh, I'm not complaining about the fact that I have to be tough and fight back, because I will. I will stand my ground and I will not accept your…
Franke-Ruta: Well, I, uh…
Althouse: WAIT A MINUTE! WAIT A MINUTE! I don't accept your saying (sneers), "The Jessica Valenti BREAST Controversy". I consider that an insult! I, I, you know, I'm on the verge of hanging up with you for, for, for bringing it up that way! I think it's NASTY and CHARACTER ASSASSINATING to talk about it like that. There's a whole controversy that could be explained if it was one of our subjects that could be explained in a way that would make sense to people, but you just THROW OUT a term that is character assassinating to me…and I don't like it.
Franke-Ruta: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to…
Althouse: (screeching) THERE'S A WHOLE STORY THERE THAT IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO ME PERSONALLY ABOUT IT, WHY DON'T YOU FIND OUT WHAT THE STORY IS AND RAISE IT IN A WAY THAT HAS A FACTUAL CONTEXT THAT MAKES SENSE TO PEOPLE…(At this point, Franke-Ruta clutches her chest in alarm and mortification.)…INSTEAD OF JUST THROWING OUT A TERM LIKE THAT THAT'S INSULTING TO ME??!! (voice begins to quaver) I FIND IT VERY OFFENSIVE!!
Offensive? Miz Althouse, have you lost your mind? Let's go back in time to the original posts about Jessica, shall we?
Let's take a closer look at those breasts.
I wanted to elevate a discussion from the comments section of a post from Wednesday, you know the one with the photo of the Daou-wrangled bloggers posing in front of Bill Clinton? The first commenter, Goesh, picks up on my prompt — "Let's just array these bloggers… randomly" — and wisecracks: "Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair?"
Eventually, Jessica from a blog called Feministing, shows up and says: "The, um, 'intern' is me. It's so nice to see women being judged by more than their looks. Oh, wait…"
Lady Ann wasn't having that. Clearly, Jessica is just a brazen slut who poked out her breasts as far as she could in hopes of scoring some hot after-lunch action with Big Dog:
Snarky but somewhat conciliatory, I say: "Well, Jessica, you do appear to be 'posing.' Maybe it's just an accident."
Jessica Feministing returns and says:
It's a picture; people pose. And I'm not sure I understand your logic anyway. If I "pose" for a picture (as opposed to sulking and hunching over?) then I deserve to be judged for my looks? I don't see anyone talking shit about the other bloggers smiling pretty for the camera.
Provoked, I decide to actually give her a small dose of the kind of judgment for brains she seems to demanding:
Jessica: I'm not judging you by your looks. (Don't flatter yourself.) I'm judging you by your apparent behavior. It's not about the smiling, but the three-quarter pose and related posturing, the sort of thing people razz Katherine Harris about. I really don't know why people who care about feminism don't have any edge against Clinton for the harm he did to the cause of taking sexual harrassment seriously, and posing in front of him like that irks me, as a feminist. So don't assume you're the one representing feminist values here. Whatever you call your blog….
That's right, Ann. What better way to demonstrate that you're a better feminist than that little Valenti chippie than to call her a wonton harlot, a veritable nymphomaniac, just because she stood up straight for the cameras and smiled like her mama told her to when taking a formal portrait? But, oh, Ann, not content to dig yourself a hole, you just had to flop down in there and thrash around in the fresh dirt a little:
Sooooo… apparently, Jessica writes one of those blogs that are all about using breasts for extra attention. Then, when she goes to meet Clinton, she wears a tight knit top that draws attention to her breasts and stands right in front of him and positions herself to make her breasts as obvious as possible?
Well, I'm going to assume Jessica's contributions to my comments are an attempt at a comic performance, as was her attendence at the luncheon dressed in the guise of Monica Lewinsky. Lord knows we need more comical feminists.
Or are you going to say she's some kind of Karl Rove plant? Alternatives: She's a clueless fool. She's in it for the money. (And you know the blog money is all in the T-shirts.)
So, not only at this point have you accused Jessica of being some kind of Monica Lewinsky wanna-be, you belittle her contribution to blogging, call her a gold digger, a toady for Karl Rove, and "a clueless fool"? (Projection much?) And you're mad because you think that Garance Franke-Ruta is a character assassin?
But maybe this is why the Right Wingers like you. You have perfected one of their favorite maneuvers, the Reverse Malkin, which is where you launch a vicious, factually challenged, hate-filled personal attack against someone and then when they push back, you stand to the side and screech, "Wait! I'm the victim, here!"
Gosh, Ann. Given all that, I can't imagine why progressive bloggers think you're a total waste of space. It's not like you're a high-handed, catty, arrogant, know-nothing mediocrity with the brain-power of a banana slug. It's not like you cheerfully carry water for the Reich Wing. And it's not like your blog is a daily regurgitation of pabulum that would be hilarious if one didn't feel such meddlesome pangs of pity over your utter cluelessness.
Jessica, by the way, is one of ours, a top-notch writer (unlike yourself), a true feminist (ditto), and a brave American patriot who believes whole-heartedly that this nation must be wrested back out of the hands of the incompetent elites who have used the last decade to drive the US straight into a ditch. You fuck with Jessica (or her breasts) and basically, you've fucked with us all.
And that's why we find you so repellent. Not because we're enforcing some kind of ideological conformity and think you should be more like us, but because whatever you may tell yourself your political leanings are, ultimately, you're working for Them. You are perpetuating toxic Right Wing narratives and frankly, your tepid support of progressive causes is worse than no support at all.
But watching this video, I think we've conclusively answered a question that you, Miz Althouse, posed not so long ago: "Do Sociopaths Care What People Think?" you asked, in reference to President Clinton, but it's clear from your petulant freak-out in this interview that not only do sociopaths care what people think, they get downright testy when you expose them to reality, my, my. But, you know, good luck and all, Professor. You're going to need it. It's got to be really hard to wipe all the motes out of your neighbors' eyes while managing to be so breathtakingly oblivious to the log sticking out of your own.