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Bloggingheads 03-25-2009 10:00 AM

Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 

David Edenden 03-25-2009 11:04 AM

I should have made my move earlier!
 
My homage to to the beauty of Ann Althouse!

claymisher 03-25-2009 11:11 AM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
This whole thing smells like troll bait. I'm not playing.

pampl 03-25-2009 11:39 AM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 107901)
This whole thing smells like troll bait. I'm not playing.

You actually get a shout out in it. You should watch it, regardless of whether it's real or fake there's some real entertainment value here.

brucds 03-25-2009 11:45 AM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
"as Mark Steyn said on the Rush Limbaugh show...

Holy crap ! Althouse really is as full of crap as I've always assumed - a know-nothing drivel-monger.

claymisher 03-25-2009 11:55 AM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pampl (Post 107904)
You actually get a shout out in it. You should watch it, regardless of whether it's real or fake there's some real entertainment value here.

Yikes. Then I'm definitely not listening!

mmacklem 03-25-2009 11:56 AM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
I hadn't heard about any of these events before this diavlog, but I have to say that I was slightly alarmed at myself in terms of how long into the diavlog I was finally convinced that these two were not being sarcastic or that this wasn't a giant elaborate joke.

Having said that, the tone of the comments to this point seem generally cynical, so I will counter this trend and offer congratulations to the fortunate couple. All the best in your new life together!

mmacklem 03-25-2009 12:02 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Although I do have to say that Bob responds well to potentially awkward questions... (Bob's brain: "Danger! Danger! Must... tread... carefuly...")

Surcam 03-25-2009 12:05 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Shake the haters off Miss Althouse. A ridiculous amount of people just can't stand seeing two people get together and fall in love. It doesn't at all matter what the haters have to say about the how, it only matters what you two say, and how you two feel. I'm very happy for you.

brucds 03-25-2009 12:20 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
I want to clarify for anyone who is distressed by "Althouse haters", I'm as glad Ann Althouse found a partner and is getting married as I possibly could be, given that I have no connection to or interest in her - and am put off by the narcissism and shallowness of her public persona. I'm pro-love and pro-marriage on general principle.

My distaste for her is based on the unhinged, uninformed crap she spouted regarding Obama's performance to date. Her opinions on politics have proven to be near worthless whenever I've been subjected to them. Why she's on Bloggingheads is a mystery. Of course it's my fault that I listened to a couple of the segments of this diavlog. I also have to say that I loved Gran Torino, so I clicked on her commentary and found it as lacking in substance and useful insight as when she slings opinions that I fundamentally disagree with. Among other things she's a bore. And evidently, based on her Gran Torino comments, she's a small-bore bore.

claymisher 03-25-2009 12:21 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
This is what I mean about troll bait. Althouse has said she thinks of herself as a performance artists, winding up the squares and the do-gooders. Then when people respond to it, she wigs out and throws a tantrum. It's all part of the act. Yeah, well, that's bullshit, and it's not ungracious or uncharitable to call her on it.

Anyway, I hope the real Althouse and her guy have a happy life. Internet Althouse, I could give a shit.

SkepticDoc 03-25-2009 01:17 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
We can only hope that she will be a happy, submissive wife and stay home, away from BHTV....

uncle ebeneezer 03-25-2009 01:19 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Sweet! Nice use of my quote, Bob. Let it be noted that Ann did not refute the assertion of being on drugs or having an over-inflated ego.

PS Ezra, corrected himself by pointing out the factual that Ann's blog has a disproportionate amount of anti-semitic comments (especially about him) compared to most other blogs.

Winspur 03-25-2009 01:38 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
"Ann accuses Obama of excessive frivolity."

That just shot down any possibility for me of watching this garbage.

ogieogie 03-25-2009 01:44 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
I wish the couple all the best.

That said (sincerely)--this was a waste of a diavlog.

The more private Althouse remains, the better. May she see the light and retire as a public figure, and enjoy it.

Ann Althouse 03-25-2009 01:50 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
"Ezra, corrected himself by pointing out the factual that Ann's blog has a disproportionate amount of anti-semitic comments (especially about him) compared to most other blogs."

Ezra did not correct himself on Twitter, the place where he made the false statement about me. In Twitter, I am slimed with no correction, even though I've emailed and asked for a correction (and an apology) in Twitter.

And on his blog, where he did post about it, he failed to give a straightforward apology and instead only conceded that I was right about one point. I only had one point. So I was completely right, and I don't appreciate the hedging. I want him to step up and apologize.

He also failed to acknowledge that the 2 commenters who were a problem were strongly opposed by many other commenters. And he failed to recognize that one of the 2 commenters was someone who was pushing the satire envelope. A man with a decent sense of humor/honor would have been clear about all that.

So I am not satisfied with Ezra's response. Moreover, his attack on me just happened to come right after I did a post about his JournoList, so it had an unpleasant retaliatory aspect to it.

Basically, throwing out a charge of anti-Semitism is a pretty nasty thing to do. What motivated him? How cheap are these charges going to be? Shame on him.

AemJeff 03-25-2009 01:54 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann Althouse (Post 107922)
"Ezra, corrected himself by pointing out the factual that Ann's blog has a disproportionate amount of anti-semitic comments (especially about him) compared to most other blogs."

Ezra did not correct himself on Twitter, the place where he made the false statement about me. In Twitter, I am slimed with no correction, even though I've emailed and asked for a correction (and an apology) in Twitter.

And on his blog, where he did post about it, he failed to give a straightforward apology and instead only conceded that I was right about one point. I only had one point. So I was completely right, and I don't appreciate the hedging. I want him to step up and apologize.

He also failed to acknowledge that the 2 commenters who were a problem were strongly opposed by many other commenters. And he failed to recognize that one of the 2 commenters was someone who was pushing the satire envelope. A man with a decent sense of humor/honor would have been clear about all that.

So I am not satisfied with Ezra's response. Moreover, his attack on me just happened to come right after I did a post about his JournoList, so it had an unpleasant retaliatory aspect to it.

Basically, throwing out a charge of anti-Semitism is a pretty nasty thing to do. What motivated him? How cheap are these charges going to be? Shame on him.

"In Twitter I am slimed..." So Twitter is an alternate universe whose members are unreachable by postings on other fora? Ezra's blog is not exactly obscure. You're just making up it up as you go along, just to keep this stupid, manufactured, self-serving tiff alive, aren't you?

Titstorm 03-25-2009 01:56 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
ann, i think you should wait a couple of years for the romantic version of love to wear off before getting married. what's the point of acting so soon?

graz 03-25-2009 02:00 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann Althouse (Post 107922)
. What motivated him?

Maybe the desire to be a provocateur... like you. Not likely.

Or maybe just a desire to be kissed more frequently on the lips (who doesn't like that?) Who knows, who cares? They are all just words. I saw your lips moving and I heard Rush Limbo's words coming out. What does it all mean?

JoeK 03-25-2009 02:07 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 107923)
"In Twitter I am slimed..." So Twitter is an alternate universe whose members are unreachable by postings on other fora? Ezra's blog is not exactly obscure. You're just making up it up as you go along, just to keep this stupid, manufactured, self-serving tiff alive, aren't you?

How would you feel if you were accused of anti-Semitism in public, asshole?

AemJeff 03-25-2009 02:08 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeK (Post 107926)
How would you feel if you were accused of anti-Semitism in public, asshole?

It won't happen in this lifetime, sweetie.

JoeK 03-25-2009 02:10 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 107927)
It won't happen in this lifetime, sweetie.

So you imply Althouse was accused with a good reason.

AemJeff 03-25-2009 02:11 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeK (Post 107928)
So you imply Althouse was accused with a good reason.

Tell me what accusation was directed at Althouse.

JoeK 03-25-2009 02:14 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 107929)
Tell me what accusation was directed at Althouse.

That she runs a blog crawling with anti-Semits, from which follows more, but that false accusation is enough.

AemJeff 03-25-2009 02:18 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeK (Post 107930)
That she runs a blog crawling with anti-Semits, from which follows more, but that false accusation is enough.

You embellish the truth and imply things not in evidence. Ezra Klein did not accuse Ann Althouse of anything. He stated an observation about the content of comments on her blog. The open question is the degree of truth in that observation.

pampl 03-25-2009 02:19 PM

OK, I've finally finished it and got my thoughts in order.
 
First, I'd like to congratulate Althouse on publicly proclaiming her love for and devotion to mead. You've taken the first step to a better life, Ann.

I'm in favor of a BH wedding. To keep it relevant they should take periodic breaks in the ceremony to argue policy, though. Bonus points if the groom works "Jessica Valenti breast controversy" into his vows.

I was suspicious when Althouse started talking about how, during an emergency, it's inappropriate to "giggle" or joke around and that there's the danger of the expansion of government power. Both times she made the comparison to how Bush acted in the aftermath of 9/11, and both times it was VERY hard for me to imagine Althouse ever actually raising those criticisms against Bush any time before it could be used as a club to bludgeon the left hemi-blogosphere.

Towards the end of the diavlog Althouse said something I found interesting. She claimed that Obama's affable joking manner is similar to how other leaders acted when they were expanding their power or curtailing rights. Is that true? AFAIK they mostly take themselves pretty seriously as mythical heroes, e.g. the WW2 fascists and DPRK's Kim Ils.

Overall I liked the upper-downer, Red Bull-and-vodka, Althouse-Wright dynamic.

I've got give Bob props for maintaining the ideological diversity, I think he's right to be proud of it. If he really thinks that the commentators are a valuable part of that, though, then IMO we should start seeing some retention bonuses. There's a lot of internet forums out there, Wright. Zero dollars may not always be the best offer.

graz 03-25-2009 02:26 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pampl (Post 107932)
First, I'd like to congratulate Althouse on publicly proclaiming her love for and devotion to mead.

mead 1 |mēd|
noun chiefly historical
an alcoholic drink of fermented honey and water.

The joke is on us, I guess.

brucds 03-25-2009 02:40 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
"I've...asked for a correction (and an apology) in Twitter."

She really loves this shit. Kind of sad.

uncle ebeneezer 03-25-2009 02:43 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
I think Ezra was perfectly clear:

Quote:

Althouse is right on one point: She does not have "a lot" anti-Semitic commenters. Rather, she has "a lot" of anti Semitic comments in threads about me. I had been looking at comments rather than attaching them to names. So for that misrepresentation, I apologize (emphasis added). And, in general, I don't think she needs to remove any of those comments or police threads. Comment sections are what they are. But one thing they often are is unnerving to their subjects.
As a reader of many blogs, there's no way to avoid seeing the occasional comments of nastiness regarding race, gender, ethnicity. It's part of the game. But looking at the posts that Ezra linked to, I was surprised at how many of them there were in your comments section. I don't know if everyone else has stricter policing standards in their comments section, but the places I frequent: Bloggingheads, Yglesias, Ezra, Alterman, TNC, LG&M, etc. I have never seen threads with such a high-concentration of borderline anti-semitic comments, even going to the creepy level of posting information about Ezra's family. If you are proud to be the person who takes a more-or-less anything goes policy with regards to your comments section, that's your prerogative. But with that comes the possibility that your comments section will have material that is unlikely to be found elsewhere, and the high probability that some astute person will notice it and point it out. Obviously it only takes a couple bad apples to create the appearance of a spoiled bunch. I think Ezra's clarification makes that point more than adequately.

Instigating and allowing envelope-pushing discussions has it's drawbacks. You can't have it both ways.

Francoamerican 03-25-2009 03:46 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 107925)
Maybe the desire to be a provocateur... like you. Not likely.
Or maybe just a desire to be kissed more frequently on the lips (who doesn't like that?) Who knows, who cares? They are all just words. I saw your lips moving and I heard Rush Limbo's words coming out. What does it all mean?

Indeed. Of all the dialogues I have listened to on BHTV this one must be the most inane. Love makes fools of us all.

zookarama 03-25-2009 04:24 PM

I can't figure it out
 
...why Althouse remains on the roster of BHTV vloggers. The only time I'll watch an Althouse session is when Bob or someone else I feel has important things to say is the other blogginghead. Perhaps Bob is trying to run up his site hit count by booking the althouse, knowing that her cadre of commenters will follow her here.
While I wish her and her partner well, I'd also wish that she not return to BHTV.

Lyle 03-25-2009 04:38 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Ezra Klein should have been more mature and just not have twittered what he tweeted. You just don't go around and imply antisemitism or racism whenever you're a bit hot under the collar. It was unprofessional, I think. Ezra is better than that.

kezboard 03-25-2009 05:16 PM

Re: OK, I've finally finished it and got my thoughts in order.
 
Seconded. While I actually do like listening to Wright on the useless issues of the day (in what circumstances should the president of the United States laugh, etc.) I think that if Althouse is going to be on BHTV, she needs to be paired with someone who's equally mindlessly partisan. Listening to her attacking Obama for trying to be likable instead of "getting things done", or suggesting that he's going to usher in some sort of era of affable totalitarianism, is just painful. Aren't these exactly the same accusations that were thrown at Bush? I don't follow her blog, so I don't know if she was equally harsh on Bush for his "Heh heh -- want some wood?" type comments, or on the things he did with regards to civil liberties, but I somehow doubt it.

It seems like the question Wright is trying to ask Althouse in that section is whether the things Obama might do (or has already done) after the economic collapse threaten economic liberty the same way the things Bush did after 9/11 threatened civil liberties. I mean, personally, I don't know that economic liberty is as important to society as civil liberty is, but I'm a liberal, so that's to be expected. Still, though, could Obama things do in the economic sphere that would be analogous to Bush's warrantless wiretapping or the shenanigans that went on in the Justice Department? Is Obama considering measures that would take away liberty to the same extent?

uncle ebeneezer 03-25-2009 05:21 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
I agree that Ezra should have been more prudent. I think that's one of the problems with Tweeting. Not much room for consideration before you throw something out there. At the same time, Althouse says that her son is "off limits" in comments, but Ezra's family apparently is not. I think if people on Ann's site are making borderline anti-semitic comments on threads about Ezra, including discussions of his family, and Ann allows it, he has every right to be disturbed by it and point it out. Which is precisely what happened.

Speaking of professionalism: Ann also could have jumped into the comments section (something that she has little hesitation to do here when she is the subject of conversation) and voice her disapproval of those types of offensive comments, even without censorship. You know the way Bob does when people here start getting out of line. But she didn't. That's her choice.

She's willing to accept the +'s of what she feels is a great comments section, but then feels it's unfair to be associated with the -'s when they say ignorant shit and she let's it slide. Again, you can't have it both ways. What happens under her name on her blog either reflects on her in some way, or it doesn't.

I would add that looking at the particular thread about Ezra's family (the most offensive one IMO) I don't see a tremendous amount of push-back or any kind of backlash from Ann's stellar crew of cheerleaders.

AemJeff 03-25-2009 05:31 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 107950)
I agree that Ezra should have been more prudent. I think that's one of the problems with Tweeting. Not much room for consideration before you throw something out there. At the same time, Althouse says that her son is "off limits" in comments, but Ezra's family apparently is not. I think if people on Ann's site are making borderline anti-semitic comments on threads about Ezra, including discussions of his family, and Ann allows it, he has every right to be disturbed by it and point it out. Which is precisely what happened.

Speaking of professionalism: Ann also could have jumped into the comments section (something that she has little hesitation to do here when she is the subject of conversation) and voice her disapproval of those types of offensive comments, even without censorship. You know the way Bob does when people here start getting out of line. But she didn't. That's her choice.

She's willing to accept the +'s of what she feels is a great comments section, but then feels it's unfair to be associated with the -'s when they say ignorant shit and she let's it slide. Again, you can't have it both ways. What happens under her name on her blog either reflects on her in some way, or it doesn't.

I would add that looking at the particular thread about Ezra's family (the most offensive one IMO) I don't see a tremendous amount of push-back or any kind of backlash from Ann's stellar crew of cheerleaders.

Eb, that's a bloody good summary of how I view this thing. I'll add that Althouse has an apparent affinity for manufacturing controversy, and further, it appears that she feels as if she benefits from that.

StillmanThomas 03-25-2009 05:34 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Oh, if I could only find someone exactly like Ann, then woo her with unending PDAs and marry her . . . and make her life as miserable as I did my first wife's.

Oh I feel so guilty. Forgive me, Bob. Someone stop me before I insult again. I can't believe I'm saying this but, where is Mickey Kaus when we really need him?

Lyle 03-25-2009 07:19 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
You are probably right, but instead of smearing Althouse by implication, he should have either not tweeted, or qualified himself by tweeting that Althouse is clearly not a anti-semite, but a few commenters step over the line. Althouse can't be blamed for all that is written in her comments section. It is not even her responsibility to shut people up. All kinds of people post there and it is an anything goes comment section. That says absolutely nothing about her own views and it shouldn't. What Bob Wright does or what other bloggers do doesn't matter.

Like you said though, Ezra should have been more prudent.

nikkibong 03-25-2009 07:34 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mmacklem (Post 107907)
I hadn't heard about any of these events before this diavlog, but I have to say that I was slightly alarmed at myself in terms of how long into the diavlog I was finally convinced that these two were not being sarcastic or that this wasn't a giant elaborate joke.

Ditto: I could not believe they were serious. I mean, what a stunningly asinine diavlog! A full thirty minutes devoted to discussing Ann's bizarre cyber romance - not exactly Must See BH.TV.

On the other hand: if commenters really do end up marrying bloggers, perhaps I do have a chance with Michelle Goldberg . . .?

nikkibong 03-25-2009 07:39 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 107920)
"Ann accuses Obama of excessive frivolity."

Correction: Nikkibong accuses Ann of excessive frivolity.

Ocean 03-25-2009 07:44 PM

Re: Love in the Time of Commenters (Robert Wright & Ann Althouse)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 107961)
Correction: Nikkibong accuses Ann of excessive frivolity.

Addendum: Bob started it...


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