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Ken Mehlman's "Memory Hole"
November 9, 2006 9:26 PM   Subscribe

A PORTION OF THIS TRANSCRIPT HAS BEEN REMOVED Not only did CNN edit out a portion of the Larry King Live show from last night for the west coast and later showings, they also edited their transcripts and have sent DMCA takedown notices for the copies on youtube. What was so controversial? Just Bill Maher claiming that Ken Mehlman is gay, something Mehlman neither confirms nor denies.
posted by delmoi (115 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I notice the edited version is still up. A complete coincidence, I'm sure, and not indicative of systemic media cowardice and politcal hypocrisy.
posted by Tuwa at 9:33 PM on November 9, 2006


Wow, they even edited out the question about why gay people work against themselves. What the fuck is up with *that*?

Ah, the liberal media.

Anyway, Mehlman's homosexuality has been obvious for a while now. I mean, who answers the question "Are you gay?" with "[You] have asked a question people shouldn’t have to answer," *except* a closet case?
posted by mediareport at 9:38 PM on November 9, 2006


In other news, Mehlman will be leaving the RNC in January.
posted by orthogonality at 9:39 PM on November 9, 2006


(Sorry, rushed to post that old Gay People's Chronicle link without checking the last one in delmoi's post)
posted by mediareport at 9:40 PM on November 9, 2006


It's just bizarre that they would try to cover it up.... retract it, sure, they have the right to do that, and probably even the responsibility, since it's not proven. But suppress it completely? That's very, very strange behavior for a news agency.
posted by Malor at 9:43 PM on November 9, 2006


I love Bill Mahar (and hate hate HATE Larry "softball" King), and a near majority of my friends are gay but I thought this was kind of uncool. I understand the point he was making but its up to an individual to out themselves.

Now why CNN would do this however is on the black helicopter level.
posted by ernie at 9:45 PM on November 9, 2006


mathowie was just taken out by the Dick Cheney Rapid Assault Team.

Yikes, I just had a vision of Cheney stuffing Matt into an enormouss shredder, like the guy in the chipper in Fargo. Run, Matt, run!
posted by homunculus at 9:50 PM on November 9, 2006


Well as long as he doesn't get married...
posted by furtive at 9:52 PM on November 9, 2006


I watched this on CNN (in Vancouver) yesterday and it was unedited, FWIW. Didn't seem earthshattering then either.
posted by mireille at 9:53 PM on November 9, 2006


its up to an individual to out themselves.

I call bullshit on that one. The HEAD of the Republican Party is a closeted fag? And that's not inherently newsworthy? Yeah, whatever. The days of anti-gay closet cases getting a pass from their pals in the media who respect their "open secret" (read: ignoring their work against gay equality and nodding politely when seeing them out with their partners on the DC social circuit) are done. When I first watched that clip, I was actually a bit pissed at Maher for hesitating after hinting darkly at more high-level queers in the GOP.

Just fucking do it. These folks are dinosaurs holding fellow citizens in second-class citizenship while quietly using the perks of their wealth and power to avoid that very second-class citizenship themselves. Fuck them and their open secrets. If DC knows, we all should know, and that's the bottom line.
posted by mediareport at 9:55 PM on November 9, 2006 [27 favorites]


CNN has turned into such a tool. Remmber when they still mattered?
posted by caddis at 9:56 PM on November 9, 2006


Remmber when Matt still had a spell checker?
posted by caddis at 9:56 PM on November 9, 2006


Thank you, mediareport.
posted by wsg at 9:59 PM on November 9, 2006


These folks are dinosaurs holding fellow citizens in second-class citizenship while quietly using the perks of their wealth and power to avoid that very second-class citizenship themselves.

well said.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:07 PM on November 9, 2006


Bill Maher is one of the few pundits who understand that religious conservatism is a cult mentality. Everyone else lazily dodges any controversy by publicly assuming that there is a mental process by which these conservatives adopt their self-defeating positions other than obedience.
posted by Brian B. at 10:09 PM on November 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


I call bullshit on that one. The HEAD of the Republican Party is a closeted fag? And that's not inherently newsworthy? Yeah, whatever. The days of anti-gay closet cases getting a pass from their pals in the media who respect their "open secret"

Ok, a bad case of RTFW. Embarrassingly I will admit I had him confused with a lesser apparatchick.

So yeah, I'll flip flop on this in light of better info, apologies, my pitchfork is now brightly lit.
posted by ernie at 10:17 PM on November 9, 2006


"Pierce Bush" may not be some weird Bush family naming convention. Perhaps it's a sort of amulet against homosexuality.
posted by stavrogin at 10:37 PM on November 9, 2006


On top of what's said already: CNN itself participates in the trade of all kinds of gossip of an intimate sexual nature about politicians and celebrities alike, and King's show has been known to so dabble; so the mere mention of orientation is tame in comparison to what they otherwise consider acceptable.

Have we not hit the point yet where aggressively avoiding the topic of sexual orientation this way is itself a condemnation of gays? Trying to cover it up buys into the idea that being being labeled gay is an insult, which is even more offensive in the context of a forum in which casual, even joking, speculation on the pedophilic tendencies of congressmen and kings of pop is common fare.

Not to mention that the conspicious avoidance of the topic feeds and perpetuates the very taboo it tries to avoid. Do what we do in San Francisco: assume that everyone is gay until they say otherwise. The straight men here have handled it quite gracefully--some even to the point of considering it a compliment.
posted by troybob at 10:41 PM on November 9, 2006


stavrogin, that's the funniest comment I've read in some time. If only it would fit on a bumper sticker.
posted by Dag Maggot at 10:51 PM on November 9, 2006


According to the linked AmericaBlog entry, CNN also edited out the follow up question, and Bill's answer, about why gays would take publicly anti-gay positions. But I've just looked at the transcript and apparently they've put that much back-- the edits don't match the blog entry anymore.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:19 PM on November 9, 2006


Like all labels they tell you one thing, and one thing only: Where does an individual so identified fit into the food chain, the pecking order? Not ideology or sexual taste, but something much simpler: clout. Not who Mehlamn fuck or who fucks Mehlman, but who will come to the phone when Mehlman calls, who owes Mehlman favors. This is what a label refers to. Now to someone who does not understand this, a homosexual is what Ken Mehlman is because he has sex with men, but really this is wrong. A homosexual is somebody who, in 15 years of trying cannot get a pissant anti-discrimination bill through the city council. A homosexual is somebody who knows nobody and who nobody knows. Who has zero clout. Does this sound like Ken Mehlman?

Ken Mehlman is not a homosexual. Ken Mehlman is a straight man who fucks other men.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:25 PM on November 9, 2006 [5 favorites]


Apparently, Maher indicated that he would "out" several other top members of the GOP during the Nov. 10 broadcast of Real Time.
posted by Chasuk at 11:27 PM on November 9, 2006


Nancy Grace gets to accuse everyone of everything, but CNN can't broadcast a rumor about Ken Mehlman?

Is it because he is the head of the RNC, or is it because they have had him over for dinner, and friends respect friend's wishes about how they face the world?

If it's the second, then they hafta know, right now, you don't make friends with the band.

And, damn, the Republican party seems to be pretty gay for being the anti-gay party. Like, a cock in each hand gay.
posted by dglynn at 11:38 PM on November 9, 2006


CNN has turned into such a tool. Remmber when they still mattered?

No, no I do not.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:06 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Flashforward...2025. Do you remember way back when, whether or not you were gay, mattered? :::Yawn:::::
posted by Muirwylde at 12:08 AM on November 10, 2006


funny how Maher waited until these people have been massively defeated at the polls to start his little crusade
posted by matteo at 1:49 AM on November 10, 2006


and by the way, even funnier -- big surprise, there's on nothing on Drudge about this. I'm sure that, had Limbaugh said that Dean or Emanuel are gay, Drudge would have been equally discreet
posted by matteo at 1:51 AM on November 10, 2006


I wouldn't be surprised if Drudge is one of people Maher is planning to "out" on Real Time tomorrow.
posted by pruner at 1:59 AM on November 10, 2006


matteo: Maher's been talking about this (and other stuff) for years. It's not a "little crusade," but part of a much larger crusade against hypocrisy that's pretty much the theme of his HBO show.
posted by turducken at 2:33 AM on November 10, 2006


rumors about Mehlman have been floating for years. Maher's sources (ie, Google) only told him now?

and by the way, is he still repeating the "9-11 hijackers were not cowards" thing? because it looked like he backed that truck up real fast when he noticed that it could have cost him money
posted by matteo at 3:04 AM on November 10, 2006


and by the way, is he still repeating the "9-11 hijackers were not cowards" thing? because it looked like he backed that truck up real fast when he noticed that it could have cost him money

Citation please? I never heard the backup the truck part. In fact I've heard him say it a couple more times - Dinner for Five and on Real Time.
posted by srboisvert at 4:02 AM on November 10, 2006


I don't think there will be many more rumors about Mehlman, now that he's quitting.
posted by clevershark at 4:46 AM on November 10, 2006


Ted Haggard redux . . . .

Bravo to Bill Maher. He's hardly been silent before the election. He has been one of the few sharp, critical, independent voices on TV for years. And he is the one true champion of rational atheism who is allowed to say so on the air (thanks HBO!). To atheists like me, he's a freaking hero.

He has my full support for outing as many of these closeted bastards on the right as he can. For those who don't get it, you can't oppress people for doing exactly what you do and expect no one to say anything about your conduct being hypocritical and perverse. Period. It's human nature.

Out them all. Let's have it on the table.

And yes, King and his pals trade in sexual innuendo all the time. How many "Hillary is a lesbian" hints have made it past the censor's knife in recent years? And hey Larry, how many wives have you had, and did you cheat on any of them?

Now that we have the congress, it's time for the dems to start playing serious hardball with the bastards who tried to destroy this country, and anyone who disagreed with them while they were in power.

Ken. Mehlman. Likes. Boys.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:13 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm shocked, SHOCKED!.. to find out that this is news.
posted by clevershark at 6:37 AM on November 10, 2006


Ken. Mehlman. Likes. Boys.

Likes men, or likes boys?

There's a big fucking difference, and I'm not comfortable with the implications of how you said that.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:38 AM on November 10, 2006


Astro Zombie: Ken Mehlman is not a homosexual. Ken Mehlman is a straight man who fucks other men.



That is one of the most profound analyses of Mehlman's orientation I've seen, and it perfectly describes the subjectivity of many highly-positioned people whose deeper proclivities and/or origins would identify them as members of oppressed groups. Though racism has long been publicly condemned, Black Republicans come to mind as another category of people who are normalized by their class/power/position out of their identities in the subaltern position of "black." (Full disclosure: about half my genome comes from black African ancestors)



In the Racial Formation in the United States, Michael Omi and Howard Winant explain how the state progresses and retrenches on matters of race and is often at odds with itself. They give the example of how immigration in the eighteenth century became a way of categorizing non-white, non-black and non-American Indian people that either had the full protection of the Constitution (e.g. Mexicans in California who were classified as white) or who were considered aliens (e.g. Chinese who were classified as American Indians).



My point (it was supposed to be a short parallel, forgive me) is that American Latinos who identify as socially conservative Republicans who oppose immigration reform and protections for illegal aliens and undocumented workers are, to use Astro Zombie's logic, not Latino. They are whites who happen to have Latino origins.



I'm not saying that the interests of Latinos, gays, and blacks are fully represented by Democrats. What I am saying is that race and class are to some extent transdermal and transbehavioral, that identity (subjectivity) is the effect of political/social context as much as it is about essence and behavior. Such people are components of a network that is comprised of disparate elements and their contextually-conferred subjectivities is what enables them to support socially conservative policy that hurts people with whom they may share both biological and behavioral traits.



I think I need to get back to writing my article.


posted by mistersquid at 6:39 AM on November 10, 2006 [8 favorites]


its up to an individual to out themselves.

Bill Clinton didn't get any protection against being outed as a blow-job-loving adulterer, so why should Mehlman get any special treatment. If it's invasion of sexual privacy you're worried about, the DC establishment has been there, done that.
posted by jonp72 at 6:39 AM on November 10, 2006


Thanks, Mister Squid. My comments were lifted entirely from one of Roy Cohn's monologues in Angels in America.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:49 AM on November 10, 2006


I have a friend back home -- Vietnam-era sailor -- who just came out as bi to a couple of us with Navy ties in wishing everybody a happy Veterans' Day. Wow, I'm a dinosaur, I guess; my gaydar never lit up once. Gotta remember what Larry Kramer said about assuming GLBT until proven otherwise...it's a Brave New World out here.
posted by pax digita at 6:56 AM on November 10, 2006


I'm an athiest and a democrat. Bill Maher is not my hero. (Exhibit A: his on-air BJ's for Ann Coulter).
posted by papakwanz at 6:57 AM on November 10, 2006


Sorry, Alvy. No imputation of Foley-esque orientation implied. As far as we know, anyway. I apologize for any offense, as none was intended.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:58 AM on November 10, 2006


papakwanz, can you think of another figure in the media who *ever* stands up for the rights of atheists, or points out that many Americans are atheists? You'd think it was more shameful to be an atheist than a child molester, given the lip-service paid to religiosity in our culture. Maher, with whom I disagree on many other points (especially his initial support for the Iraq debacle) is a "hero" to me for this one reason: no one else ever stands up for my rights as an atheist on the national media landscape. Atheists are not un-American. Many Americans are atheists, and we are treated as if we don't exist or as if we're the crazy ones.

I feel about this issue the way many gays feel about the routine gay bashing that passes for informed comment in the American media. I want "religious" hypocrites "outed" for their hypocrisy and inability to adhere to their own so-called "moral" codes of conduct. Name one other major public figure (Richard Dawkins doesn't count) who stands up for the rights of non-believers not to be treated like second-class citizens or enemies of the state.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:03 AM on November 10, 2006


Also, he's a hero to me for saying what I think is the pithiest dismissal of a sacred cow I've ever seen:
I don't care about the Olympics. It's like watching gym.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:24 AM on November 10, 2006


History repeats itself.

And: who answers the question "Are you gay?" with "[You] have asked a question people shouldn’t have to answer," *except* a closet case?

But isn't this the answer that everyone should give, at least when asked by some jerk reporter?
posted by washburn at 7:26 AM on November 10, 2006


It's one of those "live by the sword, die by the sword" things.

Pun not intended. Really.
posted by clevershark at 7:30 AM on November 10, 2006


Just in case no one else got it, Astro Zombie's statement was a slightly altered excerpt from a Roy Cohn monologue in Angels in America.
posted by WCityMike at 7:32 AM on November 10, 2006


washburn, I think I'll reread that comment as I finger my Danish "Juden" star....
posted by pax digita at 7:34 AM on November 10, 2006


KM, TH and MF on the DL! Who's next, bitchaz?
posted by fungible at 7:40 AM on November 10, 2006


isn't this the answer that everyone should give

Well, maybe, but only closet cases use it. Straight people usually just go, "Meh, no."
posted by mediareport at 7:43 AM on November 10, 2006


The republicans could be so cool if only they came to terms with liking cock. There's nothing wrong with liking cock.
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2006


Flashforward...2025. Do you remember way back when, whether or not you were gay, mattered? :::Yawn:::::
posted by Muirwylde


While I appreciate the idea, I think that's a bit of wishful thinking. How long have we been working on racial/gender/ability equality and it still very obviously matters if you are in any minorities there.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:49 AM on November 10, 2006


isn't this the answer that everyone should give

Ideally, but the truth is that in general the only people who refuse to answer the question are the people for whom the answer will reflect badly on themselves. People who have nothing to hide have no reason to deflect. Although if they did deflect, all or most of them, that would be great and would go a long way to normalize the minority position.

I always refer to my spouse (same-sex) as my partner. Most of the time, when someone says 'partner' that is like a red flag telling that they are gay. I love, love, love it when straight people refer to their spouses as 'partner' since that shows me that they don't feel the need to advertise the sex of their spouse, and that they likewise don't really care about the sex of mine.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:57 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


The deletion of the article may bring more attention to the article than if it had remained up.
posted by edgeways at 9:36 AM on November 10, 2006


Actually, pruner, I thought Matt Drudge was openly gay. I sort of thought everyone knew that. Or was it just me?
posted by nyxxxx at 9:46 AM on November 10, 2006


I love, love, love it when straight people refer to their spouses as 'partner' since that shows me that they don't feel the need to advertise the sex of their spouse...

...or that they think minorities are cool, and they wish they were cool, and it's hard to pretend you're black or disabled or interesting in some other help-I'm-being-oppressed way. That's how I usually read it. I hope you're right and I'm wrong, though.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:48 AM on November 10, 2006


Shit, I never thought of that. I really hope that you are wrong, although there probably are people who use partner for the reasons you describe. I wonder, though, if that really matters. It still has the effect of normalizing the use of that gender-neutral word. I don't know, the idea that people might use 'partner' in order to identify with poor oppressed homos when for me that word is so important as it allows me to contribute to conversation without turning every topic into "Hello! I'm gay!" makes me uncomfortable. I'm not an issue that I need you to identify with.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:14 AM on November 10, 2006


papakwanz, can you think of another figure in the media who *ever* stands up for the rights of atheists, or points out that many Americans are atheists?

No, I can't. That doesn't mean I have to like the guy.
posted by papakwanz at 10:17 AM on November 10, 2006


There is only one way to be sure. We must activate Konolia's highly developed and advanced Gaydar.

What?
posted by tkchrist at 10:18 AM on November 10, 2006


Conservative politics exploits male insecurities and machismo (which is overly assumed to be a subconscious frustration at getting females to notice them).
posted by Brian B. at 10:53 AM on November 10, 2006


nyxxxx: Actually, pruner, I thought Matt Drudge was openly gay. I sort of thought everyone knew that. Or was it just me?

I'm under the impression that it's an open secret... like Mehlman's sexuality.
posted by pruner at 10:55 AM on November 10, 2006


Drudge denies that he is gay.
posted by caddis at 11:10 AM on November 10, 2006


papakwanz and fourcheesemac,

The closest to what y'all are thinking of was probably Madalyn Murray O'Hair, followed, sorta, by Carl Sagan, who didn't stick up for atheism qua atheism so much as he championed rationality over the "demon-haunted world" and a Church that had done some real disservices to the advance of human inquiry over closed-minded dogma, complete with some really egregious defenses thereof. I think maybe Clarence Darrow's defense in the Scopes "Monkey" Trial sorta helped atheism's cause a bit, too, although like a lot of people I'm mostly familiar with it through the dramatized version in Inherit the Wind.

Believe it or not, some of us believers respect you folks for your constancy and innate decency in the face of some pretty major cultural static. What's more, despite what the control freaks among our crowd have to say about and to you (& how nasty -- frankly -- some of y'all's compatriots have gotten toward us at times here in the blue), I'd rather we all just live and let live.
posted by pax digita at 11:20 AM on November 10, 2006


Oh, and corpse and arcticwoman, I'll go along with partner vice spouse or gender-based terms if folks will start using same-sex as an adjective while gay and queer revert to prior meanings -- especially the former; I really like the way it sounds in music lyrics of yore.

A lot to ask for, I realize...
posted by pax digita at 11:26 AM on November 10, 2006


yup--Astro Zombie was channeling Roy Cohn, who actually said stuff like that--it wasn't just Kushner making it up.

For CNN to censor on their air what another branch of their company (HBO) will show tonight with more than just one name is really pathetic--it's Orwellian, and it's wrong to have such double standards--they endlessly speculate on all straight sex lives. I'm done with CNN.
posted by amberglow at 11:32 AM on November 10, 2006


pax digita: that would be fine with me. Thank you for acknowledging, as believers so rarely do, that we take a lot of abuse for our "belief" that "belief" is not a substitute for "knowledge" about the natural, physical world. It is my "belief" that there is no other world worth thinking about, since I've never seen any evidence that another world exists, only professions of belief that it does. But I cannot, of course, "prove" a negative. So I'll be happy to live and let live if believers don't oppress non-believers, call us un-American, or disqualify us (de facto) from public office if we say what we really think. There are quite a few "closet" atheists in public life, and even more unprincipled unbelievers who wear a mantle of faith while conducting themselves as hypocritically as possible, as we've seen quite a bit of lately.

MOSTLY, I want believers to yield in their attempts to grasp the machinery of the secular state's power. The US, at least, was founded on the philosophy of separate sphere and secularism in government in the name of tolerance, the protection of minorities, and liberty for everyone, believer, non-believer, agnostic, etc. The US should be a place where atheism is a respected, legitimate philosophical position. Instead, it's treated as an immoral or amoral world view. Ironically, it's the best-evidenced world view out there, which is perhaps why it is so terrifying to people who organize their entire lives around unconfirmable claims about unseen forces and undiscoverable worlds. So, the more my views infuriate "believers," the more secure I feel in their truth.

I have nothing against believers other than thinking they're wrong. Feel free to think I'm wrong, but don't act like you have any proof of it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:33 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


The US, at least, was founded on the philosophy

And before the old argument starts, it doesn't really matter if the "founders" were believers or not, and in any case, our "founding" ideas have evolved and been tested and refined against practice for a few hundred years now, give or take. The principles enshrined in the US Bill of Rights give no quarter to those who would impose religiously motivated codes of conduct on those who don't share the same religious beliefs.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:36 AM on November 10, 2006


For CNN to censor on their air what another branch of their company (HBO) will show tonight

Huh, maybe they did it to avoid giving away the ending in the trailer?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:40 AM on November 10, 2006


Conservative politics exploits male insecurities and machismo (which is overly assumed to be a subconscious frustration at getting females to notice them).

Not "notice." "Obey." Conservative politics is largely founded, in my opinion, largely on the basis of a fear of women's sexuality after millennia of patriarchy. Which makes it obvious why the GOP would be a bastion of closet cases, I do believe.

Or as Borat says, we like President Bush very much, and even more his strong father Barbara.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:40 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Bravo to Bill Maher....He has been one of the few sharp, critical, independent voices on TV for years."

Oh please! Could we stop fellating Bill Maher now? To me Maher is what would happen if Dennis Miller and Christopher Hitchens had a love child with fetal alcohol syndrome and beat it the head with sticks everyday as it was growing up. And if he really does "out" people on his show tonight (as someone mentioned above) it will do nothing but prove what a douchebag he is.
posted by MikeMc at 11:44 AM on November 10, 2006


The people he's going to be talking about are mostly all people who have been outed online already--mostly thru Blogactive (see the left sidebar)--with Larry Craig added too, who has already been talked about by Maher.

US Representatives
Rep. Ed Schrock (VA)
Rep. David Drier (CA)
Rep. James McCrery (LA)
Rep. Mark Foley (FL)

US Senators
Sen Barbara Mikulski (MD)

Senior GOP Staff
Jay Timmons, NRSC
Dan Gurley, RNC
Jay Banning, RNC

Senior Senate Staffers
Robert Traynham, Santorum
Jonathan Tolman, Inhofe
Kirk Fordham, Martinez
Dirk Smith, Lott
John Reid, Allen
Paul Unger, Allen
Linus Catignani, Frist

Senior House Staffers
Jim Conzelman, Oxley
Lee Cohen, Hart
Robert O'Conner, King
Pete Meachum, Brown-Waite

Bush Staff
Israel Hernandez
Jeff Berkowitz

posted by amberglow at 11:50 AM on November 10, 2006


Conservative politics is largely founded, in my opinion, largely on the basis of a fear of women's sexuality after millennia of patriarchy.

I often wonder to what extent their desire to control the womb is based on an unconscious desire to have one. For the typical conservative male to exert unfunded control over the breeding of strangers who consider themselves unfit or unable to provide is a rather weird impulse for them to explain away.
posted by Brian B. at 11:52 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


and this Nebraskan GOP Rep, just elected: So, will Adrian Smith be the 110th Congress' first exposed hypocrite?
posted by amberglow at 11:56 AM on November 10, 2006


Look. These guys are not gay. It's a complicated ritual of hazing. They gotta WANT the power. Want it bad. And how do you prove you want to join the fraternity of power? Take it up the ass, that's how.

Think of it more like prison. On the outside most of those cats would rather be free — sniffing coke of strippers tits and scratching their poorly groomed pubic areas while playing X-box. But once they get inside theose hallowed halls of congress it's all pressed slacks, expensive cologne and "shiv the first guy you see..." well, that or blow him.

We should feel sorry for them. Forced by their naive desires and ambition into this power elite lifestyle contrary to their midwestern Christian values.

They actually hate it. The baby oil. The incessant Erasure cranked up to 200 decibels. Dropping E till 3am. Dancing shirtless with glitter lotion on. And the hungry men with the hands... gropping... searching... needing...

It's HORRIBLE! Horrible.
posted by tkchrist at 12:47 PM on November 10, 2006


Oh, and corpse and arcticwoman, I'll go along with partner vice spouse or gender-based terms if folks will start using same-sex as an adjective while gay and queer revert to prior meanings -- especially the former; I really like the way it sounds in music lyrics of yore.

Sure, how do these sound: "I am a same-sex woman." "My brother is same-sex." "What do you think, is Haggard same-sex or not?" That's one of the problems, using same-sex instead of gay doesn't always work. "Homosexual" is not really an option, as it always comes across disapproving (although I can't really explain why, I'm sorry).

I think we all know that there is no way gay could ever go back to meaning happy and fancy-free. Languages change, and that is ok. I just happen to like the change (if it is happening) from certain gendered words to non-gendered ones.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:59 PM on November 10, 2006


First CNN, then MSNBC, now the WaPo? What's up with all this revisionist history?
posted by caddis at 1:33 PM on November 10, 2006


I'm not an issue that I need you to identify with.

No, you're not. But gay folks haven't cornered the market on the exclusive word 'partner' to describe their SO. Once you get past a certain age, "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" start to sound ridiculous. Not only that, but they may not convey the level of commitment two opposite-gender, but as-yet-unmarried people feel for each other.

As for me, I use the word because I don't like the words "husband" and "wife". So if that makes me seem like someone who's trying to associate with oppressed minorities in order to appear "cool"...well..there are worse things in life to be, methinks.

(Besides, I'm already an oppressed minority. Why do I need to up the ante?) ;-)
posted by likorish at 2:44 PM on November 10, 2006


Arcticwoman, thanks for the idea ("partner" for "wife" or "husband")! I never thought of it, and will try it in future (hetero here, "straight but not narrow" as they say). I have occasionally enjoyed saying something like (sincerely) "he's kinda cute" with friends who know I'm hetero and acquaintances who don't and trying not to laugh at reactions.

The corpse in the library, I disagree - maybe some people like to play at being minorities (see "wiggers"), but obviously you are or you aren't, and I think the "partner" usage implies more of a stand on principles. In fact it's a good way to more accurately represent some complex ideas about marriage, etc. without long explanations.

arcticwoman, on the "My brother is same-sex" - I hope to see, eventually, less of the categorizations of the whole person, and more of the just referring to who's with whom. So, "Pat is my brother's partner" or "my brother is dating men", etc.
posted by jam_pony at 2:45 PM on November 10, 2006


"partner" is very businesslike tho--i don't like it (altho "life partner" is better but too hippyish). "Lover" is good, and so is "husband" and "wife" and "boyfriend" and "girlfriend"--the regular terms work for us just as well.
posted by amberglow at 2:52 PM on November 10, 2006


from that Greenwald link: ...his own newspaper, which appears to have engaged in some sort of Stalinist-like purging of history by zapping out of existence the Post's accurate detailing of the President's Press Conference admission of lying.

So the President got caught lying to the American people, several days before an election, about a matter of unquestionable importance -- namely, who will manage our war in Iraq and, more broadly, will the President change how the war is being managed? And not even the President claims there was some national security "justification" for lying. It was a pure political calculus ...
how The Washington Post reported this lie, and then un-reported it. ...

posted by amberglow at 2:55 PM on November 10, 2006


My understanding is that it would be an easy slander suit for Mehlman. Not that he'll choose to pursue it...
posted by Shanachie at 3:46 PM on November 10, 2006


nope--there have already been court cases where it's been determined that stating someone's sexual orientation is not slander at all.

But you're right--he couldn't ever pursue it--it would be proven in court.
posted by amberglow at 3:50 PM on November 10, 2006


I don't really like lover. It sounds ok when it is just the two (or whatever) of you talking, or if you are talking to close friends, but I really couldn't see myself saying "Grandma, Grandpa, this is my lover so-and-so." I agree about partner sounding business-like. It did when I started using it but for me that meaning has sort of faded. I wish their was a word somewhere between the impersonal formality of 'partner' and the too-personal "this-is-who-I-have-sex-with" 'lover.'

likorish - no, gay people haven't gotten the market covered on 'partner,' but I will argue that most of the time it is gay people who use it. As so, when someone says that word it automatically calls their sexuality into question. This is exactly why I like it when non-homos use the word. If enough people of various stripes use it, then it won't be such an automatic fag/dyke marker. I could use wife, but like you I dislike the word.
posted by arcticwoman at 3:54 PM on November 10, 2006


"lover" is more than sex tho--it's a relationship--Altho, it's an illicit one in terms of straight people, so i guess it's no good for everyone. 100 years ago, they had "Boston Marriages" and everyone knew what people meant by it--i guess a million different terms is ok, as long as we get our rights.

Check this out: Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman has been discovered in bed with a 14-year-old Thai girly-boy, with enough PCP in his veins to fell a small ox and a bag of cash labeled “Abramoff Dosh.” ... ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:09 PM on November 10, 2006


I wish their was a word somewhere between the impersonal formality of 'partner' and the too-personal "this-is-who-I-have-sex-with" 'lover.'

My mother, when she was living in sin, used "paramour."
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:48 PM on November 10, 2006


See also: POSSLQ.

I don't think there will be many more rumors about Mehlman, now that he's quitting.

Just wait until Giuliani's campaign gets into high gear. Talk about your frying-pan-fire arcs.
posted by dhartung at 4:48 PM on November 10, 2006


I disagree - maybe some people like to play at being minorities (see "wiggers"), but obviously you are or you aren't

Obviously are or aren't gay? Then what's this thread about?
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:49 PM on November 10, 2006


Drudge denies that he is gay.

Michelangelo Signorile once said, "Drudge may say that he is not gay, but one thing is clear, no matter his sexual orientation: he's a nasty faggot."

New York Post, June 16, 2002, p. 10

posted by mlis at 6:16 PM on November 10, 2006


fourcheesemac writes "Sorry, Alvy. No imputation of Foley-esque orientation implied. As far as we know, anyway. I apologize for any offense, as none was intended."

Nor, to be perfectly accurate, did Foley like boys. He liked teenagers. Divorced from the abuse of power that he very clearly had, there's nothing wrong with those tastes. Nor, in some circumstances, from acting on them. (All the straight men out there who weren't flogging the bishop thinking of Britney Spears, Olsen Twins, Scarlett Johanssen, etc before they turned 18, please raise your hands).

Big difference between pedophilia (sexual desire for prepubescent children), and ephebophilia. Please to learning the difference, thanks--may not mean much to you, but lumping someone who likes 16-18 year olds with someone who likes 6-8 year olds is a ridiculous conflation.

MikeMc writes "And if he really does 'out' people on his show tonight (as someone mentioned above) it will do nothing but prove what a douchebag he is."

I disagree. I tend to have serious issues with people who are outed against their will. I'm talking sports figures, actors, musicians, whatnot.

Politicians, however, are fair game if--and only if--they advocate for positions which oppress other GLBTABCDOMGWTFBBQ people. A politician who supports same-sex marriage (not 'civil unions' bullshti--separate but equal is not equal) has the right to privacy. A politician, however, who trades on that kind of hypocrisy needs to be outed for it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:39 PM on November 10, 2006


(see, you can't easily hide being, say, black and espousing racist policies. If you did, you'd be drummed out right quick. And yes, sure, you can be part-fitb and have it not be terribly obvious, but you know what I mean)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:46 PM on November 10, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy -- we use "girls" to refer to said objects of purported bishop-flogging, and "boys" is common parlance for adolescent males. there's sensitivity, and then there's hypersensitivity.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:49 PM on November 10, 2006


... The brilliant thing about having a semi-official instead of an official press is that you can train it to censor itself. (on the omittance of Gates' Iran-Contra history in CNN's bio)
posted by amberglow at 7:53 PM on November 10, 2006


lumping someone who likes 16-18 year olds with someone who likes 6-8 year olds is a ridiculous conflation

I disagree; the predation can be very similar.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:07 PM on November 10, 2006


No offense was taken, fourcheesemac... well a little, but I read your comment before I had my oh-so-important first cigarette of the day and was in the mood for some indignance :).
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:36 PM on November 10, 2006


Heywood Mogroot writes "I disagree; the predation can be very similar."

Heywood, there is a massive difference between wanting to have sex with people who are capable of forming consent and with those who are not.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:34 AM on November 11, 2006


but the power differential and being an authority figure in the kid's life is very very similar, especially in Foley's case.
posted by amberglow at 6:45 AM on November 11, 2006


Oh yes, absolutely. But I was pointing out that apart from the abuse of power issues there is a huge difference. Heywood, apparently, missed that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:47 AM on November 11, 2006


but I really couldn't see myself saying "Grandma, Grandpa, this is my lover so-and-so." I agree about partner sounding business-like.

It is really very simple. You say, "Grandma, Grandpa, this is Clovis Boykin, Jr." There really is no need to go into details about whom you are currently boinking. If for some reason Grandma and Grandpa press you as to "Why did you bring that strange looking fella over there?" you may clarify, "Clovis and I are living together." Leave your grandparents to figure out the bedroom arrangements on their own.

At work the same holds true. If you mention Clovis enough times "Clovis and I were discussing that very issue at breakfast this morning..." they will probably catch on.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:28 AM on November 11, 2006


Oh, also, I hate 'partner'. I live with my boyfriend. It's possible that one day he'll be my fiance, and subsequently my husband.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:20 AM on November 11, 2006


Secret life: you are absolutely correct, and that is in fact what we did with my snookie-poo's grandparents (now that I think of it). Once I had shown up for Mother's day, Easter and Christmas a few times, I think they figured it out. It is different though, when you are talking to, say, a colleague or new aquaintance. For me it generally goes:

"So, are you married?"
"Yes. My partner, Clovis, is also a student here. Clovis studies portobello mushroom poisoning... blah blah blah..."

It isn't a word that I need to use often, but when I do need a word that defines my relationship with snuggly-muffin, "lover" is too sexual, "wife" is too tied in with heterosexual marriage/ownership, and any other word (such as paramour) is too strange to pass naturally. It was nice when she was my fiancee.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:57 AM on November 11, 2006


arcticwoman writes "'wife' is too tied in with heterosexual marriage/ownership"

How? It's the word for a married female. Doesn't matter who is married to her, same as 'husband' is the male equivalent.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:53 AM on November 11, 2006


I hate the word "wife." For me, it's got serious negative baggage (and is not equivalent baggage-wise to "husband"). (Dirtynumbangelboy, do you follow any civil rights issues other than those affecting gay white males? I mean, you can disagree with the idea that "wife" is a problem, but I hope the idea that it might be a problem is not completely new to you.) When I was married I avoided both words, and particularly the word "wife."

FWIW, I know feminist women (lesbian and non-lesbian) who agree with my views, and who disagree, on the "wife" word.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:47 PM on November 11, 2006


ClaudiaCenter writes "Dirtynumbangelboy, do you follow any civil rights issues other than those affecting gay white males?"

Claudia, when did you stop abusing children?

Come on--could you have phrased that in any more of an insulting manner? No, seriously, could you?

I am fully aware that some feminists have issues with 'wife'. I disagree with them. It doesn't have to be a dirty word. Look at words that have been/are being reclaimed: fag, dyke, nigger. Why should 'wife' be any different?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:01 PM on November 11, 2006


see, snookie-poo, snuggly muffin, coochie face, hunk o'spunk, ...---all wonderful terms : >
posted by amberglow at 2:34 PM on November 11, 2006


Claudia, I am a feminist woman and I agree with you on the word "wife," that is exactly why I don't like it.

And amberglow... where I come from "coochie" is a slang word for female genitalia... so "coochie face" means something different. Then again, if "hunk o'spunk" is a term of endearment...
posted by arcticwoman at 3:15 PM on November 11, 2006


How about "pard"? It's fun, gender-baggage neutral, not too intimate, and gives one an excuse to wear chaps more often.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:29 PM on November 11, 2006


Arcticwoman: Fine, how about spunkface?


... oh, wait.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:32 PM on November 11, 2006


Alvy Ampersand writes "Fine, how about spunkface?"

Are you hitting on me?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:50 PM on November 11, 2006


Spunkface? Sure.

On the topic of cutesy names, my partner's first name starts with Anna (like Annamarie, or Annabelle, but neither of those) and I often amuse myself by changing that last part. Annamutualmasturbation, that's cute, right? Annacunnilingus? Annadigitalsex? Annabuffinthemuffin, that's endearing, right? I like this game.
posted by arcticwoman at 3:58 PM on November 11, 2006


with petnames for each other, everything's allowed (Except calling each other "mother" and "father" like on tv in the 50s, and -- as an actual older couple i used to know did --calling each other "pussy")
posted by amberglow at 6:46 PM on November 11, 2006


(and i think Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when i hear cootchieface)
posted by amberglow at 6:47 PM on November 11, 2006


When I got sent to jail my first cell mate asked me if I wanted to be the "husband" or the "wife." Until that moment I had never appreciated the connotations of the terms.

But a bit frightened, I said "wife."

He seemed ok with that. He just looked at me and said "Ok. Then, HUSBAND, get over here and suck your wifes dick!"

PS. Please note that this is a joke. And an old one.

FTR: I call my wife "sugar britches."

wait for it...

And he calls me his "nice hot honkey bee-yatch." But I know he loves me.
posted by tkchrist at 9:31 PM on November 11, 2006


it made the NYT -- with a weak excuse from CNN, and without mentioning Mehlman by name: Some Names Were Named, but Not for Long
posted by amberglow at 8:37 AM on November 13, 2006


From the NYT article: “When someone says something potentially defamatory that we don’t expect them to say live on the air, we typically won’t be liable for it,” she said. “However, if we continue to rebroadcast it, without any reporting of our own or any comment from the subject of the accusation, we could be legally responsible for what that guest said.”

That seems pretty lame, and I do not think they are correct about the law.

By the way, did anyone see Maher's show last Friday? What did he say there?
posted by caddis at 9:34 AM on November 13, 2006



By the way, did anyone see Maher's show last Friday? What did he say there?

He blasted Haggard but he didn't name any names that I didn't already know.
posted by tkchrist at 1:02 PM on November 13, 2006



RNC Experiments With Heterosexual Chairman
--... This is great news for social conservatives tired of worshiping a political party completely run by the homosexuals. Martinez is as anti-gay as they get without actually being gay. ...

Anyway, it’s great that the GOP is sticking to its principles by putting a crooked hypocritical Jesus Freak nutbag in charge of the party....

posted by amberglow at 1:26 PM on November 13, 2006


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