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Gawker still doesn’t get it

As I’m sure you all know by now, the website Gawker published the salacious details of an alleged no-sex one night stand some guy claimed to have had with Christine O’Donnell. This was too much even for Andy Sullivan, and NOW as well as most feminist bloggers condemned the article.

So did Gawker apologize? Not hardly.

What’s missing from most of the criticism is this essential bit of context: Christine O’Donnell is seeking federal office based in part on her self-generated, and carefully tended, image as a sexually chaste woman. She lies about who she is; she tells that lie in service of an attempt to impose her private sexual values on her fellow citizens; and she’s running for Senate. We thought information documenting that lie—that O’Donnell does not live a chaste life as she defines the word, and in fact hops into bed, naked and drunk, with men that she’s just met—was of interest to our readers.

Much of the criticism leveled against us is based on the premise that we think hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with men or women whenever one wants is “slutty,” and that therefore our publication of Anonymous’ story was intended to diminish O’Donnell on those terms. Any reader of this site ought to rather quickly gather that we are in fact avid supporters of hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with men or women that one has just met.

Our problem with O’Donnell—and the reason that the information we published about her is relevant—is that she has repeatedly described herself and her beliefs in terms that suggest that there is something wrong with hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with a man or woman whom one has just met. So that fact that she behaves that way, while publicly condemning similar behavior, in the context of an attempt to win a seat in the United States Senate, is a story we thought people might like to know about. We also thought it would get us lots of clicks and money and attention. But we thought it would get us clicks and money and attention because it was exposing her lies.

Well then, since “exposing lies” justifies their publishing the lurid allegations about O’Donnell’s alleged sexual history, I guess candidates no longer have any right to privacy whatsoever. Everything is fair game.

Jeebus, can you imagine the can of worms that would be? But somehow I doubt we’ll ever see an unmarried male candidate slut-shamed for what was (even if true) legal and consensual sexual behavior.

Whoever this putz Dustin Dominiak is, I hope he never gets laid again in his entire life. It would serve him right.

One last note: Before anyone complains about me posting another defense of a evil wingnut racist homophobe anti-abortion Tea Partier, I ain’t happy about it either.

If these fucking so-called progressives would stop being sexist assholes, I wouldn’t have to defend people like Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin.

I don’t care if the Republicans do it too or did it first.


121 Responses

  1. HONK!! Where was Gawker in ’08 when Obumbles was saying one thing and his background was something completely different? Have they been at the forefront of asking those same questions about Democrats?


    Hillary 2012

    BTW – Had to show a leader amongst these foolish people..

    • Obviously, Gawker only wants to expose the people they don’t like and protect those they do. If a candidate or office holder has done everything he could to postpone or stop gay rights, you’d think Gawker would be chomping at the bit to tell the stories of at least three known male paramours of that man. You know, unless he’s a Democrat.

  2. Don’t you ever sleep?

  3. The worst part for the Democrats is this story took the Rand Paul incident right off the media/blogospheric radar.

  4. I just saw a political ad for Barbara Boxer over at TM that said “Carly Fornia opposes the ban on assault weapons” and I had to laugh.

    Where I live the NRA is running pro-Fiorina TV ads that say “Barbara Boxer wants to ban assault weapons”

    Same planet, different worlds.

  5. The only thing that I find disturbing is if O’Donnell drinks too much. Otherwise, more power to her for not having sex even after sleeping in the same bed with the writer of the piece.

    Did the writer remain anonmyous? That certainly does not seem fair.

    • Who knows if they had sex or not? (and who cares?) What struck me is that the writer very cleverly made sure to say there was no sex because if Ms. O’Donnell really was drunk at the time, that would vitiate her consent had there been sex, and make him, potentially, a rapist.

      I hate and disregard anything anonymous. If you’re going to call someone out have the guts to identify yourself.

  6. Oh, I think they getting it. Sexism/sex sells, and to be able to pretend you are doing for a higher purpose – who can resist?
    Besides, why should they be the first to apologize for such behavior? Did Millbank apologize for the Mad Bitch beer? Did Sulivan for any of his transgressions? Bueller? Anyone? Sexism is fun, you PC prim narrow minded…fun killer! So, there.
    Meanwhile, Jr. jr fills the W successor shoes very well with a bit of pre-election terra. I didn’t see the T-shirt salesman from Time Square beating his chest like this!

    • Sexism must sell. That Smoking Gun article also mentioned that Gawker paid thousands of dollars to Dominiak, whom I suspect was shopping around the story for a while.

  7. To quote “A Bug’s Life” … Just because she’s a Lady Bug, that doesn’t mean she’s a GIRL!

  8. I seem to remember a guy telling about his sexcapades with the President once upon a time. He ended up arrested by Vice President Joe Biden’s son although he wasn’t in Biden’s jurisdiction. That story never was diseminated and we never heard about it although a formal press conference had been called. What did Gawker say about that episode at the time?

  9. “WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic voters are closely divided over whether President Barack Obama should be challenged within the party for a second term in 2012, an Associated Press-Knowledge Networks Poll finds.”

    “Among Democrats, 47 percent say Obama should be challenged for the 2012 nomination and 51 percent say he should not be opposed. Those favoring a contest include most who backed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsuccessful faceoff against Obama for the 2008 nomination. The poll did not ask if Democrats would support particular challengers. ”


    But what I find interesting is the description of these 47 percent…

    “Democrats saying Obama should face a primary challenge tend to be less educated, less liberal and likelier to have been 2008 Clinton backers.”

    Well…I’ll grab my banjo and play a tune to that…(spits into spittoon.)

    • When they say liberal, do they mean self-identified liberal or people who actually hold values that are considered liberal. Regardless, they’re saying Clinton supporters and anti-Obama Democrats are probably centrist, union worker types. How could that segment ever help in a general election?

      The no-primary suporters sound like the types that South Park refers to as enjoying the smell of their own farts.

      • Yeah, I did not get that less liberal thing either. In my “red” neck of the woods, the powers that run our little county have been all Democrats, however they are far from it ideologically. It is strange or difficult to explain…in an area of Georgia that has more than its share of extremist.

    • The “less liberal” voters backed the more liberal candidate?

      Don’t think so.

    • My guess on the “less liberal” tag has to do with the so called “working class” not being super environmental (like they live in the sticks and don’t see drivng a prius as practical) or maybe they think saying “Merry Christmas” is ok.

      • Priuses and electric vehicles are less fuel efficient in long-haul driving.They work great in the city because of the frequent stops and starts.

      • I think it’s even simpler. They supported Hillary instead of the “progressive” Messiah, therefore they’re “less liberal” in the estimation of the poll taker. The so-called “working class” is in many ways far more liberal than the progs.

        • Oh yeah, that probably is all it took, and here I thought there would be some kind of measure – silly me!!

    • Welllllll, maybe they will ask him to step down like Kendrick Meeks for the good of the party. lol

  10. Meanwhile, Arianna’s new “meme:”

    “We have to stop demonizing anyone we disagree with.”

    I think I’m gonna be sick.

    • Okay. My head would be exploding at this point. She was an anti-Clinton machine in the 90s. Hell, she said worse crap on Politically Incorrect than Christine O’Donnell ever did.

      • Course she did. And HuffPo has venom all over its headlines.

        But today, you see, she’s paying for 200 busloads of attendees at the Jon Stewart rally, so she can help “restore sanity.”

        I’m guessing this means she’s given up the “Tea Partiers have lizard brains” meme.


        • she may be a lot of things – but guessing the mood of the people and reacting in ways that will keep her in the popular lane of traffic seems to be her best talent.

    • Wasn’t that this site’s argument? That there was TOO MUCH demonization going on?

      I’m trying to see what the problem is when people actually follow the advice given to them.

      Unless the point is to just hurl stones continually whether their behavior is right or wrong………

      • cwaltz, it would be like hearing Obama suddenly start saying “we need to be very careful to keep the primary and caucus process fair and open”

        I’d jeer and sneer at that. Arianna is a cold-blooded trend-hopper with no principles. She’d have to stick to a principle for at least once in her life before I’d take her “sincere concerns” at face value, ever.

        • So in short just to sum this up, the progressive blogosphere can do the right thing or the wrong thing. It doesn’t matter because either way the site is going to sneer at them and assign them motivations(without actually knowing whether they are true or not since none of us are actual mind readers.)

          For the record, if Obama said he wanted to fix the caucuses and primaries I’d be cynical, however if he actually made steps toward improving the process I’d be applauding him loudly regardless of my past feelings on his actions. Doing the right thing ought to be applauded, not insulted.

          • Yes. A person cannot establish a new pattern of behavior by doing one right thing after a series of wrong things. They have to establish a new pattern by saying the right thing, or maybe doing the right thing, more than one time at the end of an election season after months of doing the opposite.

          • I apparently am different then most here then.

            I have no intention of every “trusting” anyone who participated in 2008 again. I’m not wired that way.

            I, instead, am seeking to make an impact on actions. That’s why I applaud when people do the right thing and condemn when they don’t. The whole entire concept of trusting someone who once stabbed me in the back thing is completely alien to me. Not going to happen -ever.

          • Be sure and keep up so you can let us know when their deeds match the one statement. Until then, they can STFU.

          • If trust is the threshhold then I don’t see why I would let people know when I felt a pattern emerged.

            Everyone has a different threshold for trust. Mine is incredibly high. I can like a person and not trust them (holdover from a dysfunctional childhood). I don’t see why anyone’s threshold would necessarily be the same as mine.

  11. I think it’s funny that even Andy Sullivan is arguing against this ‘outing,’ as if he’s such a great defender of women’s rights. Can’t have anything to do with his own salacious history huh?

    • Either that or the backlash is causing all kinds of problems for the Democrats.

      • Bingo!

      • Perhaps the report that women have moved away from the Dems by 11 points?

        You got Andrew Sullivan condeming Gawker, Arianna saying “let’s not demonize” (wink wink), and the mouthy comedienne on The View saying “bitch” is a term of affection, not an insult—all that, on one week.

        Yeah, it’s those 11 points. But I wouldn’t trust the “reconciling:’ next week, all 3 will be back to “we lost because of Palin’s uterus, the “bitch” is running–be very afraid, TeaParties only won cuzza lizard brains, and HuffPo screaming “violent, ignorant bigots!”

        And so it goes….

    • He’s still around? I hadn’t heard. I thought he’d just crawled right up inside Sarah Palin’s uterus and disappeared at some point.

    • I’m trying to understand why it matters why he is condemning this action rather than congratulating him for doing the right thing regardless of the motivations people are assigning to him?

      If you pillory people when they do the right thing or when they do the wrong thing what exactly is going to be their motivation for doing the right thing?

      I mean I get that a small batch of us believe in doing the right thing for the right thing’s sake. However, what is the motivation for the rest of the people? Does this site even care about stuff like this anymore or is the point just to gratuitously hurl stones and crow about how superior we are for already knowing how to do the right thing ahead of time?

      • That’s easy to answer. One word:


        Once you not only lose it, but stomp it down with a vengeance, then hit it in the head with a baseball bat for good measure, you don’t get it back that easily.

        And no, I will not apologize for my lack of trust. Get back to me when he’s earned it.

        • So you have to trust someone to applaud them for doing the right thing?

          Geez, I didn’t realize that we were going for personal relationships which required a level of trust rather than attempting to influence a political process.

          My mistake.

          For the record, Sullivan would be waiting for snowballs in Hades before I “trusted” him.

          • But the point is that I, at least, don’t want Sully to have any influence whatsover over the political process. On the whole, I find it extremely destructive to the political process that he has any influence over the hearts and minds of people whatsoever (and sadly, a lot of very otherwise intelligent and influential people actually listen to the guy).

            Sully has displayed such atrocious levels of misogyny throughout his public career that I feel no need to “applaud” him for getting it right once. He is not a baby that needs positive reinforcement every time he does something right. He is a grown man who has a long way to go before he proves that he has moved beyond his failures and actually does anything that would have a positive influence on our society.

          • But the reality is that he has influence over the political process(as you pointed out alot of intelligent and influential people listen to him). So why not use that to your advantage?

            I get that pundits(both sides) can be putzes and am totally for calling them out when they are. However, when they actually do the right thing then wouldn’t it be smarter to actually praise them for it and encourage the behavior to occur again?

            As I said above, I guess I come from a different place and perspective then most here.

            I don’t want personal relationships with progressives. Once a relationship is damaged you can’t ever put it back the same again. You can only salvage what you do have and move forward. I see where people are here as a holding pattern.

          • You seem to think that if we only cheer loudly enough it will all turn around and we’ll get our way.

          • No I seem to think that when someone behaves appropriately then you tell them so and when they don’t you do the same.

            That isn’t the same thing as random cheering (or sneering for that matter) at all.

          • You keep insisting you are different from everyone else here because you don’t want to have personal relationships with pundits like Sully. I confess to having no idea what you’re talking about.

            I don’t see anyone here saying that they do. I’ll tell you what my point is. You keep talking about influence. Sully, and Huffpo, have influence. When someone has influence, it usually means that the crowd will trust that source pretty much all the time. You seem to think that the people who like Sully will understand what you are trying to do…namely, convincing them that Sully is right about this one thing, but wrong about 99% of the other junk he comes up with.

            With all due respect, I think that’s naive. Ok, so Sully said the right thing in this one context. Give him a lollipop. But that doesn’t mean that any breath wasted on Sully, IMO, shouldn’t still be dedictated to putting good old fashioned capitalist consumer pressure to get him fired from earning tons of money writing for the Atlantic. Because his career as a profesional writer has done a lot of damage.

        • Tag….you’re it. 🙂

          • So you have to trust someone to applaud them for doing the right thing?

            Nope. I may indeed acknowledge that it was good that they said that (as most here have over the condemnation of the OD sex smear). But I’m under no obligation whatsoever to withhold judgement or opinion as to their sincerity, motives, or general snakiness as demonstrated by a long track record of self-serving behavior.

            I’m perfectly free to take all of that into account in my assessment of their words, and how much they mean it. Nope, don’t think I’ll apologize for or feel bad about that.

          • Sheesh. There I go with the tag problems again.

          • 🙂

      • I think this crowd (Huff, Sullivan, etc..) is not getting the full credit for doing a good job because they happily and excessively participated in sexism for the past few years and suddenly now they see the light?

        I have to wonder why now?

        They aren’t preschoolers who were writing on the walls but have now started writing on paper – so they get praise for doing a good job.

        • Oh – cwaltz – that comment sounds different than I meant it to.

          I want the so called progressive media and pundits to consistently call out sexist crap and I don’t want them to participate. It pisses me off to think about what these very pundits cost us in 2008 by participating in sexism. I don’t want to give them a pass today – that’s all.

          I didn’t mean to sound like I was beating you up with my last comment – and I could see where it would seem that way so I am jumping on it now.

          • I’ve got some think skin and I also believe you’re coming from a good place so no worries on tone.

            If I come off brusque I hope you’ll recognize the same about me. We just have different perspectives and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 🙂

          • cwaltz, you don’t come off as brusque. You’re just arguing your point. 🙂

        • Why does it matter why?

          In the big scheme of things does it matter if something is done because of political calculation or altruism?

          I mean if the result is the same either way do you really need to understand the why and if these people gave it an explanation to you would you believe it?

          • It matters why because if this is just calculated – and I personally think it is – then they are calling this gawker article “bad” in an attempt to prevent people from voting for her out of sympathy in response to this ugliness. No change of heart, just a political calculation.

            If they cared about sexism then this special angle of reporting on women in politics wouldn’t have been happening all along.

            But, yes, it is good that they call it out today. Just not good enough for me.

          • perfectly said, jjmtacoma.

          • I think its funny that they or anyone would think that people are going to walk back their feelings on O Donnell and her portrayal by this opportunistic perv based on their condemnation.

            It’s not like someone can “take back” feeling sympathetic. As far as I know feelings don’t work that way.

          • absolutely!

            However, the power of a sympathetic reaction would not be there if sexism hadn’t been a regular feature of our so-called “progressive” media all along.

  12. Kristen Ball had similar issues when Black Velvet Bruce Lee posted photos of her dressed up as a skimpy Santa leading around a guy dressed up as Rudolph. To her competitors credit he called to have the photos taken down saying he’d rather debate on issues and the conservative site did so.


  13. NOW and Coons both have called the article despicable as well. Coons added that this “adds nothing of value to Delaware voters.”

  14. Sexism is wrong, period. It’s wrong when it happens to women we may not particularly like or agree with politically. It’s wrong when men do it. It’s wrong when women do it [Joy Behar calling Sharron Angle a bitch 50 times over].

    We can attack candidates on their words and policy stands. There’s ample ammunition out there. But everytime we give a wink and a nod to this sexist crap, it perpetuates the idea that it’s no big deal, that it’s okay.

    It’s not okay. And good for you myiq2xu for saying so.

  15. OT: This is an interesting piece by a retiring Dem Congressman with a behind the scenes look of Congress.

    Requiem for the Pelosi Democrats
    Veteran Democratic Rep. Brian Baird says that job creation should have been priority ‘number one, two and three.’

    For answers, I decided to chat up Rep. Brian Baird, a six-term Democrat from Washington state. Even though he’s never won re-election with less than 56% of the vote, Mr. Baird is retiring because the brutal congressional commute makes it impossible for him to see his twin five-year-old boys grow up. He’s not sticking around, like so many former members of Congress, to lobby inside the Beltway. That allows him to be candid about Congress and his party.


  16. I’m a little curious how Gawker handled the John Edwards affair.

  17. To many in the left blogosphere’s credit Huffington Post condemned this, Media Matters condemned this, Pandagon condemned this, Shakesville condemned this.
    Even bleepin’ Donna Brazile is on the right side of this and condemned this story.

    • Yeah, I think this one went far enough over the line that they had to respond.

      Though personally, I thought the creepy GOP dude in SC was worse. The one whose “Sacred Honor compelled him” to talk about what a w*ore Nicki Haley is. They had dinner after midnight, after all, and we all know that women who have dinner after midnight with a man are filthy w*ores and must’ve had sexy sex in a sexual way, which is BAD.

  18. Anyone watching the Rally to Restore the Relevance of Smarmy Urban Hipsters in a Trashed Economy?

    • Nah….why bother? The new-and-improved Arianna, in addition to the same-ole Oprah, are the financiers getting all the “nonpartisan” to the “nonpartisan” rally.

      Election coming up, you know. LOL

    • Some of my family is there so, I’m watching.

      I like “events” on TV so I’d probably be watching anyway. I even watched the Glen Beck thing.

      • which was also “not a political event” (snort)

      • So did I, Katiebird. But I also watched the Ed Schultz thing, so no pundit could tell me they thought I should know about it.

        Heard a whole lotta comments about The Beck thing from people who didn’t even give him the courtesy of watching what actually happened.


        • Let me see if I can sum it up.

          Socialism blah blah blah teachers unions destroying the country blah blah blah elitists blah blah blah Godless valueless liberals blah blah blah

          There I think I’ve covered all his canards

    • It’s on right now and seems to be a music festival.

    • I like these WAVE experiments….

    • Where are the female restorers?

  19. I just don’t understand the continued interest in Christine O’Donnell. If she is so far down in the polls and everyone thinks she is a joke, why do they continue to give her the constant “air” time? I think it elevates her every time there is a personal attack on her. It juices up the Tea Party people as well. Whether you like her or not, it continues to be disgraceful how some women are treated at election time!

    • The people who did the attacking are equal opportunity sleazeballs. I’m not sure what qualifies the to be progressives or otherwise. As far as I have seen other than the putz who wrote the story and the putz who agreed to post it there seems to be a broad consensus from BOTH sides of the aisle that the story was inappropriate.

      Gawker may not “get it” but I get the impression everyone else does. That ought to be considered a good thing. Apparently though in order for it to be a good thing we have to have trust and all other sorts of touchy feely hopey changey feelings. Sigh.

      • No one said the condemnation itself “wasn’t a good thing”. All we said was that we are skeptical as to their motives given their track record. That’s not irrational or “touchey feely hopey changey”. It’s perfectly human.

        • Really can you point me to the part in the posts and comments that say this was a good thing rather than say a cynical thing or a self serving thing?

          I must have missed those posts calling it a good thing in between all the mind reading.

        • The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898).

          OK, then back to Glenn Beck who is so deranged in his hate to KNOW that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a SOCIALIST, but we don’t care so long as the Death Threats are made against The League of Women Voters, right!?! (snark font)The women receiving the Death Threats are’t public figures they are volunteers, who help conduct debates throughout the country, just as the org has one for decades and NOW thanks to Glenn Beck their live are at risk.

      • Exactly. The same people who are dragging this story out and crowing over it are the same people who attacked Hillary as a “whore” one minute and a “dried up old crone” the next. The consistency is not in the politics or the name-calling–or the “trust” of the source, for pity’s sake–but in the despicable misogyny. Good on anyone, including Andy, who sees that and calls it out.

        And yeah, Andy’s brain pretty much fell out when it came to Sarah Palin. But he did sterling work in live-blogging the Iranian election uprising. His fluctuations are just more extreme than most. He’s horrid when he’s bad, but when he’s good, he’s really good.

        • Spammy grabbed me–not sure why. Please ask him to let me go.

        • That is one thing Sully gets kudos from me on. He did a bang-up job on grassroots twitter character of the Iranian protests, when many in the media were wanting to cover it in a more superficial way.

          And see, that’s the difference. I give him kudos for that because whatever his other faults, I believe his coverage of that was genuine. My response to him speaking out on sexism is merely “meh”, because he’d have to do a lot more of it for me to think he got it in any way shape or fashion.

          • To put it crudely–if you’re trying to train your puppy not to pee on the floor, you praise him the first and every time he asks to be let out or performs outside. You don’t wait till you “trust” him not to ruin the rug to reward him.

          • whew!

            okasha I was beginning to think I was alone on my view of this.

          • You’re not alone at all, cwaltz. It comes down to pragmatics. You applaud someone like Andy or Sarah Palin when s/he does the right thing; you open up with both barrels when he starts yattering about her reproductive history or she opens up on wolves. Positive reinforcment; negative reinforcement. That carries a message. So does negative reinforcement equally applied to positive and negative actions. That just means you get dumped on whatever you do. It reinforces the bad behavior with no incentive to change.

    • The secret is that she might win. There hasn’t been a poll in a number of days now and that one had her 10 points behind. She could be in single digits today. Some of the heavy hitters are going to Delaware as well, as if they need to keep fighting.

      • Oh, that would be really embarassing to Biden & the Dems if she wins.

      • What this jerk and Gawker did is wrong…without question! What Christine O’Donnell did as Founder/President of SALT with her ‘Cure The Gay’ campaigns was even worse as she did it for years, not just one story. The fight against AIDS was made harder by her org and I for one, had to go out and do public speaking to get ‘permission’ to hand out condoms and do Sex Education in the local colleges. People forget how it was, I haven’t. Today women contracting AIDS is at alarming rates, and women of color at getting AIDS at higher rates.

        Is the Question that we need Christine O’Donnell because of her past jerk of a date?

        Yes, because we need a woman in the senate who believes that women don’t belong in the Citadel and that women will harm the military’s redines!

        Yes, and we need someone that believes that condoms spread AIDS and who thinks people like me that do outreach on SAFE SEX are evil doers!


        • I guess I shouldn’t blog while I am ticked off.

        • I’m fairly issue based so yeah if I were in Delaware she wouldn’t be getting my sympathy vote.

          Then again I don’t vote for the guy I want to have a beer with. Or vote for the guy who has a D after his name. Or any of those other identity games.

          Overall though I dislike that she’s been debased as a stupid bit of fluff by pretty much everyone. I can disagree with her without calling her stupid and insisting that any mistakes she may or may not have made means she lacks values. Oh and whether she’s hot or not- had sex with guys or not-had sex with girls or not- so not an issue for me. I only am interested in how what she does and does not believe will affect me on a national level.

  20. KEEP FEAR ALIVE D.C. Rally livestreaming link

  21. Hey, no one notified us: NEW THREAD UP

    I have to run to the bank real quick, but will be back for Wonk’s thread.

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