Archive for ‘Erin Andrews nude’

July 29, 2009

Nine Days in July: Nuclear Diplomacyin the Conservative Blogosphere

While I was trying to get ready to make a reporting trip to D.C. today, I made the mistake of checking my e-mail, thereby discovering to my horror that Donald Douglas has somehow pushed things to a full-blown DefCon2 alert.

The details are irrelevant, to those unaware and uninvolved. With all the humor I could muster, I’ve tried to broker peace. Now, however, the pilots have been scrambled, the jets are fueled and fully armed, and if a stand-down order is not issued soon, I cannot be responsible for the thermonuclear consequences. What I wrote in the comments at Cassandra’s is, I hope, all that remains to be said:

This entire “Erin Andrews nude” episode is like one of those wacky hypotheticals that a college sophomore proposes in a dorm-room debate, after about the third or fourth bong hit: A bizarre or possibly even nightmarish scenario that is amusing to contemplate simply because it’s never going to happen.
Except this time, it actually did.
As I’ve said offline, this is one of those things that bloggers discuss over beers for years to come. If blogger-over-beer were the Oxford Union, the debate proposition would sometimes have to be: “Resolved: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?”

It appears Erin Andrews was Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Professor Douglas was Gavrilo Princip. There may yet be peace, but we stand on the brink of Armaggedon.

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July 28, 2009

My good friend Dan Riehl is angry

I’d call your attention to July 23rd when I recorded just over 47,000 uniques — far from a site record, by the way. But it had nothing to do with Erin Andrews videos, or girlie pics, it was a substantive essay on Obama’s burning down of his post-racial theme due to his rhetoric on Crowley-Gates.

OK, Dan is honest in his assessment and deserves honesty in return. Dan is one of my original blog buddies, going back long before this blog ever existed.

Dan’s skills as a researcher are invaluable to the conservative blogosphere, and have been valuable to me personally. When the question was posed, “Who Is Eleanor Acheson?” it was Dan who discovered that Acheson was actually a registered lobbyist in New York.

Given all his services to the ‘sphere, which continue daily, Dan’s got better things to do than to referee a silly dispute over Donald Douglas and the “Erin Andrews nude” Google-bomb, in the same sense that I’ve got better things to do than fisk David Brooks. Considering that I spent a couple hours last night digging for the lost e-mail in which one of my sources sent me Gerald Walpin’s phone number — which is now sitting atop The Notorious Pile O’ Crap Otherwise Known As My Desk — I should probably shrug my shoulders and walk away.

However, there is an important consideration here that I wish I could make Dan and other longtime denizens of the ‘sphere appreciate. Dan’s been blogging since September 2004 and, like other early-adapters of blogging, he benefits from having built a loyal readership back in the day when the ‘sphere was in its infancy, or at least its late pubescence.

Well, way back in September 2004, the policies of my employer specifically forbade me from blogging. There is neither time nor need to go through the whole story, but in July 2006, I came this close to getting fired for blogging about Ralph Reed. Around the same time, I recall reading a magazine article explaining that the hierarchy of the blogosphere was already set in stone, and that new independent bloggers didn’t stand a chance of reaching the level where they could actually earn a living at it.

All of which is by way of explaining that when I decided to quit my job in January 2008, to seek my living elsewhere, I couldn’t afford to fail.

‘Don’t . . . Tell Me It’s Raining’
On the day that news of my resignation hit Fishbowl DC, I got a call from the managing editor of a monthly magazine, eager to hire me. Because the primary reason for my resignation from the newspaper was a project that required me to fly off to Africa, I wasn’t immediately available. But at the insistence of that editor, I sent him a resume.

Some weeks later, when I called the managing editor back — “OK, let’s talk about that job now” — I discovered that his boss, the publisher, wasn’t nearly so eager to hire me as the managing editor was. However, they might consider me, if I’d be willing to try offering some freelance work for them and . . .

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

I had no shortage of freelance opportunities, and was indeed already freelancing for The American Spectator. My references are excellent, my body of work and career skill-set were equal or superior to anyone that other publication might try to hire, so I made up my mind. The publisher of that other magazine would bitterly regret having heinously insulted me. As I remarked in an essay a few weeks ago:

Success in any endeavor starts with the resolute determination to succeed. No matter how formidable the competition, hold your head up high. They’re no better than you, and victory begins with the decision to rule out the possibility of defeat. “Can’t never could.”
That attitude took my father from a farm in Alabama to a brick home in the suburbs of Atlanta. It took me from Georgia to Washington, where now I find myself in daily competition no less formidable than those big boys from Bessemer, even if the sport is a bit more refined. Really, though, it’s still the same game, and the formula for winning has never changed.
I’m going to beat you today.
Count on it, buddy. I didn’t come this far to start losing now.

One reason I relentlessly excoriate David Brooks is that he evidently doesn’t feel the need to earn his pay. When I consider how hard Dan Riehl and some other of my friends work to make a few bucks in New Media — shout out to Jimmie Bise and Cynthia Yockey — I become enraged by the spectacle of Brooks being paid to waste 804 words on useless navel-gazing.

Growth vs. Entropy
We who are own bosses, hustling for every dime, can’t afford wasted words, so I regret if any words have been wasted in this ongoing debate sparked by Donald Douglas. But those of us who entered the ‘sphere after the hierarchy had solidified, and who push, push, push to build readership — the opposite of growth is not stability, but entropic decay — aren’t going to make headway by endlessly reiterating familiar arguments about health care or global warming or whatever today’s talking point may be.

If Donald went too far in his relentless quest for traffic enhancement, and it is well-nigh universally agreed that he did, then one ought to consider his motives, even if the best that can be said is that those motives were the good intentions that paved the road to Internet hell.

But I don’t want to argue with Donald, or Dan, or Cassandra or Attila. What I want to do is eat a sandwich, take a shower, clear my head and then call that telephone number on my desk. Unlike David Brooks, I have to earn my pay.

July 28, 2009

Howard Kurtz, CNN succumbto ‘Donald Douglas Syndrome’

Regret to inform you, Howard, but you just became Cassandra‘s least favorite media critic:

Hat-tip: Who else?

“You can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few sick, twisted individuals.”

July 27, 2009

‘That’s Just the Rule 5 Way It Is!’

Little Miss Attila encounters the original inspiration for the Paul Anka Integrity Kick:

Seeing that was like watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time . . .

Indeed, and with Goldsteinesque appreciation for intentionality, I feel obligated to provide some (unfortunately necessary) clarification on the origins and purpose of Rule 5.

Donald Douglas is a good guy, and the blogospheric round-robin consensus that he pushed the rule beyond its reasonable limit does not diminish his good-guy status. One of the things about “edgy” humor is that you never know where the edge actually is until you’ve gone over it. Certainly, I cannot cast the first stone.

‘Pork Marlene Desmond?’
The sociological purpose of an inside joke is as a signifier of membership, an acknowledgment of shared experience. When I was at the Rome News-Tribune, there was a group of us guys in the newsroom who were all fans of Animal House and Blazing Saddles.

So when special-projects editor Pierre Rene-Noth issued an editorial memo to the newsroom, business editor John Willis would say, “Now what’ll that a**hole think of next?” To which the only response was, “Somebody’s gotta go back and get a s***load of dimes!”

Or, if you drew one of those short-straw assignments, city editor Mike Colombo would say, “You f***ed up — you trusted us!” Such a reference might lead to an extended riff-fest: “Will that work?” “Hey, it’s gotta work better than the truth.”

The whole point of this silly riffing was to humorously reassure each other that we were all sharing the same miserable fate (“Mongo only pawn in game of life.”) and thus maintain some some semblance of esprit d’corps among the wretches pulling the oars on this galley.

After I moved to Washington, I was mortified to discover that, in the newsroom of The Washington Times, the appropriate signifiers on the national desk were Caddyshack and Seinfeld, so that (a) I didn’t always get their in-jokes, and (b) my own accustomed in-jokes did not elicit the appropriate chuckles of recognition.

To make matters worse, over the course of the next decade, turnover in the staff meant that we increasingly had younger staffers for whom all such references were as opaque as the Dead Sea Scrolls. (On the upside, however, your average 20-something’s shortage of cultural referents means an old guy can recycle ancient vaudeville gags and be considered inventively witty: “If I could walk that way, I wouldn’t need the talcum powder!”)

Pirate’s Cove and the Zero Hour
As I’ve explained before, but perhaps should explain again, the credit (or blame) for inspiring Rule 5 is split three ways:

  • A back-and-forth Christina Hendricks riff with Stephen Green of VodkaPundit in the gloomy weeks following the 2008 election, when political blog traffic plummeted precipitously.
  • Five days a week, Conservative Grapevine includes links to bikini babes at the end of its news aggregation and — as John Hawkins has pointed out — the bikini links consistently get more clicks than all the rest.
  • Every Sunday, William Teach at Pirate’s Cove does Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup, an aggregation post featuring classic pinup art.

Back in the day — and remember, my first month of full-time blogging here (March 2008) I had a grand total of 6,000 visitors — involved repeated encounters with that awful moment experienced by every newbie blogger, The Zero Hour: You toil into the night to create what you think is the most brilliant post ever, e-mail the link to several bloggers (Rule 1), go to bed, wake up at 5 a.m., log on expecting your SiteMeter to be spiking off the charts and . . . nothing. Your most recent hourly traffic was a big, fat zero.

OK, you could buy a “secrets of blogging” book (Secret Tip No. 1: Be A Cute Chick) or sign up for a class on how to enhance your blog traffic. Or you could stick your head in the oven and end it all.

If neither of those options is appealing, however, there’s the DIY method: Obsessively study the craft, apply what you learn, and resourcefully bootstrap your own trial-and-error solution to the ubiquitous blogger problem of traffic suckage.

Also, listen to your wife. After about my third or fourth Instalanche, my wife said, “Let me guess: Was it one of your smart-ass comments?” Well . . . yeah, it was. My wife said, “See? You should be funny. You’re good at that.”

At any rate, there were some Sundays in the early going when, if it hadn’t been for inclusion in the Pirate’s Cove aggregation, I wouldn’t have had 100 visits for the whole day. So when it came time to celebrate our first million hits, to have omitted Rule 5 would have been an act of negligence and ingratitude. You’ve got to give something back, see?

‘Land-Snatching . . . See: Snatch’

Hedley Lamarr: My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.
Taggart: Golldarn it, Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a $20 whore.

And so we behold Donald Douglas and the “Erin Andrews nude” Google-bomb, still pounding it as relentlessly as Andrew Sullivan in the back row of the cineplex during a Patrick Swayze film festival.

When we crossed the 2 million threshold, I used the occasion to suggest that maybe it was time to “step away from the peephole,” but Donald keeps milking it like Andrew Sul . . . Never mind. Supply your own disturbing mental image. I refuse to take responsibility for the emergency brain-bleach shortage that would result if I completed that sentence.

My point is that now Cassandra of Villainous Company is becoming so offended, she’s threatening to remove her sexy garter-flashing pinup art — and we can’t let that happen. Like some sort of well-intentioned mad scientist, I’ve created a monster (Frankencheesecake?) and now the villagers are storming the castle with pitchforks and torches.

What’s weird is that Professor Douglas is now able to provide Erin Andrews nude citations from the Hartford Courant and Howard Kurtz. It’s one of those viral memes that is unlikely to stop spreading anywhere this side of the Wall Street Journal or the Christian Science Monitor.

How can we lure Donald out of the swirling vortex — a torrent, one might say — of Erin Andrews nude?

‘We Have to Go All Out’

Otter: I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
Bluto: And we’re just the guys to do it.

Fighting fire with fire, and inspired by the success of National Offend A Feminist Week, I hereby declare July 27-Aug. 2 to be International Rule 5 BikiniFest Week. (Smitty: “Now what’ll that a**hole think of next?”)

We’ll have a daily contest, recognizing the best of each day’s entries, and culminate next Sunday by awarding the 2009 Rule 5 BikiniFest Week Grand Prize. Here are the rules:

  • PG-13. You’ll be disqualified for prizes if you go too far, so use your best judgment, guys. Generally speaking, anything more revealing than the sexy bikini picture of Mrs. Other McCain risks disqualification. Smitty will be the final arbiter of this rule, although I may be available for consultation on particularly difficult cases.
  • Bikinis preferred, but not mandatory. Glamour/lingerie photos will also be considered. Mrs. Other McCain has never minded me looking at the Victoria’s Secret catalog, so long as I buy her something nice and lacy for Christmas. However, keep in mind the “PG-13” rule. Of the 15 photos in this Miranda Kerr Victoria’s Secret pictorial, the three topless photos would probably risk disqualification. However, Smitty is the final arbiter.
  • Sorry, ladies: No beefcake. Given that the whole point of this exercise is to tempt Professor Douglas away from his traffic-hungry Erin Andrews frenzy, photos of studly bare-chested macho dudes (NTTAWWT) will be ineligible for prizes, although Smitty may decide to link those posts anyway.
  • No minors. Anyone posting bikini photos of Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez will be immediately disqualified. Ex-jailbait princesses — Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, etc. — are eligible, but only if the photos were indisputably taken after the subjects turned 18, you sick freak, you.
  • No Erin Andrews. Speaking of sick freaks, whoever drilled that peephole and recorded that video needs to be strung up by his scrotum and repeatedly cattle-prodded where it hurts the most. No criminal voyeurism, no bondage, no whips, no chains, no handcuffs, dog-collars or nipple-clips — do we need to go ahead and specifically rule out bestiality and necrophilia, or is the general idea clear? We want healthy, wholesome cheesecake of the kind that any red-blooded truck mechanic would be pleased to see rendered as art in a Gil Elvgren classic pinup calendar. Again, Smitty is the final arbiter.

So there you have it: Thanks to Dr. Douglas and this disgusting peephole video, bloggers now have a perfect excuse to post babelicious bikini pics every day of the week. Just post the babes and e-mail your links to Smitty. In addition to reciprocal linkage, winners will be eligible for the the prize of one beer, if you should ever happen to catch me in a bar with money in my pocket — and good luck with that.

Will this crazy scheme work? If it doesn’t, we may have to send SWAT units and the hostage negotiation team to try to talk Dr. Douglas away from Erin Andrews nude.

The amazing coincidence here is that International Rule 5 BikiniFest Week just happens to occur during the nadir of the mid-summer doldrums, when our blog traffic would otherwise suck worse than Andrew Sul . . . oh, you don’t really expect me to finish that sentence, do you? Hit the tip jar, or I just might, and in such a way that you’ll never get enough brain-bleach to erase that mental image.