Alarming News

September 30, 2005

Love the Drudge

The NY Press has picked the Observer’s Politicker blog as Best Political Blog in its ‘BEST OF MANHATTAN’ list. Congrats to Ben and the gang, they completely deserve the honor (and not just because they link to me every now and again).

I’ve written a ton (here, here and here) on my feelings for the NY Press. And reading the first few paragraphs of the Best of Manhattan list, I almost started to think they had returned to form, clever, interesting and different. But then, no:

Best Overreaction to a Bad Pope Joke

Drudge & Co. vs. New York Press

Everybody just relax. You know Matt Drudge has a hydra-headed bug up his ass about something when he gives it more play than a new Hillary Clinton book deal. So it was last March when this newspaper printed an unremarkable column by Matt Taibbi listing the “Funniest 52 Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope.” For three full days—that’s three entire news cycles while the country is at war—The Drudge Report devoted a sizable chunk of real estate to posting the cover of the offending issue of New York Press.

Three days.

If a giant killer asteroid were heading straight for planet Earth, Drudge might give it two days of play before dropping it to make way for a John Edwards bestiality rumor. Nothing gets three whole days of prime play from Drudge. But this stupid little New York Press story did. The only possible explanation is that Drudge was determined to make trouble for your humble narrator, whom he turned on violently after former Press columnist Michelangelo Signorile started outing his closet-case friends.

Emphasis mine.

This perfectly demonstrates 2 things:

1. Drudge is my kind of guy and,
2. Don’t mess with Drudge (something I’ve written on before too)

Outing is purposely trying to hurt someone, by using something they keep secret, against them. Trying to destroy the business of the outer, or the business that employs the outer, is fine by me. I would take it further and go after his whole family but, you know, I’m Russian and all that. If you go straight for the kneecaps the first time an outer tries this kind of thing, we’ll be unlikely to see any other outing efforts. No one wants to see their mom all sad, or their business destroyed. It’s the only way.

Posted by Karol at 08:42 AM |
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I love you–you’re the long-lost daughter of Teddy KGB.

Posted by: Jay at September 30, 2005 at 10:19 am

an unremarkable column by Matt Taibbi???
It was their cover story that week.

Posted by: Marco at September 30, 2005 at 10:31 am

Random (completely and utterly off-topic) question: did you make it to either of the Brooklyn White Stripes shows last weekend? Given your stated affinity for Mr. White, I’m surprised not to have heard anything…

Posted by: Alceste at September 30, 2005 at 10:57 am

I’ve seen them a couple of times now and I was kind of disappointed with their last show so I’m in no rush to see them again. Are you going the Across the Narrows show this weekend? I want to go to the one in SI on Sunday but may not be able to stay awake through the whole thing because I’m exhausted. (By the way, and since we’re already off topic, you should come to the blogger party tonight).

Posted by: Karol at September 30, 2005 at 12:08 pm

I love you.
Marry me?
*throws self at feet of goddess*

Posted by: kat at September 30, 2005 at 12:27 pm

The performance itself was fantastic – the music was a little off. Keyspan Park is a surprisingly great venue (and I suspect the SI Yankees stadium will be the same) – Dawn 2 and I actually couldn’t agree on which of the shows to attend on Sunday (so, rather pathetically, we may not be attending either one of them) – as for the blogger party, I probably can’t make it…

Posted by: Alceste at September 30, 2005 at 12:45 pm

Let’s see Karol. It’s wrong for someone to out someone as gay, because that’s personal.
But it’s not wrong for society to go after gays by denying them marriage rights, by attempting to make their relationships illegal, by imprisoning them for having sex. That’s not personal????
Let’s make it this way. If you make it your personal mission to declare war on gay people and you yourself happen to be gay – outing is fine.
There is NOTHING wrong with exposing hypocrisy.
I’m sorry, but if it turns out that Pat Buchanan is gay, I’m sorry – but there is nothing wrong with outing him.
Same goes – for – oh, let’s say Matt Drudge.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at September 30, 2005 at 3:56 pm

By the way – outing is a form of free speech.
Or should we just say that Karol favors censorship.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at September 30, 2005 at 3:57 pm

Has anyone said outing is not free speech? that’s why it’s not against the law – but the fact that it’s not illegal (or even that it is constitutionally protected conduct) should stop people from criticing the conduct if they think it’s wrong…
but just as there are civil penalties for invading people’s privacy, there are penalties for destroying a business too (even if it’s an exercise of their free speech) – I’m not too sure how good of an idea going for the kneecaps really is here…
as for those civil privacy laws, if I were a liberal I’d suggest that the laws reflect a right to privacy in our common law that existed well-before any constitution was enacted – indeed, who needs to imply a right when it’s already there?

Posted by: Alceste at September 30, 2005 at 4:46 pm

I’m less and less concerned about this.
Don’t want to be outed? Then don’t become a public figure.
Public figures should have zero expectations of privacy. How come nobody complains when a celebrity’s new boyfriend or girlfriend is reported all over the media? How is that any different than outing?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at September 30, 2005 at 5:21 pm

Okay, next question.
Is Matt Drudge a public figure?

Posted by: Shawn at September 30, 2005 at 6:02 pm

DL, sure, it’s free speech, so is Drudge not linking them or linking bad stories about them. So is my example of digging up dirt on their families and airing it all out. It’s all about the secret part, it’s not about the gay part. It’s maliciously trying to hurt someone by exposing something they don’t want exposed.

Posted by: Karol at September 30, 2005 at 6:03 pm

Yes – and I think he’s already been outed about 1932 times. And I don’t think he cares.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at September 30, 2005 at 6:04 pm

If someone is anti-gay, there is nothing wrong with outing them.
Like the Pope. As I understand it, he’s gay. So we should out him.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at September 30, 2005 at 6:05 pm

The celebrity example does not work – everyone knew Tom was in love with Katie because he made sure to tell everyone – and while I certainly agree that public figures should have a diminished expectation of privacy, to suggest that they should have no expectation of privacy is, frankly, a silly thing to say – isn’t there a difference between outing (1) someone who said both I am not gay and I think gay people should be sent to reeducation camp (completely ramdom example) and (2) outing someone who doesn’t say anything about his sexuality but votes for the FMA – I would say that there is and that ignoring the difference shows you have a somewhat skewed view of the role of privacy (it apparently only being of use when it protects the position you want to take) – fortunately for all of us, simply being a hypocrite does not destroy our privacy rights…

Posted by: Alceste at September 30, 2005 at 6:26 pm

Here’s a question: how has outing worked other than to get people really pissed off at the outers?
Let’s consider those who like to out political enemies, whether it’s about their sex lives, or alcoholism, or drug use, or whatever they’re hiding from society at large. Whose minds are changed by this behavior? Even those who agree with the outers politically can get pissed off by this tactic. Those who oppose the political aims of the outers are definitely not going to be swayed and are going to be even angrier. So what is the use of this kind of intimidation?
It smacks of junior high revenge techniques. Even more so as the allegations don’t even have to be true, but only have the whiff of authenticity to them.
If you want to make an argument for your preferred policies, attacking opponents as individuals is off topic and pretty much going to undermine your efforts. Maybe ad hominem attacks make people all fuzzy inside, but they’re not very productive.

Posted by: meep at October 1, 2005 at 7:12 am

Actually outing has been hugely successful for the gay community.
The more public figures that are gay, the more acceptable it becomes to be gay.
I’m sorry – but it becomes harder and harder for Republicans to call gays “evil” and call for their imprisonment, etc. when they found out that some of their own colleagues and friends happen to be gay.
Rep. Dreier voted against the FMA. Do you really think he would have done so had he not been threatened with outing? Doubtful.
The Pope is gay. That’s a fact. We should publicize that.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at October 1, 2005 at 2:21 pm

Meep: Even more so as the allegations don’t even have to be true, but only have the whiff of authenticity to them.
DL: The Pope is gay. That’s a fact. We should publicize that.

Posted by: Karol at October 1, 2005 at 2:41 pm

Here’s my evidence that the Pope is gay:
Got any evidence to the contrary? As I understand it, he never showed any interest in girls.
Sounds pretty gay to me.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at October 1, 2005 at 7:39 pm

Matt Drudge is gay too. That’s a fact.
Note that it also mentions that Matt Drudge outed Jeffrey Koffman.
Why is it ok for Matt Drudge to out people Karol, but he can’t be outed himself?

Posted by: Downtown Lad at October 1, 2005 at 7:43 pm

So by ‘evidence’ you mean ‘random gossip with no proof whatsoever’?
I don’t know the Drudge/Jeffrey Koffman story (or even who Jeffrey Koffman is) but if true, I stay consistent on the idea that Koffman would be right to try to destroy Drudge.

Posted by: Karol at October 1, 2005 at 8:14 pm

What is “outing” except for random gossip?
You seem to absolutely no issues with random gossip in other situations, but somehow when it comes to someone being gay it’s wrong?
Karol – You blog all the time about random gossip.
Matt Drudge is gay. The Pope is gay. If you have any evidence to the contrary (i.e. evidence of them dating women) I’m certainly willing to look at the evidence.
The reason this pisses people off is that it’s probably true.
I came out late (age 34), but I found out afterwards that many people speculated that I was gay. Were they “outing” me when they were speculating? I would say so.
So what.
It’s 2005. Outing is no longer a big deal, because being gay is no longer a big deal. Matt Drudge is gay. Big freaking deal. He’s not overtly anti-gay on his website, so I don’t see the issue.
The Pope, however, IS anti-gay, so I think his sexuality should be researched in-depth by reporters.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at October 1, 2005 at 8:24 pm
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