Join me in shedding a tear for Ann Althouse

Because her character has been assassinated, justassassinated by a factually accurate and non-pejorative statement about a controversy she ignited. Poor Ann. These liberals are really out to get her! And the only appropriate response is to completely freak out on camera.

You’ve probably already seen the video of Ann Althouse’s incredibly bizarre behavior on her Bloggingheads show, but in case you’ve missed it, do go watch.

Ann is speaking with The American Prospect’s Garance Franke-Ruta about blogging. Ann is complaining about the meanies in the lefty blogosphere, and says to Garance, “So why don’t you ask some of them why they treat me so badly, and come back and tell me what the problem is?”

Garance, who makes it relatively clear that she isn’t representative of the lefty blogosphere, responds, “I’m not really aware of anything until this whole Jessica Valenti breast controversy, um … so, I know that there was some grudges and hostility that came out of that …”

Which is one of the reasons that I don’t like Ann Althouse, so I don’t think Garance was all that far off. Well, Ann did not like that answer, and proceeds to completely flip her shit. You really have to watch it to understand. She starts yelling at Garance and shaking her finger, and tells her that “I don’t accept your saying the Jessica Valenti breast controversy. I consider that an insult. — You know, I’m on the verge of hanging up with you for bringing it up that way.”

The look on Garance’s face is priceless. It’s the same look that I probably had when a little girl I was nannying for decided to pee on the floor to get my attention.

Ann then says that “It was character assassinating to talk about it like that.” Now, maybe I’m slow, but as far as I remember, Ann wrote a post about about Jessica’s breasts. The post was entitled “Let’s take a closer look at those breasts.” In the post, she refers to Feministing as a “breast blog.” Lots of comments ensued. Lots of other blogs picked up the post, and many were critical of Althouse. In other words, there was a controversy.

Garance is very poised in her response, after getting over the initial shock at having someone scream at you for making a totally innocent reference to a factual event. I kind of can’t blame Ann for being so pissed off — if I had written the kind of mean-spirited, vapid things that she posted about Jessica, I’d be embarrassed to have it brought up, too.

But the kicker is when Ann says, “I don’t want to bring up old flame wars. It’s not as if I attacked them.”

She’s right. It was actually Jessica who, after the Clinton lunch, put up a post on Feministing saying, “Ann Althouse is dumb and purposely sticks her tits out in front of the President because she writes a breast blog.” Right?

But Ann isn’t exactly known for her firm grip on reality. In “Althousiana,” sexualized insults and comments about stalking and sexually assaulting your fellow students is a right to be defended to the death, but when Ann is on the receiving end of sexualized insults, she wonders where all the feminists are, because the comments about her are “egregiously sexist” and need to be discussed. And her sexualized insults, like comparing a feminist blogger to Monica Lewinsky and strongly implying that she’s unattractive, are totally fine. She also says that she supports the “free speech” rights of anonymous internet posters when that right is used to defame and attack female law students, and thinks they should just be flattered to be called pretty, but considers it “character assassination” for Garance to bring up and neutrally characterize Ann’s own posts in an interview. And she calls readers “fools,” routinely characterizes the progressive blogosphere as “vicious” and “ugly,” goes after liberal bloggers like Jessica on the basis of their physical appearance, and then whines that they hate her.

Conclusion: Ann is either not the brightest crayon in the box, or she’s a massive hypocrite. I’m thinking it’s the latter. But this isn’t necessarily an either/or situation.

My question for Ann is why she isn’t just laughing all of this off. After all, that’s what she said law school women should do in response to the AutoAdmit controversy.* Ann has also asserted that “laughing it off” is what Jessica should have done: “You know what? If you breastblog and someone calls you on it, just laugh. If you try to deny it, people will laugh at you.”

Kind of like how people are laughing at her right now, yeah? At least she’s gained a more illustrative example of her point.

*Is Ann going to wag her finger at me and lose her shit because I called it a “controversy”?

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36 comments for “Join me in shedding a tear for Ann Althouse

  1. evil fizz
    March 27, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    We are talking about a woman who created her own *tag* for posts which reference other people insulting her: anti-Althousiana. (I know I’ve mentioned this before, but damn it’s hard to get past.)

  2. Rhiannon
    March 27, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    How can someone who’s so anti-woman, possibly claim to be a feminist.

    I mean. Geez, she just shouted down and verbally tried to intimidate another woman.. really from my POV Ann was being EXTREMELY abusive verbally (I know, I’ve suffered such abuse before) and she has the audacity to claim SHE’s the one suffering.. JFCOAS… talk about Martyr complexe paired with Projection coping mech.

  3. March 27, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    So I followed that link to the AutoAdmit post of hers that you mentioned, and it’s headlined with this:

    “If you’ve come here because some blogger has informed you that this post shows me in a contradiction, you need to read the UPDATE below.”

    Who the Hell does that? Seriously.

  4. March 27, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Maybe she’ll wag something else.


  5. March 27, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Ann is either not the brightest crayon in the box, or she’s a massive hypocrite.

    A little of column A, a little of column B.

  6. R. Mildred
    March 27, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    In other words, there was a controversy.

    It’s not a controversy if everyone agrees that ann althouse was an idiot, execpt ann althouse herself, which then prompts althouse to reach the absolute nadir of her blogging existence, at which point she felt the pressing need to pick up a shovel and start digging like crazy, capital C, Capital RAZY.

    What we had htere was ann althouse shooting herself repeatedly in the foot because her head was stuck so far up her ass that she caused several experts in eulidean geometry to explode as her rectal cranial recursion proceeded twice around her dogestive system tract until she was leaving teeth marks on lower back.

    To say the least.

  7. March 27, 2007 at 11:46 pm


    I…there are no words.

  8. March 28, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Who the Hell does that? Seriously.

    She’s done that before. She put a disclaimer at the top of a post that said something like (completely paraphrasing here): “If you think you already know what this post says based on other people’s mischaracterization of what I said, I suggest you read what I actually said, because I didn’t say anything like that.” Which, you know, was probably why the person clicked the link to the post — to read what she actually said. (And, of course, discussing things that she has actually written is apparently “mischaracterization.” The worst mischaracterization of her writing that I’ve read has come from her.)

  9. geoduck2
    March 28, 2007 at 12:27 am

    A little of column A, a little of column B.

    A lot of A, and throw in, perhaps, a massive case of denial.

    I don’t know, we could write a really interesting psychological analysis here, but in the end I genuinely do not know if her shtick is purely a performance or if she really doesn’t get it.

  10. Zara Baxter
    March 28, 2007 at 1:51 am

    I almost believe she really doesn’t see it. Like of course she’s not character assassinating anyone, because she’s disparaging their *looks* not their character, whereas you’re clearly critiquing her actions rather than her looks. Which makes it character assassination.

    It takes a certain kind of blindness…

  11. March 28, 2007 at 2:10 am

    *Is Ann going to wag her finger at me and lose her shit because I called it a “controversy”?

    Nah, this post is too long to warrant that kind of response. Ann really can’t be bothered to read anything too long, even when it’s about her.

    Or anything in her area of ostensible expertise, you know. Fiddle-dee-dee!

  12. Mipa
    March 28, 2007 at 3:50 am

    Hello Everybody
    I am a young female law student who is new to feministe, but so far I am really enjoying what I am reading. I followed all the links on this Althouse woman, who I’d never heard of – I don’t know if it is because I’m from Canada or because my head is in the sand. Anyway, I must say that she seems like a total whack-job. I’ve spent some time at feministing and have enjoyed that site as well. I have a friendly request: what are these “progressive” blogs that Althouse hates so much?? I’d really like to get exposure to a few different liberal blogs and really expand my mind. Thanks!

  13. CincyGuy
    March 28, 2007 at 6:29 am

    Ann Althouse’s behavior on the tape is classic “Chip on My Shoulder” “Waiting for the other shoe to drop” behavior. Ann was waiting and hoping for the mention, which allowed her to EXPLODE in OUTRAGE!!!

    Ann Althouse is plainly mentally unbalanced bordering on psychotic. She needs a nice long vacation.

  14. March 28, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Sorry, late to the party: I am only just getting hip to Boobiegate.

    Just . . . WOW. What is WRONG with this woman?

    Inquiring minds want to know: Is Anne Althouse one more version of a “Brestesses are te Nasty” rightwingnut, or does she actually consider herself feminist?

    Is Ms. Althouse so psychic that she can read a person’s intent from a photograph?

    Was Jessica to blame for the fact that, out of the (most likely) several photographs taken, someone (other than Jessica) chose to publicize THAT photo? “That photo” being not-so-remarkable in the first place?


    Sorry, everyone’s probably read a million versions of this marvel aleady since it’s old news, but . . . WOW. What a catty woman. Completely unhinged too, from the look of it.

  15. Mostly Normal
    March 28, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Good golly, Ms. Althouse makes absolutely no sense at all. I tortured my way through the original Boobygate thread, and as far as I can see, it’s Althouse insinuating that a stranger is a skanky intern because she has breasts, then Althouse denying over and over again that she is making moral judgments based on a woman’s appearance.

    And the video interview? Nuts. She brought up “flame wars,” as she called them. She was clearly hoping Garance would bring up the breast controversy so that she could pretend to be victimized. Her use of the word “ugly” to describe perceived opponents was laughable; doesn’t Donald Trump do that to Rosie?

    Is this Althouse person actually popular?

  16. March 28, 2007 at 9:45 am

    I wish she wouldn’t call it Althousiana. It’s too close to Louisiana and people laugh at us enough already.

  17. March 28, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Ann Althouse once tried to speak to me using the language of my generation. She employed words such as “like” and “dude.”

    I shed copious tears. While laughing hysterically.

  18. geoduck2
    March 28, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Mipa – hey, welcome!

    Here’s some of the blogs she’s talking about:

    Lawyers, Guns, and Money
    Ezra Kline
    Eschaton (Atrios)

    And AA referred specifically to Tapped, which is quite enjoyable to read, but doesn’t actually refer to AA very much as it’s much more heavily dominated by policy/ political discussions.

    (I bet I’m missing a blog here)

  19. March 28, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Althouse strikes me as one of those high-school bully girls who dished it out but couldn’t take it.

  20. March 28, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Althouse clearly has less emotional development than the average high school bully.

  21. March 28, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    I bet Ms. Allthouse is regretting that interview, though I highly doubt that she’ll ever admit to it. The phrase “I made a mistake” rarely falls from the lips of people like her. Oh well, at least we’ll always have the video evidence to back up the charge that’s she’s batshit insane.

    Maybe you should send her a special one-off Feministe t-shirt that reads, “Some of my best friends have boobs.” Though if it’s one of a kind then it would be a rare and collectible item of some value, so to hell with that. Maybe just send her a bra with the note “For your dirty pillows.”

  22. Lindsay
    March 28, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Oh gosh, that video was priceless. That bimbo is such a little whiney ass, but I hope it continues just so she further assassinates her own “character”.

  23. March 28, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    It’s the same look that I probably had when a little girl I was nannying for decided to pee on the floor to get my attention.

    Ann would totally pee on the floor if some wingnuts would congratulate her on being so reasonable to do it.

  24. MikeEss
    March 28, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Ann A. pees on the floor to get attention.

    Parents (in fear) to Ann A.: “That’s a good thing, Ann. It’s good that you did that.”

    Ann back to parents: “Somebody’s thinking something bad about me. If I find that person I’m going to wish them into the cornfield…”

  25. anselm
    March 28, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Ann A. pees on the floor to get attention.

    A meme is born!

    A wonderfully visual combination of excretion and hysteria. It is getting hard to describe Althouse’s obtuseness, hypocrisy, histrionics, etc. without resorting to such metaphors. And with each metaphor comes the danger that sometime in the next 72 hours Althouse will make the figurative literal.

  26. Ismone
    March 28, 2007 at 4:21 pm


    I suggest trying “The Happy Feminist,” “Echidne of the Snakes,” “Majikthise” and “Alas, a blog” as well. (These are mostly feminist/progressive blogs, there are others on this thread who can probably tell you more about generally progressive blogs.)


  27. Kristen from MA
    March 28, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    she reminds me of Lieberman when he was arguing that he was the real democratic candidate. calling yourself a feminist doesn’t make you one.

  28. March 28, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Damn, that was scary. She really does perceive herself to be a victim—-kind of like the MRAs whose views she parrots.

  29. Jodie
    March 28, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Mipa, “I Blame the Patriarchy” is one of my faves.

  30. Mipa
    March 28, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    Geoduck 2, Izzy, and Jodie, thank you so much for you suggestions. I can’t wait to get reading!

  31. Kathleen
    March 29, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Amanda Marcotte Says:
    March 28th, 2007 at 2:19 pm
    It’s the same look that I probably had when a little girl I was nannying for decided to pee on the floor to get my attention.

    Ann would totally pee on the floor if some wingnuts would congratulate her on being so reasonable to do it.

    the problem is that Ann would have to spend about an hour or two measuring the floor to make sure she was peeing directly in the center.

  32. March 29, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    that was just so awesomely awesome.

    btw, she’s really deep, you know.

  33. kate
    March 29, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    My next door neighbor has a natural dancer’s posture. She squares her shoulders in such a way that her boobs poke out.

    I mentioned her great posture to her and she said it’s been the bane of her existence. Insecure people seem to feel threatened by what’s natural but apparently comes across as aggressive. She actually tries to slump at work because the combo of her good posture and sort of large boobs has harmed her career. Her boss, a woman, said she’d never do well being so “sexual.”

    So here’s a woman who’s suffered, not because of men leering at her, but because of people like Althouse. Some feminist.

  34. March 29, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    the problem is that Ann would have to spend about an hour or two measuring the floor to make sure she was peeing directly in the center.

    You just made my day.

  35. March 29, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Rhiannon nailed it. The first step in being a feminist is surely not hating women.

    “Ann would totally pee on the floor if some wingnuts would congratulate her on being so reasonable to do it.”

    Doughy Pantload has a job and he’s never done anything but. I think you can conclude from that that they would give her some kind of medal, let alone congratulate her.

  36. Drunken Vlogging
    March 29, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    So, has anybody else seen this:

    Un-fucking-believeable…Althouse drunk-vlogging Idol. Does it get an more ridiculous.

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