Re: You Are Not Special

1

A "secret" allegation is much more powerful than one that's in the open, and weak evidence seems much more convincing when only insiders know about it

This is exactly why it remains secret. Bet you dollars to donuts it's a not-very-well substantiated rumor about one of the Democratic candidates that was planted by right wingers. That's why it's showing up in Pajamas media, and why it came from the LA Times.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:16 AM
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So what's the big rumor?!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:23 AM
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Also, whatever this is, there's still time for it not to distort the election. If it's false, it gets debunked and dissipates. If it's true and damaging, the candidate drops out and someone else takes over. But sitting on it until we're in the primaries is wrong either way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:23 AM
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2: You know, if it's as described -- an 'everybody in the MSM knows' kind of thing -- shouldn't Saisegly and similar know? And why aren't they talking?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:25 AM
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4: of course not. Because it's been leaked specifically to those credulous fools who'll believe they're being ethical by sitting on it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:26 AM
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Okay, are you ready? Hillary's husband is a philanderer!

It's true! Don't go telling everyone.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:26 AM
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6--
right--and similarly, it's doubtful that it could be a rumor about giuliani having an affair. that would just be a grass still green story.

now--the fact that mitt was caught blowing kaus' favorite goat, that might surprise people a bit more.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:31 AM
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shouldn't Saisegly and similar know? And why aren't they talking?

I wondered that, but 1) it depends on who "everybody" is and 2) I happened to briefly share an office with someone very well-connected in the Democratic consultant class, and he liked to gossip with me for some reason, so I heard some bombshell rumors and I didn't tell a soul because I thought that I shouldn't spread unsubstantiated rumors and didn't want to betray a confidence. Which is to say that I was behaving exactly as these reporters are behaving and Tweety gets it exactly right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:34 AM
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I learned the Jeri Ryan story that caused Obama's likely opponent to have to withdraw weeks ahead of its release from the late Steve Gilliard. I agree that somebody should say what they know, and that Rosenbaum is right about the crap this is.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:35 AM
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What I love are the piles of comments there stating that it must be about a Democrat because the media always just sits on those stories, while rushing the ones about Republicans to print. It's like they've been living on a different planet for the last 15 years.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:36 AM
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11

This isn't just about the Edwards rumor?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:39 AM
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12

10: but see, that's exactly why it works. Gets the troops all excited about how dirty the Dems are, making the the ground all that much more fertile for whatever unlikely smear campaign the GOP would like to seed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:40 AM
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13

Alternate realities go all they way down. This I have learned from blogs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:40 AM
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14

The guy says specifically that it isn't.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:40 AM
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12: that's another way it works, that is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:40 AM
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Oh, I see that now. I searched in the page for 'Edwards' and it jumped straight to the comments for some reason.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:41 AM
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When I was an 18-year-old intern at CNN, I knew the name of Bush pére's mistress. (Jennifer something, if memory serves.) Don't all of you remember how that story dominated the news cycle in 1990?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:41 AM
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Alternate realities go all they way down. This I have learned from blogs.

And in specific, the discussion of "o-earnest," I'm guessing.

I assume it's about a Republican, and, specifically, about Mitt.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:42 AM
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19

18: ROM-NEE SPACE KNIGHT HAS FORSAKEN EARTHLY PLEASURES


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:43 AM
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Jennifer something

Fitzgerald.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:44 AM
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18--

i already broke that story, in comment 7.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:45 AM
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I'll confirm it. It's true. I slept with all of them. And I feel so let down by their performances that I'm selling my Viagra stock.


Posted by: Kevin Hayden | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:46 AM
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ogged, as a blogger you are ethically obligated to spill it.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:46 AM
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Romney has affairs. But earnestly.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:46 AM
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Ooh, yeah. Screw the ethical issues, I want to know! Besides, all those worries won't mean a hill of beans once drudge has printed it. Then it's a story about the story.

I can only imagine insiders getting excited about scandals concerning Hillary or Obama. None of the other candidates have enough stature to matter that much. I'm sure this is foolishly narrow of me. But I did help follow potential scandals for a news team in the 92 election.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:46 AM
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17: SPY published the Bush's mistress story (yeah, Jennifer. Wasn't she a diplomat?) in 1991, I think, but no one picked it up that I recall.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:48 AM
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17 -- J F/tzgerald was my mom's best friend in high school, and they still see each other several times a year. My mom believes the denials. She also wants to believe the denials.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:51 AM
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George H.W. Bush came in here and didn't trash the place, and it is his place.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:52 AM
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26: NY Daily News also ran a bit about her sinecure at the state dept in 92.

There was no way we were going to run with that story, but everyone wanted the details at their fingers in case it somehow became the focus of coverage.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:53 AM
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From USA Today, August 12, 1992. Memories:

Jennifer, Gennifer
Now it's George Bush's turn in the tabloids.
The latest dirt: An alleged tryst in 1984 between then-vice president Bush and an aide, Jennifer Fitzgerald, reported in Tuesday's New York Post.
The source: A former CNN reporter who says former U.S. ambassador Louis Fields, now dead, told him in 1986 that he arranged the rendezvous.
Bush says it's a lie.
Rumors about Bush's alleged affair have been around for years, but no one has found enough evidence for a story. Now the media will disgorge notebooks from the failed investigations.
That's exactly what they should do. Not to titillate or pander, an option wisely rejected earlier, but to help voters separate fact from rumor.
The same approach was used when Gennifer Flowers, an Arkansas state employee, claimed she'd had a long affair with Gov. Bill Clinton.
Voters have their own obligation: Weighing a possible scandal against every other facet of a candidate's profile:
What does he have in mind to bring down the deficit? How will he protect the country's security and bring about prosperity? How well does he perform under pressure? What kinds of people does he surround himself with? Is what he says different from what he does? Does he have a coherent health-care plan and a way to pay for it?
Whether voters see allegations of marital infidelity as insignificant or as potentially fatal blots on a candidate's character, they have a right - and a responsibility - to decide based on the facts.

Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:54 AM
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Again, talk about class consciousness. How much do you want to bet that part of the reluctance to treat that as a scandal was not wanting to screw up nice people's lives. Bill, Hillary, and Gennifer weren't 'nice people', so messing with their lives doesn't mean anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:55 AM
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Jennifer Fitzgerald. I think that the information in this article counts as a preponderance of evidence.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:56 AM
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33

26 -- It was all around; obviously, I noticed more than most people would, but found myself talking about it pretty regularly.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:56 AM
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34

Sorry Charley, didn't see your post, someone can fix my comment if they want.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:57 AM
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35

Jim Henley had something a while back about how "everyone knew" that Bush had fallen off the wagon and was consequently estranged from his wife. If it's true that Bush is back on the sauce and the media knows it but won't tell us then that's a much much bigger embarassment than any of this sexual rumors stuff.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:02 PM
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36

In 1992, Fitzgerald is 60. No pictures that are likely to move papers, so what's the point of running the story?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:03 PM
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37

34 -- It's out there, I wouldn't worry about it.

36 -- Yes. In addition, people (editors) were genuinely afraid of B. Bush, I think.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:10 PM
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31: Bingo, well put, precisely, LB.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:15 PM
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35: I can't believe Bush is actually off the wagon. If that's true, and an unreported 'open secret', something truly terrible should happen to the people who know and aren't saying.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:17 PM
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This White House is amazingly good at convincing the newspapers not to say what they know, so I would absolutely not take the lack of coverage as evidence either way. I'm sure in the Bush-is-off-the-wagon case it goes something like, a) your evidence is no good, b) you're harming national security, c) if you run with this we will bury you.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:24 PM
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If I were Bush in these circumstances, I'd damn well be drinking heavily. Evidence: I'm not Bush, and I'm drinking heavily anyway.

Churchill was a drunk, and he did fine. U.S. Grant was a drunk, and he crushed the perfidious Secesh. Lay off the drunks, OK?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:54 PM
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See, some people can't handlt alcohol, and some people can't handle sobriety. If I could talk to Bush when he had a little buzz on, and then again when he was totally plowed, and finally when he woke up hung over, I'm sure I could deprogram him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:57 PM
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There is a good reason to be skeptical of stuff that "everyone knows". I once heard Marvin Kalb talking about the ethics of not publishing rumors, and he confidently asserted that "everyone in the press knows" that Terry Waite was dead. This was in early 1990. Waite was released from captivity in late 1991.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:58 PM
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44

See, if thetan engrams are loosened with alcohol, you can dislodge them more easily. .


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:58 PM
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U.S. Grant was a drunk, and he crushed the perfidious Secesh

There is an anecdote, perhaps apocryphal, about some of Lincoln's aides complaining about Grant's drinking. Lincoln is said to have asked if they could find out what brand of whiskey Grant drinks and buy some for his other generals.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:00 PM
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35, 39, 40: You do hear this one a lot, from, yeah, "everyone," but it's not as if rumors become reportable facts by process of accretion. I think a certain (healthy) amount of self doubt—"Did I really see that?"—plagues the journalists in question. The pressure of 40a) isn't going to come from the White House, it will come from editors at the paper going all the way up.

And there just isn't the appetite on the left to man a Ken Starr special investigation, whether by the media or the Congress.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:24 PM
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Saisegly has just denied knowledge of what the rumor under discussion is. Damn, I was hoping it could be extracted from him in confidence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:29 PM
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Sausagely's been turned, you see. He's chatting up the rumor with his friends in the biz as we speak.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:40 PM
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it's not as if rumors become reportable facts by process of accretion.

Sometimes they do, though. After a while you realize "this rumor has been heard by so many people, and people who might have provided evidence to the contrary and would have benefitted by doing so have said absolutely nothing to indicate that it's not true, so it is extremely likely that the rumor is true."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:42 PM
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50

Of course, I'd have to have Bush spreadeagled in four point restraints in order to make the drunken persuasion effective.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:42 PM
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51

He might not be telling you all he knows. Someone better bring thumbscrews to DC.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:42 PM
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Lincoln is said to have asked if they could find out what brand of whiskey Grant drinks and buy some for his other generals.

I think Lincoln is also to have said to have laughed when he heard the rumor and wished he had said it.

Saisegly has just denied knowledge of what the rumor under discussion is. Damn, I was hoping it could be extracted from him in confidence.

Maybe it involves Saisegly.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:43 PM
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53

Damn, I was hoping it could be extracted from him in confidence.

Oh, sure, like he'd believe you now.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:46 PM
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54

I think I would have heard about a sex scandal by now.

After a while you realize "this rumor has been heard by so many people, and people who might have provided evidence to the contrary and would have benefitted by doing so have said absolutely nothing to indicate that it's not true, so it is extremely likely that the rumor is true."

But this is how John Kerry shoots himself and explodes a Swift Boat and denies that he's stopped beating his wife. Some rumors actually don't dignify a response.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:46 PM
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Someone better bring thumbscrews to DC.

Flophouse residents will take care of UnfoggeDCon party favors, but thanks.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:47 PM
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Some rumors actually don't dignify a response.

Apparently it involves one of Saiselgy's roommates, not him.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:49 PM
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"Romney wives caught in tryst with artblogger"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:50 PM
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Someone better bring thumbscrews to DC

Better to use waterboarding, since you'd have a colorable defense in court that it's not really torture.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:50 PM
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Applying the logic of some of the commenters in the original PJM post, I'm going to say that it must involve a Republican, because otherwise it would already be on Drudge.

And because the threshold for an MSM publication to report on rumours of plain vanilla heterosexual adultery is so low, I'm going to further speculate that it involves either a homosexual encounter, group sex, or some kind of fetish.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:54 PM
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60

Rosenbaum is right about the crap this is.

If I'm reading that column correctly, Rosenbaum knows what this rumor is ("this rumor the LA Times is supposedly sitting on is one I never heard in this specific form before. By the way, it's not the Edwards rumor, it's something else"). Why the hell doesn't he reveal it? Tweety is right. Rosenbaum's either dumb enough to let himself be fed some rumor, or, more likely, he's actively participating in its dissemination.

I liked Rosenbaum's columns a lot once--I still like a lot of his stuff--but like Hitchens and Simon, he's another (or was for a while) one of those "the left left me" guys. I'm suspicious of his motives here.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:00 PM
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Got it. There's both a racial and a homosexual issue, and it affects both Democrats and Republicans.

Guiliani had an affair with Obama.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:01 PM
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If I were Bush in these circumstances, I'd damn well be drinking heavily

There is a scene in "To Have and Have Not" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037382/ in which Walter Brennan is interrogated first by plying him with liquor. Although talkative, he fails to spill the beans. Then the perfidious frogs withold the liquor, and the jig, she is up!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:05 PM
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63

I bet the rumor is something unbelievable unimportant and not damning of anyone's character in the least, but so catchy and memorable that it could single-handedly catapult a candidate to victory or defeat for no rational reason at all. Like if someone's college sweetheart went on to have an affair with Ozzy Osborne or something.

Or something that is completely irrelevant and not even controversial, but would, if revealed, force all reporters to spend weeks on a pointless wild-goose chase that nobody wants to go on. Like "John McCain was the Lindbergh baby".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:07 PM
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64

This denial seems relevant.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:20 PM
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65

I think Rosenbaum gives away the game here: "And I must admit it really is was juicy if true."

Do you see it? It's "juicy." Or "Jewcy." Clearly, the rumor is that someone is a Secret Jew. But who? To the best of my knowledge, this practice of necessary such secrecy arises during the Inquisition. So we're talking about someone who claims to be Catholic. That is: Giuliani. Note also that "juicy" can also be read as "Juucy" or "Giucy."

It's all so simple when you think about it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:21 PM
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I enjoy how the following comments in the thread linked in #64 were made by the same person:

I'll flat out tell you that anyone working at the LATimes has a credibility problem with me when it comes to any story with a hint of politics or conflicts with PC Liberal biases.

I totally believe that the Times would sit on a story, and believe they have in the past because it would hurt the Democrats.

Stories such as Willie Brown making racist jokes and the press corps laughing along with him instead of reporting on his racism.

I also used to work for Hugh Hewitt's producer at another radio show, but knew that the Times was biased.

I have said this about the LATimes in public and broadcast forums: "I would not use the LATimes for catbox liner because my cat would think that the box would already be full."

Sounds kind of sympathetic and rational, right? Those damned biased PC liberals!

Posted by the same person 24 minutes earlier:

I, too, speculated on another blog that it was the Hildebeast having a gay affair. My guess it is eith either Ellen DeGeneres or with Rosie O'Donnell.

Those PC biased liberals at the LA Times probably wouldn't let this guy have a regular opinion column, and if they did they would probably insist on editing it for content and tone!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:24 PM
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67

The Secret Jew thing is so 2004.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:25 PM
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68

Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:12 PM
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69

Someone claiming to be privy to the rumor commented on the post about this over at Saiselgy's:

The rumor is definitely floating around.

All I can say is that it involves a GOP candidate and sexual relations with two Y chromosomes.


Posted by: Bizzah | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:24 PM
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70

Creepy. No one has two Y chromosomes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:25 PM
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The relations took place directly with the chromosomes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:27 PM
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70: Untrue.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:28 PM
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73

No one has two Y chromosomes.

Not true.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:29 PM
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74

Argh!

But how do they know the genetic profile of Romney's boyfriend?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:29 PM
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75

Presumably the total number of Y chromosomes of the participants involved was two?

Although it would be a great way of raising the stakes on the "being caught with a live boy or a dead girl" list of sins that doom a candidacy by going all the way to "being caught with a fetus that had no hope of even making it to term."


Posted by: Bizzah | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:31 PM
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76

Maybe Duncan Hunter got a genetic screening.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:33 PM
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77

Huh. It turns out that an XYY is phenotypically normal.


Posted by: Bizzah | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:35 PM
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70, 72 and 77: My highschool biology teacher mounted a successful campaign to get the misinformation about the XYY phenotype being dangerous and criminally inclined, taken out of a textbook.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:55 PM
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79

That's really awesome of your biology teacher, BG.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:57 PM
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80

Huh. I knew about XXY, but not XYY. Neat!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:01 PM
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79: And it wasn't like he was a big liberal or anything. He was one of the football coaches. Not an intellectual at all, but there was absolutely no evidence supporting the claim, and he was pretty much a straight shooter on science.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:05 PM
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81 was I. I'm writing on a laptop that I borrowed from arthegall. I knew that that would happen one of these days.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:06 PM
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83

So both XXY and XYY are normal? Maybe XYYs aren't necessarily destined for a career in audacious crime, but surely the extra chromosome must have some measurable effect. Someone must have studied this, so spill the beans, already.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:09 PM
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83: They tend to be taller than average.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 1-07 7:54 AM
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85

Because the Y's are stacked?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-07 7:57 AM
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86

XXY identifies with Klinefelter's syndrome.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11- 1-07 8:04 AM
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87

Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin.

If this comes out, I'm totally voting for her in the primary. Hottt.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11- 1-07 11:19 AM
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