Thursday, July 27, 2006

From the Mixed-up Mind of Eric Alterman

It's been an interesting week e-mail wise as various visitors rushed to spew (mainly for my comments regarding the continued armed aggression by the Israeli government). I even heard from two "names." They aren't names in my book. But surely they are names in their own mind. One's written several times with profanity filled e-mails -- apparently he knows just what wins a gal over. Another has only written once. Which will I address tonight?

Wed, 26 Jul 2006 17:45:44 EDT
whoever wrote
about Eric Alterman and Susan Sontag, is, to be blunt, full of shit.
I defended Susan up and down. I personally got the Economist to retract and apologize for their obituary in which they said she had said we got what we deserve.
Do you check anything at all you write?
I was friends with her, for god's sake.
Shame on you
Eric Alterman

What a sweet talker. We'll assume the e-mail is genuine because who, in their right mind, would pretend to be Eric Alterman?

After I was done wiping the spit off my face (lisping can be cured, Alterman), I did what I didn't want to do -- bothered friends. C.I.'s busy enough, we're all exhausted from Mexico, it's Thursday night and that means "And the war drags on," and C.I.'s been fasting since July 4th. Rebecca's on her honeymoon and the last thing she needs is me butting in. But going through the "sweet" e-mails (did AIPAC put out an alert on me) from the "tough" talking boys, although I avoided calling, I did, as I have so many times over the years, need my two best friends.

C.I. heard about it from Mike and the next thing I knew, I was walking in the front door to a ringing phone. I thank both C.I. and Rebecca for making the time.

That's friendship. That's real friendship. Eric Alterman, sadly, apparently, never had any friends. If he talks like he writes, the reason for that might be rather obvious. (Though, it is also true people might not have wanted to be near him due to the spray factor when he speaks.)

Eric Alterman, full of spit and wanting to spew.

Does Eric Alterman check anything before he writes?

That's our question for tonight.

Here's what I wrote Monday in "Sent By Earth (Alice Walker) and thoughts on the media 'coverage':"

Susan Sontag was strung in the market of public ideas by many. (I will never respect or read Eric Alterman because he joined in the Sontag bashing. Sontag's points were on the money. Alterman demonstrated he was a coward and that he would burn anyone to make sure he was "okay." He's a sell out and a creep, in my opinion, for many reasons, but the Sontag trashing is the most extreme example. When the left could defend their own, many chose to go along with the right and that -- not any election -- caused the silencing of dissent and the refusal to question the Bully Boy for so long. More than what happened on Politically Incorrect or the Dixie Chicks later, that trashing demonstrated that the bullies were out in full force and that they included the left.)

Eric Alterman e-mails:

I defended Susan up and down.

He then goes on to toot his own horn. But did he defend "Susan up and down"?

Maybe he doesn't have a good memory? Maybe his writing bores him as much as it does so many others? Regardless, in his own book, What Liberal Media (one he might consider checking facts for), he writes this sentence (page 201):

While Susan Sontag wrote a short essay in the New Yorker that many people, including myself, found objectionable for its insensitivity to the victims of the attack, she never said she opposed the war.

He found her essay "objectionable." Lord Alterman hath spoken. Hath.

Now he can lisp all the curse words he wants to at me but that doesn't change the fact that the essay that led to the Dixie Chicking of Sontag was, in fact and in print, deemed "objectionable" by Little Lord Alterman.

What a friend doth one have in Lord Alterman.

Again, if his writing reflects how he is, it wouldn't be surprising to learn that's he's struggled with the concept of friendship.

Susan Sontag wrote three paragraphs (strong ones) for The New Yorker. You can read it by clicking here.

He feels Sontag's essay was "objectionable." He's willing to participate in the feeding/dog pile because, where there is hot air, there is Eric Alterman. I found nothing objectionable in the essay. Had I written it and been attacked for it, I would consider it a real blow for a so-called 'friend' to have 'defended me up and down' by deeming it "objectionable" in print. (With friends like Alterman, who needs a lynch mob?)

Possibly he saw it as a "shout out"? Goodness knows, he doesn't mention many women in his book. He lets the false charges that Ann Coulter made against Gloria Steinem stand. Possibly he felt Coulter made these false charges "fairly"? Or maybe it's simply the case, as so much of his writing appears to demonstrate, that Lord Alterman isn't overly fond of women's accomplishments?

For those coming in late (possibly even Alterman -- he may forget a great deal or, possibly, he just pretends to), Sontag was trashed for writing those three paragraphs. The right wing attacked relentlessly. Thank goodness, I'm sure, that Sontag 'friend' Eric Alterman was there to weigh in that the essay was "objectionable."

It's a funny sort of friendship. Possibly Dionne, Elton, Gladys and Stevie can record "That's What Backstabbers Are For" in his honor?

While we wait to see if that happens, before the pampered priss writes another word (smut or psudeo-academic), he should issue a retraction for page 161 of his hideous book. That's where, writing of Al Gore, he notes:

They mocked him, fairly, I suppose, for taking advice from the high-priced feminist writer/consultant Naomi Wolf about his earth-tone wardrobe.

That is incorrect.

It was incorrect when he wrote it. It's incorrect now. It was incorrect in hardcover, it's incorrect in softcover and, no doubt, incorrect in the many landfills the book has found a home in.

If he's unclear of how wrong/false that statement is, he can do a search on "earth tones" or "Naomi Wolf" at The Daily Howler. Bob Somerby, who corrects everyone who repeats that lie, elected to play duck and cover when Alterman repeated it. But it's wrong. Alterman is wrong. Alterman, who wants to lecture me about 'friendship,' has a lie in print. Not a typo. Not a matter of opinion. A lie.

Now Bob Somerby's not the only one who has pointed out that Wolf was not advising Gore on his "wardrobe" ; however, Lord Alterman repeatedly cites The Daily Howler in his own howlingly hideous book. (The three paragraphs preceding the falsehood about Wolf each mention Somerby -- presumably, Alterman is familiar with Bob Somerby's work.) Was it just too good a sexist jab for Alterman to resist including? The way, years ago, some tried to ridicule and devalue Gloria Steinem by falsely 'reporting' that she helped George McGovern with his fashion choices?

Alterman, whom I have never -- thankfully -- met, thinks his above e-mail is the approriate way to initiate contact with a stranger. Again, he may not have had many friends growing up. Or now. Most people don't care for a weak, little, arrogant fop who spits out smut or gets his facts wrong.

He recently, and laughably, wrote "We Are The New York Times!" "We"? Maybe the position of the paper was better reflected by Gerald Boyd's dismissal and derision of Alterman's effete whine for the West Side liberals?

I avoid Alterman's writing. Glad to know he reads me -- maybe he'll learn something. Here's one hint to aid him: To have a friend, you have to be a friend.

Will he issue a correction to the falsehood that's stood in print for three years? Will he publicly apologize to Naomi Wolf?

Probably not. Instead he'll just continue to waste his time with silly little e-mails that make him appear the Junior Priss of the "Left"? What we can count on is that he will continue to provide hoots and laughter. My guess is he's probably been doing that all of his life.

In the end, Alterman's upset and isn't that what really matters?

Possibly his professional writing is so poor because he's too busy selecting profanties for his e-mails? (For a supposed writer, he appears to have a very small word pool to dip into.)

Unlike C.I., I don't have a policy on e-mails. If someone wants to say something, they can do so publicly.

The Cindy Brady of the faux left learned a swear word and wanted to share it with me. I found it so hilarious I had to share it with my readers.

Rebecca's covered him many times but the one I enjoyed the most was "eric alterman is disgusting - who will save women from him?" and I'd also recommend The Third Estate Sunday Review's ""When Poodles Snarl." Lord Alterman's big on slamming people for disclosures (not for failure to disclose but, as others have pointed out, for disclosing) so let me note that I helped with the writing of the latter piece.

Alterman's writing? The headline of his recent "We Are The New York Times!" says it all. In his mind, he's identifying up. Or possibly it's just a sign of that sad trait -- curse of the unpopular? -- which Alexander Cockburn has written of: Alterman loves to suck up.

Regardless, he has once again provided hours of laughter. Thank goodness, he's so willing to play the fool -- again and again -- because the world can use more laughter.

Thank you to C.I. and Rebecca who helped with this entry in every way possible. Somewhere around the 50th e-mail today (really, did AIPAC put out an alert on me?), I lost my sense of humor. Rebecca was there tonight to point out how nice it is that two professional writers (or "writers") read me. Especially since I don't read them. (I stopped reading Alterman long ago.) As C.I.'s said before, "It's always nice to be read."

But, considering the way Lord Alterman embarrassed himself on air with Janeane Garofalo, a frightening thought formed in my mind: Did he consider his e-mail a form of courtship?

If that is in any way possible, let me explain to him that the high school homecoming queen doesn't generally date the eighth grader -- the dirty fingernailed, acne-ridden, chin-challenged, potty mouthed, whining weakling -- with stains on his clothes and a bad odor about him. For similar reasons, I find Lord Alterman repulsive as a man, laughable as a thinker, and pretty much disgusting on every level.

I really have no time for little boys trying to even their personal scores (though it was amusing to watch him and Joe Klein hiss at one another). I also have no use for his published writing which tends to skim the topics FAIR and Media Matters covered weeks prior in far greater depth.

But, in the end, the main reason I have no time for him is that I have a life.

That may not be the case for Eric Alterman.