The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

If Conor Friedersdorf Is Smiling …

Posted on | May 4, 2012 | 30 Comments

. . . that can only mean bad news:

This is how to co-opt journalists. Eager for access to the Republican nominee, or curious about what he’d say at the meeting, they agreed to the off-the-record ground rules. It’s easy to imagine how it could all play out. Romney vows he’ll be a loyal conservative who’ll ambitiously push a Tea Party agenda. And tells the journalists they’re so very important. They feel important, in spite of themselves, for getting exclusive access; and having heard the man affirm his bona fides, they can’t help but be won over a bit.

After I was offline for more than 24 hours, it wasn’t until about 3:30 p.m. Thursday that I logged onto the ‘Net and saw:

Melissa Clouthier wants to scapegoat me. Perfect!

Having also been told I’m in need of “professional help,” I therefore plead insanity: I must have been crazy to get into this racket . . .

Bob Belvedere is in denial and Jerry Wilson attempts to explain it.

Let me warn you, Jerry: When reality becomes this crazy, your attempt to explain it only makes you sound nuts. Next thing you know, the nice men in the white coats will show up to take you to Happy Acres:

“OK, Mr. Wilson, you say your friend the ‘professional journalist’ denied being at The Meeting That Never Happened, because he wanted a ‘rhinoceros’ to make him the Ambassador to Vanuatu, but never got any links from the ‘Ewok’? Uh . . . Don’t you feel like you need some rest, Mr. Wilson? Here, take your medicine . . .”

Crazy, see? But if saying smart-aleck things about Newt Gingrich is a drastic liability, maybe the Vanuatu gig was a long shot anyway, and Philip Klein doesn’t think Romney’s winning:

It’s been widely agreed that given Obama’s vulnerabilities, Romney’s chances of winning hinge on his ability to make the election a referendum on Obama’s record. And here is where Romney is failing. His campaign is allowing the president to change the subject. . . .
If the campaign is about bin Laden, identity politics and silly controversies about dogs, an Obama victory is a lot more likely.

True story: In 2007, I loaned Phil my swimming trunks, in exchange for his notes on an interview with 24 producer Joel Surnow.

That story got me a Drudge link. Phil never gave me back my trunks.



30 Responses to “If Conor Friedersdorf Is Smiling …”

  1. Andrew Patrick
    May 4th, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    What the fuck is going on?

  2. Andrew Patrick
    May 4th, 2012 @ 9:42 am

     Never mind. I thought you were starting a blog war.

    I think I have it figured out.

  3. RG
    May 4th, 2012 @ 9:55 am

     If there’s a meeting with a room full of pro and semi-pro blabbermouths and anybody seriously thought it was going to stay secret then they’re not as smart as they think they are.

  4. Zilla of the Resistance
    May 4th, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    I may be unloved, unimportant and irrelevant, but at least I’m having FUN with my obscurity!

  5. richard mcenroe
    May 4th, 2012 @ 10:52 am

     Starting a blog war with Conor is like invading Belgium.  Besides that’s Dan Riehl’s pig to stick.

    And I’m just gussing here, but I suspect Conor was one of the People Not Invited To The Meeting That Never Happened.

  6. richard mcenroe
    May 4th, 2012 @ 10:53 am

     The first rule of good Journalism: if the subject wants to buy you a drink, LET HIM.  His motives may be more interesting than your actual interview.

  7. ThePaganTemple
    May 4th, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    What I’d like to know is, why was this so hush-hush to begin with? What did Romney say “off the record” that he didn’t want publicized? That he was going to promote a Tea-Party agenda? Shit, he ought to take out a full page ad bragging about it. What the fuck is wrong with him?

    On a somewhat related note, that @bethanyshondark is a nasty piece of work if she meant that seriously. But maybe she’ll catch on one of these days to how hard it is to herd a room full of cats.

  8. richard mcenroe
    May 4th, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    Please. Romney’s staff are crack GOP professionals, with all the loyalty and integrity that implies.

    That meeting was leaked before the email was drafted.

  9. Pathfinder's wife
    May 4th, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    You do bring up the most troubling thing — to me at least.  Why the word spread far and wide that this was hush-hush (which was seriously uncalled for I should think) and then the fact of the matter was it wasn’t all that hush hush  (when HuffPo breaks the story, then it wasn’t that big a secret).

    To take Tallyrand a bit further: it’s worse than a blunder, it seems patently weird.

    (and of course the left is going to have a lot of fun with this…)

  10. Zilla of the Resistance
    May 4th, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

     It’s like they deliberately undermined the potential (and all important) TRAFFIC those bloggers could have gotten from the “exclusive” access by letting the leftist media have the scoop!
    If I weren’t #NotGoodEnoughForRomCon, and was one of the bloggers who got gypped of the potential traffic boost by the Romney campaign’s backstabbing skullduggery, I’d probably be pretty upset.

  11. Pathfinder's wife
    May 4th, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Perhaps even worse, the impression that now, in return for sooper duper secret opposition scoops on Obama, they were now his…well, you know…on his jock and cool with it.
    And then yelling it out loud to the general prison population as it were.

    That’s not a good place to be in.  It’s pretty  crappy.

    What the heck is up with that?

  12. Finrod Felagund
    May 4th, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    To quote HST:

    “Crazy” is a term of art: “Insane” is a term of Law. Remember that, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble.

    The Marquis De Sade was born crazy and he did monumentally crazy things every day of his utterly degenerate life… But he was only insane when he got locked up in jail.

  13. Finrod Felagund
    May 4th, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    Amusing side-note: while googling for the above quote, my previous quote of it on this blog showed up 3rd in the google search.

  14. ThePaganTemple
    May 4th, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

     What bothers me about it is it seems like he didn’t want the country in general to know he was meeting with the conservative blogosphere.

  15. Adjoran
    May 4th, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

     Good guess – as if anyone knowingly invites  Conor anywhere.

    Without giving him a wrong address, at least.

  16. Adjoran
    May 4th, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

     Plus, it’s just good manners.

  17. Zilla of the Resistance
    May 4th, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

     Because we’re the Chopped Liver of the Right!

  18. ThePaganTemple
    May 4th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

     Somebody had better clue him in that it would be pretty hard to pursue a Tea Party agenda without everybody in the country knowing about it.

  19. Adjoran
    May 4th, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    Little Bethany isn’t very perceptive on the humor stuff.  I bet she gets all the JAP jokes, though.

  20. Pathfinder's wife
    May 4th, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    …yeah, and then HuffPo scoops it (like there was a leak from one of the bloggers, but there really wasn’t — which makes the  squawking about this site puzzling)

    It’s just — bizarre.

  21. ThePaganTemple
    May 4th, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

     Jealous over Stacy being there, probably, and more pissed off because he’s “not bragging” about “not being there”, or something like that.

  22. richard mcenroe
    May 4th, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

     You mean like, “Two JAP’s walked into a bar … and sneered at the decor” ?

  23. Bob Belvedere
    May 4th, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    The only mistake was on the part of Willard’s Campaign.

    Why the secrecy about the fact that the meeting was going to occur?  That’s just opening them to charges from the Left.

    They should have announced the meeting, but also announced that it’s proceedings were going to be off the record so that the bloggers could be frank with Mitt, no holds barred, that they would feel free to express themselves.  Then the Campaign could have touted that their candidate (1) wanted to hear what they had to say and (2) did not fear to be challenged.

    Instead, they gave the Left the opportunity to uses words like ‘collusion’ and ‘cabal’.

    Goddamn dumb, Willard.

    This led to the Left charging the bloggers with ‘being in the tank for Romney’ and has led to the timid souls among them to look for a scapegoat.  And they seem to have chosen Stacy, who did nothing wrong.  By the time he posted his witty post, we all already knew what had happened.

    Those conservatives who are attacking Stacy should be ashamed of themselves.

    And I will not be giving them any more hits.

  24. Bob Belvedere
    May 4th, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    That’s the conservative way.

  25. Bob Belvedere
    May 4th, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    How does a JAP make dinner?

    She makes reservations [boom, boom].

  26. PaulLemmen
    May 4th, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

    You’re not unloved. I may be the only one of the One Hundred, but I love you Mare!

  27. PaulLemmen
    May 4th, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    As a former con-artist I can tell you that much may be learned in such a situation, by keeping a closed mouth and open ears. Later, that info will pay off in a big way …

  28. I Was Nowhere Near Last Night | Goldfish and Clowns
    May 5th, 2012 @ 4:31 am

    […] Thanks to Stacy McCain, Zilla Stevenson and Paul Lemmen for the link love. Tweet !function(d,s,id){var […]

  29. K-Bob
    May 5th, 2012 @ 8:01 am

     That’s crazy!

  30. K-Bob
    May 5th, 2012 @ 8:04 am

     1060 West Addison Street