Dear John (Nolte),
For those of you who don’t know who John Nolte is, he’s the Editor-in-Chief of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood site. He’s also the self-appointed guardian of all women and ready, at the drop of a hat, to be offended on their behalf.
He took issue with FishbowlDC’s post about The Daily Caller’s Michelle Fields and her love affair with herself. The post made a serious point in a tongue-in-cheek way about how Michelle is comfortable retweeting compliments on her looks, pictures of her legs, etc. Pretty much everything but compliments on her, you know, work.
Michelle is young and still has plenty of time to actually become a journalist known for her work and not just her looks, but she’s not heading down that path right now.
Granted, we didn’t write the post about her because we were hoping to inspire her to work on her craft – that’s up to her. We did it to make a candid point about female journalists, be snarky and yes, we thought it was funny. We expected push back from Michelle’s “fans,” those fanboys who spend their time in their mother’s basement publicly defending pretty women from any criticism of any kind on the Web as a way of thinking they’re flirting.
What we didn’t expect was an overreaction from a grown man.
Nolte’s first attack was the classic outrage over an “attack on a conservative woman,” the default reaction of too many conservatives these days to any critique of women on their side. He’s entitled to his opinion, it’s just ironic that he reacts with the “sexism” charge when he, on Twitter, has continually attacked liberals for making the “racism” charge against anyone who dare criticizes President Obama. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes criticism is valid, no matter what genitalia the person receiving that criticism has.
But Nolte wasn’t done there. In what must be a slow news cycle for Big Journalism, he had to try to draw attention to this again. In a post dramatically entitled “Fishbowl DC Threatens Retaliation Against The Bigs,” Nolte writes of our “unbelievably nasty” and “ugly sexist attack” against poor Ms. Fields…by pointing out things she retweeted about herself. Yeah, we don’t get it either.
He ends his last post with “Impotent rage is never attractive.” This is true. It’s also funny coming from someone who counts the likes of Dan Riehl as a colleague at the “Big” sites.
For those of you who don’t remember who Riehl is, he’s the blogger who, upon discovering that The Daily Caller’s Jeff Poor had written a story about the vile things convicted rapist Mike Tyson said about former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, took it upon himself to launch a truly vile attack on Jeff and his four-year-old niece.
Nolte’s compatriot excavated pictures of Poor’s niece on Facebook and decided to write a post implying Jeff was a pedophile. Charming, right?
The post was so offensive that The Daily Caller’s editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson contacted Riehl to demand it be removed. He deleted it. He also called Breitbart, who promised to get rid of Riehl. That never happened.
We also discovered that Riehl gave an interview to blogger Jeff Pearlman in which he, shall we say, expressed a less than friendly attitude toward women. With his pants down, no less. In a rare twist of fate, Riehl also insulted the apparently heavenly Fields by suggesting that she have a wet T-shirt contest. “Great day for a wet T-shirt contest!!” wrote Riehl in reaction to @MichelleFields: “Of course I spill coffee all over my shirt right before my Fox interview.” This was early November, 2011.
Where was the outrage then, Nolte? Answer: Riehl’s a conservative, so it doesn’t count and doesn’t matter.
Were Nolte intellectually honest and consistent, he would criticize Riehl with vigor equal to, or greater than that which he has attacked FishbowlDC, but he can’t do that and save face with his conservative cohorts. Nolte is a partisan, which is fine, and we aren’t. We’re equal opportunity offenders.
Perhaps Nolte should realize that criticizing a woman for her actions is not sexist, criticizing a woman because she’s a woman is. Then he might want to turn his feminist eye to his right and use it to look at Riehl. That is, if he’s looking to be honest. If he’s not, then we fully expect yet another post from him trying to further this mythical “feud” he thinks we’re having.
Ultimately we’re not concerned with offending Nolte, or anyone. We call ‘em like we see ‘em, and if an activist blogger, right-wing or left-wing, doesn’t like how we see ‘em, tough.
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