I Almost Forgot

Balloon Juice had a brush with mediocrity last night, as we were mentioned (obliquely) on Bill Maher’s HBO show. Maher had Sullivan on, and at one point referred to this Sullivan post in which there were several questions he (Maher) liked:

“Would you have sex with a man to stop a terrorist attack?”

“If you had a time machine, would you travel back in time and abort Bin Laden?”

Of course, you all recognize those because we wrote them, and the Sullivan post was actually a link to here.

Very cool, and the panel was pretty entertaining. If anyone has a youtube of it, please let me know.

*** Update ***

I ask, you deliver!

I love me some intertron.






56 replies
  1. 1
    caustics says:

    Here’s the link.

  2. 2
    The Other Steve says:

    That’s awesome!

    Last week, one of the commentators here… Psycheout, was quoted on Olbermann.

  3. 3
    The Other Steve says:

    Damnit, youtube is the suck.

    Trying to login, it gives me option of using my google id, so I do it and it says login successful, but I click on post a comment and it asks me to login.

    Trying to add a comment linking back here from that video, so people are aware it wasn’t Sullivan.

  4. 4
    caustics says:

    Oops. A better (direct) link to the video.

  5. 5
    Jess says:

    Wow–that was a interesting and fun discussion! I’m sorry Clark disappeared from the political landscape. But why did Sullivan take credit for the questions if they came from Balloon Juice? That wasn’t cool.

  6. 6
    capelza says:

    Balloon Juice waz robbed! Sullivan should have hat tipped BJ!

    But it was great to see the questions get national air time. That was great!

  7. 7
    Sirkowski says:

    Oh shit, was I the one who first came up with that line?

  8. 8

    […] Balloon Juice was rightfully mentioned on Bill Maher’s show. A great blog. […]

  9. 9
    Dug Jay says:

    Wonkette, or one of the similar blogs, is supposed to have written that another guest on the program, Martina Navratilova (spelling?), complained afterwards that Sullivan kept “breaking wind” during the course of the program. Did anyone who watch hear anything…or smell anything if you have Smellovision?

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    Balloon Juice waz robbed! Sullivan should have hat tipped BJ!

    But it was great to see the questions get national air time. That was great!

    LOL. We were not robbed at all. What was Sullivan supposed to do- interrupt the total flow of the show and go into an Al Gore-like (and by that, I mean detailed and boring) correction that “Actually, that was a link on my weblog to another weblog where his commenters had actually written the comments and then John collected the best ones over a period of few days.

    Now that would have been exciting television andthe stuido audience and audience at home would have really followed that. Sully didn’t do anything wrong, and what is most important is that those questions demonstrate the stupidity of many of the GOP’s rigid positions, and they got airtime. That is what counts. Personally, I am thanking Sully for helping to make it happen.

  11. 11
    capelza says:

    Hell yeah, John…a quick “Actually i was linking to Balloon Juice, a great blog!”

    But I agree, hearing them on TV was great. You are a very nice person and your blog was still robbed…

  12. 12
    Jess says:

    Okay, John, I commend your wise and mature attitude…but didn’t the self-congratulatory smirk irk you at least just a little bit? I kinda like the guy, despite his flaws, but that did annoy me. Of course, I’m stuck grading papers all weekend, so everything is annoying me today…

  13. 13
    John Cole says:

    Hell yeah, John…a quick “Actually i was linking to Balloon Juice, a great blog!”

    Then the next fifteen minutes would have been spent convincing Bill Maher that balloon juice was not something obscene.

    but didn’t the self-congratulatory smirk irk you at least just a little bit?

    I have watched him enough on television to recognize that was not a smirk, that was more of a “Good my website is going to get more traffic what is he talking about buy some time to figure out what he is referring to oh yes I remember those” look. Go through the whole show- when he is buying time or trying to figure out how to respond, he often smiles or smirks or grimaces.

  14. 14
    capelza says:

    Okay, okay…and this is why I like you. I wish everyone in politics was like you…

    Yes…Maher would have made some crack…but I’m still going to write to him about it..so there!

  15. 15
    Sirkowski says:

    The fact that this question is now on the air is enough for me.

  16. 16
    Jess says:

    The fact that this question is now on the air is enough for me.

    Yes! and that it generated a good and serious discussion rather than being treated like a joke.

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    Sirkowski-

    I am pretty sure it was you. There are about five links to track back and I am kinda lazy atm, but if I remember correctly, you asked it first at the end of the post that spawned the whole thing, and then I used that to start the next day’s questions.

    I hope you don’t think I am trying to take credit for it, because I was using the royal we when I said “we wrote them.” It was everyone coming up with teh awesome.

    Kinda weird how this blog has become a we instead of a me. I like it better that way. Half the material from the lunatic Republicans writes itself, anyway.

  18. 18
    demimondian says:

    I’m sorry I missed the show — seeing Clark go after Sullivan at the end of the segment was fascinating. I wonder where that went in the end.

  19. 19
    Andrew says:

    Rawr! Wesley gets catty with Andrew over Hillary!

  20. 20

    The question I wished Clark had asked Sullivan was “OK, so you’re supporting Obama. Will you support Clinton if she gets the nomination?”

  21. 21
    Ted says:

    What was Sullivan supposed to do- interrupt the total flow of the show and go into an Al Gore-like (and by that, I mean detailed and boring) correction that “Actually, that was a link on my weblog to another weblog where his commenters had actually written the comments and then John collected the best ones over a period of few days.

    That Sullivan didn’t deflect total credit for the great questions attributed to him in the show should surprise no one. And he wouldn’t have had to say anything more than, “Those were from another blog – Balloon-Juice – but go on…”

    Sullivan writes a lot of good things these days, but he’s still his usual self on some things.

  22. 22
    bago says:

    Dude.. we are getting soooo meta it’s like I’m there.

  23. 23
    jake says:

    Go through the whole show- when he is buying time or trying to figure out how to respond, he often smiles or smirks or grimaces.

    Wait, I’m confused. Are you talking about Bush, G. or Sullivan, A.?

    Still, congrats on getting some air-time in a round-about way. I’m sure Sully will give credit where credit is due. Any moment now…

  24. 24
    John Cole says:

    Guys- I like Sullivan, and really don’t see any realistic way he could have handled that any differently that would not have dorked the show out and made it unwatchable. As it is, he is very generous with attributing things to people, a lot of people who never would have been exposed to me or Tim read us daily because of him, and I am not sure what you all think he was supposed to do…

    That being said, if I was going to get upset at him over one thing about last night, it was the way he went after Hillary alleging she won’t do anything about Global Warming, which seemed sort of unseemly. Considering the folks he voted for once, and I voted for twice, are currently actively suppressing information about Global Warming and denying human involvement, he and I should just both STFU about how the Democrats are going to handle it. until a Democrat is actually elected. Hillary may not be the best candidate on the issue, but you can guaran-god-damned-tee she will be better than Bush/Cheney.

  25. 25
    M.Mawkish says:

    I’m not surprised John Cole is proud of getting noticed by Terrorist Lover Bill Maher!! There’s only one Bill anyone should watch on TV (especially when I’m filling his spot, that bitch Ingrown had better watch out) but you Lefty Losers aren’t smart enough to understand O’Reilly!

    I’m going to dig through Tunch’s catbox when I check John’s counters. I bet it’s lined with copies of Pravda!

  26. 26
    Caya says:

    Great debate, and boy would this world be a better place if Clark had become your President in 08.

  27. 27
    Ted says:

    Hillary may not be the best candidate on the issue, but you can guaran-god-damned-tee she will be better than Bush/Cheney.

    Remember when we all thought a ‘poll-driven presidency’ was a bad thing? Haha! :-(

  28. 28

    I admire your graciousness John but I’m with the general feeling that Sully could have easily tipped you on the questions. Maher said something like great questions, and Sully could easily have said something like thanks. I have to credit John Cole at BalloonJuice for the q’s but they do raise a good point and then take his narrative from there. It wouldn’t have interupted the flow at all if he didn’t leave an opening between.

    But I also agree it’s not worth getting worked up over and the main thing is that the meme was thrown out into the TV stream of consciousness. Every little bit helps to reframe the dialogue.

  29. 29
    John Cole says:

    I really can’t believe we are arguing about this, but I would bet there is a solid chance he couldn’t *REMEMBER* where they came from?

  30. 30
    caustics says:

    I doubt Sullivan will let this all pass without assigning proper credit – the weekend is still young.

    And I pretty much agree with Sully regarding Obama, but have resigned myself to wishing the Jr. Senator onto the final ticket as VP and future heavy-weight contender.

    —–

    Swerving OT: If RedState was so concerned with Ron Paul supporters wasting their precious time, why do they still spend half of that precious time baiting them and mocking them. Which is arguably why RS was targeted in the first place.

    Digg.

  31. 31

    M.Mawkish Says:

    I’m not surprised John Cole is proud of getting noticed by Terrorist Lover Bill Maher!! There’s only one Bill anyone should watch on TV (especially when I’m filling his spot, that bitch Ingrown had better watch out) but you Lefty Losers aren’t smart enough to understand O’Reilly!

    Jesus H. Christ! I wished I had the horses pulling my intellectual wagon to “get” the Loofinator. But, alas being a dimwit fucking loser is my place in this cold, cruel world. AAaarrgghhh. Time for more brown acid and Wild Turkey to make my hippie world better.

  32. 32
    Ted says:

    I lost some respect for Sullivan about 3 1/2 to 4 years ago when he begged for donations for at least six straight months, all the while claiming it was needed to keep him going. When he was finished, he reportedly had raised well over $100,000, and then promptly announced he was taking at least a 1 year hiatus from blogging altogether. A nice thing to be able to do, but quite a lot of his readers felt a little bit scammed at the time.

  33. 33
    Andrew says:

    The question I wished Clark had asked Sullivan was “OK, so you’re supporting Obama. Will you support Clinton if she gets the nomination?”

    Don’t you mean, “Would you have sex with a woman to get Obama elected?”

  34. 34

    Not to drag this out forever but I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell he didn’t remember where he got it. That was no simple clever turn of phrase or a video. That post was priceless. I forget where I pick up links all the time but nobody forgets where they read something that original. It does occur to me though that there’s probably some tacit talking head rule that deems it unserious or a sign of weakness or something to give credit on air. Or there might even be a real rule on the show that you can’t do it.

    In any event, it certainly isn’t worth getting worked up over and it is very cool that the questions made it on to the show. Influencing the public dialogue is what its all about. Credit is just about ego. I don’t mind when people steal my stuff either as long as the ideas get out there.

  35. 35
    The Other Steve says:

    Youtube is the double suck. Now it recognizes that I’ve logged in. I type in my comment and hit ‘post’ and it just sits there.

    I never have these kinds of problems with Microsoft websites. Google should call up Steve Ballmer and ask him to come over and do some code reviews. :-)

  36. 36
    Randolph Fritz says:

    Fifteen seconds of your fifteen minutes of fame are now gone… Congrats on hitting the big time. 15 seconds on the gigaphone of media (blog–kilophone, newspaper–megaphone, TV–gigaphone) isn’t a bad deal.

  37. 37
    DougJ says:

    Sullivan annoys me. Even when I agree with him, I find his rhetoric to be off-putting.

    Also, for a gay guy, couldn’t he get take a little better care of himself?

  38. 38
    DougJ says:

    Wes Clark, as always, comes off as thoughtful but tough. I’ve seen him speak in person before and I was very impressive. I can see how he wouldn’t be a good presidential candidate though; he’s too thoughtful, too philosophical to pass muster with the Russerts and Broders of this sorry political world.

  39. 39
    bago says:

    It’s called a cookie. Deal.

  40. 40
    CDB says:

    “Guys like Sullivan” don’t feel guilt like the rest of us, they wouldn’t be “Guys like Sullivan” if they did. But then they wouldn’t be on Bill’s show either. Not only did he take credit for the quote, he used it to promote his own agenda.

  41. 41
    Cain says:

    Also, for a gay guy, couldn’t he get take a little better care of himself?

    Dude.. he’s married. They all let themselves go after that. Granted he started doing it before he was officially married, but hey.. he was probably married in his mind years ago.

    cain

  42. 42
    Warren Terra says:

    Good job putting together a successful and provacative meme, and getting it out there. It’d be nice If Sullie were to put up a note on his blog acknowledging Balloon Juice, but I agree he was under no obligation to start derailing the conversation on air.

    I’ve never watched Real Time (although I probably agree with more of his policy preferences than the average person, I’ve never been highly impressed with Bill Maher’s intelligence), but while it’s great that someone put the video up, I was vexed when they cut off the middle of an exchange. I was curious about what came next.

    It turns out someone has put the whole episode on YouTube (I’m curious about the legality, but I note this user seems to have put up pretty much every complete episode, for months or years), in six chunks, starting with this link

  43. 43
    Cain says:

    I went back on that original thread and the number of trackbacks to that thread was quite a bit. A lot of people were linking to Balloon Juice. It was a good meme and probably one of the funniest threads in quite awhile. (actually everyday is a laughlific experience, if we can’t laugh our outrage away.. what else can we do)

    cain

  44. 44
    John Cole says:

    There you paranoids. He put up another post about it.

    Sullivan is a good guy, and I am not sure why you all doubt him.

  45. 45

    Good. Actually I thought he might. Sully sometimes pisses me off with his opinions but I’ve always thought that basically he IS a good guy and I’ve heard he’s very nice in person.

  46. 46
    bill in Phx says:

    Sullivan fascinates a lot of us because he’s constantly moving – personally, politically and philosophically. For me, the irritating thing is his virtual absolutism on any subject. He’ll write entire books puffing up all his deep thoughts on a subject. After a while, you realize it’s not what the subject is but who. As always, Sullivan.

  47. 47
    Warren Terra says:

    Bill in Phx is right that Sullivan seems to write everything in a way that is more strongly centered on his own experience than on the external subject at hand, but I’m not sure there’s anything wrong or unusual in that. All blogging is somewhat about the author; Sullivan is just an extreme case. And Sullivan does often (if eventually) make the connections that go beyond his own life; he did eventually figure out that the Republicans who wanted to prevent his marriage might be meddling too much in peoples’ lives in other ways.

    The real problems with Sullivan are two: first, that he’d rather be ‘controversial’ than be right.

    The second, related problem is that he almost never admits he wasn’t right, and he never really appears to show contrition and reconsideration. The classic cases are his notorious post-9/11 line about a liberal fifth column on the coasts that would undermine the national response to terror, and his continued pride in articles the New Republic published under his leadership lauding The Bell Curve and misrepresenting Hillarycare. His recent spat with Ezra Klein on the latter subject was very revealing.

  48. 48
    Sirkowski says:

    John Cole Says:
    I hope you don’t think I am trying to take credit for it,

    It’s all cool with me. I’m glad the question has been asked in the (sort of) mainstream so more people can realize how much those neo-con nuts are ridiculous.

  49. 49
    Jimmm says:

    You’re a bigger man than I, John. I was fuming when “That Cunt ™” Andy Sullivan made absolutely zero effort to even SHARE credit for your work.

    Andy’s gotten on the pulpit before about plagarism. But, I guess like everything else, he views a weak admission that he was wrong to be complete absolution for the direct and broader consequences of his ardent promotion of everything that is wrong — and for his demonizing everyone who has consistently held positions that he only recently adopted (eg, global environmental disaster; the war in Iraq, etc).

    Seriously, Sully will henceforth be known to me as “That Cunt ™. It’s a mantel he’s earned through a massive body of achievement in stupendous intellectual dishonesty.

  50. 50
    the green witch of oz says:

    Hmmm, all this bickering about Andrew Sullivan taking credit for the questions aired on Real Time. How do you think some of today’s traffic (me included) is getting to this site? I followed a link from Sullivan:

    “Here’s a segment of the discussion on Real Time last night. It began with questions that I linked to from John Cole’s site. And then it went on from there.”

  51. 51
    The Other Steve says:

    Hmmm, all this bickering about Andrew Sullivan taking credit for the questions aired on Real Time. How do you think some of today’s traffic (me included) is getting to this site? I followed a link from Sullivan:

    Nobody is bickering. We’re just triumphantly joyously bitching.

  52. 52
    rachel says:

    Nobody is bickering. We’re just triumphantly joyously bitching.

    Except Jimmm. Seriously, Jimmm, I’d prefer not to have my private parts associated with Andrew Sullivan. Would you mind terribly finding something else to call him?

  53. 53
    crack says:

    I just wish my original version of the Jesus question would have remained. Why look for the logic of how any of these things would work?

  54. 54
    Dreggas says:

    M.Mawkish Says:

    I’m not surprised John Cole is proud of getting noticed by Terrorist Lover Bill Maher!! There’s only one Bill anyone should watch on TV (especially when I’m filling his spot, that bitch Ingrown had better watch out) but you Lefty Losers aren’t smart enough to understand O’Reilly!

    I love watching Falafel boy especially the myriad number of times he’s been pwned by Marilyn Manson.

  55. 55
    Tax Analyst says:

    Yes, it’s been a fairly long time and a lot of things are kinda murky, but I do believe I first linked to Balloon Juice through Sullivan’s blog.

  56. 56

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