Why I hate Slate

For years now, I’ve had a running argument with my sister about Slate. She likes the stuff about advertisements and manners (Dear Ad Watch Guy and Dear Prudence, or whatever the hell they call those features) and feels that redeems Hitch, Kaus, and the occasional foray into white supremacism. But my gripe with Slate isn’t the excessive drinking, the bestiality, or sheet-wearing that some of the contributors engage in, it’s the facile contrarianism that permeates the place; I can’t find it on the google, but I’m pretty sure they had an article titled “Why genocide is good for property values” a few years back.

I was pleased to see today that Wonkette agrees — their take-down of Eliot Spitzer’s robot column today is right on the money:

Eliot Spitzer has written another one of those columns for the online Slate magazine, and he’s already mastering the “Slate Style,” which is to take a widely accepted belief (e.g., “Dogs make good pets”) and write a cool 600 words arguing why its opposite is SECRETLY truer (”Why all dogs should die”). In this column he tackles Obama’s big infrastructure plan, saying that instead of funding immediate road repairs and stuff for short-term stimulus’ sake, we should invest in transforming the foundation of America’s infrastructure. It is a stupid article because, um, Obama’s plans do include all of that, which is kind of the point. This leads us to Spitzer’s ace-in-the-hole, which is of course the massive federal funding of Robot Construction.

I can’t be the first one to wonder if Spitzer is just hoping this kind of robot will save him 2000 dollars an hour.






46 replies
  1. 1
    Tzal says:

    Wonkette introduces its post as follows:

    Filthy cock jackal Eliot Spitzer . . .

    This is why Wonkette should be visited multiple times daily.

  2. 2
    Steve V says:

    Lithwick’s great. The rest of it I don’t really bother with.

  3. 3
    Joshua Norton says:

    Love and Sex with Robots

    Sorry, but anyone who sticks their Johnson into something comprised of metal, plastic, electricity and moving parts deserves what ever happens to them.

  4. 4
    Keith says:

    I hate myself for having spent the time to read the Wonkette entry AND the Spitzer article. The entire time, I’m thinking "why the FUCK do I care about a Wonkette comment about a Slate article that proposes federally funding of Robot Wars?". The irony is 90% of the article purportedly about robots is actually about things like adding electric/hydrogen/LNG caps to gas stations and electronic record-keeping, which, as Wonkette points out is already part of the Obama plan.
    Honestly, though, I’m not seeing why the single paragraph about funding robotic competitions is worth much attention or stress.

  5. 5
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Sorry but the PUMA/Wonkette Blog Voting War is on and I am getting my laughs reading that shit. Slate who?

    The Slate sux donkey dicks. Nuff said.

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    Honestly, though, I’m not seeing why the single paragraph about funding robotic competitions is worth much attention or stress.

    I agree, I just threw that part in about Spitzer as a joke.

  7. 7
    Face says:

    Elliot Spitzer is a very nice guy.

  8. 8
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I Hate Slate too. I never bothered to come up with a good reason but yours works.

  9. 9
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    She likes the stuff about advertisements and manners … and feels that redeems Hitch, Kaus, and the occasional foray into white supremacism.

    Much insult could have been saved, and that sentence phrased more economically, by simply saying:

    She likes the stuff about advertisements and manners … and feels that redeems Hitch, Kaus, and Saletan.

    Though your version is certainly more descriptive…

    .

  10. 10
    DougJ says:

    She likes the stuff about advertisements and manners … and feels that redeems Hitch, Kaus, and Saletan.

    Are are you sure Saletan’s the only one who’s come out in favor of white supremacism? Easterbrook has probably said something along those lines too, though he may be more interested in wars between aliens these days.

  11. 11
    demimondian says:

    @Joshua Norton: Um…listen, dude.

    What, exactly, is the difference between metal, polymers, and electricity and metal, polymers, and electricity? One of them looks like Marilyn Monroe, and the other really is a robot?

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    I can’t be the first one to wonder if Spitzer is just hoping this kind of robot will save him 2000 dollars an hour.

    Jeebus. Are you saying that Elliot Spitzer is the left’s Assrocket?

    Shit. That would explain a lot.

    Except for the fact that Spitzer was actually a not bad AG.

    But it explains everything else.

    .

  13. 13
    Josh Hueco says:

    In the late ’90s there was arguably (arguably, I said) a justification for a smart, contrarian, anti-googoo liberalism, and that philosophy found itself at home at Slate. But after eight years of total conservative misrule, pure liberalism isn’t as distasteful as it was 10-15 years ago, and therefore Slate’s pretty much obsolete. Personally, I haven’t read Slate in years, mostly once TMQ left.*

    Actually, TMQ was pretty good when it started at Slate, as Easterbrook had to work within Slate’s space constraints to stay on point and actually talk about football. But these days I can’t even make it two paragraphs through the flabby, 47,000-word-per-week, scifi dork/cheerbabe-leering fapfest it is now at ESPN.

  14. 14
    JGabriel says:

    @DougJ:

    Are are you sure Saletan’s the only one who’s come out in favor of white supremacism?

    Nah, but I’m pretty sure he’s the one who’s inadvertently (and advertently) done it most often.

    .

  15. 15
    JWeidner says:

    If it results in giant fighter jet/robot mechas, or better yet, Voltron, I’ll support Mr. Spitzer 100%. Otherwise…meh…not so much.

  16. 16
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Slate Editorial Meeting:
    Editor: Those assholes at Ballon Juice are kicking our butts. We need someone with name recognition to write something.
    Secretary: The receptionist says that Elliot Spitzer has been calling every day.
    Editor: Perfect!
    Assistant Editor: You want him to write something about the law?
    Editor: The washed-up motherfucker can write about robots for all I care.

  17. 17
    JGabriel says:

    Josh Hueco:

    In the late ‘90s70’s there was arguably (arguably, I said) a justification for a smart, contrarian, anti-googoo liberalism…

    Corrected, as "googoo liberalism" aka "confused stonerism" pretty much died as a relevant politcal movement by ’73 (excepting libertarians and Randians).

    Everything later that was represented as "googoo liberalism" was either misrepresented or GOP propaganda. Or both.

    .

  18. 18
    Jay Severin Has A Small Pen1s says:

    This is what happens when you pursue a love doll.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kpZ5c-NhMA

  19. 19
    JGabriel says:

    Steve V:

    Lithwick’s great. The rest of it I don’t really bother with.

    I never do this, but: Ditto.

    .

  20. 20
    AhabTRuler says:

    @JWeidner: Yeah, but which Voltron, hmmm?

  21. 21
    DougJ says:

    Actually, TMQ was pretty good when it started at Slate, as Easterbrook had to work within Slate’s space constraints to stay on point and actually talk about football.

    I’ve heard many people say that. And I know some people who even enjoy TMQ at his new digs. But none of that justifies the fact that he’s lauded as a science-writing genius.

  22. 22
    JWeidner says:

    @AhabTRuler:Only the original Lion Force…anything else is just assaulting my childhood memories.

  23. 23
    srv says:

    Look, all this Slate-Hate is interesting and all, but people, you need be making more of an effort:

    http://2008.weblogawards.org/p.....ajor-blog/

    At least help TBogg beat instafuckit if you aren’t voting for BJ. It can’t be that hard.

  24. 24
    Josh Hueco says:

    @JGabriel:

    Corrected, as "googoo liberalism" aka "confused stonerism" pretty much died as a relevant politcal movement by ‘73 (excepting libertarians and Randians).
    Everything later that was represented as "googoo liberalism" was either misrepresented or GOP propaganda. Or both.

    You’re probably right, but from where I stood in the 90s, as a then-young conservative (now quite lefty) who was living in a pretty liberal part of the nation with plenty of liberal friends, the old 70s-style thinking was still very entrenched in the liberal rank-and-file, at least as I knew it then.

  25. 25
    DougJ says:

    At least help TBogg beat instafuckit if you aren’t voting for BJ. It can’t be that hard.

    Some blog called cjane enjoy it is way out in front.

  26. 26
    DougJ says:

    You’re probably right, but from where I stood in the 90s, as a then-young conservative (now quite lefty) who was living in a pretty liberal part of the nation with plenty of liberal friends, the old 70s-style thinking was still very entrenched in the liberal rank-and-file, at least as I knew it then.

    People were stupid then, as now. But the contrarians don’t spend their time demolishing left-wing fallacies (about how NAFTA "destroyed" our economy or how kids get autism rom vaccine), they spend it misusing Austrian economics to "debunk" Paul Friedman and Joe Stiglitz. And what possible purpose does the reconstructed white supremacism (it’s not just Saletan — Sully pimped the hell out of Charles Murray back in the day at Slate’s sister publication, TNR) serve?

  27. 27
    Crusty Dem says:

    Great article, and he’s right, have you ever seen what kids can do now with a lego robot kit. You start a kid building these kinds of machines today, in 2029 geriatric Eliot Spitzer will be enjoying the pleasures of the T-X dominatrix.

    Oh, and cjane? It’s the worst semi-coherent blog I’ve ever read, pointless and long-winded, no wonder she quotes Anais Nin in her header. I assume there’s some sort of LDS-maelstrom pushing her to the top of the charts, because I can’t believe she was even nominated on her merits.

  28. 28
    DougJ says:

    It’s the worst semi-coherent blog I’ve ever read, pointless and long-winded, no wonder she quotes Anais Nin in her header. I assume there’s some sort of LDS-maelstrom pushing her to the top of the charts, because I can’t believe she was even nominated on her merits.

    Wow. You combine the sexism of an Obama supporter with the anti-Mormon bigotry of Mike Huckabee.

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    Saying that something is pointless and long winded is sexist, or saying that Nin is pointless and long winded is sexist?

  30. 30
    scarshapedstar says:

    I can’t be the first one to wonder if Spitzer is just hoping this kind of robot will save him 2000 dollars an hour.

    Now that you mention it, has anyone ever seen Glenn Reynolds and Elliot Spitzer in the same room together?

  31. 31

    @DougJ:
    @Crusty Dem:

    Her placenta butterflies are flapping like mad and slowly, slowly wafting her to victory on the power of love….

  32. 32
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Tattoosydney:

    I notice her more recent posts put the Mormon stuff front and center. One would suspect she’s taking advantage of all the curiosity hits she’s getting to push the ol’ message.

    Just suspectin’.

  33. 33
    scarshapedstar says:

    If the baby is "swimming inside" the placenta,

    a) Something is seriously wrong.
    b) The resulting birth will be so terrifying that even harlequin fetuses will run screaming from the room.

  34. 34
    R-Jud says:

    @scarshapedstar: Sigh. Yes.

    I go to Slate for Lithwick, the "Today’s Pictures" feature, and the political cartoon collections. Even so I visit it more than Salon. Also I’ve got a friend who sends me articles pop-culture trivia lists from Nerve, and they are all uniformly worthless.

  35. 35
    lovethebomb says:

    Slate rules. You people are crazy as a shit-house rat. I’ve read Today’s Papers since 96, the best newspaper summary on the web. If you can’t discern the deliberate contrarianism and adjust your set accordingly, ya got no biz being there. I love it. The comments are fun. You’ve never seen such foam and fury. Ignore Hitch cept when he’s dissing religion – then he’s spot on. Excellent book roundtables, great political cartoon portal, and pithy mag abstracts. That’s why I love Slate. Or maybe I just enjoy being contrarian.

  36. 36
    Napoleon says:

    @Steve V:

    Lithwick’s great. The rest of it I don’t really bother with.

    Kaplin is often worth the read also.

  37. 37
    JR says:

    "Filthy cock jackal Eliot Spitzer" … ahhh, so we have this sellout blog-Queen’s pr0n snark to distract the commoners from a stillborn dictatorship still attempting to tip America into disaster. Whatever works, I guess. Though it shouldn’t.

    Give you another take: Wonkette is simply yet another media hack on the corporate take providing distraction so the criminals can escape. Even if she doesn’t know it, which is a defining feature of true hackiness.

    There is something very peculiar in this American obsession with sex lives of "celebrities" and pols. I watched a good portion of the progressive "base" and even "ex-Con" hooters like BJ’s waking host turn into squeeing monkeys. It was like watching a bad Holy Grail witch scene, complete with Eliot wearing a fake carrot nose so that the rabble could get their jollies.

    Oh, so moral are we. Oh, so clean and pure. This little anti-Eliot show the media hosted provoked people into destroying their own warrior. Yes I’ll thow the first stone–no, let ME! Spitzer was one of the VERY few corporate crusaders remaining in our dwindling Republic willing to stand up to CEO malfeasance. He was torn down by those he fought to protect, The People: if you wonder where the all Good Guys are, they’ve learned not to bother.

    Having Spitzer on board in New York throughout the bailout travesty would have had the potential to be a game-changer and we need one disparately. For some ugly reason, pol operatives can just wave a naughty red flag and the cretin hypocrites charge. Even when this had all the marks of a phony setup using illegal wiretapping. He’s a Witch–Burn Him!!

    And now the Establishment darlings have opened a tap into the heart of the Middle Class, which will drain it and thus create the disaster they warned us about. If we had NOT "bailed" out the robbers and instead made them eat their own unregulated shadow debt, then THEY would have had to suffer the crisis they made. Now they are bleeding out the Middle Class like the silly plump goose that it has become; the banksters will be fine, in fact they will buy you with your own money in the next act.

    Destroying Spitzer was a coup for our destroyers, abetted without thought but much bile by the rabble as they call us and maybe they are right. This burst of hypocritical shit-throwing comes with a large price tag. Losing Spitzer may have cost the American people many billions by leaving us with the Bozo brigade of Pelosi and Frank and Bernanke and Paulsen unfettered.

    This is the same device the Uppers are using with terrorism: claim they are keeping you safe (see, no more terrorist attacks … yet) then kick over the hornets nest and run away. When the stinging begins they will accuse the other side of being weak on security.

    We need smarter citizens. How much have all the collected moralizing rage-hypocrisy cost the United States? And we will all pay for it, some more than others.

    The Establishment did this to Nader as well, which is why Progressives are now sidelined: we did it to our own. And so the world turns … things will be getting real soon enough.

  38. 38
    j.e.b. says:

    Woah. Slate has something other than Doonesbury? Who knew?

  39. 39

    What JR said. Zactly.

  40. 40
    DougJ says:

    I’ve read Today’s Papers since 96, the best newspaper summary on the web.

    Today’s Papers is very good, I have to admit. I read it until the mania took over and I started reading all the papers myself.

  41. 41
    DougJ says:

    Saying that something is pointless and long winded is sexist, or saying that Nin is pointless and long winded is sexist?

    It’s called snark.

  42. 42
    Crusty Dem says:

    DougJ, I assumed it was snark, but wouldn’t have been offended if it wasn’t (especially about the anti-mormonism). Still, I recommend everybody go read cjane, it’ll motivate you to go to the Weblog awards site daily to vote for tbogg.

  43. 43
    AkaDad says:

    I’ll take a #6 and a #8 cylon please.

  44. 44
    Quicksand says:

    Even so I visit it more than Salon.

    Well, Salon has Paglia, who’s like the scary toothless homeless schizophrenic guy who scares everyone away from the strip mall.

  45. 45

    Destroying Spitzer was a coup for our destroyers, abetted without thought but much bile by the rabble as they call us and maybe they are right. This burst of hypocritical shit-throwing comes with a large price tag. Losing Spitzer may have cost the American people many billions by leaving us with the Bozo brigade of Pelosi and Frank and Bernanke and Paulsen unfettered.

    Give me a break. Eliot Spitzer is a grandstanding dildo who wasn’t smart enough to realize that if you’re governor of one of the largest states in the Union that you no longer get to traipse down to D.C. and fuck $2k per hour hookers.

    When he was New York AG Spitzer was a moralizing prick who had no qualms about feeding the fires of the morality jihad that you claim took him down. He busted prostitution rings, bitched about violent video games and was in general another holier-than-thou asshole like Larry Craig or Mark Foley. When he was governor Spitzer did nothing about New York’s draconian and incredibly racist Rockefeller drug laws other than appoint an impotent study coalition. You might think that he was some champion of the little guy because he busted some guys on Wall Street but the truth is that he’s just another one of the hypocritical shit throwers.

  46. 46
    BombIranForChrist says:

    Wow, I thought it was just me, but this is my exact reaction to Slate. If everyone says the sky is blue, then by god they are going to say the sky is white. I know this is their schtick, their ploy for getting readers, but if I am not sure how different "contrarianism" is from "complete bullshit".

    It’s really a shame, because I think their political podcast is awesome, but their written content is as bad as their podcast is good. I try to read the written content in order to support their podcast, but the content is just awful. I can’t stomach it.

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