Don’t you know that it’s different for hippies

Andrew Sullivan heartily heh-indeeds Kevin Drum’s pearl-clutching over the Limbaugh boycotts. Recently, Sullivan wrote of the Limbaugh boycotts:

The right way to counter his speech, in my view, is with speech, not threats to his livelihood.

Sullivan in 2003 on the dirty anti-war crowd (h/t Bob2):

There’s been a huge amount of phony posturing by some people – Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, the Dixie Chicks, et al. – about how their free speech has been trampled by robust criticism and even boycotts. That’s hooey. The government hasn’t touched them; and, of course, shouldn’t. But it’s perfectly legit for other citizens to speak out, boycott, blog, and so on.

102 replies
  1. 1
    Darius says:

    No, Sully’s right; we should counter speech with speech. So I’ll just get on my nationally syndicated radio show and – oh, wait.

  2. 2
    Soonergrunt says:

    Behold, your liberal press.

  3. 3
    paradox says:

    But hey, Andrew says if Obama were Republican his likeness would be on Mt. Rushmore by now.

    [wrinkles nose] I still don’t get this reeking piece of brain shit. Glenzilla says the intellect is worth the time, I’ve just never seen it.

  4. 4
    redshirt says:


    It really covers much of what goes on in America these days.

  5. 5
    RareSanity says:

    Methinks that Sully will find no contradiction in these diametrically opposed opinions. It’s one of the perks of being a “conservative” pundit.

    There is no contradiction of opinion if one of the examples is a DFH, and the other a conservative. Even if both examples are conservatives, there’s still no contradiction, because…why you gotta bring up old shit?

  6. 6
    MariedeGournay says:

    Well we boycott because dunking is illegal. That and we’d need a very large pond.

  7. 7
    Rosalita says:

    Is there any other way to get a conservative’s attention other than by hitting them in their wallet? I didn’t think so. Free speech takes many forms Andrew.

  8. 8
    c u n d gulag says:

    Sully ought to have this disclaimer on his website:

    “Prior opinion is no guarantee of present or future consistency.”

  9. 9
    El Cid says:

    Anyone who for a single second talks about Rush Limbaugh as though his ability to be heard is limited is a nitwit, pure and simple, or duplicitous rightie, or a pompous self-indulgent right-ticking ‘contrarian’, or an Andrew Sullivan who always combines all three tendencies.

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    Limbaugh’s livelihood? He’s a thug. Wealthy, drug-addicted winger thug.

    Question: Why is it necessary to state the obvious?

  11. 11
    khead says:

    If Kevin is really that concerned, I suggest buying ads on Rush’s show. I hear there are plenty of available spots.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    People are countering Limbaugh with speech. They’re speaking out to his advertisers and making the case for said advertisers to drop the show. Some advertisers are choosing to listen. Why does Andrew Sullivan hate free speech?

  13. 13
    quannlace says:

    is with speech, not threats to his livelihood.

    There isn’t a violin tiny enough to accompany that bullshit sentence. The guy is not on the corner shaking a cup full of pencils. He’s a billionaire for Christ’s sake. If he lost his sweet gig tomorrow he’s still set for life. And could still make a tidy pile on the lecture circuit and as a RW martyr to the ‘liberal media.’

  14. 14
    Trinity says:

    @El Cid: This.

    Sullivan is such an insufferable asshat.

  15. 15
    Schlemizel says:

    WAIT! SULLY IS WRONG?!? And it just so happens he is wrong in the same pastadamnmed direction he is ALWAYS wrong in? THATS UNPOSSIBLE!

    So, does his new shithole allow comments? has anyone asked him about the change? Two gay, drug addicted assholes supporting each other is not news.

  16. 16
    Caerus says:

    Sorry, but they’ve been playing dirty for decades. They don’t get to act surprised when we say “screw this” and start hitting them where it hurts. How many lives has Oxy and his ilk ruined? They’re fair targets.

  17. 17
    Carl Nyberg says:

    Sullivan is worse than being inconsistent in these examples.

    In 2003, Sullivan suggests that people who criticize the government on war policy should suffer economically.

    But now Sullivan wants Limbaugh protected from consequences of attacking a private individual.

    These people are authoritarians. The people in power should have power over their lessers in society. And they should be protected from criticism.

  18. 18
    wilfred says:

    Oh, indeed. Boycott – divest – sanction. Slinging words at people who own radio, tv and newspapers is useless.

    BDS works.

  19. 19
    El Cid says:

    @Trinity: Thankfully I can rely upon posters here to bring up his notable public interventions, since I have mostly given up monitoring people whose output is unenlightening (at least in their direct content) and use what little reading time I have for those who truly can contribute to my knowledge and/or entertain me with a humorous take.

    When I had more time I used to do much more ‘opposition research’, even including the far far right nut sources, but now since they’re the mainstream, people do it for me.

  20. 20
    Punchy says:

    Will DougJ further update this when we find out what Sully had for breakfast and what the color of his poop was last nite?

  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    it’s not free speech

    it’s the free market.

    Big Pharma can rant all he wants to…but, nobody has to pay him to do so.

    tired of these folks defending that fat, racist dopehead

  22. 22
    brantl says:

    Sullivan, douchebag to the stars. Don’t try this at home, he’s a professional.

  23. 23
    Redshift says:

    I am countering his speech with speech. I won’t buy from companies that advertise on Limbaugh’s show; how is it wrong for me to use my free speech to tell them so?

    Or to put it another way, Limbaugh constantly uses his free speech to incite people to act in ways that threaten my livelihood. As soon as he stops doing that, I’ll be happy to only oppose him in “nicer” ways.

  24. 24
    Suffern ACE says:

    Yes, but those liberal movie stars and songsters weren’t pundits and when one of the pundit tribes is threatened, well that just cuts too close to home. They know if they start battling each other that way, they’ll be in trouble, as they all command snarling jackals if they want them to.

    They would rather circle the wagons for the tribe. Next week, they’ll be saying “Yeah. It’s not Rush you should blame. Go after Kid Rock.”

  25. 25
    Bob2 says:

    Here’s the link to the Sully archive post:

    To complicate it, I do believe Sullivan changed his mind on this over 9 years, but his recent opinion was hooey.

    To say that other people aren’t exposed to Rush involuntarily is crap. Not just Fluke, but to all the people I knew growing up whose parents listened to right wing radio and had to deal with their parents going increasingly wingnut. For all his support of Dan Savage’s anti-bullying It Gets Better program, he doesn’t seem to realize that right wing radio is the biggest bullying platform out there of gay kids and more speech that isn’t about scaring advertisers will not help them.

    Likewise, I’ve rarely seen such a clear case of slander by American law standards (except maybe Shirley Sherrod).

    Limbaugh demanded a sex tape from Fluke for her “free” healthcare.
    Why should we give Limbaugh free dollars for his show.

  26. 26
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Rosalita: That’s true. The Supreme Court has determined that money IS speech in the Citizens United ruling. I guess Andy must have missed that.

  27. 27

    Doug, Doug, Doug. You’ve already admitted that you have a Sullivan problem, which is the first step. Now it’s time to put it down. Step away from the Daily Dish. One day at a time. Then another; and another.

    We’re here for you, man.

  28. 28
    eemom says:

    hey, here’s an idea — how about you and Cole boycott Sullivan?

    bwaaahaaaahaaaaahaaa. I kill me.

  29. 29
    MBunge says:

    @Carl Nyberg: “These people are authoritarians.”

    At least authoritarians are consistent. Sullivan is too much of a drama queen for that.


  30. 30
    Lawnguylander says:

    Do wingnuts have terms equivalent to “DFH” and “hippie punching” that they pass amongst each other when their enemies criticize them? I hope so because that would be embarrassing for them, though they might not realize it.

  31. 31

    What gets me is that this IS speech – it’s talking to advertisers and convincing them to not pay money to sponsor vitriol.

    This is a discussion and this is speech and this is a forum.

    The usual suspects just have to look a bit to see it.

  32. 32
    terraformer says:

    But it’s perfectly legit for other citizens to speak out, boycott, blog, and so on.

    You see, corporations and businesses are not citizens. Citizens do not have $$ power, and that is as it should be.

  33. 33
    dm9871 says:

    What dmsilev says is exactly right:

    People are combatting Limbaugh with speech. That’s what a boycott is: speech. Or to use the slightly more correct term, “free expression.”

    What fucking idiot Sullivan is.

  34. 34
    Satanicpanic says:

    Boycott Sullivan’s advertisers

  35. 35
    Gex says:

    @dmsilev: You are operating under the old version of free speech. Free speech is now rightwing blowhards saying the most hateful thing ever and demanding silence from those who oppose and praise from everyone else or they’ve had their first amendment rights violated.

    Their first amendment rights are also violated if they have to listen to anyone who disagrees with them.

  36. 36
    Comrade Dread says:

    He hasn’t gotten the memo that money equals speech these days.

  37. 37
    Gex says:

    By the way, does Sullivan realize that he’s basically saying that people can’t change where they shop or they are violating Rush’s free speech? Is that what he’s asserting?

    What a fucking asshole. Why can’t we send him back? What’s the point of all this anti-SSM stuff if we can’t send him back for not marrying his partner?

    ETA: Can you even imagine what a comments section for Sullivan would look like? Yikes.

  38. 38
    iLarynx says:

    Here’s what I sent to Sully on this subject last week (FWIW):

    “Threats to livelihood?” Please. Rush has no guarantee to a livelihood any more or less than anyone else. To suggest that someone patronize a sponsor of such a vile character as Rush Limbaugh even though that someone despises Rush and what he says (as it sound like you are suggesting) is asinine.

    And for me the main thing is not about trying to silence someone, it’s about my economic freedom to support those with whom I agree OR to withhold support for those with whom I disagree.

    Rush promotes political views, persons, and parties with which I am diametrically opposed. And he does this, as do many other wing-nut pundits, through heaping helpings of bullshit shoveled into the microphone “3 hours a day, 5 days a week.” Why should I want to financially support this? And if I have likeminded friends, why shouldn’t I share my disdain for the person/show and for financially supporting it?

    If I buy a product from a sponsor of Rush, I know that some of my money will end up in Rush’s pocket. There is nothing I like about the man nor the entertainer so why would I want to take money out of my pocket and put it into his?

    The biggest threat to Rush’s livelihood is Rush. He’s made an outrageous amount of money ($400mil) spewing hate-filled screeds peppered with lies. If people have decided that they are not going to support that sort of activity with money out of their own pockets, good for them. And what a wonderful expression of freedom. Live by the sword and die by the sword.

    Caveat Venditor.

  39. 39
    Gex says:

    @iLarynx: Like when they complained about gays boycotting establishments after Prop 8, I have to wonder what the remedy would be to restore Rush’s free speech rights. Are the rest of us to be compelled to patronize his advertisers? How would this work exactly? And does that seem “freer” to anyone? Forcing people to spend money where they don’t want to?

  40. 40
  41. 41
    kindness says:

    Andrew sees himself as honorable and filled with virtue. The rest of us…..well, not so much. (insert poorly timed Sanitorum joke here that reduces the little dignity I as a liberal still have).

  42. 42

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  43. 43
    iLarynx says:

    @Darius: Precisely. In the same vein, here’s something I pointed out to Sully –

    Sully:“I remain hostile to campaigns to counter hate speech with anything other than speech.”

    Is this acceptable?

    “I choose not to patronize businesses whose money funds Rush Limbaugh’s bullshit. If you feel the same way, you are welcome to act the same way.”

    This is America – you vote with your dollars. If Rush’s world is spinning in a way I find objectionable, I’m not going to contribute to that spin with my cash. And with the help of the First Amendment, I am free to speak to others about this so they may judge for themselves what their actions may or may not be. Should I also not contribute to or patronize those with whom I do agree? Should I not increase my patronage if I choose to do so because I agree with their position/s? Are you against speech that has any financial effect, positive or negative, or only speech that has a negative effect? Why? […]

    But here is one reason your “hostility” towards certain speech is so absurd. Word for word, Rush’s “speech” is beyond my or any other individual citizen’s ability to match it. You give me 600 stations broadcasting over the public’s airwaves, 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, and I’ll gladly drop my insistence on informing Rush’s sponsors about my purchasing decisions and the reasoning behind them.


  44. 44

    Besides, money = speech; so if advertisers don’t want to spend money on his “work” they de facto are indeed countering speech with speech.

    Also, what Darius @1 said.

    Also, sullivan is talked about/read again why?

  45. 45
    Bulworth says:


    There isn’t a violin tiny enough to accompany that bullshit sentence. The guy is not on the corner shaking a cup full of pencils. He’s a billionaire for Christ’s sake.

    Damn, this thread is full of Win today.

  46. 46
    dan says:

    No, Sully is right. The right way to counter his speech is with speech. I will continue to yell at the radio. We’ll see how that works out.

  47. 47
    Redshift says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    They would rather circle the wagons for the tribe. Next week, they’ll be saying “Yeah. It’s not Rush you should blame. Go after Kid Rock.”

    Works for me. Other than the “not Rush” part, that is.

    Favorite comments from random people around me at the Rally for Sanity when Kid Rock came on stage:

    “I thought this was supposed to be a rally for sanity!”

    (sarcastically) “Oh, great, now I can cross another thing off my bucket list.”

  48. 48
    Brian says:

    Drum’s point (that advertisers may draw the lesson “It’s best to avoid political shows that express an opinion” rather than “It’s best to avoid Rush Limbaugh”) is salient: one of the things that roils around the left blogosphere is the complaint that journalists do too much ‘balanced’ reporting, either by resorting to ‘Opinions differ on shape of earth’ or ‘Both sides do it’ reporting.

    I don’t think that sort of avoidance is a likely outcome from this; there have been boycotts in the past, and there are always threatened boycotts over smaller issues; this particular boycott somehow crossed a huge threshold into the mainstream, and that’s not something which would happen on just any issue.

  49. 49
    Mary says:

    Foolish Sullivan forgets that money IS speech.

  50. 50
    geg6 says:


    Heh. Yes, this.

  51. 51
    Facebones says:

    There’s a quote that I remember being tossed around during the Dixie Chicks controversy back in the day by the egregious Gregg Easterbrook: “Speech is free, but not without cost.”

    Easterbrook is a sanctimonious jerk, but his point is valid. You are perfectly free to express your viewpoints. I am perfectly free to say they are offensive and I won’t buy products you are associated with or go see movies you are in. The sponsor can then look at the ratings for the controversial entertainer and decide if the protests are big enough to outweigh the benefits of sponsorship. Sometimes the answer is yes. (Rush, Glenn Beck) Sometimes no (JC Penny, Ellen Degeneres and the Less than One Million Moms.)

    This is not a free speech issue. The government is not squashing him. It’s his beloved free market at work.

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @dmsilev: Sully is an authoritarian. Only his speech being free matters. The rest of you hippies can suck it.

  53. 53
    Tractarian says:

    Listen, a lot of Sullivan’s idiosyncrasies can be chalked up to shame: shame at having supported the Iraq war; shame at praying a church run by child molesters and their protectors; most of all, shame at having essentially become, over the course of several years, the very thing his beloved mentors despised the most: a liberal. This leads to things like redefining “conservatism” to be “what Andrew likes”; it leads to Charles-Murray-curiosity; it leads to utter disdain directed toward fellow travelers like the Human Rights Campaign.

    But this anti-boycott thing is just really hard to explain with armchair psychology. Especially for someone who professes to revere the free market. Maybe Sullivan was the target of a boycott in the past, and that scared the wits out of him?

  54. 54

    People are combatting Limbaugh with speech. That’s what a boycott is: speech. Or to use the slightly more correct term, “free expression.”

    Yes, Citizens United in reverse. Follow the money, it says “fuck Rush, I ain’t spending no mo on you.”

  55. 55
    Bob2 says:

    In the same Sullivan post:

    “But I don’t like the desire to silence someone through economic pressure. It comes from an illiberal place.
    We can be better than the Greater Israel lobby and its assorted backers.”

    I should point out that it’s a perfectly false equivalence here. Both Limbaugh and the Greater Israel lobby have LIED AND SLANDERED to silence people.

    We tell the truth about Limbaugh and suddenly it comes from an illiberal place according to Sullivan.

  56. 56
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Brian: I would agree with this if people were boycotting Face the Nation, but they are not. Personally, if Ed Schultz would have been let go for calling Laura Ingram a slut, I would not exactly be crying about that. These are not performance artists. They are supposed to be opinionating on public affairs. If the opinion shows all became “boring”, I can’t see how that would be bad for democracy.

  57. 57
    kuvasz says:

    You had to document Sullivan’s hypocrisy? As if anyone with a brain did not know it already? The only thing that offends assholes like Sullivan is the success of the Left. It is a corollary of their “win-at-any-cost” philosophy, in that what matters is not playing fairly but winning, and if the other side wins, well then, they aren’t playing fairly.

  58. 58
    Emma says:

    @Gex: We can’t send him back because the Brits won’t take him. They export their second-rate conservative pundits to their former colonies.

  59. 59
    iLarynx says:

    Well, Sully’s views on a lot of things has changed quite a bit since the earlier quote. But his current argument is still vacuous. The livelihood of Rush shouldn’t be threatened through boycotts? Why? Better yet, why not?

    Rush and his spawn like Hannity, Beck, and Breitbart threaten the livelihoods of those with whom they disagree EVERY SINGLE DAY (Heard from Shirley Sherrod lately? How about NPR’s Vivian Schiller? Van Jones, etc., etc.? Cry me a f-ing river over Rush’s “threatened livelihood”). And, here’s the key, they do so NOT with mere “speech,” but with BULLSHIT and BALD-FACED LIES. They do so over the public’s airwaves in a rigged system that prevents the free exchange of ideas and counterpoints so that the perspective/s presented are only those of monied interests from within a very narrow band of the political spectrum. A debate on facts and equal access is a reasonable request. Claiming that boycotts are out of bounds is not.Indeed, boycotts are a rather low-calibre weapon to use as they almost always fail to have any impact at all. A boycott of sponsors is a reasonable, logical, and fair tool to use when trying to counter the outright lies and propaganda being spewed over the airwaves 24 hours a day.

  60. 60
    Ian says:

    “Cameron proudly champions socialized medicine”

    No, you fucking Tory idiot, while he’s over here, his party, abled by the Lib Dem fuckers are gleefully shredding the NHS. If anything, he’s laying the foundation for moving the UK to a US system.

  61. 61
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Punchy: Yer point?

  62. 62
    Percysowner says:


    Listen, a lot of Sullivan’s idiosyncrasies can be chalked up to shame: shame at having supported the Iraq war; shame at praying a church run by child molesters and their protectors; most of all, shame at having essentially become, over the course of several years, the very thing his beloved mentors despised the most: a liberal. This leads to things like redefining “conservatism” to be “what Andrew likes”; it leads to Charles-Murray-curiosity; it leads to utter disdain directed toward fellow travelers like the Human Rights Campaign.

    I agree that Sully is ashamed of supporting the war in Iraq, but not enough to apologize to the people he basically called traitors because they didn’t support it. As to the rest, well I’m pretty certain Sully would be A-Okay with the Catholic church as long as they changed their stance on homosexuality. If Sully’s orientation was okay with the church I’m fairly certain he would be defending the church on the pedophilia scandals.

    IMHO, Sully is in no way shape or form a liberal. For him money reigns supreme, the dark folk are genetically deficient poor people deserve to be poor and women are completely beneath his interest.

    I do agree that Sully is defining conservatism by what Sully likes, but what Sully likes is what is good for Sully, not necessarily anyone else.

  63. 63
    McJulie says:

    Actually, I have seen this same concern — that anti-Limbaugh boycotts are compromising the sacred principle of free speech — expressed by people who are sincere and committed liberals.

    Personally, I think it’s a trick. Any time liberals threaten to boycott something based on the malfeasance of the right, somebody will publicly call into question whether that’s an appropriate thing to do if you care about free speech.

    Liberals, who do care about free speech (unlike right wingers), and are famously prone to self-doubt (unlike right wingers), start to worry that encouraging a boycott of Limbaugh’s sponsors is the same thing as wanting the government to boot him off the airwaves, and start to express this thought.

    Meanwhile, right wingers laugh their asses off, as liberals voluntarily, and with the best of intentions, once again fail to fight back against the right wing juggernaut.

    Really, the fact that this works probably tells you everything you need to know about why the right has more power than it should.

  64. 64

    not threats to his livelihood

    I don’t know how much money Limbaugh has, but it has to be tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions. Should we be feeling sorry that now he might have to stop “working” and just live off the money he’s made already? If he finds that it’s hard to get by on a stash of $100,000,000, then he could always move to the Dominican Republic. The cost of living is lower there. I bet even a relative pauper who has only $50,000,000 could stay alive there, if he watched his spending.

  65. 65
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I think DougJ does us a service. Sully is more influential than a lot of bloggers and pundits, and if he’s committing asshattery, I want to know, but I don’t want to have to read it, because I sneak the reading in at work, mostly. SHHH! Don’t tell my boss!
    So I’m interested in it, just to know what people like Sully are saying. People like Sully are the conservative/libertarian blowhards that cling to unproven “a priori economic principles that are mainly an excuse to enrich the already wealthy. Maybe it’s no surprise, but when Sully shows such breathtaking hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness, the esteem in which he seems to be held by many is a complete mystery.
    If nothing else, it’s entertaining. Why do you read Dougj’s posts about Sully? If you didn’t, why did you bother commenting? I don’t understand people who read a post, and, concluding the subject of the post wasn’t worth the blogger’s effort, take the time to comment about it.

  66. 66
    Percysowner says:

    @Suffern ACE: I don’t disagree, although Ed Schultz only used it once, got suspended (or suspended himself depending on the source) for two weeks immediately and apologized at length on air. He also apparently called the lady in question and apologized personally. He did not repeat the word 53 times and double down on how persecuted he was. To this day, he says he was wrong to call her that.

    Bill Maher, OTOH was way out of line. But he is on HBO and doesn’t have sponsors to boycott. Whatever complaints were received were apparently not enough to pull him from the air. Again, AFAIK, it was a one time thing (don’t have HBO, don’t care enough about Maher to look into the situation). I’m reasonably certain he DIDN’T apologize, so yeah, he is a douche, but he doesn’t seem to have continued to describe Sarah Palin in that particular term over a series of days while listing all the ways she was what he called her.

    Neither man called the women involved prostitutes. Nor did they suggest that those women produce pornography for their pleasure. Basically, the situations are similar, but not the same

  67. 67
    zubalove says:

    Dear lord. Aren’t these the people that are always equating MONEY WITH SPEECH?! A millionaire can’t bankroll a candidate, well that’s a free speech issue. Consumers won’t buy products that are promoted through a misogynist? Well, don’t assault his livelihood, counter him through debate. What crap. It’s the free market. If they don’t like it, they should just find themselves a socialist country to live in. Commies.

  68. 68
    Bob2 says:

    Sullivan lives in his rich world bubble.
    He’s even posted links to threads of people who believe Fluke is a slut in right wing arenas, but does not seem to realize that they will not ever believe she isn’t a slut now that Rush said so. No amount of arguing or free speech can take that initial lie back when you live in a nearly unbreakable media bubble. I’ve seen people I’ve known for years reposting links to how Fluke’s a slut who testified about wanting free contraception.

    Guess how you break the media bubble? Boycott lies and the lying liars who tell them.

    Sullivan’s been known to cave occasionally to logic if you rub his face in it long enough. This is the reason we do this.

    Still, he hasn’t ever taken back calling Paul Ryan brave. He tells us that Paul Ryan was brave for trying to sell us a shit sandwich Medicare while being in no threat whatsoever in his heavily Republican district to losing his job.

    Then we get told it’s the Lie of the Year after Paul Ryan e-mailed his supporters to upvote Politifact’s Lie of the Year, but god forbid anyone NOTICE THAT THE LIE OF THE YEAR WAS UP FOR A FUCKING VOTE BY THE PUBLIC….via the Internet. Good god sample size issues.

    Bravery? The Dixie Chicks were brave for standing by what they said (except being uncivil to a sitting president…sigh) and taking the financial hit.

  69. 69
    Mary says:


    But this anti-boycott thing is just really hard to explain with armchair psychology. Especially for someone who professes to revere the free market. Maybe Sullivan was the target of a boycott in the past, and that scared the wits out of him?

    I think it’s much simpler than that. For Sullivan, every issue has two teams, and his support will always lie in favor of the team with whom he most identifies. On a fundamental level, I suspect he identifies more closely with Rush Limbaugh (conservative male political commentator) than with Sandra Fluke (liberal female political activist whose primary issue is one that has no direct relevance in Sullivan’s life). If the outrage du jour was over Limbaugh calling gay activists a bunch of sex-crazed f*gs, I’d bet you dollars to donuts that Sully would be among the first voices to call for a boycott.

  70. 70
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Good for highlighting the hypocrisy. I’ll be happy to see no more Sully posts when the only opinion space he can get is in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times letters to the editor.

  71. 71
    Silver says:

    Radley Balko did the same thing yesterday, linking to a piece from Tucker Carlson’s vanity project. Both sides do it! Many of the commentators jumped on it, and one astute person pointed out that Bill Maher doesn’t quite have the hold on the Democrats that Limbaugh has on the Republicans.

    Stick to the police stuff, Radley. You look like a fucking idiot when you get out of your wheelhouse.

  72. 72
    Silver says:


    You think so? I think he’d come back for more. The GOP has been calling homosexuals every name in the book for a the last 30 years, and every time a blue-eyed waif like Paul Ryan comes along, Sullivan feels the need to publicly masturbate over the new savior of mankind.

  73. 73

    This is why we need to keep (rhetorically) punching these assholes in the mouth. They know damn well they don’t have anything left in their arsenal except being a part of the Establishment and outright lying about their opposition.

    Eventually, we will break through.

    And then it’s game time for real.

  74. 74
    kay says:

    Oh, bullshit.
    The unelected conservative leadership have huge clout and huge influence, yet they’re accountable to no one but their advertisers or media moguls.

    Sarah Palin all but dominated the health care debate, yet no one can vote her out, of anything, which is nice for her, because she can say anything she wants with no repercussions.

    Conservatives have set up this huge network of mouthpieces that are not elected, accountable to no one, and now they’re whining that ordinary people are using the SINGLE lever they hold to call them on some of the bullshit they spew?

    Half the old people in this country believe that Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi set up panels designed to kill them. Palin, and the conservative leaders who kiss her ass and grovel at her feet, suffered no sanction of any kind for that lie. What else are ordinary people supposed to do BUT go after the advertisers to discredit these clowns?

  75. 75
    TK-421 says:

    My first instinct with Sullivan is always the same instinct with cable news (which also drives me up the wall with its OCD-like inanity): just turn him off.

    But no, that’s not right, because if Sullivan is ignored then it will only embolden him to become even more ridiculous. I recommend more of this type of posting, where Sullivan is only paid attention to when he’s being an asshat.

    He can get praise posts when he starts acknowledging and atoning for his regular asshattery. Until then, it’s all mockery.

  76. 76
    TG Chicago says:

    Ever notice how Sullivan’s “Yglesias Awards” are really just “Here’s someone who’s normally a winger who, in this one instance, sounds like a moderate Republican would sound (if such a creature actually existed)”.

    Really it’s just Sullivan congratulating people for the fact that they agree with Sullivan.

  77. 77
    Brian says:

    @Rosalita: And the supreme court even ruled that money is speech, so where is the problem.

  78. 78
    Bob2 says:

    I had a long e-mail to Sully that I never hit send on because I was furious for ages after that post.

    For a guy who cites Orwell on his main page, he simply does not realize how brainwashing works. When you listen to Rush, Jones, and Beck 3 hours a day every weekday, that is the simple basics of brainwashing technique. He should read more Aldous Huxley on this because Orwell was less right for our times.

    This particular post of his struck close to home for me though. My best friend has parents who listened to Beck, Alex Jones etc. and his parents bought gold, bought emergency rations, bought another house to hide. Meanwhile he couldn’t find a job, was suffering from severe depression, being told he was worthless by his parents among other things. They spent thousands on this other paranoid shit and couldn’t be bothered to spend a bit on his medical care because if he can’t he’s not pulling himself up by his bootstraps and weak. Btw, some of these radio hosts have a nice side business in the emergency rations, etc. biz.

    When Sully says Rush types don’t affect people because they can turn off the bile, it’s simply not true.

    He also doesn’t realize liberals are punished much harsher from conservatives when they get caught speaking. The dude with an Asian wife who read “chink in the armor” without realizing the racism at ESPN got 30 days suspension. The guy who intentionally called Danica Patrick a bitch at a Fox news sports thing in San Diego got a week. NPR? Schilling? etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

  79. 79


    For a guy who cites Orwell on his main page, he simply does not realize how brainwashing works. When you listen to Rush, Jones, and Beck 3 hours a day every weekday, that is the simple basics of brainwashing technique. He should read more Aldous Huxley on this because Orwell was less right for our times.

    “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” — Aldous Huxley

  80. 80
    Phoebe says:

    The post by Drum is not even making the “threat to his livelihood” argument, he’s making the slippery slope argument — if we force Rush out because he was insanely offensive, then the bosses will be too gun-shy to hire anyone with any opinions at all. It’s the least stupid argument I’ve heard against the boycott by far, although not persuasive to me. I’m very willing at this point to slide down that slope. I’ll dig my heels in when I have to, though I can’t, at this point, even imagine a world where I wish people were just more refreshingly opinionated and obnoxious.

  81. 81
    Frivolous says:

    It seems a bit of an oversight that DougJ quoted those two earlier Sullivan posts but not the current one that he linked to, which was an excerpt from Kevin Drum:

    Limbaugh is getting what he finally deserves. I couldn’t be happier about it. I just hope that down the road this doesn’t turn into a preemptive boycott of every political gabber out there who has even the smallest chance of ever producing any national blowback. That runs the risk of turning every show into a bland marshmallow. It wouldn’t make the world a better place.

    I’m not sure I’d call that pearl-clutching by Kevin Drum.

    DougJ can cherry-pick Sullivan quotes if he wants, of course.

    Edit: Yeah, what Phoebe just said. :)

  82. 82
    jim filyaw says:

    the only thing i check sullivan for is the links. i realized a long time ago that his narcissism is exceeded only by his ignorance.

  83. 83
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:


    But this anti-boycott thing is just really hard to explain with armchair psychology.

    Sullivan tends to be reflexively anti-populist on domestic matters. And this is a case of ‘the little people’ working in aggregate to hurt a public figure. Hence the reflex.

    (Internationally, of course, he’s a true democrat in the original sense of the word– he’ll even change the color of his blog for you, in solidarity!)

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    Eat shit and die of AIDS, sullivan.

  85. 85
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @TenguPhule: Are you trying to imitate a freeper commenter or something?

  86. 86
    Zak44 says:

    My, my, my. How their tunes have changed. Here’s a great mashup of O’Reilly and his fellow Foxheads back in 2008, madly spinning to convince everyone how powerless G.W. Bush was in the face of $4-a-gallon gas:

  87. 87
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I adore Andrew Sullivan, but have to admit that he’s being very hypocritical re the Limbaugh boycott given his former stance on the Dixie Chicks situation.

    Someone needs to call him out and have him respond.

  88. 88
    Frivolous says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    A deeply unpleasant comment, yes.

    On the other hand, I’m laughing at the idea of telling someone to eat santorum.

  89. 89
    Tonal Crow says:


    …Two gay, drug addicted assholes supporting each other is not news.

    Sullivan’s wrongs don’t excuse your bigotry.

  90. 90
    Bob2 says:

    Slippery slope is a type of logical fallacy. And that for it not be, you’d have to prove several conditions in this instance. And that’s where Drum gets this wrong and is pearl clutching. There’s no way he can prove it. He has a track record of doing this sort of shit now too.

    The broader point is that the cult of the savvy likes to take contrarian positions more than they actually want to get to the core of the issue. Then they get cited by say as liberals who disagree!
    “Kevin Drum, Mother Jones: But does that mean Democrats were justified in describing the Ryan plan as “ending” Medicare? I know we all have our tribal loyalties here, but come on. There’s no question that this is intended to mislead people into thinking that medical coverage for seniors will literally go away entirely. But it wouldn’t. … Democrats shouldn’t say that Ryan’s plan “ends” Medicare. It doesn’t, and there are plenty of short, punchy ways of making the same point more accurately.”

    Except that if you click Drum’s article, it’s just sloppy writing since he substantively agrees with the Democratic point in a lot of ways, but semantically not.

  91. 91
    Brian says:

    @@Suffern ACE: I agree with you. I just wanted to highlight Drum’s actual position, not DougJ’s (mis)characterization of it.

  92. 92
    JG says:

    As I emailed to Sully (which makes me feel better, though I know it has no impact):

    You have a right to free speech, you don’t have the right to a free megaphone.

    I (gasp) deigned to imply that Sully likewise has no “right” to his perch at the Beast or his previous vanity project. Rush can yell from a street corner, publish a website, or hand out leaflets all he wants, but I don’t have to pay for it. Isn’t Sully supposed to be all about the invisible masturbatory hand of the free market?

  93. 93
    Brachiator says:


    Andrew Sullivan heartily heh-indeeds Kevin Drum’s pearl-clutching over the Limbaugh boycotts. Recently, Sullivan wrote of the Limbaugh boycotts

    Funny how Sully ignores the fact that some of the advertisers were deeply offended and pulled their ads independent of any demands from boycotters.

    And I can’t tell if Sully is really a big free speech guy or just disdains the average citizen who doesn’t edit a magazine or control a microphone.

  94. 94
    salvarsan says:

    Starting far back, I do not see that this is a boycott, nor should it be framed as one.

    Perhaps it’s imprudent to advertise on a show whose host alienates your most likely clients.

    Pure market forces are at work — advertisers leave because Rush dissed their prime demographic: women ages 24-55.

    Most politely, Rush fired himself but is allowed to remain on air in a sinecure position.

  95. 95
    Gex says:

    @Howlin Wolfe: Conservatives in training. I don’t like X, so no one should be allowed to have X.

    X can be weed, SSM, or posts on Sullivan.

  96. 96
    Auldblackjack says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero):
    “Yes, Citizens United in reverse.”
    So, the decision would be called United Citizens.

  97. 97
    Michael says:

    I wish we didn’t have to bother to make fun of Sully.

  98. 98
    pbg says:

    I propose we take up a collection to help Rush get himself a Blogspot page.
    In the name of free spech, you know. And stuff like that.

  99. 99
    David Koch says:

    Lemme get this straight — progressive better Kevin Drum always complains that Obama isn’t liberal enough is now attacking the liberals for boycotting a disgusting pig like Limbaugh?

    When fascism comes, it will come riding on a purity pony, wrapped in a totebag.

  100. 100
    renska says:

    Kevin drum. Pearl-clutching? Say it ain’t so.

    Drum was the first blogger I followed, back when I found the political internets, but he drove me away with is dismissal of all the critics pre-Iraq invasion, and afterwards, when things went to shit, his dismissal that the critics had ever had a point in the first place.

    Because, of course, dirty fucking hippies are never right, even when they are.

    Fuck you, Kevin Drum.

  101. 101
    wetcasements says:

    If Andrew Sullivan were 1/5 as clever as he thinks he is he’d be Stephen Hawking.

    A completely inconsistent shill. Just wait until he starts fellating Romney if it looks like he’ll beat Obama.

  102. 102
    Joe says:

    Did you know that Rush Limbaugh is broadcast by the AFRTS – the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service? Three hours a day by the U.S. government, so there are first amendment issues involved with broadcasting that fat cretin.

    I know they used to broadcast 1 hour of the Al Franken show after years of pressure from the democrats, but I don’t know if they replaced his show after he became a congressman or not.

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