Single Stupidest Thing I’ve Read Today…

…although it’s just gone 2:30, so there’s time.

That monument to stupidity? This John Hinderaker quote in which he describes Douglas Donald “Magic Johnson’s too black for me” Sterling thusly:

“[a] pathetic figure: a reverse image of Othello, a doddering old man with a young black mistress who cheats on him.”


Bad Shakespeare, bad simile, and a terrible argument (being old and pissed off means you get a get-out-of-racist-shit-free card?).  The best (worst) of it for me, though, lies with entire conceit.  Sterling-as-Othello (with a touch of Lear — that doddering bit) is at once tragic and heroic.  Sterling as a vicious f**k  who has merely committed the ultimate Kinsey gaffe, revealing the truth about himself that never quite escaped in court or from sealed settlements….that guy never seems to trouble the spotless sunshine of Mr. Hinderaker’s mind.

Seriously — this guy is taken, by some, as an exemplar of learned and rigorous right wing thought.  Subtle bigotry of low expectations, I’m afraid.

Image Quentin Massys, An Allegory of Folly, early 16th c.  And yeah, I’ve used this one before.  Fits, doesn’t it?


52 replies
  1. 1
    🌷 Martin says:

    You can’t cheat the game. Assrocket is pretty much always the stupidest thing you will read today if you choose to read him just as LeBron James is going to have the best dunk you see all day if you invite him to the elementary school pick-up games.

  2. 2

    Looks like problem solved. Next shiny object, please!

  3. 3
    Cassidy says:

    Daaaaaaammmmmmnnnn! I’m honestly surprised.

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @🌷 Martin: In a perfect world, Assrocket would be banned for life from posting on the internet.

  5. 5
    Jordan Rules says:

    @Cassidy: Me too.

  6. 6
    Bill Arnold says:

    A lawyersgunsandmoney comment thread has been having fun with this one. (There are three hacks of the day to vote on.).

  7. 7
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: It seems like sports leagues are better than they used to be, at least they are when the public forces them to be.

  8. 8
    burnspbesq says:

    I don’t think any of us really need to be reminded that Hinderaker is an ass. Got anything new and interesting to share?

  9. 9
    beth says:

    I might go with that Newsmax story about how Juan William’s wife got carjacked at a gas station (she got out, he rushed past her, jumped in the car and took off) and she said “I wish I’d had a gun”. What was she going to do, blindly fire in the direction of a fleeing car – at a busy gas station? Now that’s stupid.

  10. 10
    dr. bloor says:

    Assrocket’s reading of Othello is that Iago is a man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, and he can’t get anyone to notice…a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.

  11. 11
    scav says:

    @SatanicPanic: Wonder if they felt the change of owner generation gave them sufficient cover for shedding past liabilities, c’est-à-dire, Sterling, without having to incur any consequences and questions about how this was OK for so long?

  12. 12
    RaflW says:

    Hindrocket being an idiot/asshole? Unthinkable!

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    @beth: A sure-fire (so to speak) Darwin Award winner.

  14. 14
    SatanicPanic says:

    Tom, the day is young. There will be far stupider things said today.
    Shameless nutpicking of the top comment on the CNN story:

    “If the players are so outraged and disgusted by this man, they should stop taking his money in the form of paychecks. That would prove they want nothing to do with him.”

  15. 15
    VOR says:

    “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.” John Hinderaker.

    Always consider the source.

  16. 16
    RaflW says:

    @Cassidy: Wow, total ban and pushing to sell his interest.

    The $2.5M fine is a pittance, but who really cares about that. I’m not sure that Silver can get 75% of owners to vote to force divestiture, though.

    Interesting days. I’m sure some wingers are freaking out right about now.

  17. 17
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    Interesting days. I’m sure some wingers are freaking out right about now.

    “They’re treading on Sterling’s right to free speech!”

  18. 18
    RaflW says:

    @SatanicPanic: Mookie Wilson had a great response on TDS last night about the team boycotting. They’d be punishing themselves for the assholishness of their owner. Not a viable or just response.

    But then, I’m sure all sorts of comment sections are suggesting unjust (and stupid!) things for the players to do.

  19. 19
    Mandalay says:

    Only a lawyer could concoct the arguments Hinderaker dreams up to defend Sterling:

    The political motive to make Donald Sterling the poster boy for 21st century racism is obvious, but is he actually a racist? I have never met the man, but it doesn’t seem probable. He owns a basketball team on which 12 of the 14 players are black. The coach is black. Sterling has black friends, like Earvin Johnson…

    Sterling owns a black team with a black coach so it’s improbable that he is a racist? What if he owned a plantation?

    Well now the teams pwns him. I wonder how Hinderaker likes them apples.

  20. 20
    drkrick says:

    @RaflW: This is the sort of thing you don’t propose unless you’re sure you’re going to win. What owner is going to be known as one of those who voted against it?

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    @RaflW: I wonder how many people have said things that, if made public, would get them banned for life from something like the NBA. This includes things said while drunk or in college.

  22. 22
    drkrick says:

    @Mandalay: Citing Sterling’s friendship with Earvin Johnson is kind of a tell he hasn’t been following the story very closely.

  23. 23
    catclub says:

    @drkrick: I think Mark Cuban is likely to vote against, given some of his statements.

  24. 24
    RaflW says:

    @VOR: I’ve always wondered why Shrub took up painting. I thought it was to pass the time.

    Now I see that he’s so dumb, he thought Hindrocket was telling him that if he was also a laughable painter, that decades later we’d double-recognize his genius!

  25. 25
    SatanicPanic says:

    @RaflW: Yeah, how is it their job to do anything? People are stupid.

  26. 26
    Betty Cracker says:

    @drkrick: And he’s also repeating the debunked “Sterling is a Democrat” meme. Hinderaker is Jim Hoft with a better-paying gig. He’s Kristol-level wrong about everything, all of the time, and yet is quoted widely as if he were a savant, including by a wingnut columnist in my local paper.

  27. 27
    bupalos says:

    @Cassidy: Why? They are leaving this guy’s profit nearly 100% intact. They could have done something that actually damaged his asset, including releasing players and coaches from clipper contracts and starting a new expansion franchise. Instead they are just letting him sell it. Hell, they would do much more financial damage to him if instead of banning him and having him sell they mandated the exact opposite. That he had to come to all the games and was not allowed to sell the franchise.That would have been a penalty. But the NBA will always do what makes the most money for the NBA. If that means allowing an obvious racist scumbag to own a team, that’s what they’ll do and what they did. The second they make more money not allowing the racist scumbag to own the team, they’ll do that.

  28. 28
    Schlemizel says:

    NPR reported that Cuban tweeted complete agreement with the bosses action against Sterling.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @bupalos: Look, they publicly told a racist asshole that they don’t want any further association with him. People own sports teams for ego reasons; Sterling’s ego just got kicked hard in the the junk.

  30. 30
    bupalos says:


    Nope he already tweeted full agreement. The part of this that I think few will get that don’t think about the real financial interests here is that the rest of the owners will make the most money by a) kicking him out and b) making sure he gets full value on exit. Leaving the Sterling intact would damage the whole NBA and ownership structure severely. In fact, it would damage Sterling himself more severely than the forced removal. So everything dictates that he has to go. But they will try to hurt him as little as possible. He’s still one of them. They’ll still allow him to profit wildly off his ownership. Anything else would be too threatening to the other owners, most of whom have social pathologies of one kind or another. It would be too threatening to this whole structure of civic sports ownership itself.

  31. 31
    bupalos says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    So how many hundred million did they hurt his feefees? Because they’re making sure he walks away with about 8. And they don’t have to do that. And everyone who’s anyone is already calling him a racist asshole for free.

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @bupalos: I haven’t read the NBA constitution; what more do they have the power to do?

  33. 33
    Forked Tongue says:

    To my mind, the stupidest thing in Assrocket’s piece and, indeed, in the entire universe was this:

    “This sad domestic drama has become the best evidence the Left can come up with of the ongoing legacy of slavery and discrimination.”

    He’s so right! I can’t come up with any better evidence, can you?

  34. 34
    TG Chicago says:

    @beth: Does that even count as carjacking? Seems more like cartaking. Was her safety ever threatened? If not, she’s making an incredibly irresponsible argument for a gun being involved.

    Even “Stand Your Ground” laws don’t let you shoot at a guy who took your car, but never put you in any threat of physical harm.

  35. 35
    TG Chicago says:

    @Mandalay: I’d have said it was improbable that he was a racist, too…

    …up until the moment he was documented saying and doing incredibly racist shit.

  36. 36
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    He’s still one of them.

    Is he. though? He bought in in 1981, when the only postseason games that were shown live on national television were those that were played on the weekends. He bought a shitty franchise on the cheap and rarely invested a dime back into it, even while reaping the financial benefits of the national tv contracts- the irony here being that the Clippers were rarely ever on a national tv broadcast until very recently.

    Meanwhile, there are a lot of owners who paid nine figures for their franchises at the height of the NBA’s popularity, and the value of those franchises (as pointed out above)will decline if there’s a boycott. I think these owners will take a look at the bottom line and send the cheap opportunist packing.

  37. 37
    bupalos says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: As it’s been explained to me, a 75% vote of the owners can pretty much do anything. Including amending the NBA constitution. They could definitely rule that Stirling has broken faith with the league and players and invalidate contracts. And they can always create an expansion team wherever they want.

    The reality is these are just a bunch of billionaires mostly with their own social pathologies, and they aren’t going to do anything that puts their guaranteed income stream at theoretical risk.

    Cuban as the outsider was the only one dumb enough to quickly spout off something about values, though in reality that was about the “value” of owning billion dollar civic properties while being a redonkulous racist scum. I think they probably explained to him that forcing him out is the best way to defend Stirling’s property in this case, as well as the best way to defend Cuban’s own.

  38. 38
    Someguy says:

    I’m not reading too much into Sterling being a racist douche. We’re shocked, shocked to find a US billionaire is a racist pig? Really? RUSerious? If my middle class neighbors were racist douches, I’d be shocked by that. They seem pretty decent. For that matter if most people I encountered in daily life turned out that way I’d be deeply shocked. But some pampered ass billionaire, who is known to be one of the nation’s greediest, epic greedy slumlord bastard?

    No, that isn’t shocking at all. Sorry I can’t join the ShockedFace Brigade with you Tom.

    I’m not shocked by what Cuban said about slippery slopes, either. Speaking of unprincipled billionaires, the next time Mr. Cuban mentions his perception that some of the NBA refs are on the take (there’s recent precedent for that too, BTW) he’s liable to lose his franchise.

    I’d like to apply some neutral principle to judge these rich bastards and say Sterling is bad, Cuban is bad, what the league did is good. But none of that applies. This is solely about money and expediency. You can’t damage the business the way Sterling did and expect to keep your (antitrust exempt) franchise. That is *all* this controversy is about for most of the main cast.

  39. 39
    bupalos says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): My argument is that sending him packing is the best thing they can do for him. He’ll lose hundreds of millions if he remains the owner of the LA Clippers.

    Now it also happens to be the best thing they can do for themselves, so I’m not sure it reveals much.

    But while yesterday Cuban was all “don’t take his property for his private views” today he’s all “oh, totally has to go.” The thread that runs between this is that him being forced out is a favor.

  40. 40
    bupalos says:

    @Someguy: Exactly.

  41. 41
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    I think the difference of opinion here is that you seem to think that it would be a tough decision for the other owners, while I think it’s a slam dunk.

  42. 42
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beth: The gun is a magic talisman that conveys protective powers. Thus, the servants of the Dark One would have fled from her terrible visage in awe and envy rather than profiling her as a distracted rich lady with a Car I’d Like to Steal or C.I.L.S.

  43. 43
    bupalos says:

    @Forked Tongue: It’s insane in two directions. For one, it really is excellent evidence of the persistence of racism when “blacks” are so socially toxic to this billionaire (and the friends that call him) that he has to caution his call girl not to get in the same frame with them. So you shouldn’t be able to find any better evidence. But can you? Yeah.

  44. 44
    bupalos says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): No I agree it’s a slam dunk. I’m saying for them there isn’t any decision to be made between these things. They are rewarding Stirling to the highest extent they can while protecting themselves. Again, “forcing” him out is the greatest favor they can do him and will result in the highest sale price because it’s the cleanest break for the franchise. He’s one of them, and they aren’t going to actually mess with his franchise value by, for instance, taking his players away.

    The message this sends externally is “we don’t allow these social pathologies.” The message it sends internally is “we’ll defend all owners financial interest to the best extent we can, no matter how big an anti-social freak you are.”

    Cuban’s about-face is the most instructive thing here.

  45. 45
    dp says:

    Donald, not Douglas, but yeah.

  46. 46
    Tom Levenson says:

    @dp: Oh yeah. Feh. Fix’t.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:


    So how many hundred million did they hurt his feefees?

    Their goal isn’t to punish him. If anything, the other owners really don’t want to set a precedent that the league can substantially diminish the value of a franchise because they’re all afraid it might happen to them. What they are interested in doing is making it clear to the public that his actions are not tolerated so the league as a whole doesn’t take a popularity hit because of this. Forcing him to sell the team at market price lets them get rid of a problem without setting the precedent that an owner can be forced to sell at a bargain price.

  48. 48
    JaneE says:

    @Someguy: Actually, a lot of my pretty decent middle class neighbors are racist douches.

    So far I have managed to ignore innuendo and dog whistles and push back in a civil manner when they really get outrageous. These are people who are perfectly nice so long as you don’t talk about anything involving race. I was surprised to learn that the woman next door really does believe that the president was born in Kenya, or at least not in the US, and is EVIL. And on the other side, they KNOW that illegals all get special welfare benefits that legal immigrants don’t (because she is a legal immigrant and didn’t get any welfare benefits). It really is TRUE. They don’t have to have examples because they heard it on FOX.

    One day I will decide that it isn’t worth it to stay on speaking terms and just explode, but for now I just point out examples that contradict their latest example of outrage and how unlikely their conspiracy theories are and try to change the conversation to safer topics.

  49. 49
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore: It seems to me that the main goal is that the stink that is now attached to Sterling doesn’t rub off on them.

  50. 50
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Meanwhile, there are a lot of owners who paid nine figures for their franchises at the height of the NBA’s popularity, and the value of those franchises (as pointed out above)will decline if there’s a boycott. I think these owners will take a look at the bottom line and send the cheap opportunist packing.

    And those are the owners that Adam Silver is closest to, in part because they were the ones who backed him on things like NBA TV and digital rights deals.

    In other news, Assrocket remains a pasty wingnut welfare case who faps to pageants.

  51. 51
    bupalos says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s my exact point, if you follow back. They COULD do things that would actually punish him. They won’t. Because he is one of them. And that is why Cuban wanted to defend him yesterday but got the memo and wants to “punish” him today.

  52. 52
    Wally Ballou says:

    Sterling as a vicious f**k who has merely committed the ultimate Kinsey gaffe,

    Nitpick: I’m pretty sure that should read “ultimate Kinsley gaffe”. Unless, that is, you’re privy to some new Sterling depravity that I haven’t yet seen reported.

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