Late Night Open Thread: Easily Triggered White Men, the Internet Equivalent of Herpes

They won’t kill you, probably, but it’s irksome that they never go away permanently. The Chicago Maroon presents: Conservative University of Chicago Law Professor M. Todd Henderson:

Henderson said in a tweet Tuesday that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the Supreme Court because “her Latinaness gave us insight into her soul.”

His tweet, which said she is a “second-class intellect,” immediately drew sharp criticism from members of the University community and beyond. Some questioned how Henderson was a professor at the Law School; one user wrote, “Your dumb ass couldn’t get onto the food court.”

After initially fighting back against his critics, Henderson issued a half-apology Tuesday evening, again via tweet. He said that having another woman and Hispanic on the Court was a good thing, but argued that there are dozens of appeals court judges “smarter” than Justice Sotomayor. Still, he said, if he were a senator he would have confirmed her to the Court.

Henderson deactivated his Twitter account on Wednesday…

And, of course, along with being a coward, he’s a repeat offender:

… This is not particularly out of character for Henderson. He defended the Law School’s Edmund Burke Society after it advertised a debate using a whip sheet that said immigrants bring “disease into the body politic.”…

In 2010, Henderson wrote in a widely-mocked blog post (also now deleted) that his family was just getting by and that President Obama’s tax hikes on households making over $250,000 might force him to sell his house. In that same post, Henderson said he paid $100,000 in federal and state taxes, which, according to Business Insider, would make his annual household income around $400,000.

By all means click the link, because for full effect, you want to see his publicity still — complete with manly, professorial props!

Henderson and his less-tweedy fellows decided to have their extremely online snit because the NYTimes hired Sarah Jeong, who has previously been snarky on Twitter, and then refused to un-hire her no matter how loud the screams about ethics in online journalism. (Presumably because it’s harder to find a sharp, smart tech writer than another Brave Pundit willing to ask the Bold Questions: ‘Why can’t white people use the n-word?’) Much shade was thrown, in response to nasty brutish & short rages by perennial offenders such as the epically self-pwning Andrew Sullivan. If you’re curious, Roy Edroso has an excellent aggregated summary of the whole kerfuffle: “Oh, the Caucasity!…Won’t anyone think of the white male Christians?

Among the Jeong tweets that seems to have so offended the Hendersonian white men?

How did the mansplainer drown in a puddle?
It was a WELL, actually

77 replies
  1. 1

    Theeeese fuckin shitheads.

  2. 2
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    One could wade through Jimmy Woods’ twitter sewer feed and find awful stuff from 2018 and not even have to go back to 2014. All in context too.

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    My favorite part is Andrew Sullivan’s very public self-pwn of being shocked at the naked racism of his own words that are being parodied back to him. 😂

  4. 4
    Yutsano says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: That would require me going back through the Twitter feed of a washed-up actor who only survives by wingnut welfare. I have better uses of my time. Like washing my car in the next thunderstorm.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    And my only other comment to the rest of the pearl-clutchers is, Whattsamatta, fellas, can’t you take a joke? Lighten up and don’t take everything so seriously.

  6. 6

    @Mnemosyne: it’s just locker room talk after all.

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    By all means click the link, because for full effect, you want to see his publicity still — complete with manly, professorial props!

    Jacket’s not tweedy enough. But the Milton Friedman book face out is a nice touch.

  8. 8

    Randy Newman should rework the lyrics to that song.

    “White people got no reason … white people got no reason to live …”

  9. 9
  10. 10
    smike says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Snowflake alert! Accumulation expected. Use caution.

  11. 11
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Could you please not use “triggered” that way? It’s bad enough that trigger warnings have been coopted in this way by reactionaries.

  12. 12
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Cigars are a little… déclassé, ifyouknowwhatImean. But clenching a nice pipe in your mouth, just the proper touch of manliness!

  13. 13
    HumboldtBlue says:

    And now, for something completely different!

    Quick fingers and solid rhythm.

  14. 14
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    This is not particularly out of character for Henderson. He defended the Law School’s Edmund Burke Society after it advertised a debate using a whip sheet that said immigrants bring “disease into the body politic.”…

    I’m sure Edmund Burke would be so proud.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    L85NJGT says:

    James Woods….. snowflakes…. LULZ

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    oh god the pipe

    Hmm, the angle’s not quite jaunty enough for my taste.

  18. 18
    oldster says:

    I deeply regret every minute that I wasted reading Sullivan. If I had known back then what a horrible racist and misogynist he was, I would not have given him a click.

  19. 19
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Maybe, maybe not. But everytime I see someone being referred to as triggered that’s all I think of now.

  20. 20

    @oldster: I think I found this place through Sullivan’s blog.

  21. 21
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    It’s all that line dancing that produces Those People like this Henderson fellow. That kind of music with all it’s talk of alchole, guns and the bible brings out the worst in people.

  22. 22
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Just so much awesome.

    Bitter conservative professor forced into retreat. Woods looking like a tool. Again. And summa cum laude!

    It’s like candy.

  23. 23
    oldster says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Huh. Could be true for me, too, come to think of it.

    It was a simpler time on the web, and Sullivan was right about torture, anyhow.

    Actually, I think I first remember encountering Balloon Juice through The Editors at the Poorman blog. There was some kind of goofy feud between them.

    Anyhow–like most conservatives, Sully turned out to be capable of empathy only for people exactly like himself.

  24. 24
    opiejeanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Ha! I wonder if he has one of those corduroy jackets with the leather elbow patches. (massive eyeball) I don’t think that’s the the preferred pipe style.

  25. 25
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’ve got one of these idiots in my family, my cousin’s husband. Taught at Lawrence for years. He’s a leftie, but has always been kind of ridiculous. He has the proper pipe, the jacket with the leather elbow patches. Total jerk.

  26. 26
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Sounds like your cousin’s husband is putting on airs. The big clue-in is wearing a jacket with elbow patches. Those were only ever used to repair a jacket that was wearing thin at the elbows iirc. Not that professors are payed big bucks now, but way back when they were much more modestly compensated so couldn’t afford fancy new sports coats and jackets often.

  27. 27
    opiejeanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Yes, he has always been that way .I’ve known him since he was fresh out of HS. He’s not a bad person, just a superior male. He’s intelligent but he had to overcome a lot of prejudice from within his own family. His parents are 1st generation Americans, his grandparents were from Greece, and his dad and uncles expected him to take over the family business, either liquor or produce, not spend his youth in some fancy-pants college gettin’ all educated. Guy got a PhD in either Economics or History (too many years ago) and he’s a disappointment to his dad.

  28. 28
    James E Powell says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    I got one of those jackets. It’s a Ralph Lauren grey tweed with suede elbow patches. I never wanted one, but right around when I switched careers to become a high school teacher, I saw it on the clearance rack at Macy’s. I felt like I had to. I wear it every now and then, always with a sense of humor. I mean, I just can’t take the elbow patches seriously. No pipe though.

  29. 29
    Jay says:


    Driftglass has files on Sully going back 30 years. Nothing’s changed.

  30. 30

    @Jay: His blog had value because it was mostly written by his interns.

  31. 31
    opiejeanne says:

    This may hit the news tomorrow, probably would have been a big story nationwide in normal times: a 29 year old mechanic for Horizon stole a plane and did loop-de-loops over Puget Sound before crashing on a tiny island with 12 people living on it; it’s not clear but they may be only summer houses. There’s a forest fire on the island, caused by the crash, no one else was hurt and I’m going to guess that the pilot is dead.
    The plane was escorted by two F-15s and he was in contact with the tower. They were trying to talk him down but he said he wanted to do a barrel roll before he’d land. They were trying to help him land the thing, talking him through it but his responses were not really responsive to what the control was saying to him. A lot of excited talking about this probably being a life sentence, but maybe Alaska would give him a job as a pilot if they saw what he could do.
    There’s an overhead shot of the fire and a firetruck that they must have taken over there on a ferry. I’m not even sure this island has a regular ferry service. Ketron Island.

  32. 32
    RandomMonster says:

    @oldster: I loved the Poorman! Come to think of it, that might’ve been how I ended up here…

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Jays says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Driftglass never has had interns,

    Sully’s blog was always shite, at best, pablum 3rd party wanking to cover for the dogwhistles and bothsiderism.

  35. 35
    EBT says:

    You know what I don’t understand?
    Why part two of a story is getting twice the love as part one. They both have a sex scene, and the first part has the actual transformation in it too.

  36. 36

    @EBT: The Da Vinci Code was a sequel. Who knows how these things happen. (Not intending to compare the works, just sayin)

  37. 37
    EBT says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I would like to think my short form furry TF smut is better than the Da Vinci Code. The real baffling part is that for the transformation jerking crowd, the actual (in this case accidental, magical) transformation was in the first part.

  38. 38
    Arclite says:

    In 2010, Henderson wrote in a widely-mocked blog post (also now deleted) that his family was just getting by and that President Obama’s tax hikes on households making over $250,000 might force him to sell his house.

    Oh, THAT douchebag?? The assholery never quits with that one.

    Shortly after he published that, some rich NY liberal stockbroker wrote an op-ed in the NYT saying “The government doesn’t tax me enough, and our country is falling apart because of it.”

  39. 39
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    I have to admit that Sullivan’s blog was my gateway to Balloon Juice lo these 10 years or so ago.

  40. 40
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Some people are so self-centered: Jeff Bell, CEO of Legal Shield was whining because his plane had to sit on the tarmac for an hour or so because “some guy flew a plane into the Puget Sound”. He’s getting lit up pretty good on Twitter.

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    Idle question: Why are the leather elbow patches a thing?

  42. 42
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):
    My gateway to Balloon Juice was TIME’s old Swampland blog.

  43. 43
    Steeplejack says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    LOL, I can’t imagine Balloon Juice being mentioned anywhere near Time. Do you remember the context?

  44. 44
    Debbie(Aussie) says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):
    Me too. 2007

  45. 45
    Steeplejack says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The Premier League is starting up this weekend. I watched the opener, Manchester United-Leicester City, yesterday, and found it vaguely unsatisfying. United scored on a P.K. after a marginal hand ball in the third minute, and then was pretty much outplayed by Leicester the rest of the way but still won 2-1. Probably will be the last time this season Leicester is at the bottom of the table.

    I see your Liverpudlian lads are going into action tomorrow. My sentimental favorite, Newcastle (because of Alan Shearer), is facing Tottenham in a couple of hours. I need to do a little reading, because I have no idea which teams are supposed to be any good this season (aside from the perennial top four or five, of course).

  46. 46
    Boussinesque says:

    I think I made my way over here some 10 years ago from Pandagon or Pharyngula—I think someone who comments here also commented at one of those, so it got mentioned…either that or it was on their blogrolls and I idly clicked the link. Best thing I ever did on the internet, even if I only renounced lurkerdom the last couple years.

  47. 47
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    Goddamn, this blog’s pages are loading slower than I don’t know what. I just entered a comment on the desktop, waited for at least two minutes, then opened the site on my phone, saw the comment posted there, wrote this comment and will now post it, and my previous desktop comment just now finished loading.

  48. 48
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    Same thing happened the other way. I came back over here, refreshed the page and saw my phone comment while my phone was still laboring the post the comment and refresh the page.

    Shorter: basic page refresh seems to be normal (quick); posting a comment causes lights to dim in the immediate vicinity. The new(?) edit module is doing a lot of churning in the background.

    ETA: This comment took 55 seconds to load. Let’s see how the edit goes.

  49. 49
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    Goddamn, this blog’s pages are loading slower than I don’t know what.

    You think you’re unhappy? I can’t get access to the FYWP ‘dashboard’ at all, and I’d only just begun working on the Saturday Morning Open Thread.

    Not sure how much longer I can stay awake (got stuff to do tomorrow), or how long the ‘no connection’ issue will last… but if this is the latest post after 6am, don’t blame me!

  50. 50
    Steeplejack says:


    Okay, I put in the ETA and mashed the Save button. I got a little “I’m doing something” swirly at the bottom of the original message, which lasted for three minutes (timed by cell-phone stopwatch) and then went away. Refreshed the whole page and got the message with ETA 55 seconds later.

    This ain’t good. (Desktop site, Win10, Firefox.)

  51. 51
    Steeplejack says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I feel your pain. It must be awful in the back office.

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @Anne Laurie: Thank you Anne for keeping us informed and entertained. Hope you manage to get a few hours of sleep.

  53. 53
    p.a. says:

    I don’t remember when or how, but I do go back to Schiavo and neti pot mania. I suppose there’s some google-fu where I could search for my earliest comment, but it’s not a burning issue.

  54. 54
    different-church-lady says:

    Henderson deactivated his Twitter account on Wednesday…

    Oh, so it’s not all bad for him then.

  55. 55
    different-church-lady says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): So you’ve opened a wormhole in time? Will you use this for good or evil?

  56. 56
    Aleta says:

    Jeong criticized Sull. (sullen comes to mind) and the Bell C. some time ago; I don’t remember when. So he worked up a yodeling routine just about her tweets as though he’s been saving up emotion for this, of all things. I saw some of his supporters in action last week. Despicable. He cares so much about traffic that he distorts and omits to get it. Just as he did when he used TNC so he could claim he was having a debate with someone with integrity.

  57. 57
    Aleta says:

    Henderson is so impartial that he probably complains about Thomas daily. No?

  58. 58
    Anne Laurie says:


    Driftglass never has had interns

    No, but Sullivan had many of them during his “best” days… and, unlike for instance our own Blogmaster, he never gave them credit for making his blog so busy and multi-faceted. (Although whenever there was an error pointed out, *that* he’d blame on ‘my assistant’, the coward.)

    One of the reasons he gave up regular blogging, IIRC, is that the magazine he was affiliated with didn’t want to pay for so many ‘background researchers’ to keep pumping out posts 24/7 — and Sullivan couldn’t bring himself to either own up to not writing a considerable portion of “his” most widely-circulated material, or to admit that posting new stuff at that rate was too much work for EvenTheMasterful Andrew Sullivan.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    Economic jitters? You betcha.


    Russia warned the United States on Friday it would regard any U.S. move to curb the activities of its banks as a declaration of economic war which it would retaliate against, stepping up a war of words with Washington over spiraling sanctions.

    The warning, from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, reflects Russian fears over the impact of new restrictions on its economy and assets, including the rouble which has lost nearly six per cent of its value this week on sanctions jitters.
    Medvedev said Moscow would take economic, political or other retaliatory measures against the United States if Washington targeted Russian banks. Source


    Turkey’s currency crisis spilled loudly on to the global stage Friday as other markets, including US stocks, took at hit from concern about financial contagion to other countries and banks.

    Turkey’s troubles, compounded by a new round of US sanctions, are unlikely to cause any kind of permanent hit to US markets or its economy, but it does offer two cautionary tales, one for President Donald Trump and the other for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

    For Trump, it shows just how quickly his “America First” isolationist agenda can bite back. There are already ample signs that Trump’s aggressive anti-trade rhetoric is dampening global economic activity as trade wars heat up and even risk morphing into currency wars.

    Trump further frayed US-Turkish relations after the president announced via Twitter that he was doubling of tariffs on exports of steel and aluminum from the NATO ally, shoving the Turkish lira down 18% in one day alone to a record low against the US dollar. Source

  60. 60
    Central Planning says:

    I browsed some of the comments on that article. The best was “You couldn’t get appointed to the food court”

  61. 61
    Steeplejack says:


    I’m going to have to study up on Doctor Who to see how to play this.

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    Spurs fans are worried for the club because Tottenham Hotspur didn’t manage (or didn’t bother) to bring in even one new player in the pre-season transfer window, a worrying sign at a club contending for Champions League places. Arsenal fans are worried about the new manager because he isn’t Arsene Wenger, and they are too young to remember life before Arsene.

    Newcastle fans are upset with the club owner because he won’t bring in better players despite all of manager Rafael Benitez’s pleading. Rafa is very popular with fans wherever he manages because he’s good, he cares about the fans, and he wants what they want for the club.

    Manchester United fans are worried about Jose Mourinho, who is now busy alienating everyone at the club. Jose has a three-stage arc as manager: change agent, winner, arsehole. He has now hit phase three at Man U without really having a stage two there.

  63. 63
    Wag says:

    I spent a summer during college in the early 80’s doing research at the University of Newcastle, and have had a soft spot in my heart for NUFC ever since.

  64. 64
    P-Dog says:

    A nice long round-about way to say it’s ok to hate and discriminate against whitey. That’s fine if you want to hate, but you didn’t have to waste so much time, you can just say it much shorter like how Jeong said it: “#endwhitepeople”.

    Love Trumps Hate right?

  65. 65
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @James E Powell: My son in law (sort of – they’ve been together 10 years and are marrying next July) is a math professor. He uses the vapor cigarettes and when my daughter saw the pipe version she just had to buy it for him and we all had a hearty laugh. He never would use it in public though.

  66. 66
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Amir Khalid: They were used to prolong the life of the jacket when it began to wear thin at the elbows. Good tweed costs! Some also had them applied to protect it from wear. Mostly now it’s just swank.

  67. 67
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Hotspur’s been Brexited. They built/are building a new field and Stadium and they are in the hole budget wise because of the 30% fall of the Pound against the Euro.

    They had to move some Talent funding over to the Building funding, and even though they went Talent shopping, nobody was interested in signing for Pounds under Brexit.

  68. 68
    Amir Khalid says:

    I followed the commenters who came here. Some are still here, I think, but I don’t remember who.

  69. 69
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I found this place through Sullivan’s blog.

    I know I did. I quit him when he went subscription.

  70. 70
    raf says:

    I’ll bet he thinks the pipe attracts blonds. I’ll bet he thinks it makes him look wise or distinguished or some shit. It just makes him look Republican, arrogant, and stinky.

  71. 71
    Olivia says:

    @Jay: Bwahaha! I glanced at your post and my brain read “flies on Sullivan” instead of “files”.

  72. 72
    Platonailedit says:


    What are you whining about?

  73. 73
    Shana says:

    I found this place through a couple of mentions at Daily Kos’ midday open threads. Don’t remember the exact threads that were mentioned, but they were good enough, and funny enough, to keep me here.

  74. 74
    Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman) says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    Heh… I found my way here by accident when I was still a right winger and mixed up Balloon Juice with Hot Air (Michelle Malkin’s site) while drunk browsing. 😀

  75. 75
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman):

    Ha! That might be the best “origin story” yet.

    Michelle Malkin has really disappeared from the public discourse, hasn’t she? I assume she’s still ranting away in some dark RWNJ corner.

  76. 76
    Zelma says:

    I think I found my way here through Sully too, over ten years ago. I know he’s persona non grata at BJ and I thought his stuff on “poor white men” was pretty ridiculous. Indeed, he is often ridiculous. But I also thought his recent long piece on the Labour Party was a good explanation of what’s going on in British politics for the uninitiated. And I think his analysis of Trump-ism is often interesting. He also educated this old white woman about homosexuality and gay marriage. So I keep reading him. Old habits are hard to break.

  77. 77
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I might have first heard of Balloon Juice as a right-wing blog mentioned on The Poor Man or someplace like that. I remember being shocked to discover many months after the fact that Cole had done a heel-face turn and the place was completely different.

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