Who is Radley Balko and Why

…is he channeling James Frey? Working subtitle:

How ‘Ha hah ~ Buy This Mug!’ became
Bloggers who sell Scottie mugs HATE ANDREW SULLIVAN to a million little PIECES !!!

Which we don’t, of course. Our scrupulously researched empirical data flow charts…

…overwhelmingly support this conclusion. (Science, my friends, is a great tool.)
My post of two o’ clock yesterday morning ~ admittedly a shameless attempt at mug promotion ~ has morphed into something unrecognizable through Mr. Balko’s fertile imagination and lackluster research. (He was kind enough to trackback.)
Now, “they need a mug” and “where to GET a mug” firmly in your upper register? Great. THIS is what Mr. Balko read and posted:

Blog chatter over the Tennessee torture case has taken an unfortunate turn into petty Red State-Blue State territory.
Andrew Sullivan picked up the story yesterday, and pondered a link between CIA torture and torture by drug cops, suggesting that when the federal government condones torture overseas, we probably shouldn’t be surprised when government agents at home are given light sentences for torturing drug suspects. He then suggested that the Bush administration’s rather callous approach to civil liberties on other fronts might play a role in this kind of behavior from law enforcement at the local level.
That caused Glenn Reynolds to approvingly link to two sites mocking Sullivan for, as they put it, “blaming Bush for police brutality.” That then degenerated into a childish “blame Bush for everything” caricature of Sullivan’s position.

Yup. That second dastardly link is to our scottie mug. But I must have missed all the Sullivan mockery implied in those two sentences of mine. And he takes a crack at you guys, too! (This from a guy who doesn’t allow comments on his site.)

But he’s not done…::sigh::

…But Reynolds and the sites he links to mischaracterize what Sullivan wrote about this administration’s more general record on civil liberties, seemingly intentionally…

Was ist daß?! We’re just selling mugs! Where’s Reverend Jesse when we need him? Mr. Balko has constructed a virtual novelette, full of conflict, pathos and bullsh*t. So I wrote him a little note.

Concerning the Coalition of the Swilling and our “Blame Bush” mug
Dear Mr. Balko ~
Thank you for your trackback and your notice. It’s quite an honor to have you visit us. (I have linked to several of your Corey Maye posts.) But I’m afraid I’m going to have to point out what I feel is a misinterpretation ~ no, let’s use ‘mischaracterization’ ~ of the “Blame Bush” mug and post. Written as a dig at Andrew Sullivan?! Where on earth did you get that idea? I sure wish you had clicked through the link to our Swill page. (Like the song says “That’s what links are for…”) There you would have found our original, Andrew Sullivan-free ‘Blame Bush’ post, written in JANUARY. The genesis of the mug/post/all of it was a complaint we received from one of the fourteen in-country United States Marines the Swilling had adopted. Since October, packages had been flying overseas and then we got an urgent “Please send Atomic Fireballs ~ There are NONE in Iraq!” In the spirit of the times, we figured it HAD to be Bush’s fault, the design came to me at zero dark thirty a few days later and we were off. I am a stickler for reference and attribution ~ I’ve recently had a fact based dustup with Meryl Yourish, for example ~ so EVERY Bush sin listed is a corresponding link to the news/source.
You will see no mention of Mr. Sullivan, torture in Tennessee or whether Brett Favre will play this year ANYWHERE in the post. And our post handsomely predates ALL of them by three months. The other link was a result of my seeing the “I Blame Bush For [Insert…]” title. I was thinking ‘jeez, we’ve already done that!’ and suggesting that someone could use a mug. I’m sure you can attest, if you revisit our post AND the trackback to theirs, that I do indeed mention they could use a mug. I could sure use someone to BUY one. It was capitalism, greed and good humor, pure and simple.
As for your:
“to two sites mocking Sullivan for, as they put it, “blaming Bush for police brutality.” That then degenerated into a childish “blame Bush for everything” caricature of Sullivan’s position.”
…as well as…
“the sites he links to mischaracterize what Sullivan wrote about this administration’s more general record on civil liberties, seemingly intentionally.”
…dang! I’m hardly as nefarious as all that. You give me way too much credit and are WAY OFF the hyperbolic mark. I also should disabuse you ~ I could care less about Andrew Sullivan, in any way, shape or form, have no clue what he’s written in any capacity as I don’t read him in any capacity and haven’t the luxury of time to construct an assault on his opinions. Nor do I possess the wherewithal to design and offer goods specifically to impugn whatever it is he’s said. We don’t work with Cafe Press ~ our goods are locally done and they get paid when I order. (And you believe by virtue of a post with NO mention of Andrew Sullivan, by a blog that Andrew Sullivan doesn’t have the foggiest notion exists, that said blog ‘intentionally’ ‘mischaracterizes’ what the unmentioned Andrew Sullivan said?!) Bingley, on the otherhand, has always spoken well of him and actually had quotes from his emails posted on Mr. Sullivan’s site. So there are no axes to grind from his end either.
I will assume, for the sake of argument, that your “degenerated into a childish “blame Bush for everything”” referred to the comments as well? They are dear regulars, the lot of them. One was green with envy at our double Instalanche ~ a very gratifying reaction ~ while the others let fly in the spirit of the theme (which, IF you’d read our original post’s 25 comments, you’d know they delight in). That’s the advantage of being small like us ~ we develop a sense of intimacy with our readers unavailable to you big, BIG guys. There’s a ‘secret code’, a giddy patter that springs up when it’s an inside joke (mention ‘goat’ ~ you’ll see what I mean) or awful pun, and blaming Bush is one of them. It’s one of the best things about our blog.
I’d like to believe you’d read the comments. But alas, no. You will find NO mention of Andrew Sullivan. NO Sullivan slurs, sullies or schmears in EITHER the post or the comments you so fiercely deride. I believe you have ‘mischaracterized’ us, “seemingly intentionally.” You pulled Andrew Sullivan out of a hat, NOT out of my post. (I believe Mr. Sullivan owes moi an apology, too, since it seems he also cannot follow a link to determine if someone is picking on him or not. He defers to you. That fact that his name is wholly absent should be his FIRST clue.) All in all, it was a pretty selective skewering on your part ~ is it a ‘Glenn Reynolds’ thing? I mean, there we were, with one funny mug and a three month old marketing concept, while there appears to be a wealth of targets at the other site ~ trackbacked blogs who WROTE about Andrew Sullivan!
So, there you have it. The mug is a JOKE. A slice of the absurd. The post is a winkwinknudgenudge revisit of our original laughing place. How we were tarred with your anti-Andrew conspiracy brush, I have no idea.
Pleasantry, pleasantry, blahblahblah, lovely evening,
th sister

So, since I’ve really liked the guy, I shipped this “WTF?!” off (with a copy to ANDREW SULLIVAN, who is BUSY and IMPORTANT) and am waiting for some sort of reply. Knowing he’s also BUSY and IMPORTANT and has IMPORTANT FRIENDS and CAUSES and STUFF to WRITE, I’ve cut him a huss. In the meantime, his happy little backtracking a$$ has plastered the Swilling and his brand of fiction out there for God knows who to read and ‘mischaracterize‘ us, ‘probably intentionally‘. Call me names? Duck off a goat’s baaack. Make sh*t UP? A whole ‘nuther story.
And I sold a whopping two mugs. I should have listened to jeffS and got working on those “BITE ME” t-shirts.
I sure could use one now.

25 Responses to “Who is Radley Balko and Why

  1. Mr. Bingley says:

    Gosh, we’re only “childish”? Not even “peevish” or “dashingly-handsome-in-an-ascot-ish”?
    Sigh. All that work. And linen.
    For nothing.

  2. Dan Collins says:

    Andrew’s just jealous that no manly man has ever, y’know, used a nightstick on him. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  3. Dan Collins says:

    Sorry, Bingley. I just had to make up the deficit.

  4. Mr. Bingley says:

    Whew; thanks for covering our shortfall!

  5. Try to keep “short” out of this comment section, gents.

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    I was going to say “rear”, but I didn’t want anyone to willfully misinterpret us again and get Sis all riled up.
    I’m considerate that way.

  7. Dan Collins says:

    All right. Then I won’t say it’s preposterous. Anything else verboten THS?

  8. The_Real_JeffS says:

    THS, ship Mr. Balko a Scottie mug. I’ll pay the bill…..but you have to fill the mug with an epoxy or cement to render it unusable as a cup. Perhaps a paper weight, or something that he might (accidentally) drop on his foot, but not as a mug.
    To send a message, as it were: Sometimes you gotta look beyond the picture, bubba.

  9. Ken Summers says:

    “One was green with envy at our double Instalanche”
    Actually, I was chartreuse (“tastes like burning”) with envy. But since you deigned to mention me prominently, I shall forgive you your instalanches.

  10. Ken Summers says:

    I notice, though, that you have Bingley well separated from the goat. That is wise.

  11. Cullen says:

    Tastes like burning is my new favorite saying.

  12. Of course you’d be out front and center, dear friend. Some scurvy knave casting aspersions upon you could not stand!
    Now, this cogent fellow ALSO links to Msr. Balko’s column but, amazingly enough, leaves the Swilling post out completely! He’s not as IMPORTANT as ANDREW SULLIVAN or Mr. BALKO, I’m guessing, but spent a little time separating the mug from the mugging Bully for him!
    (Trust me, Dan. You’re fine. If you’re not, the big purple pen of righteous anger will blot your offensive “C”, “V” or “P” word from the face of the blog, so help me.)

  13. Nightfly says:

    Since no-one else has yet, I’ll pick the low-hanging fruit and note that “Radley Balko” is almost certainly a hobbit name.

  14. mojo says:

    No fair sayin’ “Boo” to Radley…
    I had to say that, it was how I really, truly felt, which makes it immune to criticism, just like “One-Trick” Sullivan’s diatribes. Plus, I love a good movie reference.

  15. (And you just happened to pick one of my all time FAVORITEST, mojo!! Speaking of which, watched “Capote” Saturday night ~ FABulous. A well deserved Oscar. And the Harper Lee character was the only one with any sense about her. Could sorta tell that from the book.)

  16. Mash says:

    Just toured Jeeves’ site and his profile says that he is 31 and taken. Shucks 🙁

  17. Dan Collins says:

    Thanks, THS.
    And speaking of mugs, I’ve got an ugly one with Burgess’s face on it! Har har har!

  18. Nightfly says:

    …his profile says that he is 31 and taken…
    Heh. I feel a song comin’ on.
    Oh, he blogs to extremes, hisses and screams
    Sticks up for Andy Sullivan
    He’s 31, he’s male, and he’s taken…

  19. Nightfly says:

    He’s got publishing chops, his work is the tops
    He’s named like a dude from Tolkein
    He’s 31, he’s male, and he’s taken…

  20. The_Real_JeffS says:

    “Taken”? Does that mean Mr. Balko was somewhere else for a while?
    Might explain a lot of things.

  21. Ken Summers says:

    z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z

  22. (Oh, bust a GUT, Jeff!)

  23. Dan Collins says:

    Your search – bitemepundit – did not match any documents.
    Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
    Try different keywords.
    Try more general keywords.
    Take it

  24. mojo says:

    Mine too, THS.
    You have to admire Harper Lee. She had something to say, she said it EXTREMELY well, and then shut up. No sequels, no nothin’.
    My kinda author.

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