Did AOL fire Tommy Christopher for criticizing Playboy?

posted at 8:46 am on June 5, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, Playboy outraged conservatives and some liberals as well when they published Guy Cimbalo’s perverse essay listing the top ten conservative women he’d like to “hate-f**k”, most of whom are friends and colleagues of ours.  Tommy Christopher at AOL’s Politics Daily immediately denounced and heavily criticized the article, but the article mysteriously disappeared shortly after PD published it, the first time the editors of AOL-PD ever dumped a story down the memory hole with no explanation.  Tommy reprinted it at his own site, and prepared an alternative version for AOL-PD — and was told he no longer worked there, after two years.  Stephen Gutowski at Newsbusters connects the dots:

AOL News has been bending over backwards lately to make sure that the do not cover thecontroversy surrounding Playboy.com writer Guy Cimbalo’s vile attack on conservative women. AOL News has taken some drastic steps to censor any mention, let alone criticism, of Playboy’s screed. They have deleted posts about the article, banned contributors from mentioning it, and even fired one of their liberal writers over it.

The fact that banning reporters from, well, reporting is so contrary to the purpose of a news organization it really is puzzling. It seems to be in direct contrast to their commitment to “traditional journalistic values”.

The evidence is stacking up quite high that AOL News fired liberal writer Tommy Christopher today due to his repeated attempts to get coverage of the Playboy attack list on AOL’s Politics Daily. Christopher had first attempted to post this criticism of Playboy’s sick list the day it was published on their website. However, he was surprised to find that shortly after putting his article on Politics Daily it was deleted by an editor.

But why?  Stephen sees corporate ties as the key:

Has the fact that AOL’s parent company, Time Warner, has a business relationship with Playboy may have affected their editorial decisions? After all Time Warner is a major national distributor of Playboy TV through their cable company.

Tommy has been a friend for quite a while, and a semi-regular guest on my daily show.  He and I do not agree on most topics, but Tommy is a good opinion journalist and one of AOL’s few that actually does traditional reporting.  He goes into Washington DC on his own to attend White House press briefings, occasionally getting to ask a question and providing first-person reporting for AOL-PD.  That seems to me to be a valuable commodity for any political website, a marker of relevance that one does not lightly toss aside.

Many people do not know that AOL has actually conducted a massive turnover in its staff under new editor Melinda Hennenberger.  Our friends Caleb Howe and Mark Impomeni have also gotten their walking papers more than two weeks ago.  Both are good, solid writers, and brought a conservative perspective to AOL-PD that now the terrific Matt Lewis has to provide all on his own.  Tommy could have been part of that revamping, but he appeared to have survived it — and again, why get rid of someone who has a spot inside the White House?

I called Tommy last night, as a friend and not as a reporter, and we discussed some of the issues off the record.  We’re going to talk to him and Caleb Howe about this and other issues on today’s Ed Morrissey Show, when they join us at 3:30 pm today.  Be sure to read all of Stephen’s column.


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Liberals eat their own when they don’t spout the current meme, or make known they don’t agree with some form of hatred.

Murder, rape, and death wishes are the norm for liberals.

Rode Werk on June 5, 2009 at 8:56 AM

It’s all about the tolerance, baby.

BigD on June 5, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Did AOL fire Tommy Christopher for criticizing Playboy?

Impossible… Everyone knows that liberals the the epitome of tolerance and justice and that they would never ever condone any hypocritical stance.

doriangrey on June 5, 2009 at 9:01 AM

today’s Ed Morrissey Show, when they join us at 3:30 pm today

Must hear internet radio!

The Marxist “efforts” in propaganda media are overtly punitive. Gag orders from corporate have consequences. And even mentioning a gag order is enough for the Marxists to wash their hands of the real journalist, smearing him for having committed suicide when contrary to their messaging the journalists’ careers are being summarily executed for exposing the propaganda process. “You’re fired!” not for exposing confidential and highly sensitive national security information as Obama did via internet nuclear American sites, but fired over showing the process that covers the sabotage being accomplished by those presuming to be our “betters”, vile and corrupt as they are.

No Tolerance For Accuracy.

I hope Tommy Christopher can manage to twist AOL’s corruption into his own advantage, a journalist’s investigative reporting advantage that helps conservatives.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Journalism is dead, and Americans are waking up to it. The leftist media are obviously regressing to straight propaganda, and think nobody will notice. The joke’s on them. People are getting fed up with them, and the mid-stream media outlets are pretty much doomed. They’ll deny that they know it, of course, but deep down they’re aware that their reversion to propaganda is little more than a death spasm.

mr.blacksheep on June 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM

So denouncing rape fantasies gets you kicked off AOL News? I guess AOL is in favor of rape then.

rbj on June 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM

It seems to be in direct contrast to their commitment to “traditional journalistic values”.

I mean, this is AOL, its not like its an actual news organization.

AOL squeezes politics in between “How to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks” and “Jon and Kate split up: read the details here”

e-pirate on June 5, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Many people do not know that AOL has actually conducted a massive turnover in its staff under new editor Melinda Hennenberger. Our friends Caleb Howe and Mark Impomeni have also gotten their walking papers more than two weeks ago.

Doesn’t this then weaken the “I got fired for the Playboy thing….” argument?
Seems to me this is a lot of behind the scenes blogger stuff I’m just not too interested in and don’t come here to read. AOL? You’re kidding.

Marcus on June 5, 2009 at 9:06 AM

their commitment to “traditional journalistic values”

Thanks for the morning laugh!

KS Rex on June 5, 2009 at 9:09 AM

We should welcome our new overlords.

/barf

Sure, this is just AOHell but the scary thing is that this is probably just a preview of things to come in all media.

rockbend on June 5, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Tough times, hopefully he will get picked up by a bigger and better organization, liberals with empathy are in huge demand now. The whole treatment of this article has been very odd and almost inspiring in that finally someone got a clue that they are insulting half their audience when they go after conservatives. It gives me hope that one day the people who do television get a clue.

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2009 at 9:15 AM

“In these last few months, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved or created nearly 150,000 149,999 jobs…”

Barack Obama

ujorge on June 5, 2009 at 9:15 AM

Did Bryan Williams bow to Pres.Obama?

We know who didn’t.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 9:21 AM

I haven’t been to aol in dogs’ years, are they still around??? At least for now?????

clinker46 on June 5, 2009 at 9:22 AM

If true is sounds like Time Warner not wanting to rock the boat with its business partner (Playboy).

Mr. Joe on June 5, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Isn’t AOL struggling anyway? I guess Americans don’t really find the need to have another tabloid.

Maybe if a “news” organization actually printed independent news, there would be a demand.

Upstater85 on June 5, 2009 at 9:29 AM

If true is sounds like Time Warner not wanting to rock the boat with its business partner (Playboy).

Mr. Joe on June 5, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Doesn’t Rupert Murdoch own them? ///SARC

Upstater85 on June 5, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Look, I know in America the new favorite past time is being outraged, but this was just a dumb stunt.

The article should be IGNORED and it will go away. I subscribe to playboy and I doubt I would have seen the article if it was not posted here.

The article was in poor taste. It was removed. The more you talk about it here, the more the AOL guy talks about it, the more it is out there. If YOU and CONSERVATIVES stop talking about it, it will go away.

Why are you giving Playboy so much credibility? Is their influence so great that every word they write is a literary movement? You ask why MSNBC talks about Rush all the time. This is a dumb non-story that will go away as soon as we are finished with our favorite past time of being outraged – which should be common in a free country.

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Let me put it this way. . . if playgirl wanted to do a list of GUYS they wanted to ‘HF’ and I was at the top, I’d love it. . . but that’s just me.

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:32 AM

And there is rarely a SINGLE reason why someone gets fired. This may have been the excuse (not following a company order) but it was likely the last in a series of things. Office politics is ridiculous. I’m sure he’ll get another BETTER job if not merely from the pub that he’s getting here. Who wants to write for AOL anyway? Is this 1999 or 2009?

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Who wants to write for AOL anyway? Is this 1999 or 2009?

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Exactly. I think he’s best moving on if he wants any sort of career.

Upstater85 on June 5, 2009 at 9:38 AM

AOL also didn’t want to cover anything that puts the left in a bad (or in this case, disgusting) light, especially with conservative women as the intended victims.

Their news is horribly slanted “liberal,” and this would make liberals look bad. Their homepage headlines are classically left leaning, putting the Obamas and global warming and gay marriage, etc. in a very flattering light, while the right is always presented as something “suspect.”

Rest assured that if a conservative writer had penned a piece on the top ten left wing women deserving of rape, AOL would be blasting it all over creation.

D2Boston on June 5, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2009 at 9:15 AM

I agree with you. The reporter’s greener pastures don’t even have to be in the exact same medium.

Heck, the mediums aren’t even composed of the same materials, boob tubes gone plasma.

BTW, there’s huge federal media funding now going into new subsidized local stations, radio and cable TV.

I’ve been hoping that Ed, Malkin and PJTV would help organize grass roots conferences so as to enable interested conservatives with the administrative training to get a foot in before the liberals (funds intended for) actually get all the awards enabling FURTHER monopoly on Leftist propaganda on the airwaves and networks. It isn’t that I endorse non-profits, but recognize that the feds have set the stage to eliminate all corporate or business entities other than non-profits. And while that remains the case via Obama’s administration, I assert to fight that monster from within, all the while not becoming the monster’s tool. Not likely to happen does not mean it could not or should not be attempted. When it comes to distributing the news in the most responsible fashion, competition must exist at least so as to cover a wide spectrum of topics from many perspectives.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 9:43 AM

BTW, there’s huge federal media funding now going into new subsidized local stations, radio and cable TV.

I’ve been hoping that Ed, Malkin and PJTV would help organize grass roots conferences so as to enable interested conservatives with the administrative training to get a foot in before the liberals (funds intended for) actually get all the awards enabling FURTHER monopoly on Leftist propaganda on the airwaves and networks. It isn’t that I endorse non-profits, but recognize that the feds have set the stage to eliminate all corporate or business entities other than non-profits. And while that remains the case via Obama’s administration, I assert to fight that monster from within, all the while not becoming the monster’s tool. Not likely to happen does not mean it could not or should not be attempted. When it comes to distributing the news in the most responsible fashion, competition must exist at least so as to cover a wide spectrum of topics from many perspectives.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Did not know this.

Not a bad idea.

Upstater85 on June 5, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Off topic… but it appears the NYT has noticed the “great” relationship between Obama and Merkel (apparently Obama is surpasing Bush in charm)…

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/05/world/europe/05germany.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=germany%20obama&st=cse

Also, Islam is apparently the religion of peace (good thing extremism isn’t the norm)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8084851.stm

Upstater85 on June 5, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Did AOL fire Tommy Christopher for criticizing Playboy?

No, he was fired for criticizing Jim Treacher. You don’t mess with Treacher.

Blake on June 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:32 AM

I have no problem with your subscription, 15 years ago had one myself, “for the articles.” It isn’t that a beautiful woman’s body or sensuality is offensive. But your argument is your own.

Whether or not you would have noticed that article is not to say that it has no relevance on the influential direction being exerted on boys and girls. The article being stifled is good. But the fact that it was printed should be loudly rebuked. And since it was printed, those who project that coercive behavior should not get off the guilty hook for having enabled further corrosion against healthy sexual relations based upon mutual respect.

Rape is never excusable, regardless of the victim, regardless of the rapist’s status.

BTW, your comparative rationale disregards any reverence for wives and mothers, the largest segment comprising the targeted group of conservative women. Believe it or not, most wives and mothers DO NOT want to be raped. Targeting that sanctity of what a conservative woman represents is so heinous, there is no excuse. It isn’t merely vulgar or reprehensible. It is unforgivable. Leftists are too brazen in their corruption of all things held sacred. Turning the other cheek or a deaf ear or a blind eye will not alter Leftist abusive behavior.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Upstater85 on June 5, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Networking matters.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Not a surprise – coming from AOL. Massive revenue losses, market share losses and word is TW is trying to spin them off entirely – after an 8 year dismal honeymoon.

They never caught up to the fact people wanted less control – not more control from software when surfing the web. And of course – their clusterf*&^ of ad campaigns including: Making fun of their CD in a Box tactic (coasters and wall hangers anyone), bionic man, Orange County Choppers and Speed (yeah – a bloated app layer is MUCH faster than straight browser put throguh…/sarc)

AOL has even changed many of their core branded names to “move away from the negative perception”.

What AOL hasn’t done in the past 10 years – including their “editor reorg – fire good writers” is get with the times and realize tmz, perezhilton, gawker – are where flakes get their flakey Hollyweird news; web 2.0 and open source were full steam ahead, social networking like FB, MyS, Twitter dominate. Therefore – zero reason to run AOL.

Odie1941 on June 5, 2009 at 10:09 AM

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 9:43 AM

At the risk of sounding tin foil hattie I think the massive evolution going on in media is one of the things that’s going to help stop the current administration from shutting down the conservative message. Not that he won’t try but it’s hard to be stealthy on so many fronts, which will alert First Amendment believers of both ideologies.

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Sorry –

And I will add “parent controls” were included in ISP’s, browsers and op systems – another useless add campaign and “business decision”.

Whoever thought 50-60+ year old legacy media clowns could run a web-based company is on crack. See traditional newspapers…

Odie1941 on June 5, 2009 at 10:11 AM

AOL morons represent mummies, vampires and zombies.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 10:12 AM

That’s really awful that he was fired. unbelievable.

Whoever thought 50-60+ year old legacy media clowns could run a web-based company is on crack. See traditional newspapers…

Odie1941 on June 5, 2009 at 10:11 AM

You can say that again, what are they thinking? We discussed this point a few back with BOR and how he deals with the internet.

AprilOrit on June 5, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Journalism is dead, and Americans are waking up to it. The leftist media are obviously regressing to straight propaganda, and think nobody will notice. The joke’s on them. People are getting fed up with them, and the mid-stream media outlets are pretty much doomed. They’ll deny that they know it, of course, but deep down they’re aware that their reversion to propaganda is little more than a death spasm.

mr.blacksheep on June 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Yeah, but regurgitating stupid Hannity-memes is not. Get over yourself. Journalism is not dead. Why the **** do you come to HA everyday then if not for excellent reporting, writing and thought-provoking commentary? Furthermore, if you are a HA reader, then you are also a consumer of REPORTING by other journalists whom are the objects or subjects of HotAir blog postings.

Your brain is dead.

The Race Card on June 5, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Perfect. After 50 years, Playboy has found a way to make itself objectionable to a whole new generation of women.

“Honest, honey, I was only looking at the pictures.”

warbaby on June 5, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Let me put it this way. . . if playgirl wanted to do a list of GUYS they wanted to ‘HF’ and I was at the top, I’d love it. . . but that’s just me.

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:32 AM

OK, would you want your sister hate f-ed? I get that men are different and will often take sex however they can get it, but most women don’t like the idea of being punished with sex, even if it means they get sex.

You think this is a made up outrage, but I very respectfully and strongly disagree. No person should be talked about that way in any mainstream organization without being shamed for it.

Playboy’s being shamed for it, publicly. And liberal women are outing themselves as misogynists. There’s nothing wrong with pushing this story.

Esthier on June 5, 2009 at 10:27 AM

It isn’t that I endorse non-profits, but recognize that the feds have set the stage to eliminate all corporate or business entities other than non-profits.

WTF? You don’t endorse non-profits? What does that mean? You don’t support churches, Goodwill, and other community pillars?

What proof do you have “the feds” have set the stage to eliminate all corporate “business entities?”

Really, what are you smoking? And, is it legal in your state?

The Race Card on June 5, 2009 at 10:27 AM

And liberal women are outing themselves as misogynists.
Esthier on June 5, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Liberal women outed themselves political tools long ago. I think the silence we hear in situations like this points to a poison-partisanship that disallows for intellectual honesty. NOW and so-called feminists like Jessica Valenti do themselves a disservice by trumpeting “feminist” issues solely from the left’s perspective.

Feminists have a particular knack for whining about discrimination while remaining exclusive and selfish in their own lives. Women “of color” are utilized as mere statistical fodder. Women on the right are held out as intolerant because of their presumed views on abortion. It’s as if abortion is the apex of civil-right for women.

Your entire comment was well-stated. Thank you.

The Race Card on June 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM

The problem with the Time Warner-Playboy connection theory is it assumes that Time Warner is the weaker of the two entities economically, and wouldn’t want to rock the boat and lose its deal with Playboy. Instead the opposite is true — Playboy is the company that’s desperate for any type of revenue stream, and cetainly wouldn’t terminate its cable TV or any other relationships with Time-Warner over an AOL post that would be on the front page at the most for 10 hours or so. So the folks in Chicago might sputter to the suits in New York or Virgina about allowing the criticism on the AOL site, but they’re not going to kill an income stream by canceling their contracts, when they’re trying to stave off bankruptcy.

So if it was a factor at all, it was a secondary one. The primary factor is more likely that Christopher’s editor(s) generally agree that Michelle, Mary Katherine Ham and the others on the list deserve to be “Hate-F***ed”, and that Playboy doesn’t deserve the grief they’re getting from conservatives over the issue, and that anyone who agrees with them about the article should be silenced as much as possible.

jon1979 on June 5, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2009 at 10:11 AM

I share that view as well. So long as there are Americans who treasure the Constitution, there is no way that Obama’s owners can so easily take us all down.

However, the global Marxists own the reins of power that emanate via every electrical impulse that includes our internet medium, actually a very crude example considering the reality of their advancements. It isn’t merely that all our posts and searches are recorded by nature of the medium and available to the powers that be. It isn’t merely that direct viewing within our home via new TV and monitor screens is real now, but that those powers have complete access and ability to manipulate what comes INTO our homes, whether our computers or televisions are on, or unplugged. Suffice it to say, the manipulative technology is already in force, as is the training to raid and eliminate any opposition. To maintain their illusion of legitimacy, these powers must first dissolve the Constitution. Hence, Obama’s presidency (CiC) and the Democrat Socialist Congress, the Marxist corruption of our judiciaries, and the Marxist media and educational monopolies.

So our purpose in life at this moment includes the preservation of our Constitution, the foundation upon which all Liberty exists.

A mfg. of goods proudly made and sold in America could sell flags printing the Constitution, and flags bearing the Declaration of Independence to accompany our Stars and Stripes for our protests vs. Socialist corruption in our government to dismay the Democrats.

True love is not so easily destroyed from the outside. So long as Americans love our Constitution, it will not go quietly into the night or down the memory hole.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 10:48 AM

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Unfortunately we have a whole generation of people coming up that know little or nothing about this proud national and have actually been raised to believe their duty is to erase the “stains” of this country’s past. It can be very depressing. I always want to ask these people to point out the nation that we should emulate, the nation with a spotless history.

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2009 at 10:58 AM

The Race Card on June 5, 2009 at 10:27 AM

I take no offense at your offense, as you misunderstood me. However, as you would smear me with tacky rhetoric, note well that I do not smoke or drink or participate in “recreational drugs”, no judgment on those who do here for morons to pile on. There’s always an extremist that assumes himself above reproach, whether self righteous or righteous. I’m not perfect, but you misrepresent my thoughts.

Nothing is simply what it presents itself to be, including non-profits, including the entire set up that instigated non-profits. Our national tax system is horrible.

That I do not endorse non-profits does not mean that I denounce non-profits. I observe them from a detached position; you from an attached position. Why jump to the defensive to pursue an offense that was not committed? Nothing’s perfect, including the federal government’s involvement in our lives, whether from crooked judiciary interpretation of our 1st Amendment, or the function of non-profits in accomplishing their “missions”. The Marxist coup of America occurring as we breath is working to strangle “legitimate” non-profits that are being overwhelmed now by the illegitimate “bi-partisan” organizations that are absolutely intolerant of any conservative input.

I’ll bet a nickle to a doughnut, you’ve noticed that yourself before.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Again, those who see must respond or bear the guilt of indifference.

Children by nature love hero stories that extol virtues. The mission to educate our children is universal; and the Leftists have monopolized the public forum, and are further encroaching into all forums (non-profits included). Remember the tax official demanding the Catholic Church register as a Lobby.

Conservative women have the crucial role, personally acknowledged, of bringing up our children to treasure virtue that is protected by our Constitution. The need represents a demand for the conservative education. It would not even require a vow of poverty to undertake this calling. The home school program today isn’t what it used to be. The networking opportunities are ample. Songs, stories, games, play acting, costumed productions, what kid wouldn’t want to learn American history this way? The pre-school environment deserves better attention, as does the PTA involvement in kids extracurricular activities utilizing school facilities.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 11:23 AM

I think the silence we hear in situations like this points to a poison-partisanship that disallows for intellectual honesty.

I only wish it had just been silence. What bothered me more than NOW’s MIA approach to this issue was the “defense” offered for these women from a liberal who believed at least one of the women (Michelle) deserved to have “venom” shot back at her.

NOW and so-called feminists like Jessica Valenti do themselves a disservice by trumpeting “feminist” issues solely from the left’s perspective.

Feminists have a particular knack for whining about discrimination while remaining exclusive and selfish in their own lives. Women “of color” are utilized as mere statistical fodder. Women on the right are held out as intolerant because of their presumed views on abortion. It’s as if abortion is the apex of civil-right for women.

The Race Card on June 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Couldn’t agree more. It’s unbelievable at times. I once showed my mother the article written during the election that claimed Palin wasn’t really a woman because she’s pro-life and that none of us are real women for the same reason. My 55-year-old mother, who’d never posted on a blog or even written an editor before, couldn’t help herself and spent the next 20 minutes crafting a thoughtful but stern reply.

I doubt it was read, but it’s beyond time the feminist label was ripped from those who believe a woman must think a certain way. Same with the those who claim the mantle of champions for civil rights while likewise demeaning minorities who don’t think as they’re “supposed to”.

Esthier on June 5, 2009 at 11:24 AM

What proof do you have “the feds” have set the stage to eliminate all corporate “business entities?”

Bail-out private busienss sell-out ring a bell?
Banks
GM

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 11:26 AM

I’ll bet a nickle to a doughnut

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 11:07 AM

What does that mean?

Esthier on June 5, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Esthier on June 5, 2009 at 10:27 AM
The Race Card on June 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM
Esthier on June 5, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Absolutely. The Conservative Woman is an endangered species in American society. And the Women’s Liberation movement was never meant to celebrate womanhood or women’s rights, but to further persecute the same. It’s been said before, Socialists are cannibals, and Leftist women are the most ferocious predators.

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Unless I missed it, I didn’t see Hannity or O’Reilly cover the Playboy story which is surprising as more than half of the women on the list appear on those shows.

PC14 on June 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

No, he was fired for criticizing Jim Treacher. You don’t mess with Treacher.

Blake on June 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Funny, but I think this stinks. He’s being punished for doing the right thing.

Jim Treacher on June 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Esthier on June 5, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Early 20th Century American expression, “I’ll bet you a nickle to a doughnut” my mom grew up hearing and used to say raising us (not that she’d give us a nickle or a doughnut unless we earned it, mind you).

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 11:35 AM

I subscribe to playboy ….

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Let me put it this way. . . if playgirl wanted to do a list of GUYS they wanted to ‘HF’ and I was at the top, I’d love it. . . but that’s just me.

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Let me put it this way…I have endured, time and time again, your bigotry against Catholics on this site based on your “better Christian” status — no, I take that back, make that, “you’re Catholic so you’re not really Christian” status, so now I will tell you that I NEVER want to hear you inveighing against the millions upon millions of Catholics who follow the teachings of Jesus (who BTW said even looking at a woman with lust is as bad as adultery–Matt. 5:28) more faithfully than you do, EVER again.

Yes, I am ANGRY. Hope that’s QUITE clear.

inviolet on June 5, 2009 at 11:40 AM

maverick muse on June 5, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Thanks. I’d just never heard that one.

Esthier on June 5, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I only wish it had just been silence. What bothered me more than NOW’s MIA approach to this issue was the “defense” offered for these women from a liberal who believed at least one of the women (Michelle) deserved to have “venom” shot back at her.

When I was younger I would cough up these little balls of phlegm or lung or something that smelled like death. Erbe’s piece was about as foul as that.

Funny, but I think this stinks. He’s being punished for doing the right thing.

Jim Treacher on June 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

That is perhaps the most plainly-stated, unfunny thing you have written. No snark, but all truth.

The Race Card on June 5, 2009 at 11:49 AM

if playgirl wanted to do a list of GUYS they wanted to ‘HF’ and I was at the top, I’d love it. . .

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:32 AM

I take it you have not considered that with certain devices, women can rape men in exactly the same degrading manner that men rape men. I hope you would not masochistically “love” being abused in such a manner.

Next to murder, forcibly using another person’s body for one’s own sadistic sexual pleasure is the worst possible crime against an individual. Rape can have a devastating and pervasive, lifetime impact on victims, regardless of whether they are male or female.

The Playboy article was vile, degrading and dehumanizing. It’s not the critics of it who should have been fired, but all who contributed to its brief on-line publication.

Loxodonta on June 5, 2009 at 11:51 AM

So, shall we boycott? Time-Warner has just seen my last purchase. It’s going to hurt, but since I got the full Get Smart collection last year, I guess it won’t hurt too badly.

AOL long ago fell off my radar, in the era of AOL vs. Compuserve.

unclesmrgol on June 5, 2009 at 12:09 PM

This……..is……..infuriating.

I like Tommy Christopher and I have a lot of respect for him. He’s one of just a small handful of liberal bloggers I can listen to, and I really appreciate his fairness despite the fact that I disagree with him on almost every political issue there is. We need MORE journalists like Tommy Christopher, not fewer!! What has gotten into them????

Again, I wouldn’t vote for Tommy Christopher for dogcatcher, but I often delight in his commentary and have a very deep appreciation for his integrity in light of his fairness.

Wow. This really bites. Truly.

gocatholic on June 5, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Most media avoids news and avoids investigative reporting even more. It is mere blogging and entertainment.

seven on June 5, 2009 at 12:21 PM

WTF? You don’t endorse non-profits? What does that mean? You don’t support churches, Goodwill, and other community pillars?

The Race Card on June 5, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Obviously thinking is not your strong suit.

Saying that one doesn’t endorse non-profits in general, is not the same as saying one doesn’t support particular non-profits.

The difference is subtle, but if you would get your head out of Obama’s nether regions, you will be able to see it.

MarkTheGreat on June 5, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Did AOL fire Tommy Christopher for criticizing Playboy?
Ed Morrissey on June 5, 2009 at 8:46 am

He’s being punished for doing the right thing.
Jim Treacher on June 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

No, TC was fired because he was known to have incoming links from HotAir.com and therefore has been friendly with e-e-e-e-e-evil conservatives.

Since the incoming AOL management knew he couldn’t be fired only for that reason, the “official” reason from corporate will be poor overall performance of his blog relative to a salary that was suddenly considered too expensive.

Childish? Yes. That is The Way of the Liberal.

ScottMcC on June 5, 2009 at 1:37 PM

So, what’s his name did the right thing. I’m not sure how it makes up for all the wrong things he has done and the fact that he worked for an outlet that provided some of the most biased political coverage I’ve read. And when people are doing the right thing for the right reasons they don’t need to qualify their actions.

Blake on June 5, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Does the kid have a tip jar?

SarahW on June 5, 2009 at 2:32 PM

WLet me put it this way. . . if playgirl wanted to do a list of GUYS they wanted to ‘HF’ and I was at the top, I’d love it. . . but that’s just me.

No, that’s just you being a man.

didymus on June 5, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Look, I know in America the new favorite past time is being outraged, but this was just a dumb stunt.

The article should be IGNORED and it will go away. I subscribe to playboy and I doubt I would have seen the article if it was not posted here.

The article was in poor taste. It was removed. The more you talk about it here, the more the AOL guy talks about it, the more it is out there. If YOU and CONSERVATIVES stop talking about it, it will go away.

Why are you giving Playboy so much credibility? Is their influence so great that every word they write is a literary movement? You ask why MSNBC talks about Rush all the time. This is a dumb non-story that will go away as soon as we are finished with our favorite past time of being outraged – which should be common in a free country.

ThackerAgency on June 5, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Hey, Thacker, maybe you’ve been too busy with your one-handed “reading” to notice, but the leftist practice of demeaning conservative women through fantasies of forced sex is by no means a new phenomenon. It has been “out there” for at least a decade on the Internet, and probably before then. However, until that Playboy.com piece, it had been limited to the world of individual orifices who sent hate mail/email or posted in newsgroups and free-for-all leftist blogs (hello, Matt Taibbi). The lovely Michelle Malkin had been the subject of “hate f*ck” screeds (commonly referring to her Asian and/or Filipina heritage) long before they had that name. That was even before she had her own site and her detractors had only a tiny .jpg atop her syndicated columns to (ahem) work with.

Even Hustler‘s self-aware sleazebag founder Larry Flynt, in all his years of sliming Christians, Republicans, and decent people in general in deliberately shocking fashion, hadn’t published anything (to my knowledge) targeting political opponents for rape fantasies. I presume that Flynt’s porn movie parody of Sarah Palin doesn’t involve her being raped, because that would have (I think) have gotten out. But it was the relatively prudish Playboy that actually dug deep, plumbed the depths of the liberal soul, and gave a mainstream imprateur to the idea that speaking of fantasies of sexually sullying women you “hate” is acceptable political discourse.

A female Politico.com blogger all but endorsed the idea by excising the misogyny from the Playboy piece with a scalpel and pretended it was about “Hat[ing] to Love” beautiful conservative chicks. That is not shocking to me, because liberal women have commonly tolerated sexism practiced by men who are sympatico with their most valued ideal: the right to abortion on demand. Uber-feminist Gloria Steinem, among the loudest voices targeting then-SCOTUS nominee Clarence Thomas for destruction (ostensibly) due to contradictory sexual harassment allegations, authored a editorial published in the New York Times on March 22, 1998 defending pro-choice Bill Clinton against more credible allegations of harassment by implying that every boss is — and always has been — entitled to one free shot at hired hotties:

The truth is that even if the allegations are true, the President is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is accused of having made a gross, dumb and reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life. She pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again. In other words, President Clinton took “no” for an answer.

In her original story, Paula Jones essentially said the same thing. She went to then-Governor Clinton’s hotel room, where she said he asked her to perform oral sex and even dropped his trousers. She refused, and even she claims that he said something like, “Well, I don’t want to make you do anything you don’t want to do.”

Now, Thacker, you WON’T find that piece on the New York Times website — which is supposed to contain archives going back to the 1920′s — but you will find it on an obscure educrat newsgroup, where it was posted in a “Women’s Equity” section two weeks after it was first published. A letter to the editor objecting to Steinem’s vapid point three days hence is still online at nytimes.com.

Why can’t you find the original Steinem editorial in the New York Times‘ archives? Because some people — likely Steinem herself — wants it to “go away.” Why? Because it reveals her to be a fool and a hypocrite. She knows that if that editorial stayed within easy access, the next time she opened her trap about sexual harassment, it would be held in her face like she was a dog learning to be housebroken. And rightly so.

Saying “if CONSERVATIVES stop talking about it it will go away” is an argument that Playboy understands well, because it doesn’t want to face the consequences of its contribution to the coarseness of the political debate. On the other hand, LIBERALS never stop talking about misstatements and errors conservatives make, and aren’t above simply making schtuff up out of thin air and pretending it’s established fact. Just in the past week, Katie Couric furthered the lie that Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house, and Rachel Maddow — defending Judge Sotomayor — repeated a specious, Wikipedia-sourced, apochryphal alleged decade-old quote from Rush Limbaugh that Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin should have been given the Congressional Medal of Freedom.

You may enjoy the double-standard of “being outraged.” I don’t. Conceding the internet and the airwaves to dirty liars on one side of the debate may be for you, but it’s not for me. If you’ve got nothing to say, get outta the way.

You may now resume your “reading,” Thacker. Lock your door and close your blinds.

L.N. Smithee on June 5, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Let me put it this way…I have endured, time and time again, your bigotry against Catholics on this site based on your “better Christian” status — no, I take that back, make that, “you’re Catholic so you’re not really Christian” status, so now I will tell you that I NEVER want to hear you inveighing against the millions upon millions of Catholics who follow the teachings of Jesus (who BTW said even looking at a woman with lust is as bad as adultery–Matt. 5:28) more faithfully than you do, EVER again.

Believing Catholicism is wrong is the official position of Protestants for hundreds of years now. Are they all bigots?

Many Mormons call it bigotry when Christians refuse to recognize LDS as a branch of Christianity. Are they right? As a Catholic, do you consider Mormons to be Christians?

Bigot is a word thrown around too often, as if people think all criticism can only come from hatred.

didymus on June 5, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Believing Catholicism is wrong is the official position of Protestants for hundreds of years now. Are they all bigots?
didymus on June 5, 2009 at 5:51 PM

I’ll be charitable and assume that you don’t realize you’ve committed the error in logic called “straw man fallacy.” Believing Catholicism is wrong is not bigotry (They wouldn’t be Protestant otherwise; of course they think Catholics are wrong; so what?). However. Writing all Catholics off as non-Christians, as ThackerAgency has done many times, is bigotry. Yes, it is a strong word. Words have meanings, and that one fits.

Many Mormons call it bigotry when Christians refuse to recognize LDS as a branch of Christianity. Are they right? As a Catholic, do you consider Mormons to be Christians?

One of the basic beliefs of all Christians is that God is one, and is three persons in one God: one Father, one Son (called Jesus Christ, who came to earth and died for our sins) and one Holy Spirit. The Apostles’ Creed will do nicely for the historical record on what all Christians have believed in common since the beginning of the faith.

Mormons believe that God the Father was once a man, that we can all become Gods eventually and make our own planets, and that Jesus and Satan are brothers (so God has more than one son). Jehovah’s Witnesses, among other beliefs, do not believe the Holy Spirit is a Person nor do they believe Jesus is divine, so they don’t believe in the Trinity. Are they Christians? You tell me.

Bigot is a word thrown around too often, as if people think all criticism can only come from hatred.

didymus on June 5, 2009 at 5:51 PM

“Bigot” is a word indeed thrown around often by liberals. That does not mean the word doesn’t have meaning. And I will use it when it fits.

inviolet on June 5, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Remind me never to hire the Thacker Agency.

Jim Treacher on June 5, 2009 at 10:19 PM

Believing Catholicism is wrong is the official position of Protestants for hundreds of years now. Are they all bigots?

Many Mormons call it bigotry when Christians refuse to recognize LDS as a branch of Christianity. Are they right? As a Catholic, do you consider Mormons to be Christians?

Bigot is a word thrown around too often, as if people think all criticism can only come from hatred.

didymus on June 5, 2009 at 5:51 PM

When a person believes their views are correct about anything, they usually believe others’ differing views are wrong. Criticism and difference of opinion is not always evidence of bigotry. And bigotry is a term too frequently used. However, that doesn’t mean that bigots do not exist.

So, what do you call people who say of all Catholics that they are not real Christians, but Papists, idol worshipers and Mary worshipers who should be condemned to eternal damnation unless they become members of a different Christian denomination? I call them ignorant, bigoted bullies.

And I do consider Mormons to be Christians, even though I cannot agree with some of their beliefs which I find incorrect and which distinguish them from all other Christians.

Finally, as a Catholic, I do not believe that only Catholics get to Heaven, or that all Catholics get to heaven, or that non-Catholic Christians, or followers of other faiths, or even those who have questions about or no believe at all in God, are condemned to eternal Hell. Some people are simply good, regardless of their faith or lack of faith.

And God works in mysterious ways.

Loxodonta on June 6, 2009 at 3:18 AM