It’s been a while since I’ve given Oliver Willis a swift kick. I kind of swore off doing that, but I’m lousy at keeping those kinds of pledges. (I also pick scabs. Sorry, but it’s true.) And he’s done something really, really stupid this time.
It’s gonna require a bit of context first.
It all started when gossip site (and confirmed Sarah Palin hater) Gawker got copies of pages from Sarah Palin’s latest book. They published them before the official release date.
This irritated Palin, who asked “isn’t that kinda sorta illegal?” (All quotes paraphrased for conciseness and humorous intent.)
Gawker shot back: “Na na na. You’re sooo stoopid. Go talk to a lawyer.”
At that point, a lot of other Palin-haters chimed in. “Yeah, Sarah, you’re soooo stoopid. Go shoot a moose or something.” Oliver was one of that mob scene.
A lot of people — including a lot of lawyers — looked at what Gawker had done and said “you know, she’s right — that is illegal.” Including Palin’s publisher’s lawyers, who informed Gawker that they were hauling Gawker’s asses into court over it.
Gawker’s lawyers apparently told Gawker that they had stepped on their crank with golf cleats, and now were doing an Irish step-dance all over it. If they wanted to avoid the dick-in-a-blender that would be the courtroom, they better make nice with the publisher’s lawyers. So they took down the article.
Well, Jim Treacher of The Daily Caller thought the whole thing was hilarious — here was Caribou Barbie once again showing up the Elites. So he wrote a roundup of some of the dumber Gawker-backers. And he included Oliver’s twit (yes, I know it’s preferred to call it a “tweet,” but “twit” fits better here) as a P.P.S.
Then Glenn Reynolds posts a link to Treacher’s roundup, with a specific mention of Oliver’s twit and his demonstration of his gross ignorance — while denouncing the “ignorance” of the person who had the law right from the start.
Oliver’s response to getting caught on strapping on his own golf cleats and dropping trou? Obviously, it’s Glenn Reynolds wanting to slam Oliver, but he outsourced it to Treacher.
This is precisely the sort of thing that the phrase “doubling down on stupid” was invented to cover. I’m gonna address Oliver directly.
Oliver, dude, it ain’t all about you. (Well, this is, but that’s because I feel like helping you lace up those golf cleats.) You were utterly wrong — and worse, arrogantly and stupidly wrong — with that initial twit. You weren’t alone, of course; a lot of people let their Palin-hatred overwhelm their brains. (That’s presuming that they have brains to get overwhelmed in the first place, but I’ll grant that for the sake of argument.) Treacher picked you among a lot of others who did the same thing. Get over yourself.
And Reynolds? “Outsourced the hit?” Dude, I know you read him obsessively. (Might even be part of your day job at Media Masturbators.) That eight word article? That’s what Reynolds does. He links to other people’s stuff; he almost never writes longer pieces, and when he does, he doesn’t put them on Instapundit. That’s his style. That’s how he rolls. He didn’t break stride to bust your chops; he just found Treacher’s piece funny and enlightening (which Treacher does on a regular basis), and linked to it.
I understand that we all see the world through our own prejudices, and you — as a crack whatever it is you do at Media Masturbators — understand full well the usage of “outsourced hit pieces” — that’s pretty much MM’s stock in trade as an outsourcee. But how you do things isn’t how everyone else does things. You imply that Reynolds contacted Treacher and said “do a slam on Oliver Willis so I can link to it.” Dude, even though you had your little confab with Obama, you ain’t that important. You’re barely important enough for me to single out, and I’m a nobody from nowhere. And I only did it because you are so laughably, arrogantly, self-righteously wrong here.
Thanks for the laugh, O-Dub. I needed it today. I gotta get to work in the freezing rain, and you’ve brightened my mood tremendously.