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Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh
San Francisco, California, US
September 18
Editor in chief
Salon Media Group
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JANUARY 29, 2009 11:56PM

Thanks, everyone

Rate: 60 Flag

I'm going everywhere I can to try to thank people for all their sympathetic and hilarious commisseration on the Dick Armey, um, incident. So here I am. I was awed by the creativity and heart of all the people who posted their reactions to Open in the last couple of days. Thank you all so much.

It's beneath me to pun on Dick or Armey, so don't even think about that. And I'm too worn out to come up with puns that aren't beneath me; I'm going from Salon email to personal email (I got an email from J.D., I hope he doesn't mind my sharing that) to Salon comments to Open posts and Open comments to Facebook to Twitter and then there are the phone calls. A lot of people, apparently, think what Dick Armey said and did was wrong, and or frickin' crazy. And I'm gratified, but not sure how to touch everybody back and say thank you!

My closest aunt was upset about it, way more upset than I was. I handled it like a feminist of my age does: Saying you don't want to marry me isn't the worst thing anyone can say, it's kind of funny and it's plumb crazy! But her reaction made me think about it a second time. I'll be thinking about it a bit more in the days to come. It's definitely one of those moments when we see what we're up against. I'm getting a lot of email from people reexamining their convictions that Hillary Clinton was whining about the way she was treated by the media. I appreciate that.

And I appreciate all of you, you make it easier to do what I do, every day. Thank you!

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As sad as I am not to hear the puns, I did enjoy your tags. Cromagnon, indeed.

Very much looking forward to hearing your reactions in days to come, and very happy to know you're getting so much deserved support.
I haven't posted many comments on this topic, but I have been reading all of the delicious posts on same. Apparently, Schadenfreude is still in season.
Joan, he's done it before and he'll do it again. Watching him on camera is like watch McCarthy destroy himself on See it now!

You're a class act!
Thanks for stopping by Joan!

I was flabbergasted and sickened by it. I am a feminist your age, and I was fully freakin outraged. He is stupid old man in the party of waning power and growing shame and dinosaurs.

I took it as symbolic of the the Republican party (OLD guard) metastasis back to the 80's. Or they have just never changed and remain the party of misoginists (and I don't use that word lightly).

Thank for fighting the good fight out there! Maybe you should select who you will counter and demand only men or women who know how to respect.
If you won't give us the puns, could you at least try on Aretha's hat?
You know how I feel, Joan, I hope "dick's" (yes he is diminished) wife makes him pay for what he spouted for the rest of his miserable, gnome-like life. E-mail me privately if you want to know how I really feel...! You not only raised the bar, you hit him over the head with it in how you handled this whole, distasteful episode. Your aunt got it right. I'm with her.
Thank you, Joan (Walsh not Wilder!) for answering my little note. I did not expect one as I knew you were swamped. That was extremely gracious.

If any time in the future you have a PTSD flashback to Dick showing his, um, insecurities please click here as a therapy link :) Even Spicoli has something to say about him.
Oh man, you guys, you are so great -- you think I have puns I am holding back. My mind just didn't go there last night when I decided it would be beneath me, but...I don't have any I'm holding back. I will liberate myself later and see what I come up with.

A quick reply:

Saturn, you could come up with better puns!

ktm, Schadenfreude is still in season, for sure.

OESheepdog, thank you, I'm sure he will, unfortunately he'll get the chance.

Kellylark, I do say "absolutely not" to certain guests; DA will be on my list from now on.

Stellaa, you're right, and we will.

Lonnie, I was playing with Buzzfeed and Thomas's post and then I got distracted, if YOU could try that hat on me, and I know you can, we'd all be grateful....hint, hint, help, help!

cartouche, thank you...let's hope Dick's wife joins Open!
Well damn, Joan, you know won if you heard from JD! And I'm with Lonnie, don Aretha's hat and take a victory lap. You earned it for facing down the baboons and emerging still the Queen of Salon.
My dislike of Dick Armey began years ago when I lived in Texas. His comment was beyond offensive and, while I often defend Chris to some of my friends who dislike him, he completely failed as a moderator/host of the show. You handled the situation swimmingly.
Joan, you must have spent Wednesday evening thinking of all the lines you wish you would have said in response. No, not "are you f*cking kidding me?" but rather things along the lines of "Dick, that's not even in the top 10 reasons I wouldn't want to marry you!" I'd love to see your favorite choices - and the comment section would be a blast!!
You handled his distasteful remarks with the dignity and aplomb we've come to expect from you.

At one time I was all for keeping him and his ilk off any "news" or opinion shows, but I've turned around on that. Now I say, let's have him. The more he shows his ass (which is almost any time he opens his mouth), the more he shoots himself and the hardcore right-wingnuts of the GOP in the foot.
You are our fearless leader, Joan. We are soldiers for the cause.
Support for you is a given and easy. You make it that way bacause you handle yourself in a manner that commands respect and empathy. You can hold your own with any of these good old boys, has beens, sour grapes, dried up and limp brained monkeys. And your host was impotent and socially inept in all of this. Won't even utter his name, I am so disappointed in him. OK, enough said.
"It's definitely one of those moments when we see what we're up against."
:) and people finally 'saw it' for a change

I thought there was no way you could have handled it better. He is just an ass. I also thought Bob Herbert of the NYT who came on after you and stopped his intro to say that Dickie boy owed you an apology showed once again what a class act he is.

I expect that crap from Armey but I was totally disappointed with Chris Matthews who not only didn't call Armey on it but then did not pick up on Herbert's defense of you. Sometimes Chris hasn't got a clue.

As the good ole boys around here like to say, Ya done good!

Oh my I just saw the footage!

Thank you Joan for taking the fight to the airwaves and giving the public the opportunity to see these guys' true colors.

What a way to get under his skin! Pull the discussion back to where it should be, on the real consequences of conservative/Republican propaganda.

It seems unnecessary to say this because it's so obvious, but I think we can assume Mr. Armey is unaccustomed to being questioned on anything he says, particularly from a woman.
I've talked it over with my wife --- and she says it's okay if I marry you. I'm no Dick Armey, but…
When people are scared, they get pretty mean. The Republicans are scared, so there will be more of this.

Something tells me this is his natural state, so he can only be more of himself as time goes on. People will see him (and cronies) for who they are.

I was amazed at your quick and appropriate response. You were the grownup there.
I will not be able to keep this up, but...

Harry Homeless, of course!

Sally, Lonnie and I are communicating, more soon.

M.B., I wound up appreciating Chris said "That isn't prattle" and then let me talk. There were other ways it could have gone, was what it was.

KH3333 and Wayne and Monte, likewise, yes, I thought of alternative lines and also guests and other things Chris could have said was a teachable moment. It worked.

Thank you Just Cathy, you are equally crucial!

Skeptic, glad to have you back!

Thom, thanks to your wife, the three of us can get married, and then go rescue Mrs. Armey, and figure out what to do next.

Thanks, SeattleK8, I appreciated your letter as well.
The Republicans have been mean for a very long time. In power, out of power, it doesn't matter. Joan done good.
No expletives were necessary -- your facial expression pretty much said it all. "The horror, the horror..."
Outside of the obvious " You did good up there, he's an asshole, keep on keepin on" sentiments. I was struck by the contrast in tone. As always, you were serious and talking about serious issues, while he was acting like this whole thing of the economy and politics was a juvenile prank. The future of the country is at stake and he's talking as if he's in a frathouse. It's not a good stance for republicans to take if they want to make leeway in 2010.

Keep your head up, Joan.
Personally, I thought it was funny. I think a lot of guys laugh when they hear other guys say something like that because we know they are going to have to pay for it from every woman they ever met. It's like an English person coming here and using the C word, without realizing the impact it will have. With Armey's generation and upbringing, things that were not outrageous then are now. I would really think out a response that would get national attention. I mean, you're a writer and he just pitched you a lob. Just Viagra alone offers possibilities for this relic.
Okay, I made an, "If I were Joan Walsh" blog:
Just wanted to say how much I admired your discipline on the show. And on this post. I say that as someone who lost her cool tonight and called someone a dick (though in my defense, I was quoting Jon Stewart.)
Dick Armey arrived on Hard Ball with none of his own. You did good though. TRUE PRO!
You have much to read so I'll just say I LOVE me some Joan Walsh!
Joan, when I watched the clip, I found it to be one of the most unbelievable things I had ever heard anyone say, ever. That he made the remark at all was, um, remarkable, but that he impulsively said it on Hardball is almost unbelievable. Look, I'm from the south, and I've been knowing Dick Armeys all my life. But of all the Dick Armeys I've known, Dick Armey is the Dick Armiest of them all. Good for you for respectfully standing your ground. That's what I so often see lacking, particularly on the right: a lack of respect for other values and opinions.

I'm still holding out for some puns.
Joan, you never offend people with digs or criticism, when you can offend them with substance. You are the best and deserve all the praise one can give. Time and again, you hold your own with dignity and professionalism.
I suspect even at the homes of Armey's extended family members they were all saying," he's such a jerk".
Maybe you're just too polite for swill like Armey, Joan. Frankly, my first reaction to even a fleeting image of you - or any attrative, intelligent, successful woman - being married to that replusive, condescending pig was to ask for a vomit bag. Joyce K. Reynolds
You're a star, woman, a reckoning force for feminism and thoughtful commentary. I can't say anything more about Armey (Navy, Air Force, Marines) than anyone else has already said; but, I think the creepy uncle comparison is an apt one. it's a good thing you weren't in the same room with him or he'd be pulling a Bush on German Chancellor Merkel (with bonus finger on your palm). Ewww.

BTW, we're planning a Hoohaa!
I know from watching you enough Joan, if you get a "re-match" with Dick, you'll take the high road and politely throttle him with intellect.
If he were a human-being, he would apologize on "Hardball". I'm just a bit shocked that Chris didn't stand up for you more. I've always thought he has a big crush on you anyway. :-)

Good for you for setting a good example and not lowering yourself to a Hannity type retort.

(rated) for class
Congrats on being you and doing better than most of us in that situation. I was so upset when I saw that it inspired a post on how Armey was just one of many awful incidents that day.

Maybe the incident will be a tipping point people will point to and link to when other women of substance are treated poorly.
What a jerk ... as if we needed more evidence that he's an ass. You handled it beautifully, with charm & grace ... and really, we wouldn't expect anything else.
The best revenge is not reducing yourself to the low standards displayed by Armey. You are a class act and there's great satisfaction in that.
Great job on handling Armey and throwing his sorry insults and petty slander back in his face. This is how we fight the right, with grace, humor, and razor-sharp intelligence.
When I heard his comment come out of left field I nearly gasped in amazement at it's stupidity. If it's a war he wants you're more than welcome to borrow my Penis Navy.
I think that the fact you stuck to issues and were met with a schoolyard-quality insult is further evidence that you are doing it right and deserving of the respect you garner. He deserves to be publicly humiliated for his statement because he's in a position of power and indicating that this kind of attitude toward women is ok.

If I was missing something, it smelled of old
cigar smoke in an old boys' club, and definitely
not those that sat up high on Beacon Hill;
Where's the Harvard in these pundits? Where's
the gentlemen, collectively to be found? There
she is, up against the wall, where the boys were.
Hi Joan. You are clearly a fantastic woman. Will you marry me?
I watched in stunned disbelief just like everyone else here. I showed the video to The Man last night and it started a real conversation between us. Surprisingly, it had nothing to do with feminism or mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers who think the highest feminine asperation is to be married to a mean old codger.

No, the conversation was about how PROUD we are that you represent us. My whole family, all four kids included, cheer you on when you're on these shows. My three-year-old says, "That's Ms. Joan!"

Remember when you're out there fighting the good fight that you have all of us behind you. D.A. showed his true colors - but more importantly, so did you!
I said it before and I'll say it again. We should not be mad at Dick Armey. We should feel sorry for him. The man has no penis, see. That's why he acts like the way he did. It's true. No penis at all. He took so much Viagra it just blasted off and is now orbiting the earth. If you watch the western sky in March, you'll see it flaming as it re-enters the earth's atmosphere and drops with a plink into the Pacific.

My favorite, favorite response to all of this came from (I think) Lainey, who said "By the way, Joan, your hair looks great. Love the new 'do." That truly was the most intelligent thing to notice about this Armey incident.

As Ivana Trump famously said, "Beautiful hair is the best rrrrrevenge!"

(and it does, Joan! your hair DOES look great!)
The only reason to marry Dick Armey that I can imagine would be to pull a Lorena Bobbitt on him. Since I suspect that comment is beneath, I'm happy to go public with it.
You know, about his member orbiting the Earth.....I wondered what those goose hunters were doing shooting out of season and all.
It didn't take very large buckshot to bring the little thing down.
I did take a bounce or two........I heard......
BTW, I've always envied your hair. It is quite beautiful, fitting to crown a first-rate mind.....
You should be everlastingly grateful that a man like Dick wouldn't marry you.
Those that referred to him as an a**hole did a great disservice to rectal openings, they at least have a valuable place in the world. To refer to him as such gives him a purpose in the world that all life depends on. It was hilarious to watch.
So glad that you used cromagnon rather than the kinder gentler Neanderthals who should have not been the ones to go extinct.
Younger women just do not understand that it is a constant battle.
Hillary's and Caroline's experience should be noted.
I am encouraged by Obama's first bill being the Lily Ledbetter one. I firmly believe that women could be the saving of the world in terms of peace, security and development.
Keep up the good fight!
This incident calls for an inversion of that famous but possibly fictional exchange between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor, in which she said, "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd put poison in your tea!" and Churchill answered, "And if I were your husband, I'd drink it."
But did you really wallop the hell out of him in the alley behind the studio afterwards?
Hi Joan,
I watched the video with you and Armey, and I think you did a marvelous job. What first came to mind was that his misogynistic attitude is inherently prevalent society wise. If a woman makes a comment, or rebuttal to one of these neanderthals, their attitude, behavior, and retort is to put women in there place, that they should be seen and not heard in our male dominated society. It also, at least to me is a sign of this male's own inadequacy, from a psychological viewpoint. This behavior continues from one generation to the next, and there is really no excuse for it, except ignorance and prejudice. All Men and Women should do everything they can to change this major inequality, attitude and behavior in our society. It is not just about woman's right, it is also about human rights, and we all should be treated as equals, always!
Best wishes always,
People like Armey do not think. They think they do but there responses are knee jerk. A thoughtful person is simply beyond them. I think it has something to do with a virus. A Republican virus. So far, no antibiotics is sight.
There is a strong strain of "horses ass-ism" among those on the hard right. The really odd part is that they consider it as demonstrating their superior intellects. Joan is the latest victim of that strain.
You know, the Dick incident, coupled with the Dems caving on the reproductive rights part of the stimulus bill, has scared me back into my feminism boots. I hope that female teens and 20-somethings saw this clip and were as shocked as I was. It illustrated how much ground we lost under Bush. I am still outraged!
The GOP is a 'dick Army'...

Most of them are dicks and assholes... Wow, and they are against gays? Hah!

I didn't follow the Dick Armey thing but I'd consider it a complement that he wouldn't marry you, if that was the context of the statement.

I've always wondered what kind of being would actually marry these heinous creatures and allow they to put their, um, dirty parts in their dirty parts. I've also wondered what kind of 'god' would allow these evil people to actually procreate...


The GOP has to be feeling some heat for the Limbaugh escapade and all the other crap they are throwing. I fired back to my GOP political hack representative and posted the email (and the article that spawned it). If many more people raised the heat on their asses, they will either pull into line or become so hated that they can't be seen in public anywhere except maybe Iran or Borneo.

(Iran because they hate America almost as much as the GOP and Borneo because the people there could probably give a care what they do to this country)
You rock that hat. You should keep it, it even matches the jacket.

And Dick should be so lucky as to have you to listen to every day!
He was a complete ass. Complete. Perfect. Set the bar for asses world over.

And, Hillary *was* treated in a sexist manner---most specifically by Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Maureen Dowd. It isn't the reason she lost. Obama was simply the better candidate for the time and place. But that doesn't change the fact that she was treated in a sexist manner.
Nice hat. Looks strangely familiar.
The reason you are Joan Walsh, and I'm not, is your composure under fire. I would have probably punched his nose and called him a asshole. See? That's why you represent all of us and I don't.
Good job Joan. Mean people suck. You aren't and you don't.
Ugh. That misogynistic fool would be lucky to be married to you. As always, with your intelligence and class, you took the high road.

Oh, and I love the hat!
To be serious for a moment...I don't really know how you manage to let the crap flung at you roll down your back with such aplomb. I get a nasty comment here and I am screwed up for hours. So much silliness flung in your general direction by such knuckledragging troglodytes....and that's just regular Salon posters.

This is the most hostile site sometimes. I admire you.
I watched the Hardball episode of you and Armey. I watched the video of the Limbaugh comments. I posted both of them to my facebook account and sent the links to everyone I know.

I am appalled. And I don't know why, exactly. But every time something like this happens I expect everyone, conservative and liberal, or whatever is in between, to rise up in opposition and banish these people to some island somewhere, or at least be de-seated from their positions (how many people have been fired from making similar but diluted comments that were made with no malice?). I am always surprised when this doesn't happen. And I am always dismayed at the world I live in.

You did a great job, by the way. You were composed, informed (definitely about the EITC and anti-poverty initiatives, which I happen to know something about), and classy. You're also witty, but not mean. Not being mean is important. Good job.

I saw your encounter with Dick Armey on YouTube.

I don't generally pay any attention to Chris Matthews or Dick Armey. I saw your name on the headline and ran the video.

My question to you; is it worth it?

Dick Armey is - well - Dick Armey. He has been around a while. We all know who and what he is, and Hardball is called Hardball for a reason.

It seems to me that you are opening yourself to a lot of abuse by playing in that sandbox.

Is it worth it?

AND (I meant to say above) I love that you are wearing Aretha's hat!
I was so proud of you. Proud not because of the way you acquited yourself in the face of such ignorance, but proud because your represented the daily struggle we women (and people of color and of a certain age!) Jesus, I am a Jamaican/Cuban +45 year old woman! go through every day. The crap we take and the graciousness with which we volley the ball. You are busy, but I would be honored if you could check my blog:
When I saw Aretha in "The Hat", my first thought was that no white woman could ever wear it. Oooops.
Love the new hat. Maybe Armey will now start giving you the
R-E-S-P-E-C-T you so richly deserve!
I find your new picture ridiculing Aretha Franklin's inaugural hat hateful and hurtful. What's your point, except to diminish a music icon whose contributions to society will long outlive yours? I look forward to it being taken down promptly.
Joan you owe it to the left to marry this guy. Really. If you were really serious about helping our side, you would do this. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask who you have to marry to annoy into oblivion. However, you are already our hero, so if you opt out, I guess that's ok.
What Dick Armey did was frickin crazy. What Chris Matthews failed to do in response was just plain wrong.
Joan, you're my hero! Your professionalism in the face of such pompous arrogance is beyond admirable. Armey was reprehensible, but the fact that Chris Matthews didn't step in to stop him is just as bad. I think both of them owe you an apology.
It appears that Army represents the mindset and desperateness that is the republican party. His display of arrogance and rudeness typifys many in his genre, that is why they lost this election. After eight years, this group has brought this country to one of the most difficult periods in our history, however, now they want to convince Americans that they know how to govern and they have the answers. It's laughable. When they can't get their way they bully. His days and philosophy are over and his actions along with with his buddies like Limbaugh further make Americans realize how out of touch and self serving these people are. Joan, you took one for the team. Thank you for being a calm voice of reason.
Joan, you were magnificent in that clip. You could not have responded more perfectly.

I suppose I shouldn't expect anything better from cable talk shows, but I do expect better from long-time elected officials. I was shocked by the clip, and couldn't get it out of my mind for days. It made it perfectly clear that Armey spent an entire lifetime in politics (you know, running our damned country) without ever having to interact with a female peer. An old white man who has spent decades only worrying about the opinions of old white men.

And yeah, I've heard the jokes about "old white men" for years (I'm 40) but honestly, that interview was a moment of epiphany for me. I've met my share of chauvinists, but in the corporate world you just can't hide yourself in a box where there are no people of color or women to challenge you.

Thank you for not responding in kind to him. Grown-ups don't behave like that and he really showed himself to be not capable of playing with the big girls and boys. What a loser. (- Jen from TT)
They replayed Dick's comments on Howard Kurtz's media show on CNN this morning. He wasn't impressed either. Like so many of his type, a strong, independent woman isn't his style. He wouldn't like me either!

It's that power hat that you have on now...its all about that hat.
I have totally fallen behind in thanking everyone individually, but a couple of points, beyond thank you everyone:

In case anyone else is like GordonO, confused, my hat is an homage to Aretha, not an insult. Of course.

I have to say Welcome, Jen! I'm thrilled to see you.

And I didn't see Reliable Sources. Will go look now. Jesus. Chris Wallace also thought it was "hilarious."
My goodness, bravo to you for your forthrightness and composure.

What flaming idiocy you dealt with! What patronizing, mean-spirited condescension! What sexism underneath it all! What poor debating skills! How insulting!

I just watched the video. I think I need a drink.
Just want to clarify, I just watched Reliable Sources and Howard Kurtz was critical of Armey, and so was Lisa Bloom...did not mean to link them to Chris Wallace.
Joan, just to be clear--love the hat. LOVE. And what's underneath aint too shabby neither. Armey's not worth so much as the energy required to utter his name.
Whoa. I must have totally missed this one.
What a jerk ... as if we needed more evidence that he's an ass. You handled it beautifully, with charm & grace ... and really, we wouldn't expect anything else.
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