Search Results For "Sally Ride" lesbian

My take here.

When readers ask me sincerely to stop for a minute and re-read posts written in real time and to reconsider, I try to listen. This blog has long been a conversation, rather than a monologue. So let me briefly say what I take away from this, having slept and prayed on it. My tone was increasingly off as BayardRustinAug1963-LibraryOfCongress_cropthe debate proceeded. I don’t think it was off in the first post, which I stand by in full. But as the debate quickened, my defensiveness segued into an appearance of disrespect for someone recently dead whose immense achievements, as I said at the start, overwhelm any flaws. For that, I apologize. I got carried away by the argument and forgot the person and those who loved her. That is against what I know I believe in.

And I could have made my positive point better. I just wished she had been with us because of the immense good she could have done. I would never have violated her right to self-disclosure, but it would have been dishonest not to express my sadness at her decision.

Perhaps a better way of putting this is to point to another American icon, Bayard Rustin.

Rustin was both black and gay and was integral to the organization behind the civil rights movement. But because he was gay, and had been arrested for public sex, he chose to be in the background of the movement and not be a spokesman, in case it would do more harm than good. But in his later life, he became a towering figure for many of us looking for role models as out gay men. He was a pragmatist but also deeply principled, like the late Frank Kameny. He faced, like Ride, several layers of discrimination, but he found the strength to break through all of them.

He was utterly unafraid – his spouse was white – and his politics were at odds with the New Left’s cooptation of gay rights in the 1970s. But he spoke out as a gay man after he had marched as a black man. He broke taboos in his own movement:

Today, blacks are no longer the litmus paper or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. The new “niggers” are gays. . . . It is in this sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change. . . . The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people.

No one is required to be a hero. But no one either should be judged too weak or oppressed for heroism. Sally Ride had a choice, as did Bayard Rustin. They are both heroes to my mind in many ways – and far more distinguished human beings than I could ever be. But Rustin’s shoulders are higher and broader. You can see the future from them.

Sally Ride: Three More Emails

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 27 2012 @ 10:25am

I’m working on a final post on this later. Meanwhile, three emails that stood out to me in the in-tray:

GT_RIDE-TORCH_120726You are both wrong and being a bit of a jerk about it. Sally Ride came up in a really sexist world. I’ll let women at NASA chime in definitively, but last I heard it’s still a pretty darn retro place to be female. She remained in various roles that were NASA/government related. She was also a physics professor, another realm that is not a bastion of female dominance. Finally, she promoted Middle School science study – particularly to girls – through her foundation.

She wasn’t trying to reach girls in the progressive elite; she was trying to reach girls who might even be growing up in less accepting parts of society (remember the Boy Scouts haven’t quite moved forward on this one). Just by being a brilliant, talented, accomplished scientist, she presented a great role model for women and girls. She was famous for breaking barriers for women.

Had she made a public issue of her sexuality, she could very easily have lost those opportunities, or had her accomplishments downplayed by a very retrograde establishment. We may not have heard of her at all. Instead, she did what she did, did it well, and encouraged girls to follow in her footsteps. I think the problem with your argument is that you are underestimating the challenges and difficulties women face in a men’s world. Taking that on is plenty, and taking on another “difference” may be enough to jeopardize the whole enterprise.


As a young gay woman in STEM, I’m not ducking or covering. I had no idea who Sally Ride was until yesterday, but I appreciate her and her passion for women in STEM now.

A final one:

On one hand, you say “I believe it is a person’s private decision” and “There could have been immense, career-ending difficulties. But civil rights heroes face those difficulties down.”  Fine. But then you start tossing out “coward” and “AWOL”.

OK, so Ms. Ride was not a civil rights hero on this issue.  But there is a lot of space between “hero” and “coward”.  It’s a place where most of us spend most of our time, and where we stand on most issues.

Would the world be a better place if more people were heroes?  Probably.  But denunciations of cowardice (which is what your comments sound like), just because someone was not a hero on an issue you care about, are unwarranted.  And all of us who have not risen to heroism are going to get our backs up as a result, because we don’t relish a world in which heroism is demanded at all times.  And that is what, whether deliberately or not, you are doing: demanding heroism.

It is, may I suggest, counterproductive.  Better to celebrate those who are heroes.  And leave accusations of cowardice to the occasions where they are warranted by more than a mere absence of heroism.

The rest of the thread hereherehere, here and here. A final post soon.

(Photo: Torchbearer Sally Ride carries the Olympic Flame during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Torch Relay in San Diego, California on January 14, 2002:. By Todd Warshaw/Pool/Getty Images)


Here we go again. Hundreds of readers are still dissenting through our in-tray and Facebook page. One reader:

First of all, being a member of the astronaut corps during the '80s and beyond, one could not be openly gay.  Hell, one couldn't even get a security clearance (a requirement of the job) if one was openly gay until 1996, and even then it was iffy until 2006.  How do you expect that Ms. Ride could have been an astronaut and been out during the 1980s?

She quit in 1987. Thereafter she could have been an incredible voice in defense of gay people in the military and against the gay ban. She was utterly silent. Another writes:

I know people who knew Sally and Tam. All I can say is, just because she wasn't sitting on the back of convertibles at Pride Parades doesn't mean she was in the closet. She didn't hide anything from people who knew her, probably much like Anderson Cooper was "out" to people who knew him long before he came out to the broader public. Ride was a very private person who used her privilege to help and inspire future scientists both male and female, something we sorely need more of in this country. You whine and rail about how she "was silent during the most epic and important years of both the AIDS crisis and the battle over marriage and the military." Good god. Just because YOU didn't hear her hardly means she was silent!

Look: read the original post. One sentence:

Her achievements as a woman and as a scientist and as an astronaut and as a brilliant, principled investigator of NASA's screw-ups will always stand, and vastly outshine any flaws.

And no one said anything about pride parades. The one most powerful thing any gay person can do as an activist is be out. That means, when you are a public person, out to the world. To do otherwise is not a passive act; it is an active act of lying. I mean, how many famous heterosexuals are straight in their private life but completely single when it comes to the public arena? To keep up that pretense takes work – every day. And it requires shame. Another:

You have no idea what role Sally Ride's erotic interests played in her life, nor do I, but for a significant percentage of people (men and women), it is not the central, defining role.

"Erotic" interests? This has nothing to do with Ride's "sex life". It's about her public identity. Acknowledging one's orientation in public is no more about sex than reporting that someone is married. A reader points out:

Billie Jean King did not come out of the closet; she was outed. She didn't "take the risk and face the consequences." She simply faced the consequences. You might want to ask her what she thinks about Sally Ride, since King has said, "a person should be able to reveal their sexual orientation on their own terms."

And I agree! I would never have outed Ride while she lived. I believe it is a person's private decision and Sally Ride had every right to choose the path of being AWOL while her gay brothers were dying in thousands and while lesbian soldiers were being thrown out of the military and lesbian couples were fighting to keep custody of their children. Another:

I'm not sure the closet was a factor so much as her Scandinavian-American cultural values and Calvinist upbringing.  Both her parents were Presbyterian elders, remember, and her sister, who is herself a Presbyterian pastor, remarked that Ms. Ride was a "Norwegian, through and through" when asked why she was so private.  I think there is something to this. Like Ms. Ride, I was raised in a very traditional Scandinavian-American family (and am openly gay).  Within this subculture there's an emphasis on the value of privacy and very purposeful disclosure of one's personal life to family and close friends.  Moreover, one gains a sense that one should not, even implicitly, put one's self above others or make one's self an example for others.  (This was codified by Aksel Sandemose in a 1933 book about Danish village life as the "Law of Jante" and has been much satirized.)

But Ride's sister, Bear, is also a lesbian yet decided to come out of the closet years ago. And I assume Scandinavian-Americans do not keep their heterosexual marriages and relationships completely "private". Another reader:

Could you share your thoughts with us about the different coming outs of Sally Ride and Anderson Cooper? It seems like you were easier on Anderson's decision to come out later in life. Is it that Anderson did come out and that Sally didn't and waited for her obituary to do it for her? I'm not trying to be antagonistic, I'm just trying to understand what seems like very different tones in your pieces about the two of them.

Well: duh. Anderson did what Ride didn't. Another, echoing many readers, suggests that I am being sexist:

How can you be so pragmatic about Obama but not about Sally Ride? She picked battles, just like Obama – just not the battle you could share with her. I think you wear blinders about the difficulties women face.

I'm not saying there are no difficulties. There could have been immense, career-ending difficulties. But civil rights heroes face those difficulties down. And I wasn't asking for her to run a country – just to be honest about who she really was in order to help others. Another tries to turn the tables:

Let me just point out a glaring hypocrisies you're indulging in: You snipe that "in 1985, Billie Jean King had been openly lesbian for four years," in response to a reader's suggestion that the Type A, macho/military world Ride worked in was a reasonable excuse for her staying closeted.

Well, in 1985 Andrew Sullivan had six years to go before he came out publicly – and that in the tolerant elite/academic world that DC journalism, and not least TNR, straddles. Here's the 1991 Time article where you did it. And when you recalled the moment earlier this month, you noted that you less came out than – your word – "stumbled" out. No doubt you'd have come out eventually, anyway, but don't go behaving now as if you were some brave pioneer. As you wrote today, "others took the risk and faced the consequences." At the time your sexuality was evidently secondary (or maybe tertiary) to what you really cared about: your work. It appears Ride lived by a similar code. I realize that your understanding of the importance of sexuality to one's self, and therefore to work, love, and the rest of life, has changed, and that you now consider it primary. And I agree. But if you're going to blast Sally Ride for having a different view, you should save a bullet for young Andrew Sullivan as well.

I was out by the age of 23 to anyone who could possibly know me. My public coming out to the world was merely a function of my writing about gay issues and then getting a big job in journalism and being asked to confirm what everyone already knew. What was I going to do: lie? Why? And my view on sexual orientation as a part of life has not changed at all. It is one part of me, not all of me, but as critical a part of me as a heterosexual orientation is to a heterosexual. Now try going a day if you are straight without ever giving a public clue as to your orientation. No mention of wife, husband, kids, marriage, girlfriend, boyfriend, home, private life … Now try doing that for decades. It takes work. Another reader with a long memory:

In 2002 you said of Rosie O'Donnell coming out, "I must say I feel bad for having prodded O'Donnell to do this before she was ready. She picked her time and made her case." Sally Ride was worthy of having the right to pick her own time and make her own case too, even if it was after her death.

Agreed! And I didn't out Sally Ride in her lifetime. Another:

You know Andrew, maybe it's just the way the discourse has run, but you seemed a lot more sympathetic to people like Ted Haggard than Ride. I'm not sure that's right.

I think I am more forgiving of those who are so obviously fucked up they are as much victims of homophobia as enabling of it. I dont regard Haggard as a role model (more a cautionary tale of how the fundamentalist psyhe can be so damaging), but I can pity him for his pathologies, even as I make no excuses for his lies. But the point about Ride was how unfucked-up she was, how brilliant a role model she could have been to young lesbians.

And now we know that her real lesson to young lesbans was and is: duck and cover.

Earlier thoughts in the thread here, here, here and here.

(Photo: NASA astronaut Robert Crippen (C, first row), the Space Shuttle Challenger crew commander, pose in January 1983 in Johnson Space Center, Houston, with his crewmembers, Astronauts Frederick Hauck (R), Shuttle pilot, Sally Ride (L), John Fabian and Norman Thagard, mission specialists. They will be aboard the Shuttle Challenger for NASA STS-7 mission, scheduled of June 1983. By AFP/Getty Images)

A reader writes:

Perhaps the NYT was puzzled about reporting whether Sally Ride should be called a lesbian, or perhaps bisexual – since she had been married to a male astronaut for five years.

And then there's a bit of awkwardness in reporting on the length of her "partnership" with O'Shaugnessy. She was married to the other astronaut between 1982 and 1987. But her partnership with O'Shaugnessy is said to have been 27 years long, which means that it began in 1985 during her marriage. If one member of a heterosexual married couple begins a relationship with another person while married, and later marries the second person, it's not customary to celebrate anniversaries as dating back to when the extramarital romance began.

Another notes:

Even worse for the NYT, the obit now says:

…Dr. Ride is survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy; her mother, Joyce; and her sister, Ms. Scott, who is known as Bear. (Dr. O’Shaughnessy is chief operating officer of Dr. Ride’s company.)

They changed the "Ms." to "Dr." at some point without noting the "correction" – obscured even more (by my little research on baby name sites) that Tam is traditionally used as a boys name in Scottish.


I think it's important to note Dr. Ride's partner will receive NONE of the federal death benefits available to married heterosexual couples.


The in-tray and our Facebook page are flooded with dissents against this post:

You list the numerous accomplishments of Sally Ride and then deride her for not having also fought for your pet cause? She hits 10 out of 10 on the lifetime achievement scale and you berate her because she didn't turn it up to 11. Good grief. How many crusades does one have to be on the forefront of before Andrew says, "Ok, I guess that's good enough."

Civil rights are not my "pet cause." They are civil rights. Would a heterosexual denied the right to marry regard securing it as a "pet cause"? Another:

Geez Andrew, you need to cut Sally Ride some slack.  She made her career in a type-A, patriotic organization with strong ties to the military.  Of course it was hyper-macho and homophobic.  27 years ago was 1985 and the closet was pretty damn full, for better or for worse. You haven't forgotten how bad it was in the military even five years ago, have you?

In 1985, the closet was not full of people who were dying of AIDS. They had no closet left. Hundreds of thousands were about to die, in a period where countering fear and bigotry became literally a way to save lives. In 1985, Billie Jean King had been openly lesbian for four years. Another:

I worked at NASA at Kennedy Space Center during the first three launches of the Shuttle program involved with retrieval of the boosters used to launch the shuttle. I'm gay, and was not out back then. This was Florida in the early '80s, and it felt more like the late '60s. The N-word was still prevalent. It was also a government funded operation, the Air Force was the major player, and everyone is an engineer. Being out was not an option. And all these years later, Florida hasn't changed its attitude that much, so I doubt the testosterone-charged atmosphere at NASA did either.

I'm struck by the notion that "being out was not an option." Sure it was. It is always an option. A truly difficult option, but an option. She chose not to go there, while she embraced many other causes. Others took the risk and faced the consequences. That kind of courage is what makes civil rights movements succeed. Another:

As a female pioneer not just in space, but, possibly more importantly, in physics, Ride had to know that coming out as a lesbian could weaken or negate the effects of her work and stature in refuting prejudice against women more generally: "Of course, SHE can do physics and handle space – she's pretty butch, not REALLY a woman," etc.  It's cruel, it's unfair, but there it is.  Young lesbians face discrimination both for being female and for being gay, and fighting sexism helps lesbians as well as straight women.  If a lesbian feels she has to choose her battles, I'm not sure we should judge her choice.

The trouble is: you legitimize the assumptions about being a lesbian and not being a real woman by staying in the closet. And Ride was silent during the most epic and important years of both the AIDS crisis and the battle over marriage and the military. Those weren't any old years to be gay. They were the critical ones – when gay people were dying en masse, and when the possibility of civil rights and civil equality hung in the balance. In that struggle, she was sadly AWOL. Another:

After her career as an astronaut came to an end, her life's mission was to expand science education in our classrooms.  Now you of all people should appreciate that the regions of our country where science education is held in low regard are the very same places where homophobia reigns.  I'm sure Ms. Ride believed that if she "came out" publicly it would overshadow her ongoing efforts to increase opportunities for science education among our young people?

It's too bad we live in a nation where that would have been an issue, but do you really think she could have successfully pursued the goals laid out by her organization, Sally Ride Science, had she been openly gay?  Can you imagine the uproar in certain regions/school districts  had she been an out lesbian?  Do you think Sally Ride Science could have reached those most in need of their services and educational programs?

As a gay woman who has been out my whole life, I am so proud of what Sally Ride accomplished during her lifetime.  She knew she wanted to leave a legacy that included her life as a lesbian.  Her obituary made that very clear.  She wasn't a coward; she was a pragmatist, and I have nothing but respect for the way she conducted her life and the way she chose to reveal the love of her life upon her death.

One more:

I have to disagree with you in your assessment of Sally Ride's lesbianism. I was born two years after her historic flight, and my parents, being educated and progressive, held her up as an example of what I could do, regardless of my gender. And I ate it up. Every report on role models in elementary school, every five-page research paper on major 20th century events in middle school, and every integrated science/English paper I wrote in high school were about Dr. Ride, her accomplishments and her contributions to society. I even kept trying in physics, no matter how many Cs (and lower) I got on tests, in the hopes of one day becoming an astronaut.

I would have never done that if I had known she was a lesbian. My parents would never have thought her to be an appropriate role model, and even worse, I would have never allowed even the association that a middle school oral report would have given. Because then everyone would know that I was a lesbian too.

So when I read Dr. Ride's obituary yesterday, and saw the one-line reference to her "partner," I was oddly relieved that she wasn't out when I was a teenager. I needed that inspiration, the idea that I could get as far away as possible from the torment of high school, my parents' homophobia, my friends' religion. Her closet is part of the reason I escaped mine.

Which makes Sally Ride what? A role model for staying silent so as not to disturb the status quo? Once you accept the logic of prejudice, even as a tool for other laudable goals, you've given the game away.

(Photo: Former tennis star Billie Jean King and former astronaut Sally Ride arrive at the induction ceremony for the California Hall of Fame December 6, 2006 in Sacramento, California. The Hall of Fame, which was conceived by California first lady Maria Shriver, is inducting King, Ride, Alice Walker, Ronald Reagan, Cesar Chavez, Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart, Clint Eastwood, Frank Gehry, David D. Ho, John Muir and the Hearst and Packard families. By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


That wasn't too hard, was it?

But it takes a long time into the NYT obit of Sally Ride for readers to realize that the first American woman in space was a lesbian, and, even then, you have to be alert. Maybe this could have tipped them off:

Dr. Ride was known for guarding her privacy. She rejected most offers for product endorsements, memoirs and movies, and her reticence lasted to the end. At her request, NASA kept her illness secret. In 1983, writing in The Washington Post, Susan Okie, a journalist and longtime friend, described Dr. Ride as elusive and enigmatic, protective of her emotions. “During college and graduate school,” Dr. Okie wrote, “I had to interrogate her to find out what was happening in her personal life.”

Now talk about a buried lede! The only thing preventing the NYT from writing an honest obit is homophobia. They may not realize it; they may not mean it; but it is absolutely clear from the obit that Ride's sexual orientation was obviously central to her life. And her "partner" (ghastly word) and their relationship is recorded only perfunctorily. The NYT does not routinely only mention someone's spouse in the survivors section. When you have lived with someone for 27 years, some account of that relationship is surely central to that person's life. To excise it completely is an act of obliteration. I'm afraid the Beast's tribute is worse. Lynn Sherr manages to write an appreciation which essentially treats Ride as a heterosexual. When Sherr writes this …

In technological terms, NASA was pushing ahead toward the 21st century. But in human terms, it had finally entered the 20th. And it could not have picked a better pioneer.

… she is referring to Ride's gender, not her sexual orientation. And one often over-looked aspect of this is the long-standing discomfort of some in the feminist movement with lesbians in their midst. Feminists often "inned" lesbian pioneers, or the lesbians closeted themselves. This was not because they were in a reactionary movement; it was because they were in a progressive movement that did not want to be "tarred" with the lesbian image. (Think of Bayard Rustin for a gay male equivalent). Now, of course, Ride chose the closet throughout her life. Given who she was, how independent and brilliant, brave and cool, this is surely testament to how deep homophobia ran in American life. But it may also, as one reader suggests, be part of a welcome shift:

We only know O'Shaugnessy is a female from that vague abstraction – "partner" – and from a parenthetical statement that Ms. O'Shaugnessy was the CEO of the late Ride's company. I have no idea if Ride was out to her friends or out to the public. But this could be another replication of the Anderson Cooper phenomenon – a movement towards a gay equality where people can come out on their own terms, without making what they perceive to be a big deal out of it. Hopefully we're getting to the point where being gay is an utterly unremarkable fact in a great American life.


I don't always keep up with the latest on who has come out openly, but this certainly came as a surprise to me.

I guess putting this information at the end of the obit is in line with the Times's treatment of sexuality; they certainly would not go out of their way to identify someone as heterosexual other than in listing survivors. That alone shows how far we've come. But are we really in a world where the fact that one of the most respected and pioneering women of the past quarter century was a lesbian is not worthy of mentioning more prominently?

According to the obit, Ride was very concerned with promoting women's opportunities in the sciences. She apparently was not as interested in promoting opportunities, or visibility at least, for gays and lesbians (at least, no such efforts are mentioned), which is a shame.

But assuming that she was not out before her death, I don't think we can judge this as a failing. We all do what we can, and play the role we are most comfortable with. Now that the information is in the open, the LGBT community has another heroine to claim as our own and celebrate posthumously.

I'm not so understanding. We can judge this decision in the context of Ride's life. Her achievements as a woman and as a scientist and as an astronaut and as a brilliant, principled investigator of NASA's screw-ups will always stand, and vastly outshine any flaws. But the truth remains: she had a chance to expand people's horizons and young lesbians' hope and self-esteem, and she chose not to.

She was the absent heroine.

(Photo: Sally Ride in June 1983, on the shuttle "Columbia." NASA / AP Photo)

Your Moments Of Dishness

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 6 2015 @ 11:00am

Yesterday we made one final bleg requesting “your favorite moment of Dishness” – and you delivered in spades, as you always do. It’s hard to disagree with this reader’s pick:

Your wedding, plain and simple. The photos, the setting, the dogs, the look in your faces:


I’ve been reading you for 10+ years and you kept me looking forward and to know hope. As native Texan gays, we hope our day comes for true marriage, not just a ceremony.

Another reader:

My favorite moment of Dishness? No question: Dusty. We miss you. RIP to Dusty and the Dish.

Another looks to the future:

For me it’s “Falling In Love Again“, about bonding with Bowie after the loss of Dusty. It gets to me every time I read it – the peculiarities that define us all (pets too), the process of moving on (but not forgetting), and everything that comes with sharing your life with another being.

Another reader gets close to home:

My mind immediately jumped to the moment you got your green card. You explained exactly just what and how much the symbolic welcoming to the country meant to you. I’m proud to consider you a brother and hope you one day get your citizenship. Thanks for everything.

Another simply sends this video, which any true Dishhead will recognize by its date – June 19, 2009:

Another elaborates:

So many moments with the Dish brought me joy, tears, enlightenment and shared frustration, but what stands out the most was the Green Revolution coverage.  Unlike anything I’ve ever seen elsewhere in this life, coverage aggregation / best news reporting available with such honesty and intensity. I can’t say thank you enough to the whole Dish team who made it happen.

It was the moment when Patrick and Chris and I first truly bonded as a team. Speaking of which, one of our best teammates was intern Doug, who sends a screenshot from his July 2012 interview:

screenshots 14-11

(Yeah, I set up a script to take screenshots at intervals throughout the interview process. Super creepy, but I had to memorialize the event because it was a huge fucking deal to me. And honestly, I’d say it’s not a bad pic.)

The chance to work with the three of you was amazing, but this is my moment of Dishness for so many more reasons. Because this was the moment I began to fully understand that the Dish, in so many ways, was exactly what it presented itself as. It was not just Andrew; it was a fascinating and bizarre entity all of its own (by the time I joined), in which you could see the individual personalities at work, but that was simultaneously so much more than any of you individually. It was the first time I’ve ever been really excited for an interview, rather than just dreading it. And it was the beginning of one of the most interesting adventures in my life.

Likewise, to say the least. Another reader sensed the mind meld of the whole Dish staff:

That time Andrew went on vacation and I couldn’t tell for days. The padawans had supplanted their master.

This reader would probably agree:

dishiesAn “esoteric” moment of Dishness? How about a YouTube video you posted showing in time-lapse a map of Bruce Springsteen’s concert appearances over 40 years, set to a Springsteen song. The video had like 200 views before being featured at the Dish.

Sure, I have loved (and hated) the Dish’s commentary, been charmed by the window views, changed my mind after reading through the eloquent responses of your readers. But the ability of you and your staff to curate these obscure bits that speak to the quirky passions of your readers – that’s true Dishness. No other site comes close in casting such a wide net for the oddities that speak to what we love in our culture.

Speaking of oddities:

e5_2My favorite moment of Dishness was the Wedding Dress Guy. To me, this is when the Dish transcended an author’s personal/political blog and moved toward something broader, quirkier, and increasingly indefinable. I mean, one minute there’s a critique of John Kerry, the next, a tattooed guy wearing his ex-fiance’s wedding dress in an eBay ad. It’s everything I love about the free-for-all that is the Internet.

All kinds of Internet in this one:

The Christmas Hathos contest, especially the finalist I submitted (naturally).

Another reader gives us props:

My favorite moment? When you talked about paying your interns. (And when you quoted me praising you for it!) Seriously, how did working for free become OK? (I blame Reagan firing the air traffic controllers.) So thanks for paying the interns.

Thanks for your countless emails over the years – emails that were often more compelling than anything we wrote:

I’ll go with your “It’s So Personal” series on late-term abortions. I was raised Catholic, was fiercely pro-life at one point but gradually came to the pro-choice perspective. Still, there was some residue from my upbringing, and I couldn’t understand why people would opt for the procedure so late in pregnancy. When I read those searing stories of choices no parent could face, I finally understood.

Another quintessential Dish thread:

The Cannabis Closet. You’re not just my favorite political voice on the web; you’re my favorite voice on the web. And that thread goes so far beyond politics. I picked this because you were so unafraid to tackle it, and your readers followed your lead.

Another pivots to politics:

As a 14-year-long reader (I started following you when I was 22 – sigh, we’ve grown old together, Andrew), my favorite moment of Dishness was during the 2012 POTUS election. You had an absolute MELTDOWN after the first debate and outwardly lost all faith in our president.

This embed is invalid

If I’ve learned anything about the man since ’04, it’s to have faith in his abilities and talent, you clearly lost that faith for a brief period after a lackluster performance. You got spun up by the spin, overly dramatic and as you’ve been known to do over the past decade, shrill. You calmed down eventually, and as predicted, we got another four years. Take care during this next stage Andrew :)

One thing to say: I wasn’t spun by the spin. I freaked out in real time before any spin occurred. Another reader saw that debate differently:

You took a lot of flak for over-reacting, but Obama fucking up so flagrantly, with so much at stake, warranted the strongest possible reaction. You expressed my sentiments to a T, essentially saying “how dare you” to the president.  At a time when many observers made a point of showing restraint, you understood (viscerally) that the situation called for something else.

Another goes back to the very early days of Dish:

Reading the Melville poem you posted on September 13th, 2001 sent a chill through my spine wtcthat day. How foreboding it seemed then, and how prescient it turned out to be. Looking back on that post now, I can’t think of anything else that more clearly foreshadows the events of the years that followed – in particular how we the weeping, blinded by grief and hungry for revenge, launched the most misguided war in our history. Perhaps it isn’t always the enemy who should be warned of those baring the iron hand. Perhaps it should be a warning to the very people baring it.

Another jumps ahead:

One moment of Dishness that makes me grin is this post from October 2004, when you linked to your endorsement of John Kerry for president:

The endorsement I once never thought I’d write… I’m now headed to an undisclosed location.

With Barack Obama having taken the mantle of the elixir to the Bush/Cheney years, I think back to that post on occasion and consider it the early draft of “Know Hope.”

Another reader:

andrew-sullivan-i-was-wrong-coverMy favorite moment was the time you finally realized and admitted how wrong you were about the Iraq War.  Those of us who had been against the war from the beginning were being told, by you, and others, how wrong, stupid, etc. etc. we were.  I was never prouder of you than I was at that moment.  I downloaded the I Was Wrong e-book you put together that traced your thinking from the beginning and I understood how difficult it was for you to admit your error.  If all of us could be so open to change.

The Iraq e-book was a huge editing job tackled masterfully by Chris and Patrick, with a ton of technical help from Chas. It’s now outside our Deep Dish paywall for anyone to read. Back to Dishness:

I have a clear favorite. I worked on the Obama campaign at this office in Virginia during the 2008 general election. Seeing our own tiny corner of the campaign documented amidst your reporting of important events from all over the country on that historic day provided a sense of validation and connection with the larger campaign that I still savor to this day.

The other side of that campaign:

This entry has to be one of my all-time favorites in Dishness:


“An image from Sarah Palin’s id.”

I read it as I was in the middle of drinking my morning caffeine.  I literally spat out my drink and started choking because I was laughing so hard.

Another gets serious about the former half-term governor:

Okay. In the end, it has to be the subject that brought me here in the first place: Trig. Despite the ridicule, dismissal and disinterest, you never wavered in your insistence that the story mattered. Just as a candidate who uses his war record (McCain et al) or near death of a child (Al Gore) as a central part of his political identity and appeal, VP candidate Sarah Palin’s endlessly repeated, fantastical birth story was a valid area of inquiry. And you were the only one in the quasi mainstream who wouldn’t let it drop.

So I nominate “Why Does Trig Matter?“:

In the end, this story is not about Palin. It’s about the collapse of the press and the corrupt cynicism of a political system that foisted this farce upon us without performing any minimal due diligence.

Another reflects on the most recent election:


My favorite moment was “The American President.” In 2012, I was an Obama organizer in Seattle, where I worked 20-hour, high-stress days. On election night, I was too busy (and too drunk) to read blogs, so I read this post hung-over on November 7, going to the campaign office to pack my things. It was a beautiful winter morning, cold and clear and sunny. It read as a summation of all I’d worked for, and no moment online has since carried so much promise.


November 6, 2012: Karl Rove impotently raging against the forces of reality while trying to figure out how he could have spent so much money for so little gain.

Another had trouble picking a moment:

Oh, so many. But one I think deserves attention is the whole Obama/Road Runner thing. It’s so fitting. How many times have this guy’s political opponents been certain that they have him, right up until the second they look up and see the anvil? I honestly hope that the President has used the line. Maybe when the networks called the 2012 election he was never supposed to win. Meep, meep.

Another reader:

So I’m at a military conference, sitting in the audience, waiting for the next speaker. I pull out my phone to catch up on The Dish and start scrolling down. Without warning, before the jump, is a full-screen picture of a scrotum. A Colonel next to me barks, “Boy, what are you looking at?”

Heh. Another prefers the flip-side:

The Post-Scrotum Compromise.  The debate ultimately drove the “Naughty Saturday” and “Churchy Sunday” format, right?  Man, I’m gonna miss Saturdays.

The NSFW Saturday format – posts about sex, dating, booze and drugs, and other fun things typically done on a Saturday night – was already in place by then, conceived by Chris and kept prurient by weekend editors Zoe and then Jessie. Another reader looks back to the navy-blue days:

unnamed (12)

Oh the places you’ve gone …

Like here:

That time when you and Goldblog got into a pissing contest – not about settlements, not about Netanyahu, not about your marks on the Anne Frank attic test, not about Iran … but about that shitty Atlantic redesign.  Then, before going on vacation, you unleashed Dish Nation on HIS inbox. It took almost a week for him to crawl out of his smoldering in-tray, white flag in hand. Though hardly anyone noticed.

A far less petty battle:

For a Moment of Dishness, I nominate your coverage when the Senate torture report came out. During those days, I remember telling people, very happily and repeating myself as I often do, that Andrew was “on a roll”. I couldn’t believe how much high-quality commentary was appearing in The Dish, often minute-by-minute.

But another reader finds that “my moment of Dishness has to be negative”:

In your reactions to Sally Ride’s choice to stand as a universal icon for women, you could only see cowardice as a lesbian. Iraq should have taught me your capacity for tunnel-vision, but it took Sally Ride to really cement it for me. But it’s quintessential “Dish”: there you are – personal, flawed, passionate, revealing – and still trying for honesty and decency even when you’re bloody wrong and nasty about it. I consider you a “good man” for trying to see past your own blind spots. Even when you fail. Maybe especially then.

More readers let me have it:

OK, you asked for “embarrassing” – now this was EMBARRASSING, from October 5, 2004:

Well, I could easily be wrong, but I have a feeling Cheney will crush Edwards tonight. The format is God’s gift to Daddy. They’ll both be seated at a table, immediately allowing Cheney to do his assured, paternal, man-of-the-world schtick that makes me roll on my back and ask to have my tummy scratched. (Yes, I do think that Cheney is way sexier than Edwards. Not that you asked or anything.)

A more mortifying moment:

The butt-scratch mea culpa. Happy trails!


That time you pissed off Ryan Lizza is worthy of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

And perhaps most embarrassing of all:

When you referred to Scott Tenorman as “Stan Tenorman“, prompting all of us Dishhead South Park fans to go apeshit on you. I must have emailed 10 seconds after that post hit the blog, and you actually responded directly to me. I don’t remember exactly what you said though about 40% of the words were F-bombs. You knew the kind of trouble you were in.

Speaking of the Tenorman episode, Cartman should be given a chance to say goodbye as well:

Another reader gives me props for a principle I care about deeply:

Your piece defending Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, “The Quality of Mercy“, changed me. As someone who is young, queer, liberal, and growing up in San Francisco, this piece was the first one to push me to shed my dogmatic approach to those who disagreed with me. A movement won through understanding is such a testament to human empathy and I’ve since taken on the challenge of become a more open person. Since then, I’ve been able to learn so much because I’ve made myself an active yet vulnerable participant in a conversation instead of a bully. This was such an important lesson for me to learn at the time I did (I was 17 and incredibly self centered, as 17 year olds are want to do).

Another reader has Kenny’s back:

During the clusterfuck known as gamergate, you took the time to try to understand the perspective of the nerds who felt their culture was being co-timthumb-phpopted.  You didn’t excuse the horrible things some of them had done, but you humanized them.  I don’t think feminists realize how their open contempt of nerd culture is inextricably linked to the schoolyard dynamic of preying on unattractive and low status kids to advance one’s own social standing. Male nerds are afraid of women, and for good reason. Thanks for trying to understand this. I’ll miss you.

A female reader turns to a very Dish theme:

In response to your last “bleg,” I have to tell you: this beard-of-the-week guy turns my crank. Yowza.

A male reader:

This post of dudes with beards eating cupcakes. As a product of conservative evangelicalism, it was a growing-up moment for me. “Wait. He totally posted that because he thinks it’s sexy! Hmmmmm.” Hard to explain, but my eyes were opened to orientation versus sex with cocks in a new way.

Your Dish changed my life, Andrew. Or maybe I should say “Our Dish.

Right the second time. Another reader’s moment of Dish:

It was almost a throwaway line from several years ago. But it went something like this: “The real difference is not between gays and straights but those who have children and those who are childless.”

That, more than any other post, changed my thinking. I had already begun to respect gays more – including coming around on gay marriage – thanks to you. But this was a new perspective: It completely sidestepped the issue of sexuality (or race, or religion, to be honest). And it’s so true: People who have kids lead profoundly different lives that childless adults, regardless of their sexual orientation. And vice versa.

Several readers take us to a fount of Dishness – the window contest:

I’ve been reading your blog for more than a decade. My favorite moments have been when you’ve posted links to work by people I know personally and when you posted a contest entry from my hometown of Winooski, Vermont:

Your enthusiasm for the ‘Noosk seemed sincere. I hope you’ll come up here someday to visit now that you have all of this free time! There’s a direct flight to Burlington from DC.

The sincerity in that case belonged to Chris, who made the contest what it is today with the help of Chas, who took the baton last year. Another great VFYWC moment:

Two years ago on my 40th birthday I made a list of 40 feats I wanted to accomplish that year. One of them was to guess the city correctly in a VFYW contest. That week, the same week I signed up to be a subscriber, by pure fluke, I won the contest. (I didn’t actually guess the city correctly – but no one else did either, so proximity won out.) I was so happy I screamed and jumped around the room.

And another:

I am sure for countless readers, a special moment of Dishness was when they instantly recognized a VFYW that was not their own. In my case it was because I recognized a tree I have never seen, growing in a place I have never been. I knew that tree because I dwell in the overlooked world of garden bloggers and followed the blog of the person who submitted the window view from her Airstream Land Yacht. Politics are taboo in the garden blogging world, so that view told me a fellow garden blogger was also a Dish reader.

I then whined on my own garden blog that the Dish never published my window view. Urban views tend to get favored over nature views. I submitted another one just in case. Five days later there it was. It felt good.

I got two more window views in this winter. Chris called the last one phallic:


How many phallic window views did you get? I call it Creation. From the destruction of two colliding spirals something new is born. Something new is being born right now for all of you with the end of the Dish. Thank you, Andrew and team.

One more window moment:

I was stunned that the VFYW was taken in Chetek, Wisconsin, 2.38 pm.  Not my window, but my hometown.  Although I no longer live there, I felt a connection to someone in Podunk Chetek that we share an even larger, virtual community. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

For more serendipity along those lines, go here. Another reader switches gears:

My favorite moment of the Dish was your review of the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, and your comparison to the Beijing ceremony.  It perfectly encapsulated what was so great about you and the Dish: a real-time introspective review of real world events.  While most media outlets worried that the smaller-in-scale London ceremony proved that the West was falling behind China, you were one of the only ones that took a contrary position, arguing that London’s ability to laugh at itself is the bedrock of a free and democratic society.

Another takes this post to a whole new level:

Ask. Dina Martina. Anything:


Peep her vids here. Another reader:

Favorite may not be the right word, but for me the most memorable moment of pure Dishness is this video takedown of Joe Solmonese (when he was the head of the Human Rights Campaign) that you did at an AIDS vigil on the National Mall at the beginning of the Obama administration. It combines everything I love about the Dish: you passionately stating what you believe without care for politics or niceties; your empathy and understanding and care for others; your abhorrence for the stuffed-shirt cravenness that too often passes for “leadership” in Washington; and the clarity with which you speak about gay rights. I remember very clearly watching the video and wondering why I wasn’t hearing more people saying publicly what you were saying, which is we’re not waiting anymore for full equal rights for all gay Americans. And now look how far we’ve come.

Another takes me down a notch:

My favorite moment of Dishness: when Andrew had his beard dyed and instead of a subtle grecian formula type of deal, it came out a deep brownish hue. His freakout made me laugh out loud. Exposing himself and poking fun of his own foibles and vanity made the Dish much more fun.

Another sets a different tone:

Favorite moment of Dishness?  Probably hard to call such a sad video a favorite moment, but years later it stays with me:

It touches on many Dish themes: dogs, faith, addiction, love, redemption, city living.  And it just breaks my heart.  I felt a fraction of this sadness upon reading about the end of the Dish.

Something much sadder:

I’d nominate almost any moment in which you took on elements of the American Israel lobby over Israel’s conduct and America’s role in enabling it or submitting to it, but I’ll pick the time Leon Wieseltier tried to insinuate your Israel posts were anti-Semitic. I chose this because I know from my own experience how hard it is for any gentile to write about this topic truly and honestly, neither flinching from the points that need to be made forcefully, or saying something that can be construed as, or actually is, anti-Semitic. This issue is so important, so tied up to the major questions of war and peace – now of course with Iran.

Now for something completely different:

I never forgot this nugget in “The Meaning Of Girls“​ from Jan 22, 2013:

Have you never fantasized about fucking a carpenter with sawdust under his fingernails just after he fixed your creaking door? (#SullyTMI: I pulled that one off in real life in 1989.)

I sure as hell did after reading that.

More TMI:

You had me falling out of my chair at work laughing as you described your time at Burning Man “in the bowels of a throbbing, mobile homosexual sheep.”

Something a bit more civilized:

Your review of the State Dinner at the White House in 2012 was a great moment of Dishness, especially the image: you and Aaron tuxesholding hands (he, in an immaculate tuxedo, you … well, less immaculately turned out). And then the symbols: you and Aaron as a married couple attending an Obama-hosted diplomatic function, guested by a prime minister (a fellow Oxonian) who was fully supportive of gay rights in the UK. You posted pictures and gave us a review of the soiree, including the decorations, because we asked and you couldn’t help yourself.  A totally exclusive event that you made totally inclusive.

But the Dish has always mixed the high with the low:

Sully’s Confession here:

[T]he founder of Popeye’s Chicken, Al Copeland, just passed away. In my humble opinion, no fried chicken comes close to Popeye’s and I have also eaten there a couple times a month for as long as I have lived in the US. May his eternal repose be both spicy and mild.

I eat fried chicken regularly, but you should know that Bojangles is way better than Popeye’s. Unfortunately Bojangles only exists in the southeast, so you Yankees have the mistaken idea that Popeye’s is the best there is.

Or this option:

When you were snapped by a Dishhead blogging from Subway – that was a great moment of Dishness:


Another reader:

The Psychology of Pooping” is, without a doubt, total Dishness. This particular part of the thread just had me laughing as hard as I did the first time. One reader wrote:

Not sure how this is going to make it through your spam filter, but: For my money nothing beats a “potato gun”. You know, a nice compact poop that shoots out cleanly and doesn’t even require a wipe (of course, I do a couple safety wipes anyway). Shits of this nature will often be accompanied by a mid-level whooshing sound which is the reason for the name.

Is this thread an all-time low or all-time high for The Dish? I can’t decide.

And Andrew responded:

My secret: Yerba Prima Daily Fiber Caps. Seriously changed my life. They come out like large, clean, perfectly formed rabbit poops, leaving nothing but white on your toilet paper. Heaven.

I’m dying. The Dish is the only place where I feel it’s actually ok to read about this shit.

Speaking of shitty:

As a New Yorker living in DC for a long time, I loved your posts on living in New York City for a year. One of the lesser hats you wear is defender of Washington, D.C., for which I am always grateful. You are able to pinpoint why DC is good and why NYC is overinflated.

And don’t forget Satan’s Sangria. Another fave moment:

When Sam Harris kicked your ass in the God debate. It demonstrated that even one of the great independent thinkers of our time (that would be you) can’t escape the early inculcation of religion. Thanks for that, and for everything else I learned in the many, many hours I spent reading your blog. I’ll miss you!

Kicked my ass my ass. A religious reader:

My huge and everlasting thanks for introducing me to the term “Christianist”. The proud and grateful recipient of 16 years of stellar Catholic education, I was beginning to be embarrassed to be associated – even remotely – with what was called “Christian” in this country. Using your term gave me an alternative that made conversations about politics easier and clearer, especially amongst my primarily Jewish and atheist colleagues.  After I started using the term in conversation, a friend (with a similar 16-year Catholic background) offered her profound thanks to me – so I pass those along to you as well.


My favorite moment of Dishness, hands down, is from November 30, 2006 as part of your “Best ‘80s Video Contest” re: Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy”:

If you were gay and young in the 1980s, the pop music was a form of emancipation and revelation. Early PSBs, Erasure and Bronski Beat captured the breakthrough. Many of us as teens lived in small towns and yearned for the big city. And no music video spoke to our lives as powerfully as “Smalltown Boy.” Even now, it chokes me up. The video is a record of the beginnings of a revolution. You can feel it coming.

So true, so true. And so simply stated.

Another reader’s source of Dishness:

In a word: Hitch.

Another is also at a loss for words:

Your post immediately after Christopher Hitchens died: “I cannot write anything worthy of him now.” That’s as far as I get with the Dish too – I cannot write anything worthy. Ridiculous comparison of course, but with both Dish and Hitch I felt as though I communed a little with each.

Another sends “some screen captures of Dishness that I’m pretty sure were due to my email suggestions,” which we’ve compiled:


Another reader’s moment:

Gah so many.  I know that part of my love for your blog is the sense that I’m being listened to. I’ve sent you many emails and some percentage of them have actually been posted.  Many of them have been very long, the kind of email that starts at 1000 words and then I whittle it back as far as I can. This one was not:

Andrew!  Wake up!  Wake up wake up wake up!

Another sends something surely to wake you up – in the middle of the night:

The favorite Dish moment for every Dishhead is the day you post one of their emails, like my “Dish themes in one photo”, submitted 5/6/11 and posted shortly thereafter:

dish themes

Another’s Dishiest moment:

Yesterday! In a spasm of Dishness, you outdid yourselves: sex, drugs – no Rock & Roll, but you can be forgiven – historical view from your window, chart of the day … even Gitmo. Only a Sarah Palin reference is missing. Thanks for a huge fix before utter withdrawal.

One final hit of poetry:

I took great satisfaction when I took up the cause to have the Dish feature the poetry of William Stafford. 2014 was the 100th anniversary of Stafford’s birth, and I was a great admirer of the man and remain a champion of his work. I took it upon myself to implore (umm, more like pester) Alice Quinn and the Dish staff to highlight a few of Stafford’s poems on the centenary occasion. And you came through, posting several fine examples from Stafford’s canon. I was especially delighted that Andrew took a moment to write to me that one of the poems “stopped me in my tracks the way all great poems should” (“An Archival Print,” posted here).

So here’s one more from Stafford, which I find very appropriate to the occasion. It’s called “The Way It Is”:

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

Andrew, whatever lies ahead in your journey, don’t ever let go of the thread.

Another joins just in time:

As a ten-year reader (and proud subscriber), I CANNOT believe I waited this long to email you. My favorite moment of Dishness? Last night. Specifically, me realizing that an online community of which I’ve never interacted outside my own mind has meant so much to me that I spend 45 minutes having my fiance take 57 terrible pictures so I can have a photo to send in my first and only email. Wearing the shirt. Balancing the mug between my legs. Forgetting that I’m wearing PJ pants. The dogs not cooperating. Saying *Fuck It* I’ll just send some photos anyway:


You guys aren’t making this easy at all. Another verklempt moment:

I was with my mother in the hospital before her second open heart surgery in as many years and shared with her your “Prayer for Sunday,” which was amazingly appropriate. Brought tears to all of our eyes (my father and two of my three sisters, included), along with a silent and calm reflection on the world to come.

That prayer was selected by Matt, the heart of Dish Sundays. One more reader:

There are so many moments to choose from, Andrew, but you know what the best one is? This one right here. Because I’m really, really fucking sad right now – which means that I care about the Dish, and you, and your incredible staff, in a way that words really can’t describe. I cannot tell you how much your blog has meant to me. Thank you for all those moments – and thank you for this one. See you down the road.

So long, and thanks for all the Dish.

The Weekly Wrap

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 27 2012 @ 10:30pm


By Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Today on the Dish, Andrew revisited his views on Sally Ride's responsibility to be out, holding up the model of Bayard Rustin, after a final round of reader emails. He then railed against the Chick-Fil-A boycott and called out the non-logic behind Josh Barro's hand-wringing on grim GDP growth news. And while the rightwing British press lamented that Romney didn't wear a ball-gag, Andrew assumed Insta-hack Watch on the online right's refusal to notice Romney's UK flop. And David Frum was still a neocon.

In election news, Romney's numbers picked up, while data showed that two times as many Republicans think Obama is Muslim than in 2008, though some Ohio Republicans said they'd defect. More disingenuousness from the Romney campaign on the ad front, while both campaigns rolled out Olympics viewer-focused ads. Maine marriage equality advocates, meanwhile, released a powerful ad, Scott Conroy previewed the presidential debates and cannabis legalization could be in sight. Plus, Eric Cantor stooped to new lows.

Aleppo may be under seige from the Syrian regime, and though John Nielsen-Gammon downplayed the likelihood of another Dust Bowl, food price spikes caused by the US drought could foment unrest abroad. Meanwhile, Burmese democracy leader and former political prisoner Min Ko Naing urged support of gradual reform in Burma.

In Olympics news, a legally blind Im Dong-hyun broke archery records and South Sudanese refugee Guor Marial will run under the Olympic flag as an independent. Meanwhile, Ayelet Shachar weighed the implications of the medals-for-citizenship Olympic mercenary trend, Joyner objected to Slate's comparisons of winning Olympic times throughout history, gold medals were increasingly less so, and the unfair advantage police trained their eyes on running prosthetics.

Andrew doused possible titillation about Tom Hardy's gay sex past with the declaration that latest Batman movie figuratively sucked, while a London staging of Swan Lake literally sucked. Forrest Wickman, meanwhile, argued all the effects-driven blockbusters look pretty much the same and Benjamin Wallace put the TomKat craziness in perspective. Katie Baker urged women to read a Reddit thread written by anonymous rapists, Héctor Abad recalled the history of spirits and Sam Kean dished on the practice of diagnosing maladies of belated famous figures. Readers argued that eliminating sharks is a bad idea, doctors employed less end-of-life care than non-doctors and Jay Rosen discussed the effectiveness of political journalism. D.H. Lawrence poem here, Hewitt Award Nominee here, VFYW here and low doses of Manic Pixie Dream Girls here.

The rest of the week after the jump:


Thursday on the Dish, Andrew was uproariously relentless in keeping track of Romney's UK gaffe-a-thon, as Boris Johnson and Brit readers piled on, as well as Luckovich. While the GOP nominee blew off the US press corps, Andrew rounded up the fingers-in-ears humming within the conservative media over Mitt's visit, with only a tiny concession from Krauthammer. And while Ann Romney's horse kicked up some secrecy questions, Cameron vowed to legislate for gay marriage, in stark contrast to his aspiring American counterpart. From Romney's "persistent oddness" a Dish meme was born – and multiplied – while the AmericanBorat meme mushroomed on Twitter. In short, Romney's London visit rivaled "Sarah Palin's Alaska."

Andrew also called attention to the "ignored face" of the HIV epidemic – black gay men – and deflected the hail of attacks from readers about his Sally Ride critique. In campaign finance, bloggers took a crack at debunking Matt Bai's Citizens United argument, Jane Mayer worried about the implications of that same SCOTUS decision, and Paul M. Barrett kept tabs on Rove's outside money empire.

Meanwhile, the debt ceiling debacle cost $1.3 billion, a reader defended the Obama/Warren "you didn't build that" argument, and this post dug into the voter fraud chimera. Bob Wright tracked confirmation bias in Commentary, Obama hinted at a gun control position, and Dan Savage stood up for the non-Aurora gunshot-wounded Coloradoans.  Adam Segal unpacked China's innovation troubles and Elizabeth Green considered the tough realities of education reform. Oh, and Palin held a press conference … finally.

Jesse Ellison took the IOC to task for its policy on androgen levels in women, the insular cortex accounted for superior athletic ability, and Olympics fever picked up. The Awl revisited the NYT's storied homophobic history and, in a sign of the times, the AARP put out dating tips for older gay fellows. Cannabis history included diarrhea medication, Michael Potemra took himself unseriously, and Obama got on board with the anti-Real Housewives movement. America's fast fashion habit implied that we're shopping against our own interests, Tom Shone commemorated Hitchcock's brilliance, and the word "the" still reigns. Bob Ross got the remix he's long deserved, an awesome series of View From Your Airplane Windows here, VFYW here and FOTD here.


By Giff Johnson/AFP/Getty Images

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew lamented Obama's foot-in-mouth problem, pulled the rug out from under Romney's foreign policy vision, and marveled at Romney's contempt for Obama's statecraft. Meanwhile, the race remained tight. In Sally Ride commentary, Andrew's "absent heroine" argument stirred dissent, David Link explained the "privacy" fallacy, and readers mulled over the NYT's gender-obscuring obit correction.

In US politics, Trende joined the chorus of those baying for a "positive" Romney message, the drought may be hurting Obama, Adam Clymer pushed Romney to release his returns and companies that lobby the most outperformed the market. Readers pushed back against Weisberg's "Chicago pol" piece, the Washington Blade helped Marylanders ID civil marriage opponents, and Taranto was simultaneously morbid and vulgar on Aurora. On the topic of Gary Johnson's candidacy, Trippi was trippy. Scotland heralded new marriage equality legislation, Barney Frank offered sage advice on wedding ceremony length, and, as the AIDS Conference got underway, Andrew remembered harder times.

Putin went fascist apeshit on a punk band as this post revealed Guiliani's true colors. Pot seemed to be polling well and Mark Kleiman dismantled Greg Campbell's gloomy marijuana trade forecasts. While Mark Rober proved a correlation between SUV drivers and herpicide, readers added nuance on shark finning.

Urban farming projects reduced crime, this post examined the history of hard-shell tacos, and the global cadaver trade turned out to be a shady business, though it's part of a much longer tradition. This video carved out the City from greater London, Emily Nussbaum pondered cliffhangers, and car crashes might be more dangerous than criminals. Readers added more on the most popular suicide locales, the Dish's Alan Watts post transformed this reader, and beagles needed cranial support after the rigors of Cape life. VFYW here, MHB here, and ask Jesse Bering anything (and you know with Jesse Bering, that means anything).

NASA woman

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew called out the NYT for its Sally Ride obit and cast her as an "absent heroine," while, later in the day, Ride's death reminded us how repugnantly sexist NASA once was. On the Aurora shooting front, Andrew underscored the role of testosterone in causing violence, stayed pessimistic on gun control, and defended yesterday's FOTD choice against reader charges of hypocrisy. Andrew also called out several stories on the sentencing of a Catholic priest who protected a child rapist, and mused on the geographics of new fundamentalism, while Tony Blair offered sage historical context on the Koran.

In politics, Sargent pointed out that Romney has no plans to fix the economic crisis while Kilgore argued that "vote suppression" grossly mischaracterized the Obama campaign's ad activity. On that note, the Bain attack ads appeared to be working. Weisberg dissected the "Chicago pol" epithet, Gershom Gorenberg explained how the GOP is the party of Sodom, and GOP hopeful Mindy Meyer marched to the beat of a different drummer – er, house mix. Douthat and Yglesias analyzed the politics of The Dark Knight Rises, and, on the ad war front, "you didn't build that" still had legs.

In Olympics news, a credentialed reader hobbled the cost-benefit argument for the Olympics. The opening ceremonies may be "magnificently bonkers," Reeves Wiedeman considered the less-sung athletes of the Olympic Games, and Boris Johnson got Cassetteboy-ed.

And in assorted commentary, Andrew pushed back against a reader comment on "The Real Housewives," Surowiecki and Salmon explained the inevitability of the LIBOR scandal and Keith Humphries praised the ACA's provisions for drug treatment. Bloggers argued that Assad is on the way out, and, while one post discussed how the Drug War has migrated to Africa, readers also noted the inanity of likening cannabis to a blood diamond. Jim Holt fielded the "darkest question of all," and an eccentric neuroscientist mapped his own brain. Alan Jacobs rescued Stephen King's books from literary snobbery, this post explored the economics of book-writing, and David A. Bell urged libraries to go digital. Chinese villagers mistook a double-headed sex toy for an ancient mushroom, a jellyfish was wrought of rat, and the truth about Gatorade's effectiveness trickled out. HBO made some glaring omissions in promoting "The Newsroom" and the VFYW contest elicited a Tina Fey classic. Adorable cheetah FOTD here, VFYW here, and headline of the day here.

Mindy meyer

Monday on the Dish, Andrew explained why the election is likely to be a nervewracking one, offered Oakeshottian context to Jesse Norman's Commons revolt, and came out as an anti-hoarder. Romney contradicted himself in his Olympic pep talk as Heilemann wondered what the candidate's tax returns might show about his contributions to the LDS Church. The Bain attacks seemed like they were working in Ohio, Tom Edsall detailed the Obama campaign's effort at vote suppression, Businessweek illustrated Congressional gridlock, and the ad war started to heat up again. Topping off a roundup of blogger musings on the likelihood of passing gun control laws after the Aurora shooting, Andrew found it unlikely.

In economic news, the extremely wealthy was shown to have gamed the system while Wilkinson sparked debate about whether the rich pay their fair share. Temps have become a more permanent fixture in our economy, while Jesse Singal pondered whether pot might become a subtitute for booze. Extreme weather offered strong proof of global warming as rising water temperatures caused Maine's lobster prices to bottom out.

In international news, Marc Lynch and Fred Kaplan weighed in on post-Assad Syria, Jane Mayer responded to whether Bush officials should be tried for war crimes, and flooding in Beijing sparked criticisms aboutinfrastructure spending. Londoners are leery of the logistical nightmares created by the Olympics. 

Elsewhere on the web, the Pet Shop Boys celebrated a trans rollerderby-er, Buzzfeed answered an age-old question about Pat Sajak, and nearly everything in magazines is retouched. And while Clive David blogged the joy of nukes and the blogosphere debated Paterno's legacy, we recalled the extremes of the late Alexander Cockburn's rhetoric and reacted to Toni Morrison's lament about pop culture. A bear bared his back at a baseball game and death by rabies sucked. PTSD can be second-hand and brains don't really get tired. Five guys played a single piano at once, we saw a lovely view of Montreal, and our Hathos Alert sang the glories of Romney's heroism.


The Daily Wrap

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 26 2012 @ 10:30pm

Here comes the derecho! Bronx, NY 7-25 pm

Bronx, New York, 7.25 tonight. "Here comes the derecho!"

Today on the Dish, Andrew was uproariously relentless in keeping track of Romney's UK gaffe-a-thon, as Boris Johnson and Brit readers piled on, as well as Luckovich. While the GOP nominee blew off the US press corps, Andrew rounded up the fingers-in-ears humming within the conservative media over Mitt's visit, with only a tiny concession from Krauthammer. And while Ann Romney's horse kicked up some secrecy questions, Cameron vowed to legislate for gay marriage, in stark contrast to his aspiring American counterpart. From Romney's "persistent oddness" a Dish meme was born – and multiplied – while the AmericanBorat meme mushroomed on Twitter. In short, Romney's London visit rivaled "Sarah Palin's Alaska."

Andrew also called attention to the "ignored face" of the HIV epidemic – black gay men – and deflected the hail of attacks from readers about his Sally Ride critique. In campaign finance, bloggers took a crack at debunking Matt Bai's Citizens United argument, Jane Mayer worried about the implications of that same SCOTUS decision, and Paul M. Barrett kept tabs on Rove's outside money empire.

Meanwhile, the debt ceiling debacle cost $1.3 billion, a reader defended the Obama/Warren "you didn't build that" argument, and this post dug into the voter fraud chimera. Bob Wright tracked confirmation bias in Commentary, Obama hinted at a gun control position, and Dan Savage stood up for the non-Aurora gunshot-wounded Coloradoans.  Adam Segal unpacked China's innovation troubles and Elizabeth Green considered the tough realities of education reform. Oh, and Palin held a press conference … finally.

Jesse Ellison took the IOC to task for its policy on androgen levels in women, the insular cortex accounted for superior athletic ability, and Olympics fever picked up. The Awl revisited the NYT's storied homophobic history and, in a sign of the times, the AARP put out dating tips for older gay fellows. Cannabis history included diarrhea medication, Michael Potemra took himself unseriously, and Obama got on board with the anti-Real Housewives movement. America's fast fashion habit implied that we're shopping against our own interests, Tom Shone commemorated Hitchcock's brilliance, and the word "the" still reigns. Bob Ross got the remix he's long deserved, an awesome series of View From Your Airplane Windows here, VFYW here and FOTD here.