The Weekly Wrap


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.