The Internet Feud Over a Photo of Bill Clinton and a Bunch of Bloggers
A reader writes:
Here is what all the fuss was about...
Basically, Althouse commented on a photo of Bill Clinton with some bloggers in which it was apparent that Valenti (being a woman and all) had breasts. Under the photo, Althouse wrote "Let's just array these bloggers... randomly", apparently sarcastically referring to the fact that the young woman with the breasts was directly in front of horndog-in-chief Clinton. The commenters take their cue, with the first commenter asking "Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair?", and the future Mr. Althouse responding "Dunno, but by her expression, it looks as though she may be getting "a small glimpse at greatness."" Cause Clinton is facing her and directly behind her, get it? Another commenter remarks, apparently innocently, that Clinton's face looks reddish, to which Anne responds: "I agree that Clinton looks really pink, but why are you assuming it's some generic old white man thing? He could be inflamed with sexual desire. Or teetering on the edge of a heart attack." One can see how these two were just destined for each other.
Anyway, Valenti showed up and complained about being the subject of their innuendo, which must have ruined all the fun because Althouse put up a fresh post complaining about how the picture and Valenti's "breast blog" offended her own feminist sensibilities, and arguing that they were just criticizing the womanizer Clinton, not judging a woman by her appearance (while referring to her being "dressed in the guise of Monica Lewinsky," apparently because she is young, brunette, and wore a shirt that revealed the outline of her breasts).
And this was the origin of the "Jessica Valenti breast controversy" to which Franke-Ruta alluded. I recommend following the link for a summation of Althouse's and her commenters' greatest hits. No matter what side you take on the controversy, her response to Franke-Ruta, who was just answering her (very self-pitying) question about why the left blogosphere disliked her, was just overly defensive. In her post, she tried to brush the controversy off as no big deal, that Valenti was just a breast-obsessed attention seeker, and therefore she didn't care what she or her defenders had to say, but the fact that she blew up at the mere mention of it -- from someone who was not confrontational or accusatory and had apparently been having a civil conversation with her for the last 50 minutes -- speaks volumes.