Wonkette – Malkin Cat Fight?

Alex Pareene, a writer for Gawker Media’s “Wonkette” blog, has belatedly discovered that Michelle Malkin has a video blog (the rest of us knew about a month ago). This occasions a rather vulgar self-dialogue with the punch line “[D]oes she do the thing with the ping-pong balls?”

Whether, as Malkin believes, this is racist humor based on her Asian heritage or just a sophomoric joke about the fact that most Internet video sites that get the kind of traffic Hot Air generates are pornographic, I don’t know. Even if one presumes the latter, it says something about the appeal of Wonkette vice Malkin’s sites.

There is also some self-dialogue about Malkin saying Arianna Huffington should “get a real job.” Whether this is based on something Malkin actually said or invented out of whole cloth, I don’t know. Regardless, it is followed by more sophomoric humor about the fact that Malkin makes her living writing a blog.

That, of course, isn’t quite true in that she was already a best-selling author and nationally syndicated columnist before starting up what is certainly the most successful solo blog out there. Not to mention launching a second blog that, in less than a month in operation, dwarfs all but a handful of sites in traffic. Dan Riehl notes the irony, too, that Malkin is a successful entrepreneur and being criticized for the nature of her occupation by two kids working for beer money for the Denton empire.

Ah, another day in the blogosphere.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bill K says:

    Because they clearly weren’t being sarcastic.

  2. Adam Graham says:

    Actually, the get a job reference was from the video. Michelle advised college students whose career goal was to star in the Vagina Monologues to apologize to their parents and get a job.

  3. Mark says:

    Isn’t Instapundit the must successful solo blog?

    In his words: heh, indeed.

  4. James Joyner says:


    According to SiteMeter, Glenn averages 124,620 daily uniques and Michelle 117,041, so he’s a bit ahead. She had slightly more visitors than he did last month, though.

    Certainly, she dwarfs his if one includes Hot Air, which is just a phenomenal start-up.

  5. Bill K says:

    Dwarf is a strong word, it looks like Hot Air gets about 40K + a day. More in total, but not by an obscene amount.

    I don’t think one could argue that Malkin is successful, but I find it interesting that a day or two after you showed absolute indignation about somebody taking offense to the use of the word “tar baby” in a white house press conference you decide to take up the cause of Malkin. Whose takes offense to the phrase ping pong ball on in a clearly sarcastic non-offensive post from a widely recognized gossip and snark website.

    99% of the time you come off as balanced James, but this seems weird to me.

  6. Bill K says:

    Sorry, should read:

    “I don�t think one could argue that Malkin ISN’T successful”

  7. Kyle says:

    I can’t believe that Malkin got offended by the “ping pong” comment. Doesn’t she call everyone who disagrees with her “moonbat”? Also, her video that is referenced is downright scary.

  8. James Joyner says:

    Bill: I’m more bemused than indignant about such things as the “tar baby” thing. It’s just absurd that anyone would think Snow was being racial in that context.

    I’m not sure what the “sarcasm” was aimed at. It was, frankly, rather lame.

  9. Brian B says:

    “Moonbat” is of a different character than, say, “spearchucker,” isn’t it? There are certainly blacks who throw spears on this planet, as there are Asian women who do the ping pong thing. But would you, Kyle, make reference to spear-throwing when discussing, say, Barack Obama? Wouldn’t you expect a person that did so to be very quickly and roundly rebuked? Is referring to the ping pong thing when discussing an Asian woman any more acceptable?

  10. DavidV says:

    Well put, Brian.

    I wish I read Wonkette, so I could stop reading the site now, out of protest. “Moonbat,” while a bit crude, is fundamentally different from a vulgar racial and sexual slur directed at a specific individual.

    Imagine the outrage that would result if, say, IMAO or ScrappleFace made a similar “joke” about a liberal Asian-America woman.

    As James notes, this is really just “another day in the blogosphere.” That doesn’t make it any less offensive, however.

  11. Blooper says:

    Let’s talk about double standards for a moment. Malkin been on her Mohammad Cartoon Jihad kick for a while now. So apparently it’s vitally important for democracy that cartoons (which are so offensive to a group of people that it causes violent protest) be shoved down all our throats (After all, they’re just cartoons for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sakes!)

    But when somebody makes offensive jokes towards her, it’s like, totally different. No doubt because she made some complex moral reasoning weighing racist speech versus anti-religious imagery that she didn’t let us in on, and not because she has a wildly inconsistent worldview that all Republicans don’t not have.

    Well y’know what, if Wonkette can’t make racist sexist jokes about Michelle Malkin, the terrorist win.

    I do love this argument that conservatives have become fond of lately- “Sure, in general we are pretty intolerant towards all non-whites, non-Christians, intellectuals, immigrants, dirty poor people, dirty French people, etc… But look at how intolerant all of them are towards us!” They then take the most outrageous liberal statement they can find, even if they have to scavenge for forum trolls and go through their anonymous hate mail, and then hold it up as the mainstream liberal view while ignoring anything approaching reasoned critique.

    Hear that sound? That’s the sound of democracy dying slowly and painfully. Thank you conservative punditry!

  12. Dale says:

    Malkin’s cartoon posts were about sterotyped people related to a religion. Whereas stereotyped postings about a person who happens to be of Asian ethnicity is different. See? Personal religion vs personal ethnicity makes all the snarky difference in the world…
    In truth, Michelle deserves credit for not issuing a fatwa against Wonkette and seeking a beheading. She has the moral highground here over Islam fundamentalism.

  13. Eric J says:

    And pointing out a personal insult and how it may violate the terms of service of a private business is exactly the same as rioting and demanding government censorship, right?

  14. James Joyner says:


    Neither Malkin nor any of us taking her side in this dispute are questioning Pareene’s right to make offensive jokes, let alone saying he should be killed for them. Indeed, I allow that the humor was merely sophomoric rather than racially motivated.

    So, how, exactly, does this relate to the right of Danish newspapers to publish cartoons without setting off murderous rioting around the world?

  15. Blooper says:

    JJ, you allow that Pareene’s jokes were probably merely sophmoric as opposed to racially motivated. Great, I agree. I think that’s pretty obvious to any reasonable person.

    But, how do you think Muslims perceived the cartoons? Do you think they saw it as just a dumb joke, or as an attack on their sacrosanct beliefs?

    So, Michelle called the MSM cowards for cowering before the extremist who were so offended as to become violent. I think the MSM showed restraint by choosing not to show the cartoons due to the very real danger to human life this could cause.

    The fact that violence over the cartoons was unjustified does not change the fact that showing the cartoons meant putting more lives in danger. Human life trumps principle, right pro-lifers?

    But Michelle kept milking the issue, criticizing those who wouldn’t show it and trying to get it shown wherever she could, even on FOX news after they told her not to. Why? Because she believes so dearly in civil liberties? Because even though the cartoons were offensive (which of course she didn’t think, because she is bigoted against Muslims) they shouldn’t be censored? No, her only aim was to provocate and spread hate for fun and profit, potentially endangering human life.

    SO now a mainstream blog makes an offensive joke about her, and she whines and paints herself as a victim when she was the one championing offensive humor that could’ve cost people their lives. Some moral highground she has.

    Bottom line: If she had any consistency, she would have simply ignored Wonkette’s crude humor, raising herself above it and accepting that it simply is the price she pays for the positions she takes. But that would take class, and of course she has none.

  16. McGehee says:

    But, how do you think Muslims perceived the cartoons?

    Why should non-Muslims be bound by Muslim sensibilities? Do you think Larry Flynt should be bound by Jerry Falwell’s sensibilities?

  17. bryan says:

    I don’t get the ping-pong ball reference as being racist. Tempest in a tea-pot.

  18. James Joyner says:

    Apparently, Malkin has received numerous emails and/or comments in the past based on her Asian heritage and certain skills of pubic dexterity and accuracy displayed in some porn videos.