Back to previous post: Why it’s a bad idea to burn old libraries

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Damn Covad, damn Speakeasy

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

April 22, 2003

Sorry, no.
Posted by Teresa at 11:07 PM *

Not plausible.

Or maybe someone at Fox News delayed the piece by three weeks, mistakenly thinking it wasn’t tied to a specific date.

Comments on Sorry, no.:
#1 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2003, 11:51 PM:

It's the picture of him bragging about his measurements that gets me..

#2 ::: Bob Stammers ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 01:15 AM:

Isn't this just a belated response to the popularity of the Iraqi Information Minister?

#3 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 01:26 AM:

I'm particularly amused at the links the news story provides. The interviews page of one of them contains a number of parodies of Ari Fleischer, the other has links to such gems as the official "Al Gore is a Dick" website. If Fox News meant this to be serious, someone obviously didn't do too much poking around these sites. As it is, I suppose Teresa's theory may not be far off.

#4 ::: Scott Lewis ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 01:44 AM:

I dunno. Fandom moves in mysterious ways. Ari-heads are no less plausible than devotees of "Ari Ari Ari ... HOT! HOT! HOT!" makes as much sense as ASBB threads Sex and Barney and This group is for SEX (bonus: contains a post from a member of Teresa's Away Team).

Barney is probably a better cuddler, tho.

#5 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 04:09 AM:

Next: 16 Magazine cover story: That dreamy Dick Cheney...

#6 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 07:29 AM:

Coming Soon on Fox:


This crowd of potential Significant Others think this guy's administration is going to cut taxes, wipe out the deficit, make everybody safe and healthy, and conquer first the world and then the Solar System, all six planets and the Galilean moons.

He's lying.

#8 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 10:18 AM:

Yeah, they were blogging about this over at NRO's Corner a few weeks back. Seems like old "news" if you can call it that....

#9 ::: Swoosh ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 12:11 PM:

Ari has always reminded me somehow of a big lizard in an expensive suit. How he hides the scales and the forked tongue, I don't know. Makeup, I guess.

#10 ::: Paul Riddell ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 12:42 PM:

Sorry, but I just had a horrible flash, paraphrasing a choice chunk of the movie "Dogma":

"Ari, you get more fan mail proposing marriage than any man alive."

"Tell me something I don't know."

"All of them are GUYS!"

#11 ::: Jennie ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 12:52 PM:

Boggle. Blink. Erk? Phtoooey....!

#12 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 02:21 PM:

Different strokes, different strokes...

Remember, the Ayatollahs Ashcroft and Santorum are
both married men...

#13 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 02:26 PM:

>"As far as his popularity with women goes, Ari has
>what all women want ? complete confidence.
>Everything on top of that is just extra."

And which women would these be?

Meanwhile, the fan site at claims all posts there are government-monitored. Makes one wonder--given how not-real the posts sound--just where this site comes from.

#14 ::: dichroic ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 02:40 PM:

I really, really wish I hadn't read that article while eating lunch. Bad for the appetite.

#15 ::: Arthur D. Hlavaty ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 02:58 PM:

I have heard that everyone is sexually desirable to someone. As Clarence Darrow said about "Anyone can become president," I am beginning to believe it.

#16 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 03:06 PM:

Ari Fleischer is better looking than, say, Roger Ebert, but this is not saying much.

I also just realized that I would have to revise my mental lists. #1 at the top of the list of "That Which Must Not Be" used to be "Siskel and Ebert Slash" but I'm now thinking that "Loveletters to Ari" or worse yet "Ari Fleischer Meets Mary Sue" fiction would be even worse.

#17 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 03:31 PM:

Oh god Kevin. Did you have to do that? Now I'm thinking Ari slash and who do you suppose they'd pair him



#18 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 03:38 PM:

Can it really be worse than the Saddam/Dubya slash posted on Electrolite some time back? And that was Regency Romance slash!

#19 ::: Jon ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 03:54 PM:

I find myself suspicious of any fan website where
the fans don't sign their names, just their initials (what kind of fan is ashamed to be a fan?) and where the website has been set up through a third party (Domains by Proxy) rather than a company or an individual. I suspect Ari of setting this up himself. It would also explain the "monitored by the U.S. Government" claim.

(And in an interesting coincidence for Making Light & Electrolite), Domains by Proxy's address is on 15111 N Hayden Road.)

#20 ::: Derryl Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 04:03 PM:

Swoosh, of course he's a big lizard. It's all part of the David Icke Experience.

#21 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 04:28 PM:

There really is no accounting for taste.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm in the middle of a new piece of Ari Fleischer/Rick Santorum/Dawson's Creek slash ...

#22 ::: --k. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 04:59 PM:

Since Rumsfeld (cursed be his name) was selected as the sexiest cabinet minister by People a while back (talk about lowering the bar), I'm thinking it's Ari/Rummy slash, all the way. "Goodness," said the burly Secretary of Defense, holding his hands up and apart, shaking them for emphasis...

#23 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 05:00 PM:

And I'm *still* trying to remove the synapses that are storing this in memory with a butterknife. So far, I've forgotten Solaris, how to throw a curveball, and how to spell mbunga, shunden, and mxypleic.

#24 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 05:05 PM:

Seriously, look at the guy. Cute he ain't. Nor buff. I guess the whole money/power bit could be working for him, but really, he's just a press secretary.

#26 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 05:28 PM:

ROFLMAO. "Sexiest Cabinet Minister"? Reminds me of: a friend of mine has something he says when he's talking about this kind of choice. "Who's your favorite Nazi war criminal?" he asks.

(Please note this is not a Godwin's Law instance, because Nazi war criminals are just being used as an example of uniformly bad things.)

#27 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 05:36 PM:

No, "unclean" is when you take the Rowena picture with the sorceress, the swordsman and the serpent, then photoshop Ari and Rummy's heads onto them.

#28 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 06:22 PM:
#29 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 06:23 PM:

Well, while poking at my brain, I forgot that this renders html-like syntax.

But we still remember Ari.

Poke. Poke. Poke.

#30 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2003, 09:46 PM:

I saw that "fan site" some time ago. A few indicators convinced me... er, no, not that strong. Say rather, allowed me to convince myself for the sake of my own sanity... that it is deadpan humor. Consider this, after all:

The Don Cherry (without the temper and bad clothes) of the U.S.

Well, okay... maybe you'd have to be Canadian for that to dispel belief. If Don Cherry doesn't help, try comparing

* the long, long, long "Traitors List" page with photos of about 150 celebrities opposing current US policy (although I notice they have omitted the Pope, but I suppose he's not American),


* the "Patriot List" page listing earnest volunteer citizen-suck - er, I mean, patriots who have signed up, with its scant six celebrity Honorary Patriots at the bottom... Michael Savage, Michael Smerconish, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh.

Or the quotes:


Get to know your traitor!

PATRIOT, n. One who loves his country, and zealously supports its authority


I mean, come on. This has to be parody. Doesn't it?

#31 ::: James Veitch ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 12:48 AM:

Sylvia, I can't tell if it is or isn't a parody, but I have heard too many people say exactly he same thing that site does and hey were perfectly serious about it.
Perhaps it's very dry satire.

#32 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 03:21 AM:

"The Don Cherry of the US"? Gotta be a parody. That said, Ari isn't man enough to curl Don's moustache, but whattheheck...

My little brain shorted out at the idea of Ari/Rummy slash, and all I was left with was:

"The lies you are hearing on television you are hearing over, and over, and over, and it92s the same voice of the same person quoted in some sound bite speaking a lie, and you hear it 20 times, and you think, 'My goodness, are there that many lies? Is it possible that there are that many lies in the whole country?'"

#33 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 03:24 AM:

No doubt many of the comments are quite serious -- though the mischievous Canadian who contributed the Don Cherry line surely had tongue planted in cheek. I mean... no way! But something about the layout of the site suggests to me that the designer could well have been giggling madly. "Oh, oh, and I can say this! And they'll swallow it!"

Mm. Anyway, since what we can see supports a 'dry satire' hypothesis at least as well as the 'sincere and extreme idiocy' interpretation, in the absence of further evidence, I get to choose what to believe. It's a lot more enjoyable as a folly trap.

Moreover, suppose I'm wrong and the designer meant every heartfelt word. In that case, isn't it much more satisfying, to misinterpret such an intention?

#34 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 03:43 AM:

Oh, and can anyone read this line...

Get to know your traitor!

...without thinking of Paranoia?

A traitor is an evil and malevolent human who has betrayed his friend The Computer and seeks to destroy The Computer, humanity, Alpha Complex and life as we know it. Traitors must be unmasked and destroyed.

All mutants are traitors. They are genetically imperfect. They have no place in utopia. They must be eliminated.

All members of secret societies are traitors. They belong to organizations not officially sanctioned by The Computer. They conspire against The Computer. They must be destroyed. The Computer is your friend. Trust the Computer.

By the way.. you are a mutant. And a member of a secret society.

Stay alert! Trust no-one! Keep your laser handy!

Though it's not quite as funny as it used to be, for some reason.

#35 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 09:27 AM:

Would this be one of the signs of the, y'know, End Times?

#36 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 11:11 AM:

Sylvia, I couldn't stand to look at it for as long as you did. Does it have a way to add yourself to the Traitors List?

#37 ::: Yule Heibel ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 11:38 AM:

Can you all hear the "nyuk-nyuk-nyuk" emanating from the White House? The Three Stooges have offspring, and they're running the country....

#38 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 12:18 PM:


Haven't you seen any Three Stooges shorts?

The Administration are stuffed shirts of the sort that the Three Stooges would *take down* in the course of an adventure.

#39 ::: Paul Riddell ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 02:11 PM:

Yule, I've said it before, but nobody was listening, so it has to be said again. You'd never see the Three Stooges stooping so low as to run the Bush Administration. Instead, I like to point out that for all of the bitching last summer about how Bill Clinton might have managed to get his own talk show, we all forgot about how George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had their own top-rated show on MTV for years, and that it went off the air only when Shrub announced his intent to run for the Presidency. Or is there another reason why MTV hasn't run reruns of "Beavis and Butt-Head" since 1999?

This is why I don't see any reason why we will ever need documentaries on the Bush Administration, seeing as how "Dick and Dubya Do America" has pretty much done the job for us.

Backtracking to Ari, we also have to consider the fans as being those who wouldn't actually have anything to do with him in real life. Back last year, I took a new job in Florida, and managed to snag a room with a gay couple. (Things were wonderful, even if I was one of the only straight guys in the neighborhood. The environment in the apt was equal parts "Will and Grace" and "Doctor Who".) The only time things didn't work out was when someone would plug in the "Absolutely Fabulous" DVD at a party, and someone would invariably announce "Hey, guess what? Paul was married to Edie Monsoon!"

(This part was true: my ex-wife was an absolute ringer for Edie Monsoon. Not Jennifer Saunders: the character. Physically and temperamentally, even down to being unable to leave the house during a fire because she had nothing to wear. You don't even want to know what her fortieth birthday was like.)

Naturally, this caused everyone to coo and gasp, cheering "Edie's great! I love Edie!" This cheerful state of affairs lasted, with many ribbings on why I'd leave such a wonderful person, until I said "Fine: YOU marry her." And you could hear air molecules banging into each other, it was so quiet. Tragedy is always humor when it happens to someone else, which is why they then understood why I was so infuriated after my divorce to find that most of my friends had bets to see if I was the ex-husband who started shooting up or the ex-husband who came out of the closet...

#40 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 05:56 PM:

I didn't stay that long, but I don't think there's a way. The Traitors List is worth a brief visit, though. It's all done up with photos that have been more or less squashed to fit, depending on the original dimensions. The suspicious part is that there are so very many of them, compared to the six photo-worthy Patriots.

And Viggo Mortensen is there.

#41 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 07:36 PM:

Sylvia Li: Regarding "Get to know your traitor": You got the wrong blog; you should go to ;-)

#42 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 07:41 PM:

Way down at the bottom of the "traitors" page, there is a "To add a traitor, click here" link. They don't seem to anticipate that anyone might want to add themselves to the list, but that's no surprise, given the Raving Right's inability to see anything outside their own tunnel vision of the world.

A couple of thoughts on viewing the list:

A very tiny number of the people on that page are ones whom reasonable people could fairly regard as traitors--John Walker Lindh, for instance. The others seem to be a grab bag of anyone who has, or might have, expressed any disagreement whatsoever with current Bush League policy. A clumsy attempt at guilt by association?

Some of the people on the page were front-page news thirty years ago, and I haven't heard or seen anything about them having made statements on this war at all. Is this, in fact, just a grab bag of anyone vaguely left of center? Or, given the inclusion of Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, anyone vaguely left of the hard right?

Who's the guy who just has a sawhorse next his picture, no name?

And finally, anyone who can't come up with a picture of Al Sharpton, rather than a cartoon, is incompetent, lazy, or both.

#43 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2003, 09:31 PM:

Well, I was pleased to see a recent photo of my old professor Frederick Jameson, if not exactly with the context. I had a year of independent study with him working on a fantasy novel back when I was eighteen.

Good to see him still annoying the Right.

#44 ::: marrije ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2003, 03:42 AM:

Me, I liked the Hair Restoration advert that ran with the Ari Fleischer story when I visited the page. Don't know if that's always there, but A. looked very much like a 'before' picture.

#45 ::: NS ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2003, 03:45 AM:

If there were fan sites for Janet Reno, it's not implausable that there would be fan sites for Ari Fleischer too.

Remember... there's no celebrity (or fictional character) so lacking in positive characteristics that there isn't some fangirl out there, somewhere, who's lusting after him...

#46 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2003, 11:09 AM:

Lis Carey sez: ...anyone who can't come up with a picture of Al Sharpton, rather than a cartoon, is incompetent, lazy, or both.

I dunno, I have a lot of trouble coming up with a mental picture of Al Sharpton that isn't an awful lot like a cartoon...

#47 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2003, 12:26 PM:

The thing is, Al Sharpton is just so shy and retiring, darn him. Hates cameras.

#48 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2003, 01:34 PM:

Ooh, I missed that. How could I have missed it? Add your own Traitors? What a horrid temptation to lay before us!

Let's see. A Traitor, by the local definition, is anyone who undermines and contradicts the President's currently declared policy. Right. Got it.

I will... resist... the urge to google for a suitably-sized picture of Donald Rumsfeld.

#49 ::: John Isbell ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2003, 01:27 PM:

It's perfectly plausible for Fleischer to have female admirers. But I don't believe they'd write like that. I think it's a Rove operation, I just pity the person writing it. Like the fake letters in porno mags.
I find the "we're two schoolgirls and we love Ari" one, and quote, a little odd too.
Could this be because the WH press corps hates, hates, hates and despises Ari? I think they do, you know.

#50 ::: Loren MacGregor ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2003, 04:46 PM:

Lauryn and I are united (on this topic as on many others) by believing that Ari F. and Donald R. both exhibit all the danger signs of dangerous reptiles. I believe I'd rather be bitten by a komodo dragon than by either of the other two.

#51 ::: Thomas Yager-Madden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2003, 08:58 PM:

I think that "Bobby", from the site, should get some sort of special honor in the annals of Damning with Faint Praise, for this comment:

"... and best damn WH Press Secretary in history ... no contest.- Bobby"

#52 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2003, 10:21 PM:

Frederick Jameson? Have they no decency?

Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.