Comments: June 30, 2008

1. John Heilemann’s cover story about what New York’s junior senator won by losing (The Fall and Rise of Hillary Clinton,” June 23) was a Rorschach test—readers saw the Clinton they wanted to see, and then, true to form, went nuts, in enormous numbers, blasting one another’s version. But first, the love: “She was a gift to a troubled and foundering America in perilous times. And we threw her away.” There was much, much more, but you get the drift. Now on to the venom. Some of it was directed at the victor—“We have grown deaf to his empty, common script consisting of hollow promises and super-left-wing rhetoric”—but most was reserved for other commenters, particularly Hillary supporters who will not quite concede that the race is over. “We choose to hold onto our resolve, regroup, and wait for October to rise up to prove to the superdelegates that their vote belongs with Hillary Clinton,” wrote one reader, upon whom major scorn was then dumped. Obama supporters weighed in with remarks such as “I feel sorry for the delusional people who think Hillary won,” and then more than a few commenters felt the need to bring up racism. “I was all for Hillary until she turned into Huey Long in a skirt,” was one of the more temperate posts. Obama supporters seized on certain words as evidence of a dangerous obsessiveness: “All this ‘soldier in Clinton’s army’ is disturbing as hell. But appropriate. What better term to describe blind, destructive loyalty than soldier?” By the end, Clinton fans were on the defensive, reduced to plaintive statements of faith: “Hillary supporters are not delusional—just life-experienced—and many, like myself, are very well-educated as well.” And yes, a couple of readers did actually address Heilemann’s story, admiring its mixture of human empathy and sharp political analysis. But some were a tad cynical about the magazine’s motives: “This is New York Magazine’s booby prize to Hillary—we didn’t want you to win, Hill, but we don’t want to destroy you, either. And, it helps us deal with the guilt we feel in dissing the Clintons! Good luck with your life, and if we feel you might be useful in the future, Senator, we’ll let you know.”

Photo: Eric Charbonneau/WireImage

2. The other blonde woman causing agitation was Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl, who recently criticized the show’s writers and to whom Emma Rosenblum offered some unsolicited advice on the Vulture blog (Vulture’s Open Letter to Katherine Heigl,” June 13). Did you know that Heigl was such a polarizing figure? A reader calling himself theskyver made lengthy posts defending her, which finally prompted this rebuke: “Heigl needs police protection because I think theskyver is a little obsessed. Dude, why not stalk a worthier actress?”

3. Kevin Baker’s essay about whether to be tested for the defective gene that causes deadly and debilitating Huntington’s disease (Mind Bomb,” June 16) received several grateful comments on from readers facing similar dilemmas. “My sister was tested almost five years ago after I picked up on some odd behavior—she was only 40. I’ve yet to be tested. I wish for you a very late onset. I kept telling myself that if I got to 46 and still didn’t have signs I would be tested—I’m 43 now—thinking that I would surely get a negative result and then I wouldn’t have to worry about my three young children. But I guess I could be wrong here. Gee, life sucks at times!”

Correction: In “Albany Gladiators” (“Intelligencer,” June 23), the CBS-TV mixed-martial-arts bout referred to by Governor Paterson as “gross” was an EliteXC event, not part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship league. Also, it should have been noted that when the UFC’s current owners took control of the league, it already had rounds and referees.

Comments: June 30, 2008