How Much Is That Dodgy Innuendo?


NARAL is withdrawing its ad attacking John Roberts as a terror-symp. Here at Reason's online HQ, we like to think it was criticism from our own Jacob Sullum that forced its hand.

NEXT: Bird is the Word

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  1. Ouch. That pun actually hurt. Nice work.

  2. Now that is power, when a Sullum article can influence a political organization BEFORE it’s even published. Well done!

  3. That, my friend, is the power of Reason. Send your check today!

  4. Seriously, Jesse, how long have you been waiting for the chance to use “How Much Is That Dodgy Innuendo?”

    Best. Headline. Ever.

  5. How Much Is That Dodgy Innuendo?

    I just choked on my orange juice!

  6. Off topic, but a question: Did you guys ship an issue this month? I usually get it by now. I know you do a double issue sometime, but I forgot when.

  7. Great headline, I agree. So, do Reason staffers get to write their own or do you have a centralized headline writer? Certainly some of the best use of language I’ve ever seen is in H&R headlines! 🙂

  8. *yawn*

    Does anyone honestly think that – barring some huge gaffe at the Senate hearings that is – that Roberts won’t be our next Supreme Court justice?


    Too bad it was wasted on such a boring Supreme Court nomination.

  9. Hakluyt,

    As John Kerry’s #1 fan, boring is just fine with me.

    I wish the last five years had been this boring.

  10. sage,
    If you look close at the small vertical print (white on light gray) on the cover of your last issue, you will note that it is the “Aug./Sept. 2005” issue. I guess they figure that since they already have your money there?s no reason to actually publish. Nope no Reason at all.

    Thank you, I?ll be here all week. Don?t forget to tip the staff they work hard you know? Oh wait.

  11. joe,

    You forget, I am apparently a rabid supporter of NARAL, etc., and just devastated by the takedown of this ad. I’ll have to retire to bed for week’s over this defeat. 🙂

  12. joe,

    But first I must finish this survey that Arby’s sent me so I can get a free sandwich. 🙂

  13. If NARAL really wanted to take down the nominations would they annonymously leak information that they have been given exidence that George W. Bush does not want Roe overturned (corporations don’t want the trouble, or it is a good political wedge issue), and that he has been given assurances that Roberts will not touch Roe?

  14. Hak-
    I thought you were a rabid supporter of NARAL because she was your mom.

  15. Oof – did Spider Robinson start writing headlines for you guys? I agree with worm – that one took the wind out of me.

  16. I find myself also quite bored with the nomination. And bored with the court itself. I remember having to read about hugely important SCOTUS* cases from my school daze in which the old men in black dresses took on (and more or less settled) the Huge Constitutional Issue of the Day. Maybe it’s just the perspective that time allows, but I don’t see the court doing things like that any more. Does anyone else get the impression the justices spend most of their time these days trying to duck issues? When was the last time one of their decisions effected a sea-change in the law?

    *SCOTUS and POTUS get used all the time, but why do we never hear congress referred to as COTUS? Is it because it looks too much like coitus?

  17. Sage: This is the double issue, so you won’t be getting another one until the beginning of next month. (Or, more exactly, until the end of this month: The first copies go out August 26.)

    Linguist: We write our own. Glad you like ’em.

  18. I wish the last five years had been this boring.

    Me too. I could have especially done with the 9/11 attacks, which seem to me to be the start of all the excitement. Who knows, though, perhaps the Chimpler would have seized on some other lying pretext for his war in the Mideast, and things would have been this exciting anyway.

    Personally, I would much rather have spent the last several years bitching non-stop about what a disappointment Bush was on domestic policy.

  19. I hadn’t thought of it that way , Coach. Now that you mention it, Roe is much more useful to conservatives the way as decided. Right now, it can always be used as a means to whip up support for candidates by paying lip service to getting Roe changed. But once you give people what they want, they no longer need you. It would be a political version of Moonlighting.

  20. JMoore,

    Does anyone else get the impression the justices spend most of their time these days trying to duck issues?

    Certainly the Rehnquist Court has done a good job paring down the number of cases that it takes, and the ideological split on the court has lead apparently to a lot of cases not even getting the four justice requirement for a grant of certiorari. There’s been a lot of ink spilled in law review articles, books, etc. on what all this means. I think it mostly means we have a court which fits its more traditional nature (the “liberty of contract” and Warren Courts being against this grain).

  21. from the way it reads, im deducing a, shall we say, artificial female pleasuring device joke. But im not totally getting the joke. Is the headline from a book/movie Ive never seen? Monty Python maybe?

  22. “Who knows, though, perhaps the Chimpler would have seized on some other lying pretext for his war in the Mideast, and things would have been this exciting anyway.”

    Yeah, probably. Your Sec Def doesn’t write a memo on September 14 urging war with Iraq unless the idea had been kicking around for a while.

    Naive, there’s a chilren’s song, “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”

  23. Naive,

    Think “Doggy in the window”.

  24. Sage: This is the double issue?

    Your so-called ?double issue? Jesse, is only 12% larger than the previous, and presumably single, issue. Therefore, it?s not even an issue and an eighth.

  25. Too bad it was wasted on such a boring Supreme Court nomination.

    Frankly, there’s waaaaaay too much faux outrage over the Judge and the laughably bad “oooh.. he supports abortion bombers.” It is boring as all hell. Makes me yearn for the days when Larry Flynt labeled the court “nine assholes and one token cunt.” Now there’s a guy who should be making political ads.

  26. I… I’m still groaning from the headline. I have nothing further to contribute, sorry.

  27. Warren,

    Didn’t yours have the “Girls of Hit and Run” 7 month calendar?

  28. Written in 1953 by Bob Merrill. Never heard it in my life. Was this that big in the 70’s or are all you just new parents?

  29. joe,

    The neo-conservative elements in the government hadn’t won the President’s ear on 9/10. They lost it again sometime after the clusterfuck known as the occupation of Iraq.

    What’s amazing to me just how poorly they’ve done in dealing with China. See Rumsfeld’s recent hamhanded comments on China’s military spending and how he came off like the finger-wagging hypocrite that he is.

  30. Yeah, probably. Your Sec Def doesn’t write a memo on September 14 urging war with Iraq unless the idea had been kicking around for a while.

    I think they found the idea when they were cleaning out the old Clinton files

  31. Naive,

    I remember my 1st grade class singing it a school pageant circa 1981, if that helps. I don’t think it was ever “big” in “manah manah” sense, just sort of a common kids album staple like John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.

  32. Maybe, Hak. But he did say we were going to have to “confront” Saddam Hussein during the election. I think he was biding his time.

    After all, this man tried to kill his dad.

  33. Hak, in response to your comment about the neocons ‘losing the presidents ear’, and to fully complete the thread hijack, I would invite all to read this piece by Krauthammer

    far be it from me to defend the neocons, and I certainly didnt support their rise to power. But he makes a convincing, if not insufferably triumphalist, argument.

  34. Do you guys have a list of snazzy headliners that you try to correlate to articles? If so, this one is definitely in the top 10.

  35. Yeah, Metalgrid, but one of the best ones was shouted down for being inappropriate.

    What would rick santorum have to say about this doggy style in the window? that’s gratuitous and voyeuristic all in the same sentence.

    I do wonder what Rick Santorum would have to say…
    …Rick……. Santorum……
    Degoba System ….. Degoba…..
    (wavy lines to fade out)

  36. How Much Is That Dodgy Innuendo?

    I did a tap dance to that song when I was like 4 years old. This headline holds a special place in my heart (in addition to the place in my churning stomach). Good job.

  37. When the headline upstages the substance of the story and is almost its own thread jack I think your headline writer might be too clever for your own good 🙂 Not that mind of course; this one is a classic!

  38. Y’know, there are issues other than abortion…

    Pity we won’t see an actual discussion instead of a partisan contest to see whether the Dems can unjustifiably smear him more than the GOP can unjustifiably blow him.

  39. b-psycho, you mean like all the liberals writing editorials denouncing the NARAL ad?

  40. Joe: My 2nd comment was more of a general statement, but I’ll bite anyway. I haven’t looked at the “liberal” editorial responses to the ad yet, if you could point me to an example or two that’d be nice.

  41. And before you ask, reason I write “liberal” like that is because much like how self-proclaimed “conservatives” have abandoned even the slightest semblance of concern about government overreach or skepticism of idealism, self-proclaimed “liberals” seem to have largely thrown out defense of civil liberties as any kind of priority.

    We do not have liberals & conservatives running anything in Politics As We Now Know It, only conceited authority-loving nanny-staters who support legal abortion & conceited authority-loving nanny-staters who do not.

  42. I’m pretty sure Scott Leheigh would put himself on the “conceited authority-loving nanny-staters who support legal abortion.”

    Look at his column in today’s Boston Globe.

    There’s also a nifty Kelo piece.

  43. I’ll read the thread later, but I had to say the headline to this post is wonderful.

  44. Joe: found the column you mentioned. Thank ye.

    I’m pro-choice btw. I don’t know why, but I’ve noticed over the years that I end up doing a lot of clarification/no-I-am-not-X-as-you-assumed posts on comments sections & message boards.

  45. That headline’s still funny. He he he he he.

  46. I find myself also quite bored with the nomination.

    Just wait until after Roberts is confirmed to the court. That’s when he’ll shock the nation by getting a nose job, progressively lightening his skin, and start looking more and more like his sister LaToya.

  47. Best. Headline. Ever. Or at least, the best one since the outrage over Markos Zuniga’s “Screw ‘Em” comment led to The Passion of the Kos.

  48. I don’t give a shit about the subject, but I just wanted to be part of the chorus praising the header.
    A million monkeys with a million typewriters for a million years…

    Should the lesson to all of us be to have some cool headlines in our quiver ready to shoot when the …?
    Come to think of it, that’s what H&R is about.

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