HOW DO WE EVEN WRITE THIS...  7:38 pm June 18, 2009

WHERE Do Olive Garden’s Allegiances Lie: With David Letterman, Or Some Funny PUMA Blog?

by Jim Newell

What are the PUMAs up to, and why? It is the impossible question. Have they uncovered new evidence of Obama campaign voter suppression (sexism) in some early caucus state? Maybe they’ll do that next week. For now, they’re at the forefront of the “Anti-David Letterman Movement,” which you may have suspected after watching that funny protest video yesterday. One of their blogs, “HillBuzz,” — hint: it’s not named after Barack Obama! — made the comical photoshop above along with many others, each one for companies that advertise with the David Letterman show. If these companies don’t cancel their contracts with CBS, the logic goes, then they will be considered Willow-rapers too. And it appeared earlier in the day as though the PUMAs succeeded in persuading the Olive Garden to cancel, but… no.

America’s top news source The Politico reported earlier in the day, from an “Olive Garden insider” or something that the company would cancel all of its Letterman ad buys for the remainder of the year. A victory for the PUMA Movement! Next stop: getting Harold Ickes to convince the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee to retroactively reinstate Florida and Michigan’s delegates in full, getting Lanny Davis on the morning talk show circuit to convince a few more superdelegates, and winning the nomination for Hillary.

But the Olive Garden company spokesman issued a statement today condemning Politico, which the New York Times happily reported:

Rich Jeffers, the spokesman, said Olive Garden was attempting to counter what he called “erroneous information out there,” which he said came from the website Politico. The site posted a report by Andy Barr on Thursday saying that the restaurant was “cancelling all its scheduled ads” on Mr. Letterman’s show for the rest of the year.

Mr. Jeffers said in a telephone interview that no such cancellation decision had been made and that the company’s schedule of commercials in the show had simply expired “earlier this month.”

Child rapists, all.

One final thing: Balloon Juice’s DougJ writes in his post about this nonsense, “I can’t quite wrap my head around the whole PUMA thing, so maybe John or Wonkette or someone with a better understanding of the PUMAsphere can explain all of this.”

It’s not too complicated, Doug, and can be explained in one crisp sentence: “The PUMA movement was thought of as a bunch of disgruntled voters when, in reality, it was the Taj Mahal of consciousness reforming political mathematics.”

Olive Garden Says It Did Not Cancel Ads on Letterman Show [NYT]

Related video

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NoWireHangers June 18, 2009 at 7:42 pm

If there’s one thing PUMAS love, it’s basket upon basket of endless Olive Garden breadsticks.

MzNicky June 18, 2009 at 7:43 pm

As for me, I wonder where Olive Garden’s allegiances “LIE.”

keepinitrealyo June 18, 2009 at 7:44 pm

I think I caused this – I was arguing with a right wing blogger yesterday about liberal media bias and he demanded that I show where outraged woman’s groups were in the news about this story. I said, “well you linked to NOW last week; and the only other woman’s groups I know of nowadays are the DAR and the PUMAs.” I had no idea that those talking points memos go UP the chain too!

Min June 18, 2009 at 7:48 pm

I hope PUMA didn’t pay anyone any money to develop that video, ’cause they wuz robbed.

octupletsmom June 18, 2009 at 7:48 pm

[re=342622]keepinitrealyo[/re]: I found out about one more woman’s group yesterday–the one of People Named Liz.

MzNicky June 18, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Additionally: Holy Christ, will these PUMAs, like Cheney and Gov. Moosebilly and well the entire Repiglican party, just NEVER go away and quit annoying people already? Good lord.

gjdodger June 18, 2009 at 7:51 pm

“Wssilla Garden…When You’re Here, You’re Spectacularly Increasing Family With Babies Shooting Out Of Every Available Female Orifice.”

Jim Newell June 18, 2009 at 7:52 pm

[re=342620]MzNicky[/re]: FINE FINE, Liz Becton, I’ll change it…

Texan Bulldoggette June 18, 2009 at 7:53 pm

David Letterman assaulted his daughter? Stupid PUMA’s can’t get anything right.

Who the hell eats at Olive Garden anyway?

Scandalabra June 18, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I watched the whole thing, so now it’s up to my heirs to decide if they want to mop up my brains into a container, or just burn the place down.

keepinitrealyo June 18, 2009 at 7:56 pm

[re=342632]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: Family.

Harvey Birdman June 18, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Olive Garden rapes my butthole from the inside.

Trace June 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm

PUMAs are like a special kind of remora that only attaches itself to finless, half-dead sharks.

ManchuCandidate June 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I can get more realistic “Italian” food out of a can of Chef Boyardee than Olive Garden.

The PUMAs have become the Right’s answer to Operation Pink.

boinggg June 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

PUMA and I have arrived at the same conclusion, but for different reasons. I’ve been to an Olive Garden once, won’t do it again.

bitchincamaro June 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I raped a veal marsala there once. It was fun. I say, shut ‘em all down before I rape again.

Extemporanus June 18, 2009 at 8:06 pm

I might actually consider eating at Olive Garden if that were their motto.

chascates June 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm

The PUMAs have gone from ‘Party Unity My Ass’ to ‘People United Means Action.’ And it still doesn’t make any sense. Just as the Birthers will never be satisfied that there isn’t a grand conspiracy behind this incredible constitutional crisis about Barry’s birth certificate the PUMAs can never forget the horrible treatment noted female Hillary Clinton received from the Obama campaign. So they latched onto the next best candidate, totally-opposite female Sarah Palin.

Imagine if Alex Jones’ had a maiden aunt who’s a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy who only listened to AM radio preachers but drank cheap sherry all day. That’s a PUMA.

MzNicky June 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm

JimNewell: Sorry man. Once an anal-retentive copyeditor, always an anal-retentive copyeditor. It’s a sickness, it is.

AutomaticPilot June 18, 2009 at 8:09 pm

[re=342638]ManchuCandidate[/re]: Obviously you have never tried Olive Garden’s “rollatini” – just like my mama used to make!

MzNicky June 18, 2009 at 8:13 pm

HEY! I just Googled Liz Becton. I’m not mean.

Oldskool June 18, 2009 at 8:26 pm

One bad noodle deserves another I guess. Did I say that out loud?

DoktorZoom June 18, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Wait…so PUMAs are the Church of Scientology now?

memily June 18, 2009 at 8:42 pm

what the fuck was that video on about?

Hopey dont play that game June 18, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I still can’t read anything about this without giggling about the phrase “mouth rape”. That rally had to be a brilliant piece of performance art.

Mad Farmer Manifest June 18, 2009 at 8:47 pm

“Continued pressure on Mars Candy, Kelloggs, and Johnson + Johnson will make Madison Avenue advertising execs see that attacks on women inspire a whole army of Al Sharptons to stand up for women in the same way the black community rallies when it believes racism is afoot. ”

The wisdom, it is flowing at HillBuzz.

TeddyS June 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I will no eat at the Olive Garden because their food made me puke. I made the decision much more earlier, and not because some PUMA lady started bitchin’.

donner_froh June 18, 2009 at 8:52 pm

The one time I had a meal at an Olive Garden (it is my wife’s parents’ favorite eatery) the only part of it that wasn’t disgusting was that they expected you to order wine at 11:30 AM. If you want to know how someone can really fuck up something as simple as pasta try the Olive Garden.

And there were grand-PUMAs everywhere.

Texan Bulldoggette June 18, 2009 at 9:07 pm

[re=342666]Mad Farmer Manifest[/re]: “Continued pressure on Mars Candy, Kelloggs, and Johnson + Johnson”

Hmmm…Am I to believe that PUMAs are really going to quit eating Mars candy products, sugary cereals & quit buying feminine hygiene-ish products? Something tells me that the PUMAs didn’t think this one through very well.

Tommmcatt June 18, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Inside the circle, there are no size 12 or under housecoats. Inside the circle, they flaunt their armpit hair on others, and call it an “otter kiss”. Inside the circle, they secretly lust after black cock due to no-no rape fantasies- even though their racism is well documented. Inside the circle, they do bad photoshops of pigs with crayola red hair and call them “Jim Newell”, then get upset when people call them menopausal taint-manglers. Inside the circle they donate to John McCain and call themseves Democrats.

You could say we are in the same universe, but the difference between them and us is a basic understanding of how politics work, a sense of humor, and still-flowing sex hormones.

That video is the Taj Mahal of inane pretentious drivel.

Blender June 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Forgive them – menopause is a tragic mindfuck for some; they just lose it.

Or do they call it wymynopause now?

DoctorCulturae June 18, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Oy. This is Palin/PUMA concocted y’all. The Gov et al won’t let it go cause they got nothing else. Dave fits the enemy demographic for them. He’s up to the challenge even though he was uncharacteristically caught off guard on this one. Unless he deals with it (who else can, except Stewart & Colbert?) these kind of beyond-inanity incidents will continue from SistahSarah. Methinks someone with the same kind of appeal, who could use a little boost, who exposed her the first time should get on Dave’s show for a little leverage. Of course that’s Ms. Couric.

WadISay June 18, 2009 at 9:24 pm

The Olive Garden: When you’re there, you’re family

Yeah, a family that shits Volkswagens for a week.

boinggg June 18, 2009 at 9:26 pm

This whole thing is about shitty ex-husbands, isn’t it?

boinggg June 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm

PUMA, I mean.

MoreZitiPlz June 18, 2009 at 9:35 pm

[re=342676]Tommmcatt[/re]: That’s “dribble” also.

hobospacejunkie June 18, 2009 at 9:38 pm

[re=342681]DoctorCulturae[/re]: Couric was on Stewart’s show a week or two ago and spent the entire interview trying not to laugh as Jon made jokes eviscerating her (average age: 62) audience. One of the more amusing things I’ve seen in a while. Also, she is 51, and, well, you know. Hard-hitting interviewer that he is, Stewart didn’t ask her about Palin.

John Thune June 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm

“You could say we live in the same universe”

I’m not sure you could actually say that. I’m glad to see someone finally perfected the random trippy image generator though.

Manos: Hands of Fate June 18, 2009 at 9:52 pm

[re=342690]John Thune[/re]: Welcome Senator and thanks for your service to our nation.

shortsshortsshorts June 18, 2009 at 9:53 pm

After finally coming home and being able to watch that fantastic video, I just want to say that I have been raised to a new level of consciousness. We are one world, united, even in our differences. We have one reality, which binds us all. There is but one vision among us— something easy to distinguish from all the lies, the sexism, the mental stereotypes that create illogical discourse, and never-ending suffering begotten on our society. Sigmund Freud said it best: “Hillary Clinton.”

cal June 18, 2009 at 10:00 pm

[re=342631]Jim Newell[/re]: SNAP!

“Liz Becton” is new “biatch.”

eclecticbrotha June 18, 2009 at 10:05 pm

OMGAWD @ that absurd promotional video. Sounds like a Truman Capote impersonator doing a Motel 6 ad. Or, maybe this was a Heaven’s Gate infomercial. Damn, the stupid truly burns in that one.

Betty Cracker June 18, 2009 at 10:06 pm

RE: the PUMA Movement video, as someone pointed out in the youtube comments, the Taj Mahal is a freaking tomb!

PerhapsSo June 18, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Tomorrow I may try to buy something from every company that they are against. But that would take effort. On a Friday? Meh.

Trinkett June 18, 2009 at 10:11 pm

[re=342674]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: I guess it’s Hershey, Muesli, and menstrual sponges for the PUMAs.

Lionel Hutz Esq. June 18, 2009 at 10:12 pm

I once had a PUMA movement after eating at the Olive Garden…, It was all smelly and gross.

facehead June 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm


(and you thought gay marriage was difficult)

Country Club Jihadi June 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm

I miss Uday and Qusay and wish they could come back to be waiters at the Olive Garden, just for these special ladies.

Joshua Norton June 18, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Olive Garden is to pasta what Taco Bell is to beans and rice. The same shit in a different shape with a different name.

247 different ways to serve Chef Boyardee.

DoctorCulturae June 18, 2009 at 10:36 pm

[re=342689]hobospacejunkie[/re]: She can be an insufferable giggle-girl, but that’s my point. She also asked the question that opened up the can o’worms: “what newspapers do you read?” Given what has transpired recently, she and Dave *could* do a half hour of riffing off of that. Plus CBS gets a two-fer for her appearance.

And Olive Garden? Meh puke-tastic.

chascates June 18, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Isn’t today Magazine Thursday or did I already miss it?

chascates June 18, 2009 at 10:54 pm

And BTW doesn’t require registering to post, just a name & email address.

chascates June 18, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Wait, the skanks moderate comments. Dammit.

MOG June 18, 2009 at 11:06 pm

I was a Hilz bitter and just thinking about Sister Sarah makes me throw up a little (lot) in the back of my throat. Don’t know ONE Hilz backer who considers PUMA anything other than a Swiftboat kick in the ass, really. Just say’n. And yes, I’m OLD.

stanpan June 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Oh, gawd, if only I could watch Letterman without seeing those horrible Olive Garden spots. Every time I hear the twit that does the voice-overs on their commercials, I wanna throw a cow pie in his face. Please, Olive Garden, pull your spots!

sati demise June 18, 2009 at 11:24 pm

[re=342676]Tommmcatt[/re]: beautiful man, just brought tears to my eyes. That video gave me a reverse seizure.

19kevin8 June 18, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Great. Can Olive Garden can spend the money they save from not advertising on the Late Show on some more wait-staff? Nothing sucks like waiting forever for shitty service at a crappy, over-priced chain restaurant!

Edywin June 18, 2009 at 11:36 pm

My last basket of breadsticks looked like old man penis, with a light coating of butter. Damn those perverts getting young girls hooked on grampa schlong!

SayItWithWookies June 18, 2009 at 11:37 pm

That video — holy crap. If ever two movements would not be expected to merge, it would be the post-structuralists and the PUMAs. Okay, I only saw the first minute and a half, so maybe the rest of it starts to make sense, but I’m not betting that way.

John Thune June 18, 2009 at 11:37 pm

[re=342693]Manos: Hands of Fate[/re]: It’s an honor to serve our nation in the US Senate and in the Wonkette comments.

Also: Manos is a great film. Bet I’ve seen it four times.

DoctorCulturae June 18, 2009 at 11:48 pm

My dinner just left the circle. And I’m not talking the Taj Mahal.

ladymacbeth June 19, 2009 at 12:17 am

why is there a man VO-ing that video?

chascates June 19, 2009 at 12:28 am

[re=342732]John Thune[/re]: The MST3K version of Manos or straight?

mollymcguire June 19, 2009 at 12:34 am

Once I read “Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon” by Joe Queenan, I knew I could never eat in an Olive Garden again.

Lionel Hutz Esq. June 19, 2009 at 12:38 am

Well, I guess the good news is that, based upon the video, we can expect the PUMAs to self-castrate and then take cyanide the next time a comet comes near Earth.

gurukalehuru June 19, 2009 at 1:05 am

[re=342643]chascates[/re]: Alex Jones may be nuts, but he may also be right. The two are not mutually exclusive. 2 planes, 3 buildings doesn’t add up.

But, on topic, I am fully expecting mass hilarity, in about 2 or 3 years, when Willow DOES get knocked up, from all the abstaining.

davesnothere June 19, 2009 at 1:57 am

Easy folks, it’s satire!

davesnothere June 19, 2009 at 1:58 am


Lascauxcaveman June 19, 2009 at 2:07 am

I’ve had a meal at the Olive Garden. I was awhile ago, but I remember some breadsticks (not bad), a salad with “Italian” dressing (OK) some prawns (good) in with some pasta and “sauce” (gummy and bleh).

Nothing to write home about, but now that I know PUMAs are boycotting them I may have to give them a second chance; if the in-laws are picking up the tab. I’m pretty sure another trip to TGIFridays would be lethal, anyway.

qaf June 19, 2009 at 3:29 am

[re=342676]Tommmcatt[/re]: “menopausal taint-manglers”

I don’t know what that means, and I really don’t want to, but kudos on a brilliant and unique turn of phrase. Salut!

lumpenprole June 19, 2009 at 3:41 am

That video is awesome. It’s so close to being worthy of pre-dawn teevee production values (and sentiments).

lumpenprole June 19, 2009 at 3:51 am

Wait. Is that subgenius stuff?

gurukalehuru June 19, 2009 at 4:20 am

I think PUMA stands for “Pickle Up My Ass”

…and why was Barney Frank doing the voice for that video?

gurukalehuru June 19, 2009 at 4:22 am

…and why did Mike Gravel produce it?

Servo June 19, 2009 at 4:41 am

I liked the Spaghetti-O Stargate.

gurukalehuru June 19, 2009 at 5:13 am

[re=342676]Tommmcatt[/re]: Spidoosh

gurukalehuru June 19, 2009 at 5:15 am

but “The Taj Mahal of consciousness” is an awesome phrase. I vote we steal it.

gurukalehuru June 19, 2009 at 5:29 am

Wow! That is such a bucketload of crazy that I watched it twice. What’s up with the dancing alien robots at the end? And did he really say that they now lived in a different universe than us? (A: Yes)

Lazy Media June 19, 2009 at 5:34 am

Along with the rape of Italian-American food, Olive Garden needs to answer for their fucked-up name. Olives are grown in orchards, not gardens.

gurukalehuru June 19, 2009 at 5:38 am

and the handsome young man in a suit with a far away gaze at about 1:30 who was GAYged bla bla bla…

MargeSimpsonsBlackFriend June 19, 2009 at 6:47 am

Is this post a lead up to war with Hillbuzz?

If no, why not?

Cape Clod June 19, 2009 at 6:59 am

Wrong cultural icon.
“The PUMA movement was thought of as a bunch of disgruntled voters when, in reality, it was the Paris Sewers of consciousness reforming political mathematics.”

President Beeblebrox June 19, 2009 at 8:24 am

[re=342622]keepinitrealyo[/re]: You forgot the Order of the Eastern Star. Pretty much all the same demographic.

Johnny Zhivago June 19, 2009 at 8:52 am

Did you know Olive Garden puts arugula in its salads???

Perverted, communistic and FRENCH!

June Cleaver 2.0 June 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

What kind of incomprehensible mess was that video? How did I wind up thinking about Andy Warhol and a bleak combination of middle school shop-computer lab? What in the world did THEY think they were saying?

Losing should not be this hard for Republicans.

It’s pathetic — but funny!

eclecticbrotha June 19, 2009 at 9:22 am

“The Taj Mahal of Consciousness” means “a place where brain cells go to die.”

queeraselvis v 2.0 June 19, 2009 at 9:27 am

This video looks like something that was rejected from a PowerPoint 101 class as being too damn lame.

eclecticbrotha June 19, 2009 at 9:29 am

PUMA: “All of your bullshit are belong to us.”

Hedley Lamar June 19, 2009 at 9:59 am

Today, we are all circle jerks.

Godot June 19, 2009 at 10:04 am

I can’t figure Olive Garden out. They try to be fancier than your typical chain restaurant like Uno’s, Friday’s, Outback, etc., with their decor and prices. But their food isn’t any better and honestly is probably worse. So anyone who wants that level of food would more likely go to a cheaper, more casual-setting place, and anyone who wants that level of fancy style would go to an ACTUAL fancy restaurant with better food.

How do they stay in business?

Vewol Mevemont June 19, 2009 at 10:10 am

This is what “Ringu” would have looked like if it were written and directed by L. Ron Hubbard.

Vewol Mevemont June 19, 2009 at 10:19 am

[re=342809]Godot[/re]: It’s a good place to go if you have a family. And you hate that family.

zhubajie June 19, 2009 at 10:21 am

[re=342643]chascates[/re]: You mean he doesn’t?

Zhu Bajie

zhubajie June 19, 2009 at 10:23 am

[re=342666]Mad Farmer Manifest[/re]: If these people are the female Al Sharpton, who is the female Reverend Ike?

Zhu Bajie

zhubajie June 19, 2009 at 10:25 am

[re=342674]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: Does Johnson + Johnson make KY Jelly? Or some other buttsecks aid?

Zhu Bajie

qwerty42 June 19, 2009 at 10:35 am

I thought Jim’s comment on the video really captured the flavor:
…It’s a standard recruitment tape for a suicide cult or the Dharma Initiative or whatever.
I do think watching it on some sort of drugs might be a help. but which?

zhubajie June 19, 2009 at 10:36 am

[re=342741]gurukalehuru[/re]: Knocked up by Levi, don’t you suppose?

Zhu Bajie

Mr Blifil June 19, 2009 at 10:44 am

[re=342759]gurukalehuru[/re]: That was not Barney Frank providing the voiceover. I’m pretty sure it was Tom Carvel.

heroinmule June 19, 2009 at 10:52 am

My farts have more personality than Lanny Davis.

heroinmule June 19, 2009 at 10:59 am

[re=342829]qwerty42[/re]: iced white zinfandel spritzer and the generic version of whichever pill cocktail peggy noonan inhaled this morning

qaf June 19, 2009 at 11:48 am

[re=342834]Mr Blifil[/re]: Cookie Puss!

Lazy Media June 19, 2009 at 12:22 pm

[re=342809]Godot[/re]: They stay in business the way every chain restaurant does: people are retarded sheep who are afraid to try anything unblessed by the herd. You can probably get better food at the local diner, but they don’t have TV commercials and you’ve never seen their logo before, so let’s not go there.

Alaska Girl June 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

“PUMAsphere” Is that like a Walmart version of Thunderdome?

One Yield Regular June 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Once bitten, forever shy, so it’s highly unlikely that I’d ever find myself in an Olive Garden again. I keep thinking of the TV commercial they ran last year, where they touted their own “cooking school” in Italy where their chefs trained. It always made me want to go into one just to call out the “chef” to have him or her tell me all about that outstanding international culinary training.

But to get back to the point, it’s really hard to see a downside to canceling Olive Garden ads.

orange June 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm

i want to meet the narrator of the video. i want to transcend.

Bruno June 20, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Hearing someone sermonise about something that makes no sense attempting to use “big” words is the reason I don’t go to church. Thank you Pumas, for reminding me not to waste my time.

Toaster September 27, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Don’t forget the Olive Garden commercial where mother and son share a special night out–see it on Pointless Planet:

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