About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • Vulpes82

    I think a copy of Moby Dick just exploded somewhere.

  • Better American Than You

    Whenever Richard Cohen went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

  • RoscoePColtraine

    Dear Mr. Cohen,
    If I could torture you for an hour, and it somehow would GUARANTEE our national security for ALL TIME, would you go for it? I promise not to use any methods involving water or heat. I think the trade-off is kinda worth the effort, don’t you?

    Your friend,

  • Tommmcatt

    A little-known fact is that Herman Melville was a rice queen. True story.

  • Crank Tango

    So special prosecutors can decide someone is in contempt? And while we’re at it, gramp dickweed, you’re right! Impeaching a standing president because he lied about cheating on Hillary Clinton, of all people, is going just a bit too far.

    And who the fuck wants “absolute security,” anyway? The boy in the plastic bubble?

  • Doglessliberal

    Does anyone know for sure that “Richard Cohen” is not two monkies with a computer in a research lab? That would explain a lot.

  • badmuthagoose

    Richard Cohen is having a torrid love affair with Kim Jong-il.

  • gurukalehuru

    Dear Richard Cohen,
    You are not Moby. You are a dick.

    Sincerely, gurukalehuru

  • MathewBrooks

    Look, he ‘simply does not prefer’ torture.

  • Capricatony

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single interrogator in possession of a good hot poker must be in want of national security.

  • GreatOldOnesParty

    What’s all this hooey about immorality and what-ifs it’s your chitlin’s what are threatened ZOMGawrsh!?

    The only difference between me and these Darth Cheney apologists is that I know I’m a morally bankrupt sadistic fascist fuck and I’m honest about it.

    Come on CIA! Get creative! Make up new and fun ways of torture that aren’t outlawed yet. There’s no way to test the efficacy of torture if we don’t try try again!

  • TGY

    Nothing really can be threatened against his relatives — that they will be killed or sexually abused.

    This bothers me a lot, since the “i’m doin ur mom” meme is so ubiquitous on teh Intarwebs.

  • FMA

    You know what, I can’t wait for Jack Bauer to get his hands on this Ishmael character. He’ll settle his hash.

  • CorkPopper

    He lost me at the captured terrorist going to the internet cafe. My head ‘sploded.

    Mr. Cohen, how many diapers do you go through a day wetting your pants thinking about brown skinned people who want to blow you up?

  • stink, but

    He can’t even be frightened by the prospect of an electric drill??!!?


  • magic titty


    That is the greatest fucking thing I’ve read in a LONG time (your banter, not Cohen).
    Much obliged.

  • CorkPopper

    For serious though, it’s encouraging that the comments on this preposterous shit are running about 10-to-1 in favor of Richard Cohen being an insufferably retarded quivering bag of jello.

  • RoscoePColtraine

    [re=399616]CorkPopper[/re]: You couldn’t even send Mr. Cohen to get his teeth cleaned by dental students without the screaming and the thrashing. Assuming he still has his own teeth, of course.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Richard Cohen is frightened, people! He’s afraid of Ishmael and yet he’s bamboozled by the arguments that we need torture to keep us safe. Hey, you know what else would be ugly but would keep us safe? Nuking everybody else on the planet. Sure, it’s horrible, but it would definitely work, right? QED.

    Oh, also — if torture works, then India, Pakistan and China are completely free of terrorist attacks, right?

    Also — the clef to this roman is that Ishmael, the son of Abraham and the brother of Isaac, went off to found the Arab peoples — the Ishmaelites in the Old Testament. So it’s slightly apropos but also slightly dunderheadedly racist.

  • 4tehlulz

    I think we need to threaten his family with death by power drill in order to get Mr. Cohen to admit who actually wrote this column.

    It’s what the heroes of 9/11 would have wanted.

  • DoctorCulturae

    Kurt Vonnegut’s ghost will get him before some terra-ist will.

  • V572625694

    And this comes at a time when, on the very same towering tissue of mendacity that is the WaPo op-ed page, George Will is having doubts about our all-wars/all-the-time foreign policy.

    So many questions! The answers remain to be seen!

    To be sure,

    A fuck it, write it yourselves, Hiatt-cronies.

  • charlesdegoal

    Many gems, including “How do we get him to reveal his group’s plans and the names of his colleagues?” Ishmael must be some kind of a banker or businessman, with plans and colleagues. How can such senile musings be considered journalism?

  • watershed

    I picture this “internet cafe” something akin to Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca. More like an internet DEN.

  • norbizness

    If we could prevent the loss of one more American life by kicking Richard Cohen down a flight of stairs, I would do it. In fact, I stand ready to commit this criminal act regardless of whether it would save a life.

  • the problem child

    Quick, call 911! Richard Cohen has been gobbling Dick Cheney’s demon spoo and needs to have his stomach pumped, stat!

  • Barry White Zombie

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I will pay $50 to kick Cohen square in the nads.

    Also, this “24” fanboy fascist pseudo-logic that’s pervasive in people who support torture pisses me off so much. It’s ok to torture if it’s a life or death situation? Is it ever not a life or death situation in combat? Should the army torture whenever it captures somebody? Assuming it works, the ends justify the means no matter how morally and ethically repugnant, right Cohen?

  • the problem child

    Never mind, he expired when he heard “911”…

  • chowkster

    A thousand times thank you for this blog post. I knew Jim and Juli would come through on this.

  • Dumptruck


  • Oldskool

    I’m beginning to think he writes that stuff just so he can be ridiculed gonzo-style on wonkette. He’s probably scrolling down the page as we type.

  • tiger

    What ANOTHER pathetic loser/columnist with an “opinion”. Why isn’t this stupid shit in the military? Didn’t they drop their standards, like, dramatically? I’m SURE they could fit him in somewhere in Afghanistan. I mean, he’s willing to die, right? Wait. What was this asshole’s point?

  • Mr Blifil

    Anything goes when you need the wogs to spill the beans. Thanks, sensitive serious white guy.

  • mynameisdetroit

    jim and juli: like newark mayor cory booker last election night, i am luxuriating in your deliciousness right now. thank you, that is all.

  • nailsinthecoffin

    [re=399603]Doglessliberal[/re]: Or some manatees in a tank?

  • jetjaguar

    What the hell program are they chatting with? Excel?

  • GreatOldOnesParty

    [re=399653]Barry White Zombie[/re]: see: FOX


    Jim and Juli: see your problem is that you are looking to Richard Cohen for good lines when we all know that Leonard Cohen writes the best lyrics.

  • GreatOldOnesParty

    Not really OT: OOOOH!! Looka! New ‘Dexter’ iPhone app!
    Now you can torture people on the go!

  • hobospacejunkie

    T. S. Eliot didn’t write Moby Dick. He wrote Heart of Darkness, about scary negros worshipping Baba O’Riley Waggaman, planning terrorism, training to withstand torture. Don’t cry.

  • the deliverator

    [re=399659]Dumptruck[/re]: Richard, You’re out of your element!

  • Anonymous Office Zombie

    That was fun.

    What is this country coming to when we can’t even beat prisoners or throw them against “soft walls” (soft walls? WTF?)or shoot them or use electric drills on them or kill and/or sexually abuse their relatives? What’s next banning the gouging out of prisoners eyes or the cutting off of their fingers?

    I don’t know if I can handle this horrible, dystopian anti-torturistic future.

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=399629]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Torture doesn’t work, since all the valuable info we allegedly got from the one guy came BEFORE the “enhanced interrogation techniques” were applied; and the other guy, well, since we tortured him immediately, I guess we won’t know if any other techiniques would have worked, will we? Oh, and the extended torture of the first guy was just for shitz -n- gigglz, obviously, since he’d already spilled the beans.

    And really, what sane person thinks repeatedly smashing someone’s head against the wall and drowning him 80 times or so won’t get him to say whatever the fuck you want? I’d say I loved Dick Cheney after that treatment. (maybe)

  • SayItWithWookies

    Ugh — the worst part of this travesty of analysis is that Cohen has put me in the position of agreeing with William Kristol.

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=399688]SayItWithWookies[/re]: A good dose of penicillin usually works on that.

  • Downtheroadapiece

    LOL at the tags. Cocksucker. So deliciously apt.

    Tangentially, I’d like to suggest that the Wonkette folks also consider using the term cockmaster for a tag in the near future. I watched the South Park movie the other day and decided that one isn’t used nearly enough. Funny how Cohen brought that to mind….

  • nbawriter

    Jim and Julie spending that much at least 15 minutes talking about that slapdick’s column is a form of torture.

    You’ll have to prosecute each other.

  • AxmxZ

    “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his interrogator took him down into a cellar to discover surprise buttseks.”

  • sludjbunni

    Good morning, Mr. Cohen, the Water Board will see you now. And after that, the Death Panel. Have a nice day.

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=399691]Downtheroadapiece[/re]: I like Unclefucker, myself.

  • frumious_bandersnatch

    [re=399610]Capricatony[/re]: In vain have I struggled. You must allow me to tell you how much made of motherfucking win that was.

  • PerhapsSo

    Dude, even if you could torture anyone you pleased, good luck with that “absolute security” thing. Hmm, maybe if I kill all the bad people, nothing bad will ever happen again.

  • RoscoePColtraine

    [re=399695]AxmxZ[/re]: Umm, some people pay to get into that underground cellar. So I’ve heard.

  • SayItWithWookies

    [re=399684]Doglessliberal[/re]: Oh, we all know it doesn’t work, and that Cohen is either incapable of grasping that or unable to let go of the idea that doing the right thing is actually pragmatic also. Then again, if you want information, and the person you’re holding captive doesn’t actually have it, then torture is about the only way to get it out of him.

  • Extemporanus


  • nbawriter

    P.S.: Pardon my muddled sentence. I’m multi-tasking (Wonkette and Full Tilt Poker).

  • bored with gravity

    [re=399602]Crank Tango[/re]: The boy in the plastic bubble died. No security there. Try again.

  • rmontcal

    Where is the part in the transcript where Jim & Juli talk about confusion between “salsa” and “seltzer”?

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=399703]SayItWithWookies[/re]: but it provides unreliable info. Torture someone, and he will say the sky is orange. Plus, it is a great recruiting tool for terrorists (“hey, look what the infidel Americans do to us, come join!), and puts our soldiers at even more risk than they are at now. There is no reason. Never OK.

  • hobospacejunkie

    [re=399698]Doglessliberal[/re]: Shit-faced cockmaster…donkey-raping shit-eater…boner-biting bastard.

  • dijetlo

    It’s the Washington Post, people, what did you expect?
    Somebody paid good money for that opinion to come out of Richard Cohens mouth so unpatriotic panty wastes need to STFU. Americas business IS business and that includes the international power tool conglomerates and the soft wall manufacturers. Remember, demographic analysis identifies terrorists (poor brown people in general, actually) as underconsumers, inherently less valuable than other types of consuming entities! If you start to feel sorry for them, just remember, they should have avoided all this if they’d just bought more tooth paste,
    SO…Up against the wall, Ishmail!
    This Ryobi 24 volt electric drill with speed chuck and battery monitor needs a work-out, not to mention the drill bits I’ll use up on your assbone!
    God Bless America!
    All Sales are Final.

  • McDuff

    [re=399688]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Speaking of Afghanistan, Kristol says, “It is true that we have under-resourced and poorly strategized that fight” but he failed to add:

    “because I got a hard on for taking out Sadaam, who of course had nothing to do with 9/11, but he was sitting on all that oil that rightly belongs in the tank of my SUV, and, besides, he taunted me on the playground when we were kids — well that might have been the Smith kid who taunted me but who can remember — so anyway, I had my friend Dick tell George to invade Iraq and forget about that oil-less hell hole. Besides, there’s no 5-star hotels in Kabul, but when you visit the Green Zone in Baghdad you can stay in one of Sadamm’s palaces — better than any Hilton in the world. I really love traveling the world on the Hertiage Foundation’d dime so I can gather material for my columns on why we need to bomb more brown people. Oh, and did I mention that I discovered Sarah Palin — what’d I give to get into those pants, hubba, hubba!”

  • american mutt

    Um, so the lefties have, “Torture is immoral” and the righties have, “Ah yes, ishmael interrogates and sexual abuse torture builds rapport with interrogators.”

    I see.

  • blogslut

    I read the whole Cohen piece. That was torture.

  • krinkle bearcat palin

    I’m not Rappaport

  • Come here a minute

    In this allegory by the notorious “Jim N.” and “Juli W.”, the character of Dick Cheney represents Billy Budd, the murderous, falsely accused sailor, and the DOJ is the H.M.S. Bellipotent, the ship with the incompetent captain conducting an unfair trial. Well done.

  • trickyrick

    Too bad the CIA tapes were destroyed. Cohen might have made a column after seeing those. Does he have anything to say about the 33 people who died from the torture? who did not have a trial or a lawyer? just the torture?
    I mean, it may save money to do it that way, but just like our health care system, peoples do die from it.

  • ManchuCandidate

    Dicky Cohen = Brave Brave Sir Robin

    Bravely bold Dick Cohen
    Spewed forth from Washington.
    He was not afraid to die,
    Oh brave Dick Cohen.
    He was not at all afraid
    To be killed in nasty ways.
    Brave, brave, brave, brave Dick Cohen.

    He was not in the least bit scared
    To torture Muslins into a pulp.
    Or to have their eyes gouged out,
    And them waterboarded.
    To have their kneecaps split
    And their body burned away,
    And their limbs all hacked and mangled
    Brave Dick Cohen.

    Their heads smashed in
    And their hearts cut out
    And their livers removed
    And their bowls unplugged
    And their nostrils raped
    And their bottom burnt off
    And their pen–

    “That’s… that’s enough music for now lads,
    *** there’s torture afoot*** ???.”

    Brave Dick Cohen ran away.
    Bravely ran away away.
    (“I didn’t!”)
    When danger reared it’s distant head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.
    Yes, brave Dick Cohen turned about
    (“I didn’t!”)
    And gallantly he tore the Constitution apart.

  • liquiddaddy

    Who knew one could type under the bad?

  • Gumboz1953

    Mr. Cohen, you could torture anybody and everybody and you still might have a house fall on you. And your little dog, too.

    Made ya look.

  • CollegeStudent

    [re=399603]Doglessliberal[/re]: This is an insult to monkies. You should be ashamed

  • JadedDIssonance

    I just don’t read these idiots who advocate for torture. I don’t do it because I’m bored. I’m bored because I know they will receive their comeuppance. Karma shall fall on them like Chocolate Rain. They will only ever wash their cars the day before a thunderstorm. Their parking meters will always expire early and their eyebrows will only grow in the middle. Eventually they will purchase large stakes in equally-morally-bankrupt corporations and lose their shirts, live, on cable nooz. I’m bored because I anticipate watching this unfold from my floating rocket ship, and reality offends me.

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=399830]CollegeStudent[/re]: Mea culpa.

  • the problem child

    [re=399768]Come here a minute[/re]: Are you of the school of thought that both the incompetent captain and Billy Budd were gay and the novel stank anyway (not enough buttseks, among other issues)?

  • Lazy Media

    Al Qaeda, to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart, I stab at thee; for hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

    Richard Cohen, like every other “security at all costs including mortgage of soul” bastard in this country, is a gutless coward who needs a sound ass-kicking.

  • bitterz

    too nautical for me

  • problemwithcaring

    “Like he said, he has few answers…except this one.”

    I don’t know why, but this killed me. Thanks Juli!

  • problemwithcaring

    [re=399728]hobospacejunkie[/re]: I’ve always credited you for giving us “donkey-faced shit eater”… you saying you didn’t originate that?

  • OverlySensitiveNegress

    [re=399837]JadedDIssonance[/re]: Puff, puff, pass. I wanna be bored, too!

  • sezme

    By rights this column should be set to music.

    Also, Cohen/Giuliani 2012!!!

  • ManchuCandidate

    [re=399881]Lazy Media[/re]:

  • lennixlewis

    This is like when they posted the bit of Jim and Ken chatting a little while back and it just made me feel like I was at a party standing next to some super hilarious dudes and just wanting so bad to jump in. Or you know, have sex with them. Same diff.

  • showmeonthedoll

    [re=399629]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Ishmael, the son of Abraham and the brother of Isaac, went off to found the Arab peoples — the Ishmaelites in the Old Testament. So it’s slightly apropos but also slightly dunderheadedly racist.

    Juli is right that making Melville’s Ishmael (who represents those who are orphaned, cast out, alienated from society) “the enemy” indicates a complete lack of understanding of the novel. The most forgiving explanation is that Cohen has never read Moby Dick and he just knows the line “call me Ishmael” from Bartlett’s Famous Quotations.

  • Flanders

    One of the most revealing posts ever! I love the insight into how our Wonkett overlords think. Jim, will you be my “Secret Dan”? Juli, I’m pretty flexible, you’re invited, too!

  • Roger the Shrubber

    I thought we employed intelligence agencies because asking the other fellow what he was about didn’t seem to work.

  • Sharkey

    [re=399624]CorkPopper[/re]: I clicked “report abuse” on all the torture-advocating ones I spotted, and put “Hate Speech” as the reason. Though nothing will happen, I feel better now.

  • BerkeleyFarm

    Better American than You: well played, sir or madam.

    AxmxZ: I laughed.

    Jim and Juli: Unlike Richard Corey, um, Cohen, I do imagine you shimmering when you walk. Because you are just that awesome.

    (Juli, you reminded me of Biden’s awesome putdown of Rudy Guilani – “noun, verb, 9-11”)

  • Links

    Dear Cohen. Ishmael was my grandpa, and he never used the internet. So he was a little short tempered, especially when my granny tried to make him eat less red meat, but that doesn’t make him a terrorist. Plus, he loved dogs. Why do you want to torture my dead grandpa?

  • chascates

    So, also, is the wreck where the U.S.S. Arizona lies.

  • denner

    [re=399672]jetjaguar[/re]: my thoughts exactly! totally stumped.

  • blinky_twinkie

    [re=399789]ManchuCandidate[/re]: Perfect. And it reminds me of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, so there’s that.

  • Robert Zimmerframe

    Wow, how do people like this score Post gigs anyway? Writing a few columns for the local PTA newsletter, or the paper they give away on street corners that you leave on the bus? Spending 20 years writing banal letters to the editor? What?

  • AddHomonym

    Being willing to die for one’s cause/country?!1!?? What kind of crazy shit is that???? You would never find real Americans touting that crap.

  • One Yield Regular

    So if I’m reading this right, the only choices are torture or more 9/11’s, both of which are ugly, and Richard Cohen is perfectly content to have an ugly world.

  • dum librul

    [re=400353]One Yield Regular[/re]: The more 9/11s, the more power President of 9/11 Rudy Giuliani gains.