epistolary romance

Hillary Clinton Aide Invites Buzzfeed Reporter To Do Sexual Congress Elsewhere

U mad?In a shocking display of online rudeness unmatched since the time Ari Fleischer told Helen Thomas “Tits or GTFO,” Buzzfeed reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s occasionally-poetic* press aide, Philippe Reines, got into an email pissing match with Buzzfeed reporter Michael Hastings. The flame war evidently started in a heated discussion of Call of Duty: Black Ops CNN’s handling of the diary of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, which its reporters found in the debris of the US Consulate in Libya, and then escalated into an exchange of very undiplomatic language between the reporter and the press aide. The messages start off relatively civil, if prickly:

Hastings: Why didn’t the State Department search the consulate and find AMB Steven’s diary first?… Your statement on CNN sounded pretty defensive–do you think it’s the media’s responsibility to help secure State Department assets overseas after they’ve been attacked?

Reines: Good morning Michael

…As far as the tone of my email, I think you’re misreading mine as much as I’m misreading yours as being needlessly antagonistic…

Your question seems to imply they have none and any expectation of responsible behavior is too much to ask. To be specific: I believe CNN had the responsibility to act as human beings and be sensitive to their loss when they first approached the family…

And then, the brutal honesty / passive-aggressive sniping (in the aftermath of a well-regarded ambassador’s death, from Reines’ perspective, and a whole lot of hasty State Department message-juggling, from Hastings’ POV) starts to kicks in:

Hastings: Thanks for getting back to me. No, you read my email correctly–I found your statement to CNN offensive.

From my perspective, the scandal here is that the State Department had such inadequate security procedures in place that four Americans were killed….

Reines: Why do you bother to ask questions you’ve already decided you know the answers to?

Hastings: Why don’t you give answers that aren’t bullshit for a change?

Reines: I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you’re an unmitigated asshole.

How’s that for a non-bullshit response?

Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, have a good day.

And by good day, I mean Fuck Off

Hastings: Hah–I now understand what women say about you, too! Any new complaints against you lately?

Reines: Talk about bullshit – answer me this: Do you only traffic in lies, or are you on the ground floor of creating them?

And since Fuck Off wasn’t clear enough, I’m done with you. Inside of 5 minutes when I can log into my desktop, you’ll be designated as Junk Mail.

Have a good life Michael.

Hastings: I’ll take that as a non-denial denial.

All the best,


Or perhaps this is more a case of Epic Butthurt. Our NFL scab referees are still reviewing the tape.

*UPDATE: Nice catch, Chet Kincaid!

[Atlantic Wire / Buzzfeed]

About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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    1. Schmannnity

      This must be what Clinton means when she says she has had "constructive talks where our viewpoints were expressed."

          1. Chichikovovich

            Though you have to be careful with that one. High officials in the State Department often have a compelling rejoinder.

        1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

          "I know you are but what am I?"

          PS – this was my brothers go to comeback when we were kids. The poor boy never stood a chance.

  1. Terry

    Holy moley. A press aide is about to be moved to a new position and a CNN reporter is about to find that his access is substantially limited.

    1. Mojopo

      Reines should be promoted. He's only saying what we're all thinking, which is exactly what a good press aide should do.

          1. Sharkey

            No, that was intended in the sense of "turtles all the way down".

            Speaking from the context of Wonkette (only) I found it interesting that you modified the original post with additional info from a commenter. Sometimes commenters point out serious critical errors that ultimately require updates to the original post. This was different.

            You incorporated a comment into your post that was not forced (out of error or misinterpretation or maliciousness). Only because of the additional context provided by one (or more?) commenter(s).

            I'm sure you're aware that commenters here routinely provide additional valuable context and that it routinely gets ignored.

            While I've got you on the line, why the difference? It's not so much a remark on your particular writing, which I think is great, but on the general approach to posts on popular blogs (including but not limited to Wonkette) that comments are "the other" remarks.

            Of course I know that your status is commenter-elevated-to-contributor and (again) I hold no grudges regarding that. There have probably been other isolated instances of commenters causing alterations to the original content in non-forced, non-embarrassing intent, but the question remains…

            How do you feel about changing your own post because of commenter feedback? I'll come out of the closet and say that I think it's totally awesome and should be done more often but, if taken to extreme, can potentially put a huge burden on the original author to perpetually add to his or her article / blog post / expression.

            In short I see not a shit sandwich but a willingness on your part to break the mold of the contemporary "blogger" and I'm prepared to admire that. Then again, maybe you just really like Chet. Hell, I also think he's awesome too so I'm probably just talking out of my ass.

          2. Doktor Zoom

            Wow, thanks! I made the addition mostly because I thought it was pretty cool information–and in fact, it actually reminded me that I knew something about this guy, gave me context that shifted my opinion of him just a little. It also added to the overall impression of who Philippe Reines is — not just a government functionary who fired back to unwanted questions in an uncharacteristically blunt manner, but a government functionary with a bit of a history of doing so. (see also yesterday's Dana Milbank column) And really, it is the sort of connection that we try to build in when we can — routine for prominent news figures, more haphazard for deputy assistant secretaries of cabinet departments.

            I suppose my commenter-to-contributor status may have something to do with it, too, since, hey, I actually do have access to the "update" button, and I know that it's fun for us commenters to get an acknowledgement in the OP. As you note, there's a risk of endless tinkering, but probably not too much of a risk, since oh-my-god-I've-got-two-more-drafts-to work-on pressures pretty much preclude endless revisions. Most elaborations and extensions on a piece work best in the comments. And as I mentioned in one of the comments for the most recent Sunday-textbook thing, there's sometimes too much stuff in the OP, and as a chatty person I like being able to add more info in the comments.

            In any case, thanks for the compliment and for giving me a chance to think about how all this stuff works. We at Wonkette make our shit sandwiches from the finest ingredients! (Soylent Green is commenters!)

    1. shelwood46

      After the scabs stole the game from the Pack, even Evil Governor is on the union's side. Football brings people together, aw.

  2. hagajim

    Wow! Nice to see how our 4th estate gets along with the folks they're supposed to cover. I'd have junk mailed his ass as well.

  3. Fluffy_Kitties

    "I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you’re an unmitigated asshole."

    Best. Quote. Ever!

    1. Oblios_Cap

      Hey – why can't anybody comment on your site? Think of all the fun we could have – There would probably be a lot of exchanges like one cited in this article!

    2. mayor_quimby

      I'm partial to "Fuck you and everything you stand for" or "Fuck you and everybody who looks like you"

          1. BoatOfVelociraptors

            The first ten minutes of "The Way of the Gun" are a treasure trove of cursing. It would Sam Jackson pause.

  4. SexySmurf

    I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you’re an unmitigated asshole.

    I don't think that was a very good use of taxpayer dollars especially since it's so obvious Michael Hastings is an unmitigated asshole.

    1. Steverino247

      They had to verify that he was an unmitigated asshole before moving him up the target list. Happens all the time.

        1. UnholyMoses

          I've done that. Honestly — tried it with my sister in law.

          Turns out that it does NOT work as well as you think it would.

  5. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Maaan. Last time I wrote an email like that at work I had to go to detention … er, I mean HR.

    1. Theywontlisten

      I work in HR, I would have asked you to come to my office, listened to your explanation, reminded you of the company's electronic communications policy and secretly wanted to hug you and give you a big sloppy kiss for being one of my new heroes. Under my breath I would be mumbling, "the fucker it was sent to probably deserved it".

  6. PubOption

    NPR ran this story this morning, although the language used on air was more…diplomatic (or Bowdlerized if you prefer). Example – "Why don't you give answers that aren't bogus for a change."

    1. prommie

      Is that like "cock-punching the fartbox?" Now there is an old Wonkette classic I have not heard in too long. And Assfucking! And Warblogging!

  7. SorosBot

    I am very disappointed in the inappropriate language used by Mr. Reines; he should at least have a "cocksucker" and "motherfucker" in there too.

      1. Jus_Wonderin

        There should always be time to support a position with carefully crafted language….aw fuck……………………

    1. ChrisM2011

      Cock Knocker is a personal favorite. More Cock Knocker in government (Wait- I've just been informed that we already have enough..)!

    2. miss_grundy

      And for good measure, comemierda, which should be the name for a lot of reporters at CNN except for Soledad O'Brien, because she seems to be the only one asking intelligent questions lately….

    3. BoatOfVelociraptors

      What about twatwaffle, analickenspator, and cuntnugget?

      For the sake of gender equality I need to add cockjammer, taint-twister, and glanshammer.

  8. BaldarTFlagass

    In my field, we do a lot of mitigation, primarily of environmental contamination. Not quite sure how you mitigate an asshole.

        1. prommie

          Omnium gallium est divida en tri partes, my dad used to tell me, because they made him memorize Ceasars Commentaries when he was in cat'lic high school. Something like that shit.

          1. Negropolis

            Aqui en America, we speaka da Spanglish, buddy, and don't you forget it, hombre, O que?

            Latinish?! What a snob!

  9. randcoolcatdaddy

    Asking someone to comment on findings that they're an unmitigated asshole is something I would expect from reporters covering the Romney campaign.

  10. KeepFnThatChicken

    Brush your hair and put on lip gloss, everyone! The Wonkette comment section made national news!

        1. prommie

          Thats Fucking Romance! In New Jersey. Like when he sang (though Tom Waits wrote it):
          When i come by to take you out to eat
          You're lyin' all dressed up on the bed baby fast asleep
          Go in the bathroom and put your makeup on
          We're gonna take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your mom's
          I know a place where the dancing's free
          Now baby won't you come with me
          'cause down the shore everything's all right
          You and your baby on a saturday night
          Nothing matters in this whole wide world
          When you're in love with a jersey girl

          1. jqheywood

            As the happy husband of a genuine Jersey Girl, I gotta agree with:
            Nothing matters in this whole wide world
            When you're in love with a jersey girl

      1. KeepFnThatChicken

        Err, not really… I was kidding. Let's just say that there have been some eh… tense exchanges between some of our fellow Wonkeratti. It may take a bottle of chianti and an early Sunday morning to go back far enough to find our festive and frolicking "fuck-off" fights.

          1. KeepFnThatChicken

            <alternate1>That depends. Are we… black?

            <alternate2>Pshaw. Too close to the election to start flushing our radiators, man. We still have the debates and everything!

  11. James Michael Curley

    Another international incident escalates beyond all hope and control due to the inability to place smiley face emoticons on a Blackberry.

  12. Terry

    Wikipedia says that Philippe Reines isn't just a press aide. He's the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and a native of NYC, something we could have guessed given his choice of words.

    1. KeepFnThatChicken

      Only because none of our Farsi language experts know how to transcribe "Your face and beard look like vagina dentata" in emails to Ahmadinejad.

  13. mrpuma2u

    You know who else an official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times ,The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt was an unmitigated asshole?

  14. prommie

    Hastings starts right out being a giant-size douchebag deluxe with douchecream on top, so fuck him and good for this Reince Priebus guy or whatever, for telling him to go and fuck on off.

  15. Mojopo

    Well of course I saw Andy's 360 Deflect-o-rama segment last night…

    I'm with Reines. In America we should be allowed to tell assholes to fuck off, as needed.

  16. chicken_thief

    Reines wouldn't talk like that, even in messages, to Paul Ryan. Because P90X, motherfuckers!!!!

    Chuck Norris wouldn't even talk to Ryan like that. Because, well, in real life, Chuck is a pussy.

    1. HELisforHEL

      You've apparently met my mother and one of my managers here at the cube farm of depression that I'm indentured to.

  17. TavariousChinaSmith

    Good day, sir! (And by "Good day, sir!" I mean that your mother should maybe take out her dentures next time she blows me.)

  18. sullivanst

    So Michael Hastings position is that the State Department's number one priority should not have been concern for the families of the victims, respect for the dead, planning to recover from a serious loss, or searching for the perpetrators of the attack, but searching for personal items in the wreckage?

    I'm with Phillipe: Fuck you, Michael.

  19. prommie

    I am restless today, searching for an avatar that is just right, just the right height, like the trees in Michigan. I am gonna let the Venus Calypigos stand in for a little while, thats something like what I am thinking of, its close.

        1. FakaktaSouth

          She must be some kind of floozy. White dresses are hard to find the right under-accessories for though, the poor thing.

  20. alzronnie

    This is news? You'd think that when someone did NOT tell a Buzzfeed hack to fuck off–that would be news.

  21. CommieDad

    After reading the whole think on Buzzkills site, I gotta say, Fuck You Mr. Hastings. Next time we pull all American Government officials out of a country, we'll send you in with a sign around your neck that says, ['[REMOVED BY SITE ADMINS TO PREVENT RIOTING BY MUSLIM EXTREMISTS]]. That'll mitigate your ass.

  22. Limeylizzie

    OT But one ,oddly named ,McKay Coppins from Buzzfeed was particularly snippy to me on Twitter today. I was expressing my disgust at his constant ass-licking of Mitt and this is how it proceded.

    Is @mckaycoppins trying to get the Press Sec gig for "President" Romney? I know he is also LDS but he is so biased as to be irrelevant now.
    Reply Delete Favorite
    6h McKay Coppins ‏@mckaycoppins
    @Limeylizzie I will miss your thousands of breathless Obamabot tweets in my @ feed when you stop following me!
    Hide conversation
    Reply Retweet Favorite
    10:46 AM – 25 Sep 12 · Details

    1. Negropolis

      Nobody messes with our Lizzie. I tell you, if I tweeted, I'd give that idiot a proper what for. Why I never.

  23. Chet Kincaid_

    "I just stole your social security number and credit card information. Would you care to comment on the scandalous negligence of your security measures for tomorrow's edition of 'Fraudulent Times'?"

    1. prommie

      True fact: The Federal Trade Commission regulary employs hackers to hack into online merchants' websites and steal customer credit card information, and then fines said merchants hundreds of thousands of dollars for being so outrageously negligent as to allow the Federal Trade Commission to hack into their systems. Let this be the one and only time I bore the Wonkette community by talking about the actual subject of what I seem to be doing for a living.

  24. docterry6973

    So long Reines, and thanks for playing. Any you'll enjoy playing the home version of 'Deputy Assistant Secretary of State'. Give him a hand, folks.

  25. ttommyunger

    So, isn't the State Department supposed to practice, you know, diplomacy? I mean, shit, that sounds like an exchange I would be in the middle of.

  26. Negropolis

    To be fair, Michael Hastings is a total dick who is also quite brilliant and necessary. On this issue, Hastings is back to being his dickish self, and it doesn't work. CNN should be ashmed of itself, and they wonder why their sorry, passive-aggressive asses are in last place.

    Let's just say that it doesn't surprise me that someone like Michael would end up at Buzzfeed. I saw him in some late-night interview, and he has this whole too-cool-for-school irreverent vibe which is great in small doses, but it's his whole schtick. While I think the media gives too much deference to authority, he's on the complete other end where he thinks its part of his job to be purposefully disagreeable and dickish with the people he writes about.

    Yeah, Michael, you're such a bad-ass. *eyeroll* I'm glad you got McChrystal, but you're still an unmitigated asshole.

Comments are closed.