The Corner

‘Teabagger,’ They Say

In recent days, I have been writing about “teabagger,” and how this disgusting epithet — used against conservative protesters — has gone mainstream. Anderson Cooper, the CNN anchorman, got the ball rolling, in a big way, when he ridiculed the protesters in this manner back in April. David Gergen was talking about how Republicans needed to “find their voice.” Cooper smirked, “It’s hard to talk when you’re teabagging.” For the definition of this unusual sexual practice, go here.

Anyway, readers have been sending me examples of “mainstream” figures’ using this “teabag” language. George Stephanopoulos on his Sunday-morning show, of course. (Does he qualify as mainstream, given his Clinton-operative background? Well, it’s been a while . . .) A reader from Michigan reports that Jennifer Granholm — the Canadian-born gov — used it in an interview with Mitch Albom. And another reader reports that Roger Ebert used it in his review of the new Michael Moore documentary.

Of course, Ebert not long ago referred to Che Guevara as a “fiercely ethical firebrand”! As my colleague Rick Brookhiser noted, “His ethics were fierce, all right.” Weren’t they ever.