“Crackpotish”: Washington Post Columnist Attacks Turley For Post Written By Someone Else


I previously ran a column about a demonstrably false statement made about my testimony in the Trump published in a Washington Post column by Jennifer Rubin. She never corrected the statement, but I let it go after writing a column addressing the false information in the Post. I now look back at that column with a degree of fondness since at least Rubin was right that I did testify at the hearing. Now Rubin has called me a crackpot for a column that I did not write. The lack of minimal research by Rubin has become something of a signature element. In her latest controversy, Rubin not only responded to those ridiculing me for a piece written by someone else but expressed delight at my forced retirement over the column. Ironically, her Post column the same day is entitled “What If Facts Matter?” — criticizing President Trump and his claims of “fake news.” In fairness to the Post, this latest error was not published by the newspaper though she identifies herself as “Conservative opinion writer at @WashingtonPost, MSNBC contributor” with a banner photo of the Washington Post on Twitter. What is becoming increasing clear is that, as the Post declares, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” but accuracy dies with Jennifer Rubin.

I wanted also to respond to the criticism of Darren’s argument as “absurd” – a conclusion apparently reached solely on the headline of his column. The characterization is as unfair as it is unexplained in the tweet.

On Saturday, our weekend blogger Darren Smith wrote a column on his opposition to the order of the governor of Washington State to close the schools (Darren lives in Washington). Rubin later tweeted that she found the argument in the article to be “absurd” and said that I had become “crackpotish.”

The most interesting aspect of this attack is that there is no way that Rubin actually knew what the argument was that she declared to be “absurd.” The automatic tweet on posting on the blog simply gave the title of Darren’s column: WA Governor Inslee’s Order Cancelling Remaining School Year Possibly Unconstitutional I can understand if the author of the piece is not clear from that tweet since they go out automatically on http://www.jonathanturley.org.  However, Rubin had to read the column to declare it “absurd.” It does not say what the argument of unconstitutionality might be. It could be a state statutory issue. It could be a matter of state constitutional law. It could be a violation of a standing court order or a federal constitutional argument. You could not possibly know without clicking on the link and reading it. If you did, you would first read the byline for “Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.” At the end of the column, you would also find Darren Smith identified as the author. You would also find this express statement that the article did not reflect my views and was not reviewed by me:

“The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.”

So, if Rubin actually read the column, it was impossible to conclude that it was written by me. There are only two options here and neither is good. Rubin did not actually bother to read the argument before calling it “absurd” (and personally attacking me) or she read the argument and disregarded the fact that it was written by a third party who said it did not reflect my views.

I am inclined to go with Option One only because I am already familiar with Rubin’s loose understanding of sourcing columns. In my earlier column criticizing Rubin, I discussed a column in the Washington Post where Rubin stated that Democratic counsel Norm Eisen was able to extract concessions from me during the impeachment hearing. That was news to many of us since Eisen only asked me one question about my views that I had just stated as the premise of my testimony and had previously published in the Wall Street Journal. Thus, my “concessions” appear to be repeating one of the main points of my testimony that was stated repeatedly before the single question from Eisen. After making this point repeatedly in both writing and in my testimony, Eisen asked me to repeat it again. Making it even more bizarre, Eisen insisted that I simply answer “yes or no.” That was the only question asked of me at the hearing by Eisen. Indeed, I believe that that was the only question asked of me by the Democrats in the entire hearing.

Rubin declared that the single word answer on the previously stated premise of my testimony was a major “concession” extracted by Eisen. I assumed that the obvious mistake would have been corrected by Rubin but she refused to respond or correct the error. The reason I return to that prior controversy is that the error would have been obvious if Rubin had taken the time to actually read the transcript. Had she taken that minimal step, she would have seen that that statement was the core of not just my prior writings and my oral testimony before the question, but it has been my position since the Clinton impeachment hearings.

However, she was correct that I testified and Eisen asked me a single “yes or no” question. That turned about to be something of a high point for Rubin.

As many know, I have run various writers on the blog including some who expressly disagree with my views. Darren runs columns regularly on the weekends. I actually disagree with points in Darren’s column but I have always found his work to be thoughtful and well-researched. I make a point of not reviewing such columns because this is a blog dedicated to free speech and diverse viewpoints. In this case, Darren was basing his argument on a state court decision and state constitutional provision. The argument turns on the interpretation of the word “ample” in the state constitution. Of course, Rubin does not explain why she calls his argument “absurd” in the interpretation of such a general term. That is likely because she never bothered to read the argument. The fact is that, while I was not convinced by Darren’s argument, he presented in his usual direct and honest way. It is more limited and nuanced than she suggests.  Many have agreed with it.  It is a view that others likely share and I am glad that we offered a forum for it to be considered by others.  

Of course, all of this is beyond the point. Rubin clearly did not know either the specific argument or the author of the piece.

Rubin has previously been criticized about her writings including controversies over calls to “shun” and “shame” Trump officials and to “burn down the Republican party.” However, those are largely based on the merits of her views as opposed to her penchant for not letting facts get in the way of a good attack. As the joke goes among journalists, Rubin has repeatedly shown that “there are just some facts too good to check.”

There is one silver lining in all of this. If I am now going to be blamed for columns that I did not write, I insist on credit for other columns that I did not write. Here are a list of columns I now claim as mine alone:

Dave Barry [Jonathan Turley]: “The First Olympic Scandal Rears Its Ugly Head” —The Miami Herald

Barack Obama [Jonathan Turley] The Way Ahead, Economist

Pope Francis [Jonathan Turley] Life, measured by love, is meant to serve others Vatican (Clarion Press)

James Madison [Jonathan Turley] The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments, Federalist Papers No. 51

Rubin may find these pieces “absurd” but I stand by each and every one.

164 thoughts on ““Crackpotish”: Washington Post Columnist Attacks Turley For Post Written By Someone Else”

    1. What a nasty way of acting against people that have provided you a service for free. This demonstrates an attitude all too frequent on the left.

  1. Prairie Rose, thank you for the link regarding indigenous violent deaths in prehistoric California. First of all, that report gives no evidence of intergroup violence; these remains might be simple murders, not massacres.

    Second, I am under the impression that the indigenees in California were sedentary. If so, that meets my broad definition of civilization.

    I am more certain of this in the Pacific Northwest, where the Haida became infamous for raiding other peoples but also other tribes kept slaves.

    1. David Benson
      Thank you for the links. I will look at them.

      This was only 10,000 years ago. What timeframes are you looking at? Are you focusing on homo sapiens or earlier ancestors, all of the above? 🙂

      “Researchers from Cambridge University’s Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies found the partial remains of 27 individuals, including at least eight women and six children.

      Twelve skeletons were in a relatively complete state, and ten of these showed clear signs of a violent death: including extreme blunt-force trauma to crania and cheekbones, broken hands, knees and ribs, arrow lesions to the neck, and stone projectile tips lodged in the skull and thorax of two men.

      Several of the skeletons were found face down; most had severe cranial fractures. Among the in situ skeletons, at least five showed “sharp-force trauma,” some suggestive of arrow wounds. Four were discovered in a position indicating their hands had probably been bound, including a woman in the last stages of pregnancy. Fetal bones were uncovered.

      The bodies were not buried. Some had fallen into a lagoon that has long since dried; the bones preserved in sediment.

      The findings suggest these hunter-gatherers, perhaps members of an extended family, were attacked and killed by a rival group of prehistoric foragers. Researchers believe it is the earliest scientifically-dated historical evidence of human conflict — an ancient precursor to what we call warfare.”


  2. Absurd x12 — That is directly from the anthropologists. I suppose that I should have stated intergroup violence. There is evidence of group killings of solitary men.

    Oh yes, even tiny villages count as civilization.


    1. Absurd x12 — That is directly from the anthropologists.

      Anthropologists who have no reality outside the space between your ears.

  3. Mr Kurtz, I pay attention to the archaeological literature.

    The only thing by Engels that I have read is the Communist Manifesto.


  4. Mr Kurtz, if you dressed a Neanderthal as an American football player you wouldn’t be able to distinguish him from the rest of the guards.

    There is no evidence of group violence from before the advent of civilization. None.

    1. There is no evidence of group violence from before the advent of civilization. None.

      I see anthropology isn’t your strong suit.

    2. “The data related to the remains showed that about 7 percent of the population at that time had evidence of forced traumas, whether they were shot by an arrow, stabbed or bludgeoned. For females it was 5 percent and for males it was 11 percent, a percentage of violent trauma not even reached during World War II, Allen says.”


  5. Mr Kurtz, the Neanderthals didn’t “go extinct” but rather joined Homo sapiens so that most of us have 1–2% Neanderthal genes.


    1. Benson, yes, as the article mentions, they have a representation in our dna which suggests interbreeding. This is an interesting subtopic in itself. Species taxonomy is not a precise exercise in stovepiping. One species evolves into another over time, and subspecies varieties combine and diverge. It may be that Neanderthal diverged as a homonid species and then converged with homo sapiens or perhaps it was always just more like a sub-species.

      of course the general idea is that separate species can’t interbreed, but subspecies can.

      It’s not always true that different species CAN”T interbreed. Most probably can’t, but some can. Wolves and dogs and coyotes for example. i take it that the degree of genetic divergence is important to whether or not a hybrid can produce any offspring, or fertile offspring. here is an interesting story about mules which touches on these questions


      Anyhow, we don’t know precisely what happened to the neandertals. I feel ok hypothesizing that perhaps not only were they interbreeded out of visible existence, but possibly exterminated by competitors. I know this will make people feel uncomfortable, but it might have happened.

      There are various peoples, that is to say, extended kin-groups, who have been “exterminated” throughout history.

      I am reminded of Chinggis Khan, who is said to be the worst mass murderer of human history, but also one of the most prolific ancestors of history. here i have to pick links since I can only post 2 per article so I’ll go with one about their genocides and destructions and post the one about his dna after.


      I feel it’s safe to say that neandertals are extinct. Superseded by descendants who don’t look like their ancestors can be generally described as “extinct”

      or do you think that is racist too? maybe some people would think so.

      1. Apparently the worst sack of single city by the Mongols was of Nishapur in Iran, where they massacred over a million. I think they went as far southest as Syria, where they wiped out out a few cities and made memorable “mountains of skulls.” I found one article that tagged them as having slaughtered over 11 millions. Who knows? Its not like there was a reliable global census in those days.

        As far as I know, it’s safe to say that the Mongols exterminated the Kwarazmians.
        Maybe DNA scientists will be able one day to tell us how much of their DNA survived among the diverse peoples of Western Asia.

        Now to elaborate the other side of the equation, as to the importance of being prolific for national destiny, consider that the Mongols over a couple generations finally conquered the Han Chinese– but what 7 centuries later or so, today the Mongol remnant is mostly absorbed, and where it is not, it is marginalized by the PRC inside its borders, contained north of its borders, and the language is doing poorly as ever, at least compared to what folks had to deal with in the bloody wake of the Great Khan.

  6. Yay: A whole new page fro Seth to not answer the question!!

    Shall we mark you down for, “blame JT for someone else’s stupidity”, or are you going to be reasonable…just this once?

    (I’m starting to get a sense of his answer)

        1. Take off your blinders. You’re seeing yourself in that non-existent tweet.

      1. Ex:


        “The Lawfare Podcast: ICE, CBP and Coronavirus Response,” the latest from Jen Patja Howell:…”

        The author’s name is included in the tweet:

        “the latest from Jen Patja Howell…”

  7. Oh for God’s sake, Professor, you still don’t get it? Or are you pretending so as not to really piss off the Left so they do not put a bigger target on your back? Facts do not matter to them. They have an agenda and will fulfill it no matter what it takes. It has been going on for so long that so many people distrust them to the point where they elected Trump! A salesman with poor language skills is always better than a highly educated person who lies with impunity (Hillary). And since Trump brings a cannon to a knife fight, (no mealy-mouthed Bush to easily beat on), they have lost their collective minds.

      1. Peter – are you entering a megalomaniac stage? You have no say in this blog. Shut up and leave the new people alone.

        1. Paul, they’re not ‘new’. An army of sock puppets has marched in to occupy these threads. Someone was horribly concerned that liberals were disrespecting Trump.

          1. Someone was horribly concerned that liberals were disrespecting Trump.

            You dolt, this is an article about Turley.

          2. peter – given the number of times you have changed you name, you have no right to call anyone out. Besides, what you are doing borders on doxxing, which is against the Civility Code.

            1. Paul, half of this thread consists of sock puppets. But they’re all nasty Trumper types so you’re okay with it.

        2. Paul,
          Paint Chips hits on so many different aspects of projection.

          Sigmund Freud first reported on projection in an 1895 letter, in which he described a patient who tried to avoid confronting her feelings of shame by imagining that her neighbors were gossiping about her instead.

          Psychologists Carl Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz later argued that projection is also used to protect against the fear of the unknown, sometimes to the projector’s detriment. Within their framework, people project archetypal ideas onto things they don’t understand as part of a natural response to the desire for a more predictable and clearly-patterned world.

          More recent research has challenged Freud’s hypothesis that people project to defend their egos. One study proposed that projecting a threatening trait onto others is a byproduct of the mechanism that defends the ego, rather than a part of the defense itself. Trying to suppress a thought pushes it to the mental foreground, the psychologists argued, and turns it into a chronically accessible filter through which one views the world.

      2. Paint Chips, is that we ironically all the different ID’s you’ve posted under? If you had any critical-thinking skills whatsoever, you wouldn’t need to know who anyone was. You’d be able to read and comprehend whatever was posted and provide a critical response. But no, you don’t have a functioning left-half of your brain. So you need to sort people out like your box of crayons, and only then craft a primary school-level response according to where he fits in the box.

        1. Olly, your comments have a Paint-By-Number quality where you just keep recycling the same old insults. It’s like reheating leftover Xmas turkey halfway into January.

          1. What a delightful inability to grasp irony, Seth. You’re really outdoing yourself on the thread!

          2. It’s like reheating leftover Xmas turkey halfway into January.

            Using mixed metaphor, you may try changing your name to ham, veal, duck or goose, but you’re still the same turkey halfway into April that you were before Christmas. I’ll keep reheating you until you become something else altogether.

            1. Well, you know, Olly: Art is art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.

  8. Damn Turley, way too much time on your hands? It took you 13 paragraphs to say Jennifer Rubin Lies Again! Anyone above a single-digit IQ wouldn’t need to read further. It won’t make a dent in the rest.

  9. Our “take charge” president tweeted this morning:

    “For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect….

    ….It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”

    I think he wants to cut the ribbon.

  10. Jonathan and the Turley Twits have gone off the deep end with this one…

    “Crackpotish” indeed.

  11. Darren’s article was legit

    Rubin is the crackpot

    thanks for sticking up for Darren Professor– and yourself

    1. JT didn’t stick up for Darren. He complained bitterly because something he tweeted was taken as being from him. Never once defended the column.

      1. Dont cut off the hand that feeds you

        Kurtz gives you the attention nobody else does, stoking your ego all the while. So be nice to Kurtz. Without him you would be posting sh!t nobody would care to acknowledge

        1. I want to encourage diverse viewpoints so we can fully explore our own. We need to be challenged in our beliefs and conclusions. Sometimes we are wrong or we have more to learn from unexpected sources.

          There’s no better way than a civil discourse. In law school we call that Socratic dialogue. I’m not kissing their backsides, I genuinely welcome challenging opinions.

          This is why I like this venue as opposed to the worthless comments sections at wapoo or other controlled mass media who always want to cull challenging opinions and create a stovepiped echo chamber.

        2. I get plenty of attention and most of it moronic by pretentious dummies.. It is true Kurtz engages and I try to return the favor. Neither one of us owes the other.

          1. To have a lively and authentic conversation is something that I enjoyed most about law school, even though i was regarded as a knuckle dragging neanderthal. and I still am.

            in regular cocktail party type society, often people are afraid to share their true opinions.

            in this way, the quasi-anonymity of this venue, allows us to present a truer face than we would, where social consequences would make any prudent person hold cards close to the breast.

            in my way of thinking, this can be an enjoyable opportunity, an occasion for integrity instead of inauthentic dissembling.

            1. Mr Kurtz – have you had your DNA tested to see if you have Neanderthal blood?

              1. I am content with 200 years of genealogy to verify for me what I have needed to know. I am not young enough to care about DNA test verifications. I am blessed in my genetic heritage, and whatever faults in my life have come from my own failings and not my ancestors.

                Anyhow i was joking but there is some interesting research about Neandertal DNA and they may have been as intelligent as homo sapiens.


                What matters more for survival over aeons is not the iQ of each specimen, but their fecundity, and likewise how socially cohesive they are at waging war. Neandertals probably failed along one dimension or another, ie, were outbred, or exterminated, or a little bit of both.

                I hypothesize, of course

                1. Here’s about how many men in Asia are believed to be descendants of one of the worst mass murderers and rapists of human history


                  this is something to think about for people who are influenced by idealistic notions of “peace and love” and all that.

                  in short, history belongs to peoples who are a) prolific and b) successful at the sort of coordinated social activity that brings success in “total war”

                  give it another hundred years and the statistics may say something like,
                  “1 in 200 descended from Muhammed”

          2. Book, you always come to my rescue for which I dearly am indebted to you. My psychiatrist says I am hopeless and my medications no longer work. Short of another electroshock I dont know what I would do without your catching my back

            1. REGARDING ABOVE:

              That ‘Seth Warner’ is none other than Crazed Idiot. Crazed Idiot is on a tear today. Yet Professor Turley comically wonders why Jennifer Rubin has the wrong impression.

              1. I don’t know how “conservative” Jennifer Rubin is, my suspicion is not very

                However, she is an ardent Likudnik. You know what Likud is, yes Seth? I didn’t make you for a Bibi fan like Jenny. For my part, I am just an observer of Israeli politics, for long time, not a participant in any way.

                Now it might be hard for some people to wrap their heads around a seemingly contradictory phenomenon like a pro Likud, anti-Trump columnist posing as a conservative commentator for Wapoo, and the whys of that, but if you have the key to turn the lock, that one door is easy to open.

                “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” — F Scott Fitzgerald

          3. I get plenty of attention and most of it moronic by pretentious dummies.. It

            Waal, we often don’t see ourselves as others do. Some people take the Dunning-Kruger phenomenon to the next level.

        1. I really am ashamed of myself. I only realized that I keep running to Book & Anonymous to rescue me since I have no friends.

          Why doesn’t anyone like me? I just want to be loved!!!! C’mon you losers! You have no idea the burden I carry to be me!!!!

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