Uh, Andrew Shirvell‘s boss, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to defend (DEFEND!) his employee, your boyfriend, Andrew Shirvell. “But Gabe, how can you defend the indefensible act of a fully grown adult man (and state employee) writing a hate crime blog against an undergraduate college student?” I have no idea, but it’s miserable to watch Mike Cox try.

You know what? Fuck Andrew Shirvell, obviously, but FUCK MIKE COX MORE. At least Andrew Shirvell has the decency to be obviously nuts. But, like, we’re all on the same page about freedom of speech, asshole. But how come the rest of us are nervous about our bosses CATCHING US PLAYING MINESWEEPER, and you’re willing to go on national television and make up a bunch of bullshit about why you’re not going to take any kind of action whatsoever (at least not publicly, and certainly if there was ever a reason for public action, it is probably a well-publicized and unapologetic hate crime committed by a state employee who needs medicine) against someone working in your office whose ostensible function is the day to day protection of laws and people’s rights. Perfect. “Oh, he’s a bully. But what can I say? HE IS MY HUSBAND.” Unacceptable! (Via Gawker.)

Comments (104)
  1. When Cox says “we have this thing in America called The First Amendment”, I really wish Anderson would have stroked his chin and said “tell me more about this so-called ‘First Amendment’, it intrigues me…”

    • Does the first amendment mean you can act like a petulant child and write a hate blog directed at a college student and keep your civil service job? Last time I checked your first amendment rights are only violated once the government put you in jail for your ridiculous 13 year-old graffiti gossip blog. Well take me to the supreme court, b/c whoops I’m sending you to 13-year-old-graffiti-blog Jail.

      • Gee, I guess I didn’t realize that that was EXACTLY why the first amendment was put into the Bill of Rights in the first place. The Founding Fathers were so clever…..

    • It also protects your right to act like a smug asshole when someone asks you a completely relevant and justifiable question, apparently.

      • That honestly made me hate this guy SO MUCH. Jesus christ.

        Here in America, we also have this thing called cock punches, and this bro needs one.

      • Mike Cox is THE WORST!! As a Michigander, I’ve had a front row seat to observe his constant failure. Let’s see. Aside from being a smug asshole every time he speaks, he’s also a values conservative who’s also an admitted adulterer. He tried his damnedest to repeal health care reform – you know, the one that helps more people get the medical treatment they need. Best of all, he helped cover up the legendary Manoogian Mansion party wherein Detroit’s then mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick (who is now in jail), held a rollicking party at the Mayor’s Mansion which ultimately led to the murder of a stripper named Strawberry. Cox closed down the investigation and claims the party never happened (this after a private meeting between he & Kilpatrick). The good news is that he ran for governor this year and lost miserably, because Mike Cox is a giant, disgusting failure, and I’m so glad you’re all aware of how awful he is!

        ps. the guy who looks like he will be the next governor of Michigan is named Rick Snyder and his campaign slogan is “One Tough Nerd.” True story.

    • It’s so fucking infuriating/sadly funny when these guys invoke the First Amendment when their ridiculous logic that covers up for irrational hatred and bigotry is called into question.

      “What do you mean, ‘black people are just that way’?”
      “Um. Excuse me. I HAVE THE FIRST AMENDMENT. And here in AMERICA [unlike Socialist Europe] I have the right to say whatever I goddamn want.”

      I just wish somebody would respond with, “Yes, you are entitled to your own opinion. But you aren’t entitled to your own logic you hideous waste of my time.”

    • first amendment, more like worst amendment… amirite?

  2. Fact: Chris Armstrong wants to replace the football team’s uniforms with sequined hot pants and mesh tank tops.

    *paid for by the committee to un-elect Chris Armstrong

  3. In the words of another great silver fox…

  4. Hey everyone, there’s a new 30 Rock on tonight, right? That makes it all a little better, right?

  5. blatant hypocrisy re: the literature distributed to children and ‘SORRY, ANDERSON, cyberbullying isn’t technically a crime’. that part is what sent me over. come on, jerkstores.

    • FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. I wish that me driving there and punching both of them so hard in the fact that their bodies fall off wasn’t a crime either.

    • And in my little dream of dreams, if I had been there with Anderson, asking questions, I would have said: “And why the fuck isn’t it a fucking crime already?!”. GEESH Wasn’t cyberbullying part of his campaign platform when there was an actual campaign going on?

  6. 2012 isn’t coming fast enough.

  7. Mike Cox in Anderson Cooper.

    Written be Speed Weed.

  8. Yes! FUCK MIKE COX! (Im sorry)

  9. This makes me sad to be from Michigan :( Not all of us are homophobic assholes!

    • Of course you’re not! We don’t think so. My fucking state fucking passed Prop. 8 and that wasn’t every citizen’s fault, either. Sometimes the majority of voters elect terrible tan robots who hire soulless demons, and then awful things happen.

      I wish your governor could do something though, she’s always seemed like a good egg.

    • I was really happy that Mike Cox didn’t win the primary because I really wasn’t looking forward to all of the jokes about Mike Cox being our governor. But I’m pretty sure this is worse.

  10. Ok, but why haven’t we seen Mike Cox and Andrew Shirvell kiss yet? It’s just not a realistic depiction of the situation.

    I’m thinking of starting a petition.

    • I want to start a blog. andrewshirvelllovesmikecox.tumblr.com You know, to exercise free speech. It’s protected under this thing called the First Amendment.

  11. Wait, wait. Pause the game. Mike Cox was elected by actual human beings? Thank god it’s almost 2012.

  12. There’s a great quote by Justice Potter Stewart in 1964, when the Supreme Court was trying to determine the breadth of newly enacted obscenity laws in the U.S. He said, when asked to define obscenity, (probably paraphrased) “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.”

    For this jaghole Mike Cox to hide behind an argument that he can’t dismiss this fuckface Shirvell for conduct unbecoming because that concept hasn’t really been “fleshed out” is pure cowardice. I can’t define conduct unbecoming, but I know it when I see it, and Andrew Shirvell and everything about his homophobic, juvenile, insane bullying screams conduct unbecoming.

  13. cox is a dick.

  14. I actually stopped reading after I said his name out loud in my head. I was too busy giggling uncontrollably.

  15. I don’t worry about my boss catching me playing Minesweeper, but I also won’t miss the mini panic attacks I keep having, thinking that the thumbnail of the Glee recap up there is actually a thumbnail of a bj in progress

  16. Somewhere out there* there is someone who thinks a public school teacher who is open about her sexuality on a blog should be fired, but thinks a government employee who bullies people who are open about their sexuality should keep his job.

    *everywhere out there

    • I’m with you! Log out, MacKindergarten. Log out.

    • Just to be, you know, accurate, she wasn’t exactly being “open about her sexuality.” She was being open about her time working as a prostitute. You know, a professional sexer? And she went to the Huffington Post and blogged in defense of prostitution and criticized Craigslist for getting rid of its “erotic services” section or whatever.

      Which, you know, whatever, consenting adults blah blah blah. But it wasn’t as innocent as you make it out to be.

      • I still consider that being open about your sexuality, but I get what you mean. I guess my point is that we’re so freaked out about sex that when we find out that someone who actually had sex (many times! for money!!!) and didn’t cry shame-tears is TEACHING YOUR CHILD, we go into panic mode.

      • This also a big difference between writing about your time as a sex worker and setting up a blog where you harass and bully a college student for being gay.

        While we can have a thoughtful debate as to the merits of a public school teacher who advocates for prostitution, I think we are all on the same page that a grown man employed by the state who spends his time obsessively shitting on a college student who was elected to a position of public service is horrible.

        • Yeah, seriously, screw that guy. Does he even realize that student body governments don’t do shit in the world? Why does he care about who is elected the head of some nothing organization, gay or straight?

          BECAUSE HE’S A GEIGH TOO?!?

        • “a big difference between writing about your time as a sex worker and setting up a blog where you harass and bully a college student for being gay.” Maybe there isn’t, though! In principle. Both cases have the same foundation: If I am competent on the job, you can’t fire me for thoughts I express on my own time, end of story.

          To me, Shirvell is cretinous and that teacher is doing the Lord’s work. I’m sure that for other (crazy, lesser) people (who live in boiling fear of their own bodies) the opposite is true. Now, I’m no Law-Talking Guy, but it seems like this is what the First Amendment is for. Partly.

          • Oops, better clarify — yeah, there is a HUGE moral and material difference between someone who uses free speech to be honest about their past and someone who uses it to stalk and harass someone.

          • Yes, you are certainly right on one level. If we treat both as hollow shells and don’t look at the content or affect, both are people working and having outside lives. End of story.

            However, the First Amendment is not absolute. It may say Congress shall make no law abridging free speech, but it isn’t that simple. We have exceptions. Obscene speech, fighting words, etc., get less protection.

            In this context, you look at what the person is saying and ask, does this disrupt the job? Does it reflect badly? These things are all fluid and a fully supportable argument for both positions is possible. Here is the terrible secret: The Constitution and all of our laws are vague and virtually meaningless. We bend them and interpret them to get to where we think we should end up.

            So, while on one level they are the same–speech that may or may not reflect impact the job–on a more substantive level, they are really different. (Think the fact that one is about another person and is sort of scary and harassing is the big difference. If Shirvell’s blog was just about how much he hated gays generally, it would be terrible, but would seem less bad as it wouldn’t have a stalkery vibe to it.)

            As I think we all agree, hounding a person for their sexual preference is much worse than just talking about your life. Just so we can take all political positions out of this, the I would say the same if the teacher were blogging about how she believed that women should not work, get married and have babies and the attorney were harassing the president of the college young Republicans. One is an active terrible thing and the other is more benign.

            Now, I know you were not suggesting otherwise, but your comment gets at the heart of all Constitutional and political discourse in this country at the moment: that is, how do we talk about the law.

            An Originalist/Strict Constructionist (using these terms loosely) would say, “The Constitution says free speech, so it doesn’t matter what is said. Free speech is absolute.” (And ignore the real work implications of it.)

            A progressive/Judicial Pragmatist (or in a pejorative sense, a Judicial Activist) would point to the differences and say “Oh, but look how terrible this guy is. Certainly our laws are for stopping terrible people.”

            So on one had you have a liberal saying, “Gee the Constitution should cover this,” and a conservative saying, “Tough titty.” Of course, the tough titty position privileges conservative positions–it is inherently traditional.

            So the proper response is all about how you imagine the laws should work. But of course, none of us are consistent in how we think our law should work. When we like it, it is Constitutional; when we don’t, it isn’t. (Consider, would conservatives be standing up for a liberal in the same position? No. Nor would liberals call for the firing of a liberal.)

            We are all flawed. Our worst trait is claiming that we are clinging to principals and not prejudices when we are really bending our beliefs to get the outcome we want. But that is just how it works.

          • Whoa. Sorry for that. Hot Spur, you are great.

          • No need to apologize, Mans! I was hoping you’d reply.

            One lesson that has been hard for me to accept is that the U.S. is not a striving of all of us as one team toward a brighter future where everyone is reasonable and generous. It is instead a scrum of people with opposing ideas trying to get as much of their way as they can, even if their ideas are demonstrably harmful to their fellow Americans. The Constitution is a brilliant framework for this — but it’s interesting that we never publicly acknowledge it that way — instead so often proclaiming God (or The Constitution — same thing, as far as public discourse goes!) is on our side. So I very much appreciate your take. It is thought-provoking.

            I favor the “liberal” position on almost everything (ex.: I do not believe the world was created in 6 days in the year 4004 BC, and I think people who do believe it are a danger). But I also stand up for conservatives occasionally and I try to be fair. Sigh. Generally this gets me nowhere — I just end up more frustrated down the line, when after all my hard work the Universe makes no corresponding effort (i.e., Shirvell gets a pass for being a deranged stalker, the teacher gets her career thwarted for being honest).

            (Side note: The teacher thing is driving me up a wall. Do people really fear she is going to contaminate children? UP. A. WALL.)

          • Thanks. This is an interest of mine–the interrelation of Biblical and Constitutional interpretation, the primacy of how we talk about things, rather than what we say, etc–and I wish we could have this conversation in long form and in real life.

          • What you just said. All of it. Hear, hear.

  17. He’s a lawyer, he’s a lawyer, he’s a lawyer – oh and he’s a politician, too. Clearly he doesn’t believe half the shit he’s saying; the question is, which half? He’s obviously got to weigh the national humiliation that all this attention is bringing his office vs. the way this is playing in the state vs. the prejudices of his base (and their $$$) while considering his real-world options for actually letting this Shirvell creep go (including a possible wrongful termination lawsuit).

    That said, and whatever his motivations in doing so, it was nice to hear Cox admit that Shirvell, the employee he hired and refuses at this juncture to fire, is an internet bully.

    Oh – and Shirvell got his law degree at Domino’s Pizza College. And Armstrong apparently lives in my old crappy college house (according to Shirvell, a true completist when it comes to Armstrong factz). That is all.

  18. So, uh, according to the 1st Amendment you can’t be fired from your job for verbal harassment? Alright!

  19. Mr. Cox, we have this thing called “you’re an asshole.”

  20. COX: “Mr. Toobin reminds me of the old joke, ‘I’m not a lawyer but I play one on tv’…”

    AND: “He’s a former federal prosecutor.”

    COX: “That doesn’t mean anything, Anderson! Everyone knows once you stop practicing law they take your lawyer chip out of your brains before casting you back out into all the dumb-heads. It’s a pretty good gig, I wish I had it.”

  21. I think you’re missing the forest for the trees, here. The most important part of this conversation comes near the end, where Mr. Cox says, ‘I’m out of office in three weeks’. IOW, it’ll be somebody else’s problem then. Firing the moron might cause him to file suit for wrongful dismissal based on the legal ‘citations’ Cox was talking about here. Shrivell is obviously nuts, and it’s very likely he would file such a lawsuit, no matter how frivolous. Since Cox is peacing out in three weeks, why would he really give a fuck, especially if he’s avoiding any legal issues that will follow him around once he’s out of office?

  22. how about the line where he says he’s “embarrassed for” Chris Armstrong cause of the unwanted attention.

    I don’t know much about this except from what has gone on Videogum, but I am assuming that Chris Armstrong, an adult, over-achieving, comfortably out-of-the-closet, democratically elected student govt worker isn’t “embarrassed” about who he is, what he stands for, and what actions he’s taken in his position.

    Why are you “embarrassed for” him, Cox?

    • I dunno. I’m kind of embarrassed for him, too. It’s an embarrassing thing to have happen to you, becoming the sick obsession and target of lusty hatred from a mentally retarded civil servant who was accidentally awarded a Juris Doctorate. For the rest of his life, co-workers will be googling him and discover the “Chris Armstrong Watch” blog from 2010. And he’ll have to explain that.

      It’s embarrassing. I’m very comfortable with who I am, and there’s no way in hell I’d want that kind of attention.

      • no, yeah, it would be a BITCH to deal with. I feel SORRY for Chris Armstrong and the frustration/pain this has and will cause him.

        But I think Cox chose the wrong sentiment to feel for the guy. Maybe accidentally, but I think it’s kind of revealing. There’s nothing embarrassing about being stalked. There’s nothing embarrassing about being gay. There’s nothing embarrassing about using your power to push for equality for people (aka the radical gay agenda).

        I think that people that would defend a stalking, harassing, clearly seriously-mentally-unhealthy, and PROBABLY in-the-closet-but-ashamed-gay person WOULD be embarrassed for an Chris Armstrong, for everything Chris Armstrong is strong enough to NOT be embarrassed about.

        fucking piece of shit.

  23. Also, can I just say how much I HATE the phrase “radical homosexual agenda”? What the fuck does that even mean? I mean sure, the idea of equal rights is extremely radical to some people, but still. And I can understand “radical liberal agenda”, that’s an ideology some people oppose, but what’s with this implication that The Homosexual Army will be marching (fabulously) down your quiet suburban street, making your marriage less special and fucking your kids in the ass while Judy Garland plays?

    If anyone said “radical black agenda” they would be crucified, and rightly so.

  24. Collective Monsters Facepalm?

    I think yes.

  25. It’s hard to fire government employees. If they have a satisfactory employment record, their outside activities are looked at in isolation. And those activities: if one can clearly establish his posts are a hate crime, well, then, that’s criminal. And if the posts don’t amount to that? Well, then, it’s hard to fire the dude on the posts alone. He hasn’t been charged criminally with a hate crime, sooooo…..

    I think his employers are frantically looking for other ways to fire him. And there is always the last resort: fire without cause, and eat the damages.

    None of this changes the fact that the guy is a small-minded, over-educated bigot.

  26. Why do I keep choosing such horrible boyfriends? And why do my horrible boyfriends choose horrible boyfriends as well?

  27. Look what I found–a reason to live!

  28. If you would like a transcript of tonight’s “Anderson Cooper’s Parade of Insanity,” put a bologna on your head and yell out the window.

  29. yes I know this person is a horrible,obnoxious and ignorably stupid subhuman,and this is a predominantly comedic website,but somewhere it should be highlighted that 4 gays were lost to suicide this recent week,all of them very young.its the weekend but it feels like a monday.

  30. For a guy whose name is Mike Cox, for fuck’s sake, you’d think he’d be a little more sensitive to the issue of homophobia in particular and name-calling in general.

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