GQ's Jim Nelson is okay making judgment calls on the Tea Party, but if you point out that his editorial decisions contribute to a culture that preens teens for Sex and the City promiscuity he gets prickly.

GQ’s Editor and Chief, Jim Nelson, has his Tea Party disdain firing on all cylinders in the latest issue.  In his Letter from the Editor, Mad About You, he writes:

“What I know from Tea Partiers RE their hot simering rage is, Where was it before?  When it was called for–when your country needed it.  Why weren’t you fired up and out in the streets in your colonial britches when President Bush drunk-drove the country into the hell of the Iraq war, which not only put our troops in harms way but has cost us—and here’s where I thought you might relate—possibly 900 billion (!) of your tax money? (More if you count the cost of caring for our soldiers, and please do.)  Tea Partiers!  Compatriots!  We could have used your rage, your rabid hatred of taxation, and your Magic Markers in that fight.  But you were nowhere to be found, because your anger had not yet been funded by  corporate interests,” (GQ,  November 2010).

I wonder if Jim has ever read the preamble to the Constitution.  The last time I checked it’s pretty clear:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Guess what, Jim? I don’t mind if my tax dollars go to defense spending or wars that (while you might disagree) secure the “blessings of liberty” for future generations. If you haven’t noticed, nation states in the Middle East have this odd tendency to fund and foment the kind of extremism that gives Juan Williams the creeps when he gets on a plane (and fired from NPR for acknowledging that jetliners seen as dual-use ballistic missiles to Islamic terrorists created those feelings).  I don’t have time to detail how Saddam Hussein fits into the larger puzzle (e.g., Palestinian suicide bombers, UN Resolution 1441 and its significance in the aftermath of 9/11), but I’m sure it will find its way into a future blog post.  Although, Google works if you’re impatient…

Jim also fails to mention that Tea Party activists are certainly not happy with the GOP’s elitist, weak-kneed, unprincipled “leadership,” or that the federal deficits under President Obama put Bush’s fiscal sins to shame.  There’s a big difference between unprincipled Republicans who allow the country to slowly shuffle down the Road to Serfdom, and the liberal who straps a rocket pack fueled by liquid hydrogen on the nation’s back and redlines it.

Speaking of shame, I find it odd that the Editor in Chief who’s perfectly okay creating a sexual GQ photo shoot with the cast of Glee (that probably has pedophiles on cloud nine), would bring up Carl Paladino porno flaps:

“Of course, what Attorney General Helmet Hair was really mad about were other, more alarming polls that showed that his dramatic lead was quickly evaporating and he could be beaten by an unhinged, porno-loving Tea Partier (An old coot named Carl Paladino who got in trouble for mass forwarding bestiality videos and who loves the Constitution so much he couldn’t wait to e-share his First Amendment rights to”

What about you, Jim?  You put actresses who portray high school girls into spread-eagle poses in your magazine.  Isn’t that a little “unhinged”?  (or is it “cool” since it’s in GQ?)  Although, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since liberals are the ones who regularly downplay the significance of Roman “I get teenage girls drunk and hopped up on drugs, but I didn’t ‘rape-rape’ them” Polanski. It really doesn’t matter if the Glee actresses are closing in on 30 if their characters realistically (or semi-realistically) portray high schoolers. Guess where I bought my copy of GQ today, Jim?—at Target, on the magazine shelf right next to all the magazines baring Justin Bieber fever…

We can argue over the effect that sort of thing has on the culture for days (teenagers need someone to love too, right Jim?), but one thing I do know: You oversee a magazine that fills its ad pages with liberal man-boys who mug for the camera while simultaneously hocking someone’s product and promoting the progressive cause de rigueur. New media allows conservatives to point out that Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney and the liberal media heads behind the scenes who try to convince Americans they should adopt European moral relativism as the litmus test for cool…are anything but cool.  In a few years they’ll be just another Rob Reiner—out of shape, uncool, and ranting for anyone in their like-minded playpen who will listen. Give me Clint Eastwood over Rob Reiner any day.

See you in November, Jim.

I'm taking a cue from GQ and putting in images of liberal man-boys who hock products under the guise of promoting the progressive cause de rigueur...


About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.


  1. I think you’re wide of the lark with this line: “You oversee a magazine that fills its ad pages with liberal man-boys who mug for the camera while simultaneously hocking someone’s product and promoting the progressive cause de rigueur.”

    The adverts in magazines – GQ or otherwise – are very separate from the editorial and editorial policy. They are created and shot by the ad company, in this case TAG Watches.

    And everyone in that Glee shoot was well into their 20s.

    As a Brit who is very interested in the Tea Party movement, it seems that it started as something I agreed with – fiscal responsibility and a Libertarian viewpoint. But soon it became a right-wing social conservative movement.

    Perhaps it’s just the idiots that tarnished the message who got all the publicity (Glenn Beck, Christine O’Donnell, etc) but it seems to have morphed into a monster I’d now rather fight than follow.

  2. If you were actually PART of the Tea Party movement instead of merely “interested” in it you’d know that it hasn’t morphed into anything else at all. The last time I checked the United States still had runaway debt that is going to hit future generations like a freight train. That’s what the Tea Party movement cares about.

    Liberals hate it that the Tea Party movement resonates with millions of people who are realizing that Big Government generally is only capable of running up Big Debt with Little To Show For It. Because of that, they latch on to whatever element of the Tea Party they can paint as racist, ignorant, or weird. It looks like their tactics worked on you.

  3. GQ makes me want to vomit. It editorials are so leftist its sicking.
    They prop Eric Holder up as some kind of hero in the latest issue
    its laughable considering his latest embarrassment. Trying terrorist
    in civil court affording them the same rights as American citizens is
    the kind of progressivism GQ supports.

  4. Well I can’t really be part of it as I don’t live in America and have no voting rights there. Hence it being no more than an interest really.

    I’m not sure that it’s “leftist tactics” either as the coverage that really put me off was that from Fox News. Which is not really liberal or left wing.

    Perhaps if their coverage has been more analytical and less hysterical (I’m thinking of Glenn Beck here) then they may have a better public image.

    I agree with the need for smaller government and many of the things that the Tea Party stands for. It’s the fringe elements that are complicating the issue.

    David – it’s interesting that GQ is left leaning in America as in the UK it’s very much a right-leaning magazine. there was loads of anti Labour stuff and support for the Conservatives. It was practically a monthly love letter to David Cameron. And the political columnists are all Conservatives too.

  5. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your response. I knew you weren’t able to vote, but I was responding to your comment about fighting rather than following the Tea Party movement based off what you believe they morphed into.

    I’m a little confused as to why “fringe” elements complicate the issue for you. By definition, fringe elements are just that… Glenn Beck is one person. I think you’re giving him way too much credit. The kind of deficits run up, growth in government, and entitlement spending promises the current administration has taken part in dwarf the domestic sins of George W. Bush. Before anyone starts talking about social issues, the new people in power need to actually do what they were sent to Washington to do: shrink the federal government and get spending under control.

    I care about my personal finances and the safety of the nation. I don’t care what the gay checkout clerk at the computer store does on Saturday night.

  6. Right, I see what you mean.

    The fringe elements I was referring to were the non-fiscal policies that the Tea Party are pushing.
    Were these people really the best candidates for financial reform that the party could come up with?

    People like Sharon Angle who is against mothers working, opposes abortion in all cases, including where rape or incest are involved, and is against state pensions for the elderly.

    Christine O’Donnell who says, ‘The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can’t masturbate without lust.’ WTF?!

    Rand Paul who indicated that he believes private businesses such as restaurants should be free to turn away customers on the grounds of race.

    This is what I mean by it turning into a monster. The candidates that are carrying the financial message that you and I agree on are also, unfortunately, a bunch of crackpots with views that would only get them into the most extreme of parties in the UK and many other countries.

    The Tea Party stemmed from the anger of the bailouts and the need to reform and reduce the size of government and government spending. All things I, and many others, can support. But it turned into a bandwagon that people on the far-far-right of the social agenda jumped on and this scared off a lot of people who may have initially agreed with movement. Myself included.

    Yes, we all know that Palin and Beck are idiots, but it seems more and more of the people who should be carrying the torch for fiscal reform, and have good intentions over the economy, also carry extreme social views that are overshadowing the important reason the party was originally formed.

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