Fumento on the radio

David Appell heard Michael Fumento on the radio:

My God, he is even worse on the radio! You'd think he was the only journalist who ever went to Iraq. I only caught his segment for about two minutes, but during that time he was pompous, combative, egotistical, and simply an all around jerk to his hosts. It was like getting smacked in the face, he was trying so hard to be forceful. It's not easy to make such a strong impression in a mere two minutes, but he succeeded in spades.

Oh yeah, he also has a funny, high voice, kind of like a cartoon character.

Less than two hours later he got a comment from Fumento. (Read aloud in a squeaky voice for maximum comic effect.)

I'd suggest that if you have to resort to impugning the sound of a person's voice in order to attack him, you don't have much to work with. And I see nobody links to your site. Gee, wonder why?

From the response time here and other examples, I estimate that Fumento ego-googles about five times a day.

Meanwhile, Chris sent Fumento an email:

Mr. Fumento,
I just heard your whiny-ass meltdown on the Al Franken show today.
All I have to say sir, is that you are truly a pussy.

Fumento's reply:

I trust you mean that in the vaginal sense and that you would like penetrate me. I respectively decline the offer.


More like this

I assume that Mr. Fumento doesn't write professionally, given his confusion of 'respectively' and 'respectfully'. Or perhaps I've missed a subtlety (with respect to ?)

HAHA, I don't know the guy, but at least he has somewhat of a sense of humor with his reply. I love how the right-wing (especially in the US) gets these guys with grandiose pronouncements on science, who aren't even scientists (poli sci doesn't count, nor does a law degree! :-)

Sounds like a meh response, I feel like he's the type of guy that if someone said "go f*** yourself" he'd try the ol' "I'm sorry but that's not anatomically possible."

Actually, he might have done that on his hatemail page. No link, because he's too much of a munchwagon.

well a good challenge to a guy who wrote about "The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS" is to offer to pay for a trip to Africa to investigate reality. Sounds like a typical Republican -- "it doesn't count if it's brown or black people" (i.e. AIDS, "collateral damage" in war or peace, etc).

Fumento may have his faults, but he was spot on with regard to heterosexual AIDS in America. He claimed that there would never be widespread heterosexual transmission of HIV oustide of Africa in 1987. He was the first to make this prediction and he was correct.

By David Kane (not verified) on 25 Jun 2006 #permalink

yet of course you offer no numbers to back it up. and couldn't it have been that thanks to people listening to AIDS researchers, availability of money for medical community, outreach & education, that AIDS has been at lower rates in the west than in Africa & Asia?

I mean, jeez, if people were listening to psycho-apologists like Fumento & his lackeys, I'm sure we'd see higher rates!

A quick browse of Fumento's article makes it clear that he's comparing Africa and the US - the fate of other non-Americans is of no interest to him.

Similarly, much of the reason for his equanimity about "heterosexual" AIDS is, I believe, contained in the section where he points out that the typical American who acquires AIDS through heterosexual sex is a poor black woman who uses intravenous drugs (or was in 1987).

So, you know, the "good" heterosexuals - the middle class white Republican ones - seem to be safe.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 25 Jun 2006 #permalink

it's a very telling "argument" for Fumento & his ilk; right in line with their not caring about collateral damage of brown people in Iraq & Afghanistan etc.

Is demonization of your opponents a requirement in these threads? There are many reasons to be critical of Fumento but he was fundamentally correct in his 1987 prediction about the the number of heterosexual HIV infections likely to occur. Many people at the time said the number would be X. He argued that it was unlikely to be as much as X/10. He gave a thorough analysis. He was correct.

This doesn't mean that he is right or wrong about Iraq, Monsanto or anything else. But he was right about heterosexual HIV transmission in the US. Ian Gould wrote:

So, you know, the "good" heterosexuals - the middle class white Republican ones - seem to be safe.

I do not think that this is a fair reading of Fumento's article or book. I challenge you to provide quotes to this effect.

The main point I am making is that Fumento was right in 1987. Picking up a random (non IV drug using) stranger in a bar and having unprotected heterosexual sex was less dangerous than driving to the bar in the first place, especially for men. (HIV is much more easily transmitted male to female than the reverse.) Fumento was among the first to argue this point, to much criticism. He was correct.

By David Kane (not verified) on 27 Jun 2006 #permalink

Carl claims that Fumento was "horribly wrong about Africa." Have you read his article or book? Fumento makes clear that the HIV epidemic is very different in Africa than outside of Africa. He argued at length that the African experience would not be repeated in the US or Europe. He was right about that.

He did not claim, as you seem to imply, that there was no risk for significant heterosexual transmission in Africa, a fact that was already accepted in 1987. He argued (correctly!) that the same spread would not be seen outside of Africa.

If you have read his work, please point out the passages about Africa that you are criticizing.

By David Kane (not verified) on 28 Jun 2006 #permalink

From what I have heard of Fumento lately, including the Franken show rants (which I had the misfortune to hear live) my opinion of him pretty much matches the conventional wisdom in this precinct. As to The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, which I actually read once, David is right. At the time, the standard received line was that AIDS would soon shortly rage through the heterosexual population in the developed world much as it had through the male homosexual population. It didn't, and Fumento was right about that, and why, when few were. Sorry to those who like their demons pure.

From "The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS":

"AIDS stories on the covers of major newsmagazines invariably picture middle-class whites; the Atlantic article carried illustrations of seven individuals, all white and all dressed in yuppie garb; and AIDS victims in television dramas, in addition to being disproportionately heterosexual, are always white. Similarly, when ABC's Nightline ran a four-hour program on AIDS, the segment on sexual transmission opened with a clip depicting nothing but white, middle-class heterosexuals discussing their fears; and a half-hour video on AIDS features Ron Reagan, the President's son, with a beautiful blonde.

One would never know from all this that the profile of the typical victim of heterosexually transmitted AIDS is a lower-class black woman who is the regular sex partner of an IV drug user. White heterosexuals make up approximately one-half of 1 percent of all AIDS cases; as of September 14, 1987, of 41,250 cases reported, only 254 whites were listed as being heterosexually infected.

This is not to say that it is absolutely impossible for members of the white middle class to contract AIDS heterosexually. But it happens so rarely that one hears about it immediately and often. A family in which a hemophiliac gave the virus to his wife, who then transferred it to her child during pregnancy, has now been featured in no fewer than four national magazines and on 60 Minutes."

As far as I'm concerned, Fumento went beyond the unpopular but hardly unique observation that unprotected anal sex and allowing someoen to ejaculate in your mouth are the principal modes of HIV transmission outside Africa (where cultural practices like female genital mutilation make transmission during vaginal sex much more common)to arguing that HIV in america didn't really matter because it's only the poor and the perverts who are affected.

I've made the first point myself (although not in writing so I can't prove that)left wing Australian writer and broadcaster Philip Adams went so far as to propose the advertising slogan: "Don't cum in the bum" to get that point across.

Adams didn't attract the same hostility as Fumento because he doesn't have a pre-existing history as a mendacious little bigot.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Jul 2006 #permalink

who cares, it's a silly point to knock down a strawman argument that "everyone said the US would have a hetero AIDS epidemic." It fits in well with moronic American isolationist policy, that they can so cavalierly ignore epidemics around the world. Oh, unless it's "terrorism" then magically it's the most important thing around.