Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dawn Stensland and Me

Dawn Stensland-Mendte has written a letter to the editor claiming she is "disturbed" by the column I wrote about her prospective candidancy for Congress. I am sorry to hear it.

In her letter, Ms. Stensland-Mendte accuses me of a number of things including.

1. Not understanding the great difference between her qualifications for Congress and Elin Woods'.

2. Sexism.

3. Discouraging young women from running for public office.

4. And, worst of all, not being funny.

Let's go through it, shall we?

Ms. Stensland writes:
(Mr. Spencer) implied that Elin Woods and I would have similar qualifications because of our husbands. Putting aside the ridiculous comparison of an athlete who had a dozen mistresses and a TV anchor who had a flirtatious relationship at work...
I am perfectly willing to admit that this is something of a ridiculous comparison but I would argue that's what makes it kind of funny.

Of course, I never would have thought of it if she hadn't slyly encouraged a story about her running for office while the Tiger Woods bruhaha was in full bloom. Being embarrassed and cheated on by their husbands is something the famous Mrs. Woods and the locally famous out-of-work news anchor have in common.

It was particularly interesting how differently the two woman handled their husbands' betrayal.

According to the Philadelphia magazine story I cited (the one with which Ms. Stensland fully cooperated) she ignored all the signs of her husband's philandering, hoping he would come to his senses. He might have too. But then he got caught breaking the law, rifling through the private e-mails of the woman with whom he had this "flirtation" and went on to leak damaging details about her to a local newspaper.

Say what you will about Tiger Woods, but for all his philandering he didn't do anything that creepy. He didn't criminally attempt to ruin the careers of any of the girls with whom he slept.

Ms. Stensland told her husband's sentencing judge that her husband is a "good man" who did a bad thing. I'm willing to buy that. She knows him better than I do.

Still, about this "flirtation," Ms. Stensland claims to speak for "many women" when it comes her reaction to my column. I think I can speak for "many women" when it comes to her husband's "flirtation" as if that was all it was. They aren't buying it. And they think she is being either deliberately obtuse, woefully gullible, or lying when she makes such a claim.

Having said that, I admire her willingness to forgive and stand by her man. I think I made that clear at the end of the column Ms. Stensland found so objectionable.

I said her decency, loyalty and class made her unfit for Congress. That wasn't a slam against her. It was a slam against Congress, which, to my mind, is full of phonies, pimps, whores and back-biting power mongers.

To read that column was a slam against women suggests a weak but conscious-attempt to play the gender card. I thought Ms. Stensland was better than that. But then maybe she was just listening to one of her new political advisors. If so, she should get new ones.

12 Comments:

Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Oh stop being such a woman hater Gil.

December 22, 2009 at 10:31 AM 
Blogger jake said...

Stensland was fairly admirable as a loyal wife and stand-up public figure.
She is much less so as a whiny candidate.
Elin gets my vote, unless you want to throw Alycia Lane into the mix.
No surprise Larry lost it over Alycia.
There's a woman who knows how to have fun, and was by far and away the best looking talking head on the news.

December 22, 2009 at 12:42 PM 
Blogger PhillyBob said...

There is so much wrong with your response to Dawn Stensland I truly don't know where to start:

First - Having 15 mistresses and maybe more is much creepier than trying to ward off a vindictive co-worker by logging into her email account.

Second - How dare you call Ms. Stensland either obtuse or a liar! This woman has been through hell and she has to deal with a sexist jerk like you. Remember that it was Mr. Mendte who was honest about everything and never denied a relationship. It was Alycia Lane who was caught lying to the FBI. Ms. Stensland has been dealing with this long before Pat Meehan got involved. She saw emails and told her husband to cut it out and he did. that brought on the wrath of Lane. The US Attorney's office commended Mendte for his honesty in court.

Third - Alycia Lane was fired because she was charged with assaulting a police officer. The police said in their report that Lane used obscenities and a homophobic slur before striking a female officer.

Fourth - To compare Dawn Stensland to Elin Woods is ridiculous, as you admitted, but that does not make it funny. It makes it sexist.

Why can't you just say I'm sorry to Ms. Stensland...or are you to obtuse to realize that you are being sexist?

December 22, 2009 at 1:57 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

PhillyBob sounds like one of Ms. Stensland's new political advisors/cheerleaders and he gets much wrong in defending her letter.

First, his describing Larry Mendte's actions as "trying to ward off a vindictive co-worker" is not supported by the facts.

Mendte was charged with illegally hacking into Alycia Lane's e-mail account and leaking information he gleaned from it to a gossip columnist to embarrass her and/or to get her fired.

His alleged motive was either jealousy or fear that his own misdeeds would be brought to light. In any case, leaking embarrassing information to gossip columnist about a former girlfriend is not manly or chivalrous behavior. It is creepy and weird.

Yes, I "dare" to call Ms. Stensland either "obtuse" or a "liar" in describing her husband's relationship with Lane as a mere "flirtation." While neither of the parties ever owned up to a full blown affair, the Philly mag story about Stensland clearly intimates a relationship far more "inappropriate."

The whole point of the Philly mag piece was that Stensland saw inappropriate e-mails between her husband and Lane and DIDN'T tell him to cut it out, hoping it would all go away. It didn't.

If Lane "lied to the FBI "why was she never charged? Mendte, on the other hand, only admitted criminal wrongdoing after he got caught.

And finally, I say there is nothing "sexist" about comparing Elin Woods and Dawn Stensland and anyone who says there is, is a "sexist."

So there!

December 23, 2009 at 5:45 AM 
Blogger jake said...

Is it sexist to suggest a mud wrestling match to choose the best potential candidate between Dawn and Elin?
Surely a victory by Dawn would be an inspiration to all the little girls she pathetically drags into her pity party.

December 23, 2009 at 7:12 AM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

Jake,

Sounds like a festivus miracle!

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL! (No Happy Holidays)

Steve McDonald

December 23, 2009 at 11:32 AM 
Blogger A Nonymous said...

Gil-
"And they think she is being either deliberately obtuse, woefully gullible, or lying when she makes such a claim."

Of course you left out that she was just trying to downplay the sexual nature and maintain some modicum of dignity or privacy.

As for being "not funny", you've raised "not funny" to an art form.

Your total disconnect with women probably began the moment you were expelled from one.

December 23, 2009 at 11:45 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Now, would that be speaking as a 29-year-old female from Media or a middle-aged male computer hack from Broomall and active in left-wing Democratic politics?

December 23, 2009 at 12:07 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

Gil and Jake,

I DO NOT want to see 'a non-iano' in a mud wrestling match.

December 23, 2009 at 2:54 PM 
Blogger PhillyBob said...

Gil:

I don't know what is more annoying your arrogance or your ignorance of the case.

Please do just a little research. Mendte is suing the Inquirer and Daily News for the same garbage you are spewing here.

The only person to assert jealousy as a motive was Lane's lawyer. In fact she hired publicity hack Frank Keel to work the papers and the columnists.

Look up Mendte's Post Sentence Motion - in it you will see that Lane lied to the FBI - why she wasn't charged is a great question. Why the Federal Government even took the case of a workplace feud
is an even better question.

But the Justice Department is investigating the whole thing - but don't go by what has been in the papers Gil - you of all people should know better. The facts in the court documents have NOT been disputed.

December 23, 2009 at 6:11 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Lane is guilty of lying to the FBI because Mendte SAYS So in a court filing?

Please.

And he's suing the very paper to which he leaked gossipy info about his ex-whatever she was? Excuse me for failing to see him as a victim in all this.

Mendte PLEADED GUILTY.

Next up you'll be telling me Roman Polanski was railroaded.

If your goal is to promote a political career for Stensland, you'd be better off focusing on her strengths not her husband's weaknesses.

Sheesh!

December 23, 2009 at 8:22 PM 
Blogger TomP said...

Hey Gil - sorry I am late to the party here.

But I was searching for stuff on the Mendte trial (I know - I need to get a life) and caught this.

I agree with all you say here - but Philly Bob is right about Lane lying to the FBI. The FBI's 302's (Interrogation transcripts) are attached to court documents.

She at first said there was no relationship and then a few months later (after the FBI talked with Mendte) she admitted to it. So she lied at first - good question as to why she wasn't charged with it because they probably wouldn't have gone after Mendte if they knew it was a relationship that went bad.

Thought you should know.

January 4, 2012 at 2:29 PM 

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