June 20, 2012

Two Minute Hate

Now this is not in any way to make light of Laurence O'Donnell's difficulties with being a total bastard -- it's obviously a very difficult thing to bear. But that NBC gets a tax deduction for putting this derision on the air...

Hat-tip: Brother Keith, who linked to this in a comment below.

Wow. Just wow.

UPDATE: IBD: Which End Of The Horse Is Lawrence O’Donnell?

It is bad enough that MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell mocks Ann Romney for riding horses to treat her multiple sclerosis. But then shows what an ignoramus he is by saying that "dressage (competitive horse riding) does not appear in any of the more traditional courses of treatment" for MS.

Actually, for many illnesses riding horses is a legitimate therapy technique. It’s called "hippotherapy." Wikipedia has a nice description of it, and there’s even an group called the American Hippotherapy Association.

UPDATE II: Here's dagny's last video promoted to embed:

Nope, no therapy, no athleticism.

UPDATE III: Neil Cavuto piles on quite humorously and forthrightly:

Ann Romney doesn't need my defense.

But her critics need to use some common sense.

Because you might find such therapy strange, trust me when I tell you, the disease it helps treat, is a lot more strange. And cruel.

So go ahead and have a good laugh over Ann and her horses and whether they have anything to do with her illness.

UPDATE III.V: (Oooh, there's video of Cavuto on the intertube thingy...):

Media and Blogging Posted by John Kranz at June 20, 2012 4:09 PM

As stated by jg below, of course dagny has lots to say on the matter! Not only is the piece derisive, it is incorrect and confusing.

First, from an Olympic perspective, Dressage is an event in the Equestrian Disciplines like the 100 meter dash and the long jump are events in the Track and Field Disciplines. Like other sports, Dressage can be done at every level from back yard pony to the Olympics. Baseball covers everything from Little League to the World Series.

Anyone who thinks horseback riding isn't a sport is invited to my house to try it. I read somewhere recently that the Equestrian Disciplines are the most difficult sports because the, "ball" has a mind of its own.

Ann Romney is apparently part owner of a horse named Rafalca, ridden by Jan Ebeling (Olympic Athlete). Per this: http://www.usefnetwork.com/news/8774/2012/6/18/update_us_dressage_team.aspx
Jan and Raflaca are currently 4th on the short list to be on the US Olympic Team in London.

Please note that only 4 of the 12 horses listed are ridden by their owners. Clearly several of the horses are owned by businesses. This is big business with presumably big expense and income numbers on a tax return. So is Major League Baseball. That doesn't make dressage or baseball out of reach for ordinary people and only the purview of the rich.

Second, from a therapeutic perspective, the benefits to MS patients and many others from, "hippotherapy,"ť are extensively documented. Follow Keith's link below and read a few comments. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy! Since Mrs. Romney has MS, it is a VERY reasonable and not outrageously expensive therapeutic option. Additionally there are many non-profit therapeutic riding (and vaulting) programs throughout the country that make this therapy available to people in all walks of life. Sneak in shameless self-promotion here: Vaulting is my personal discipline among the equestrian sports but we do a little dressage for cross-training.

Finally, in contrast to the nasty video above, I offer this about a friend of mine in CA. Keep the tissues handy for this one too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0ZxCCbCHuA

Posted by: dagny at June 20, 2012 5:23 PM

Thanks for that last YouTube, dagny. Bunch o' one-percenters!

You and jg give O'Donnell too much credit to actually listen. I just look at the seething hatred in his eye. Gov. Romney made none of these claims. I think "Olympic athlete" as a part owner (and trainer) was in good fun between Schieffer and Romney. And he is not submitting dressage to IPAB as an MS treatment. "She has a passion for it and, frankly, her getting back on a horse after she was diagnosed with MS was able -- she's convinced -- to help her regenerate her strength and renew that vigor."

That does not strike me as an outrageous claim. Every physical therapist I had encouraged me to do the things I enjoyed even if I could do them only on a much lower level. And every one would have been thrilled had I taken up dressage: balance, strength, passion.

Now this is not in any way to make light of Laurence O'Donnell's difficulties with being a complete asshole -- it's obviously a very difficult thing to bear. But that NBC gets a tax deduction for putting this derision on the air...

Posted by: jk at June 20, 2012 6:03 PM


You and your lovely bride as well are welcome to come to Atlantis and take up dressage any time!

Posted by: dagny at June 20, 2012 7:33 PM

Some good stuff in response to this on Twitter, including a guy who does the rant as well as anyone, Neil Cavuto. [click-through for video]

"Just check your facts before you joke about it, because right about now, you condescending sanctimonious twits who are allegedly healthy, you are proving you do not know the benefits of hosrseback riding one bit, but you sure are good at piling on the lies and shoveling what amounts to unadulterated horse … well … stuff."
Posted by: johngalt at June 20, 2012 7:52 PM

Heh, jg and I were on parallel tracks -- I embedded the video at about the same time he added it.

On some level, it's not worth even complaining about MSNBC. And I think that Andrea Mitchell and Chris Cilizza's "WaWa-Gate" was far worse. But when these people talk about FOX...

And thanks, dagny, we are very anxious to try it. (Well, the lovely bride is anxious to try it and I just have a general anxiety -- you guys have a crane or something to get me on a horse?)

Posted by: jk at June 21, 2012 9:39 AM

The reason it's worth complaining about MSNBC is expressed in Cavuto's close (from the video.)

"Sometimes, you know, you repeat lies often enough, some impressionable good people, they're fooled. You can lie to them and they're decent enough to believe it. I'm just telling you, don't. I just gave you the facts. And ask yourself this: If they're that eggregious at lying about that issue, what else are they lying about?"
Posted by: johngalt at June 21, 2012 12:15 PM

Here here on all counts!

"let's see, I want to learn to be a good rider for my horse....should i take up classical dressage even though I know I can never afford a grand champion horse, or should I take up hacking through the woods?" doh

ps - I've worked at the Therapeutic Riding Ctr in Longmont and seen big changes in people with a lot of different physical challenges. It definitely has potential.

Posted by: Terri at June 21, 2012 2:31 PM | What do you think? [7]