An awesomely awkward incident graced the airwaves of C-SPAN 2 earlier this month, when a member of a book panel burned a fellow panelist over a past relationship.
Todd Seavey and Helen Rittelmeyer, apparently once an item of sorts, had both contributed essays to Jonah Golberg's new book, "Proud to be Right," and were selected to speak -- in unpleasant proximity -- on the book's behalf at a Georgetown University forum.
Here's the money segment of the dialogue, video of which can be seen below:
Seavey: "I think you'll find a lot of Helen's positions are actually guided by the desire to increase suffering."
Rittelmeyer: "I'm Catholic."
Seavey: "That might explain it. Although, you start connecting the dots and you realize that, though she sounds like an old-timey, old-fashioned Catholic moralist, she's almost always defending something that most of us would find horrific, whether it's corrupt politicians over reformers, or bar brawlers. She'll defend Catholic moralists one moment, but defend prostitutes and bad girls the next. She says she's sort of like a libertarian, but the first thing she wants to repeal, she once said, was the law against assault, so that men get into more fistfights or at least live under the threat of constant fistfights...
I probably should confess that Helen and I dated for two years, so we've sparred about many things. It might come as a surprise to some of you that we dated for two years, [not only] because we have ideological differences, but because there are probably some people in this room who also dated Helen during those two years, given how tumultuous things got. It was sort of on again, off again.
Rittelmeyer: "I'm in favor of combativeness. So."
Seavey: "And, at at times her gamesmanship would include even coldly saying that she was gonna play matchmaker and set up a couple and then seduce the man away to play with his mind and hurt the woman, which when you think about it is pretty creepy. Kinda disturbing.
Rittelmeyer: "Is all this going on CSPAN?"
Seavey: "I believe five months later, she made good on this somewhat disturbing promise."
Jonah Goldberg: "Okaaaay."
Seavey: And I doubt anyone here who knows me well really thinks I'm making this up. So, I can't help wondering, when you strip away the things you don't like...what is it you don't want people to do to each other, what sort of evils are beyond the pale...
Rittelmeyer: Well, off the top of my head, what do I think is off bounds? I dunno, spilling your heart out on CSPAN.
The Daily Caller's Mary Katharine Ham has done her due diligence on the story and has gotten comment from both of the participants regarding the encounter. Click here for their responses, as well as a juicy internet dating profile from Seavey that Ham has uncovered.
For the full video of the segment, check out CSPAN's archive here. The discussion starts to get tart around the 41-minute mark.