The roots of the Todd Seavey C-SPAN rant: Did lovelorn libertarian plot panel-discussion revenge against ex? And where'd his blog go?
Todd Seavey blindsided everyone, especially ex-girlfriend Helen Rittelmeyer, when he ripped into her during a panel discussion on C-SPAN2. But no surprise, really: The blogger has been living out loud -- the good, the bad, the breakups -- for years.
The 40-something libertarian posted a super-exacting personal ad on his blog in 2007 ("Is your IQ, if it has been tested, significantly above average?") A year later, he announced to readers that Rittelmeyer was his new girlfriend: "Obscenely young, wise-beyond-her-years, conservative, blogging, Catholic, New Wave-loving, monster-movie-viewing, Southern-extracted, Yale-educated, technically-libertarian person." They bickered, broke up and reconciled -- all chronicled on his blog. (The postings have disappeared from his site, but live forever via Google cache.) The two finally called it quits about a month ago.
National Review Online editor Jonah Goldberg invited Seavey and Rittelmeyer to speak on the panel because they both contributed essays to "Proud to Be Right," his new book on young conservatives. Goldberg knew the couple had recently split, but believed they were still friendly -- until Seavey unleashed on his ex about 40 minutes into the taping. "I think Todd went in with a game plan to do this," Goldberg told us Tuesday. "He ambushed Helen, he ambushed me. I thought it was shockingly self-serving." After an awkward silence, Goldberg steered the panel back to professional sparring for another hour. But the five-minute clip of Seavey's wonky but blistering love dénouement has became a viral classic. "There are 10,000 panels like this a year in Washington, D.C. -- 9,999 aren't memorable." said Goldberg. "I wish this was one of those."
Seavey appeared to be reveling in the attention: "Some think me a bully, but in fact I have shown incredible restraint... [a] public intervention in perhaps the only way open to me that is likely to alter Helen's behavior," he posted early Tuesday. But just a few hours later, he shut off the blog from public viewing -- and has not responded to our calls and e-mails.
The Reliable Source
| October 19, 2010; 6:30 PM ET
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