Mimi Coffey Asks: What About My Kids!

When the phone rings after office hours, it’s usually a person in distress.  This call was no different.  A woman doing her best Nancy Grace imitation started talking after I said “hello” and just kept going until she needed to take a breath.  Man, could she hold her breath.

She started out telling me she was Mimi Coffey and that I knew who she was.  I didn’t.  As my mind raced trying unsuccessfully to figure out who Mimi Coffey could be, I listened as she told me that I probably didn’t realize this, but children read my blawg, and those children turned out to be hers.  She was calling because she was “from Texas, and us Texans talk straight,” she informed me.  Them Texans also sound like Nancy Grace to this Yankee, which made it awfully hard not to laugh.

When she finally took a breath, 17 minutes later, I had the picture.  The caller was Tarrant County, Texas lawyer, Mimi Coffey, who was the subject of a post of last February.  She was honored for her efforts on Fox News channel opining on the subject of the McCartney/Mills divorce, calling Heather Mills a “gold digger,” despite the fact that she was a DUI lawyer who lacked any expertise in matrimonial law.  But that never stopped a lawyer when there’s a TV camera around.

My post was the by-product of a post by fellow Tarrant County lawyer Shawn Matlock.  While informing me that they must like what she has to say on Fox because they keep asking her back, her purpose was to tell me that one line in the original post made her angry because her kids read it and didn’t I realize that children read this blawg?

Shawn Matlock (formerly Young Shawn) wasn’t on slut patrol when he plopped his butt down to watch TV.  Sometimes, it just happens that way.
Slut patrol

Mimi Coffey took no issue with my having pointed out her willingness to take to the airwaves on a topic in which she possessed no qualifications and called Heather Mills a “gold digger,” but I called her a “slut” and now, she asserted, her children think she is sexually promiscuous.  Let me be painfully clear about this: I have no idea whether Mimi Coffey is sexually promiscuous or not.  But let me be similarly painfully clear that she is promiscuous when it comes to the media.  Apparently, the word “slut” in Tarrant County has only one connotation, a reflection perhaps of undue emphasis on sexual repression? 

This raised some interesting issues in my mind.  If she’s so concerned about what her children see on the internet, why are they cruising the web without parental supervision?  Could it be that Coffey should spend more time at home and less time waiting outside the door of the Fox News studios, in case they need someone to appear on air on the subject of, oh, geriatric law.  After all, octogenarian porn is all the rage in Tarrant County from what I hear.

Then Coffey informed me that she could sue me for “slander” for calling her a “slut” (I know it’s libel when written, but she said slander and I must be accurate in recounting the call).  I strongly urged her to do so if she felt she was harmed.  She immediately switched gear, apparently recognizing that yet again opined on a subject about which she was clueless.

Her point was that I should censor Simple Justice because “children read your blawg” and they should not have to read words like “slut” associated with her.  Didn’t I have children too, she asked?  Yes, Mimi, I have children too.  And I would have used this opportunity to teach my children that a person who was desirous of going on TV to present themselves to others as an expert when in fact they were not is a media slut, not a sexual slut.  I try to never pass up a learning opportunity.  It’s just the type of guy I am.

I have no plans, however, to censor this blawg to compensate for another person’s failure to teach their children properly.  Next time, you explain to your children that the word “slut” can refer to different forms of promiscuity, and sexual isn’t the only one.  Next time, keep your eye on your kids when they are online googling your name to see what a star their mommy has become.  Next time, limit your television appearances to a subject you know something about, and then you won’t find yourself the target of a blawg post somewhere.  But then, you like the limelight a little too much for that, don’t you?  And for God’s sake, stop sounding like Nancy Grace when you talk.  It’s just wrong.

But I’m not heartless.  Since Mimi thought it better to call me to whine about the language in my post, it seemed like the least I could do to help Mimi Coffey out was to fill in the neglected parental role and remove the taint of sexual promiscuity that so offended her.  Always happy to be of help, Mimi.  No need to thank me.

45 comments on “Mimi Coffey Asks: What About My Kids!

  1. David Giacalone

    Scott, Thanks for the lexical lesson. Here is part of what they say about the word slut at Etymology Online. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=slut

    slut – 1402, “a dirty, slovenly, or untidy woman,” probably cognate with dialectal Ger. Schlutt “slovenly woman,” dialectal Swed. slata “idle woman, slut,” and Du. slodder “slut,” but the ultimate origin is doubtful. . . . playful use of the word, without implication of loose morals, is attested from 1664.

    “Our little girl Susan is a most admirable slut, and pleases us mightily.” [Pepys, diary, Feb. 21, 1664]

    Sometimes used 19c. as a euphemism for bitch to describe a female dog.

    Over at Acronym Finder, I found this usage: Sport Luxury Utility Truck (large SUV).

    On the other hand, outside of the sexual context, I personally avoid using “slut”, “whore”, “porno” (really dislike “law porno”) and similar terms that have mostly sexual connotations in 21st Century USA. It causes too much confusion and consternation, and often makes the author seem rather uncouth.

  2. SHG

    And thank you for the etymological lesson.  I like the colorful use of language to convey an image.  Just as the lawprofs use “law porn,” it vividly characterizes a point that would lack the same punch otherwise.  The consternation I understand, though I find there to be little confusion.

    By the way, I prefer “vulgar” to uncouth.  It’s so much more positive.

  3. Windypundit

    Amazing. When it comes to taking criticism, I sometimes have a thinner skin than I like to admit, but I knew people would take shots at me when I started blogging. I’m sure it would be 1000 times worse if I was doing this for national media. It’s all part of the job description of a pundit. She should know this.

    Also, Ms. Coffey is clearly unawary of the venerable blogging tradition of publishing complaints one receives.

    By the way, I love it that you can tell people to go ahead and sue you if they dare. I’d like to do that too, but if they’re fool enough to try, even the most baseless lawsuit would probably cost me $10,000 just to have it thrown out.

  4. SHG

    You raise an interesting point about whether to write for those with greater or lesser understanding.  Even though it may lead to confusion amonst the lowest common denominator, it’s my preference not to write under the assumption that a reader will have a child-like level of understanding.  Again, just a personal preference.

  5. Anne

    She should spend more time at home with the kids? I hope that was an equal-opportunity comment (i.e., one that you would have made had the caller been named Mike Coffey)…I’m sure it was. But one wonders where the father is.

    Anyway this makes me think c-o-r must be doing something wrong. We got spam porn and a few really bizarre comments, but nobody’s tried to sue. We need to do better!

  6. SHG

    It would absolutely have been the same had it been Mike rather than Mimi.  This has to do with someone complaining about what their kids are reading on the intenet, not about household roles.  All parents are responsible for what their children do when they should be providing parental oversight.

  7. Mark Bennett

    Funny. If you called me a slut (or a crook or an asshole or anything else) online I wouldn’t be particularly concerned about my kids believing it to be true, even if they read it . . . unless, perhaps, I secretly thought that there might be a grain of truth in it.

    Meta:
    WADR to Mimi, who by all accounts is a perfectly competent criminal defense lawyer, did she really expect you to recognize her name five months after you mentioned her in a single blog post?

    More importantly, does she not realize that with a link or two from other blogs mentioning her name this post will jump from #5 to #1 in Google search results for her name, eclipsing the search placement for which she has paid dearly?

  8. SHG

    I know nothing of Mimi’s personal conduct, and suggest absolutely nothing about it.  Indeed, even if I did, I wouldn’t consider it relevant to anything that would concern me.  But your point that she “doth protest too much” is something I hadn’t thought about.

    Is she a “perfectly competent criminal defense lawyer?”  I don’t know.  If she is, and she may very well be, then perhaps she should have said to me, instead of launching into a 17 minute rant followed by an empty threat, that the word “slut” bothered her and would I please change it, as a courtesy.  Chances are very strong that I would have accomodated her and that this follow up post would have never been written.

    Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge of Mimi’s work as a criminal defense lawyer?  Maybe I’ll still cut her a break as a matter of professional courtesy.

  9. SHG

    As Niki points out, I’ve used the word without regard to the sex (or sexuality) of its object but for its descriptive value.  And, while I can appreciate that you find it coarse, it remains a very useful descriptive term.  And certainly an appropriate description in this instance.

  10. SHG

    Oh no, make that 99.376%.  I just received a comment which couldn’t be posted because of inappropriate content (see, I do have limits), but definitely did not understand the meaning of the word.  And there was no way to determine whether he was a college graduate, average or otherwise.

  11. Jamie

    Anne – Fair question, but Scott called Neil Cavuto an “unmitigated slut to the conservative leanings of Rupert Murdoch” in the original post, and as Niki points out down further in the thread he actually has more than one whole page of Google results returned when you search his blog for the word “Slut”.

    I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t find that oddly impressive.

  12. SHG

    A critical distinction. 

    Now I’m not entirely sure that she gets paid.  For the most part, lawyers do these shows for free.  But I see that Mimi has “representation”, so maybe she gets paid and the rest of us do it for free.  This may require further investigation, not to mention an apology from me for the improper word choice.

  13. Matlock

    Do I get to claim credit for all of this? I think it only fair.

    Secondly, think of the marketing potential that has been uncovered by this. If a dozen bloggers wrote posts about one another, and the others then commented and linked to the posts, it would make Google gag. But, that’s too much work for me.

    Finally, Mimi Coffey is a DWI attorney. She handles only misdemeanor cases. Only DWIs. She has a bit of an ego. She’s competent though.

  14. martin

    Stunning thread!

    Some of the top lawyer blawgers exhibiting total mastery of grammar. There have been 6 ‘if’ clauses used in this thread and every one of them impeccably correct! What are the odds of such an event? If you ask me to bet on that, I turn you down.
    All that while they are arguing over the proper use of a 4-letter word.

  15. Matlock

    I feel obligated to give proper credit (or props as the kids say these days) to my 9th grade English teacher. Of course, I don’t remember my 9th grade English teacher, so oh well.

    An “if” clause. Wow. Who knew? Plus, I get credit for all of this? I might as well retire now. It will never get better.

  16. SHG

    The rule of the blawgosphere is that no one loses points for grammer and spelling.  Legal briefs, yes.  Blawgosphere, no.

  17. Josh

    Just so you’re being paid for most of them…otherwise I’d say you need to fire your pimp…er I mean your representation.

  18. SHG

    I just checked it out.  Not one photo of a naked woman.  How could they have gotten it so wrong?  They must not be from Texas.

  19. Joel Rosenberg

    A friend of mine — who is, btw, a definite babe — posts as “beadslut” on Livejournal. If she’s, err, non-beadedly promiscuous, this would be a surprise to many people, including, well, her husband and herself. (Not, for that matter, that there’s anything wrong with that; as a dominatrix of my entirely casual acquaintance says, “Different strokes for different folks.”)

  20. Richard

    Wow…you have titled yourself Esquire. This alone disqualifies antything you may say as credible. You’re a pompous ass.

  21. Richard

    Hey Man,

    Calling someone a slut is fully pertainining to a woman’s sexual promiscuity, so learn what you are saying before making public accusations. What an ass you are!!!

  22. SHG

    A deeply cutting comment that hurts my feelings and makes me very sad. I now feel terrible that I am a lawyer.

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