The Village rallies 'round its Dean

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

You've probably noticed that Washington Post columnist David Broder and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are having a bit of a spat. Again. What you may have missed was the Beltway media rallying around Broder via a Politico article earlier this week:

In an age of ideological divisions, Broder is widely known as a fair arbiter on Capitol Hill, a journalist who's as interested in the process as he is in the policy and politics. He favors pragmatists over fierce ideologues and speaks up for decorum in Washington politics.

David Broder called for Bill Clinton's resignation over lies told about an affair, then refused to call for George W. Bush's resignation over lies told about a war, and refuses to explain the disparity. He writes extensively about the marriages of Democrats, but when asked if he plans to write a similar article about Republicans, replies, "Why would I write such an article? I know of no occasion for that." Broder may be "widely known as a fair arbiter," but it's hard to justify that reputation if you look at his actual track record. Which I have, in great detail.

As for Broder's staunch defense of decorum in Washington politics: that, too, is rather inconsistent. Or perhaps when he dines on quail with his good buddy, the famously indecorous Karl Rove, he does so in order to urge his pal to tone down the partisan attacks? (Or maybe Broder's insistence that reporters should apologize for Rove for -- correctly -- suggesting Rove was part of a campaign to out Valerie Plame was an example of his defense of DC decorum? Criticizing someone for outting a CIA agent is so rude.)

Anyway, take a look at the things Broder is praised for in that Politico article: his sense of "decorum" and his "temperate disposition" and the fact that he "knows everybody."

Well, I couldn't care less about his disposition or who he knows. I've read quite a bit of his work, and much of it isn't any good.

The Washington Post
David Broder
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