Salon's Glenn Greenwald reports that The Huffington Post has hired former Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin:
So what is the Washington Post up to these days?
Here's a passage from today's New York Times article about presidential vacations:
That does not mean, of course, that Mr. Obama will not be hassled from afar.
During his Hawaiian trip last summer, the Republican National Committee carefully tracked his itinerary, sending out pictures and news accounts of his whereabouts on Oahu. This year, the themes of criticism could well come from the words of previous Republican presidents.
"Most Americans don't sit in Martha's Vineyard, swilling white wine," George W. Bush once said when asked why he chose to relax in the broiling Texas sun as opposed to the cool Atlantic breezes. And Lyndon B. Johnson disparagingly referred to the Vineyard as the "female island," upon discovering that his aides chose Martha's Vineyard for their vacation instead of joining him at his ranch in Texas.
The media's willingness to accept - even participate in - such ridicule is a pretty good clue that they are not, in fact, "liberal." Try to imagine the Times presenting in a neutral light a similarly disdainful description of Texas by a Massachusetts politician.
Lyndon Johnson, by the way, was not a "previous Republican president."
Now that Mika Brzezinski has defined "real Americans" as conservatives who live in rural areas -- leaving liberals and city-dwellers as, I guess, un-American -- will Howard Kurtz stop claiming Brzezinski provides liberal balance to Joe Scarborough?
No, probably not.
Will he ever even mention Brzezinski's slur?
No, probably not.
He'll just keep right on pointing to her as evidence of MSNBC's liberalism.
Riding to the defense of Sarah Palin, the Weekly Standard's Kristol wrote:
The hostility of the GOP establishment may be an obstacle to her success. On the other hand, given the performance of GOP operatives and pols over the past few years, maybe their opposition isn't a bad thing.
Kristol mocks GOP campaign operatives who ridicule Palin (what do they know?!) because they're the same people responsible for recent GOP election losses.
Slight problem. Kristol himself is a GOP campaign operative and is as responsible as anybody else for the Republican Party's poor showing last November. Kristol pretends he's just a detached observer of Republican politics. But everyone knows that's a ruse because Kristol was knee-deep in the McCain campaign.
Just last week, Politico identified Kristol as "an informal adviser to Sen. John McCain." That came in a detailed article about how Kristol and other GOP insiders were still re-fighting the battle of who was to blame for McCain's November loss.
And as I noted last year:
In February, right after Kristol joined the Times, McClatchy Newspapers reported that Kristol was part of McCain's "foreign policy team." Kristol denied the report, and his Times boss confirmed that as a columnist he would not be allowed to advise any candidate.
So how did the McClatchy reporter get the story wrong? Because McCain aides told the reporter that Kristol was an adviser.
Also, last year Newsweek reported, "McCain receives advice from several generations of Republican strategists ... [including] William Kristol."
Fox News, which actually employs Kristol as an analyst, announced that "The top of McCain's team includes ... Bill Kristol" among "[i]nformal advisers." And The Daily Beast explained how Kristol was deeply involved in the selection of Palin as McCain's VP.
Kristol dismisses "GOP operatives" as know-nothings, but I'm not sure he escapes the charge.
From Goldberg's July 7 USA Today column:
Then last week, events in Honduras revealed that Obama really has no problem with meddling when a left-wing agenda is advanced. Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras and a Hugo Chavez wannabe, illegally defied the Honduran Congress, the Supreme Court and the Constitution in an attempt to repeal term limits (which help sustain democracy in Central America by preventing presidents-for-life). The Supreme Court ordered the military to remove Zelaya from office and expel him from the country. A member of Zelaya's own party replaced him, and elections were announced. But suddenly, Obama - taking much the same position as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez - thought America should join the coalition of the meddlers demanding Zelaya's return to power. In Iran, Obama was terrified to do anything that might lead to a coup to bring about democracy. In Honduras, Obama was chagrined to let stand a coup that preserved democracy.
It sure seems like Obama has an ideological problem with democracy.
MSNBC's Hardball has featured two journalists talking about Sarah Palin, followed by two conservatives talking about Sarah Palin. Not involved: Progressives.
And New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, fresh off an awfully generous assessment of Palin, took advantage of the fact that there wasn't a liberal guest opposite him, making the absurd comparison of criticism of Palin to the way the Clintons were "hunted" by political opponents in the 1990s.
You'll let me know when a member of Congress shoots up his vegetable garden in an effort to prove Palin killed a close friend, won't you, Ross?
The media's obsession with (Democratic, mostly) politicians' clothing and haircuts is bad enough. But ABC should rethink whether the fashion choices of an eleven-year-old-girl should really be fodder for their useless snark.
Three ABC reporters combined to produce a 188-word post - 63 words per reporter -- for Jake Tapper's blog, speculating that Malia Obama "may have inherited her mother's taste in sometimes expensive clothes." No, I won't provide a link.
Here's Newsbusters' Brent Baker complaining about media coverage of Sarah Palin's announcement that she is quitting the governorship of Alaska:
Sarah Palin's "bombshell" holiday announcement that she will resign as Governor of Alaska managed to trump Michael Jackson as the lead on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts Friday night ... CBS reporter Nancy Cordes reflected the tone of the stories when she described "a rambling, at times confusing announcement," while on all three newscasts Palin's decision was called "bizarre."
And here's Baker's colleague, Brad Wilmouth:
Also similar to the DNC statement, CBS managed to squeeze in the word "bizarre" twice as a description of Palin's announcement as Cordes first showed a soundbite of the Politico's Mike Allen calling Palin's actions "bizarre," and, moments later, as he appeared with substitute anchor Maggie Rodriguez to discuss the story, CBS News political consultant John Dickerson also used the word. Allen: "This is very unusual, even bizarre." Dickerson: "It's bizarre, and there's no good explanation."
It doesn't seem to have occurred to the Newsbusters crew that Palin's speech is being widely described as "bizarre" because it was bizarre. This is exactly the kind of thing the word "bizarre" was created to describe.
Without getting too bogged down listing the many ways in which it was bizarre, let me just note that Palin denounced taking "a quitter's way out" in the middle of a speech in which she announced that she is quitting. You can watch or read the speech and decide for yourself; I have no idea what Newsbusters is complaining about, and no idea how you could report on the speech without calling it bizarre.
The generous view of Tucker Carlson is that, faults aside, he is at least a principled libertarian. Carlson himself is the most vigorous advocate for that view of Tucker Carlson, but he undermined it badly during today's Washington Post online discussion with a series of comments about his hometown:
Tucker Carlson: I love Washington. My wife and all four of my children were born in Northwest. I hope I never leave. But let's be honest: The city's not ready for democracy, much less statehood.
Katy, Tex.: Non Palin question. Considering that the Washington, D.C., crowd continues to elect Marion Barry to publicly paid posts, why does anyone think it is a good idea to let them elect a full-fledged representative to the House?
Tucker Carlson: Of course not. It's insane, not to mention unconstitutional. As a resident of the city, I'm happy to have taxation without representation.
So, Carlson is content to have 600,000 American citizens subject to taxation without representation because he doesn't like the way those citizens would vote if given congressional representation? That isn't principled libertarianism, that's run-of-the-mill unprincipled Republicanism.
(And that "unconstitutional" bit is nonsense, as Carlson well knows. The District of Columbia could certainly be granted statehood, and the two Senators and a Representative that would go along with it. Even if one stipulates that there are Constitutional hurdles to congressional representation for DC residents, the Constitution comes equipped with a handy remedy: the amendment process. That's how DC residents gained the right to vote for President, after all. One might expect a principled libertarian to take the stance that if the Constitution mandates taxation of US citizens without representation, the Constitution must be changed.)