Politico has been in the hot seat in recent months for, as MSNBC's Chris Matthews put it earlier this week, serving as a "hot line" for Dick Cheney, saying, "[h]e uses you like you'd use Drudge or somebody."
The pressure has been so intense that Politico editor John Harris was forced to offer up a lame defense of his publication's stenography services for the former Vice President.
All is not lost however. One Politico employee wants us to know that he hasn't been pulling any punches when it comes to Bush's former number two. In fact, so seemingly upset by the spat of negative attention hovering around the beltway rag, this enterprising soul sent an email to Romenesko to straighten things out once and for all. Did I mention he's the cartoonist?
I kid you not.
The email from Matt Wuerker to Romenesko follows:
I couldn't help but have my fragile cartoonist ego hurt by the building beef out there about the Cheney coverage by Politico.
As part of the slowly shrinking tribe of editorial cartoonists, it's hard not to be a little thin skinned these days, so it pains me to have to point out myself that at least in my little corner of Politico (which runs off our home page) I don't think Cheney's getting a free ride. The bloggers that are all howling about how we're so clearly in the tank for Cheney seem to not read down toward the bottom of our homepage.
To bolster my case I'm attaching three examples from just this past year. I have many more going further back. I know that my little cartoon corner doesn't have nearly the reach that Mike Allen does, but still, even ink-stained wretches hate to be completely overlooked.
From a January 5 WorldNetDaily article:
In anti-gay attack on Feldblum, Farah says Obama appointees found at "Perverts.gov," gov't should be "fumigated" when "these deviants and degenerates" are gone
Continuing anti-gay attacks, WND CEO Farah warns that "America is being judged by God" for "homosexual ... sin"
WND's Farah: Rosenthal "spread[s]" anti-Semitism, Obama "publicly supports ethnic cleansing in the Middle East against Jews"
Birther activist Farah thanks Palin for mainstreaming questions about "Obama's eligibility"
In his "analysis" of the repercussion stemming from the attempted Christmas Day terror attack in Detroit
He writes [emphasis added]:
Tough language, but where will it lead?
Words are not enough. What people want is action.
All this comes after some grumbles about a slow initial response on the part of Obama, who was in Hawaii on vacation and first spoke about the incident three days after it happened.
Here's a helpful rule of thumb when dissecting Beltway dispatches that are critical of Democrats and which make vague claims about what "people" want. The "people" in question almost always refer to Beltway journalists and Republicans, in that order. And yes, that seems to be the case in terms of Feller's "analysis, which includes no polling data to back up his claim about what the American "people" "want." That there's a grassroots movement afoot demanding that Obama fire top aides.
But Feller can just tell that's what people want. How? Well, it seems everyone inside the Beltway press corps agrees on the "action" talking point. Plus, Republicans and their noise machine have been pounding the lack of Obama "action" point for more than a week. (i.e They represent the "some grumbles.") So of course that's what the "people" want, right? I mean, why else would the people elect Republicans to run the government?
Oh wait, for the last two election cycles the "people" have forcefully rebuked Republicans at the ballot box. And yet the press seems wed to the notion that Republicans have a direct line to what "people" want. Plus, if a sea of media pundits agree that there hasn't been enough Obama "action" lately, than that's good enough for the AP.
The following correction has been appended to the December 31, 2009, Fiscal Times article published by The Washington Post:
The article by the Fiscal Times, about growing congressional support for a bipartisan commission to address the nation's debt, contained a statement supporting the concept by Robert L. Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition. The article should have noted that the Concord Coalition receives funding from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Peterson, but not his foundation, also funds the Fiscal Times, the independent news service that prepared the article.
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his January 6 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
A few days ago, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote that people who joke about Karl Rove's divorce aren't "classy":
Then, about six hours later, Kurtz joked about Tiger Woods' marital woes:
And tonight, Kurtz wrote a string of (lamely) joking Tweets about reports that the White House budget director had a child with a previous girlfriend:
But remember: chortling over Karl Rove wouldn't be classy.
UPDATE: Last fall, Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander wrote about the paper's policy on reporters using Twitter:
A key section reads:
"When using these networks, nothing we do must call into question the impartiality of our news judgment. We never abandon the guidelines that govern the separation of news from opinion, the importance of fact and objectivity, the appropriate use of language and tone, and other hallmarks of our brand of journalism."
It continues: "Post journalists must refrain from writing, tweeting or posting anything – including photographs or video – that could be perceived as reflecting political[,] racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism that could be used to tarnish our journalistic credibility."
In a January 5 article, WorldNetDaily's Chelsea Schilling and Kathleen Farah repeatedly referred to Amanda Simpson -- a transgender woman reportedly appointed by the Obama administration to serve as a Commerce Department adviser -- as "he." WND even went so far as to put Simpson's name, Amanda, in quotation marks:
Mitchell Simpson, now known as "Amanda" following a sex change, is said to have been appointed senior technical adviser at the Commerce Department. He purportedly began work today.
The Obama administration has not officially announced the appointment, and neither the White House nor Simpson responded to WND's calls and e-mail messages requesting confirmation of the appointment.
But in a statement reported by the New York Daily News, Simpson said, "As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds."
Indeed, the Daily News did report that the administration had appointed Simpson and by way of background reported:
So the Daily News referred to Simpson as "she," but WorldNetDaily, while citing the Daily News, opted to refer to Simpson with the male pronoun. The 2008 Associated Press Stylebook offers this guidance:
transgender Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.
And AP itself opted for the female pronoun in reporting on Simpson's reported appointment. Incidentally, AP also managed to avoid putting needless quotation marks around Simpson's first name.
Which brings us to Fox Nation. Given numerous press accounts, Fox News' "fair and balanced" website linked to -- you guessed it -- WorldNetDaily and its pronoun-bending write-up. But that was just the beginning of the fun Fox Nation had with this story. In announcing Simpson's nomination, Fox focused not on her qualifications or her groundbreaking position as reportedly the first transgender presidential appointee to the federal government. No, the class acts at Fox Nation saw fit to direct their readers to before-and-after pictures:
It's going to be a long year.
From a January 6 entry at the Jawa Report:
After reading this Bloomberg story about Gitmo inmates being released and returning to the battlefield to fight or even blow themselves up on Baby Jesus's birthday, I think I may have have [sic] determined that we've overlooked a crucial and economic solution to the problem.
Most if not all of these men were captured "out of official uniform". Under the Geneva Convention that makes them all spies and they may be be [sic] er uh, shot.
The site above prices 7.62 mm rounds at 5.99 per 20 rounds.
All 198 remaining detainees can be effectively dealt with for 59.99 + shipping and handling. (less if you're willing to use a smaller round)
From MichelleMalkin.com accessed January 6: