Politico's Anne Schroeder Mullins:
People would like to know
...does David Axelrod's make up look different or weird here while he was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace? Some viewers are saying he looks like a $2 non-family friendly name. We wouldn't go that far but...you decide.
I understand that she's a gossip columnist. And that the Politico is ... well, the Politico. But is this really why John Harris and Jim VandeHei left the Washington Post? To preside over a "news" organization that uses an absurd "some viewers are saying" excuse to call the incoming senior advisor to the President a "non-family friendly name"?
This is bottom-dwelling sleaze, even by the Politico's standards.
Go read. Here's a highlight:
It's now a mandate of Hard Pundit Law. In discussing Obama's likely selection of Clinton, Village Insiders are required to talk about "soap opera"—"drama."
The Daily Howler mocks a recent WaPo editorial. And to that we'd just add the latest from John Heilemann in New York magazine, who breathlessly adopts the Hard Pundit Law [emphasis added]:
So it appears that we're about to embark on a new chapter in the Obama-Clinton saga. Motivating the characters is a blend of cold-eyed calculation and gauzy idealism; selfishness and selflessness; the good, the bad, and the ugly-all the stuff that's made the drama in which they have co-starred as operatic, twisted, and riveting as any in modern political history. What is different now is where Obama and Clinton might be headed: toward a kind of reconciliation that eluded them even after the hatchets were supposedly buried once their nomination fight was over.
Question: Does anybody think the press would be harping the "drama" and "soap opera" angle if Obama had reached out to a previous male rival?
CNN's TJ Holmes (via Americablog):
eHarmony is expanding. Actually…they're being forced to expand.
You may have heard that the popular online dating site was sued by a gay man in New Jersey. He claimed the site discriminated because they wouldn't provide him with a same sex match.
can you now sue a steakhouse if they don't have chicken on the menu?
Now, here's a better question: Why would CNN pay someone to suggest that refusing to sell your product to a gay man is the same thing as not selling chicken to anyone?
The WaPo's media writer Howard Kurtz remains very troubled that the press is being too nice to the incoming Obama president. That he's so popular. Last week, Kurtz went on and on about how the press was "hyperventilating", without pointing to much in the way of evidence in terms of hard news reporting to support his claim.
This week, Kurtz tries to keep the meme alive with by instituting the "Obama Adulation Watch." For those with good memories, that will recall the "Clinton Suck-Up Watch," which The New Republic ran during the 1992 campaign and the 1993 in order to mock reporters who supposedly wrote too many nice things about the Clintons. It's all part of the Beltway press corp buying into the right-wing claim about a liberal media. And it's a way for journalists to put their colleagues on notice that it's just not cool to treat Democratic presidents that way.
You'll notice there was very little concern in 2000 and 2001 about reporters and pundits sucking up to the new Republican president. That's not a problem. It's only when journalists go soft on Dems that eyebrows are raised.
Anyway, here's Kurtz's installment this week of the "Obama Adulation Watch""
Associated Press: "Many women recoil at the thought of baring their arms in sleeveless dresses or blouses, but not Michelle Obama -- half of the fabulously fit new first couple.
Ugh. If Kurtz wants to traffic this idea the press has crossed some line in covering the new president, you ought to be able to point to real news stories, not lifestyle features, the type of which are written about every new First Family.
In my most recent column, I looked at some of the absurd claims by journalists and pundits that Barack Obama's staffing choices are inconsistent with the idea of "change."
Yesterday, National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez offered the dumbest claim that Obama is failing to bring change that we've yet seen:
The Director of Emily's List Will Be The Face of the New Administration
And that's change you can believe in from the Democrats? Establishing the Obama administration as the voice pro-abortion Left?
Lopez refers to the announcement that EMILY's List executive director Ellen Moran will be Obama's White House communications director. But the White House communications director is rarely thought of as "the face of the administration." The President might be thought of that way, to be sure. And the press secretary - who delivers daily televised news briefings - is often described that way. Depending on the context, the Secretary of State could be called the "face of the administration." But the communications director? Not so much -- unless you consider Kevin Sullivan the face of the Bush administration. It seems Kathryn Jean Lopez knows less about White House roles than does a casual viewer of the West Wing.
More substantively: Lopez thinks the choice of a pro-choice communications director is inconsistent with Obama's promise of change? That's a simply nonsensical complaint. The current administration opposes abortion rights, so as a literal matter, a pro-choice administration is "change." More broadly: how many people does Kathryn Jean Lopez think voted for Barack Obama, but will be shocked that Obama has chosen a pro-choice communications director, and convinced that the choice conflicts with his message of change?
Lopez seems to be conflating "change" with "things I, Kathryn Jean Lopez, approve of." They are not one and the same. Indeed, given her ideological leanings and the election outcome, they are likely to be very different things.
Glenn Greenwald catches National Review's Andrew McCarthy making a clear factual error, points it out, emails McCarthy asking for a correction, and ... waits.
Three and a half days later, he's still waiting.
The conservative writer claims, "Back in the primaries, Obama argued that we should not return to the Clinton years." (Note York doesn't provide a quote where Obama supposedly made that claim in the primaries.)
York mocks Obama because he has tapped so many Clinton administration vets. Why the derision? Because, claims York, Obama's campaign was all about change. And look! Now's he's hiring Clinton pals.
If nothing else, York's column provided us with a chuckle. We chuckled over the fact that York, who spent the last year covering the election, still can't figure out what Obama's campaign was about. Yes, it was about "change." It was about delivering the country from change from the Bush years.
When you think about it, it really is just beyond belief that our press corps, even the partisan GOP press corps, can be this clueless. Again, here's York laying it on thick:
Too many times to count during the campaign, he promised voters change. We've had it with the old Washington ways, he said. It's time for something different.
Yeah Byron, different from Bush and Republicans.
But for Clinton-obsessed pundits like York (and trust me he was not alone), the Obama campaign was all about delivering change from the Clintons.
So we'll ask again, why can't the press quit the Clintons?
We've noted before that The Drudge Report had a difficult campaign season since its influence on unfolding events pretty much evaporated. Plus, there was the rather embarrassing fact that the liberal upstart, The Huffington Post, managed to double Drudge's daily traffic down the stretch.
Could that be why Drudge so badly manhandled this headline? "PAPER: BAILOUT FOR HUFFINGTON; QUEEN OF BLOG GETS $15M LIFELINE..."
Sounds bad, right? HuffPo needs a "bailout" and the new cash represents a "lifeline." Oh my. Turns out the article simply details new backers who are investing in HuffPo to help it expand.
WaPo ombudsman Deborah Howell does readers a service this week when she highlights great journalism from the previous year, as she meditates on "what makes a good reporter." Answer? "Endless curiosity and a deep need to know what is happening. Then, the ability to hear a small clue and follow it."
We have to say that it was telling that in her column, which singled out nearly a dozen journalists for good reporting on a wide array of topics, Howell doesn't site a single example from the just-complete campaign season.
Can't say we blame her.