Broder discovers the Internet, attacks liberal blogs for their "vituperation" -- will he do the same for conservative bloggers?

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Washington Post columnist David Broder roundly dismissed "liberal bloggers," claiming that "the blogs I have scanned are heavier on vituperation of President Bush and other targets than on creative thought." But Broder has yet to comment on conservative bloggers in any way, let alone their displays of "vituperation."

In his June 22 column, Washington Post columnist David Broder addressed the YearlyKos convention in Las Vegas and roundly dismissed "liberal bloggers," claiming that "the blogs I have scanned are heavier on vituperation of President Bush and other targets than on creative thought." Broder continued: "Fortunately, there are others than these 'net roots' activists working on the challenge of defining the Democratic message."

A Nexis seach of Broder's past columns revealed that he has yet to comment on conservative bloggers in any way, let alone their displays of "vituperation." Notably, it was Broder's paper's website that briefly employed conservative blogger Ben Domenech to run the "Red America" weblog on WashingtonPost.com. Domenech resigned after just three days on the job, following allegations of widespread plagiarism. Domenech subsequently acknowledged using the work of others "inappropriately and without attribution." As Media Matters for America documented at the time, Domenech had a history of engaging in the sort of "vituperation" Broder criticized about liberal blogs -- calling Coretta Scott King a "communist" the day of her funeral. Broder has never addressed the Domenech case in any of his columns.

It is not as though conservative bloggers have not risen to the same level of prominence as liberal bloggers. Aside from the Domenech fiasco, conservative blogs were credited with "exposing" CBS News' use of allegedly forged documents in 60 Minutes Wednesday's September 2004 report on President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service, succeeding in refocusing media attention from allegations that Bush received preferential treatment and that he did not fulfill his obligation to CBS' conduct in relying on unauthenticated documents. Right-wing blogger and pundit Michelle Malkin -- who has referred to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante, both Democrats, as "Latino supremacists" -- is regularly featured on Fox News. Conservative blogger and radio host Hugh Hewitt often appears on CNN, as do Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker of the conservative blog Power Line.

So, given that his own paper hired a conservative plagiarist with a history of hate-speech to run one of its blogs, and the fact that conservative bloggers enjoy a profile in the media at least equal to that of liberal bloggers, Media Matters wonders: When will David Broder comment on the conservative blogosphere?

Additionally, Broder criticized the inaugural issue of The Democratic Strategist, writing that "the first issue is filled with pieces in which familiar Democratic names take up familiar positions, with few of them bothering to adduce any evidence to support their views." One of the "familiar names" Broder criticized was former Gore-Lieberman 2000 campaign manager Donna Brazile, whom he referred to as a "civil rights activist" -- an interesting characterization of an African-American woman who is the ultimate political insider, presiding over a presidential campaign that won the popular vote (though not the Electoral College).

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The Washington Post
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David Broder
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