03.19.09 WaPo is a Rag: The Washington Post declares the Obama administration dead. And then declares war on it.
Have you noticed how anorexic the Washington Post has gotten? The thing is so thin it needs a feeding tube. Perhaps we should be glad about all the trees being saved. Of course, this is hardly the Post’s fault. Rather it manifests the dire straights print journalism is in. Which is tragic for American democracy. But, that is not why I am calling the Post a rag. Nope.
The reason is the top-left front-page stories of March 17 and 18. The headlines read (respectively):
So, the Post has taken it upon itself to declare on two successive days that AIG bonuses have caused the Obama Presidency to fail and that Obama is a dangerous heretic because the GOP says so.
Game’s over. Might as well turn out the lights on the whole Obama change thing, go home, and wait for the Great Right Wing to reassume four years hence their rightful place at the head of Everything.
Must be true, ‘cause our hometown rag newspaper says so.
Let’s take these one at a time – March 17 first. Yeah, this AIG stuff sure sucks. Yeah, Geithner & Co. (if not Obama himself) should have gotten on top of the whole bonus thing a month ago. But it’s a little over the top to blame this administration for the AIG mess or the bonuses. It’s March 2009. Two months ago the gang that ran the joint for eight years packed their bags. And the Post has forgotten. If it’s senility, the paper should be institutionalized.
It’s even more over the top to declare authoritatively that the American public or Congress is so angry about AIG and (as the Post is) so amnesiac about the thieves in charge ‘til January, that they are wholly blaming Obama. It is even so much more over the top (the gang at the Post must be wearing oxygen masks to write this stuff) to declare that because of AIG, health care reform, energy reform, apple pie and Mom are dead.
For godssake, the news about the AIG bonuses hit the American consciousness less than a week ago. And the Post claims that it has a digitally calibrated Political Capital Meter that is sitting on E?
I don’t think the problem is senility. But we’ll get back to that.
The March 18 article is even worse. For at least two months, the Post editorial page (and David Broder, a regular columnist) have been singing the praises of Bipartisanship for Bipartisanship’s Sake. To hell with policy results! Who cares about getting intractable problems solved?! As long as the guys (I mean that generically – 17% of Congress is actually women!*) on both sides of the aisle are chummy, everything is peachy keen.
This is a load of crap, of course. But, since it’s on the editorial and op-ed page, I understand that it’s just someone’s opinion.
March 18’s lead story is also an opinion piece. Only it poses in the most prominent spot on page A1 as a news article. It isn’t so much tagged as “analysis.” Nope, this is what the Post calls “reporting.”
The article is a screed against the mere possibility that Democrats could invoke a legislative device (“reconciliation”) to prevent the Republicans (remember those guys who nearly destroyed the world as we know it and gave only three (3!) votes for the stimulus, after getting the gullible new prez to give away the store on tax cuts, and who are publicly calling for Obama to fail?) from filibustering health care reform, energy reform, etc., etc., etc. (Yep, those same items that, the day before, the Post declared dead as a result of the AIG bonuses.)
Reporting? Well, for one thing the headline is simply WRONG! It calls reconciliation the “President’s Strategy.” Not true. Sure, Obama folks and Congress folks are talking about ways to stop the GOP from Continuing to Ruin Everything. Yeah, some of these folks have discussed reconciliation, but it ain’t (at least not yet), the “President’s Strategy.”
The sheer propaganda goes on for 20 paragraphs, without quoting a single liberal or citing a single reason why the Dangerously Non-Bipartisan President and his lil pals in the Far Left Wing rump of the Democratic Party might want to resort to this measure. (There are plenty of quotes of Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats, who might as well be Republicans.)
No mention of the GOP’s ruling by fiat for eight years while (as previously mentioned) Ruining Everything. No mention of those same back-from-the-dead zombies trying to kill the stimulus. No mention that all the right-wing ideologues continue to offer as the solution to Everything is tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. (Oh yeah, there’s McCain’s Hooveristic spending freeze, too.) No mention of how the country clearly chose the Democratic agenda in November and filibusters could kill the whole thing.
The inside headline (where the story continues on A4) is: Budget Shortcut Could Sideline GOP.
As if that were a bad thing.
Fair and Balanced. Isn’t that Fox News’ slogan?
So, the Post is a rag. Its front page is now devoted to no-basis-in-fact declarations that the game us up and editorializing about the Glory of Letting the GOP Grind Everything to a Halt.
Geez. If I didn’t know that this hallowed Newspaper of Record is a leader of the Liberal Establishment, I might think they were rooting for Obama to fail.
This ain’t senility. It is Fox-style editorial policy taking over the newsroom.
Step aside Rush. The Post has it covered.
*Be proud, the US ranks 71st in the world for female representation in the national legislature.
© 2009 Keith Berner