the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
Dan Froomkin highlights the latest pointlessly deranged bullying from the Vice President for Torture:
After nine days of almost completely ignoring the small pool of reporters who diligently followed him around through seven countries, Vice President Cheney yesterday finally agreed to a short group interview. But only on one condition: The reporters would have to agree not to tell anyone that the person they talked to was him.
Cheney’s insistence on being identified as a “senior administration official” — even when the transcript shows he spoke in the first person — is in some ways laughably trivial.
But in other ways, the vice president’s decision to extort reporters into a ridiculous agreement reflects the contempt Cheney has for the press corps.
Ridiculous is right. Look at this paragraph from the White House transcript of the “Interview of a Senior Administration Official by the Traveling Press Aboard Air Force Two En Route Muscat, Oman”:
Let me just make one editorial comment here. I’ve seen some press reporting says, “Cheney went in to beat up on them, threaten them.” That’s not the way I work. I don’t know who writes that, or maybe somebody gets it from some source who doesn’t know what I’m doing, or isn’t involved in it. But the idea that I’d go in and threaten someone is an invalid misreading of the way I do business.
What is going through Cheney’s head when he does something like that? He makes it obvious that he’s the one speaking, but still forces the press to agree not to say so. I know he’s obsessed with secrecy (and prefers to avoid telling the truth whenever possible), but isn’t that a little insane even for him?
The Post’s soft spot for conservative media players is well-known. Last year the paper lovingly profiled Fox News’ openly partisan anchor Brit Hume and announced, “He speaks deliberately, unhurriedly, making his points with logic rather than passion.” And in 2005 the paper equated factually challenged talker Rush Limbaugh with award-winning late-night satirist Jon Stewart.
But I think it’s time to acknowledge what has blossomed into one of the Beltway’s most dysfunctional media liaisons: the love-hate relationship between The Washington Post and right-wing bloggers. The Post loves the bloggers, but the bloggers hate the Post.
The one lengthy Post feature of a liberal blogger that I can find from the last 24 months was a page-one piece from April 2006 when the Post shadowed lesser-known blogger Maryscott O’Connor, who writes at My Left Wing. The Post portrayed O’Connor as a Bush-hating lunatic. Key phrases from the article: “angry,” “rage,” “fury,” “angriest,” “outrage,” “crude,” “loud,” “crass,” “inflammatory,” “attack.”
I’ve noticed the same thing about the Post. I’ve noticed the same thing in such denizens of the left as PBS. There is a tendency inside the beltway to be very critical of the left blogosphere (listen up Mark Shields and Nina Totenberg) but are deferential towards fairly extreme bloggers like Malkin.
Why is that? I’ve written to both the Post and WETA about this, and as far as I can get, they feel that Malkin, Jonah Goldberg, other writers at NRO, etc., represent a point of view that has sympatico with part of their readership or viewing audience, and therefore must be respected.
You’d think, though, that these highly visible media platforms would want to get both sides of the argument. Why the Washington Post (and, for that matter WETA) has been uniformly critical of the left blogosphere, and reasonably supportive of the right hasn’t been explained.
On Thursday, February 15, 6:30–9pm, the DC Chapter of Drinking Liberally is proud to host a book signing for Marcy Wheeler’s Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy at Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Ave NW (Dupont Circle Metro), (202) 483-2266.
Happy Hour starts at 6:30 with $1 off all drinks. Free appetizers and drink discounts until 9pm.
At 7:30 Ms Wheeler will discuss her book with Q&A to follow.
Book sales handled by Olsson’s-Dupont Circle
Via TPM, I see that we’ve found someone on the other side of the world willing to do Dick Cheney’s job, or at least the part of it that involves smearing Democrats as friends of terrorists. Australian prime minister John Howard is attacking Barack Obama and the Democratic Party:
The man who wants to be the first black US president has pledged to withdraw US troops from Iraq by March 2008, a timetable Mr Howard believes is dangerous.
“I think that would just encourage those who wanted completely to destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for (an) Obama victory,” Mr Howard told the Nine Network.
“If I was running al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats.”
Looking into it, however, I see that because of the weakness of the US dollar, the Australian prime minister’s salary is actually a bit higher than the US vice president’s (around $240,000 versus $200,000). Plus we still seem to be paying Cheney. So whoever’s handling this outsourcing doesn’t seem to be doing it very well. No doubt Halliburton is involved.
Murray Waas, one of the country’s top investigative reporters, and the leading reporter on the ever-unfolding Plamegate scandal for such publications as the National Journal, will talk at this Thursday’s DCDL meeting (Feb. 8) on the Scooter Libby trial and other abuses of government — and media — power. His blog links to his prescient coverage on this scandal along with the latest, most thoughtful coverage of the trial by other reporters and bloggers. You can also catch up on some of Waas’s accomplishments at this Wikipedia site, including a link to Jay Rosen’s article in PressThink: “Murray Waas is our Woodward Now.”
For those seeking some of the most thorough coverage of the trial, also check out the live blogging at Firedoglake. And check back later each day or early evening for their video summary of the day’s events — with more attention to details than you’ll get on the network TV news.
Update: Slate does a good recap of the grand-jury tapes featuring Fitzgerald grilling Libby aired Tuesday at the trial; compare those with the excerpts of then-secret grand jury testimony Waas featured in a mid-January preview piece about the trial: “CIA Leak Probe: Inside the Grand Jury.” Waas, once again, scooped the rest of the national media. You don’t want to miss him give his views on the trial at this Thursday’s Drinking Liberally meeting.
Update II: After the presentation by Waas and his guest “Swopa,” Thursday night, you may want to check out the archived video recaps of the Libby trial featuring Swopa of Firedoglake and www.needlenose.com presented at politicstv.com . All of The Nation’s David Corn’s daily postings and analysis of the trial can be read at his Capital Games site. He is the co-author of Hubris, the most thoroughly reported book on how government insiders sold the fraudulent case for war.
Thursday, February 8
6:30pm (speaker starts at 7:30)
Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Ave NW
(north of Dupont Circle)
To keep up to date on DCDL events, subscribe to our e-mail announcement list.
DC Drinking Liberally (Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill) is teaming up with folks from the Democratic National Committee and the New Organizing Institute to host a happy hour for people attending the DNC winter meeting this weekend.
DNC members, bloggers, progressive organizers, grassroots/netroots activists, the Drinking Liberally crowd — all are welcome. The more the merrier. The fun starts at about 7 at Timberlake’s (1726 Connecticut Ave NW, north of Dupont Circle) and will run until at least 9.
42 queries. 0.331 seconds