the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

October 6, 2005

More Hackery at the Post


I don’t want this blog to turn into all Post criticism all the time, and I realize that there are many different viewpoints among Post contributors, but I really don’t know what to make of the recent example of gratuituous Howard Dean bashing by Chris Cillizza in his blog, The Fix, on the Washington Post site. The article is called “Dean Pops Off”.

It’s perfectly understandable for Cillizza to snicker at Dean’s mistaken use of the phrase “hide the salami”, which was bizarre and humorous. The incomprehensible bit comes next:

Dean went on to suggest that he did not find it “very credible” that Vice President Dick Cheney was totally unaware of the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to the media in 2003, adding: “The M.O. of the Bush administration is to discredit your opponents and attack them personally rather than attack them for their position.”

Don’t take my word for it. Click here to watch Dean yourself or read the transcript. And if the Republican National Committee has anything to do with it, you can expect to hear a lot more about these comments in the days to come.

It seems to me that we don’t need to wait for the RNC if commentators like Cillizza are willing to do the RNC’s work for them by portraying perfectly normal remarks for a party chair as somehow beyond the pale.

Can anyone explain to me what’s supposed to be outrageous about Dean’s comments on Cheney and the administration’s MO? Would Cillizza have blinked if Ken Mehlman as RNC chair had similarly criticized Democrats?


  1. I get the feeling that there is a script that most of the major players are reading from, where the Dems play the party out of power, the GOP plays the party in power, and we’re supposed to go “rah rah rah” as they are “in conflict.” Then you have people like Dean, Boxer, hell, practically the whole Congressional Black Caucus, and Sanders, who just refuse to stick to their lines I don’t think they want Sanders and Jeffords on the damn stage, but then Dean goes and comes out supporting Sanders! Cillizza probably thinks he’s “supporting stability and amicable relations” or some such nonsense.

    *stifles several uncharitable trains of thought involving Milbank, Brooks, Coulter, and Malkin*

    Assuming this is at all possible, I’m going to go Not Think About Politics for a few hours.

    *looks back at the Ayn Rand-worshipping young Conservative he used to be and wonders what the hell happened* :D

    StealthBadger7:50 pm, October 7

  2. The GOP MO has been to discredit people in the media. Dean’s right, of course. However, the reason that they say bizarre things like Cillizza’s is, I think, a combination of The Big Lie and throwing spaghetti against the refrigeraqtor. The GOP has been using The Big Lie since the Clinton impeachment, and possibly as far back as the Regan era. Tell a whopper so huge that people can’t imagine that it can’t be true, nobody would tell a lie that bald and that out of touch with reality. So it must be true. Now, tell a whole bunch of them, constantly. Push the ones that stick to the refrigerator, let the rest of them go.

    This can only happen with the complicity of the press. The press has been egregiously pro-Republican since at least the Iran-Contra affair. I think that calling a man who was becoming senile and who stated in public that trees cause air pollution “The Great Communicator” was possibly where this round of not-truth began.

    Even Diebold, with its made-to-order election results, isn’t the threat that the press is. Which is all very easy to say, but frankly I have no idea what to do about it. It costs real money to run a news show on television, and that’s where most Americans get their news. Of interest, at least to me, is that Al Gore appears to be interested in doing something about it. Take a look at a transcript of his speech at

    If he ran for president again, he would have my whole-hearted support.

    —Lydy Nickerson • 5:09 pm, October 15

  3. Cillizza Strikes Again

    I complained a while back about a gratuitous attack on Howard Dean by Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza. Since then I’ve seen more indications of right-wing hackishness in his blog, The Fix, but haven’t bothered to write about them &#…

    DCDL11:50 pm, November 29


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