the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

February 27, 2007

Eric Boehlert on the Washington Post



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.


  1. It’s truly amazing to see these media folks kowtowing to the wingnuts who hate them. Malkin detests Howard Kurtz and has written all sorts of nasty things about him, yet he produces a profile that completely ignores her disgusting side.

    As for the Post’s discounting, or even reacting against, complaints from the left while falling over themselves to adjust their reporting to make the right happier, I’m reminded of Deborah Howell’s Abramoff debacle, in which any opinion that was shared by someone who had used a dirty word could be safely ignored. I also keep thinking of this bit from an online chat by Richard Morin, WaPo polling editor:

    Naperville, Ill.: Why haven’t you polled on public support for the impeachment of George W. Bush?

    Richard Morin: This question makes me mad…

    Seattle, Wash.: How come ABC News/Post poll has not yet polled on impeachment?

    Richard Morin: Getting madder…

    Haymarket, Va.: With all the recent scandals and illegal/unconstitutional actions of the President, why hasn’t ABC News/Washington Post polled whether the President should be impeached?

    Richard Morin: Madder still…

    Dublin, Ireland: In a statement on Sunday, John Dean, former White House counsel during Watergate, stated that President Bush is “the first President to admit to an impeachable offense.” Will The Washington Post be polling about impeachment of the President in the near future, now that this topic has taken on national significance?

    Richard Morin: An impeachment demand from Ireland? Oh my gawd. Now I’m furious.

    Let me explain.

    For the past eight months or so, the major media pollsters have been the target of a campaign organized by a Democratic Web site demanding that we ask a question about impeaching Bush in our polls.

    The Web site lists the e-mail addresses of every media pollster, reporters as well as others. The Post’s ombudsman is even on their hit list.

    The Web site helpfully provides draft language that can be cut-and-pasted into a blanket e-mail.

    The net result is that every few months, when this Web site fires up the faithful with another call for e-mails, my mailbox is filled with dozens and dozens of messages that all read exactly the same (often from the same people, again and again). Most recently, a psychology professor from Arizona State University sent me the copy-and-paste e-mail, not a word or comma was changed. I only hope his scholarship is more original.

    We first laughed about it. Now, four waves into this campaign,we are annoyed. Really, really annoyed.

    Some free advice: You do your cause no service by organizing or participating in such a campaign. It is viewed by me and others with the same scorn reserved for junk mail. Perhaps a bit more.

    So they’re annoyed, and no further thought is necessary. But right-wing complaints don’t annoy them?

    Keith11:58 am

  2. And Kurtz continues his love affair with Malkin today.

    Keith2:31 pm, March 1

post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

Upcoming Events

See information on the revived DC chapter (2012).

DCDL Member Blogs

DCDL Speaker Links

DC Links

Liberal (Mostly) Blogs

Liberal Groups

Internal Links


Drinking Liberally

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


Search Blog



46 queries. 0.410 seconds