Tag Archives: Washington Post

Media Mayhem Part I: Down on, Done with Donald


“I like what he’s saying. He’s bringing things out.“ No I don’t think (he would be a good President). “He doesn’t have some of the qualities needed…”
Nancy Zeller, retired nurse on CBS Evening News July 20, 2015

“Some days I’m hot and some days I’m cold. There’s things he’s saying that other politicians don’t have the guts to say…But he tends to be a little thin-skinned and retaliates too easily. When I see that out of Obama and his people, I detest it.”
George Smith, retired consultant in the Washington Post July 21, 2015

It is so over for Donald Trump.  Continue reading


Reprinted from Mullings.com

A hundred years ago, when I was the news director at WMOA Radio, 1490 on your AM dial in Marietta, Ohio 45750; I read that there was an editor – probably in New York – who would mark up copy with the letters M.E.G.O.

The acronym meant: My Eyes Glaze Over – the piece was so boring as to make him enter alpha wave mode such as I go into when I’m behind a high school class trying to get through the TSA security area.

Living in Our Nation’s Capital we have many opportunities to be bored by long explanations by powerful people telling us why something can’t get done – that it’s too complicated for mere mortals such as myself to understand. Continue reading

It’s the Sun Flares, Stupid


I awoke this morning to learn from the TV news that there are gigantic sun flares on the sun, among the largest ever recorded.

Then I turned to the Washington Post editorial page.  The lead editorial was a scathing condemnation of the IRS for its treatment of conservative political groups. But it was the op-ed page that really surprised me.

The left-hand column, written by Charles Lane, criticized an energy scheme by Rep. Ed Markey, Massachusetts arch-liberal (or do I repeat myself?). In the middle of the page were two columns, one by George Will, the other by Michael Gerson. Each, in its own way, condemned the administration for the IRS scandal and President Obama for his recent (and all too typical) speech at Ohio State University  in which he  sneered at conservatives who “warn that [government] tyranny is just around the corner”. Continue reading

The Woodward Fracas

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

Bob Woodward doesn’t think much of the Obama White House. You can tell that he doesn’t believe that the President is much of a President. And now the White House is making it pretty clear that it doesn’t think much of Bob Woodward.

This has all come to light in recent days in a bizarre he-said he-said tussle between the veteran Post reporter and Gene Sperling, Obama’s diminutive economic whiz. Politico did a story that said that Sperling threatened Woodward during the course of the argument. The White House pushed back hard and then released the entire email that seemed, in isolation, to be cordial enough.

What it didn’t release was the transcript of the thirty minute screaming match that apparently precipitated the email exchange. Continue reading

Milbank Fails Free Speech/Press Test


Freedom of speech and press keep the blood flowing through public discourse. But sometimes they are not all they’re cracked up to be.    

A good example is Dana Milbank’s column in the Washington Post May 2, in which he excoriated House Republicans for not getting anything done. “It’s another recess week for our lazy leaders,” he wrote. “They are planning to be on vacation—er, doing “constituent work”—17 of the year’s remaining 34 weeks, and even when they are in town (Washington) the typical workweek is three days.”

Milbank is way off base on several counts and on balance, contributes more to the ignorance of his readers than their enlightenment, which you would think would be one of the key tests of whether a responsible news outlet prints or broadcasts anything broadly categorized as news or news commentary. In other words does what is printed or broadcast contribute to the public good; that is more the education than the entertainment of the people the media are trying to help govern themselves?  Continue reading

Media Miss Real News Again and Again…


Eleven Secret Service agents and 11 members of the Armed Forces got into deep trouble after allegedly paying for and partying with prostitutes in Cartagena, Columbia, prior to the President’s trip there for a Latin American summit.

The secret service scandal has been on the front pages of newspapers and leading the evening newscasts for days. The outcome of the Latin American summit got a one-day of coverage on Page 11 of the Washington Post and little if any coverage on network television.

Self-promoting political strategist Hillary Rosen made it onto evening news shows and page one of American newspapers for saying Ann Romney hasn’t worked a day in her life. The news outlets made it a point to say that Rosen’s remarks were just a “gaffe” and that she wasn’t speaking for anyone but herself. If that were the case and since few in America know who Hillary Rosen is, why is what she says such big news? Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street Romantic?


“Tim McFallon, stood chatting with a shivering blonde, gallantly offering her his warm pea coat. “Let’s swap,” she purred as she discarded her own coat to reveal a long stretch of taut midriff underneath what could be loosely be described as a sweater.”’

A scene from Days of Our Lives or a Harlequin romance novel?


It’s a scene from the Washington Post’s romanticized view of Occupy Wall Street which appeared on Page 1 last month. The Occupy movement is far from fanciful.

The movement has cost hard-pressed cities across the country millions of dollars that could have gone to feeding the hungry, preventing the layoff of teachers and firefighters, caring for the uninsured or repairing dilapidated roads and bridges.

The Washington Examiner reported last year that the DC Occupy movement was costing taxpayers $22,000 a day. That comes to $3.4 million since October. And that’s just DC, where according to the police union, crime has gone up in the city because police are being diverted from neighborhoods to the Occupy tent town. Continue reading

Newt, News, & Palestine


Newt Gingrich apparently let loose with some puzzling pronouncements  about Palestine and Israel in a cable television interview recently and again in the Iowa debate. Before the debate, the Washington Post quoted him saying, “Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire…We have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people…”

The Post reporters went to Ghaith al-Omari, executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine, for this response:  “Besides being factually and historically wrong, this statement is unwise,” and from former national security adviser Elliott Abrams: “There was no Jordan or Syria or Iraq, either, so perhaps he would say they are all invented people as well and also have no right to statehood.”

Gingrich’s remark threw the spotlight on one of the most profound, turbulent and impactful political, religious and human conditions of the 19th,  20th and 21st centuries. The hot and cold wars of the Arab-Israeli conflict have affected the lives of millions of people throughout the world, as dramatically and injuriously as some of the greatest events of our time.

The Gingrich story, then, served as a wonderful opportunity for the Post to both inform and educate its readers on the history and the complexities of the conflict. Continue reading

Media Commits ‘Comment Creep’


“This was Romney’s moment to make the case, that he is the substantive one, the electable one…But he didn’t. Instead he queued up his talking points…”

Who would you think made a comment like that? A cable news show talking head or a political consultant from the camp of the opposition? A newspaper columnist or a blogger? Not this time.

The opinion, not factual reporting or even analysis– was that of Philip Rucker, reporter for the Washington Post and it appeared in a Page 1 story under the opinion-rich headline: “Up close and way out of his comfort zone; On campaign trail Romney boggles chance to make connection with voters.”

The headline and the story violated what I, and I assume other consumers of American journalism, consider  one of the sacred standards of reporting: objectivity.

Rucker’s opinions weren’t confined to the first couple of paragraphs. Most of the piece was opinion or at best subjective analysis. But it wasn’t labeled commentary or analysis or opinion. It was presented as a straight-up news story, on the front page, no less. Continue reading

Random Thoughts


The Post ombudsman reported this week that the newsroom is arguing over whether to include foul language in its reporting.

Those who favor the use of the f-word and others like it, believe they make the writing more vivid and less dull. What a talent pool we draw from today when a journalist can’t make his or her writing vivid and interesting without swearing?

There are a lot of reasons to maintain the current standard, but the most compelling to me is the ever-widening behavioral sinkhole our society is already in. We live in a media environment in which it is almost mandatory that you behave badly to get coverage. Protesters get more attention if they beat up a cop or burn a car. Politicians get more attention if they call somebody a liar or claim their adversary is cheat or a racist. People who truly do not deserve coverage get it for being brazen, abusive, disrespectful or rude, while others who make reasoned, intellectual arguments and actually work at something worthwhile, get ignored. Why encourage more of it? Why sanction more mediocrity, less civility and the dumbing-down of politics and social interaction even more? Continue reading

New Hampshire Debate Recap

Reprinted from Mullings.com

The only candidates that matter at this point are Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. I know this will draw 23,372 emails about Ron Paul but he is what he is which is not a potential nominee of the Republican party.

With that in mind, here’s what the big three have to do. Continue reading

Perry’s Rock and Perceptions of Prejudice

For six days the Washington Post conducted what, in the extreme, could be described as a smear campaign against Presidential candidate Rick Perry. At best it was a case of highly prejudicial and irresponsible reporting, editing and ‘ombudsing’.  
It was irresponsible, regardless, because it raised the ugly specter of racism without clear reason. It lowered the journalistic bar yet another notch, setting a precedent that will only encourage even less responsible media and partisans along the long, long road to next November. 
The campaign began on October 1, with a front-page story about a rock that stood near one of the entrances to a ranch leased, not owned mind you, by the Perry family. On the rock was inscribed the word “Niggerhead”, a grotesquely offensive term apparently once used to describe everything from products to geographic locations.
The Perrys claimed they painted over the name of the rock in 1984. The Post reporter Stephanie McCrummen said she talked with 12 people, seven of whom said they saw the name still on the rock in the 1980’s and/or the 1990’s. One anonymous source claimed the rock wasn’t painted over until a few years ago. Continue reading

Random Thoughts


 Item One:  Unsavory Nature of Political Campaigns

 What I saw of the Iowa Republican Presidential primary debate, and it wasn’t much, brought to mind two unsavory aspects of American political campaigns that politicians, the press and the public ought to try to temper before we go full throttle into the 2012 races.

The first was incivility. The media carnival barkers and fire-breathing partisans were anxious for the candidates to brutalize one another, particularly fellow Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty.  From news reports of the debate—again, I missed some of the exchanges, they got some of what they wanted, but not much.  I am told the two Minnesotans went at it, dropping the Minnesota nice persona—isn’t that special—but they really did not beat the bejesus out of each other.

  Continue reading

Obama Reality: Conventional President


Reprinted from the feeherytheory.com

President Obama emailed his supporters that he is running for re-election. I guess he did that as a way to tell young voters (who largely powered his initial election campaign) that he is still with them.

Continue reading

How White House Bungled Health Care Politics


Reprinted from weeklystandard.com

President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress seriously misdiagnosed the politics of health care reform. Yet their malpractice is even more extensive than generally known.Polling consistently shows that opposition to the new law outstrips support. Rasmussen’s tracking surveys regularly demonstrate significant majorities want it repealed.  And not a week goes by without more dire projections of health insurance premium increasing and employers dropping or changing coverage.

Continue reading

The Election: Looking Back, Looking Forward


The Democratic/liberal narrative for what is about to happen in the mid-term election next Tuesday is becoming clearer. 

 First, President Obama and the Democrats attempted not only to do good things, but to reach across the aisle and get Republican support for these wonderful ideas (stimulus package, healthcare reform, cap and trade, etc.).  Republicans, however,  refused to cooperate and. cynically, opposed everything.  Never mind that Democrats hardly proved themselves to be the models of cooperation when they were in the minority.  That would confuse the narrative.

Continue reading

No October Surprise A Surprise


This summer I was convinced that in September, the Democrats would launch an election-year counter-offensive, an October surprise that would plug the drain of Democratic polling numbers and slow the slide of a lot of Democratic candidates.

Continue reading

Burning of the Koran, Another View



I have a little different take on the plans of the Rev. Terry Jones to burn Korans on Saturday.

          I disagree with the President that it is a teachable moment.

          I disagree with Mayor Bloomberg that it is protected under the First Amendment and should therefore be tolerated.

          I disagree with John Feehery that it may reflect another step down the path of “religious intolerance, hatred and extreme sectarianism.”

          Continue reading