Washington Post/MSNBC’s Robinson Plagiarizes Peter Jennings on Electorate’s ‘Temper Tantrum’

The late Peter Jennings, shortly after the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994: “Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week.”

Washington Post Associate Editor Eugene Robinson, a frequent guest analyst on MSNBC, in his Friday column on polls showing voters will throw out Democrats, again, in November: “This isn't an ‘electoral wave,’ it's a temper tantrum.”

More Jennings from 1994: “Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old.”

And more from Robinson this year: “The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.”

James Taranto highlighted the similarities in his Friday “Best of the Web Today” for the Wall Street Journal’s online opinion page.

Then-ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings in his daily ABC Radio commentary of November 14, 1994, the winner of the “Sore Losers Award (for Midterm Election Reporting)” in the MRC’s “The Best Notable Quotables of 1994: The Seventh Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting.”
Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It's clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It's the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week....Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old.
Robinson’s September 3 column, “The spoiled-brat American electorate,” began:
According to polls, Americans are in a mood to hold their breath until they turn blue. Voters appear to be so fed up with the Democrats that they're ready to toss them out in favor of the Republicans -- for whom, according to those same polls, the nation has even greater contempt. This isn't an “electoral wave,” it's a temper tantrum.
Later:
But there's no mistaking the public mood, and the truth is that it makes no sense. In the punditry business, it's considered bad form to question the essential wisdom of the American people. But at this point, it's impossible to ignore the obvious: The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center