WashPost Singles Out Bush for "Cluelessness," Skips Slimy Teen Lyrics

Copy-catting the tendencies of certain conservative media watchdogs, Washington Post political writer Mark Leibovich produced an article for the front page of today's Style section on the top quotes of the year for public figures (mostly politicos and their families, except for Tom Cruise pounding Matt Lauer, Rafael Palmeiro's read-my-lips, no-steroids testimony -- oh, and Drew Barrymore raving about her bathroom break in the woods.) Leibovich finds his quote of the year to be President Bush telling his soon-to-be-reassigned FEMA director Michael Brown: "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job."

Leibovich explained: "Really, it was never even close. The president's vote of confidence had all the markings: Patently false, it came during a widely viewed event, was uttered by a prominent speaker, played to an unflattering caricature (of both people), and packed supreme irony," since Brown was out within days. "I think for concision and cluelessness, Bush wins hands down," Ted Widmer, identified as a Clinton speechwriter, adds. (Leibovich also nominated the president's mother for saying that for hurricane victims, being evacuated to Houston is "working very well for them.")

Howard Dean was mentioned as well, for saying Republicans are "pretty much a white Christian party." Matching the Widmer endorsement of the cluelessness of the Bush quote, Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers is brought in to endorse Dean's gaffe as a notable quote. "He is probably the  most quoted DNC chairman ever. Quoted by Republicans, that is."

I suspected that Dean's quote might have never appeared in the Post before -- since media outlets have a habit of skipping Dean gaffes. But Nexis says I was wrong. It appeared in SIX Post articles in the summer. (Ironically, it should be noted that Nexis finds only two uses of the "Brownie" quote in the Post before today.)

PS: Then there was this weird note, in the major Style section story of the day: Post pop music critic J. Freedom duLac writes an entire profile of newly minted 16-year-old pop star Chris Brown without noting the lyrics of his big hit "Run It," about how he'll have the babes not believing he's just 16 with his immense sexual abilities. (That, and the usual sexual chocolate about how he needs to "hit that" and her "drop drop" makes him "wanna pop.") Mom's driving him around in a new SUV. She has no shame. Brent Bozell wrote up Brown as part of the lineup of UPN's Vibe Awards a few weeks ago.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis