In Their 'Best Books' List, WashPost Honors Itself -- And Other Media Liberals

The Washington Post selected the Best Books of 2012 in Sunday’s Arts section...and once again, it seems the judging is biased – not just in favor of liberals, but in favor of current and former Washington Post staffers.

Three of their five best nonfiction books of the year are by Posties – former reporter Katherine Boo, the late war correspondent Anthony Shadid, and current Post columnist Anne Applebaum. But if you’re a liberal journalist pushing a liberal meme, you’re probably included, from Rachel Maddow on down:

In the honorable mentions – “50 notable works of nonfiction – there are other self-promotions for  the Post: Bob Woodward (The Price of Politics), Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan), Thomas Ricks (“The Generals”),  Liza Mundy (The Richer Sex), Hanna Rosin (The End of Men), and Dennis Drabelle (The Great American Railroad War).

From television there is Rachel Maddow’s “Drift” and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Oath,” former ABC correspondent Lynn Sherr’s “Swim,” and by a degree of separation, “Cronkite” by Douglas Brinkley.

From The New York Times there is the perfect match of Kurt Eichenwald trashing Bush’s military policies (“500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars”), and David Sanger boosting Obama’s (“Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and the Surprising Use of American Power”). There is also Tim Weiner (“Enemies: A History of the FBI”).

From the “old” staff of Newsweek there is Daniel Klaidman boosting Obama’s military policies (“Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency”), and Jon Meacham on the apparently Obama-like third president (“Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power”).  Time magazine is represented by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy (“The Presidents Club”).

Brent Bozell mocked the two Obama-the-Warrior-boosting books here.

Perhaps the most infuriating endorsement is Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein’s “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” which argued today’s Tea Party conservatives are everything that’s wrong with politics. It’s hailed here by former Post managing editor Robert Kaiser.

There are liberal journalists to promote even in the Best Books category of “Comics/Graphic Novels.” There is “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt,” by Joe Sacco and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges. They “team up to report – in prose and pictures – frontline cautionary tales from new war zones: areas of America strafed by poverty. Personal stories write powerful.”

There is liberal bias, too. One of their top five fiction books is “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” by Ben Fountain. The Post described it this way:

“In this darkly comic gut-punch of a novel, the surviving members of Bravo Squad – whose bravery in Iraq has been replayed endlessly on Fox News – are at Texas Stadium to take part in a high-octane halftime performance. The only hearts and minds left to be won are those of ambivalent Americans back home, and the only way to win them is through pageantry, jingoism, and self-congratulation. Catch-22 updated for a new era.”

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