Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke" was just a "classic freak-show story" unworthy of front-page play -- but Sen. George Allen's "macaca" was worthy of wall-to-wall coverage. That is apparently the opinion of the Washington Post's John harris.This week Harris, the national politics editor of the Post, and Mark Halperin, political director of ABC News, are participating in "The Breakfast Table: An E-Mail Conversation About The News of the Day" at the online magazine Slate. (Harris and Halperin are also co-authors of "The Way to Win: Clinton, Bush, Rove and How to Take the White House in 2008.") Harris, the same editor who directed the Post's filing of 92 stories on Republican Sen. George Allen calling someone "macaca," is proud to have buried Democratic Sen. John Kerry's seeming insult to U.S. troops as lazy and uneducated. But before that, Harris complains to his co-author Halperin that his co-authors' recent "inflammatorily stated comments" that the media leans left have given him a lot of grief:
"These are chaotic days for political reporters and editors, and you have made them more so for me by your sensible but inflammatorily stated comments on various conservative television and radio platforms."
On Kerry's seeming insult:
"For what it's worth, I think our failures in campaign and government coverage usually have less to do with ideology and more to do with journalistic conventions. We follow noise, as witnessed by the coverage of the Kerry-Iraq uproar in recent days. (Though please note that this classic freak-show story ran inside the Post today, not on the front page.)"
Strangely enough, the Washington Post ended up running Kerry's apology on Thursday's front page.