During his Monday briefing with reporters in the White House, press secretary Jay Carney was asked several times how president Barack Obama would respond to a partial government shutdown. The most interesting query came from Cable News Network's senior White House correspondent Jim Costa, who asked if the Democrats have been using heightened rhetoric to attack Republicans and “trying to taunt” the GOP into doing a shutdown.
“In the last couple of weeks, Democrats including the president have -- and he has not used all these words but I’ll throw out some of them -- have referred to Republicans as arsonists, anarchists, extortionists, blackmailers, hostage takers,” Acosta noted. Even Dan Pfeiffer, assistant to the president and senior advisor to the president for strategy and communications, “talked about bombs being strapped to chests.”
Another left-wing scribe on the Post payroll? Actually, no, that's all from the pen of Jennifer Rubin, who's supposed to be the paper's conservative opinion blogger, but who often takes to her blog to slam other conservatives. Rubin's second charge, that Cuccinelli is absurdly playing the victim, illustrates that she may not really read that much of the newspaper which employs her. As I noted yesterday, Terry McAuliffe did NOT come off smelling likes roses in the Post's page B1 story about McAuliffe-supporting Democrats pushing TechPAC to reverse their endorsement of Cuccinelli for Virginia governor.
Now that the takeover of the Washington Post by Jeff Bezos is beginning, the Amazon.com billionaire is being deluged with unsolicited advice. One such uninvited adviser is Patrick Pexton, the paper's former ombudsman who wrote up an "open letter" urging Bezos to do a number of things.
Not all of it is bad advice but what stands out is his personal animus against the Post's sole conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin whom he urges Bezos to fire. "Not because she’s conservative," he insists, "but because she’s just plain bad."
Politico reported today that net income at The Washington Post Co. dropped an astonishing 85 percent from the first quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. The newspaper division posted an operating loss of $34.5 million over that period.
It looks as if the Post, like many other newspapers around the country, may have entered an age of decline. Newspapers just aren’t as profitable as they once were. The proliferation of online news outlets has given consumers a plethora of free news sources to choose from. But another factor may be the Post's persistent liberal bias, which is a turnoff to potential conservative subscribers.
Sunday's Reliable Sources was absurdly generous to the media for their coverage of the same-sex marriage debate, calling them "in the middle" and denying having seen any "rudeness" toward social conservatives.
Host Howard Kurtz teed up gay rights activist John Aravosis by asking, "Are the media waking up to the fact that this is a civil rights issue?" Meanwhile, Aravosis claimed the press is "still being objective and in the middle" on the issue while the Washington Post's "conservative" blogger Jennifer Rubin denied having seen any media "rudeness or abruptness" toward social conservatives. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
You have to hand it to Washington Post editors. They're pretty slick. In hiring Jennifer Rubin as their token conservative blogger, they have a rightie who criticizes the Right enough to ensure they seldom have to actually put in the print edition excerpts of her posts critical of President Obama. In early March I noted how Post opinion editors excerpted a Rubin blog which bashed the conservative CPAC conference rather than say publish a blog post which attacked Obama and the media over sequester hype.
In the Monday, April 1 paper the Post was at it again, choosing to run a Rubin piece that sought to explain how socially conservative opponents of same-sex marriage "lost the fight" on the policy issue. But a review of Rubin's Right Turn blog archive shows a piece she wrote on Friday morning that would have been excellent to put in print and which attacked President Obama over his "gun histrionics." Here's an excerpt which includes many of her key points (emphasis mine):
What's the point of the Washington Post retaining a conservative blogger when the paper's editors will opt to highlight her posts critiquing other conservatives rather than printing ones critical of the president and his lapdog lackeys in the press? Once again the Washington Post's op-ed page editors chose to excerpt a Jennifer Rubin blog post critical of conservatives rather than one tough on Barack Obama and the liberal media.
In her 8-paragraph March 4 item headlined "Talking truth to CPAC" -- condensed from a 14-paragraph blog post by the same title published online on March 3-- Rubin criticized the conservative gathering as "creatures of the 1980s, when our problems, our country and the world were different." "Younger conservatives have to take the movement into their own hands, refurbish it, revitalize it, cast off what is not relevant and persuade others to join the movement," if American political conservatism is to survive, Rubin concluded. Yet an hour earlier on Sunday, Rubin had published to the Post website a 15-paragraph item headlined, "Will anyone police this White House?" wherein the conservative blogger argued that (emphasis mine):
Complaining about Senate Republicans being dissatisfied with former senator Chuck Hagel's refusal to turn over information related to speeches he delivered that were financed by foreign sources, MSNBC's Tamron Hall this afternoon took a conservative blogger out of context to suggest that even conservatives were frustrated with how the Senate GOP -- which, by the way, is the minority party in the Senate and lacks the votes to thwart a Hagel confirmation -- was handling the confirmation process.
In a February 8 NewsNation segment entitled "Hagel Holdup," Hall lamented that Republican "senators are also demanding that Hagel give them copies of every speech he's made in the past five years. It's a process Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin says, quote, 'could be the most inept and disorganized confirmation effort in recent memory.'" While Rubin did write that Friday morning, the Post blogger was referring to the Obama administration and Mr. Hagel, not Republicans. From "A critical weekend for the Hagel nomination" (video follows page break; MP3 audio here):
The Washington Post somehow calls one of their blogs “Right Turn: Jennifer Rubin’s take from a conservative perspective.” This is an odd title when Rubin complains that a politician is destroying himself and the Republican Party by advocating conservative principles. Rubin was put on the Post op-ed page on Friday trashing Virginia’s Attorney General and GOP candidate for governor this fall: “It is not like I didn’t spot the Ken Cuccinelli train wreck coming up around the bend.”
Then, in another blog from her pro-Israel perch, Rubin blasted Chuck Hagel, but this take did not make the newspaper: “It’s fascinating, actually, to see a nominee of this importance do so poorly. Chuck Hagel, nominated for defense secretary, has gone from awful to atrocious today... It is unclear whether he was not prepped properly, whether he refused to be coached or whether he simply isn’t bright.”
The media were all atwitter Monday over a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finding President Obama eleven points ahead of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in key swing states.
Within 90 minutes of the Post's Jennifer Rubin exposing that the margin of error in the poll was - wait for it! - an astonishing eight points, the paper felt the need to publish a new piece explaining the whole thing.
Time's Joe Klein on Sunday found out what it's like to actually have to debate conservatives rather than the liberal media members he normally appears with on political talk shows.
When he uttered the typical left-wing line on ABC's This Week about the need for more gun control in the wake of Friday's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, Klein got a much-needed education from George Will and the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Washington Post's "conservative" blogger is now telling Republicans to shut up and move on from their complaints of a liberal media double standard. The Post's Jennifer Rubin told all the GOP candidates to "grow up" on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday.
"These candidates should grow up, get their message out," she ranted, emphasizing that conservative candidates have grown "obsessed" over the media's liberal treatment. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
When the Washington Post's "conservative" blogger Jennifer Rubin last Sunday accused the right-leaning media of being "embarrassingly bad this election cycle," it seemed a metaphysical certitude CNN's Howard Kurtz would soon have her on to advance her view.
True to form, exactly one week later there was Rubin on Reliable Sources with the host saying, "This indictment suggests, my reading of it, that the conservative media, parts of the conservative media are essentially corrupt" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Washington Post selected Jennifer Rubin as their “Right Turn” blogger, which to many has seemed like the wrong title. It should be “Romney’s Turn.” But when the Post publishes her blogs in excerpted form in the newspaper, they’re making her even sharper in attacking the “hard right” of the Republican Party.
In Monday’s paper, Rubin lashed out at the New Hampshire Union Leader’s endorsement of Newt Gingrich by slamming the entire conservative media as “embarrassingly bad.” The Post's gleeful headline is "Conservative media blow another story." But any nuance she placed in this attack on her blog was edited out by the Posties. Check out how harsh Rubin sounds on the page:
Early this morning, I noted how two AP writers seemed to be hoping that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee, in the process ignoring inconvenient facts like his failure to get over 25% in any poll covered at Real Clear Politics since mid-July while failing to even mention Herman Cain's name until the report's eleventh paragraph (a Rasmussen poll today breaks Romney's three-month dry spell, showing him at 29%, tied with Herman Cain). Sadly, what the AP writes is important for readers to know, because the wire service's copy is read and relayed without question by most of its thousands of subscribing outlets.
Not that learning about the following is anywhere near as important, but in case you're wondering about the GOP presidential nominee preferences and perceptions among several of the pundits at the Washington Post, wonder no more:
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, some liberal media outlets were spreading the idea that a Barack Obama impersonator was pulled off the stage at a Republican event this weekend because he was telling racial and gay jokes.
Although CNN's Howard Kurtz at least figured out that the real reason Reggie Brown was yanked was because he was starting to insult Republicans, the "Reliable Sources" host seemed shocked Republicans would rather hear jokes about Obama than about Republicans (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Washington Post announced Tuesday that it has hired Commentary Magazine contributing editor Jennifer Rubin to write a blog on the conservative movement and the Republican Party.
The move suggests that the Post has learned its lessons from the short run it gave blogger Dave Weigel, who resigned in June after emails surfaced showing him viciously attacking some prominent conservatives. The emails suggested that Weigel was hostile to large segments of the conservative movement, the beat he had been assigned to cover.
The New York Times editorial board on Sunday absolutely tore Barack Obama apart for his handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The president cannot plug the leak or magically clean up the fouled Gulf of Mexico. But he and his administration need to do a lot more to show they are on top of this mess, and not perpetually behind the curve," wrote the Times.
"It certainly should not have taken days for Mr. Obama to get publicly involved in the oil spill, or even longer for his administration to start putting the heat on BP for its inadequate response and failure to inform the public about the size of the spill."
Quite surprisingly, the Times was just getting warmed up:
The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz believes comedian Jon Stewart is an icon to many journalists.
"[E]specially those in television who sometimes copy his quick-cut editing techniques," wrote Kurtz in his column Monday.
But that's not all.
Kurtz sees the "Daily Show" host as "a pop-culture bellweather," and feels his recent attacks on Barack Obama are a significant sea change. Last week Stewart went after the President's use of a teleprompter at a Virginia elementary school.
As a result, the clearly left-leaning Comedy Central star's "barbs are generating partisan buzz" (h/t Jennifer Rubin):
Barack Obama is President, Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House, Harry Reid is Senate Majority Leader, Bill Clinton is doing the television circuit to revive his reputation, most journalists are still hopelessly in the tank for the current White House resident, and the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza is concerned that the Democrats don't have a voice to counter Republican talking points.
This is almost as silly as a New Yorker losing sleep over the Yankees not having enough money to field an allstar team next year.
Regardless of the apparent absurdity, such was Cillizza's point in a blog posting at WaPo's The Fix (h/t Jennifer Rubin):
If you want to get an idea of the kind of rose-colored microscope Obama will be scrutinized with by journalists now that he's headed to the White House, you need look no further than David Broder's column in the Washington Post Thursday which actually began:
The first week of Barack Obama's transition to the presidency has gone about as well as anyone could imagine.
Hmmm. I guess no one could have imagined president-elect Obama being greeted by a bullish show of confidence from Wall Street in the week following his coronation rather than an historic stock market collapse.
For some reason Broder chose to ignore the 14 percent decline in equity values since Election Day, but the Wall Street Journal didn't:
As NewsBusters previously reported, the Washington Post's ombudsman admitted Sunday that her paper's coverage of this year's presidential campaign was clearly biased towards Barack Obama.
Although that shouldn't surprise any sane person in this country, such a mea culpa is just good marketing unless the entity confessing the inappropriate behavior plans on doing something to correct it.
Jennifer Rubin of Commentary magazine agreed Sunday, and suggested that the road to recovery is first admitting the problem (picture courtesy Grinning Planet):
From a non-Jew, it would smack of anti-Semitism. From Eric Alterman? You be the judge.
The author of the Altercations column at Media Matters has a running complaint: Rick Klein, editor of The Note at ABC News, pays too much respect to the work of other Jewish pundits. Jennifer Rubin, one of the chief bloggers at Commentary's "Contentions" blog, was Alterman's first target, in his August 1 column [emphasis added throughout]:
I realize I may be the only person in the world to care about this, and I only care a tiny bit, but what does Commentary's Jennifer Rubin have on The Note's Rick Klein?
I realize that Mr. Klein is, in many respects, a fully-worked ref, citing right-wing publications that have proven consistently wrong about everything throughout the past eight years -- following the requisite ABC advertising which justifies the expense of the effort to his corporate overlords -- while ignoring those on the center-left who have proven right. But even so, Commentary? Come now. The guy cites her every day. Are they dating? Did his mother lose a bet to her mother playing canasta in Boca?