Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine features House Speaker John Boehner on the cover, and next to his face are the words "While the SPEAKER battles against the Democrats, is his BIGGEST THREAT from his own party?" (All the words are capitalized, actually, but "Speaker" and "biggest threat" are much larger.)
Post reporter Michael Leahy spent several pages wondering if the "Young Guns" directly under Boehner will eventually overtake him if he’s not "feverish" enough for the conservative base. It’s accurate, even positive, to cast new House members as "feisty" and "aggressive," but beware those Tea Party hotheads when they’re "feverish" – metaphorically, not medically, of course:
It’s not every day that a front-page Washington Post report has copy that can be mocked as “Auditioning to Be the Next Obama Girl.” (That is, unless you count Eli “Obama's Chiseled Pectorals” Saslow.) James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal designated this florid passage for that title, from a sprawling 5,355-word Wednesday front-page article by reporters Michael Leahy and Juliet Eilperin.
The moment was vintage Obama -- emphasizing his zest for inquiry, his personal involvement, his willingness to make the tough call, his search for middle ground. If an Obama brand exists, it is his image as a probing, cerebral president conducting an exhaustive analysis of the issues so that the best ideas can emerge, and triumph.
Slogging through the entire article (eating up all of two inside pages) demonstrates that the Post reporters were praising Obama’s “zest” and thoughtfulness even as they summarized how Obama, in their view, struck too “centrist” a path by supporting offshore drilling and stiff-arming the Left – which Leahy and Eilperin never identify as liberals, merely as “environmental activists.” The Post reporters say Team Obama was trying to find a “grand bargain” to pass a “climate-change bill.”
Liberal newspaper people are so predictable when it comes to internal party fights. If it’s inside the Republican Party, it’s the conservative Republicans who are wrong. If inside the Democratic Party, it’s the conservative Democrats who are wrong.
The Washington Post recently gave us a case study in this slanted worldview. On December 14, they splashed across the front page an article by reporter Michael Leahy on an obscure California Republican assemblyman named Anthony Adams. The charge: he betrayed his no-new-taxes vow and supported a $12 billion tax increase. The Post analysis: Adams was savaged by the "toxic infighting" of nasty conservatives, who moved (unsuccessfully) to recall him from office.
Discussing the concern of some parents' about their children being a captive audience to President Obama's planned speech next Tuesday, MSNBC's David Shuster today scoffed at conservative activist Michael Leahy by asking if Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign was "indoctrination" (audio available here):
MICHAEL LEAHY: This is from the lesson plan, the old, the original lesson plan. They want--
DAVID SHUSTER, interrupting: Which has since been changed, but go ahead.
LEAHY: --teachers to extend learning by having students write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. Now, David, that is indoctrination. We don't want that.
SHUSTER: Okay, so was it indoctrination when Nancy Reagan? Okay, fair point. Well, was it indoctrination then when Nancy Reagan encouraged students to write down what they could do to help say no to drugs?
A number of factors seem to have contributed to the bumpy homecoming: a residual anger among Democrats for the attack-dog role Palin assumed in the McCain campaign, lingering resentment from Republicans for the part she may have played in McCain's defeat, and a suspicion crossing party lines that the concerns of Alaska, at a time of economic crisis, will now be secondary to her future in national politics.
The claim that Sarah Palin hurt McCain's candidacy has been refuted by various sources including, coincidentally enough, The Washington Post. Chris Cillizza covers the White House for the newspaper. Shortly after the election he cited five election myths. One of them was that McCain made a mistake by selecting Palin as his running mate:
One need look no further than the NewsBusters archives on fashion critic Robin Givhan and TV critic Tom Shales to see that the Style section for the Washington Post is hardly immune from the liberal bias that plagues much of the paper's A-section.
It's drive-by journalism, to put it charitably, a string of stupefyingly brief hit-and-run interviews with a bunch of unidentified people who we know are going to say nothing that will surprise us. By then, we've already figured out they're going to be fried by Pelosi's camera. We know they're going to sound like yahoos, often goaded, always reduced to sound bites and caricatures.
Leahy, recalling his impressions of conservative voters from his own campaign reporting, continued by dismissing Pelosi's documentary as a cheap excuse "for a snarky laugh track" at the expense of center-right Americans (emphasis mine):