When ultraliberal Henry Waxman ran the House Government Reform Committee, The Washington Post didn't often suggest he was a fierce partisan or ideologue. Instead, former Washington Post managing editor Robert Kaiser praised him in a book review headlined "Moustache of Justice." (The Waxman lovers even have a mug.)
Kaiser cooed, “Henry Waxman is to Congress what Ted Williams was to baseball -- a natural....Waxman has been one of the most effective members of Congress for 35 years....This is the voice of David, whose career has featured the slaying of one Goliath after another.” This is not how the Post is treating Waxman’s "feverish" successor Darrell Issa.
Here's today's sign the Washington Post is a Democrat rag. This story is on A-4: "Health-care law may backfire for some on Medicaid: Expansion threatens to oust thousands in states with generous programs." This story is on A-1: "Democrats seek infusion of new faces."
Paul Kane's front-pager passed along the DCCC's new strategy of finding "problem solvers" that...don't know how to solve problems yet. The central character is Kevin Strouse, a former Army Ranger with no set positions on the issues. "Immigration? Tax policy? 'Certainly I have a lot of research to do,' Strouse acknowledged" as he announced a House run in Pennsylvania. This is the Tea Party takedown?
On Saturday, Washington Post reporters Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane fretted, with the help of several leftists they quoted, that sequestration might not cause enough pain. Given that the so-called "cuts" under discussion are really "reductions in projected spending growth," that is a legitimate fear if your perspective is that government shouldn't ever shrink under any circumstances.
Rush Limbaugh was correct on Tuesday when he noted that the Post let the "sky is falling" mask slip in it report. Several paragraphs, followed by a bit of Rush's reaction, follow the jump.
"Obama budget makes deep cuts, cautious trades," blared the February 15 print edition headline for Washington Post staffer Lori Montgomery's page A1 story on President Obama's 2012 budget plan. "[The] Focus [is]on education, energy and research," a subheadline approvingly added.
In the lead paragraph, Montgomery hailed Obama's spending blueprint as "full of surgical cuts and cautious trade-offs."
By contrast, a Republican plan for the spending blueprint for the rest of 2011 was cast as a "plan with drastic -- and painful -- cuts" in a page A13 headline*.
The first vote cast by the 110th Congress on January 4, 2007 was for election of Speaker of the House. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) won all 233 Democratic votes (including her own). All 202 Republicans voted for Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio. Two years later Pelosi secured 255 (including her own), and there was only one Democrat, one Rep. Gutierrez who did not vote. Minority Leader Boehner received every Republican vote, save for his own and three other Republicans who didn't vote.
By contrast, yesterday's vote for Speaker witnessed a total of 20 Democrats -- 10 percent of the party caucus -- defecting from the Pelosi line. Eleven voted for Blue Dog Democrat Heath Shuler (N.C.) while the other eight generally liberal Democratic defectors voted for other Democrats. And that doesn't include liberal Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, who made sure to absent himself from the chamber so as to not have to register a vote.
It was certainly an inauspicious way for Pelosi to enter the new Congress as minority leader, yet when the Post reported the story, it elected to bury the news in a 6-paragraph digest item on page A8.
As the Joe Sestak job-offer scandal took a weird turn on Friday -- Bill Clinton offered me an unpaid, obscure presidential advisory panel placement to dissuade me from a Senate run? -- The Washington Post found in the new story a chance to hail Bill Clinton. At the very end of a Saturday report headlined "Bill Clinton has evolved into Obama's Mr. Fix It," reporters Philip Rucker and Paul Kane slipped into fanboy mode:
Sestak said Clinton briefly brought up Emanuel's suggestion that if Sestak dropped out he might end up on a presidential advisory board for the Pentagon or the intelligence community. Sestak flatly turned him down.
"I knew you'd say that," Clinton replied. Even the master can't fix everything.
Left unsaid: if Clinton is "the master," why is Obama president instead of his wife? (Or do you just repeat "Even the master...") On the front page, the Post seemed to be buying this square-peg-for-round-hole tale about this weird, very unpersuasive offer no one would accept. Reporter Michael Shear tried playing cute and light in his opening, that Obama "resisted acknowledging what the top West Wing lawyer finally admitted on Friday: This administration plays politics. And not always effectively."
Is The Washington Post playing favorites with causes that inspire people to exercise their First Amendment rights and take to the streets to protest? When it comes to opposition to Democratic efforts to reform health care versus opposition to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it appears so.
In a March 20 Washington Post story headlined "Obama delivers plea to 'help us fix this system,'" Ben Pershing, Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery suggested House Democrats were gaining momentum in their pursuit of the 216 votes needed to pass health care reform legislation, despite "hundreds" of "tea party" protesters rallying outside the U.S. Capitol. (h/t Amanda Carpenter)
"Outside the Capitol, hundreds of 'tea party' protesters rallied against the legislation, jeering Democratic lawmakers as they passed and holding signs reading 'We'll Remember in November' and 'Revolution,' Pershing, Kane and Montgomery wrote.
Some credit should go to The Washington Post on Tuesday for putting Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the front page as she boldly associates the "Democratic" Party with the strange notion of passing bills without a vote. But reporters Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane present the only opponents of this scheme as Republicans. Where are the disdainful good-government gurus? The Post reported:
The tactic -- known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" -- has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.
"It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know," the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. "But I like it," she said, "because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."
When Rep. Eric Massa resigned Monday and conservative talk radio blazed over a radio interview Massa gave harshly attacking House Democratic leaders and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, the Washington Post suggested Massa’s remarks weren’t really newsworthy on their own. Their headline was "Conservatives point to claim by Massa."
The Post website went even further, with the snotty headline "An unlikely hero for the right." (Update: they may have borrowed from Politico, which also ran a headline "Eric Massa as a conservative media hero.")
If the parties were reversed, and a resigning member lit into the Republican majority leader and the Republicans’ top White House aide, the headline wouldn’t be "Liberals point to claim by Republican." Because the Washington Post are those liberals.
Kevin Williamson of National Review’s Media Blog marveled at the audacity of Washington Post congressional reporter Paul Kane, who boasted of Ted Kennedy’s awesomeness in tearing into Republicans at the start of a washingtonpost.com chat Thursday at noon. He recalled being on an elevator with Teddy and noticing he needed help with the back flap of his jacket:
Am I allowed to touch a Kennedy? I grew up in a household with busts of both Jack and Bobby. I can't touch a Kennedy. They're royalty.
So I let Kennedy walk out of the elevator looking silly, too afraid to help him. By the time Kennedy walks into the hearing his jacket is set -- clearly an aide helped set the flap right -- and he immediately tears into Republicans for trying to destroy the student loan program.
It was awesome. It was vintage. It was my first moment ever with Ted Kennedy.
Questioners did urge Kane to explain his Kennedy-idolizing intro:
Detroit's embattled mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, is holding out the possibility that he'll actually be able to go to Denver this month. In other words, the "hip-hop mayor" could get a new nickname: the Most Unwanted Man at the convention. (Besides maybe John Edwards.)