Don't get me wrong. I love Christmastime. But in many other respects it can be the most dreaded time of the year for us media watchers. It is, after all, the time when liberal journalists decide to assign their year-ending accolades on everything from movies and music to politicians.
It's doubly dreadful when we're talking about Time magazine's Joe "Anonymous" Klein.
In a December 17 piece doling out his "Teddy awards" -- as in the first President Roosevelt, not the lingerie -- Klein began by cooing sweet nothings over Obama's political courage before giving muted praised for McCain. When all was said and done, Klein even praised Condi Rice, but even that was in service of his left-wing affinity for negotiating with dictators. [for our archive of Klein bias, click here]
While Klein largely disdained the McCain campaign's post-Palin message, he cheered the Arizona Republican for keeping Rev. Jeremiah Wright off-limits:
And what of his opponent? John McCain is a charter Teddy Award winner, a former exemplar of free-range political candor. Not this year. He ran a dismal campaign that seems even smaller in retrospect. He spent almost all his energy trying to besmirch his opponent without offering a memorable new idea. Still, he deserves credit for two steps he didn't take: he did not play the race card by regurgitating the hateful sermons of Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor; and he did not play the anti-immigrant card that might have appealed to frightened average Joes and assorted plumbers throughout the Rust Belt and the Midwest. McCain has sullied his reputation, though, which is a pity. (A parenthetical and auxiliary Teddy should go to Tina Fey, not for courage so much as truth through hilarity: she nailed the absurdity of McCain's vice-presidential pick--the worst political decision of the year.)
Klein did give one Bush administration officials kudos, but the underlying policy question involved conservative concerns over Bush and Rice going too soft on North Korean nuclear blackmail artist/dictator Kim Jong-il:
There is no telling what sort of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might have been in another Administration, but she deserves a going-away Teddy for standing up to Vice President Dick Cheney, especially when she defended her excellent North Korea negotiator, Christopher Hill.
Klein caricature by SocialMedia.biz.