Dana Milbank’s Equal-Opportunity Mockery

Washington Post columnists Dana Milbank and David Broder are both committed guardians of the establishment center, but they don’t always interpret their role in the same way.

Milbank led the cheers for White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel as chief dragger to the right (FAIR Blog, 3/2/10), whereas Broder saw his blame-the-boss disloyalty as unseemly (3/4/10); on the other hand, it was Broder who thrilled recently to the “pitch-perfect populism” of Sarah Palin (2/11/10), while Milbank’s column today (3/16/10) finds a similar spiel by Dick Armey to be as worthy of ridicule as, say, single-payer advocates (FAIR Blog, 6/12/09).

While Milbank’s take-down of Armey’s speech was amusing (“He asked if people ‘agree with, with uh, with uh, help me out, uh, the great prime minister, English prime minister–Churchill'”), it was about as lo-cal as his more typical mockery of the left. He quotes Armey’s assertion:

Jamestown colony, when it was first founded as a socialist venture, dang near failed with everybody dead and dying in the snow.

To which Milbank retorts: “Who knew they had socialists in 1607?” But Milbank doesn’t recall that Jamestown was in actuality a for-profit enterprise–a project of the Virginia Company of London, a joint stock company. Perhaps that would have been too pointed a punchline for Milbank’s ideological tastes.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.