A Beltway Villager’s Bad Advice for Obama


The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote a piece giving Barack Obama some advice on what to say in his State of the Union address. The article almost reads like a parody of Beltway punditry.


When Nonsense Is Your Reality, Reality Naturally Seems to Have a Slant

Dana Milbank (photo by Matthew Bradley)

Washington Post ombud Patrick Pexton (9/30/12) presents conservative opinion as a prima facie case for a left-wing slant in corporate news media: “Republicans think the news media are being too easy on Barack Obama…. Everyone sees more bias, and Republicans see it more than other groups.” Offering this as evidence of a left media bias is, of course, highly dubious. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans say that humans aren’t warming the planet. Sixty-three percent still maintain that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction.  Fifty-eight percent of Republicans “believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 […]


A Gaffe Is a Gaffe When Reporters Say So

Campaign coverage often gets bogged down in trivia—inconsequential polling data, the latest “off message” comment by an associate, and so on. But then there are the “gaffes,” when politicians say something that we’re told means a lot more than it might seem. Barack Obama’s 2008 comment about small-town voters clinging to their guns and religion was one. In 2000, Al Gore was a Media Gaffe Machine: Love Canal, internet inventing, etc. Most of them didn’t check out, but that’s not what matters. Gaffes are elevated when reporters think they reinforce something about a politician. In 2000, NPR‘s Cokie Roberts said […]


Media Get ‘Lazy’ Factchecking Rick Perry’s Ad Claim

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s new TV commercial is based on a lie. Will reporters say so? The ad starts with a Barack Obama quote: ”We’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades.” To which Perry responds: ”Can you believe that? That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy? That’s pathetic. It’s time to clean house in Washington.” Now, it would be rather unusual for a president to say that. Obama didn’t. The quote comes from an event where Obama spoke about efforts to woo corporations to do more […]


Everyone Could Have a Mark Halperin Moment

The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza’s curious take on the Mark Halperin affair: The truth of the Halperin matter is that all reporters (or others) who go on television frequently are forever in a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ situation…. We know of what we speak, having found ourselves tongue-tied or worse on any number of occasions while staring into a camera. And in an ill-fated 2009 video venture known as ‘Mouthpiece Theater,’ The Fix had to live down an inappropriate reference to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. For those who might be unaware, he’s referring […]


WaPo ‘Screw-You’ Video Follows ‘Mad Bitch’ Offense

Guest Women In Media & News blogger Adele M. Stan (8/5/09) has some more to say about the WashingtonPost.com‘s “now-infamous ‘Mad Bitch’ video”: Last Friday, Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler shone a light on a video produced by the Washington Post that featured one of the two columnists hosting the piece suggesting that, at a future White House beer summit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton be given a brew called “Mad Bitch.” Then all hell broke loose. The Post apparently thought it could fix the problem by simply pulling the video. A note was posted above the hole where the […]


Snarky WaPo-er ‘Surprised by the Ferocity out There’

Howard Kurtz recently offered fellow Washington Post reporters Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza a chance to apologize for having, in an online Post feature, “implied Hillary Clinton was a ‘bitch.’” But American Prospect‘s Tapped blogger Adam Serwer (8/5/09) has a question regarding Milbank’s aside that “it’s a brutal world out there in the blogosphere…. I’m often surprised by the ferocity out there, but I probably shouldn’t be”: What’s the sound of a million hands facepalming? No one who goes around using obscenities to describe other reporters and administration officials should be complaining about the “ferocity” of blogs–if Milbank is bothered […]