I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Washington Post under siege

We discussed the turmoil at the WAPO this morning over Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing" column. It seems that all the "embeded" Post columnists think that telling the truth is "liberal" and that Dan is some kind of lefty extremist. As the day has gone on it has only gotten worse for the Post and it's White House propaganda chief and political editor John Harris. Steve Soto reports that Harris admits he was getting heat about the Froomkin column.
Today, we find out that the heat Harris was getting came from a hack conservative blogger who worked at Bush/Cheney 2004. So instead of taking the criticism with a grain of salt and considering the source, Harris defaults to the kneepads position so typical of the Beltway this last decade and talks about “balance.” This from the same paper that cheer leaded for the war and buried the coverage from its own reporters that challenged the administration’s basis for war.

Over at The Huffington Post Marty Kaplan rips WAPO ombudsman, Deborah Howell, a new one.
But now comes the new ombudsman of the Post’s print edition, bemoaning how Froomkin’s column poses a truth-in-labeling problem. Deborah Howell calls his column “highly opinioned and liberal.” She says political reporters in the Post newsroom don’t like it. “They're afraid that some readers think that Froomkin is a Post White House reporter.” She quotes John Harris, national political editor at the print Post, who says, "The title invites confusion. It dilutes our only asset -- our credibility." And she says that the Web site’s executive editor, Jim Brady, “is considering changing the column title and supplementing it with a conservative blogger.”

If the Post’s ombudsman has swallowed the right-wing canard that telling the truth is “liberal,” then journalism might as well check into the hospice. If Deborah Howell were right, then all the Republicans in Congress who pointed out Bill Clinton’s disingenousness, evasiveness and hypocrisy about fellatio were also liberals, as were the reporters and columnists who were no less inclined to cry deceit. We have reached the point where instead of assessing the objectivity and accuracy of statements in public discourse, we are told by journalistic traffic cops to treat them merely as theological observations that flow from one’s political religion. It’s a symptom of the same disease that already causes spineless editors to force apparently defenseless reporters to pair every truthful “he said” in an article with a bogus “she said” in service of some nihilistic postmodern notion of balance.
One bit of good news is that apparently one person in the Washington Post organization has a backbone,
Washingtonpost.com Executive Editor Jim Brady said he does not plan to change the name, claiming it has not caused the misinterpretations that some believe it has. "The column has been on the site for two years and that is not something we have heard," Brady said about concerns. "The column is extremely popular and it is not going anywhere."
To add to the Post's problems Newsweek's Fineman blasts Bob Woodward.
MADISON -- Howard Fineman, Newsweek's chief political correspondent, said Monday night in the first program of a Drew University lecture series, that Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward had become a "court stenographer" for the Bush administration.

Standing before a crowd of nearly 300, Fineman, said Woodward went from being an outsider "burning the beltway"with his investigative work in the 1970s Watergate scandal under President Nixon to being, " an official court stenographer of the Bush administration."
Let's be honest, Democracy is in serious trouble in this country. Not because of FOX News, nobody watches it but the kool-aide addicts anyway. George W. Bush is the president of the United States and we are bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq because the New York Times and the Washington Post think it's too "liberal" to tell the truth.

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