Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 7, 2008
POLITICS: In a Just World, This Would Be The End of EJ Dionne

From today's Best of the Web, one of the classic examples of replacement-level, conventional wisdom-spouting liberal punditry makes a complete fool of himself in his rush to pronounce himself superior to Sarah Palin:

A hilarious example of press bias against Palin occurred last Friday on "The Diane Rehm Show," a production of Washington's WAMU-FM. The exchange between hostess Rehm, caller Tom of Norwich, Vt., and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne begins at about 46:10 of the "10:00 News Roundup":
Tom: I just wonder why not more has been made of the statement by Palin during the debate last night that "Maliki and the Talabani"--this is a quote from the transcript--"also in working with us are knowing again that we are getting closer and closer to the point of victory." The Talibani obviously are our absolute enemy and have been since 9/11; Maliki, our central ally in Iraq. This to me is a tremendous blunder, revealing a very superficial familiarity with these sorts of terms.

Rehm: Thanks for calling, Tom. . . . E.J.?

Dionne: I think that "superficial" is absolutely the right word for the knowledge or the lack of knowledge Palin showed yesterday. I'm glad the caller raised that one, and I suspect there is going to be a scouring of that transcript for exactly that sort of gaffe. That has echoes of some of the stuff she said to Katie Couric.

If you look at the debate transcript, however, you will see that the reference is not to "the Talabani" but to Talabani--as in Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq.

(It was also obvious if you were actually watching the debate). You know, the other night I laughed when Joe Biden called Bosnians "Bosniaks," but before I wrote something making fun of him for this, I did a little Googling and it turned out that this was actually not one of Biden's many misstatements in the debate (most notoriously his fantasyland account of a mythical US/French offensive to drive Hezbollah out of Lebanon) - Biden's spent a fair amount of time dealing with Bosnians, and it turns out that that's actually what they call themselves. I don't always get things right here, but you know, I don't get paid to do this, and it still occurred to me to check that one before mocking Biden.

Whereas Dionne gets paid to be a pundit and to do things like sneer at Gov. Palin's ignorance of foreign affairs ... as evidenced by the fact that she knows who the President of Iraq is, and Dionne plainly does not. Remind me again what value the Washington Post gets out of employing him instead of running a rotation of bloggers who would work for peanuts?

Relatedly, apparently Matt Yglesias' Harvard education did not extend to the ability to spot satire, and not even very good satire at that (sorry Matt, you should have gone to the Law School). I don't think I have ever in my life seen so many people make such utter fools of themselves in their rush to prove how much they hate a Vice Presidential candidate.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:37 AM | Politics 2008 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

A. Yglesias did attend Harvard, but his degree is in philosophy. I mean, come on......there are community colleges that have bachelor's of science that are tougher to GET (daddy got him in, BTW, via legacy. True).

B. What's the deal with Dionne's lisp? I can understand having writing skills - such as they are - getting you into the vaunted real estate at the WaPo, but how do you get invited on TV when you sound like that? I'm not trying to be cruel, my son has a slight speech impediment at the time....but, we're getting him therapy & he'll soon be over it. Surely, EJ can afford speech therapy. If I can work on getting rid of my southernisms in my 40s, which I am, a grown man can get over his propensity to sound like Cindy Brady.

Yeah, he does.

I don't think I have ever in my life seen so many people make such utter fools of themselves in their rush to prove how much they hate a Vice Presidential candidate.
My baseline was Reagan. They passed it two weeks ago. My baseline for media bias was Clinton in '92 (and McCain in '00). They passed it in February.

This is truly a watershed election. Hope they think it's worth it.

Posted by: RW at October 7, 2008 7:27 AM

Whenever I read Yglesias or see his writing quoted, I am reminded of the fat but smart kid from my history classes at cornell that loved to criticize everything and use everyone else for his benefit in group presentations. Yes, I am a green lantern foreign policy believer, and I am not ashamed of it fatty.

Posted by: Son of brock landers at October 7, 2008 11:10 AM
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