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.
(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.