Saturday, January 21, 2006

All Together Now

Beatles - All Together Now Lyrics

One, two, three, four
Can I have a little more?
five, six, seven eight nine ten I love you.

A, B, C, D
Can I bring my friend to tea?
E, F, G H I J I love you.

Sail the ship, Jump the tree
Skip the rope, Look at me

All together now....

Black, white, green, red
Can I take my friend to bed?
Pink, brown, yellow orange blue I love you

All together now....

Sail the ship, Jump the tree
Skip the rope, Look at me

All together now....

The Deborah Howell "Maryland Moment" just continues to grow and draw other WaPo reporters and editors down into the soup. Yesterday Presstitute Jim VandeHei wandered in, in a Post Daily Politics online chat when he answered this straightforward question with a typical "it's a bipartisan scandal" answer:

Arlington, Va.: It's a shame that The Post had to shut down it's Abramoff blog due to the obscene comments. But this all got kicked off because of Deborah Howell's lie in her Sunday ombudsman column, accusing the Democrats of taking money from Jack Abramoff. And in the last election cycle, Democrats got less money from Indian tribes then in the past, so even Howell saying that Abramoff "directed" the tribes to give money to Democrats is false. When will The Post issue a retraction of the Sunday column by Howell?

Jim VandeHei: I anticipate a lot of traffic on this issue, so I will address it at the top. As a bit of background, Deborah Howell, our ombudsman, wrote that Democrats got Abramoff money, too. It was a somewhat inartful way of making the point that Abramoff's clients, at his direction, gave money to members of both parties, but more to Republicans than Democrats. Abramoff himself gave exclusively to Republicans. It is a fact Abramoff is a Republican who did more for Republicans than Democrats. It is also a fact he directed money to Democrats, sought help from Democrats and worked with some Democrats on behalf of his clients.

There's no evidence of that, but no bother from our Jim.

Ok, so Jim is a pathetic excuse for a reporter, so we expect this of him, no?

So now enter stage right Post Executive Editor Jim Brady. A high mucky-muck in Postdom, from his title. He's the guy who shut down comments on the on Thursday, because of all the "personal attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech." (or because of all the criticism; who knows?)

So yesterday, when Jim Brady went looking for an outlet to vent his frustration with the criticism of the Post, where did he go? He is interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, an interview posted here on Radioblogger. Hugh Hewitt? A right-winger from day one.

And Brady and Hewitt say a bunch of crap, better catalogued than I could ever do it, here, by Atrios, firedoglake, steve gilliard, armando at dailykos, and others. Basically he repeats the lie that this is a bipartisan scandal. And rips those of us for ripping Howell, the WaPo, and him.

To which I say to Mr. Brady, Meet Eugene Robinson. Introduce him to Deborah Howell. There is an objective truth to be told here. You just don't get it. Yet.

But that's not the object of this post. Everyone who criticized Brady for doing this interview caterwauled on Hugh Hewitt. And I thought, who is this guy? I really don't know anything about him. On to google, where I find the following astonishing fact, in Michael Hiltzik's LATimes blog about the press:

Of course, Hewitt is the guy who as director of the Nixon Library in 1990 proposed to subject researchers to ideological and partisan screening before allowing them access. Shows how committed he is to open discourse and fair debate, doesn’t it? Provides a clue to his character, doesn't it? Also shows how threadbare is the condition of press criticism out there on the loony right, doesn't it?

And apparently Hewitt was pissed that Hiltzik wrote this,and challenged him to the online equivalent of a duel, so Hiltzik compiled the contemporaneous newspaper accounts of Hewitt's 1990 statement, which included this:

LAT (original article)
8 July 1990

And in a sharp departure from the practice at the eight presidential libraries that are run by the National Archives, scholars and researchers will be evaluated before they are admitted to-or turned away from-the library portion of the facility. Hewitt told The Times that researchers will "obviously, certainly" be screened on the basis of the content and slant of their contemplated work.

"I don't think we'd ever open the doors to Bob Woodward. He's not a responsible journalist," Hewitt said, referring to the Washington Post reporter who teamed with colleague Carl Bernstein to produce Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Watergate scandal. Hewitt said his judgment was based solely on the 1976 book, "The Final Days," in which Woodward and Bernstein wrote of the last months of Nixon's Administration. Hewitt said the book was "unsourced gossip."

This is the guy Washington Post Executive Editor Jim Brady goes to discuss the Maryland Moment? This is the responsible media outlet he turns to? I wonder how Bob Woodward feels about it. Not that I'm defending Bob Woodward's current incarnation (you could have told us you talked to Libby about Plame, Bob), but still. He's still at the WaPo, isn't he? Isn't this like going to your enemies for aid and comfort?

So, in summary, yesterday, Jim Brady, Executive Editor of the Washington Post, was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, a man who once tried to ban the Washington Post's Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Bob Woodward from the Nixon Library for, among other things, accusations of writing unsourced gossip, and they discussed liberal criticism of the Washington Post for publishing actually unsourced "facts" which turn out to be: false.

All together now! The past is forgiven. Let us all join in the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Journalism is dead. Long live the corporate media.

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