The Ref's done been worked. And Busy, Busy, Busy is really shrill:
Busy, Busy, Busy: Shorter Deborah Howell: The Post and the Whole Picture in Iraq: "We're doing our best to publish all the good news we can find in Iraq but Christ, you know it ain't easy."
Plus: The way things are going, they're gonna crucify me.
Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell is pained - pained! - by a letter from a reader who claims to believe that Washington Post journalists are allied with the "terrorists":
One critic of the coverage is John Dowd, a Washington lawyer: "I can't subscribe to your newspaper anymore because you have lost all sense of balance and perspective in your coverage of the war in Iraq and against the terrorists. It is clear to those of us who have our sons and daughters who are in harm's way that you support the terrorists and you are opposed to the efforts of our Marines, all who are sacrificing so that you are free to publish without interference."
Dowd's son Dan is a Marine captain, just back from his second tour as a helicopter pilot in Iraq. Dowd sees his son and other U.S. and Iraqi soldiers "as the most selfless people I've known in my life." I found his letter haunting; it pains me that he would think Post journalists support terrorists.
Think about that.
A reader accuses Washington Post journalists of siding with Goldstein - er, terrorists - and Deborah Howell doesn't think, "this man is either demented or trying to manipulate me. She doesn't crumple up and toss the letter and she doesn't add it to her loony folder, already overflowing with missives from crazed liberals. She does not take offense at the slur on her colleagues. Quite the opposite.
She takes the complaint seriously.
Think about that again.
Seriously: should Deborah Howell be taken seriously?