I Hear and Obey
The Keening of the Shrill

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?

Matthew Yglesias thinks he has a dilemma:

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall May 26, 2006 08:55 PM: As a relatively junior member of our fair nation's punditocracy, I face these little dilemmas in life. Jacob Weisberg is the editor of Slate. I see myself as the kind of guy who might write for Slate. Do I point out that he's being ridiculous here? I think that I do, but how's that going to work out for me in the long-run?... For the record... I have Rolling Stones songs and Beatles songs, which Weisberg appears to believe could not possibly represent anyone's authentic tastes.

If I were Matt, I wouldn't worry. Consider this:

Eric Boehlert reports on Slate:

The Blog | Eric Boehlert: Why Is The Press (Still) Unfair To Al Gore? | The Huffington Post: one Gore put-down in particular this week caught my eye.... Slate's John Dickerson reminisced about how Gore "struggled to beat a weak Bill Bradley in the 2000 Democratic primaries." Really?... did Gore really "struggle" putting away primary contender Bradley at the ballot box?... Gore won every primary contest against Bradley in 2000, and did it by an average of +47. Gore threw a shut-out in what was one of the most lopsided routs in recent primary history as Bradley, despite spending $40 million, was only competitive in a handful of New England states.

But now Slate, which fawned over Bradley in real time, casually re-writes history to suggest Gore "struggled" against Bradley. That's pure fiction, as well as lazy and dishonest...

I like Bill Bradley. I thought Bill Bradley would have made a better president than Al Gore. I appeared in front of the camera with Bill Bradley and Barbara Boxer at one primary campaign event. And even I know that Al Gore rolled over Bill Bradley in the 2000 Democratic primaries.

In the long run, Weisberg needs Yglesias a lot more than Yglesias needs Weisberg.


UPDATE: The Poor Man explains what Slate's big problem is:

Poor Man: Easterbrook clips 5 words from page 2 of this report as evidence that the [National Academy of Sciences] was cautioning against making any policy decisions [on global warming]. Seventy pages later, in a chapter titled "Recommendations", you find this: "Despite the great uncertainties, greenhouse warming is a potential threat sufficient to justify action now." Ten pages of immediate policy recommendations follow. Again, this report came out 15 years ago.

The fundamental point is not that Gregg Easterbrook is not an authority on climate science.... Nor is it that, due to personal dishonesty or lack of interest, he doesn't seem capable of absorbing not-at-all subtle points from minimally-technical overview documents put together - at great effort - by committees of actual world-class authorities, aimed directly at people who - like Easterbrook - who are interested in environmental policy. Nor is it that Easterbrook has a lot of poorly-concealed resentment directed at scientists and science.... Most people aren't authorities on climate science, or on much of anything, but that't not some horrible moral failing. Most people don't want to read all the way to chapter 9 of some assiduously dry science policy document; and, let't face it, most people are full of weird ideas about shit they don't know anything about. I know I am.

The problem is that - for reasons I can't begin to understand - Easterbrook is sitting in the chair that should be occupied by someone who knows what the hell they are talking about...

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