Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?
Tom Ridge Is One of Us

Hoisted from Comments: Billmon Calls for Fire and Sword

Apropos of "Robert Waldmann Politely Says He Thinks I Have Got the Carrot/Stick Balance Wrong....", Billmon of the Whiskey Bar at http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/08/robert_waldmann.html#comment-20904230 announces that he isn't interested in using carrots and sticks on the Washington Post, he is interested in using fire and sword:

Tom Ricks: "I asked one officer, 'Why are you talking to me about these things?' And he looked down at his hands, and he said, 'Because I have the blood of American troops on my hands.'"

Ricks, and his newspaper, do too -- only they won't admit it.

"The Brad and Billmon approach has been to remind the reformed of their past misdeads. This does not creat useful incentives"

Speaking only for myself, I'm not out to create incentives. I'm out to expose these people for the fools and shills they really are. And the fact that Ricks has now written a book admitting his 2003 and early 2004 reporting was almost completely wrong definitely is hardly proof to the contrary. Sixty percent of the American people already KNOW the war is a fiasco, and you don't get brownie points for wanting to be on the side that's winning.

I don't want to reform Ricks and the Post. I want to discredit them, to the extent that a puny blogger can. If I could I would destroy them --fire the entire staff, break up the presses and sell them for scrap. It would be putting them to much better use.

Like the New York Times, the Post is now simply a house organ of the War Party (lady's auxiliary.) Why would I want to "incentivize" that?

Now, now, the Washington Post still has a few reporters who are good as individuals. The New York Times still has many reporters who are good as individuals. And Gail Collins--in an impressive ceremony at the Dog Days Fetid-Pond Summer Fete at Miskatonic University--was recently inducted into the Ancient and Hermetic Order of the Shrill.

There is always hope:

  1. We pray daily for the conversion to shrillness, fairness, and reality based-ness of Michael Barone, whose latest is to say that the Democrats are not Jews but are every bit as bad as the anti-semites used to say that Jews were: "the Connecticut primary reveals that the center of gravity in the Democratic Party has moved from the lunch-bucket working class... to the secular transnational professional class".
  2. We pray daily for the conversion to shrillness, fairness, and reality based-ness of Joe Lieberman, whose latest is to play the race card by saying that America's big problem is that Maxine Waters--begging as she does for crumbs for the people she represents, among the poorest and living in the most troubled neighborhoods in America--is too powerful: "I am committed to this campaign, to a different kind of politics, to bringing the Democratic Party back from Ned Lamont, Maxine Waters to the mainstream".
  3. We pray daily for the conversion to shrillness, fairness, and reality based-ness of Fred Hiatt, who endorses Joe Lieberman as "by far, the better choice for the people of Connecticut... the best outcome for the state, the country, and, yes, even the Democratic Party.". Why does Hiatt think this? You may well ask. Because... because... "we recognize the widespread anger over the conduct of the war and wish Mr. Lieberman had done a better job... of articulating his position"--no, that's not it. Because... we wish "he had run a more organized, more tightly disciplined campaign"--no, that's not it. Becasuse... because "Mr. Bush has governed too often in a partisan way [and so] many Democratic voters concluded that anyone who reached across the aisle in an effort to cooperate must be a sap"--no, that's not it. Because... "Mr. Lieberman's brand of centrism and bipartisanship is a needed salve for a divided country"--that must be it!