Matthew Yglesias on the hissy-fit the policy substance-free "opinions on shape of earth differ" journamalists of the Stenographer faction are pulling. It seems it was unfair for Barack Hussein Obama at his press conference to have asked an Aggregator, Nico Pitney (who has been doing a wonderful job on covering Iran via new and social media), to give him a question from Iran:
Matthew Yglesias: Pitney vs Millbank: I actually ran into Nico Pitney, destroyer of journalism, last night at a party. Neither of us seem to be on the Georgetown cocktail party circuit, but we’re both on the Green Line accessible beer ‘n Beam circuit. To me, it just brought home the extent to which this controversy is driven by status anxiety. It’s a convention that White House Correspondent for an Important Media Outlet is a highly prestigious and incredibly important job. The idea that a more interesting question might come from a young guy who writes for some website and has been aggregating news out of Iran would upend the whole thing. The case against Nico might make some sense if you could say he lobbed Obama a softball or asked about some pointless trivia. But that’s not the case, so…
Scene: Washington DC: A TV Studio: Enter two journamalists of the faction of the Stenographers, armed with notebooks and fountain pens...
Dana Milbank: A dog of the house of the Aggregators moves me.
Howard Kurtz: To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand: therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.
Dana Milbank: A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid who is an Aggregator.
Howard Kurtz: That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.
Dana Milbank: True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push the Aggregator men from the wall, and thrust the maids to the wall.
Howard Kurtz: The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
Dana Milbank: 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids, and cut off their heads.
Howard Kurtz: The heads of the maids?
Dana Milbank: Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt.
Howard Kurtz: They must take it in sense that feel it.
Dana Milbank: Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and 'tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
Howard Kurtz: 'Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool! here comes two of the house of the Aggregators...
As to what followed, Amanda Terkel reports:
Think Progress: The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank calls Nico Pitney a ‘dick’ after heated debate on CNN.: By Amanda Terkel at 3:04 pm The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank calls Nico Pitney a ‘dick’ after heated debate on CNN. Last week, the Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney (who is also a former member of ThinkProgress) found himself in the center of controversy after President Obama called on him at a press conference. One of the harshest pieces came from the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who called Pitney a “planted questioner.” Today the two faced off on Howie Kurtz’s “Reliable Sources” segment on CNN. Pitney called some of Milbank’s past reporting “pathetic,” and Milbank claimed that Nico had “worked in collusion with an administration.” Watch it:
The discussion was evidently so heated that Milbank called him a “dick” at the end of the segment, as Pitney writes on Huffington Post:
The only thing that surprised me was when Dana turned to me after our initial sparring and called me a “dick” in a whispered tone (the specific phrase was, I believe, “You’re such a dick”). Howie Kurtz wrote on Twitter that he didn’t hear it, which is understandable — he was doing the lead-in for the next part of the segment on the ABC White House special. But it happened (I urge Howie to watch the video of the panel during the ABC intro) and it was frankly pretty odd.
Dickgate: Now comes the after-action report from Ana Marie Cox:
Sources say that at the end of the Dana/Nico segment, Dana says, "You're such a dick." Wishful thinking? Can anyone confirm?
Howie Kurtz whose bread is buttered by the WaPo is all, nuh-uh:
Dana Milbank did not call Nico Pitney a dick or anything else after their Reliable debate, @anamariecox. It was civil. I was there.
Ana Marie is all, yuh-huh:
@HowardKurtz Nico stands by the quote. Obviously, you both were there.
Howie backs off:
Well, maybe it got heated betw Pitney and Milbank after they left the set. I DID suggest (jokingly) that they take it outside...