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Eric Rauchway's Alternative to the DSGE Tradition

The Economist: The Washington Post Sets Itself on Fire

His bosses at the Washington Post were shocked, shocked to learn that David Weigel was not a "conservative"--never mind that he was Ron Paul-supporting and Bob-Barr volunteering--and so decided that he was not fit to cover the conservative movement for them.

So Marcus Brauchli, Raju Narisetti, and company set themselves and their paper on fire.

Democracy in America watches, horrified:

Weigelgate: The Washington Post sets itself on fire | The Economist: IT'S a bit late to say anything likely to have an impact about the Washington Post's decision to fire Dave Weigel last week.... I find the notion that he is a "liberal" (as Politico's Ben Smith and the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg put it) to be incomprehensible, unless one defines that label to encompass everyone who is not a movement conservative. Mr Weigel is a non-doctrinaire libertarian and, as Mr Tomasky puts it, an anti-denialist. Much of his reporting on the conservative and tea-party movements is strictly the facts, ma'am, but he also thinks (quite rightly) that some of the people involved in contemporary American politics and political media are demagogues or fools, and in his more opinionated writing he doesn't hesitate to say so....

But even if Mr Weigel had voted for Dennis Kucinich, what would it matter? Are liberals incapable of reporting on conservatives? Are conservatives incapable of reporting on liberals? Are libertarians incapable of reporting on anyone besides Ron Paul? By asking Mr Weigel to resign, the Post is reverting to a discredited model of political media.... [R]eaders, unable to figure out what the journalists are trying to say, gradually turn to more honest blogs instead.

Furthermore, the paper has failed to defend an employee targeted by a politically motivated smear campaign. It's bad enough for Republican politicians to be forced to repent for making disparaging comments about Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh; if reporters are to be held to the same ignoble standard, we're in trouble. I would hesitate before going to work for an employer who would consider firing me over political quips I'd made in emails and tweets before I was hired....

The Nation's Max Blumenthal becomes the focus of jeering scrums when he shows up at conservative gatherings, and... well, actually I'm not aware of any conservative writers who encounter difficulties at liberal gatherings. But perhaps there are some. In any case, it's very hard for reporters at ideologically liberal outfits to do what Dave Weigel does so well: to cover conservatives and the tea-party movement without, yourself, being a conservative. And that's what makes the Post's failure to defend Mr Weigel so disappointing...

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