WaPo editor: If we’re so liberal, how come the nutroots sends us hate mail?

posted at 5:25 pm on February 22, 2007 by Allahpundit

The last time I heard this chestnut was during the White House correspondents dinner, shortly before Colbert took the stage. The president of the correspondents association tossed it out there in introducing Bush; about 30 minutes later, as if to prove his point, Colby got up and tore them to pieces for being lapdogs or poodles or whatever dreary canine pejorative is currently in vogue. And, as Ace says, they loved him for it. The more heat they get from the left, the more license they have to tack left until their hate mail is back in equilibrium and their objectivity thereby restored. They’re like bookies setting the line: only when the same amount of money’s coming in for each team do they know they’ve set it right.

Except that to judge how fair you’re doing based on hate mail is stupid. For one thing, we probably get as much critical e-mail from righties as lefties because (a) our audience is composed overwhelmingly of conservatives and (b) they’re more likely to care what we think than liberals are. One doesn’t complain to someone unless one’s invested in them. For another thing, given what WaPo and every other newspaper in the country has been covering for the past six years, does their editor really not understand the dynamics of puritanical ideologies? Hey, Len? They hate you for the same reason any extremist hates any moderate: you’ve got the right idea, you just haven’t got enough of it.

He knows all that, but he’s got a bias charge to parry. So, here you go:

Q. Every person we speak with who would identify themselves as a conservative journalist says: “Bias? If you think we’re biased, look at The Washington Post, that liberal newspaper.”

All I can say is that people just need to read us and then decide whether we’re liberal or not. We’re an independent newspaper. We have a strict separation, between the editorial page — which, last I heard, is a supporter, for instance, of the Iraq war and considered by many liberals to be rather conservative — and our news gathering.

In our news gathering, we seek to be strictly nonpartisan and nonideological. We’re human beings, we make mistakes, but we do not set out to be, nor do I think we are, liberal. And judging from my e-mail traffic in recent years, the left is much more critical, and much more angrily critical, of our coverage than the right has been.

They should probably tilt left a bit and even things out, huh? Meanwhile, it seems there’s a witch hunt going on for patriots whose dissent happens to take the form of violating federal law by breaking their confidentiality agreements with the government and spilling state secrets to the Post. Apparently the FBI is conducting it under the rubric of, um, enforcing federal law.

Q. In my 37 years in the business, I don’t remember anything like this going on before. … There’s apparently a couple of squads of FBI agents at the Washington field office; that’s all they’re doing, looking for leaks.

Right. I can’t remember a precedent for this either…

Q. Today I talked with a source of mine, who said he just got polygraphed.

Yeah, that’s going on all around town. There’re investigations of sources going on all around town, and it’s very, very worrying. It’s not good. It’s not good for the free flow of information to the public, and it’s not good to criminalize sources and reporters who are merely engaged in trying to keep the American public properly informed.

Exit question: If the feds can get away with this, what else can they get away with? What’s next — deporting illegal immigrants?


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Exit question: If the feds can get away with this, what else can they get away with? What’s next, deporting pundits illegal immigrants?

Entelechy on February 22, 2007 at 5:32 PM

If we’re so liberal, how come the nutroots sends us hate mail?

So? You’re too liberal for about 50% of the population, and not liberal enough for 2% of it.

flipflop on February 22, 2007 at 5:32 PM

flipflop, please don’t question the timing :)

Entelechy on February 22, 2007 at 5:32 PM

Simple answer: The nutroots are working the refs.

Ali-Bubba on February 22, 2007 at 5:36 PM

It’s not good. It’s not good for the free flow of information to the public, and it’s not good to criminalize sources and reporters who are merely always engaged in trying to keep the American public properly informed mesmerized by their non-stop biased reporting.

There, fixed it.

fogw on February 22, 2007 at 5:38 PM

A liberal sending hate mail is a natural as you or I taking a breath. One doesn’t give it much thought.

Pam on February 22, 2007 at 5:38 PM

It’s like trying to pacify a spoiled brat by giving it whatever it wants- the wants and temper tantrums will escalate asymptotically.

You can never win with the hard-core leftists.

NTWR on February 22, 2007 at 5:46 PM

The more heat they get from the left, the more license they have to tack left until their hate mail is back in equilibrium and their objectivity thereby restored.

That’s how I decide how much time to spend drinking at the bar. I tack until I get as the same number of complaints from my buddies as I do from my boss.

pedestrian on February 22, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Simple answer: The nutroots are working the refs.
Ali-Bubba on February 22, 2007 at 5:36 PM

That was my thought, and hate, via email, is what they do.

shooter on February 22, 2007 at 5:57 PM

dreary canine pejorative

AP, I do enjoy your wordsmithing.

mikeyboss on February 22, 2007 at 5:58 PM

This is all part of the Enemedia’s pathetic attempt to try and act as if they’re not “liberal.”
Obviously, the nutroots like the KosKiddies and CodePink send them hatemail because as Left as the MSM is, they still aren’t out and out Marxists.
“We must be conservative, we get hatemail from the Loony Left!”
Yeah, right…Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

Jen the Neocon on February 22, 2007 at 6:35 PM

It’s not good. It’s not good for the free flow of information to the public, and it’s not good to criminalize sources and reporters who are merely engaged in trying to keep the American public properly informed.

I wonder if they would feel that way if private information (classified, in Govspeak), like the credit histories of the WaPo editors, were publicly disseminated? After all, doesn’t the public have a right to know about the financial security of the WaPo’s editors?

I mean, how can the public trust the WaPo’s editors if they owe so much money that they could be approached by a foreign government and paid thousands of dollars to release sensitive documents in the press? That is a very real possibility, you know. Shouldn’t the public be informed of any possible risk? Shouldn’t the WaPo’s editors allay any concern by releasing their credit history to the public? Some how I doubt that the editors would agree.

RedinBlueCounty on February 22, 2007 at 6:37 PM

The answer is in Bernsteins book “Bias”.

The liberal press does not think it is liberal, they think they are in the mainstream. It is not a conscience effort for them to be liberal, they just are. Therefore average or normal to them is themselves.
If all you saw around is you is one armed people, two arms would seem abnormal. On the other hand…

right2bright on February 22, 2007 at 6:38 PM

And judging from my e-mail traffic in recent years, the left is much more critical, and much more angrily critical, of our coverage than the right has been.

The Right tuned you out long ago. Have you noticed your dwindling subscriptions?

cmay on February 22, 2007 at 6:39 PM

I want to know exactly, with specificity what the WaPo’s hate mail looks like. Then we can compare that to Michelle Malkins’ and Hot Air. Or reverse that, let’s screen shot the “writers” and comments page of, say, DailyKos, MyDD etc., and use that as comparison. Hate mail? Pleeeeze…they don’t know what “hate” mail looks like. They want a Pity Party but it is not going to work.

sharinlite on February 22, 2007 at 6:41 PM

If all you saw around is you is one armed people, two arms would seem abnormal. On the other hand…

right2bright on February 22, 2007 at 6:38 PM

hee hee :^)

mikeyboss on February 22, 2007 at 6:41 PM

the left is much more critical, and much more angrily critical, of our coverage than the right has been.

I believe Michelle covered this topic and the left’s predilection for overreaction in her book “Unhinged.” Just because the Post is right of the moonbats, doesn’t mean it is anywhere near the center. There is lots of distance between the fringe and the middle.

Mallard T. Drake on February 22, 2007 at 7:20 PM

I hope they have FBI agents at the LA Times, you know the paper that is leaking real information about real undercover CIA operatives putting not only them but their families at danger. Have the press just declared openly war against anything and anyone dedicated to providing security for America?

LakeRuins on February 22, 2007 at 7:43 PM

The answer is in Bernsteins Goldberg’s book “Bias”.

Entelechy on February 22, 2007 at 8:12 PM

nice post, Allah: Just because something is Obvious doesn’t mean it’s not important. As this is, as you noted, one of the MSM primary defenses for many years, it needs to be knocked down over and over again, whenever it Rears Its Ugly Head

Entelechy, hallo kedves

Janos Hunyadi on February 22, 2007 at 8:15 PM

I love the WaPo’s argument: We’re not liberal because the Crazies send hate mail to us!

Hay, WaPo, the Crazies send hate mail to EVERYONE, even each other!

RedinBlueCounty on February 22, 2007 at 8:16 PM

The nutroots are so screwed up they send hate mail to their mothers.

Griz on February 22, 2007 at 8:42 PM

It’s because people on the left are more prone to irrational emotional anger…why require them to think things out (*scoff scoff scoff*).

StoutRepublican on February 22, 2007 at 8:52 PM

I can tell that the WaPo is liberal just by reading their headlines/titles. Not to talk about reading the articles. No need to analyze their hatemail on my part.

Unrelated – HA please indulge the sidekick –

Janos, this is the best Hungarian Cooking book one can find here, in addition to George Lang’s. Check it out :) Regards,

Entelechy on February 22, 2007 at 8:52 PM

how come the nutroots sends us hate mail?

Angry liberal people say angry liberal things.

Kini on February 22, 2007 at 8:58 PM

If we’re so liberal, how come the nutroots sends us hate mail?

answered here…
VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j5R-q43DVo

jummy on February 22, 2007 at 9:16 PM

Kini, your dog looks more presidential than Mr. Haughty, especially in the picture right above him. Regards and rain,

Entelechy on February 22, 2007 at 9:17 PM

For one thing, we probably get as much critical e-mail from righties as lefties because (a) our audience is composed overwhelmingly of conservatives and (b) they’re more likely to care what we think than liberals are.

I leave critical comments because (c) you’re stupid. Just kidding. You’re right; we chasten whom we love–sweetheart.

Kralizec on February 22, 2007 at 9:22 PM

This is similar to that idiot Neal Gabler thinking that the media is conservatively biased, simply because they aren’t liberal enough to suit him. Just like the nutroots, he’d think anybody to the right of Trotsky was a conservative. But I wouldn’t be surprised if, in their own tiny warped minds, they don’t think of themselves as “moderate”.

Slightly off-topic, ever notice how many liberals don’t want to be identified as liberals (usually because they know it’s a 4-letter word), but conservatives are almost always proud to be called conservatives?

ReubenJCogburn on February 22, 2007 at 9:24 PM

…Looking up the DNS from the hate mail…

“mail.nytimes.com, What the?!”

- The Cat

MirCat on February 22, 2007 at 9:50 PM

THOMAS B. EDSALL was a senior political reporter for the Washington Post. He was with the paper for 25 years.

Here he is in a September 21, 2006 radio interview:

EDSALL: I agree that whatever you want to call it, mainstream media, presents itself as unbiased, when in fact, there are built into it many biases, and they are overwhelmingly to the left.

Here’s another:

(Radio host) HUGH HEWITT: [Jim Vandehei of the Washington Post] probably is a Republican. But given that number of reporters out there, is it ten to one Democrat to Republican? Twenty to one Democrat to Republican?

EDSALL: It’s probably in the range of 15-25:1 Democrat.

Source: NewsBusters, 9/25/06

Any questions?

DPierre on February 22, 2007 at 9:53 PM

Yeah, that’s going on all around town. There’re investigations of sources going on all around town, and it’s very, very worrying. It’s not good. It’s not good for the free flow of information to the public, and it’s not good to criminalize sources and reporters who are merely engaged in trying to keep the American public properly informed.

Maybe some large portion of the American public wants elected, public officials to be properly informed as to the sources of leaks. It’s so funny that this tool wants to restrict the free flow of information, in the service of an unrestricted right to make information flow. G*d, what a fvck1ng tool. “We will take your informers, b1tch, and we will make them do for us what they do for you.”

Moreover: While decent men conduct lawful investigations, men like me seethe with murderous wishes. The sources and reporters are alive by the calculation of each of us, calculation of our good and of the country’s common advantage in the maintenance of the laws. They should thank some god for my malice, because it’s surely not for love of them that I remind them what awaits them if they destroy the laws with their highminded lawlessness.

Kralizec on February 22, 2007 at 10:12 PM

The reason that the left wing nutroots sends the Washington Post hate mail is that the left wing nutroots are really very, very nuts. That does not change the fact that the Washington Post is a very partisan left wing Democrat publication.

Phil Byler on February 22, 2007 at 10:14 PM

Exit question: If the feds can get away with this, what else can they get away with? What’s next — deporting illegal immigrants?

That and finding out what ever happened to Jamie Garilick and the “Abel Danger” investigation………. (gone from the face of the planet!)

“Nothing to see here folks, it’s just Sandy Burglar, stuffing National Security documents in his pants, then destroying them, go about your business, nothing to see, Don’t worry, the MSM Press will not bother you with details, just listen to your traffic reports, Brittany Spears, …….. and watch the Anna Nichole Smith verdict……”

PinkyBigglesworth on February 22, 2007 at 10:25 PM

And the Bolsheviks had a gripe with Trotsky — what’s their point?

Perchant on February 22, 2007 at 10:41 PM

In our news gathering, we seek to be strictly nonpartisan and nonideological.

Washington Post.

George Allen was unavailable for comment.

billy on February 22, 2007 at 11:16 PM

the left is much more critical, and much more angrily critical, of our coverage than the right has been.

Michael Steele, also unavailable for comment.

billy on February 22, 2007 at 11:18 PM

We should place canaries in the newsrooms and when those canaries fall dead to the floor of their cages we should close that paper down. Or… at least replace the editor.

;)

Griz on February 23, 2007 at 12:03 AM

Oldest trick in the book – do you really think that all of these letters to the WAPO are real?? All papers do this! Puleese

iam7545 on February 23, 2007 at 12:50 AM

Hey, Len? They hate you for the same reason any extremist hates any moderate: you’ve got the right idea, you just haven’t got enough of it.

When you walk in the middle of the road, you get run over.

You won’t find a book in the Library of Congress titled “Great Moderate Leaders In History.”

Vinnie on February 23, 2007 at 1:50 AM

Slightly off-topic, ever notice how many liberals don’t want to be identified as liberals (usually because they know it’s a 4-letter word), but conservatives are almost always proud to be called conservatives?

ReubenJCogburn on February 22, 2007 at 9:24 PM

I remember Bush 41 talking about the dreaded “L word”, and the liberals going off the deep end.

Shortly after, they began referring to themselves as “progressives”, as if a pig by another name….

91Veteran on February 23, 2007 at 2:15 AM

“Nothing to see here folks, it’s just Sandy Burglar, stuffing National Security documents in his pants, then destroying them, go about your business, nothing to see, Don’t worry, the MSM Press will not bother you with details, just listen to your traffic reports, Brittany Spears, …….. and watch the Anna Nichole Smith verdict……”

PinkyBigglesworth on February 22, 2007 at 10:25 PM

WHAT?? No American Idol? Tell me they didn’t cancel it!

Jaime must have been on Idol last year huh?

91Veteran on February 23, 2007 at 2:22 AM

Seething hatred is a cornerstone of the liberal philosophy, it’s perfectly natural for them to send such mail to anybody.

JackM on February 23, 2007 at 8:37 AM

I’m glad they are polygraphing fed workers to check for leaks. I hope the next administration, whatever party wins, does even more. From an internal point of view, I believe the petty, self-promoting leakers have done even more harm than political opposition to the president on domestic and foreign policy, in part because reporters seem to be willing to print anything they get on a “not for attribution” or “confidential” basis without checking to see if it is even half true.

My advice to the next president stands. FIRE EVERYONE! Federal executives seem to think they, not the electorate should decide things.

doufree on February 23, 2007 at 8:38 AM

I remember Bush 41 talking about the dreaded “L word”, and the liberals going off the deep end.

Shortly after, they began referring to themselves as “progressives”, as if a pig by another name….

91Veteran on February 23, 2007 at 2:15 AM

This is one of the funniest things about the word “liberal”. People who are liberal and hate the word “liberal” don’t seem to realize the relationship between the word and the negative connotation. Democrats aren’t cast in the negative for being associated with “liberal”… the word “liberal” got its connotation because of it’s association with Democrats.

Lehosh on February 23, 2007 at 8:42 AM

Entelechy on February 22, 2007 at 8:12 PM

Thank you, Bernie Goldberg’s book. Too many Bernsteins Bear books in my life.

right2bright on February 23, 2007 at 9:42 AM

No matter how to the Left you go, there’s always going to be someone to the Left of you.

Kevin R on February 23, 2007 at 1:09 PM

To the hardcore nutroots (no, not the ACLU guy), I suspect Karl Marx is a conservative.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on February 23, 2007 at 10:46 PM