September 25, 2012
Posted by David Karpf
I grew up reading the Washington Post. It’s still my go-to paper. But my god has it gotten embarrassing.
Take a look at the latest “fact check” post by Glenn Kessler. Washington Post opinion columnist Marc Thiessen commissioned a study by his business partners at the conservative Government Accountability Institute. They then made up the statistic for him that President Obama has “skipped half of his intelligence briefings.” Thiessen put it in his column, failing to disclose the relationship. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads SuperPAC then featured this in their newest ad, citing “Marc Thiessen, Washington Post” as a third-party validator of the “fact.”
Kessler the fact-checker looks into the claim and finds no evidence for it — it’s based on the number of days that Obama, after reading his daily briefing, asks for an in-person follow-up. There are no “skipped meetings.” Nonetheless, Thiessen gets to respond with his own bogus messaging on the Washington Post‘s opinion pages, likely spurring the right wing message machine further.
We shouldn’t be surprised at Thiessen for acting this way. He’s acting like a savvy political operative, because that’s what he is.
But it raises an important question: what the hell does a conservative writer have to do to get fired by the Post? The Washington Post is a willing pawn in this game, and all because it’s terrified of being labeled the “liberal media.”
(Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin takes to their pages with Romney talking points, screaming that “the story is nowhere to be found in the mainstream media.” Question for Rubin: where do you think you are right now?)
This is why we can’t have nice things anymore.