Patterico's Pontifications

5/19/2004

Newsweek Columnist Jonathan Alter: Bushies Are “Clowns”

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 9:04 pm

In a fascinating post, Kevin Drum writes that Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter appeared on Al Franken’s radio show this morning and called the Bush Administration a bunch of “clowns.”

Here are Alter’s money quotes:

The level of incompetence is so staggering here, and yet there’s this gap between how astonishingly incompetent and we can go over particulars in the last year if you want to how astonishingly incompetent they’ve been and the perception is still of them as solid citizens.

The only way you can sort of start to let the public know is to say, no, they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re clowns.

What makes this interesting is that, while Alter doesn’t pretend to be conservative, he apparently never says anything remotely like this in Newsweek. As Kevin notes in a comment to his own post, this fact gives both conservatives and liberals reason to be unhappy:

And here’s a fun fact: conservatives can complain about Alter because, you know, he’s obviously a stone Bush hater and just pretends otherwise in print. Damn liberal media. [You got that right. More about this below. -- Patterico.] Liberals can complain for the same reason I did. So everyone is unhappy! Congratulations!

Drum is right. For many of us, this validates what we think of media types like Alter: they pretend to be sober, restrained, and sometimes even “balanced” — but in private they are all shrill partisans. (Strictly speaking, Alter wasn’t in private while on Franken’s show, but he was on Air America, which is close enough. At a minimum, Alter evidently felt comfortable enough to say things that he would never say in Newsweek.) They try to hide this partisanship when they are in public, but they are often not as successful as they think they are.

Liberals can get upset over this, too — as Drum points out. Because liberals can say: if Alter really thinks this, why the hell doesn’t he say so in Newsweek, and get the word out? (Some mistakenly argue that Alter’s failure to do so proves that the media is really not liberal. Nonsense. It proves only that media types are not always completely open about how liberal they are. Nevertheless, they still push their leftist viewpoint in everything they write — and don’t try to tell me that’s not true of Alter.)

Either way, there is a decent argument that Alter is not being entirely straightforward with his readership in his columns. As another commenter pointed out, Alter appears to be playing to the audience, depending on the forum:

[Alter] might be soft-pedaling his Newsweek columns to protect his access, or exaggerating his disdain for Wolfowitz to Franken because he thinks that’s what Franken’s listeners want to hear.

(To be fair to Alter, I think that there are other potential reasons for the difference in tone, besides dissembling. One possibility suggested by some Drum commenters is editorial interference. Another obvious issue, which the commenters hadn’t yet discussed when I last read the thread, is the relative spontaneity of the spoken versus the written word. Even unedited, if you express your thoughts in writing, they are likely to be more reflective and thoughtful than what you say on the radio. However, the opportunity for reflection also provides a greater opportunity for hiding your true feelings — which is harder to do on the radio.)

Advantage: blogs. People have sometimes complained about the occasionally strident tone of my blog entries. (Not often — but it has happened!) But there is one positive benefit to my style of expression: at least you know you’re getting my actual opinion — not some watered-down version of my opinion that I have deemed palatable for my audience, and not my opinion as moderated by some squishy editor.

(Cross-posted at Oh, That Liberal Media.)

UPDATE: Welcome to readers of NRO’s The Corner, and thanks to Tim Graham for the link.

To clarify: I’m not claiming that Alter is unbiased in print. But I haven’t seen him use language this strident in Newsweek. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that — while clearly liberal — he is not completely straightforward with his readers about the fact that he is a shrill, Air America-style name-calling partisan.

I hope readers bookmark the site and visit again. The main page can be found by clicking here.

UPDATE x2: Welcome to Instapundit readers, and thanks to Prof. Reynolds for the link.

UPDATE x3: Alter has responded to Drum’s complaints, here — and corroborates my arguments perfectly:

Alter disputes the notion that he’s too restrained in print. “If I just attacked Bush with a sledgehammer every week in Newsweek it would get pretty predictable, so I vary my pitches,” he says. “But lately I’ve been whacking him pretty good. I haven’t done it that explicitly, but I’ve certainly done it and expect to do it some more.” He acknowledges, however, that different media force journalists to play different roles — and that he takes a different approach in Newsweek than he does on a liberal radio show.

My point exactly. Drum sums up the problem well in his post on Alter’s response: “Not only do you owe it to your readers to say what you really feel, but you also owe it to your critics to let them know the point of view that informs your writing.”

Bingo.

48 Responses to “Newsweek Columnist Jonathan Alter: Bushies Are “Clowns””

  1. You’re correct. Most blogs can be approached with the knowledge of where the writer stands politically, religiously, and socially in many cases, the author states such information.

    This is not the case with major media and, frankly, it’s rather insulting. Their constant attempts to look independent, fair and unbiased show the contempt they have for their audience. A brief look at their record will usually tell you where they stand, but the media would never admit their bent perspective.

    Ryan (8d85a5)

  2. one slip – Alterman in place of Alter. Eric Alterman is even more of a smug jerk than Alter, and tries less to hide his partisan leanings (while still denying there’s a liberal media). I particularly dislike Alter’s appearances on Imus, which should just say “sponsored by the DNC”

    Frank G (78c097)

  3. Yes, I had tacked a “man” onto the name once in the post — fixed. Thanks.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  4. Advantage: blogs.

    Oh, great, just what we need: more blogger self-congratulation. Yes, blogs are wonderful. Yes, you are on the cutting edge of a media revolution. Yes, bloggers tell it like it is. Yes, blogging is going to replace Big Media.

    Dude, I agree with you most of the time, but you really need to get over yourself. You’re just another guy with an opinion. Guess what? You’re not special. We’ve all got opinions. No need to congratulate yourself for having one.

    AK (3b5c2b)

  5. That seems like a bit of an overreaction. I didn’t claim to be special. In fact, I didn’t claim most of what you say. I saw my comment as more defensive than self-congratulatory. I was making the point that, while some find my tone cutting at times, at least you know I’m not trying to hide the extent of my partisanship in order to manipulate my readers with a false veneer of objectivity.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  6. I canceled my 10+ years subscription to Newsweek back in ’99 because I just couldn’t take that jerk’s columns and his silly little “Conventional Wisdom” thing anymore. Too bad, I used to enjoy the quotes and cartoons up front and Samuelson and Will. Now, it’s no better than TIME which is rancidly partisan.

    Reid (d1c4b1)

  7. AK: You completely miss the point about blogs. And I do mean completely.

    Blogs make a difference because in the aggregate they are a true, immediate, and accessible challenge to official media opinion and determinations regarding news choices and facts.

    Paterrico is not self congratulating here. He is showing satisfaction at the best, fastest, and most effective feedback loop/rebuttal system to the major media ever devised.

    Natalie (9d99db)

  8. Now that I agree with. Thanks for making the point well, Natalie.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  9. Doomocratic talking points?
    CNSNews.com) – Republican leaders in the House are demanding an apology from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for calling President Bush “incompetent.”
    http://www.townhall.com/news/politics/200405/POL20040521b.shtml

    jrdroll (958ed7)

  10. “Oh, great, just what we need: more blogger self-congratulation. Yes, blogs are wonderful. Yes, you are on the cutting edge of a media revolution. Yes, bloggers tell it like it is. Yes, blogging is going to replace Big Media.”

    For what it’s worth, my 68 year old father, a lifelong farmer on the Canadian prairies, and computer neophyte, is now reading blogs.

    The local radio talk shows are beginning to use them for discussion starters, too. You see the blog memes working their way into the shows, as well as direct references to individual sites as sources.

    Kate (8e9e77)

  11. Why should liberals complain?

    The most effective use of liberal media bias can be seen in the way the media is currently covering Iraq and the economy for the last year. Pretend to be unbiased and focus only on the facts which hurt Bush. If Alter would be honest in simply declaring his hatred for Bush in Newsweek, he loses his ability to sway the key undecided voter.

    The undecided voter is not swayed by Michael Moore-type rants. He is swayed when he gets his supposedly straight “news”.

    stan (f72ef9)

  12. “focus only on the facts which hurt Bush”

    So right, Stan. That’s the MO. Nothing in life is ever 100% perfect. The key is, are most things and / or the underlying trends good? It strikes me that they are and, all this insane chatter about short term and relatively minor bad things is solely intended to dupe the lazy and unintelligent (and give ammunition to the malevolent).

    Reid (d1c4b1)

  13. Hey, AK, get over yourself. You’re just another dude with an opinion. You know what they say about oopinions, everbody has one. You have one, I have one, Maureen Dowd has one. All the other dudes and personas at NYT, Newsweek, Time, have opinions. Michael Moore has an opinion. What’s the difference? Why can’t Micahel Moore, et al., just get over themselves, go with the flow? And why do I care? Because these dudes, etc., have louder voices, no matter how stinky their opinions. And in the case of NPR, by the way, they steal my money to spread their opinions. The thing about blogs is, you see, those of us with a certain voice now know that there are others out there like us. If we had had blogs in 1968, we Americans would likely not have lost the Vietnam War. We would have been able to recognize Walter Cronkite for the cowardly little pervert that he was (and is), and we would not have let Ted Kennedy and the other KGB useful idiots be responsible for millions of Cambodians. And I don’t think the “mainstream press” would be so dominated by America-hating leftists (that is my humble opinion, you see). Blogs provide a great service., and an unpaid one at that. How much money do Peter Jennings, Michael Moore, etc. get to express their opinions? Would they do it for free?
    AK, you need to get over yourself.

    Heavy Artillery Pilot (85dfad)

  14. Why are we constantly amazed when a “mainstream” media type comes out of the closet and admits their bias? It should be all too obvious from their choice of topics and their general demeanor in public appearances.

    I have to put “mainstraem” in quotes, because the alternative news sources are rapidly becoming the mainstream.

    For the most comprehensive set of links to news, views, politics, and government websites, bookmark All Things Political (heet://www.allthingspolitical.org). For my personal comments on current events, check out my Blog (http://www.allthingspolitical.blogspot.com).

    All Things Political (98f23a)

  15. “For many of us, this validates what we think of media types like Alter: they pretend to be sober, restrained, and sometimes even “balanced” — but in private they are all shrill partisans.”

    So, you mean journalists act professional? How dare they!

    I don’t care if my garbage man worships at the Altar of Nader in his home as long as he doesn’t skip my trash because I think Nader’s a fool. If this guy is balanced in his work who cares what he says in private?

    That said, I think it is UNprofessional for a news-gathering journalists to spout opinions publicly on the things they cover (even in a bromo closet like Air America).

    TimJim (3a943e)

  16. So is Alter saying that the risk to be managed is incompetence, not ideology? That the Administration just isn’t good at getting things done, not that it has wrong ideas?

    Just askin’ …

    Jay Manifold (696e8a)

  17. Regarding Eric Alterman – the reason he does not see a liberal bias in the news is that he is so far to the left that Castro has a conservative bias to him. His examples of conservative bias mainly involve lapses in reporting stories that seem important to him.

    Mark (f95e6c)

  18. Hey Heavy Arty Pilot,
    What ever you can say about Walter Cronkite is that he was NOT a coward. The man JUMPED (as in with a parachute, out of a C-47 aircraft)during Operation Market-Garden in Sept 1944 and spent several days behind the lines with 30,000 other allied paratroopers. That was Monty’s failed attempt to cross the Rhine and end the war by Xmas 1944. So don’t ever call the man a coward…now, I don’t agree with Walt’s politics, but I cannot countenance calling a man names when they don’t apply…

    Rich Vail (4ad5b8)

  19. People still read Newsweek?

    Man, I have GOT to get out more.

    Kim du Toit (05f5f1)

  20. Actually, Mark, lapses in reporting stories is one of the main features of media bias from any perspective. Its not so much what you say, as what stories you choose to report and not report.

    Alterman’s biggest problem in demonstrating conservative media bias is that he constantly goes after pundits for being ideological (as if that isn’t their job). When it comes to showing systematic conservative bias in how news reporting is done, well, the examples get pretty thin.

    R C Dean (3a33c4)

  21. You People ™ fascinate me. You accuse the opposition of that which you yourself are guilty: partisanship. It’s very convenient that the Liberal Media ™ enables you to justify your own bias. To make up for the Liberal Media ™ bias. Of course.

    SixFootPole (55ead7)

  22. I am not familiar with Alters articles, but if he is reserving his partisanship for Air America and NOT displaying it in his articles in Newsweek this would seem to be a good thing as far as containing personal bias and just reporting the facts.

    Matt S. (3fa354)

  23. What a laugh, Pole. What “We People” ™ do is point out the biases of “reporters” who claim objectivity.

    By the way — your blog sucks. Anyone can merely post links to other reports. Can’t you evaluate and offer opinions of those stories? Obviously not.

    BTW — let us know when the Nick Berg video is proven “unauthentic,” hear?

    Dave Huber (6e8e2c)

  24. Why is it surprising that a journalist has strong political views? They live and work in the United States. Their choice to become journalists is almost evidence enough of a passion for what’s going on in the country.

    How can anyone who covers politics every day not have strong political views?

    Michael Schur (4a9b24)

  25. I don’t mind that journalists have strong political views. I mind two things:

    1) When they don’t admit it, or try to hide the extent of their partisanship.

    2) When they distort/hide the facts in pursuit of their hidden goals.

    These go hand in hand. When journalists are open about their views, readers know to be on their guard against factual distortions. There is an analogy here to campaign finance reform. When we force disclosure of the identities of all contributors, the public can watch politicians for signs of favoritism towards donors.

    But when they pretend to be more centrist than they really are, this becomes more difficult. As Stan puts it above: “If Alter would be honest in simply declaring his hatred for Bush in Newsweek, he [would lose] his ability to sway the key undecided voter.”

    Patterico (bc79bd)

  26. Rich Vail:

    Thanks for the feedback. There are many forms of courage, and of cowardice. I don’t want to get into a long-winded discussion of the differences. I completely lost respect for Cronkite when he declared Vietnam a lost cause after Tet, which was a battlefield victory for us. Cronkite carries a primary responsibility for the loss of the propaganda, and propaganda war. I found out later he had a hippie-type daughter about my age who was an anti-war protestor. Curiously, his change in opinion coincided with his daughter’s protests and such. Let me do a little amateur psychology: I think he was afraid of losing his daughter. But this is all just one person’s opinion.** As they tell me these days, one person’s opinion, like one person’s culture, is just as good as anothers, right?? (end sarcasm)

    **Disclosure: I’ve never read this blog before, and don’t know if my opinions agree with those of the blog host. And I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve saved my a$$ more that once by sticking with my opinions and judgments.

    Heavy Artillery Pilot (85dfad)

  27. Sorry to intrude again, but make that

    “loss of the propaganda, and political war.”

    Heavy Artillery Pilot (85dfad)

  28. Heavy Artillery Pilot:

    It’s always nice to have new people visit. I hope you will read the blog again!

    Patterico (bc79bd)

  29. I have been a reader of blogs for quite a while now and have converted quite a few folks to reading blogs daily. It is truly amazing the difference between what the “usual suspects” report as news and what can be read daily from the blogosphere. It seems that the “usual suspects” are marching lemming-like into insignifigance and allowing the Blogs to flourish. Long Live the Blogs……

    Crapulentis_Sum (580cfd)

  30. Why is it most “conservatives” don’t seem to mind being identified as “conservatives” yet liberals seem to constantly try and obfuscate their political identity(or even leanings)?

    Isn’t this fundamentally dishonest?

    Please, someone tell me how “progressive” ideas differ from “liberal” ideas, differ from “socialist” ideas? The orientation is always the same, government “elites” are better equipped to distribute resources than individuals. Virtually every policy in each case is revolves around “social justice” and “fairness”. The basic policies are indistinguishable from each other.

    So why did socialism get replaced by liberalism which is now being replaced by being described as “progressive” thought?

    The only conclusion is that socialists/liberals/progressives understand their original ideas have been discredited and found unacceptable by the public. They must hope they can simply recycle them to a gullible public and ignorant youth by continuously renaming their philosophy until such time as they prevail.

    JAG (dc706c)

  31. Jag:

    “The only conclusion is that socialists/liberals/progressives understand their original ideas have been discredited and found unacceptable by the public. They must hope they can simply recycle them to a gullible public and ignorant youth by continuously renaming their philosophy until such time as they prevail.”

    BINGO!

    rebmiami (d75d00)

  32. Patterico:

    Thanks for the hospitality. I like what I’ve seen so far, and some of the comments are good. I’ll bookmark your address. I’ll probably not post much, because I tend to get PO’ed. The Clinton years destroyed my sense of political rationality.

    Heavy Artillery Pilot (834291)

  33. Quick: how many great journalists can you name? The problem with Big Media is that it still pretends to objectivity and authority even as the subjects they cover have become more technically complex and the information disperses around the globe faster than they can grab it and distill it for their readers.

    True, there are a gazillion shitty bloggers out there, but it’s clear by now that there are also an astonishingly high number of journalists who are less than honest, less than rigorous in fact-checking or bias-checking, less than informed about the subjects they cover(especially military ones or ones related to Arab cultures and societies), and less than capable of true insight or originality.

    To me the shining difference between bloggers and journalists is that the former make no pretense to authority.

    The blogger’s personality is upfront, his or her biases are wide open, and probably most important, you can literally trace, via links, the source of much of his or her information and world-view. If the blogger links to Counterpunch or some far-right zine, I can stop my reading right there. But if a journalist is weaving the new Iraq-is-all-chaos meme through his or her supposedly neutral, objective NYT article, the spin is less easy to spot and dismiss.

    Compare a blogger’s upfront personality, biases and info and meme sources to your Big Media journo: except in the case of very great (John Burns) or less-than-great but still readable and flamboyant (Robert Fisk) journalists, the personality is muted to the point of invisibility.

    Bias, though often quite obvious (and not unwelcome), is almost always denied. Big Media merely are telling the benighted masses what they need to know.

    The deeper sources of a story– not just those “unnamed Pentagon colonels” or others feedinga line to the journalist– are never exposed for all to see. So instead of saying to the readers, “Here’s an email from a marine–read the whole thing; you decide”– or “I’m stuck in the Baghdad Hilton and have not been to Karbala and frankly don’t know what the hell’s happening there; it’s anyone’s guess”, we get stories that talk about (WaPo the other day) bombings that “give shape to a fear” that Iraq is in chaos.

    Bloggers simply pull the curtain away from these reporters who are at best flawed, often pompous and arrogant, and far too often mendacious, ill-informed and incompetent.

    I’ll take “I link–you decide” over “All The News Fit To Print The Way We See Fit to Print It” anyday.

    thibaud (ea5ca4)

  34. “Incompetence” staggering enought to be mentioned three times in one sentence, even.

    Dems are still searching for a hooky chorus for their boy.

    Talking points aren’t the meme-onic device they used to be…people are on to that crap and the insulting, trasparent attempt at manipulation it ticks them off . From what I hear.

    SarahW (7417bf)

  35. AK sez to Patterico:

    “… you really need to get over yourself. You’re just another guy with an opinion. Guess what? You’re not special. We’ve all got opinions. No need to congratulate yourself for having one.”

    This is just as true of Jon Alter. What’s valuable about blogging is that it makes that fact clear.

    ralph phelan (1c4549)

  36. I am amazed at the constant claim that there is a liberal bias to the American media.Seems to me that their is a strong right wing bias in the news actually. In any event this “bias” seems to have little effect. For example the majority of people in Western and European countries were opposed to the war, while in America it was supported by a majority of people, so the “bias” didn’t change American opinion to reflect that of world opinion. According to polls, Bush is disliked by a majority of Western and European citizens, but he is still loved by a majority of Americans. Again the “bias” doesn’t seem to have worked. I find this constant raving about bias to be too much, look you people on the right are winning, more people(or at least americans)subscribe to your worldview than those of us who believe in social justice, and think that while capitalism has been central to the development of our freedoms, it does not mean that governments do not have a role to play in providing some social goods that markets cannot. So where is this bias, or rather does it really matter?

    IMHOTEP (9aa5d8)

  37. As to Newsweek… picked up a copy the other day, and it appeared to have gone back to its more “serious” tone of yesteryear, as opposed to the “People Magazine” bullcrap tone that it had employed for the past long while.

    ANybody else noticed this or am I just hallucijinating?

    M. (e1f1bf)

  38. IMHOTEP,

    The only problem with bias is that it will in time strangle the biased.

    Blog ads have just started this year in a big way. What are the odds that it will begin to have an impact on the ability of publishers to buy newsprint?

    TV viewing is down Internet use is up. Is this having an effect on TV ad revenues?

    It is true that Americans are not as easily fooled as the rest of the world. Other than the problems it causes the rest of the world it does not seem to be a problem in America except for the media.

    M. Simon (ba6279)

  39. It all backs the premise that perception is truth. We hear opinions spouted as facts with no proof or documention. The more one lacks true knowledge the more they let loose with schoolyard insults. I step carefully in the field of dung and sift the truth through logic and reason from the dump trucks of information. I have become a cynic with a sense of humour. So whats new about journalistic bias. My wise father always said to “read between the lines” Good advice, has served me well.

    steampress (1994c0)

  40. J Alter’s Nov. 1st article re:Science of scare tatics. The Republican Congress that remains under the thumb of wealthy interests,should try this proposal on for size. Let’s tax all NET WORTH OVER $10mm on a 10% TAX BASIS EVERY YEAR, YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT. LET’S SEE HOW MANY FUCKING “LIBERAL’s”aka=T.Heinz,G. Soros,B.Streisand,T.Kennedy,B.Afflek,S.Bing,ALL TRIAL LAWYERS, DEMOCRATIC INVESTMENT BANKERS,W. Buffett,You Know there are Zillons more. These LIARS AND CON ARTISTS WOULD NEVER EVER PART WITH THERE WEALTH, BUT WOULD RATHER TRY TO SCREW HARD WORKING BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE A MODEST SUCCESS OF THEMSELVES. THIS IS THE LIE THAT IS PERPETUATED BY PEOPLE LIKE JONATHAN ALTER OF NEWSWEEK. GOOD LUCK FOR EVERBODY AND THE ONLY POSITIVE OF KERRY WIN IS THAT HILLARY “CUNT” HAS NO CHANCE. “GO BLUE”

    karl webber (cab3b7)

  41. J Alter’s Nov. 1st article re:Science of scare tatics. The Republican Congress that remains under the thumb of wealthy interests,should try this proposal on for size. Let’s tax all NET WORTH OVER $10mm on a 10% TAX BASIS EVERY YEAR, YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT. LET’S SEE HOW MANY FUCKING “LIBERAL’s”aka=T.Heinz,G. Soros,B.Streisand,T.Kennedy,B.Afflek,S.Bing,ALL TRIAL LAWYERS, DEMOCRATIC INVESTMENT BANKERS,W. Buffett,You Know there are Zillons more. These LIARS AND CON ARTISTS WOULD NEVER EVER PART WITH THERE WEALTH, BUT WOULD RATHER TRY TO SCREW HARD WORKING BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE A MODEST SUCCESS OF THEMSELVES. THIS IS THE LIE THAT IS PERPETUATED BY PEOPLE LIKE JONATHAN ALTER OF NEWSWEEK. GOOD LUCK FOR EVERBODY AND THE ONLY POSITIVE OF KERRY WIN IS THAT HILLARY “CUNT” HAS NO CHANCE. “GO BLUE”

    karl webber (cab3b7)

  42. Your Media Bias Of The Day
    Jonathan Alter (senior editor at Newsweek) goes on Air America to go off on President Bush: The level of incompetence is so staggering here, and yet there’s this gap between how astonishingly incompetent and we can go over particulars…

    camedwards.com (228dce)

  43. Outcry from the Arab World?
    Bill T. sends this email from a Marine Viet Nam veteran: I am not condoning what happened to the Iraqi prisoners…however, I think it is vitally important that in my head I have these matters in proper perspective… Saddam had

    BLACKFIVE (af7df9)

  44. OUR BIASED MEDIA
    These reporters, networks and newspapers have one thing in common – they give a face and a name to those responsible for liberal bias in the media. They only report the negative news coming out of Iraq. The links…

    JOE'S BLOG (ace52a)

  45. Submitted for Your Approval
    First off…&nbsp any spambots reading this should immediately go here, here, here, and here.&nbsp Die spambots, die!&nbsp And now…&nbsp here are all the links submitted by members of the Watcher’s Council for this week’s vote. Council links:Religion…

    Watcher of Weasels (07c6c2)

  46. The Council Has Spoken!
    First off…&nbsp any spambots reading this should immediately go here, here, here, and here.&nbsp Die spambots, die!&nbsp And now…&nbsp the winning entries in the Watcher’s Council vote for this week are Religion and Politics by Four Right Wing Wack…

    Watcher of Weasels (07c6c2)

  47. Letter Writing
    Patterico’s Pontification brought to my attention Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter in an excellent post, from which…

    Spicedsass (15eef6)


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