Yes, that is really the title of his post. You’d think one glance at one of my year-end reviews of the L.A. Times would somewhat dispel that notion. And it would . . . for honest people.
But such a label does not easily fit Eric Boehlert, Senior Lotion Fellow at Media Matters, who asks how the L.A. Times can possibly allow one of its bloggers, Andrew Malcolm, to display something less than complete respect for the legend known as Barack Obama:
So my question is a simple one: Why does one of the largest newspapers in the country allow its political writer to routinely disrespect the president in a casually insulting way? To portray the president as some kind of punk. . . . [W]hy does the Times allows one of its high-profile political writers to continually adopt a hateful Rush Limbaugh and Fox News-like tone and personally degrade the presidency?
Indeed. Don’t they know that opinion people at major newspapers need to be kept in line? At least when they’re criticizing liberals.
Boehlert is upset because Malcolm has been allowed to call Barack Obama things like this:
* ”the United States’ Democratic Smoker-in-Chief”
* “the Real Good Talker”
* “the community organizer”
* “ex-state senator”
* “The Smoker”
* “the nation’s top talker”
* “what’s-his-name in the White House”
* “the ex-senator from Illinois”
Those are all pretty good, I’d say . . . and accurate.
I asked Andrew Malcolm if he would like to respond to Boehlert’s nonsense. He sent me this quote for publication:
Receiving this kind of free publicity AND our second Keith Olbermann Worse Person Award on only our 3rd blog birthday is a heartwarming treat. As are all the resulting new Twitter followers @latimestot. We also heartily enjoyed the claim that there are no counterbalancing liberals at the LA Times. God bless America and what’s-his-name.
The penultimate sentence refers to Boehlert’s bleating and incredible whine that “There is no sharply partisan liberal voice on the blog or any other of the Times’ political commentary outlets.”
Really?! When did they fire Tim Rutten, Michael Hiltzik, David Lazarus, and James Rainey? (Boehlert will probably try to tell us that these aren’t political commentators; Hiltzik, for example, is a “business columnist.” Uh, right. Just keep telling yourself that.)
And I don’t even have to do a Google search to know for a fact that when President Bush was in office, there was nobody on staff at the Times, and certainly nobody writing off the opinion pages, who was allowed to so casually insult the office of the presidency on a regular basis.
Well, he certainly packed that with enough weaselly qualifiers that he can mount a bullshit rebuttal to any mass of evidence to the contrary, but let’s collect some counterexamples anyway, shall we? I sauntered around the Top of the Ticket blog and found a few items; no doubt you could find more . . .
Kate Linthicum wrote that President Bush’s Hannukah invitations made him look “like a schmo.” Such disrespect for the office of the president!
Steve Padilla had this rip-roaringly funny joke about the George W. Bush Presidential Center:
We can’t help wondering if the center will include an exhibit on weapons of mass destruction. It could even be interactive — visitors could wander the complex and never find the WMD. Just a thought.
Hey, they laughed around the water cooler in the newsroom . . .
Oh, the lack of respect for the presidency!!!! except that he kind of had a point . . . like Malcolm does with Obama.
For example, Boehlert faults Malcolm for calling Obama the “Smoker-in-Chief.” But here is the context: health care legislation pushing nannystate provisions:
Many of us were unaware of the need for federal regulation of local menus. But apparently the Democratic congressional majorities and the Smoker-in-Chief believe their bureaucrats must assist health-conscious Americans who are too dumb to figure out that a salad has fewer calories than a triple-burger buried in fries, even if those same stupid Americans were smart enough to elect all these folks in 2008.
It’s a fair point to note that a guy driving all these sanctimonious health care nanny provisions is consistently engaged in one of the least healthy habits known to man.
Ultimately, Boehlert is the same pathetic whiner he always is. But this screed really takes the cake. Thanks to Bradley J. Fikes for bringing it to my attention.
P.S. A couple more examples penned by Malcolm himself: in this post he called John McCain “the old guy from Arizona” and Sarah Palin “the Alaskan lipstick lady, who’s gonna do her own book about losing.” And in this one he referred to “those GOP suits on Capitol Hill who make Benadryl seem like a stimulant.”
Eric Boehlert didn’t tell you about those . . . did he?
UPDATE: Boehlert has cross-posted his post at a site devoted to incivility to Bush: The Smirking Chimp.