Patterico's Pontifications


Eric Boehlert: “Why does the Los Angeles Times hate Obama?”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:29 pm

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”
* “Smoker-in-Chief”
* “the community organizer”
* “ex-state senator”
* “The Smoker”
* “the nation’s top talker”
* “what’s-his-name in the White House”
* “Duffer-in-Chief”
* “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.)

Boehlert says:

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!

Johanna Neuman talked about Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy” and never missed a chance to note that Dick Cheney has often been described by liberals as the “Darth Vader of American politics.”

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 . . .

Mark Milian called Bush “the master of malapropisms.” Similarly, Don Frederick called him the “malaprop gift that keeps giving.”

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.


  1. No, he didn’t.

    Comment by Patterico (c218bd) — 6/11/2010 @ 12:40 am

  2. It is so pathetic when liberals can’t admit liberal bias in media outlets such as the LA Times, the Washington Post, CNN, etc. I even know someone who claims MSNBC is tilted to the right.

    I wonder if it’s some kind of cutesy game of distorting reality. These liberals may think the MSM’s liberal bias is a great advantage they need to preserve and defend with completely insincere points. This ‘both sides say they are tilted against them, so the MSM is actually pretty fair, and oh look, in this case these fair folks once again argue the point of the democrats because we’re right!’.

    “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.” and “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    On the other hand, Eric’s skin is the thickness of three atoms. He probably just can’t take even this silly little bit of heat without being outraged. Thank God he doesn’t get to decide for us what the boundaries of dissent are.

    Comment by Dustin (b54cdc) — 6/11/2010 @ 1:25 am

  3. Tim Rutten, Michael Hiltzik, David Lazarus, and James Rainey? Boehlert would tell you that they are centrists.

    Comment by great unknown (261470) — 6/11/2010 @ 2:51 am

  4. I would add George Skelton, their senior state political writer. I sent him a link to Mickey Kaus’s “Manifesto” and his response was that it was “scary.”

    These guys are old Bolsheviks waiting for Stalin to tell them what to think.

    Comment by Mike K (82f374) — 6/11/2010 @ 5:38 am

  5. Dustin – when someone denies the fact of the leftward tilt of the MFM, it simply shows how far to the left they are.

    Boehlert is pathological. Did eric b and bradblog hit back at the FBI for investigating ACORN?

    Clearly, the LA Times is racist.

    Comment by JD (c04985) — 6/11/2010 @ 5:59 am

  6. Has Brad blog mirrored Boehlert’s post yet? You know how creative those fiercely independent thinkers move in herds.

    Comment by daleyrocks (1d0d98) — 6/11/2010 @ 6:14 am

  7. True, although he was the only one of the campaign bloggers that gave her anything close to a fair shake, Sneed for instance aspires to be Dowd when she grows up, but that really is gentle needling
    on Andrews’s part

    Comment by ian cormac (ba1de9) — 6/11/2010 @ 6:43 am

  8. ChapStick® company
    happy daze are here again
    Boehlert knee pads

    Comment by ColonelHaiku (57a85b) — 6/11/2010 @ 6:43 am

  9. Boehlert reforces my opinion: Democrat=Liar

    Comment by PCD (1d8b6d) — 6/11/2010 @ 7:47 am

  10. bradblog and Hootenany could not be reached for comment.

    Comment by JD (de02cc) — 6/11/2010 @ 7:51 am

  11. If Truth is unquantifiable and undefinable, then the liberals cannot be liars.

    Comment by John Hitchcock (9e8ad9) — 6/11/2010 @ 7:52 am

  12. Divis Obama

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 6/11/2010 @ 7:53 am

  13. 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.

    That is such a patently stupid and false claim, that Boehlert knew he was full of crap when he wrote it. That’s just brazen lying.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 6/11/2010 @ 8:03 am

  14. Brazen lies are fine by them, since they know the MFM is not going to call them on it. That one was a head scratcher to any sentient being. There once was a day where people would feel shame for lying in public.

    Comment by JD (de02cc) — 6/11/2010 @ 8:13 am


    That is way off topic, but freaking hysterical …

    Comment by JD (de02cc) — 6/11/2010 @ 8:23 am

  16. The key words were “I didn’t even do any research but I know for a fact . You can pencil in whatever you want behind the “know for a fact”.
    Liberals have their own “facts”.

    But they would shriek in laughter if someone said that he or she “knew for a fact” about say, UFO’s or the “miracle of the loaves and fishes” in the Bible, or Sasquatch. Just a few examples.

    Secular liberals have their own non reality based “religion”.

    Comment by Mike Myers (3c9845) — 6/11/2010 @ 8:32 am

  17. Who is “Eric Boehlert”,
    and what is a “Los Angeles Times”?

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (d6c711) — 6/11/2010 @ 8:47 am

  18. Liberals are nuts. Why bother debating them? That’s energy better spent on marginalizing and ridiculing them.

    Comment by East Coast Chris (ded5f2) — 6/11/2010 @ 9:35 am

  19. I wonder if it’s some kind of cutesy game of distorting reality.

    I know this very liberal person who says that Arnold Schwarzenegger is very conservative. When I reply by saying that the governor actually is very squishy, and that a person has to be an ultra-liberal to judge Schwarzenegger as quite partisan and rightwing, the liberal then retorts with “no, I’m not—in fact, in some ways I’m more conservative than you!” Not suprisingly, I do often catch him of showing symptoms of limousine liberalism, which is typical of most “progressives.” So he does have a knack for talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    There is something deficient in the brainwaves of so many folks on the left.

    Comment by Mark (411533) — 6/11/2010 @ 9:39 am

  20. this is off topic, but you can read the affidavit of the authorities on the van der sloot case, here:

    Comment by Aaron Worthing (e7d72e) — 6/11/2010 @ 9:44 am

  21. Comment by Mark — 6/11/2010 @ 9:39 am

    Cognitive dissonance often requires great amounts of self-medication!

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (d6c711) — 6/11/2010 @ 10:06 am

  22. This is pretty typical of the tactics the Soviets used when they came to power, and is reflective of Boehlert’s Marxist sympathies–once your enemies have been conquered, it becomes necessary to construct new ones within the sympathetic populace, to keep them focused on stabbing each other in the back rather than challenging the regime. Remember all of Stalin’s show trials and executions of former lieutenants and party hacks that were previously lauded as examples for the Russian people to follow?

    Boehlert may honestly believe that the LA Times isn’t leftist enough, but the bottom line is that now that his party is running the country, he has to find new enemies to rail against, and all that is left is people who don’t follow some subjective, ever-shifting definition of “respect” for the Presidency.

    Marxism is a philosophy grounded in the idea of perpetual conflict as political and social policy, and anyone who subscribes to these theories is going to carry them to their logical conclusion, even if their reasoning itself is illogical.

    Comment by Another Chris (2d8013) — 6/11/2010 @ 11:13 am

  23. And remember, it is the polemicists that are usually the first to be carted off to the “re-education camps”, to never be heard from again.

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (d6c711) — 6/11/2010 @ 11:18 am

  24. If you look around, you can find a great interview with Boehlert on the Dennis Miller show from last year or so. Clearly, Boehlert is nuttier than a PayDay Bar, and completely partisan.

    He doesn’t talk; he bleats.

    It’s funny to listen to, and to hear Miller (still new to talk radio) clearly thinking to himself (oh dear Lord, what do I do with this crazy man?).

    Keep in mind that people like Boehlert are the reason I use that tiresome “...that’s different” phrase.

    Actually, I added the petulant foot stomp for Boehlert.

    If he isn’t crazy, think of how his guts churn at being sold out by the Obama-ites!

    Comment by Eric Blair (c8876d) — 6/11/2010 @ 11:59 am

  25. The Washcompost liberals didn’t disparage the office of the President, they disparaged the President. Selected Not Elected. There are so many vile comments made against Pres. Bush (highlighting and approving the shoe heard round the world), that the mild flicks made against Obama are ludicrous. Most conservative politicians would give their eye teeth for the ‘negative’ coverage given to Obama.

    Comment by eaglewingz08 (1e4d33) — 6/11/2010 @ 12:14 pm

  26. But egalewing08…that’s…that’s…that’s…DIFFERENT!

    These alphabetists never ever consider that pendulums swing in both directions. And despite what Boehlert thinks, dissent is indeed patriotic…not just dissent against Republicans.

    Comment by Eric Blair (c8876d) — 6/11/2010 @ 12:19 pm

  27. And sorry for the typo on your name, eaglewingz08.

    Comment by Eric Blair (c8876d) — 6/11/2010 @ 12:20 pm

  28. I would add George Skelton, their senior state political writer. I sent him a link to Mickey Kaus’s “Manifesto” and his response was that it was “scary.”

    These guys are old Bolsheviks waiting for Stalin to tell them what

    George Skelton is that dude who whines about how the government does not do enough to help the poor, without telling anyone what he does to help the poor.

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (249c90) — 6/11/2010 @ 12:27 pm

  29. Comment by Michael Ejercito — 6/11/2010 @ 12:27 pm

    Well, he hasn’t been arrested for running them over with his car!
    That’s a positive.

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (d6c711) — 6/11/2010 @ 12:44 pm

  30. “Why does one of the largest newspapers in the country allow its political writer to routinely disrespect the president in a casually insulting way?”

    – The keyword being “allow”; right, Comrade Boehlert?

    Comment by Icy Texan (ba698c) — 6/11/2010 @ 1:31 pm

  31. Here’s a little extra irony for you. Boehlert cross-posted the article in question to The Smirking Chimp.

    Guess whose picture adorns the masthead.

    Comment by Dodd (706ab0) — 6/11/2010 @ 2:16 pm

  32. Dodd,


    It’s pretty amusing how deranged these psychos have been towards Bush, and apparently are today long after it doesn’t matter. Projection. They have no respect for the office of the presidency, just democrats.

    Comment by Dustin (b54cdc) — 6/11/2010 @ 2:35 pm

  33. nuttier than a PayDay Bar – Comment by Eric Blair

    I like that description, I’ll have to remember it. Thanks.

    Comment by MD in Philly (5a98ff) — 6/11/2010 @ 2:46 pm

  34. MD, I think that we are near enough the same age. I got that expression from my father, who used to work in the oil fields before he became a firefighter.

    It is one of the more family-friendly of his expressions. I remember him walking into my room when I was teenager and going on a very non-PC rant that contained this memorable bit: “ have crap strewn around here like a madwoman’s s^%t!

    Later I found a book called “Texas Crude” that contained many of my father’s expressions. I suspect he learned them in the oil fields, from *real* Texans!

    Comment by Eric Blair (e2121c) — 6/11/2010 @ 2:56 pm

  35. Senior Lotion Fellow at Media Matters

    Best line of the day.

    Comment by Dmac (3d61d9) — 6/11/2010 @ 3:58 pm

  36. Why it almost appears that Eric Boehlert is a not a big fan of freedom of (written) speech!

    Comment by Dana (1e5ad4) — 6/11/2010 @ 5:16 pm

  37. “Why does one of the largest newspapers in the country allow its political writer to routinely disrespect the president in a casually insulting way?”

    Remember this pathetic question in 1Q2013 when a Republican administration is in the Oval Office.

    Comment by GeneralMalaise (57a85b) — 6/11/2010 @ 5:30 pm

  38. Eric Boehlert
    Senior Fluffer Fella
    Media Matters

    Comment by ColonelHaiku (57a85b) — 6/11/2010 @ 5:34 pm

  39. ““…you have crap strewn around here like a madwoman’s s^%t!””

    OMG… we must be related, except that my dad was in the Army and the closest I recall him being near an oil field was when he was stationed in San Antonio.

    Comment by GM Roper (6afe02) — 6/12/2010 @ 6:48 am

  40. My post on this from yesterday might be of interest.

    Comment by Matt Welch (15e273) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:01 pm

  41. It sure is, Matt. I didn’t even go back in time to the old columnists like Rosa Brooks. (When did they can Robert Scheer?) This is worth a new post.

    Comment by Patterico (c218bd) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:16 pm

  42. Mr. Welch, the leftoid alphabetists get all puffy when I claim the DNC’s motto is “…that’s different!…”

    From now on, we should just call such deeply idiotic partisan hypocrisy “The Boehlert.”

    Comment by Eric Blair (a30317) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:17 pm

  43. #49 Matt Welch:

    My post on this from yesterday might be of interest.

    Yes, it is.

    Comment by EW1(SG) (edc268) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:25 pm

  44. Scheer (an old friend of mine, BTW) was canned just before I arrived there, like in late 2005, along with political cartoonist Michael Ramirez.

    Comment by Matt Welch (15e273) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:27 pm

  45. Didn’t Noriega, when he ran Panama, make it a crime to call him “The Pineapple”? Maybe this goofus Boehlert would approve. Who knew dissent only is a good thing some of the time?


    Comment by Eric Blair (f89659) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:38 pm

  46. Comment by Matt Welch — 6/12/2010 @ 12:27 pm

    I guess you would call that down-sizing with a Reverse Missouri Compormise.

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (c1f0da) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:47 pm

  47. Oops…Compromise

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (c1f0da) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:47 pm

  48. Boehlert would be apoplectic if Andrew Malcolm had used the phrase “toker-in-chief”.

    Comment by Icy Texan (11677d) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:49 pm

  49. ______________________________________

    the leftoid alphabetists get all puffy when I claim the DNC’s motto is “…that’s different!…”

    I’m reminded of my own first-hand, up-close-and-personal experiences with the inner workings of the mentality of people on the left.

    I recall 2 years ago a person angrily storming into the office I work at spouting off — due to some problems he had in getting a loan application — something like “all the people who voted for Bush should be shot!!!”

    This same person the other day was very resentful that the debacle of BP’s oil spill was being characterized as “Obama’s Katrina.” Ignoring the issue of such incidents being a possible warning sign of a president’s incompetency, he snorted that unlike the case of the exploding oil well, Katrina (and, in turn, the Bush presidency) resulted in the death of far more people and the destruction of thousands of properties.

    IOW, the issue of ineptitude takes a back seat when heartstrings can be tugged at and tears can flow freely—and undoubtedly if the accused’s do-gooder sentiments are verifiable or not (ie, they have to tilt left).

    Another liberal sitting in on the conversation then sneered about how people who were excoriating Obama deserved a “place in hell” and Nazi-like treatment in the dentist’s chair.

    I observe such behavior and am reminded all over again of those surveys that indicate larger percentages of liberals — compared with conservatives — are, in fact, less generous when it comes to donating time, money and blood. And that young leftists, in particular, are surprisingly heartless when responding to questions about how much comfort and support they’d give to sick or suffering family members.

    Much of the left: No common sense and not even truly humane to boot. 0 and 2.

    Comment by Mark (411533) — 6/12/2010 @ 12:54 pm

  50. Those young leftists want the guvmint to do all of the comforting & supporting for the sick & suffering — and for themselves.

    Comment by Icy Texan (11677d) — 6/12/2010 @ 1:02 pm

  51. If this situation (general political climate) goes to $hit, a lot of them will be comforted and supported by Rule-7.62!

    Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (c1f0da) — 6/12/2010 @ 1:14 pm

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