MILBANK: Your Web site was complaining about I was not holding the Bush White House to account. I’d like to say that here’s a full list of documentation of me holding the Bush White House to account….


Let’s pose — can we just pose one question, Nico? If the White House called up Fox News and said, “Major Garrett, we will call on you tomorrow if you ask a question about health care, and you ask it in a certain way?” Would you say that’s OK?


PITNEY: They didn’t say in a certain way. See, this is dishonest. And it’s been dishonesty and errors from the beginning.

The problem with slinging mud, of course, is that the slinger tends to get just as dirty as the target. And both Pitney and Milbank, in the exchange, ended up looking, as Time’s Michael Scherer put it, “like petulant politicians.” After a few minutes, as the novelty of the insult-filled-fight-on-morning-TV wore off, the thing just became…sad. Not just because of its vague airing-dirty-laundry-on-national-TV intimations (not in front of the viewing audience, honey), and not just because both journalists are so much better than their performances yesterday let on. Sadder still was the fact that what got attention, yesterday, unsurprisingly, wasn’t the substance of the fight, but rather the fact of the fight itself.

Over at CafePress, you can now buy all manner of clothing, accessories, and gadgets commemorating You’reSuchADickGate. For sale are T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, hoodies, onesies, baby bibs, coffee mugs, messenger bags, mousepads, water bottles, pet bowls, wall clocks, aprons, boxers, and, of course, “the classic thong” (Made in the USA!)—all printed with a photo of Dana Milbank and emblazoned with the line “THE DICK WHISPERER.” Again: what a proud, proud moment.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.