Down with the Post

From liberals to conservatives, no one is happy with the Washington Post:

On Saturday, Maxspeak took on the Washington Post’s Dan Morgan for his assertion that domestic spending started “growing sharply in the final two years of the Clinton administration” and was slowed when the Bush administration put on the brakes after the 9/11 attacks. “No, no, no,” writes Max. Offering a correction, Max writes, “Spending increased more rapidly after 2000 than before, and the first sign of ‘brakes’ being put on is 2004, not ‘after 2001.’”

Brad DeLong, in his almost daily “Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Press Corps?” feature, links to Max’s post, adding a plea for the editors of our nation’s papers, “May we please have budget stories written by people who understand the budget?”

Joining the Post bash session is The Corner’s Ramesh Ponnuru who has a bone or two to pick with Charles Babington and Ceci Connolly for their Sunday news roundup that included a survey on stem-cell research. He writes, “[They] take the latest release from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at face value. Their summary: ‘The poll of 800 Bush voters found that as people learned more about the science and ways to impose ethical guidelines on it, support climbed higher.’” Ponnuru, no doubt feels the questions were a bit misleading, writing that, “Take a look at the actual questions, and you can reformulate that: ‘As people are subjected to arguments for funding embryo-killing stem-cell research, some of them deeply misleading, with no rebuttals, and no mention of cloning, support increases.’”

In the end, Ponnuru writes, we learn nothing more than the fact that only a few Bush voters chose Bush because of his stem-cell position. Asks Ponnuru, “Have many people been arguing otherwise?”

Next up is OxBlog’s David Adesnik who clearly states his intentions: “OMBUDSMAN MISSES THE POINT.” Yesterday, Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler ruminated about the absence of Post stories on how the war in Iraq is impacting the lives of Iraqi civilians. Adesnik’s response was short but to the point, “In spite of OxBlog’s loud protest, Mr. Getler has nothing to say about the extremely misleading data on civilian casualties provided by and reprinted by the Post on a regular basis.” Adesnik has been blogging about this for a month now; maybe it’s time that Getler, at least, acknowledge the dispute.

Finally, we take a break from the Washington Post and move on to NPR. Tom Tomorrow heard a report on NPR last week “claiming that the majority of reporters and news anchors and other elitist media types were so thoroughly convinced that Kerry would win, his defeat has sent them into paroxysms of self-doubt and uncertainty and generally convinced them that they are Completely Out of Touch With the American People.” According to Tomorrow, NPR let this erroneous speculation pass unchallenged. Tomorrow continued, “Leaving aside the debate over whether or not this nation’s newsrooms are staffed by closet Marxists who did everything in their power to tilt the electorate toward Comrade Kerry, I don’t know anyone who thought they had any idea how this election was going to turn out. (Sure, partisan pundits spent the campaign season talking their own guy up, but that’s a different matter.).”

Capping off his criticism, Tomorrow concluded, “The idea that elitist media types were ‘certain’ Kerry would win is just ludicrous, an outright attempt to rewrite history.”

CJR Daily couldn’t agree more.

Thomas Lang

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Thomas Lang was a writer at CJR Daily.