July 05, 2007
Blindsided by the Right

For many years, probably because of Watergate and the anti-McCarthy cartoons of Herblock, the Washington Post has been considered a liberal paper by those who donít read it.

But even when I worked there, back when the world was young, its editorial page was for the most part reliably Tory. The editor of it was J. Russell Wiggins, whose shilling for the Vietnam War was rewarded by LBJ with an ambassadorship to the United Nations. Later, when the editorial page started to look a little pink to the union-busting publisher, Kay Graham, she turned it over to her conservative pal, Meg Greenfield.

These days the page is run by Fred Hiatt, about whom I know nothing. But by his works, presumably, ye shall know him. Hereís a prediction from one of his editorials that has held up particularly well since its publication in January of 2006:

Humility is called for when predicting how a Supreme Court nominee will vote on key issues, or even what those issues will be, given how people and issues evolve. But itís fair to guess that Judge Alito will favor a judiciary that exercises restraint and does not substitute its judgment for that of the political branches in areas of their competence. Thatís not all bad. The Supreme Court sports a great range of ideological diversity but less disagreement about the scope of proper judicial power. The institutional self-discipline and modesty that both Judge Alito and Chief Justice Roberts profess could do the court good if taken seriously and applied apolitically.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at July 05, 2007 11:22 AM
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The Washington Post has become quite enjoyable, despite everything. Since they opened up comments on most of their articles, all one has to do is read the comments on the articles every day and you quickly realize almost all the writers at the Post these days are totally out of touch with reality, or at least the reality as experienced by us common folks. Dana Milbank and Froomkin excepted.

The neocon writers for the paper generally get a 90% or higher disapproval rating -many of them approach 98% disapproval - or at least that's about my count of the online comments.

Posted by: Buck on July 5, 2007 6:12 PM

I would claim that the Post has a larger stable of excellent writers than any other newspaper in the US right now. I certainly agree that their editorial page differs little from the WSJ. But in addition to Milbank and Froomkin, there's Pincus, Gellman, Leonnig, Chandrasekaran, Tyson, and others.

Of course good reporters don't make up for crappy editors. And it takes a lot of Milbank to balance a little Broder, not to mention Krauthammer, Will, etc. …

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) on July 5, 2007 9:19 PM

That's just me Chuck. I always read "the paper" as a conglomeration and unless they have their picture up there, I've never paid attention to the personality. Froomkin and Milbank-they get their pictures in their so I pay attention. Krugman at the NY Times is one of the few people I know there and like. But I can't tell you the names of movie actors or sports figures, or anybody like that either. I guess it's a habit you have to develop.

Posted by: Buck on July 6, 2007 6:13 AM

I agree w/you. The best edition is Saturday where they give readers another whole page. The Post's readership is sharper than the editorial staff. What about Mary McG?

Posted by: giulio7 on July 6, 2007 5:30 PM
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