The Right-Wing Politico Cesspool
Politico reporter Mike Allen, formerly of The Washington Post and Time, appeared yesterday on the show of right-wing radio host Mike Gallagher. The two of them guffawed together at how absurd are Scott McCellan's claims that the media was "deferential" to the Bush administration and then Allen said this:
ALLEN: And indeed, Scott does adopt the vocabulary, rhetoric of the left wing haters. Can you believe it in here he says the White House press corps was too deferential to the administration?
Think Progress has the audio, which makes even clearer how eager Mike Allen was "to adopt the vocabulary, rhetoric" of the right-wing operatives which Politico exists to serve. Actually, not even Karl Rove -- who gave Allen and comrades their marching orders earlier this week when he said during an interview with Sean Hannity that McClellan "sounds like a left-wing blogger" -- goes so far as to refer to those critical of the media's war coverage as "left wing haters." But Politico "reporter" Mike Allen does. After hearing his repugnant comments, I e-mailed Allen last night and asked him several questions, including (full email is here): "Is anyone who believes that the media was too deferential to the Bush administration in the run-up to the war a 'left-wing hater?'" and "Can you give a few examples of the 'left-wing haters' you were referencing?" and "Are there 'right-wing haters'? If so, any examples you can provide?" Allen sent me a completely non-responsive reply that had nothing to do with what I asked. When I emailed him again and emphasized that I was particularly interested in his use of the term "left wing haters," this is the reply he sent me, in full:
Ah, gotcha. No, you can call them "critics" or "skeptics" or "opponents" or whatever. My only point was that McClellan has now validated points of view that the administration had in the past pushed back against -- and that, in fact, have been proven empirically in many cases. For instance, the Larry Lindsey $100-200 billion was once considered heresy by Scott and his colleagues. Now, it looks like a lowball...
When he referred to "left wing haters," he just meant "critics" of the administration -- war "skeptics" and Bush "opponents." That's all synonymous in his mind with "left wing haters" -- interchangeable terms. Thus: "you can call them 'critics' or 'skeptics' or 'opponents'" -- or the phrase I used: "left wing haters" -- "or whatever." So according to Politico's chief political correspondent (the former White House Correspondent of Time), administration critics are, by definition, "left wing haters." Allen shared his complaint about "left wing haters" while chatting agreeably with Mike Gallagher, who previously said this:
I think we should round up all of these folks. Round up Joy Behar. Round up Matt Damon, who last night on MSNBC attacked George Bush and Dick Cheney. Round up Olbermann. Take the whole bunch of them and put them in a detention camp until this war is over because they're a bunch of traitors.
Allen and Gallagher can't stand those left wing haters. Allen recently conducted an "interview" with George Bush that was so vapid and sycophantic that the normally polite Dan Froomkin of The Washington Post detailed the "questions" Allen posed and then asked rhetorically: "Has there ever been a more moronic interview of a president of the United States than the one conducted yesterday by Mike Allen?"
Speaking of Politico's sycophantic service to the GOP, Allen's colleague, David Paul Kuhn, today has an article about how gay marriage is going to help McCain win the election and doom Obama among independents and working class voters. Last week, Kuhn wrote an article reporting that GOP operatives were excited about the prospects of McCain winning in a "blowout." Several weeks before that, Kuhn wrote an article about how the Iraq War's growing popularity among Americans would be a huge asset for McCain and doom the Democratic candidate. Not even the most shameless GOP hack makes such absurdly optimistic claims about the GOP's electoral chances -- at least not out in the open. They just have Kuhn and Politico do it for them.
I once thought that Politico would be a pernicious new addition to our rotted media culture. Instead, it actually provides a valuable service by packing every destructive and corrupt journalistic attribute, in its most vivid form, into one single cesspool.
Glenn Greenwald was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, "A Tragic Legacy", examines the Bush legacy.