Many of us received a spam email this morning from the Washington Post, announcing they'd hired yet another left-wing thug cheerleader (snazzy uniform optional) for yet another made-up reporting gig that will inevitably degenerate into yet another look-at-the-dirty-racist-conservatives event. After adding Greg "I Think Union Violence Is Progressive" Sargent and Ezra "The Constitution Is, Like, Really Old and Stuff" Klein, and the late Dave "Kyle MacLachlan After Floating Face Down in a Pool for a Day" Weigel, there is simply no way that the Post thinks anyone is buying the act, and is instead catering to a dwindling audience of baby boomers and Gen-Xers who still don't get all this internet stuff, but want to be reassured that Republicans are icky. Hey, with the for-profit college goldmine running dry, the Graham family needs to keep from being roasted alive by the shareholders. If you can sell worthless degrees to poor kids, you can cater to left-wing geezers.
So, a big welcome to Think Tanked! If we're lucky, we'll hardly know you.
The ridiculous part is that, as with the Post's prior additions to its cutting-edge online site -- now redesigned to look more like a failing newspaper, but I repeat myself -- there is simply no way to disguise the fairly clear left-wing advocacy at work here. Let's start with the press release:
Allen McDuffee is a New York-based politics writer. Part reporter, part investigative journalist, part blogger, Allen has written for The Nation, Huffington Post, AlterNet, Raw Story, New York Observer, In These Times and Truthdig, among others.
Now, I know that to a lot of Post print readers, these must seem like Sunday supplement sections to the local newspaper, sort of like Parade, but with fewer personal massager ads. Anyone living in the 21st century, however, would know that these are left-of-center publications much like Pravda was only a pro-Soviet Union newspaper. (The analogy was deliberate.)
But! The worse part, by far, is that anyone with access to Mr. Google, Think Tanked's old site (warning: hate site), and Allen McDuffee's (the author of Think Tanked) Twitter feed can see that this is just the same old song and dance again. In other words, the Post's editors either don't know about these things -- given the quality of their site these days, a real possibility -- or they think we don't, which, again, given the quality of their site, is a real possibility.
So let's walk it through.
There's the Twitter feed. Oh, what a gold mine that is.
Andrew Breitbart should lose a Grammy. (Hey, it probably made sense when he wrote it.)
Dear crazy lefty, have I introduced you to my friend? She's not fat! (Sorry, just thought that was funny.)
There's so much more, including a weird back and forth with some other psychotic lefty about Trig Palin that is hard to summarize and disturbing to read. But that last -- like so many others about the Kochs -- should have sent eyebrows skyward at the Post, if for no reason other than that Koch funding is the same bete noir on the left as Soros funding is on the right. In other words, if his constant fits over the Kochs are real -- and given that he's cool in making a no-fat-chicks disclaimer in the same space, I think we can safely assume that -- then someone at the Post should have said, Huh. Maybe we shouldn't hire this guy to cover a subject he hates? Maybe? Maybe the whole Dave Weigel thing was an object lesson?
Ha ha, yeah, I know. Even on the internet comedy can come through.
Then there's his web site -- or more accurately, his penultimate site. Search for Koch. Revel. The New Yorker and Mother Jones(!) are treated as objective sources. And so on.
There's more fun, though -- with no fat chicks! That's important! -- in one of his older sites. Behold the now-diagnostic obsession with an adult woman who has more than one child. And Ann Coulter. And Bill Kristol ("Billy"). And Sarah Palin again. (Did you know he hates her?) And Ann Coulter again.
Do you know that before a law firm of any size will hire you, they'll Google you? True story. I'm guessing the Washington Post company should get hiring tips from its lawyers. Or stop pretending that anyone on the right could conceivably be fooled by this fellow -- by any reasonable measure, he makes the sub-literate Sargent look like a Nobel Laureate by comparison.
In closing, a personal note.
Back in the heady days of RedState's founding -- back when everyone, and not just Keith Olbermann and his cat, called us RedState.org -- we had a relatively small number of things going for us: A ridiculously large editorial stable; a lot of camaraderie; the Democrats' insane decision to nominate John Kerry for the Presidency; an up-and-coming, brilliant, and condescending commenter named streiff; and the Washington Post. We were largely a bunch of late twenty-somethings and early thirty-somethings (except Domenech, whom we believed to be eight and the result of a secret government super-writer program), but that didn't mean we thought that the Post was center-right, or even center, or neutral, or objective. But they were fair. You had the impression that they actually tried to give our side an even shake, for good and for ill.
Of course, Bush had the unmitigated gall to win, and pull a heck of a lot of Republicans into office with him. This had the same impact on the American Left that Sarah Palin has by breathing, thereby proving once and for all that we have not actually eliminated rabies in humans. Not coincidentally, as our side of the aisle degenerated into policy disputes about things that would never come to pass, the frothing animals went into overdrive, becoming the place where all of the energy online was in play, sort of like how your intestines are where all of the energy in your body is in play after chasing a burrito with a shot of hot grease. It was a remarkable descent into madness, and an effective one, for two election cycles.
That the Post fell with them is both predictable -- they're chasing a business model, aping the online left, that petered out three years ago, which is like continuing to publish a newspaper -- and more than a little sad. I used to presume that they were playing me as straight as they could. I didn't think they'd go the New York Times route as full party organ. Kinda sad, but they probably won't be around much longer anyway.