Greg Sargent

Recent Articles

The Blog Rage Canard

In recent weeks, one member after another of the D.C. media establishment has gone out of his way to depict bloggers as hysterical, angry and destructive. To hear them tell it, bloggers sitting at their computers are akin to squalling brats in high-chairs chucking baby food at their sober, serious elders -- i.e., major figures at the established news organizations. Not long ago, The Washington Post 's Jim Brady lamented “blog rage.” Joe Klein's latest column complained about “vitriol” and “all the left-wing screeching.” Former Bill Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry recently told us that reporters are complaining they feel "intimidated" because “most of the blogosphere spends hours making them feel that way.” And a CBS opinion piece recently asked : "Does noise trump contemplation in the blogosphere?" What's all this really about? These skirmishes, obviously, are part of a much larger war between established opinion-makers and bloggers, in which the establishment figures continually...

DAVID IGNATIUS: MCCAIN'S...

DAVID IGNATIUS: MCCAIN'S A MAVERICK BECAUSE I LIKE HIM. A quick point to add to Matt 's deft skewering of David Ignatius 's column on John McCain. What's amazing is that Ignatius is saying the jury's out on whether McCain will prove in the future to be adequately capable of flip-flopping -- yet in the same column, Ignatius also lists two instances where McCain already flip-flopped. Ignatius writes: "Some people...have a knack for making easy compromises on the road to election, but McCain isn't one of them." Yet earlier Ignatius had already pointed to two of McCain's "easy compromises": his recent sucking up to Jerry Falwell and his vote to make President Bush 's tax cuts permanent "despite his own past warnings about the country's fiscal mess." But these, well, they don't really count because...McCain apparently didn't enjoy doing this. This begs a question. How many times does McCain have to flip-flop or betray stated principles before columnists like Ignatius will stop saying that...

LIBERAL BLOGGERS DON'T...

LIBERAL BLOGGERS DON'T WANT TO DESTROY THE "MSM" -- THEY WANT TO MAKE IT BETTER. Just about everyone in the lefty blogosphere has taken a swing at Mike McCurry 's piece over at The Huffington Post, and now it's my turn. In case you missed it, McCurry wrote that he knows reporters -- and Pulitzer Prize winners, at that -- who feel "intimidated" because "most of the blogosphere spends hours making them feel that way." There are a few striking misconceptions here worth unpacking. The first is the notion that anyone in the press would see it as "intimidating" that people are scrutinizing his or her work. An unnamed reporter wrote in to Josh Marshall claiming that death threats and all sorts of other horrors descend on any media figure fingered by bloggers. That may be, and it's unfortunate that some Web denizens give ammo to critics of the Internet by doing such things. But the fact remains that any serious reporter should see the added scrutiny not as a threat, but as an enhancement of...

WHEN WILL REPORTERS...

WHEN WILL REPORTERS ASK ABOUT TYLER DRUMHELLER? Number of White House press briefings held since Tyler Drumheller , a 26-year veteran of the CIA and most recently head of European covert operations, told CBS's 60 Minutes that the White House ignored the fact that a top member of Saddam 's inner said Iraq had no active WMD program: Five . Number of questions the White House press corps has asked about Drumheller's revelation: Zero. --Greg Sargent

BILLIONS SQUANDERED IN...

BILLIONS SQUANDERED IN IRAQ AREN'T JUST AN ABSTRACTION. A commenter to this post below takes issue with the argument that Dems should oppose Iran by pointing out that Bush 's wars could cost more than Vietnam. M.J. writes: "arguing that we shouldn't take military action in Iran because it's too expensive" won't "resonate with the American people," adding, "the rest of us are worried about a madman with nuclear weapons." Obviously financial cost alone doesn't add up to enough of an argument. Human toll is the most important consideration, needless to say; also critical is the potential impact on the United States' already-tattered global relationships. But look -- the billions of dollars that are swirling down the Iraq sinkhole matter . They're not some abstraction. Those wasted billions will have a human toll, with countless long-term effects on the state of this country, and its people. But the main irony is that those squandered billions may end up mattering precisely because there...

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