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Another WaPo Hand Job

AlitoWashington Post staff writer Marcia Davis had the long knives out today for the Democrats questioning Strip Search Sammy, quick to mock them as girly men in an article entitled "For Democrats, A Most Tender Roast of Alito":

It was beginning to look as if the Democrats had shown up to a knife fight without a knife yesterday.

It was beginning to look as if they’d just been woofing when it came to the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. That they’d written a check full of bluster that a lackluster series of questions couldn’t cash.

There were some deft jabs, for sure, and Democrats did visit the territories they had promised — from abortion rights to executive power to issues of discrimination and the appellate judge’s ethics. But the Dems didn’t rampage, didn’t storm the barricades as all their tough talk had promised.

In fact, most of the day was so quiet that by mid-afternoon you had Republicans such as Texas’s John Cornyn going before reporters and essentially declaring victory.

That’s hard to take when Americans have been promised a smackdown. This is a reality TV nation, a WWF kinda country, where we like to see a fight even when we know it isn’t real, even when we know the stakes might just be a bag of Cheetos.

Now the Post and other papers are perfectly entitled to print one-sided opinion pieces as just that — opinion. You’ll remember all the harumphing that was done recently by John WATB Harris and others about how Dan Froomkin’s column was not "news" and as such had to be relegated to the "opinion" page so as not to taint the genetic purity of the news division?

He’s entitled to his opinion, and he’s entitled to be proud of what is obviously a devoted audience. But you know how I feel—his column, under its current title and display, does dilute the Washington Post’s reputation, and more serious care should be given to its editing and presentation.

I’ve never seen anything as nasty and one-sided coming out of Froomkin’s pen as this Marcia Davis hatchet piece. But it isn’t on the opinion page — it appears on Page C1 in the Nation section, leading off the paper’s Special Report on the Supreme Court.

Thanks, Washington Post. Your policies remain perfectly clear.

(thanks to reader Teddy)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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