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Late Nite FDL Bonus Round: Pauvre Tinkerbell — Again


John WATB Harris will be at the online chat tomorrow at 11:00 am EST.  I thought it would be nice to review some of his greatest hits:

December 12, 2005

I perceive a good bit of [Dan Froomkin’s] commentary on the news as coming through a liberal prism–or at least not trying very hard to avoid such perceptions. Dan, as I understand his position, says that his commentary is not ideologically based, but he acknowledges it is written with a certain irreverence and adversarial purpose. Dan does not address the main question in his comments. He should.


In his comments, Dan pleads with reporters to stop complaining about him and start doing more to hold the White House accountable. The reporters on the Post’s White House and political teams every day push through many obstacles and frustrations to do precisely this kind of accountability reporting–as I’m sure Dan would agree. But these are the very same reporters who are raising objections to "White House Briefing." The confusion about Dan’s column unintentionally creates about the reporter’s role has itself become an obstacle to our work.

Interview with Jay Rosen:

[Officials from the White House] have never complained in a formal way to me, but I have heard from Republicans in informal ways making clear they think his work is tendentious and unfair. I do not have to agree with them in every instance that it is tendentious and unfair for me to be concerned about making clear who

[M]y reservations about “White House Briefing” are not in theory but in practice. It seems to me that if you read his column over time he is presenting a pretty standard liberal critique of Bush. That is fine for a columnist or blogger but in my view would not be appropriate at all for a news reporter.


What irked me about Froomkin’s reply to the ombudsman was his pompous suggestion that he is a lonely truth-teller at the Washington Post and the way he held himself up as a high priest and arbiter of good journalism.


Does Dan present a liberal worldview? Not always, but cumulatively I think a great many people would say yes—enough that I don’t want them thinking he works for the news side of the Post.

Without agreeing with the views of this conservative blogger who took on Froomkin, I would say his argument does not seem far-fetched to me.

Let’s remember that "this conservative blogger" was noneother than GOP political operative Patrick Ruffini.   Brad DeLong handed him his ass over that one.

And from an October, 2005 online chat:

Danbury, Conn.: . . . Was the position within the CIA, of their employee whose name was leaked, one which really was "secret", "covert" . . causing revealing the individual’s name [to be] a crime under any statute? . . .Would revealing the name of even a janitor or receptionist be a crime?

John F. Harris: I think you are identifying important questions. What was the actual degree of intelligence damage by the disclosure of Plame-Wilson’s name, and what was the specific crime?

It has long also seemed to me that Joe Wilson’s own activities — publishing op-eds etc. — were not exactly calculated to maintaining secrecy about himself and his family.

The eagerness of John Harris to turn the newsroom into a BushCo. whore house and treat Dan Froomkin like he was Lester Bangs played no small part in the hiring of Box Turtle Ben for "balance."  I think he pretty much got what he deserves, and should with all karmic justice be forced to wear HasBen around his neck like an anvil.

Carry on. 

(thanks to John Casper for the head’s up) 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of 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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