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August 15, 2013

Washington Post's Former Ombudsman Offers Jeff Bezos Advice: First, Fire Jennifer Rubin

The only "conservative" writer at the paper. Get rid of her.

Jennifer Rubin is ruining everything. Everything.

This is laughable. I have my problems with Rubin,* and while I don't think she should be fired, I think she should be moved to a different beat. Jennifer Rubin is not conservative. She is a liberals' idea of a Polite Company Conservative, culturally liberal and reflexively establishment in most ways but firm as regards the defense of Israel. And liberals can excuse her for that, because, being Jewish, she has a level of emotional attachment to the state of Israel.

But she's not conservative. Most conservatives are no longer Super-Hawks. They were, but aren't now. (I don't know how people like Chris Christie are so insulated from public opinion to not yet realize this.)

She is a Republican, true enough, in the same basic sort of way that Bob Woodward was (and perhaps still is). A culturally liberal, establishment-defending, New Class warrior.

So pointing to her foreign policy leanings does not make the case for her conservatism; in fact, it rather shows she is further out of sync from the conservative movement than she was during the period from 2004-2009.

That does not mean Jennifer Rubin should have no place at the post. She's one of the few writers there who is actually right of left-of-center. But once again a liberal institution chooses to appoint someone who is more or less liberal themselves as its reporter (or blogger, anyway) on those Exotic Conservatives and Their Strange and Violent Folk Customs.

Now, what's funny here is that one would imagine that an ombudsman should be a fair, objective critic of the paper. If he is not, there is no point to him. Even the New York Times has picked ombudsmen (or as they call it, Public Editors) who were willing to call the Times on its liberal biases.

For example, the previous Ombudsman critiqued the Times thus:

Across the paper’s many departments... so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.

As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.

I got that from a Washington Post blogger, by the way. A blogger who, yes, defends the Times from this scurrilous, outrageous charge.

It is ridiculous that the Washington Post cannot even attempt the minor effort at the hygiene of self-reflection and self-criticism that the archliberal New York Times does.

If you read the letter of this guy, it's pretty much nothing but pablum ("Get to know your audience" -- gee wilikers that's a swell idea!) and no specifics. But apparently he thinks the Post should put more money into the Style section, and put someone in charge to give the department "vision."

So those are his two specific suggestions: Fire Jennifer Rubin, Who Is Ruining Just Everything, Everything!, and get some "Vision" in the Style section.

Does he have any problem with laughable hack Greg Sargent? Of course not; Greg Sargent is a liberal, and therefore Possessed of The Truth.

J. Christian Adams mocks this guy's analysis.

Pexton also complains that Rubin is “the No. 1 source of complaint mail,” which is no surprise given the leftist readers of the WP, which in essence acts as the Obama administration’s company newsletter. Apparently, getting criticized by the rabid intolerant Left is grounds for termination at the WP.

But if you take the text of his complaint letter and simply substitute the Washington Post and all of its liberal columnists and reporters for Rubin, and “left” for “right,” it sounds like a perfect description of the newspaper and its biased coverage and editorial page:

“ [The WP] parrots and peddles every silly [left]-wing theory to come down the pike…. [The WP’s] analysis of the conservative movement, which is a worthwhile and important beat that the Post should treat more seriously on its national pages, is shallow and predictable. [The editorial page’s] columns, at best, are political pornography; they get a quick but sure rise out of the [left], but you feel bad afterward.

And [the WP] is often wrong, and rarely acknowledges it. [The WP] was oh-so-wrong about [Barack Obama], week after week writing embarrassing flattery about his 2012 campaign, calling almost every move he made brilliant…[The WP] was wrong about [add your own list of the many times the WP has been wrong]…. And does [the WP] apologize? Nope.

Pexton must have been looking in the mirror when he wrote his letter.

One point: When this guy says the right is deserving of serious coverage, I take this to mean he wants an impartial outsider -- by which we mean a Liberal -- to document the Troubling Social Phenomenon we call "the right." That is, he wants it treated like a dangerous movement to be studied and perhaps, one day, cured.

Why do I think that? For this simple reason. Jennifer Rubin does indeed pop off with some partisan-pleasing stuff. (She also angers people on the right by hewing to her culturally-liberal, reflexively establishment politics.)

And yet Greg Sargent, Rubin's analogue, in as much as he does the "liberal" blogging (as opposed to every other person at the Post), does the same thing. He does cheerleader stuff for the Left. He tells you what a Great Big Dummy Mitt Romney is, and what a Terrible Liar Mitch McConnell is.

In other words, Greg Sargent "covers" the liberal caucus the same way Rubin covers the conservative side -- by indulging her own political vanities and pushing her own line. Sargent does not "cover" the liberal caucus like an outsider, like Richard Attenborough among the lemurs; what he really does is cover the right, but from a liberal partisan attack vector.

So why should Rubin not be permitted to do the same? Why does she have to actually "cover the right" as if she were a naturalist documenting strange fauna, when the liberal blogger is free to do what liberal bloggers do, to wit, promote liberal agitprop they got from liberal blogs and liberal politicians?

The answer is obvious. The answer is so obvious that it should have occurred to this idiot, but of course it didn't, because someone this deeply dyed in the pink of leftism doesn't even notice the color any longer.

thanks to @rdbrewer4

* I don't have as many problems with her as other people do. @drewmtips, I'm pretty sure, kinda hates her. I don't quite hate her for the same reason that Drew does hate her: she supported Mitt Romney, who, while not my own first choice, and not my idea of a great candidate, at least came to the interview with his pants on.

I have no problem with this moderate brand of conservatism, actually. A bird needs two wings to fly and all that.

And yet, I don't buy her as a "conservative" writer. Few do. I don't mind moderates at all-- but why does the liberal caucus get "covered" by the true-believing liberal crusader Greg Sargent, whereas the conservative side of things is covered by a culturally-liberal, reflexively-establishment moderate who, like many culturally-liberal, reflexively-establishment moderates, can barely disguise her disgust at the uncouth horde that makes up the conservative movement?

Alternately... Keep Rubin as a "conservative" blogger but add another one who is, you know, actually conservative.

The Washington Post has a cavalcade of bloggers ranging from liberal to archliberal to neoliberal but apparently they just have this one little slot for Jennifer Rubin's Krazy Konservative Kommentary.

And you know, Jennifer Rubin is ruining everything. Everything!11!!


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posted by Ace at 06:59 PM

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