THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2003
A WEEK OF HOWLER HISTORY: Sorry. Last night, we entertained the troops (wella group of Washington-area contractors) and our next installment of HOWLER HISTORY must be postponed till tomorrow. Parts 4 and 5 of our current opus will be posted on Friday and Saturday. In the meantime, visit our incomparable archives! Enjoy each episode in our week-long report:
SPINNING WOLF (PART 1): The press discovered Wolf in plain sightthen conducted a smut-laden trashing. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/3/03.
CHINLUNDS LIST: The pathology of the Boston Globe is one for the Big Shrinks to ponder. Today, the paper continues its crackpot pummeling of Senator War Crimes, John Kerry. Read to see how hard the rag works to persuade you that Johns a Big Liar. In this current effort, the Globe continues the crackpot work it once aimed at Candidate Gore.
Sadly and strangely, the Globe has made its mark in recent years by assuming that major Dems are Big Liars, and by peddling stupid, dissembling stories which tried to get others to think so. The Globes trashing of Gore was simply astounding. Meanwhile, the paper has typed slimy tales about Kerry for years, even accusing the solon of war crimes in a story published one week before his 1996 re-election. (Within days, the paper acknowledged that its facts were wrong, and that the piece should not have been printed.) No other paper has shown such bad judgment, or such bad faith. We dont have time today to walk you through the papers bizarro coverage of Gore, but for the record, Walter Robinsons 4/11/00 report was just one part of the problem. More on this matter next week.
McGrory is clearly right on one point. The headline on the offending columnIm Persuadedoverstated its contents. It implied that McGrory was ready for war, which wasnt quite what she had said. But McGrory fails to come to terms with the foolishness of her column on Colin. At one point today, she wriggles away, penning this hopeless excuse:
MCGRORY: What impressed me about Powells presentation, besides his magisterial presence and impeccable prose, were the poisons he showed and the malice behind them. I did not have the benefit of the informed criticism that followed. The Posts Walter Pincus wrote a summation of the weakest link in Powells speech, the al Qaeda connection. Lately, the coming conflict is presented seamlessly as a war against Iraq and terrorism.And thats right. McGrory didnt have the benefit of the informed criticism that followedbecause she rushed into print the very next day, insisting that Powell was perfect. In fact, she had no way of judging what the general had said, but shelike other pandering punditssimply ran as fast as she could to praise Powells work to the skies. And even now, she understates the problems with Powells presentation. She panders to Post insider Pincus, saying that he found a glitch. But she fails to acknowledge the other problems that have turned upthe fact that Powell used worthless material cut-and-pasted from a 12-year-old grad school paper, for example, or the fact that Gilbert Cranberg wrote a piece challenging Powells translation (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/25/03). Even now, McGrory shades the truth. Or maybe she hasnt yet had the chance to look through that informed criticism.
But then, are you really surprised by this lazy scribes work? Heres the passage in which she explains her general judgment of Powell:
MCGRORY: I have thought well of Colin Powell since I heard him say that the most important lesson to teach the young is that they should do whatever job is assigned and do it well. As a teenager he mopped the floors at a soft-drink bottling factory so well he was promoted to the bottling line. His role in the Iran-contra scandal as an aide to Caspar Weinberger was not glorious, but I was ready to vote for him for president if he ran in 1996.Mary McGrory thinks highly of Powell because he said that kids should do their jobs well, and because he mopped the floor when he was a teen. The mopping outweighs Iran-contra. And oh yes. As we see in the first passage quoted above, McGrory assumed that Powells report was OK because of his magisterial presence.
How vacuous is the Washington press corps? Read through McGrorys column.
VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: But then, are you really surprised by McGrorys work? When Gore and Bradley held their first debatethe one where the press corps booed and jeered Gorethe great Post pundit was deeply disturbed by Gores very-troubling wardrobe. The candidates spoke at length about health careand McGrory wrote at length about clothes. Her work was an insult to every American. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/12/02.
In the past, we have called your press corps deeply dysfunctional. Read the Globe, then read McGrory. Do you still think were hurling hyperbole?