–updated–

Well that didn’t take long.

In all the clapping of yesterday, Thomas Shales sneaks in under the jubilation to remind us that Ms. Amanpour has her work cut out for her. Mr. Shales uses NewsBusters as a source for his first hit on Amanpour, while clearly saying a woman who has devoted herself to international news coverage, including putting herself in dangerous circumstances, is a “bad choice.”

What’s even worse is the argument Shales makes to preemptively attack Ms. Amanpour.

And even though Amanpour has often been touted for her expertise on foreign affairs, she has vocal and passionate critics in that arena as well. Supporters of Israel have more than once charged Amanpour with bias against that country and its policies. A Web site devoted to criticism of Amanpour is titled, with less than a modicum of subtlety, “Christiane Amanpour’s Outright Bias Against Israel Must Stop,” available via Facebook.

This Facebook group has 91 members as of right now. One wonders, however, if Mr. Shales’ real goal was to help them out by blasting their name, though the Post did at least refrain from linking to them.

Shales rambles on, this time focusing on the fact that she is from Iran. Oh no! ABC hired someone who grew up in Iran, Shales warns. Therefore, of course, as right-wing wisdom goes, she must be anti-Israel.

Amanpour grew up in Great Britain and Iran. Her family fled Tehran in 1979 at the start of the Islamic revolution, when she was college age. She has steadfastly rejected claims about her objectivity, telling Lesley Stahl last year relative to her coverage of Iran: “I am not part of the current crop of opinion journalists or commentary journalists or feelings journalists. I strongly believe that I have to remain in the realm of fact.”

[…] From many angles, it was a bad choice — one which could create so much consternation that Westin will be forced to withdraw Amanpour’s name and come up with another “nominee” for the job. That would hardly be a tragedy — considering how many others deserve it more than she does.

JTA joining in today, thinking that Amanpour criticizing McCain’s inability to pronounced Ahmadinejad’s name something nefarious.

3) Much as I admired her toughness, it has a flip side — arrogance. What finally turned me off Amanpour was not anything that had to do with Israel; it was this moment when she made fun of John McCain — insistently made fun of him — for stumbling during the presidential debates over his pronunciation of Ahmadinejad.

Yeah, women are so annoying when they’re “arrogant.” Give me a dumb ass male any day.

I wonder if ABC is really going to revise the show or if they aren’t going to try to turn Amanpour into Little ms PoliticsTom Shales

It’s the same reason conservatives hate Pres. Obama. He’s just too smart to be trusted.

This isn’t about others being more deserving for Mr. Shales or the Washington Post, whose editorial page is a constant drumbeat of AIPAC concerns. This is about swiftboating Ms. Amanpour before she debuts, which is months ahead, hoping to derail and diminish her prowess earned over decades of reporting.

Shales got a lot of push back during his chat, where he evidently thought his smears against Amanpour might be greeted more warmly.

There can be little doubt that right-wing radio will chime in eventually, in between their invectives on health care, racist Obama smears, and general anti Democratic lunacy directed at 2010.

Ms. Amanpour is an important addition to the Sunday news field of anchors, even with the diminishing tide of these shows. That she’s a brilliant reporter is first among her qualifications; the fact that she’s a woman a welcome sight.

But it’s clear she’s got people gunning for her. In a war where ratings is a matter of survival, she’s been given notice.