Debbie Done Again
I understand why people were angry at Deborah Howell.
She seems to have taken the concept of balance to new lengths, where not only
news accounts and ombudsman columns need to be balanced, but the Jack Abramoff
scandal itself “needs” to be balanced between the two major parties.
Her both-sides-fed-at-the-trough statements have been
called inaccurate, outrageous, unfortunate, less-than artful. “He had
made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties…”
I read these strained descriptions of bipartisan exposure as more of a wish—
a wish for balance in the facts of the scandal itself. (See also Deborah Howell
responds at the post.blog.)
But I also understand why Brady did what he did. If
washingtonpost.com lets stand extreme charges aimed to maximize rage at Howell,
and some of the charges contain ugly personal insults, then Brady’s
position becomes impossible if the staff of the Washington Post objects, and
demands to know:
- Why are we giving Post.com space to people who wish
for our destruction and call for our heads?
- Jim, it’s not like there aren’t other
spaces online where that can and will be said robustly.
- Does transparency really mean making room for: death
to the Washington Post, and down with their ombudsman too?
And I don’t think Brady had good answers to any
of that—do you?—so he shut down the comments for now.
|Debbie gets done again.|
put up a Q&A with the Post’s Jim Brady today.
However, though they tried, we still don’t have an answer to the
core issue that started bloggers doing Debbie, then doing her again and again.
Q: A lot of people thought that
Deborah Howell engaged in escalation of a kind by not correcting or clarifying
what she wrote about Jack Abramoff and the Democrats. I would like to know
you’re opinion on that. And wouldn’t the ombudsman be better off
with a blog where she could add to, clarify, and further report on things
in her column, and answer questions that have constituencies made of thousands
of active readers?
The post misreported the Abramoff scandal, equating the pay to
play being spread across both parties in the same manner. This is not only false,
but easily proven, which has been done across the blogosphere.
Once again, here are the
Obviously, the Washington Post didn’t bother to check, but relied
instead on sloppy reporting that got some of the biggest liberal blogs on the case.
When Debbie "I don’t know what ombudsman means" Howell got involved,
she made an absolute mockery out of her position and imploded the Post’s reputation
further. Jim Brady is actually making it worse by not addressing the fundamental
Democrats in Congress were not involved in a pay to play pay off
scheme. They are not in power, for one, but Jack Abramoff is a Republican who
only supports his own team. Do Democrats take money from lobbyists? Hello.
All elected legislators do, but that doesn’t mean they do it in a pay to play
way. If you don’t like lobbyists, I get it. But just because you don’t doesn’t
mean Democrats use the system like Republicans. Jack Abramoff is a Republican
scandal. If the Post had done it’s job they would have discovered that for themselves.
But they didn’t, so it was left up to the bloggers to do Debbie right and they