Atrios: Top Ten Wankers of the Decade
April 24, 2012 2 Comments
I first started turning toward blogs as my main source during the early years of the Bush presidency, when it became increasingly difficult to find any liberal voices in the traditional media. The New York Times, which had participated with glee in the whole Whitewater mess during the Clinton presidency, now turned to carrying water for Dick Cheney — Judith Miller was not an aberration but the norm, as they decided during the run-up to the Iraq war that investigative journalism was not their cup of tea.
It turned out, however, that there were web sites which had accurate, well-written accounts of what was actually going on in the world, full of logic, research, and citation. Anyone who claims that “everyone” believed the fake intel on Iraq is either lying or ignorant of sites like The Smirking Chimp, which I just noticed is still going, although I haven’t been a regular reader in some time.
One of my favorite sites was (and remains) Eschaton, whose prime blogger, Atrios, is particularly excellent on economic issues and the high art of political snark. One of his snarkier categories was that of “Wanker of the Day” — a dishonor granted to particularly egregious offenders in the public arena who have a tendency to use punditry as onanism. Last week, Atrios completed his “Wanker of the Decade” list. Who did he choose?
10. Megan McArdle. For embodying “the pinnacle of glibertarianism.”
9. Richard Cohen. For being wrong most (but not all) of the time, and for getting it wrong big-time on Iraq.
8. Diane Sawyer. For, among other things, going after The Dixie Chicks with a vicious intensity that might have been used to, you know, not attack a music group for a mild expression of their political preferences.
7. Jonah Goldberg. For being “stupid. Really stupid.” And for then not knowing the concept “shame” when he winds up being repeatedly wrong.
6. Will Saletan. Called “Lord Saletan” by Atrios due to his tendencies to Speak From On High, even when giving undue credence to the idea that black people are less intelligent and that women don’t really understand how icky abortion can be.
5. Mark Halperin. Ugh. I had almost blocked him out of my memory. Halperin earned his place on the list from his time spent running ABC’s “The Note.” During said tenure, Halperin bowed down to the Washington Powers That Be and played fetch whenever Matt Drudge threw a so-called news story.
Far from the objectivity that he claims, Klein exists at a perfect confluence of infantalism: all politics must be directed towards meeting his personal needs and prejudices, and all politicians must constantly entertain him.
3. Andrew Sullivan. I used to be a paid subscriber to Salon. I quit the day that they decided that what was missing from the news was more conservative voices, and they hired Andrew Sullivan. They still send me emails asking me to resubscribe, and their pitch is still that they are a place which offers both right and left. They’ve got some great writing over there, but they have to grow up and no longer think that offering a false centrism somehow elevates them or makes them different.
2. Fred Hiatt. As Atrios says, the award means more than partisanship; it’s for wanking.
He’s even a wanker on issues only I seem to care about. Perhaps more importantly, there’s rarely a problem that can’t be solved by killing people somewhere or impoverishing your granny. Might makes right, bitches! The deficit is a bigger threat than Hitler, or at least more important than people having jobs. The Editors (the bad ones) were Iraq deadenders, ensuring thousands and thousands more came to deadly ends. Also, too, Afghanistan. Accountability for elites? Don’t be silly. Just have a commission!
1. Tom Friedman. For glib narcissism, for fetishizing a fake centrism, and for infamously saying that the Iraq War was justified if only because it allowed America to tell Iraqis to
Suck. On. This.
Atrios is extraordinarily pithy and perceptive, and my days never feel truly informed until I take a look at what he and his cohort have written over at Eschaton.
Whatever Works: Happy 10th Anniversary Eschaton
The 7B Liberal: The Real Pundits are horrible