David Broder — this “Dean of the Washington press corps” — totally missed out on covering the greatest story of his time; the utter collapse of the American news media and the mutation of the GOP from a political party into a dangerously fascistic cesspit of oligarchs, lunatics and rubes.
It was a story which his background and years of hard work had almost uniquely prepared him to cover, and one that was literally staring him in the face for much of the last 20 years.
And he completely fucking blew it.
David Broder might or might not have been an asshole. He had a certain perspective, that the most important thing was that the center must hold. From such a perspective, the Republican party’s descent into insanity was surely the biggest story of his lifetime. And yet he never wrote about it. Maybe it was safer for him professionally to avoid the topic, maybe he was just an idiot.
In any case, whatever else he might have been, David Broder was a failure as a political journalist. No number of eulogies from totebag heroes like E. J. Dionne
and Hendrik Hertzberg (the Hertzberg piece isn’t that bad) can change that.