Dave Weigel decides to poke a few snakes over the spectacularly failed neocon attempt to keep Hagel from becoming Secretary of Defense:
Conor Friederdorf’s hands undergo a good, hard wringing in the wake of Chuck Hagel’s successful confirmation fight. It’s another example, he writes, that conservatives are at an “information disadvantage,” and that “much of the analysis they’ve long been fed on this subject left them as misinformed about the likely course of events as they were about Mitt Romney’s prospects for victory during Election 2012.”
I think this is a mild mis-diagnosis. Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post blogger who came in for the most criticism during the Dump Hagel era (she wrote at least 73 blog posts about the nomination), did not predict a Hagel defeat as decivisely as George Will, Michael Barone, Dick Morris, et al predicted a Romney win. They doubted that the polls were accurate. Rubin never doubted that vote counts were wrong. […] She was right, and a lot of people (including me) were wrong, when she said a few senators who had promised not to filibuster Hagel would vote against cloture two weeks ago.
No, the problem isn’t that the Dump Hagel media made bad calls. It’s that it laundered the bad calls, and baseless rumors, of Republican sources….
I can’t get too exercized about wild predictions. They’re every pundit’s right! What made the Dump Hagel campaign so surreal, though, was that it relied on yellow-bellied anonymous quote merchants to create an impression of crisis that did not exist. It used the trimmings of journalism to report on a parallel universe. And they aren’t even impressive trimmings!…
This is an excellent point — Rubin is an up-front partisan blogger, and therefore not held to the (hahahaha) high standards of objectivity required of Very Serious Professionals like George Will and Dick Morris.
But if I recall correctly, there’s the added fillip that Jennifer Rubin was hired at the height of the Teabagger Insurrection, after the Teahadists forced the gutless wonders running the WaPo to publicly denounce & disavow some guy named Dave Weigel for being insufficiently conservative in his role as interpreter of the “new” conservatism to the wild-eyed DFHs of Official DC. And Conor Friederdorf, during that kerfuffle, produced endless pixelated reams of equivocation about how important it was that the serious adults of professional journalism teach the unlettered adolescents of the blogosphere to follow their high standards of objectivity and unbiased statements of verifiable facts.
Of course, Dave Weigel is a professional who would never hold grudges. But I’m not, and I sure enjoyed this.