Lying to Themselves (and Us), for (No) Fun & (Decreasing) Profits

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.

24 replies
  1. 1

    Couldn’t you have found a better link for the canning of Weigel? You link to Ezra Klein, who does neither of the things in the link associated with your text.

  2. 2
    Alison says:

    Sorry to OT but seriously, this is so much better for your health than Principled Young Conor’s blather anyway because holy shit JUST LOOK AT THESE PICTURES I’m dying

  3. 3

    @Alison: There’s a cat on that page that looks like it ate Tunch.

  4. 4
    amk says:

    shorter connor – cons are ignorant idjits and it’s all your fault.

  5. 5
    👽 Martin says:

    @Alison: CORGIS!

    My daughter will squee with delight when I show her tomorrow.

  6. 6
    👽 Martin says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Ate Tunch and then ate the cat that ate Tunch. Holy fuck that’s a fat cat.

  7. 7
    KS in MA says:

    They’re running out the clock. On every single issue. That’s the only explanation that makes any sense at all.

    Nice critter pictures!

  8. 8
    Alison says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: hahaha, yeah, my first thought was “Hey, a different-colored Tunch!”

  9. 9
    amk says:

    @Alison: Cute overload.

  10. 10
    joel hanes says:

    The fat one’s a Kliban Cat subsp qat var meatloaf

    That gray kitten’s sick, and needs a vet.

  11. 11
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    As a public service, I will make a comment so that another one of ours does not need to.

    You serial copyright-violator you!!! *shakes fist* whines about a time out for the wrong reason BLAH!!1!

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    Columnists gotta pad, but the entirety of the Hagel hand-wringing boils down to four words:

    Much ado about nothing.

  13. 13
    Xenos says:

    Sound and fury…

  14. 14
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    Also OT: It’s been raining here for 7 days. I feel like I’m back in Britain. What the hell happened to sunny australia???

  15. 15
    Punchy says:

    Rubin posted 73 times on one subject? What the fuck does one say on the 68th post that they havent said by the, say, 54th post? Does Rubes make her scratch on pure volume of bile alone, quality of work not a factor?

  16. 16
    Nunca el Jefe says:

    @Punchy: is she the Golden Corral of the pundit world?

  17. 17
    Citizen_X says:

    he writes…that conservatives are at an “information disadvantage,”

    Lying incessantly will do that to you.

  18. 18
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Xenos: . . .signifying nothing.

  19. 19
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Citizen_X: True, CX, but it gives them a disinformation advantage.

  20. 20


    What the fuck does one say on the 68th post that they havent said by the, say, 54th post?

    You quote the people who were quoting your earlier posts to make it look as if there’s widespread agreement. Also, too, you keep saying the same stuff but louder and shriller than before.

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    But conservatives do have a disinformation advantage (FOX News, etc.), so that sort of balances things.

  22. 22
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Alison: That was a great way to start the day.

    Having raised several litters of kitties (inadvertently) I can attest to their most adorableness and remarkable energy. The climbing the curtains kinda energy.

  23. 23
    daverave says:


    Further OT, but it really hasn’t rained in NorCal in the two months that are supposed to be the wettest of the year, yikes :-(

  24. 24
    Viva BrisVegas says:


    What the hell happened to sunny australia???

    Sunshine? That was so 2012.

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