What Is To Be Done (Further to John’s Post)

So we’re getting the old John Cole back — or I should say, the new and improved one.  This morning he got it right:

I’m not ready to move on. Moving on means moving forward, and moving forward means rejecting the status quo and working towards something better. And we can’t move forward until folks like Richard Cohen and his ilk are put out to pasture. If you want to change shit, do it one shithead at a time. I’m tired of waiting for David Broder to die while Fox News elevates Karl Rove.

Exactly:  can’t let the Village idiots who commit crimes against public discourse off the hook.  Hit em; hit em again; hit ’em harder.

Some in the comment thread then asked, reasonably enough, what is to be done?

Answer, for a start. Flood the complaint channels.

I’m anxious to see Richard Cohen spend more time with his family…


…and I agree with Anne Laurie and others who see the current mess at CBS and the ongoing maintaining of the fiction that Lara Logan is a journalist to be offenses on the same scale as Cohen’s.

So:  This is the phone number on which you can call CBS and have an actual person take down your complaint and promise to pass it on:  212) 975-3247 (CBS Audience Services).  REMEMBER:  be polite!  The person answering the phone is someone doing a job — a hard one, given that involves dealing with any random character that calls in.  Your objections to crap at the network will have more force if you deliver them with some sense of the actual reality of your listener. If you don’t like talking on the phone,  here’s the link to send an email complaint to CBS.

As for the Washington Post, the main number there is 202-334-6000.  When you hit the machine, ask for the Ombudsman, and you’ll be transferred to a voice mail system.  Leave a message there and/or write to the same office at readers@washpost.com.  Same again: be blunt, forceful, but polite. Richard Cohen’s past his sell by date on just about every axis you can think of  – pick yours, hammer them home, and let the Post know that people are pissed — and righteous.

Will either action have an immediate effect?  No, or rather I doubt it very much.  Does it help build the kind of Pavlovian conditioning we need in Village media moguls?  Can’t hurt.

Image: Willem Wissing, Portrait of Mary of Modena, — or, as I like to think of it, Allegorical portrait of the Village with its pet, Richard Cohen,   1685

85 replies
  1. 1
    Marmot says:

    I approve this post.

  2. 2
    April says:

    Thanks for the contact info, I will especially enjoy phoning CBS.

  3. 3
    Comrade Mary says:

    Glad to have all y’all here, and especially glad that John is back.

    Meanwhile: I missed this live, but the transcript looks smashing. I’d count that as a solid save.

  4. 4
    srv says:

    Shop to Support This Site AMAZON

    What do we do with blogs that support the WaPo owner? Do they have an Ombudsman?

  5. 5
    Comrade Mary says:

    (Oh, and nice art credit, Tom. And by the bye, do you offer any of your courses online? Can I audit? Pleeeeease?)

  6. 6
    Jose Arcadio Buendía says:

    Prove that this would improve the electoral situation of Democrats first. Then I’ll care. I’m not convinced that all of the tea lynching does anything but paint them as the extremists they are.

    In a campaign? Yeah, scandal the candidates. But just on general principle? Not sure this helps. Willing to listen, just don’t know.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    MattF says:

    Cohen’s defense at the WaPo is that he’s the brave but maligned original thinker– so the argument against Cohen that might work at the WaPo is that this is flatly not true. In fact, Cohen is simply a fearful, repetitive, deluded old white guy. In TNC’s dismantling of Cohen’s racism, the underlined ‘horseshit’ links tell the sorry story in detail. This is what needs to be emphasized.

  9. 9

    @Jose Arcadio Buendía: You demonstrate Rule 3 of the 15 rules of internet disruption. Let’s all just give up, amirite?

  10. 10
    Ash Can says:

    @Jose Arcadio Buendía:

    Uh…wrong thread?

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    I’ll call, but I doubt there’ll be any changes.

    In the DC MSM & Political Village, I’m sure that “Ol’ Man “Cohen’s considered a real Liberal – and a real hoot to have at your cocktail party, telling his jokes, and spilling out one bon mot after another.

    And as for CBS, what can you expect them to do, when, after they realized that the only people who still watch that network, and especially “60 Minutes,” are the same people who are squarely in FOX’s demographic, so they had to turn hard-Reich?
    To that demographic, Lara Logan is the hot new young blond HS Freshman cheerleader.

    Still, gives me something to do this afternoon!

  12. 12
    driftglass says:

    As long as we’re wishing for pie, I do wish that Mark Halperin would be required to pay at least a token penalty for going on the Glenn Beck show and bolstering wingnut lies.


  13. 13
    Redshirt says:

    Here’s another path to success:

    Become a billionaire. Buy a bunch of media outlets, think tanks, etc.

    Push out an extreme progressive message via all distribution channels.


  14. 14
    elisabeth says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    FWIW, my Twitter timeline of various media types begs to disagree. :( I haven’t watched/read the statement yet but Major Garrett won the day according to some.

  15. 15
    Frivolous says:

    I approve of complaining directly to Richard Cohen’s employers about him and making them change their minds about employing him.

    I can’t do it myself, though, as I live on the wrong continent.

  16. 16
    piratedan says:

    ty Tim, made the calls, followed the template of pissed off and disappointed.

  17. 17
    geg6 says:


    I wrote a letter and liberally quoted the TNC piece with abandon. I plan to do the same with CBS, only with a transcript of Logan’s warmongering speech back in September. Fuck her.

  18. 18
    Big R says:

    Here’s what I wrote to the Post’s reader representative (whose name is Doug Feaver, P.S.):

    Dear Mr. Feaver,

    As long as Richard Cohen was nothing more than a mouthpiece for money and power, and an apologist for the same, while I frequently sneered at his columns, I was willing to let the Post exercise its best judgment as to his continued employment. I don’t believe David Brooks belongs at the New York Times, either, and hate the institutional neoliberalism of The Economist, but continue to read all three publications because they have independent virtues notwithstanding the times I roll my eyes.

    But Cohen’s presence at the Post can no longer be tolerated. He has gone beyond the pale in his latest column, where he suggests that it is a “conventional view” to be forced to suppress a gag reflex at the sight of an interracial couple. I have read that column in its entirety multiple times, and there is simply no interpretation of that statement that is not racist. Cohen may be “hurt” as much as he wants that people are pointing out a racist comment, as he said in the Huffington Post, but sometimes: the truth hurts.

    If it were simply the matter of an isolated comment from Cohen, the appropriate response might be to roll ones eyes and move on. But this is not the first time this year Cohen has tripped over his own racism. On July 16, Cohen defended the NYPD’s “Stop and Frisk” policy by declaring all African-Americans suspects of crime. In that same column, Cohen referred to Trayvon Martin as wearing a “uniform we all recognize,” which begs the question: what uniform? His hoodie, which even I’ve been known to wear occasionally? Dark clothes, which I almost always wear? Or was it something he couldn’t take off?

    Nor is this a new development. In 1986, Cohen did the same thing when he endorsed the right of shop owners to refuse entry to black men – an incident that triggered an apology from the Post’s Executive Editor at the time. In 1996, Cohen was called out for his racism by Paul Rowan, triggering Cohen to write a column in his own defense. While Rowan may have overstated the evidence for his own indictment, Cohen’s past statements make it clear that he does not judge African-Americans, particularly African-American men, as individuals. Rather, they are part of an “urban underclass” until they prove themselves worthy of joining civilization in Cohen’s mind. This is a textbook example of bigotry. And bigotry, when combined with the ability to institutionalize that bigotry through the power of a large audience or policymaking power or insider access or any other form of privilege, is racism.

    I look forward to the Post announcing Cohen’s retirement.

  19. 19
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Thanks Tom. Was going to email the WP Ombudsman and try to be as polite as Christianly possible. I’m a daily subscriber and will make that known.

  20. 20
    Yatsuno says:

    @geg6: I’m afeared the only thing WaPo would respond to is anything that affects their bottom line, like cancelling subscriptions or boycotting advertisers. Actually, complaining to their advertisers has been effective in the past. You tell them you’re boycotting their business and tell them why plus you’ll get all your friends to join you and they pay attention to that shit fast. That would be more effective than a letter they can just trash.

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    @Ash Can:

    what’s to be gained from going batshit on Richard Cohen ? is he blocking some liberal goal ? is he aiding the GOP ? he’s a sloppy writer and a backwards thinker. but who cares? he has no effect on anything.

    i’d rather spend my energy on something that matters, not on an irrelevant 3rd rate opinion writer.

    (yes, i know that makes me the worst liberal ever, and a defeatist and probably a conservative)

  22. 22

    @cleek: “Even the librul Richard Cohen?”

  23. 23
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Comrade Mary: Poor Obama. I’m getting old just looking at him. Hope the Dems begin to rally around him (looking at you too, President Clinton).

  24. 24
    handsmile says:

    Once you’ve finished placing those calls/sending those emails (and thanks for the contact info, TL; I chose the latter option), reward yourself by watching the satirical genius of Stephen Colbert addressing Richard Cohen’s “conventional” views on race and sexuality.

    As masterful as Ta-Nehisi Coates’s disinterring of Cohen’s racist past was in print, this is what it looks like on television (and to a much wider audience):


    (Also highly recommended, and to be found at the Colbert Nation website or on a Comedy Central channel rebroadcast at 7:00pm EST tonight, is the latest installment of his “Difference Makers,” featuring a Colorado man promoting domestic drone-hunting licenses.)

  25. 25
    Another Holocene Human says:

    For some reason Change.org doesn’t work right for me.


    Petition to Bezos to go over repulsive Hiatt’s head and fire Cohen

    It says there are only 250 signatures–surely that can’t be right?

  26. 26
    Fuzzy says:

    @cleek: Your right. Let him spew forth so he and his fringemates can isolate their ideas even more.

  27. 27
    Yatsuno says:

    @cleek: No. You’re just wrong. Cohen has a wide audience that does actually listen to his opinions (eemom testified to that yesterday) and he should be called to task for throwing blatant racism around casually like he did. If he can’t change his opinion, which he has shown no interest in doing so, then he should at least lose his audience. There needs to be a consequence for him, and it’s up to us to make that consequence happen.

  28. 28
    cleek says:

    i’m having a hard time imagining anyone who would find that to be a convincing argument.

    99.99999% of Americans would reply “Richard who ?”

    fuck that guy.

  29. 29
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @c u n d gulag: Can you turn hard-reich without making up stories? I have no problem with conservatives who are truthful. I get that the entire world is not made up of progressives/liberals. Just tell the truth.

  30. 30
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Aren’t you “eager” for Cohen to spend more time with his family, as opposed to “anxious?” Although his family may be anxious about having him spend more time at home.

  31. 31
    Mike E says:

    @Yatsuno: This. Don Imus might have some wistful insight into this strategy… though chastised, I doubt he has totally converted from his “nappy-headed hos” mindset, however. Too.

  32. 32
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @cleek: I disagree. Just like with Weiner, as a movement we have to take out our trash. Part of why the GOP is in such total disarray is that their extremists are at the rudder, piloting the whole ship into the rocks.

    I don’t think the Stop Rush campaign was pointless, and I don’t think this is pointless either. People from high places need to be stopped from continually flinging mud at the vulnerable and the traditionally discriminated against. Remember Father Coughlin? You can’t just let that shit go on. Even Murdoch tired of Glenn Beck’s ravings.

    I don’t think the campaign to rename the Washington Redskins is pointless either. I noted that it’s the first time in a long time I’ve seen a Native American leader get any air time whatsoever, even though it was a clip that they talked over. Usually Indians in this country are slandered and not heard. Fuck, “mainstream” print papers carry comic strips that portray Indians as drunken shitheads. Kids read that shit on a daily basis. Look at the suicide rates among indigenous people in the US and Canada. It’s bullying, just like all of that homophobic and anti-Semitic spew that groups like GLAAD and ADL and B’Nai Brith work so hard to combat.

  33. 33

    @cleek: I agree fuck that guy. But you’re limiting his reach to fit your argument when I’m trying (and failing) to point out that other people’s use of his bullshit as a figleaf is a big part of the problem.

  34. 34
    rea says:

    James II certainly got to spend more time with Mary of Modena and the rest of his family . . .

    Would it be glorious to exile Richard Cohen to France?

  35. 35
    Yatsuno says:


    Would it be glorious to exile Richard Cohen to France?

    What have the French ever done to us to deserve such a fate? I suppose kicking him to Israel is more logical, though they have that icky socialist health care and accept gay rights.

  36. 36
    Morbo says:

    If you want some more ammunition for CBS discussion, McClatchy has committed some actual journalism on the story.

  37. 37
    Ksmiami says:

    @srv: I wrote to amazon this am… Hit bezos in the junk

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    @Comrade Mary: Not enough “Republican Sabotage” for my taste.

    Of Course, might explain why he is President and I am not.

  39. 39
    ruemara says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Madam, you are fount of positive thinking. I don’t think Democrats do “rallying” unless it involves big puppets sticking it to the man. Whoever that might be at the time.

  40. 40
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mike E: No need to change his mind, just burn him so bad he’s afraid to do it again. And others who think the same way are afraid, too.

    When sexual harassment was banned there were a lot of men who still felt entitled, but now they knew they could lose their jobs, so it inhibited their behavior.

    Remember in criminology, the highest recidivism risk is the person who never gets caught, followed by the person who gets caught and is let go.

  41. 41
    cleek says:


    it’s up to us to make that consequence happen.

    well, don’t let me stop you. follow your heart! rage on!

    i’m still not convinced that anyone would be persuaded by someone pointing to Richard Cohen. i know maybe one person IRL who knows who he is, and there’s no way that person thinks Cohen in any kind of authority or thought leader or anything.

  42. 42
    geg6 says:


    Oh, believe me, direct statements of how I was researching their advertisers and would be contacting them and telling all my friends to do the same were all a part of the letter.

  43. 43

    @cleek: I understand where you’re coming from, cleek. I suppose I’m zoomed out a level here. Cohen, as a purportedly librul pundit does harm directly (by being fucking wrong on racism and torture to name two examples) and indirectly by gasbags on the right. I think we have a duty to call that out rather than letting it fester and continue to work against liberal interests. But the mileage, it does vary.

  44. 44
    Ash Can says:

    @cleek: HELL YES he has an effect. He helps to perpetuate the systemic racism that permeates our society. This isn’t a political issue, it’s a social issue — and one that’s long overdue for addressing. Other racists have been fired by their mass-media employers, and other mass-media outlets have refused to tolerate the kind of racism that Cohen exhibits. Why should Cohen and the WaPo get a pass?

    This isn’t a matter of promoting a political or liberal agenda. It’s a matter of promoting an agenda of basic fucking decency.

  45. 45
    Jose Arcadio Buendía says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Bullshit. I’m not demanding a fool-proof rationale. I’m mostly just saying I wonder if this matters. Doing it because the tea nuts do it is not a good enough reason for me.

  46. 46
    cleek says:


    and, best of luck to y’all in this endeavor ! :)

  47. 47

    @Jose Arcadio Buendía:

    Prove that this would improve the electoral situation of Democrats first.

    I’m fine with your rephrasing, but those words above speak for themselves. Who said that everyone is doing it because it is a teaparty tactic. Correlation, causation, how in the fuck do they work?

    @cleek: @cleek: Not an easy row to hoe. But it could be worthwhile. Take care man.

  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    @Jose Arcadio Buendía: See my reply to cleek at #44.

    It’s high time we stopped turning a blind eye to casual, institutionalized racism. The simple act of telling the WaPo that we 1) actually do see what’s going on and 2) don’t like it puts a few more mass-media people on notice that this kind of carelessness is becoming less socially acceptable.

  49. 49
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Jose Arcadio Buendía: Many commenters have explained (as have Front Pagers) why this is important. No problem if you don’t agree since we’re not all lock step here. But not sure what else can be said about why it’s important to address people like Cohen and Logan for you to understand.

  50. 50
    Mike E says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Though, the big dynamic here, the shitting on groups of people because the perpetrators feel their targets are powerless to fight back, is a pretty tough nut to crack.

  51. 51
    Dee Loralei says:

    @Another Holocene Human: that’s precisely why we need to do this. Even if we don’t get Cohen’s scalp, we need for him and other similar thinkers to be concerned about our response to their racist tripe. And that recidivism thing you said was the perfect analogy.

  52. 52
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Obama: “And I think it’s legitimate for them to expect me to have to win back some credibility on this health care law…”

    For fuck’s sake, Obama, would you PLEASE stop pouring fuel onto the fire set by the people who hate your fucking guts? You’re doing exactly what they want you to do. They want you to tell the public that they’re right and you’re wrong.

  53. 53
    rikyrah says:

    House GOP pushes Holder impeachment
    11/14/13 10:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Congressional Republicans are thrilled to be on the offensive, attacking the Affordable Care Act, keeping Democrats on the defensive, and uniting the GOP caucus behind a common purpose. Their disastrous government shutdown is fading in the rear-view mirror.

    Anything House Republicans can do to distract attention from the party’s message? Maybe an initiative to remind the American mainstream just how nutty some members of the congressional GOP can be? This ought to do the trick.

    A rump group of House Republicans are tired of waiting for answers from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. – they want him impeached and will formally introduce their charges Thursday.

    As Roll Call previously reported, a small group of GOP lawmakers have been drafting articles of impeachment for Holder over a string of controversies, including a Department of Justice refusal to turn over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, a refusal to uphold certain laws – namely the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 – and a refusal to prosecute IRS officials who accessed tax records of political donors and candidates without authorization. The articles of impeachment also charge that Holder provided false testimony to Congress – a “clear violation” of law.

    If successful, this would be the first impeachment of a sitting cabinet official in 137 years, and only the second ever in U.S. history.


  54. 54
    mike with a mic says:

    Logan is going nowhere. Despite her obvious bias on this issue and general hatred of the middle east CBS would be out of it’s mind to shit can her. Her bias stopped mattering the moment she was sexually assaulted, she’s also attractive. CBS is screwed. If they fire her the outrage at removing a senior female from the network, one who’s bias can be blamed on a sexual assault… yeah the woman could boil people alive on TV and firing her would still be a stupid move.

    It’s way too much of a risk for CBS and they know it.

  55. 55
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Death Panel Truck: PO has to show some contrition after the website debacle. If and when that gets fixed, and people get a better idea of their options, I suspect he’ll start calling come people out.

  56. 56
    Mike E says:

    @cleek: Heh, though my sister’s hometown rag had a Cohen column right above a Brooks one so I pointed this out and said, “I would love to beat this guy to a pulp using that guy’s body.” She wasn’t amused.

  57. 57
    piratedan says:

    @mike with a mic: Fine, give her a suspension but the least they could do is couple her with a competent producer who would actually vette her work… it would be a welcome change to actually see a news organization check its facts before running with a story.

  58. 58
    Chris says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    as a movement we have to take out our trash. Part of why the GOP is in such total disarray is that their extremists are at the rudder, piloting the whole ship into the rocks.

    This. It’s one of the biggest differences between us and them.

    I really don’t see how the fuck Cohen ever got stuck with the “liberal” label, but it’s all the more reason for us to want him gone.

  59. 59
    mike with a mic says:


    Again… her being attractive means that she can get picked up anywhere and will take her eyes with her. Further compounding that any bias she has stopped mattering once she became a sexually assaulted reporter in a war zone. She could call Obama a coward who jerked off while the embassy burned and personally wanted the contractors killed… doesn’t matter she is still a sexually assaulted woman and people will let it slide.

    The combination of her looks, star power, and horrific personal history make her valuable and untouchable. Was she ugly and not a sexual assault victim she would already be out the door… because she is attractive and a victim she can murder someone on air and nothing will happen.

    It’s a PR nightmare for CBS to do anything about it. Their only hope is that she goes away on her own free will, they will burn if they so much as speak ill of her.

    That sucks, but that’s how PR works. It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about image and optics, the truth NEVER matters.

  60. 60
    Chris says:


    I guess they learned from the 1990s that impeaching a sitting president doesn’t pay, but they (and their base) just really want their pound of flesh, so this is what they’ve come up with. See, they can compromise.

  61. 61
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Yes, but where’s the fun in that?

    AND, it’s more work!!!

    Just watch FOX, and crib from one of Issa’s many idiotic committee hearings.

  62. 62
    LanceThruster says:

    I think it would be helpful to create a list of all those conservative couplings Cohen finds gag-inducing.

    Clarence and Ginny Thomas
    Lindsey Graham and broom handle
    James Carville and Mary Matlin (interspecies?)

  63. 63
    cmorenc says:

    If I had to pick between successfully taking out Lara Logan of the CBS “Benghazi” confabulations vs Richard Cohen of the Washington Post editorial page’s offenseive cluelessness on race, I’d rather successfully take down Lara Logan, who is frankly the more dangerous of the two. Cohen may be spewing offensively clueless columns, but at least he’s not a subversive right-wing mole planted in the MSM; just a babbling old man who needs to retire where he can harmlessly shout at the clouds between cocktails. Logan OTOH IS a subversive right-wing mole planted in a key MSM spot on the best-established television muckraking news show on TV with far wider audience than a babbling editorialist for the Washington Post. Don’t think for a moment that she won’t be looking out for other less-easily fact-checked muckraking stories damaging to democratic administrations and progressive causes, that she can drape with the respectability of 60 minutes (or what’s left of it) and the CBS network.

    It’s fortunate that we don’t really have to pick just one to go after, but if forced to prioritize our focus, it should be more on Logan than Cohen.

  64. 64
    Citizen_X says:


    a refusal to uphold certain laws – namely the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986

    Yeah, that’ll be popular. [/eyeroll] Please proceed, GOP.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    James Carville and Mary Matlin (interspecies?)

    Carville is a dipshit, and he’s made more so by being the consort of the Bellatrix Lestrange of the Rethuglican party.

  66. 66
    Amir Khalid says:

    They have this fond desire to impeach a high official in the Obama administration, any one will do, on any charge at all. Not to identify and root out wrongdoing, but to claim a political scalp. There was this old British courtroom show I used to watch a long rime ago called Crown Court which presented fictionalised versions of actual cases. In one episode, a former criminal, who had been tried for conspiring with his old gang to commit a crime (and acquitted after it turned out there was never any real case against him) sued the prosecutors for malicious prosecution (apparently a real thing in the English legal system) and won. If Holder is ever impeached, I suspect it might qualify as a malicious prosecution.

  67. 67
    hitchhiker says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Me too! Double pleeeease.

  68. 68
    mzrad says:

    His ombudsman should ensure a public and appropriate apology from Mr. Cohen to the collective Blasio (de Blasio?) family. Not sure I want the guy fired because I never read his shitty column anyway and couldn’t care less about the the mental ramblings of some passed-the-sell-date opinion “writer.” Maybe ombudsman could help the outdated Mr. Cohen with pushing play on a Netflix DVD (or stream?) of _Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?_ and looking up the definition of “conventional.” In Cohen’s dictionary, it’s apparently next to “racist.”

  69. 69
    BGinCHI says:

    The day after the 60 minutes bullshit apology I sent a complaint via their complaint page and one to CBS news as well.

    Maybe hitting their advertisers would help too.

  70. 70
    Yatsuno says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    sued the prosecutors for malicious prosecution (apparently a real thing in the English legal system)

    Also exists in the American legal system, but it’s a tort rather than a criminal action.

  71. 71
    stinger says:

    @Comrade Mary: @elisabeth: If I were President Obama, I’d deny Major Garrett access to the White House. But first I’d punch him in the nose. (“This new honest answer”??)

  72. 72
    Gene108 says:


    There are no liberal billionaires and if any have liberal sympathies they are not going to blow millions on money losing media ventures, because guys like Soros made their money themselves; they did not inherit it like Mellon-Scaife, the Koch brothers, etc who have no problem propping money losing businesses to push their politics out.

  73. 73


    I guess they learned from the 1990s that impeaching a sitting president doesn’t pay

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  74. 74
    Nellie in NZ says:

    Thanks for the email address – here is what I am sending him – need to look it over one more time.

    I’m amazed at the variety and intelligence of people in the United States. Given the range of voices and perspectives, why in the world, does the Washington Post continue to offer employment and a public platform to such a poor writer and sloppy thinker as Richard Cohen?

    He generalizes as to what “other people” think and then claims to knock it down. Since when is he an authority on what conservative and tea party people think in Iowa? What is the basis for his assumptions? Could you find someone more out of touch? Is this what passes for a knowledge base in DC? Sitting there and pontificating about the “real world” without much experience of it?

    So there’s the sloppy thinking. Then there is lazy writing (and possibly inept editing). His job is to communicate and be understood and now he is claiming that others misunderstand him, that of course he doesn’t think what he was attributing (sloppy thinking, as I’ve shown) to someone else. I’ve taught writing for four decades and wouldn’t expect that kind of carelessness in my students and yet, you pay Mr. Cohen in what should be one of the premier newspapers in the country.

    Meanwhile, journalism schools have students going begging for jobs.

    Richard Cohen is apparently unable to leave his own bubble to actually find out how other people think. He is unable to leave his own generalizations to understand the world outside his door. And he is unable to read his own writing with enough detachment to see how it might be interpreted by the audience.

    Surely, he has a family with whom he can spend more time.

  75. 75
    Liberty60 says:

    Remember when n**ger was a word that people proudly spouted? What happened? how did it become a taboo, one of the few in a secular society like ours?
    How did racism, which was a proud attribute of previous generations become more of an epithet than pedophile?

    What was the process, what events happened to make this so?

    Steady drumbeats of anger and outrage, which seemed petty and futile at the time, but over time, created a culture in which change happened.

    Remember Jimmy the Greek? How at the time it seemed like a petty and cruel thing to shitcan a mans entire career over a stupid remark?

    Every single up and coming young sportscaster watched that, and learned the lesson.

    Right now a million would be pundits are watching, and learning a lesson in the acceptable parameters of social discourse. Its up to us to determine what lesson that is.

  76. 76
    shortstop says:

    Haven’t been around much, so perhaps this has been discussed already, but in addition to Coates’ excellent takedown, there’s this.

    P.S. @Liberty60: This.

  77. 77
    Redshirt says:

    @Gene108: I know.

    Though, I’m surprised there’s not at least one, given the millions upon millions made rather randomly during the dot.com bubble and subsequent tech crazes. There ARE rich liberal dudes out there, but I bet they turn “Libertarian” as soon as the 000,000’s start dropping into the accounts.

    If anyone wants to give me a $100,000,000, I’ll show you what a rich Progressive can do.

  78. 78
    JoyfulA says:

    There’s always Jeff@amazon.com, which third-party sellers at Amazon swear by.

  79. 79
    Steve S says:

    Just emailed the ombudsman:

    Richard Cohen’s numerous racist statements do not deserve the Washington Post’s seal of approval. George Will’s misleading climate change essays are bad too, but Cohen’s racism should not be tolerated.
    Steve S_____

  80. 80
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Steve S: Also wrote the Ombudsman. Hoping that so many people took action that WP cannot ignore the outrage. Cohen must go. He can find a comfortable home at Fox News or Washington Times. He can be their House Liberal.

  81. 81
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @mike with a mic: I strongly disagree. What does her sexual assault in Egypt have to do with her failure to vet her Benghazi report? None whatsoever. CBS fired Dan Rather for the exact same thing she did, i.e., misreporting a story.

    She’ll land on her feet if she’s let go from 60 Minutes. It’s not like she’ll never work again.

  82. 82

    I sent a short letter to Washington Post and wrote up a blog post.
    Brave Sir Richard not so brave actually.

  83. 83
    johnny aquitard says:

    @cleek: How do you not understand readership and his position as a shaper of opinion?

    He has a position and a readership where he can sling that racist bullshit out there and palm it off as the conventional wisdom. He’s mainstreaming the conservative radicalism. He’s asserting that blatant racist horseshit is anything but, and you shrugging your shoulders is tacit acceptance of him giving that racism cover. He’s trying to give it legitimacy. Which is the whole goal of what those of his ilk have always attempted to do.

  84. 84
    pluege says:

    Some in the comment thread then asked, reasonably enough, what is to be done?

    For one, you can put “richard cohen is an absolute disgrace. It reflects very badly on The Post that they publish him” on everything at the Post where you can write-in – there are dozens of them, whether or not they pertain cohen’s crap or not – they will get the message even if its just them screening all of the complaints.

  85. 85
    Calming influence says:

    In a comment on John’s post last night, I proposed we get out of each others way. Here’s what happened:


    Botsplainer says:
    November 14, 2013 at 7:13 am

    @Calming influence:

    You know the first, simplest, and very helpful thing progressives could do in this direction? That would be, like maybe when someone like Alan Grayson decides to go a little nukular and invoke Nazis or some shit to describe what he sees going on in the House? That simplest, easiest, non-complicating thing we could do is shut the fuck up. That’s right, just no-comment no-analysis no-”I agree with his anger but I don’t care for his tone” fucking silence.

    So Boatplainer sez: “Alan Grayson always sounds like a dumbass whose face needs a fist jammed into it, repeatedly.

    He is a fucking human cartoon. Our version of Louis Gohmert, if you will. “

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. You don’t like Grayson, so you happily go on a progressive website and say he’s a “dumb-ass”. Here’s a hint: search through all the wingnut websites you can find, and show me an example of wingnuts going after Gohmert because he’s a “dumb-ass”.

    It ain’t happening. Maybe avoiding circular firing squads is just a skill God gave idiots as compensation, but we could try to learn, couldn’t we? They know how to incite emotion. Emotion wins elections. We don’t have to sell our souls. Just stop publicly shitting on your allies’ outreach. It’s probably meant to attract voters very unlike yourself. It’s not all about you.

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