The Washington Post, the pre-Politico newsletter of choice for The Political Establishment, has the worst opinion section in America. Today, they once again prove why: the paper, which helped to break the NSA Prism spying story, editorializes that the U.S. government must stop Edward Snowden from leaking any more of that awful news.
One rock solid rule of editorial writing is, if you're against something, you always want to find a way to compare it to Hitler. This works because people hate Hitler a lot—and, through the simple principle of transference, they will have an equal amount of hate for whichever thing you compare to Hitler. This is just a basic "trick of the trade" which cannot backfire.
There is nothing more amusing on a Wednesday morning than to read some of the New York Observer's voluminous, fawning Occupy Wall Street coverage, and then immediately afterwards read the paper's invariably horrific in-house editorial of the week, which is dictated from on high by the paper's owner, millionaire real estate scion and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose silver spoon gives him divine guidance on the issues of the day.
The most amusing things of all about the New York Observer are its comically repellent house editorials, which are dictated from on high by owner and Donald Trump family member Jared Kushner and are always, always hilariously right-wing in a way that stands out from the rest of the paper's content like a Trump in Zucotti Park.
This ROD BLAGOJEVICH scandal is just awesome for newspapers. I mean, who would have thought the Tribune company would ever have a starring role in another political scandal even as a reporting entity, much less as some sort of "powerful" media outlet that inspired fear and hatred in elected officials? The Chicago Trib editorial page was what you were worried about, ROD BLAGOJEVICH, really? Well that suits the Chicago Trib editorial page just fine!:
Fallen former newspaper mogul Conrad Black—Baron Black of Crossharbour, to you—is currently serving out a 78 month sentence in a Florida prison for fraud and obstruction of justice, related to his looting of his own company's funds for his personal use. Or so the government claims. The martyred Lord used to write editorials decrying the injustice of his convictions in the New York Sun, but they folded. Now he's writing the same damn thing in the Times of London. And the man who was once the world's third-biggest newspaper magnate sounds like the second coming of Eldridge Cleaver:
What does it take to get American editorial pages honest-to-God riled up about something? In addition to the expected criticism from the left, Hank Paulson's $700 billion bank bailout has been savaged by no less a conservative than Newt Gingrich, who wrote, "we’re using the taxpayers’ money to hire people to save their friends with even more taxpayer money." Among the more strenuous Congressional opponents is the Republican senator from Alabama who chairs the Senate banking committee and said he worries the bailout "is neither workable nor comprehensive despite its enormous price tag." The Monday plunge in the dollar and U.S. stocks was widely seen as rendering judgement on the cost and effectiveness of the plan, unveiled over the weekend. And yet, save for some quibbling about oversight, the Times' Tuesday editorial on the matter treats the bailout as a given:
The story we're about to bring you is sad on so many levels. Well, two levels. First, it illustrates the disappointing and kind of disgusting decline of a legendary civil rights institution, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), former home of Martin Luther King, Jr. Second, it shows what a farce half of the things you see on editorial pages are, if they come from public figures. We'll give you a condensed version of this ongoing media vs. advocacy group vs. PR firm controversy-as you read it, ask yourself whether MLK would have found himself caught up in this crap. Charles Steele, Jr., president of the SCLC, wrote an editorial which ran in several southern newspapers. The editorial was against upcoming legislation that would limit credit card fees-a bill favored by retailers (which would save money) but not by credit card companies (which would lose money in fees). Here's the problem: Steele didn't write the editorial. A PR firm working for the credit card companies contracted a third party to write it, and it somehow got submitted to the papers without getting approved by Steele. Fucked up, right? It's obviously a huge mistake by the PR firm. It makes the papers look foolish for running an editorial that the "author" hadn't even seen. And, of course, nobody wants to wake up one day and read something in the paper with their name on it that they've never seen. But Steele and the SCLC aren't heroic in this. Check out their main complaint:
Though he does not know it, Verlyn Klinkenborg is my nemesis. He's a member of the New York Times editorial board. Like all of the board's members, he has the privilege of using the most valuable op-ed space in American newspapers as a bulletin board for his personal musings. Verlyn takes advantage of this power to write regular items about "The Rural Life," all of which I can summarize as follows: "As I strolled through the country or gazed out my window, I saw nature, which I ruminated upon. Tra la, tra la, tra la." If I have to open up the Sunday paper one more time and see a chunk of editorial page real estate occupied by an "Editorial Notebook" essay inspired solely by window-gazing, I simply don't know what I will do. So Verlyn: I'd like to offer you a gentleman's agreement.
If the New York Post had to name three things that it can't stand, those things would be: cultural sensitivity, wisdom, and peace (fourth: stepping on gum). That's why the paper is outraged that "the Bush administration has gone all PC in the War on Terror." They've stopped using words like "jihad" and "Islamo-fascism" because they may be provocative or offensive. The Post's jaw literally dropped onto the floor at that news! Right onto the floor! So the neocon, Murdoch-owned scandal sheet had to evoke the memory of prominent socialist revolutionary George Orwell to help it call for harsher language about the Arabian menace: