Ed Driscoll

McDonnell, You Magnificent Bastard, I Read Your Thesis!

Here’s a new one: the Washington Post describes how the newly-minted governor of Virginia survived the paper’s smear campaign against him. Ken Shepherd of Newsbusters says it reminds him of Anchorman, though perhaps with less blow-dried hair:

Today’s Metro section front-pager by Washington Post’s Amy Gardner — “McDonnell team rose to challenge in darkest hour” — reminded me of a line from “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”

“From deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight hate you. But g*d***it, do I respect you!” seethes rival TV station anchor Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) to Burgundy (Will Ferrell).

The Washington Post hatefully threw all it had at making the “thesis issue” a career killer for McDonnell, who went on to win 54 percent of the women’s vote in Tuesday election. But looking back, Post staffer Amy Gardner gave readers a look into how the McDonnell campaign hunkered down, stuck with a disciplined message, and thwarted the paper’s scheme to “macaca” McDonnell:

Of course, as Shepherd’s reference to “macaca” highlights, liberal journalists’ attacks on conservative politicians are considered merely par for the course in DC. Bill Clinton was quoted by the Post, coincidentally or not, at the height of their macaca phase, “There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies — and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.”

But what happens when those accusations flow the other way? Then it’s time for a little “Media Criticism, Chicago-Style.”