Ed Driscoll

Blue on Blue: Frank Rich Dumps on David Gregory

“Is David Gregory a journalist?” asks Frank Rich, late of the New York Times, now with New York magazine, as spotted by John Nolte of Big Journalism:

Talk about blue on blue violence. Sunday on “Meet the Press,” anchor David Gregory gave The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald no benefit of the doubt when he asked his supposed media colleague if he should be “charged with a crime” over his work with NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Some in media defended and agreed with Gregory. New York Magazine’s Frank Rich did not:

Is David Gregory a journalist? As a thought experiment, name one piece of news he has broken, one beat he’s covered with distinction, and any memorable interviews he’s conducted that were not with John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin, or Chuck Schumer. Meet the Press has fallen behind CBS’s Face the Nation, much as Today has fallen to ABC’s Good Morning America, and my guess is that Gregory didn’t mean to sound like Joe McCarthy (with a splash of the oiliness of Roy Cohn) but was only playing the part to make some noise. …

While blue on blue rhetorical violence is always fun to watch, to be fair, Rich really only has three modes of argument; his enemies are either McCarthyites, Communists or Nazis. Or sometimes all three, as I noted back in 2010:

Back in October, Frank Rich referred to conservatives as rabid communists, in an article titled, “The G.O.P. Stalinists Invade Upstate New York.”

By the middle of the last month, they were rabid anti-communists:

As if to underline the McCarthyism implicit in this smear campaign, the Cheney ally Marc Thiessen (one of the two former Bush speechwriters now serving as Washington Post columnists) started spreading these charges on television with a giggly, repressed hysteria uncannily reminiscent of the snide Joe McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn.

Late last month, though, after referencing the rabid anti-communist communists (and this is Rich, err rich) slurring the president, they morphed yet again:

How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht.

On this we can agree: I’m not a fan of the leftwing Lyndon Larouche gang who infiltrated the Tea Parties last year — but like Rich, they’re for socialized medicine as well. And I can’t believe anyone would compare the president of the United States to Hitler.

Well, except for Frank Rich, who made the same comparison himself back in 2003:

Showtime, the cable network, boasts that no fewer than three journalists, including the Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, were involved in assuring the accuracy and balance of the docudrama ”DC 9/11: Time of Crisis,” first shown last Sunday while the actual George W. Bush was addressing the nation. But this film, made with full Bush administration cooperation (including that of the president himself), is propaganda so untroubled by reality that it’s best viewed as a fitting memorial to Leni Riefenstahl.


But hey, Communist anti-Communist Nazis: Rich has all the bases covered. (Well, except for referring to conservatives as the Taliban. But Rich got that one out of the way back in 2005, along with a reference to the Salem Witch Trials, naturally enough.)

Incidentally, back in 2008, Rich sagely opinioned from the observation deck of the New York Times that, “In our news culture, [Joy] Behar, a stand-up comic by profession, looms as the new Edward R. Murrow.” I think that sentence alone should excuse — at least in Rich’s fevered opinion — David Gregory’s myriad excesses.

Oh, and speaking of Blue on Blue warfare, leakers “should be shot in the balls,” says…Edward Snowden back in 2008.

I’m sure our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president would very much like to take Snowden up on that notion right now.