Ed Driscoll

Politico's Glenn Thrush is BenSmithing Wendy Davis' Disastrous Wheelchair Ad

To add a little Texas lingo to this post, Glenn Thrush of Politico is bored, y’all:


But then, he’s often bored. It’s his favorite tactic, when one of his fellow leftists is in heap big trouble (to keep the Texisisms going), or there’s a topic that reflects negatively on the left he doesn’t want to discuss:

And again last year, when both sides of the aisle were stunned by the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, Glenn was posing as suffering from a massive case of journalistic narcolepsy:

This past September,  Thrush tweeted the above feigned ignorance of Saul Alinsky, whose tactics inspired numerous prominent leftists such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (to the point where Alinsky’s son openly praised Obama in the Boston Globe in August of 2008, gushing, “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.”


As I wrote last month in response, John Nolte of Big Journalism coined the phrase “BenSmithing” to describe the tactics of the former Politico turned BuzzFeed scribe and member of the JournoList, that self-described “non-official campaign” to elect Obama, which as its founder Ezra Klein explained, was only open to his fellow leftists. As the Urban Dictionary notes, BenSmithing is “a political tactic that disguises itself as journalism in order to protect Democrats, most specifically Barack Obama.”

Smith’s former colleague Glenn Thrush, still with the Politico, is also quite prepared to do a little BenSmithing to aid his fellow Democrats in higher places: whenever a scandal engulfs them, Thrush affects an attitude of boredom. Hey, no big deal — Evel Knievel totally meant to crash the motorcycle on the landing ramp. All part of the act; happens all the time, you guys.

It’s a curious tone though, for someone who holds himself out as a journalist, and not as a Democrat operative with a byline. Those of us who have the privilege of observing the Hieronymus Bosch meets Koyaanisqatsi landscape of the world of the 21st century and then reporting on the wreckage around us are usually horrified at how dysfunctional the modern world and its political players are and eager to share the details with our readers. But for Thrush, it’s all pretty boring. At least when bad things happen to his fellow leftists.


Thrush’s response to the above post? He simply BenSmithed being called on his frequent BenSmithing:

Tom Wolfe has said that the first rule of journalism is don’t bore the reader — and if you’re bored as a journalist, just imagine how your audience will suffer in response. If Thrush finds American politics so dull, perhaps he might want to locate another topic to write about. But then, that would assume that journalism is actually his primary job. Or as Glenn Reynolds would say, just think of Thrush, Weigel and Smith as Democratic operatives with bylines and it all makes sense.

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