Roger L. Simon

The Washington Post in Desperation Mode

If you’re looking for further proof… assuming that any is necessary… that the daily newspaper as we know it is headed for extinction, look no further than McCain: A Question of Temperament by Michael Leahy in today’s WaPo. It reads somewhere between a discarded talking points memo for party functionaries and a post on some minor blog by a third-string research assistant to Howard Dean. And yet the WaPo has it on the front page!

As with most journalistic enterprises of the standard biased form, you can skip down to the ultimate paragraph for the writer’s final “impartial’ point….

McCain’s defenders today include an old nemesis — Grassley.

“It doesn’t mean I’m buddy-buddy with McCain,” the senator said recently. “He may have a short fuse. . . . But I’ve come to the conclusion that his strong principles, sometimes backed up by considerable” — Grassley paused — “not temper, but considerable conviction, is what a president ought to have.”

One man’s bulldozer is another’s bully. “I don’t think that he forgets anyone who ever opposed him, that he can ever really respect or trust them again,” said Karen Johnson, the targeted secretary-turned-state senator. “That goes for people here and overseas.”

For a moment there it seemed as if McCain’s temper might not be such a big deal–one man’s bulldozer is another’s bully, after all–but NO! Karen Johnson–whoever she is–gets the last word: McCain is a hothead who never forgets… people here…and lest we forget…overseas. [Does that mean he’ll hold a grudge against Ahmadinejad? -ed. Beats me.]

Well, since this is my blog, I have the last word for Mr. Leahy: “You’re a hack!”

UPDATE: McCain collaborator Mark Salter (who is frequently quoted, or rather misquoted, in the article) says the whole thing is BS and has plenty of citations to prove it. He goes on: “But for the infamous NYT story, I’d say it was the worst smear job on McCain I’d ever seen.” Undoubtedly, he’s right. But if I were McCain I’d be a pretty happy camper if this puerile nonsense is all they could dredge up.