Shortly before President Obama’s second inaugural, CBS’s John Dickerson wrote a lengthy piece cheerleading Obama’s hyperpartisan governing style. Dickerson says he was merely (and accurately) predicting what Obama would say in his address, but it seems what we have here is a case of poe-TAY-toe/poe-TAH-toe.
But then the hate mail starting coming in after Dickerson landed on the FOX News ticker. Here’s a (small) taste of what he wrote in his own defense:
Some people thought I was giving the president my personal advice. No. My goal was to make a compelling argument based on the facts. I used words like “war” and “pulverize,” and some have responded with threats to me and my family. (“Go for his throat!” some have counseled, echoing the headline.) These words have also liberated some correspondents (USUALLY THE ONES THAT TYPE IN ALL CAPS!!!!) from reading the piece or reading it in the spirit in which it was written. But there were also almost 2,000 other words in the piece, which should put that provocative language in context. What’s been lost in the news ticker and Twitter threats is the argument of the piece: This is the only plausible path for a bold, game-changing second term for a president who has positioned himself the way President Obama has.
I realize Dickerson is a major correspondent for a major news organization which only sometimes bases major news stories on obvious forgeries, and I’m just a blogger sitting at home in his pajamas. But I would like to offer him one small bit of writing advice, which I’m sending to him in this open letter.
When you have to write an 800-word column explaining your 2,000-word column, there’s a chance your 2,000-word column wasn’t very well written. As the author of a few stinkers my own self, I can tell you that you don’t need to end up being misrepresented on the FOX News ticker for people to notice the stench.
-Your Friendly Neighborhood VodkaPundit
For Tatler readers, I offer a little more of Dickerson’s own words:
Some assume I hate Republicans. This latter charge will confuse my close relations, who are not only proud conservatives but among Fox News’ most ardent fans (the two groups not necessarily overlapping). Indeed, one of the many reactions I received on my reporting on the tensions within the Republican Party came from a family member. [Lengthy family member quote omitted.]
Why, there are conservatives right there within Dickerson’s own family. See? They aren’t so bad, all of them. The ones related to John Dickerson. But the rest of us type in ALL CAPS AND GET ALL OUR DUMB KNOWLEDGES FROM THE FOX NEWS. And of course, we can’t tell the difference between cheerleading and prognosticating — or solving “this math problem,” as Dickerson claims. Because math is hard, and conservatives aren’t smart enough to do it.
Maybe, maybe not. But we can spot a whiny Washington weasel, all the way from flyover country.