What Would Ben Bradlee Say?

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So what would you say if I told you that the Washington Post ran a headline above the fold on Page A1 (yes, I still get the dead tree edition of the paper delivered every morning) saying “Earth Not Actually Round, But Ellipsoid,” followed by the subhead “Revelation Renews Speculation About Flat Earth”?

Wouldn’t happen, would it? This is the Washington Post, not the Podunk Prevaricator we’re talking about. Even Scramble godhead figure Charlie Pierce thinks the Post has smartened up on the Clinton email dopery (he’s wrong on this, and now I will say about a thousand Hail Marys to atone for this otherwise mortal blog sin. Sorry, Saint Charlie). I maintain that a couple of editorials aside, the Post is still in the throes of its own malady, Clinton Derangement Syndrome (I will agree with Pierce that, overall, it’s a less virulent strain of the vicious bug than that which has been eating in the intestines of the New York Times, which is on the order of magnitude of John Hurt’s intestinal problems in this classic film [for the squeamish, I’m sparing you the embed, but click the link if you dare. Not around anyone with a sensitive stomach, please]).

Back to today’s offense against basic J-school rules. Here’s two separate facts to consider: one, Hillary Clinton has pneumonia, was dehydrated yesterday, and left a 9/11 memorial service early. Two, a bunch of right wing trolls and self-appointed doctors have concluded that Clinton is gravely ill and has been for years.

For a long while, the media kept the crazy people (hey there Sean Hannity!) quarantined for mental if not physical reasons. Now, suddenly, Hillary Clinton gets sick (as a former candidate and long time election participant, I can assure you that candidate illnesses are almost but not quite as common as campaign hookups) and the Post just grabs the key and lets all the lunatics out of the asylum. 

So anyway, here’s today’s Post front page. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the word “speculation” used in a respectable paper’s headline before, much less on A1 above the fold.


And just for a little icing on the shit cake, there’s this turd wrapped in a fart nestled in a sweat stain from Chris Cillizza. Shorter: “how dare that woman get sick on 9/11 and then not let a reporter follow her home to make sure she’s not lying.” Can you imagine the nerve? Now poor Chris is being forced, yea, verily, to cover a story he doesn’t want to, but he must. Hear those horns? Duty is calling, and answer the call, Chris Cillizza must.

Face, meet palm. Dude, how many times I gotta tell you, stick to the numbers? Every time you wander into actual thinking, you embarrass and humiliate yourself.

There will be three reporters on this story full time beginning . . . about NOW. And the questions, oh yes, here they come.

Where’s her Pap smear from 1975?

What is she hiding?

Why did she change doctors in 1986? Did the doctor learn something he shouldn’t? He died in 2007 at 74 – was it natural causes? OR SOMETHING ELSE?

Why won’t you let a reporter come to your physical next week? Transparency!!!

I’ll be communing shortly with the spirit of Ben Bradlee, who as we speak is weeping uncontrollably in Maryland Scramble’s safe house in an undisclosed location.

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