by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Tom Nichols writes a Federalist column that pokes at heretofore readable liberal journalists.
What’s happening to otherwise-intelligent liberal journalists? (No snarking, please. These are in fact intelligent people, even if I find myself disagreeing with them more often than not.) I’m talking about people conservatives once grudgingly conceded were calm and readable, even as proponents of liberal views.
Lately, however, they’re panicky and defensive, with professional writers and politicos now feigning utter stupidity and pretending not to understand politics, the law, or even the English language. …
… I mean liberals who are sensible people and know how to write a story—or, more importantly, how not to write a story—and who know how Washington works. As Hillary Clinton marches to the Democratic nomination with less suspense than an election in the Soviet Central Committee, something is happening to liberal writers that is uncomfortable even for conservatives to watch.
Exhibit A: Ryan Lizza, a journalist who among conservatives has a reputation as part of the reasonable wing of liberal scribes, the kind of establishment liberal conservatives read as part of a balanced media diet. That’s why so many of them were gobsmacked when Lizza recently went for two cheap hits on Jeb Bush, taking Bush out of context as though Lizza were a high-school reporter flubbing his first story about a candidate giving a talk at the local Rotary.
Lizza’s rookie move was to grab Jeb’s “stuff happens” quote after the Oregon mass shooting, making it seem like Bush was shrugging off a day of mayhem. Even Lizza’s colleagues in the press pushed back, but that’s not the point: Lizza had to know what he was doing, and he had to know it was wrong. …
… Now, Lizza is not this stupid. Unless he just arrived here from Alpha Centauri, he knows full well that Bush was not bent on the economic destruction of the Washington DC area.
Lizza is not alone. I had a recent Twitter conversation with Greg Sargent, the writer of The Washington Post’s always readable “Plum Line” column, about whether Hillary Clinton did anything wrong in her email troubles. Sargent did what many liberals are now doing, in effect pretending that they have no idea how anything in the American political system works.
In particular, Sargent found it an overly complicated explanation to believe Hillary set up a private email for any nefarious reason. For the rest of us, of course, that’s the simple explanation, and anything else is complicated.
Liberal journalists who live around congressional investigations every day are feigning shock at a congressional investigation.
Nichols’ observations are worthy of a Jon Ham “Media Mangle.”