Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 3, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MELTDOWN AT THE WASHINGTON TIMES....Via Sullivan, we get a fascinating inside report from George Archibald on the latest newsroom meltdown from Washington Times editor-in-chief Francis Coombs. Along the way there's also this:

The day before, there was a brief discussion on the foreign desk about a pending series by religion writer Julia Duin on the abortion of girls in India....In the discussion with colleagues on The Washington Times foreign desk, [foreign desk editor David Jones] said: "The reason we are running this story is that Coombs thinks all the aborted girls means that Indian men will be immigrating to the United States to marry our girls." That is an exact quote, what Jones told his colleagues on the foreign desk.

Coombs has told me and others repeatedly that he favors abortion because he sees it as a way to eliminate black and other minority babies.

Charming. Archibald, a longtime Washington Times reporter who left the paper a few years ago, also passes along news of Coombs confronting a reporter "bug-eyed, sneering, shouting, waving his fist, spittle flecks flying." He then asks, "Has the man become unhinged and lost his marbles? Will he have to be carried out in a straight-jacket?"

Sounds like it. At the same time, my impression from the passage above is that Coombs' views on abortion and black babies have been held for a long time. Doesn't seem to have hurt his career at the Times, though.

Kevin Drum 12:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (42)

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Comments

Coombs and Coulter. Just the latest examples of the conservative continum of hate.

Posted by: AngryOne on March 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Something tells me this guy did not vote for Kerry in '04 Al....

Posted by: me on March 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

The Moonie Times has bigots on staff? Knock me over with a feather.

Posted by: jimBOB on March 3, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

And if he leaves the moonie times it won't hurt his job prospects in the rest of wingnutta either

Posted by: klyde on March 3, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, that darned MSM.

Posted by: Kenji on March 3, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

They're even more unhinged than I thought - and that's saying a great deal!

Posted by: RT on March 3, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Where are those white girls willing to marry an immigrant from India?

Posted by: gregor on March 3, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Normally, someone like that would be accused of blotting his Holy Handkerchief, but at that organization, I doubt it. Every time I have had occasion to email that racist rag, the rest of the staff ignores my jibes while he comes back with hate filled invective. For a good time, email Fran Coombs at fcoombs@washingtontimes.com

Posted by: Mike on March 3, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone read the post at Archibald's blog previous to the one linked by Kevin?

What's in the water at the Washington Times?

Posted by: jm on March 3, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Not all conservatives are racists, but all racists are conservative.

Posted by: dataguy on March 3, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Archibald, a longtime Washington Times reporter who left the paper a few years ago, also passes along news of Coombs confronting a reporter "bug-eyed, sneering, shouting, waving his fist, spittle flecks flying."

And why should we listen to what the left wing extremist Archibald says? As Joe Klein pointed out, people who "regularly uses harsh, vulgar, intolerant language to attack moderates or conservatives" are left wing extremists. By doing nothing more than launch a verbal tirade against the conservative Coombs, Archibald has outed himself as a left wing extremist.

Posted by: Al on March 3, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

William Shawcross (remember him?) writes about Iraq:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article1464476.ece

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on March 3, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Al on March 3, 2007 at 2:20 PM:

..why should we listen to what the left wing extremist Archibald says?

I know that I'm responding to a parody, but I want to nip this one in the bud.

Most recently, from a post called Jenna:

And if these secular humanist nerds in the classrooms of Colorado State University or anywhere else don’t recognize that and see where their bread is buttered, that’s their problem. Students will take themselves and their dollars elsewhere – that’s how the free market works.
Hang in there, Jenna, and all students with your moral values. Bravery and biblical moral values will win in the end.
We have to do something about this, and we will, believe me.

And another called Fight Joined:

Hillary Clinton may be the Democratic Party's political star as former First Lady, but she is a policy wonk who could not put together an acceptable health care policy for national and state political leaders in the 1990s, when we most needed a good new health care policy for the decades ahead...

Just so everyone here knows where this Archibald character is coming from...the far right.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 3, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Coombs has told me and others repeatedly that he favors abortion because he sees it as a way to eliminate black and other minority babies.

This is why I have never taken the rightwing anti-abortion crowd seriously, because they are really anti-white-abortion.

Posted by: Disputo on March 3, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

people who "regularly uses harsh, vulgar, intolerant language to attack moderates or conservatives" are left wing extremists.

People who regularly use homophobic slurs and call for the poisoning of supreme court justices and call for the decimation of liberals are right-wing domestic terrorists who should have those draconian new laws they were so hot for used against them.

Yes. Ann Coulter is a domestic terrorist and should stand trial as such.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 3, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, given thatthe GOP has benefited from $3 billion in free propaganda provided by Sun Myung Moon, the force behind the Washington Times.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on March 3, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Ann Coulter is a domestic terrorist and should stand trial as such.

Along with Bill Maher.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on March 3, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Obviously these statements by Coombs are taken out of context.

And how about a little perspective here, Kevin. What does the editor of the NYT think about abortion? WHAT DOES KEVIN DRUM THINK ABOUT IT?

Posted by: egbert on March 3, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

I don't watch TV - whose assassination has Maher called for?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 3, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

This is the home of Tony Blankley, favored pundit of the right. God, save us from Brits telling us how to live.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on March 3, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Did he really misspell "straitjacket"? Apparently so.

Posted by: wahoofive on March 3, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl,

He didn't explicitly call for anyone's assaination, but he basically said he was sorry the attempt on Cheney's life failed in Afghanistan.

Egbert,

The evil of Coombs statement is not that he opposes abortion. Noone would assume anything different about the Editor in Chief of the Washington Times. The evil is in the fact that he favors abortions for minorities in an effort to reduce their numbers. If that's not racism, then I don't know what is. Please don't defend the statements. Call them lies or something else, but don't try to defend them. They are indefensible.

Posted by: Noah on March 3, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

The evil republican Ann Coulter saying, " I Would Talk About Edwards But “You Have To Go Into Rehab If You Use The Word ‘Faggot’”
Speaking today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter said: “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.” Audience members said “ohhh” and then cheered.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), prior to Coulter’s appearance: “I am happy to hear that after you hear from me, you will hear from Ann Coulter. That is a good thing. Oh yeah!”
Previously, Coulter has put “even money” on Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) “[c]oming out of the closet,” said Bill Clinton shows “some level of latent homosexuality,” and called Vice President Al Gore a “total fag.”

The Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issues the following statement:

“We demand that every single Presidential candidate in attendance at this conference, along with Vice President Cheney stand up and publicly condemn this type of gutter-style politics,” continued Solmonese. “If not, then their silence will be deafening to the vast majority of Americans who believe this type of language belongs no where near the discussions about the future of our country.”

Filed under: Radical Right
Posted by Nico March 2, 2007 4:17 pm thinkprogress.org


Posted by: consider wisely always on March 3, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Just another avenue for fair and balanced news promulgation.

So it's OK to say this stuff within an organization, in the editorial office, but as long as you don't publish your real thoughts you expect respect for your publication?

Well, at least it accounts for what the Washington Times comes across as being.

Posted by: notthere on March 3, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

When Coombs calls for the abortion of minority babies, does it mean Korean babies too?

Posted by: natural cynic on March 3, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Considering the vast popularity of Steven "Freakonomics" Levitt's theory that legalizing abortion cut the crime rate, it looks like that's a very popular view in America these days.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on March 3, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Matt, the off-topic Times article you linked to is yet another bit of fact free cheerleading from concern hawks like yourself. Here are a few of the claims and the corrections Shawcross's editor should probably run:

There are encouraging signs — the Iraqi military is becoming ever more competent

False. Over the past few years this canard has been thrown around by wingnuts pointing to the Iraqi military "taking over control" of such and such a province or X amount of geography.

In reality, the latest NIE observes that the Iraqi military won't be prepared to handle for years what wingnuts were claiming it was already doing years ago. In point of fact, the new Petraeus plan to secure Baghdad is in place because the Iraqi military has been a failure.

If that weren't enough, we have the word of American trainers who have said time and time again it is inept and untrustworthy.

Sunni tribal leaders seem increasingly angry with al-Qaeda brutalities

False and/or lacking context. The military estimates less than 2000 "Al Qaeda" in all of Iraq, the majority of which are native Iraqis and Sunnis not foreign fighters. For all their posturing and all the alleged upset the Sunni sheikhs are supposed to be feeling, there is little evidence other than their own say-so that they've taken on Al Qaeda, whoever that really is.

And when it comes down to it, many of these same tribe members are engaged in the insurgency against the Shia and the government either directly or indirectly. And there are probably about twelve groups in this area vying for power, not two or three. So even if it were story were true in any measurable way, what would this turf war between rival insurgent groups get us in terms of progress other than Sunni on Sunni violence, further destabilizing the country???

parliament is discussing contentious legislation on dividing oil and gas revenues fairly between different parts of the country

Yeah, except under this legislation the Kurds aren't bound by fair distribution and will almost certainly annex Kirkuk, potentially worsening the conflict within Iraq and creating one with Turkey.

Yay.

I'd be happy to link to some actual facts and figures instead of uninformed speculation, Matt. Did you know that January saw the highest number of attacks on both civilians and troops ever, more than double that of last year? That reconstruction is a continuing failure because qualified workers are refusing to work in the increasingly dangerous environment that you keep claiming is just peachy? That tens of thousand of Iraqis are either being forced from their homes or voluntarily fleeing the country every month, - a half million in the past year alone - BECAUSE OF THE WORSENING SITUATION THERE???

Obviously you don't, or you wouldn't be posting about nonexistent Iraqi ponies.

Posted by: trex on March 3, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

nonexistent Iraqi ponies.

No ponies in Iraq, you say?

Posted by: p-p-ponies? on March 3, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

If he feels that strongly about his whiteness, why is he working for a paper owned by an Asian?

Posted by: Terry C - End Bush's War Now! on March 3, 2007 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

"I usually assume most pro-abortion people are racist"


I usually assume that ALL pro-abortion people are anti-women.

And that people who think like you are idiots!

Posted by: Terry C - Keep Abortion Legal on March 3, 2007 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is the home of Tony Blankley, favored pundit of the right. God, save us from Brits telling us how to live.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on March 3, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Calling this man a "Brit" is more than obverse than calling Navratilova Czech.

Born in '48, he appeared in a Hollywood movie in the early 50s, was educated at UCLA, etc.

Because you want to disown him doesn't unmake him as a product of this country.

Thank you, but he leftthe UK, and good riddance.

Posted by: notthere on March 3, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Mcaristotle on March 3, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Given the adopted name here, we can probably determine the depth of the sophistry behind any comment.

x-billion served. Still horrible nutrition.

Thanks for the content, Mcaristotle.

Posted by: notthere on March 3, 2007 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

how uncivil

Posted by: Exalted on March 3, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

I live on a 120 acre farm in the God-bothering tobacco enslaved south. The house is, fortunately 3/10ths of a mile off the road. I detest having to go do useful work near the road frontage because I am guaranteed to run into some right to life anti-enviromentalist gun-porno idiot. They will pull off the road and offer their twisted-shit views, unsolicited.
Christ, aren't there enough fucking people already?, there's not enough land for viable long-term agriculture, and abortion is an alternative only kindly proferred to people in the junior prep loop. When you have the option of getting away from people, if only for a little while, it's impossible to escape the notion we don't need any more. Especially the ones who are likely to demand their own car at age sixteen, a decorative degree from an institution of higher sexual predation at age 22, and an admin job with a corporation whose angle is getting people in corporate jobs to accept their disposablity.
Then again, those shapeless personality-free lumps of purple flesh are just so fucking cute.

Posted by: coozledad on March 3, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

As much as I dislike the Washington Times lack of journalistic ethics, I won't rush immediately to judgement about the entire organization. But I have to wonder.

Does anyone remember Sam Francis? Here's a passage from a column of his, circa 2004.

...the Owens-Sheridan ad was interracial and brazenly so—if only morals and taste had been the targets, the producers could easily have found white actresses who are less obviously Nordic than the golden-locked Miss Sheridan, but Nordic is what the ad's producers no doubt wanted...

The message of the ad was that white women are eager to have sex with black men, that they should be eager, and that black men should take them up on it...

But the ad's message also was that interracial sex is normal and legitimate, a fairly radical concept for both the dominant media as well as its audience....

He wrote this after he left the Wash. Times, in a syndicated column. According to this, though.."Francis served as deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Times from 1987 to 1991, and was a Times columnist until 1995."

http://shotsfired.us/?page_id=9

And..ahem...this speaks for itself, from the link above.

For instance, Sam Francis’s splendid column exposing Rosa Parks as a professional agitator planted on her famous bus by a pinko training school in Tennessee, of which she was an alumna, could have been filed a month ago—or this week.”

Just maybe the Washington Times has a history of hiring nuts and putting them in high places. And he didn't seem at all shy about sharing his views.
What can you say about someone who thinks saying interacial sex is fine is "fairly radical". Maybe he was more normal in his Times Days, but still...

These are not people you want your kids to be around.

Posted by: T4TX_T4TN on March 3, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Rev. Moon just turned 87 - anyone worried about their career must be looking to leave that rag before the implosion hits.

Posted by: Kathy on March 4, 2007 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Has the man become unhinged and lost his marbles? Will he have to be carried out in a straight-jacket?

One can see why he fits in so well at the Moonie Times.

Posted by: Peter Principle on March 4, 2007 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

I can't imagine anyone taking pride in working for The Washington Times.

Posted by: james on March 4, 2007 at 3:27 AM | PERMALINK

What's sad is that Ann Coulter's stupid statement is the most press John Edwards' campaign has received the past two weeks, so much do Clinton-Obama dominate the MSM (sigh).

Posted by: Vincent on March 4, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Ignorant, mean, mean-spirited, corrupt, liar, racist and deviant:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you today's quintessential Republican.

(Today's typical Democrat?--very much contradictory to the above)

Posted by: arthur on March 4, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Archibald needs to spend some time in a British tabloid newsroom. You get incidents like that every week at the Express, the Mail or the Sun (especially when it was run by Kelvin McKenzie).

Posted by: Ginger Yellow on March 4, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Great post Kevin.

Posted by: American Hawk on March 6, 2007 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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