Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 12, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

WINGERS, WINGERS, EVERYWHERE....So what's my take on the Media Matters report showing that conservative syndicated columnists outnumber liberal syndicated columnists on newspaper op-ed pages? I know you're wondering. First, I suspect it demonstrates that syndicated op-ed columns are mostly run in smallish newspapers, and smallish newspapers tend to serve conservative communities. Second, it demonstrates the astonishing hegemony of George Will over our op-ed pages. Who knew rural America was so in love with bow ties and faux intellectualism?

Kevin Drum 2:41 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (125)

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"Who knew rural America was so in love with bow ties and faux intellectualism?"

Everybody in rural America.

Posted by: DR on September 12, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

O/T, but important: yo, Kev, Atrios is dissing Irvine. You gonna take that sitting down?

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on September 12, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

The shocking fact for me is that the number three columnist is Kathleen Parker. She is atrocious. I can't read a column by her without yelling at the newspaper.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on September 12, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure its Irvine that's getting dissed by Atrios, but surely the Chancellor ought to be. Chermerinsky's credentials to head a law school are terrific -- hope he sues for a violation of his first amendment rights. Chancellor's an idiot, bowing to the (conservative) heckler's veto before there's a heckler.

Posted by: David in NY on September 12, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Who knew rural America was so in love with bow ties and faux intellectualism?

Hey, if you're at least middle-aged, male, white, tight-lipped frown, glasses, suit-wearing, conservative haircut, write for a living, and above all wear bow ties-- you've almost gotta be an intellectual and have smart opinions.

My own demographic and personal appearnce characteristics are each obvious disqualifiers, btw.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'm amused at the classification applied by Media Matters to Cokie Roberts (who was my wife's college friend). Cokie is the daughter of a Democratic leader in Congress, Hale Boggs. IIRC Cokie's mother replaced him, as a Democrat, after he died in a tragic airplane crash in Alaska. Cokie's sister was elected the mayor of Princeton, NJ IIRC, as a Democrat. Yet, this woman from a totally Democratic family is classified as centrist.

It's true that Cokie tries to be fair. However, there's no reason to believe that she has ever abandoned the Democratic Party.

Similary, Morton Kondrake is called conservative, although he represents himself as Centrist.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 12, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think the obvious take is that readers and literate people are mostly conservatives. Since literate people are more likely to be conservatives than liberals this shouldn't be surprising. Due to the free mark and competition, the liberal media is forced to hire conservative op-ed writers because otherwise they would lose money and have to declare bankruptcy.

We can be pretty certain the media is controlled by liberals because Joe Scarborough described in tinyurl.com/yvxwl9 "an incident in which people in its newsroom ceaselessly booed President Bush during a State of the Union address." It's pretty unfortunate that liberal "reporters" have to be so partisan and hide their bias against Bush and conservatives.

Posted by: Al on September 12, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

And Maureen Dowd at #9??? That is truly appalling. What a waste of a supposedly liberal slot.

Posted by: David in NY on September 12, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

George Will gets his intellectualism out of a Stephen Ambrose book.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Literate people don't read the likes of Cal Thomas.

Posted by: David in NY on September 12, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yet, this woman from a totally Democratic family is classified as centrist.

It's called independent thought - you should try it sometime.

Similary, Morton Kondrake is called conservative, although he represents himself as Centrist.

So what if he pretends to be centrist. If he talks like a Bush apologist and walks like a neocon - he's a wingnut.

You represent yourself as "ex-liberal" when really you're just a fucking loon.

Posted by: ckelly on September 12, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Who knew rural America was so in love with a lying, petulant Chimp?

Posted by: ckelly on September 12, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

3 comments:

1) Major vs. Small Papers. Wash Post is a big paper stuffed with conservatives. And lots of papers have hired out-and-out conservative nuts - and not hired any out and out liberals.

2) TNR alums, like Krauthammer, Kondracke, and Sullivan have made painfully clear that they're conservatives. And that they play fast and lose with the facts - as their old publication has.

3) Cokie Roberts family were conservative, southern Democrats. Almost all conservative southern democrats have moved to the GOP. Citing that someone was a southern Democrat 40 years ago in no way proves that they're liberal.

But the biggest argument on Cokie is really not her ideology - it's her village idiot insider schtick. She seems to be utterly incapable of any policy assessments. Everything is high-school level political gamesmanship.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on September 12, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

What I'm saying is, I think it's self-evident that my opinions are great and informed enough for what they are, and that they shouldn't be dismissed just because I'm 28 and don't have a player hatin' degree.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Who knew rural America was so in love with bow ties and faux intellectualism?

Anyone who has ever picked up a newspaper in a rural area and looked at the op-ed page? Sorry Kevin, but that was too easy.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 12, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, thank whatever gods there are that the liberal blogosphere exists. Most of these columnists write dreck. It's painful to read, and their "logic" makes my brain smoke. This is on both sides of the aisle. Cal Thomas??? Maureen Dowd? These are the elite journalists who shape opinion in the US? Omigod.

I was depressed before, after the last thread, trying to face the reality that I am going to have to vote for, ewww, Hillary Clinton, but now, jeez...I'm going to have some armagnac. I remind myself that I worship Paul Krugman. Maybe I'll have some chocolate. Maybe I'll go check out the last episodes of The Daily Show.

I'm having to do some serious mood regulation here to deal with Bushco's America.

Posted by: PTate in FR on September 12, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, thank whatever gods there are that the liberal blogosphere exists.

I second that opinion, PTate. For years I thought I was alone in seeing the BS daily shoveled upon us in newsprint Op-Eds. After discovering political blogs, I found out there were lots of people who saw through the crap just like me.

My favorite site (aside from WaMo) used to be Mediawhores.com. Too bad it's defunct now, but it was a great weekly smackdown on the moronic punditry, especially the "media whore of the week" feature.

Posted by: Snorri Sturluson on September 12, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

And Maureen Dowd at #9??? That is truly appalling. What a waste of a supposedly liberal slot.

A what!?!? What an outrageo...Oh...excuse me. I'm afraid I misread the last word.

Posted by: Stefan on September 12, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

The shocking fact for me is that the number three columnist is Kathleen Parker.

Shocking and depressing. Her work is abominable.

But the biggest argument on Cokie is really not her ideology - it's her village idiot insider schtick. She seems to be utterly incapable of any policy assessments. Everything is high-school level political gamesmanship.

Uttered with maximum arrogance, self-satisfaction and that whine in her voice that makes me want to slap her bug eyes shut.

Posted by: shortstop on September 12, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

BG, and others, coming from someone who (for two more days, thank doorknob) is the managing editor of one of those weeklies in the part of Texas that is the South (if there's Spanish moss, it's the South), I could have told you the part about the faux intellectualism (sans bowties), with half my editorial brain tied behind my back.

Ah, back to the relative liberalism of Dallas next week. (And, Dallas County split 50-50 in the 2004 presidential election; it's actually not as conservative as its stereotyped northern suburbs.)

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of a shame this was done after the demise of Molly Ivins, whose work I used to find in some real right-wing rags. Maybe her folksiness had something to do with that; might be a lesson to be learned there.

Also: Might be a good idea to take the liberal / conservative classifications with a grain of salt. Example: Charley Reese, who is indeed a conservative in most respects, but get a load of these excerpts from his recent columns on Iraq: " . . . the Bush administration people lie like a drunken fisherman. The Bush technique is to just repeat talking points, even when confronted with facts that contradict them."

"President Bush, who seems to wish he were Caesar, makes one blunder after another. The only question remaining is, Will he run out of term before he runs out of opportunities to finish wrecking the country? He's made a pretty complete mess of the Middle East and seems intent on restarting the Cold War with Russia."

"The president has misled and continues to mislead the American people in an attempt to rationalize his failed policy. His pathetically juvenile claim that the terrorists would follow Americans home if the U.S. withdrew from Iraq is laughable."

"Mr. Bush's ill-fated war has not only increased the stock of the world's terrorists, but it replaced a Sunni-led government with a Shiite-led government that is close to Iran. You couldn't screw this situation up any worse than if you had let Osama bin Laden plan the invasion. I have never seen such a stupid administration as this one."

All of that is from the past two weeks, but he's been doing the same thing for years.

Posted by: penalcolony on September 12, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal, if you think Kondracke is centrist, you are Soooo effing self-deluded.

Speaking of real liberal columnists, where the fuck is Ted Rall? If only a few more people would get into conservative faces like him -- and be run by more newspapers -- we'd be cooking with gas.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Good god, are you in East Texas now, Gadfly? How do you stand it?

I'm glad Dallas is getting bluer, but I'm still a bit wary. It wasn't more than a few years ago that I was hassled for reading the NYT in a hotel lobby there. The irony, of course, was that I was probably reading a Judy Miller story while they were making snide remarks about Yankees and the librell medya. At one point it looked like the words "out," "town," "before" and "sundown" were going to be uttered.

Posted by: shortstop on September 12, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who has ever picked up a newspaper in a rural area and looked at the op-ed page? Sorry Kevin, but that was too easy.

BGRC, I think his point wasn't that George Will appears in "a" rural area op-ed page, but that he appears in something like almost all of them.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Quoth Al:

"Since literate people are more likely to be conservatives than liberals this shouldn't be surprising."

Also quoth Al:

"Due to the free mark (sic) and competition, the liberal media is forced to hire conservative op-ed writers ..."

Posted by: Needles on September 12, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

First, I suspect it demonstrates that syndicated op-ed columns are mostly run in smallish newspapers, and smallish newspapers tend to serve conservative communities. Second, it demonstrates the astonishing hegemony of George Will over our op-ed pages. Who knew rural America was so in love with bow ties and faux intellectualism?

Ah, more ignorant rural bashing from the liberal defender of GWB's Amazing Iraq Adventure.

Small newspapers in small communities tend to be owned by people with money who tend to be conservative and Republican, and who control what gets printed. This is no different than big newspapers in big communities.

I guess it is too much to expect a little perspective given the track record of the big newspapers in big communities over the last 7 years.

Posted by: Disputo on September 12, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop, yeah, I'm down between College Station and Houston. I think the combination of heat and humidity melts most critical thought. Can anybody please find me a job in California? Or somewhere around Denver as a second shot?

That said, I went out with a bang this week; MY final column was on Petraeus and the What-a-gon cooking the books, and I used that exact phrase.

You'll note that, in this part of the world, Cal Thomas trumps George's bow tie, too.

In 2006 in Dallas, shortstop, a popular GOP county judge was upset, every state district court but one in Dallas County went Democratic, and a lesbian was elected sheriff.

Dallas still has a ways to go, sure, but it ain't the dark ages, either.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Swan, Google Earth the mountain west and Air Force bases, where the nuclear arsenal for the most part resides. I've read the local paper in several of those communities. I get it.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 12, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Cokie Roberts lost me a few months ago in her now infamous "Democrats [who oppose unfettered free trade] are on the wrong side of history. Right, Cokie, never mind those guys up on Mt. Rushmore - protectionists, every one of them.

I must take exception to lumping in Andrew Sullivan with Charles Krauthammer. That's dishonest. That's the equivalent of, say, lumping Michael Moore with all Democrats. Sullivan has emerged as one of the most effective critics of Bush, torture, Iraq, etc., often more effective, actually, than many on the left. Funny that, isn't it?

Posted by: MaxGowan on September 12, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Cokie Roberts is not a centrist. She is a conservative.

Kondracke is not a centrist. He is a conservative, and more importantly, he's a lush and a whiner and has only his dead wife to recommend him. He is an incompetent writer, who once had some quality to his prose.

Posted by: PO on September 12, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: The one who bills himself, however falsely, as ex-liberal wrote: this woman [Cokie Roberts] from a totally Democratic family is classified as centrist

I know you like to insult your betters by posting in bad faith, but that one must have given you a special sick thrill.

Posted by: Gregory on September 12, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Who knew rural America was so in love with bow ties and faux intellectualism?"

You and your fancy French words. Down on the farm they call it "Truthiness".

Posted by: poliwog on September 12, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK


al: "Since literate people are more likely to be conservatives than liberals this shouldn't be surprising."

Majority of Republicans Doubt Theory of Evolution - Gallup Poll 6/11/07

Posted by: mr. irony on September 12, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

In 2006 in Dallas, shortstop, a popular GOP county judge was upset, every state district court but one in Dallas County went Democratic, and a lesbian was elected sheriff.

Dallas still has a ways to go, sure, but it ain't the dark ages, either.

I trust you took my story in the spirit in which it was intended, Gadfly--with a quarter-grain of salt (okay, I admit I wasn't really expecting the "sundown" line to materialize) and a smile. Here in Chicago, we get used to bearing with good grace--and actively participating in--sometimes overblown commentary about our inarguably...unique...style of government and culture. My comment was meant in the same vein.

Posted by: shortstop on September 12, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm going to have some armagnac"

Liberals are not only literate, they have great taste. Here's lookin' at you, kid ...

Posted by: David in NY on September 12, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

There may be more of them in some contexts, but now we have scientific proof that liberals are superior to conservatives:

WebMD Link

Posted by: Neil B. on September 12, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Swan, Google Earth the mountain west and Air Force bases, where the nuclear arsenal for the most part resides. I've read the local paper in several of those communities. I get it.

BG, I don't know what the hell you're talking about. If you're just saying that you read the paper there, well then look at my comment- I didn't say you never read one of those papers. I'm sure you have.

If you're trying to take issue with what I actually wrote- what's up? Drum says "who knew George Will was so popular all over the place in these communities," you say "anyone who's read a paper in one of those communities," I say "well he's talking about lots of communities, that's what he means about them accounting for George Will's syndication popularity across the country" and the you say "well I've read the paper in a few of those communities." ??? Either you or Kevin would have had to have read lots of papers from rural communities before writing on this today for you to be informed or him to be an idiot.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

PTate in FR: Most of these columnists write dreck. It's painful to read, and their "logic" makes my brain smoke. This is on both sides of the aisle. Cal Thomas??? Maureen Dowd? These are the elite journalists who shape opinion in the US? Omigod.

Do you read Le Monde? Someone pointed me to this link (re-publication in the European Tribune with French and English versions):

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2007/9/10/9417/13559

Amazing! Graphs, quantitative arguments! I don't know if Le Monde is normally of that quality, but I'm glad that the NYT or WaPo don't publish anything like that - I doubt I could stand the shock.

Posted by: alex on September 12, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I always read my favorite, Anne Coulter, after I read our local News & Notes about how Mrs. Noodles just erected a new white-picket fence and that a group of young boys were seen running down Main Street soon after the bell outside the volunteer fire department was rung.

Please come see me in the church hall after services on Sunday. I'm planning on bringing my special potato salad.

Posted by: Anon on September 12, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

This comes from the self-flagellating tendency among liberals. Liberal editorial page editors (even in big city papers) try to "balance" their opinions by overdosing on conservative whacko nutjob columnists, with or without bow ties.

Posted by: tomeck on September 12, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, that report about Liberal flexibility being shown by neurological studies apparently didn't make it into Drudge, despite being so interesting and widely reported (heh ...)

Posted by: Neil B. on September 12, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Anne Coulter, Cal Thomas, et al. It would be interesting if the MSM published columnists that were as moonbatty as those folks are wingnutty. But who would they get to write it? Lenin and Trotsky are dead.

Posted by: alex on September 12, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Penalcolony, those quotes from Charley Reese could have come from any sane, reality-based person, liberal or conservative. In fact, a real conservative would be outraged at how badly Bush has devalued the conservative brand image.

Posted by: expatjourno on September 12, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop, I thought it was tongue in cheek, but a lot of people seriously think all of Texas, with the possible exception of Austin and the New Mexico-oriented El Paso, is a conservative wasteland. There's a couple of other decent spots.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Who knew rural America was so in love with bow ties and faux intellectualism?"

The appeal of Will's persona to midwesterners is quite understandable when you recognize the deep, abiding affection they have for the midwestern archetype on which Will modeled himself: prissy schoolmarm.

.

Posted by: MFA on September 12, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Alex, I used a bar graph (which I created) in a column once. When Gore went to Kyoto in 1998, I wrote a column in extended stanzas of haiku. In 1997, at Christmas, I did a political takeoff on "Twas the Night before Christmas":

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the House
Not a creature was stirring, not even Newt, that mouse.

etc. ...

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Steve and Cokie centrist? Huh? You don't get any closer to corporate-control-Republican-establishment than Cokie. Steve and Cokie would walk the plank before admitting that such a thing as corporate corruption and control of the government even exist.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 12, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

BG, I don't know what the hell you're talking about.

This surprises exactly no one who posts here.

I will type really slow...In my experience, having lived in rural areas in various states, I have observed this trend and offer my observation as anecdotal evidence. That is all.

Now if you will excuse me, I think I'll have a slice of pie.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 12, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Cokie Roberts lost me a few months ago in her now infamous "Democrats [who oppose unfettered free trade] are on the wrong side of history.

Cokiwhore lost me on election night, '94, when she continually equated big biz spending for the Rs with union spending for the Ds without noting the advantage was something like 8:1. It was the topper of a famed Beltway Inbred career, as if her whole life had been building to that point.
I remember trying to see if she could go without mentioning it longer than I could hold my breath, and I didn't come close to panting.

Posted by: ThresherK on September 12, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone actually know what effect, if any, the choice of syndicated op-ed columnists has on circulation or advertising revenue? Or on reader interest, for that matter? Most newspapers are effective monopolies, putting out a package-deal product of which syndicated op-ed columnists are a tiny part. It's not at all obvious to me that the market exerts any meaningful selective pressure, and I suspect that publishers can do pretty much what they damn please in picking op-ed columnists, but I would defer to anyone who knows the newspaper business.

Posted by: CJColucci on September 12, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, thank whatever gods there are that the liberal blogosphere exists.

Hear, hear.

One god there isn't for sure is the right wingers'.

Posted by: Bob M on September 12, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "Since literate people are more likely to be conservatives than liberals this shouldn't be surprising."

Sorry, masturbating over thrift-shop editions of Curious George doesn't make you literate.

Anyway, we all thought you salt-of-the-earth "folks" figgered that book-larnin' was mainly fer the sushi-eating, Volvo-driving gay-pinko elites. Confused much?

Posted by: Kenji on September 12, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

ThresherK: hilarious!

Posted by: shortstop on September 12, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Now if you will excuse me, I think I'll have a slice of pie.

God willing and the cleek don't rise.

Posted by: shortstop on September 12, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite syndicated conservative columnist is Victor David Hansen, Ph.D. He's supposedly an historian attached to Stanford University's Hoover Institute, and is a former academic colleague of Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D.

Hansen's apparent current mission in life is to compare the saga of World War II to our present struggles in the Middle East. However, his fanciful versions of history consist of cherry-picked facts and theories that support his right-wing assumptions; the rest he just ignores or belittles, especially if such facts undercut his main supposition.

May God help the graduate students under his tutelage, if he even has any. He's really no more an academic resource or asset to Stanford, than was Professor Ward Churchill to the University of Colorado.

Why Stanford would continue to support this perpetual case of collective self-delusion that is the Hoover Institute, I'll not hazard to guess.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Similary, Morton Kondrake is called conservative, although he represents himself as Centrist.

So do most neocons. Hell, even FOX calls itself "fair and balanced".

Believe it or not, it is possible for people to, you know "not tell the truth". My apologies in advance if I'm shattering any dearly-held illusions.

Posted by: DH Walker on September 12, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Outside of the financial newspapers, I almost never buy a newspaper. Can't think of the last time I did. And I used to buy three different papers a day.

Don't seem to miss them, and I feel better informed than when I was reading them.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett on September 12, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Good one, ThresherK. I missed that night - turned off the TV and drank heavily, the only seeming response. I blame '94 squarely with Clintons - her for wrecking health care reform, his for a variety of reasons, mostly his ADD and incompetence - but especially for doing nothing about building the Democratic Party infrastructure. No wonder that dope-smoking, draft-dodging deadbeat dad who divorced his dying wife (thanks, Molly), prevailed that night.

Posted by: MaxGowan on September 12, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Cokie's brother is the biggest fat-cat of them all in DC. The 'capo di tutti capi' of the racketeering business formally known as lobbying.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 12, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

One explanation that remains unexplored is simply the matter of cost. I was recently complaining about the abysmal quality of my hometown paper [the *Tennessean* of Nashville]'s op-ed page to a friend of mine who's a well-known local writer of letters to the editor [They give awards for that here!], and who's well-connected at the *Tennessean.* "Where do they come up with these people?" I asked. His response: They're cheap!

Posted by: David on September 12, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

We prefer Andy Rooney over here.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on September 12, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

poliwog: "Down on the farm they call it 'Truthiness'."

Down on their farm near Woodstock, IL, my late paternal grandparents called it "bullshit".

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Kondracke is not a centrist. He is a conservative, and more importantly, he's a lush and a whiner and has only his dead wife to recommend him. He is an incompetent writer, who once had some quality to his prose."

More importantly? For shame.

Posted by: pidgas on September 12, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

As long as we're trashing people, I think I'll go after Ellen Goodman, who, for God's sakes, is the most popular liberal columnist.

Am I the only person in America who can't understand a single column the woman has written? I mean, I guess she sort of supports a liberal point of view, but I've never seen such a set of confused, overwrought, and overwritten arguments for liberal positions in my life.

I find her unreadable and affected beyond belief.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 12, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii: Down on their farm near Woodstock, IL, my late paternal grandparents called it "bullshit".

And surely no one can use that term more authoritatively than a farmer.

Posted by: alex on September 12, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Down on their farm near Woodstock, IL, my late paternal grandparents called it "bullshit".

Hey, I was conceived on a farm near Woodstock, IL. It was apparently my parents' version of a Summer of Love.

Not that anyone ever wants to think about their own parents doing...that. Please carry on with mocking Cokie, who so richly deserves it.

Posted by: shortstop on September 12, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

All this analysis of conservative columnists ignores (so far as I've seen, anyway), what the syndicates charge for each of them. Maybe George Will is the most popular because the rates he charges the publishers is really low.

Posted by: stand on September 12, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Slightly OT, but Washington Monthly should do psywar against the wingers by using a cookie that detects if, say, one of the last five sites you visited was Powerline or LGF or FoxNews- if so, you get The Pina Colada Song playing while you visit this website.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

I would imagine that a lot of it has to do with who the publisher is, since he determines the editorial policy. Not only are small towns somewhat conservative, but newspaper owners are generally wealthy types. That having been said, there is a really curious case here in southern California. The Daily Breeze up in Torrance (a Los Angeles suburb) runs crummy, second rate conservatives like Mona Charen and Larry Elder mostly, and allows a Paul Krugman (or previously, Molly Ivins) once in a blue moon. Across the bridge over in Long Beach, the Press Telegram runs quite a stable of conservatives, but it also runs liberals in reasonable numbers. What is particularly interesting is that both papers have the same owner (Dean Singleton) and make use of pool reporters out of the Daily News. I wonder whether the choice of op ed writers has anything to do with the readership, or whether these contrasting choices have more to do with the previous ownership of each paper.

Posted by: Bob G on September 12, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

This surprises exactly no one who posts here.

Still hearing the voices, BG? Time to take the anti-schizo pills, I guess.

I will type really slow...In my experience, having lived in rural areas in various states, I have observed this trend and offer my observation as anecdotal evidence. That is all.

You should always type this slowly if that's what it takes for you to make a valid point.

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

My local small-town rag gets most of its columnists from the Scripps-Howard. They generally pick about 1 liberal for every 2 conservatives. I think this about reflects the overall makeup of the Scripps-Howard stable. It has been interesting, however, to note the progression of Martin Schram from a conservative (though perhaps not of the wingnutty variety) to an anti-Bushite--he's even shrill at times.

(The only saving grace is that the semi-retired sports editor gets the editorial in the Saturday paper where he is allowed to say pretty much whatever the hell he wants to. He does tee it up and really let Bush have it.)

Posted by: uncle toby on September 12, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

I just heard something terribly sad. Remember those seven Army non-commissioned officers who co-authored that recent well-regarded op-ed in the New York Times, which said the surge wasn't working and urged our miltary withdrawal from Iraq?

Apparently, two of them were killed in action this week.

Can anyone else confirm if this is in fact true?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Donald, it is true. Here is a link to a post about it. They were two of the seven killed when a cargo truck overturned in western Baghdad. SGT. Mora, at least, was half way through his extension. He should have been home last month.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 12, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Wingers wingers everywhere, but not a feather to pluck...

Posted by: elmo on September 12, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Bob G, et al, despite financial moaning and groaning from the big dailies, the newspaper business is still the most capitalistic one in America, especially small towns. Your typical small-town paper still turns a 30 percent profit margin; is it any wonder the owners of most of them are, if not "wingers," traditional conservatives of the Chamber of Commerce/Herbert Hoover variety?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to be the confirmer of bad news Donald. I will see you all a couple of hours after sundown.

Happy New Year!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 12, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Blue Girl. That's just awful.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

CJColucci: I've worked at one small daily, and a variety of non-dailies, for about 13 years. Aside from the "name" columnists at "name" syndicates, you have a variety of smaller syndicates putting out B-side/AAA minor league columnists.

These, even more than at the Major League level, tend to tilt small town/Chamber of Commerce/down on the farm right; a fair subset of them tilt religious right, also.

Then, amongst freebie columnists, you have some conservative think tanks, plus state chapters of conservative organizations, floating their columns everywhere.

Dang, I think I've written enough that I need to blog about it myself.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Laylah tov, BG.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

alex: J'aime LeMonde. C'est superb! But I read it a lot quicker and with much better comprehension in English, sigh.

frankly0: "Am I the only person in America who can't understand a single column [Ellen Goodman] has written?"

I'll admit to being totally confused by Ellen Goodman. I want to like her, but I don't remember why anymore. Did she write better 20 years ago? Again, I'l just say thank God for the liberal blogosphere.

Posted by: PTate in FR on September 12, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop "I was conceived on a farm near Woodstock, IL. It was apparently my parents' version of a Summer of Love."

Well, everyone has to start someplace. My older sister was probably conceived in Fresno, CA, where our parents were forced to spend four or five days of their honeymoon in 1956, after their car lost its transmission on the way to Yosemite. She made her debut exactly nine months later.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Donald, my mother swears I am the product of three days shore leave and a bottle of damn fine Shiraz in Bandar e Abbas.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 12, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm amused at the classification applied by Media Matters to Cokie Roberts (who was my wife's college friend). Cokie is the daughter of a Democratic leader in Congress, Hale Boggs. IIRC Cokie's mother replaced him, as a Democrat, after he died in a tragic airplane crash in Alaska. Cokie's sister was elected the mayor of Princeton, NJ IIRC, as a Democrat. Yet, this woman from a totally Democratic family is classified as centrist.

It's true that Cokie tries to be fair. However, there's no reason to believe that she has ever abandoned the Democratic Party."

Democratic Party =/= liberal.

Cokie Roberts is a centrist. She is pretty much down the middle, both ideologically and party-wise. She was on NPR smack-talking Democrats just a couple days ago, man.

Posted by: Jim D on September 12, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

I have blogged more in-depth about this, from a liberal newspaper editors position, here.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

alex: "And surely no one can use that term more authoritatively than a farmer."

Amen to that, brother. And trust me, my grandmother -- having lost both her eldest son (my father) in Vietnam and a younger brother in Normandy during World War II, certainly knew political bullshit whenever she heard or read it. When I was older, it seemed to me that "bullshit" was her favorite word whenever she discussed politics.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

When the Tacoma News Tribune started carrying Kathleen Parker's drivel a few years back, I couldn't figure where they dug up this bimbo with no evidence of a brain. Frankly I'm shocked to see she's the #3 columnist. I imagine her previous experience was on the high school paper writing about the prom...

Posted by: bigcat on September 12, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Blue girl: "Donald, my mother swears I am the product of three days shore leave and a bottle of damn fine Shiraz in Bandar e Abbas."

So, was your parents over in Iran to help prop up the Shah?

My father helped overthrow South Vietnamese President Diem on November 2, 1963. I never learned that until 10 years ago. He was hardcore USMC Force Recon, the senior MACV advisor to the 4th Vietnamese Marine Brigade, which he had personally deployed personally in postions surrounding the presidential palace in Saigon before retiring to the U.S. embassy prior to that unit's assault to avoid any official implication of Americans. My mother said that he was appalled that Diem and his brother were summarily executed by his men after they had been captured.

I often wonder what he would have thought of subsequent events in Vietnam, and of current events in the Middle East, had he not been killed three months later in a Feb. '64 Viet Cong terrorist attack in Saigon.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

it is possible to correct for the small town bias of just counting papers by multiplying by the newspaper's circulation and, indeed, mediamatters did just that

"In a given week, nationally syndicated progressive columnists are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of 125 million. Conservative columnists, on the other hand, are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of more than 152 million."

Less extreme than the simple count of newspapers but still tilted right.
http://mediamatters.org/reports/oped/

Cross posted at Ezra Klein's blog. He made the same argument
http://ezraklein.typepad.com/blog/2007/09/more-media-nave.html#comments

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on September 12, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

I see no one's made the obvious "Tucker Carlson beats up guys who piss him off" joke yet...

Posted by: Swan on September 12, 2007 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kathleen Parker writes in crayon. Jeezus, but she sets my teeth on edge.

Posted by: junebug on September 12, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

There are many more liberal columnists actually, but they are low in morality and call themselves "reporters" instead of opinion writers. This enables them to put forth liberal propaganda as though it is objective news reporting, much like those infomercial dramas wherein some shill appears to be interviewing an "expert."

Conservatives with their higher standards of integrity do not try to present their opinion columns as news reporting.

Posted by: Luther on September 12, 2007 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Luther, that is SOOOO funny. Good one, pal!

Posted by: Kenji on September 12, 2007 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK


Despite MSM and the Beltway’s failure to acknowledge the profound tectonic shift in the American political alignment, Neocons are not Conservative. On the contrary, they are reckless, radical ideologues that do not really factor in American strategic international interests. Their jingoistic rhetoric is simple, demagogic deception.

It is also interesting that MSM, AEI etc. continue to talk of Bush playing to his “base”. Please do the math. Americans identifying themselves as Republicans in the last several years has dropped by about 30%. So I guess the Neocon agenda is to limit poor George’s base to Cheney?

So if you pluck the Neocons out of that Conservative list, the number would be halved.

Posted by: Dex on September 12, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Newspaper owners know who pays their bills: their advertisers. Only people far richer than me can afford to advertise in newspapers. Rich folks tend to be conservative. Therefore I expect to read the opinions of rich people or those that rich people support when I read a newspaper. And so should you.

Posted by: slanted tom on September 12, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Neocons are not Conservative. On the contrary, they are reckless, radical ideologues that do not really factor in American strategic international interests. Their jingoistic rhetoric is simple, demagogic deception.

Reckless, radical ideologues practicing simple, demagogic deception sures sounds like a conservative to me. I know conservatives would love to distance themselves from this fiasco by now suddenly disclaiming all connection to this regime, but the fact is the conservative base fully and absolutely supported Bush and Cheney and their criminal consorts the past seven years. They can't now suddenly turn around and go, oh, those guys, no, they weren't "real" conservatives, so their failure isn't conservatism's failure. Sorry, that won't wash. Let's not rest until the word "conservative" become a byword for derision and contempt.

Posted by: Stefan on September 12, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Democratic Party =/= liberal. Cokie Roberts is a centrist. She is pretty much down the middle, both ideologically and party-wise. She was on NPR smack-talking Democrats just a couple days ago, man.

I have listened to Cokie for several decades on NPR and ABC. She stopped be an actual liberal sometime during the Reagan years. Strictly speaking, her point of view is neither liberal nor conservative. She is Beltway establishment through and through, essentially a courtier of the national media aristocracy. Her politic commentaries are pure process ("horse-race" is common term). You could listen to them for weeks and never hear a complete thought about policy or ethics. Everything is judged by its politic context: who is winning, who losing, who is "convincing" the voters, whom she knows only through conversations through the conventional wisdom of her acquaintances, never through actually research or interviews. Concepts like "truth" or "lie" have no place in her judgments. Her one constant as a commentator is that no one in her establishment social clique is dishonest or foolish or wrong in any way. If they get something wrong, it can only be out of good intentions, never bad ones.

Since Bush and Cheney are currently at the top of the Washington social pyramid, Cokie will never criticize them harshly and will avoid do so directly. The only people whose actions or motivations she will overtly question are outsiders, like bloggers, whistle-blowers, and activists not part of the Beltway, and the social outcasts and pariahs of the Beltway, like Hillary Clinton or Al Gore.

I recommend Cokie's political commentaries on NPR to anyone wanting to understand the oddness of Beltway culture. They are insider material so filtered and pure they could serve as a Bureau of Standards artifact.

Posted by: Berken on September 12, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

...on the other hand, it can sometimes take only one liberal column to undo the effects of ten conservative ones. There are columns that speak to you and columns you just brush by. But yeah...

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 12, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

That's why I haven't bought an Austin American Statesman, my hometown paper, in eight years though I do miss Ben Sargents political cartoons. BTW, no bow-tie can offset George Will's dour shriveled elephant rectum face.

Posted by: sids id on September 12, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

“an incident in which people in its newsroom ceaselessly booed President Bush during a State of the Union address." It's pretty unfortunate that liberal "reporters" have to be so partisan and hide their bias against Bush and conservatives.

We were at Disney World's Hall of the Presidents last spring where Bush's Animatronic was booed.

Posted by: Ravinia on September 12, 2007 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Swan: "Slightly OT, but Washington Monthly should do psywar against the wingers by using a cookie that detects if, say, one of the last five sites you visited was Powerline or LGF or FoxNews- if so, you get The Pina Colada Song playing while you visit this website."

Yikes! That's a cruel and unusual punishment if there ever was one.

But as long as you're going to fling melted Velveeta at the wingnuts, would you be open to adding Morris Albert's Feelings, Leo Sayer's When I Need You, Debbie Boone's You Light up My Life, Chicago's If You Leave Me Now, the Archies' Sugar, Sugar, all of Yoko Ono's musical contributions to John Lennon's Double Fantasy album and -- last, but not least -- Bobby Goldboro's Honey to the playlist rotation, which would also automatically begin to playwhenever they visit their beloved Powerline or Fox News?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Cokie Roberts is David Broder, bug eyes, Southern power-establishment veneer and all. (If you call Cokie "the bug-eyed David Broder" somewhere else, please credit me.)

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

All I know is that the San Francisco Chronicle, a fairly "liberal" paper in one of the most liberal regions in the nation publishes more conservative opinion pieces than liberals. It's only "in-house" political columnist is conservative and truly awful syndicated conservative columnists like Victor Davis Hanson are standard fare. I've never been able to figure this out. And their Beltway scribe is also on the masthead of "Reason", which despite Friedmanite contarian views on thing like the war on drugs and civil liberties is incredibly reactionary and antagonistic to even moderately social-democratic policies that actually affect average people's lives.

Posted by: brucds on September 12, 2007 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

It says a lot about the sorry state of our media culture that two of the most widely-read and popular liberal writers (Paul Krugman and Glenn Greenwald) are a couple of guys who simply do their homework and state the truth. Their prose isn't particularly stylish or remarkable. They just lay out very well-documented facts, and by doing that they have acheived a sort of heroic status.

One would hope that truthfulness and integrity were baseline qualities, and not something that is regarded as being of extraordinary merit.

Oy....

Posted by: global yokel on September 12, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

In Portland, the Oregonian tries to be "fair and balanced" - Except they lump the Centrists and the Conservative to off set the few liberals. For their inhouse columnists, they have the wonderful liberal, David Sarasohn - Read him online - And the balance is a Lars Larsen, BillO neanderthal, David Reinhard.

But, the Editor dropped and refuses to run Arianna Huffington because, she is, in his words, horror of horrors, an "Advocate" - She pushed Hybrid cars.

And, they love to offset her with Deborah Sanders from the SF Chronicle - I have requested that they run Sanders, Victor Davis Hanson, Rich Lowery, George Will, Kathleen Parker and Reinhard on the same day as trash collection.

Donald from Hawaii - Could you add the new cut by Larry Craig of Mel Brooks's hit song, "High Anxiety"?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 12, 2007 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Sullivan has emerged as one of the most effective critics of Bush, torture, Iraq, etc., often more effective, actually, than many on the left.

Yes it's truthy, Sullivan has been very, very effective. I can't exactly tell you what specific changes in thinking or policy his johnny-come-lately criticism has effected, but there's certainly no doubt in my gut that it has been effective, often more effective than many on the left.

Posted by: Ferruge on September 12, 2007 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

We were at Disney World's Hall of the Presidents last spring where Bush's Animatronic was booed.

Sometimes I think the animatronic was the prototype upon which the current White House Resident is based. That might explain why the animatronic speaks more intelligibly.

Posted by: Ferruge on September 13, 2007 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Media Matters is calling Maureen Dodd a progressive. She has some progressive opinions, but she spends most of her column inches ridiculing everyone who's not in the old boys and girls club, and she dishes out her ridicule based on personal and style issues, not political issues.

Since the effect of her columns is to oppose anything that isn't part of the big media consensus, that makes her effectively a centrist, a defender of the mythical status quo.

And now we'll get people claiming that the "status quo" is "liberal" after total Republican control of all three branches of government for six years, followed by bare Democratic control of one of the three branches for less than eight months.

Posted by: Joe Buck on September 13, 2007 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Cokie Roberts is David Broder, bug eyes, Southern power-establishment veneer and all. (If you call Cokie "the bug-eyed David Broder" somewhere else, please credit me.)

Okay, but I think I had the first reference to her bug eyes in this thread...not that they were a secret before I called her on them publicly.

We were at Disney World's Hall of the Presidents last spring where Bush's Animatronic was booed.

I can't stop laughing at this, and I just yelled it out to mr. shortstop, and he's busting a gut also. How freaking lame do you have to be to get booed in the Hall of the Presidents? They should reprogram his animatronic to bellow back petulantly, "Yeah, well, history will judge me kindly! Nice mouse ears, losers!"

Posted by: shortstop on September 13, 2007 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

I can't stop laughing at this

Neither can I. That is some hilarious shit.

After GWB leaves office, we should start an effort to have worthy entities renamed in his honor, like, for example, toxic waste dumps, unemployment offices, and graveyards.

Posted by: Disputo on September 13, 2007 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

Neither can I. That is some hilarious shit.

I'm still (sporadically) laughing. Warren G. Harding doesn't get booed in the Hall of the Presidents. Nixon doesn't get booed in the Hall of the Presidents. Bwa.

Posted by: shortstop on September 13, 2007 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting. The only one I read regularly - though my hometown paper carries several on the list - is Leonard Pits. I'll read the occasional Broder but none of my other regulars are on the list.

BTW does anyone else consider Cal Thomas to be "Bat S*** Crazy?" Michelle Malkin is less of a wacko - and that's saying something. And George Will was my mental image of the ghost professor Binns in the Harry Potter series.

Posted by: Bob on September 13, 2007 at 7:11 AM | PERMALINK

Warren G. Harding doesn't get booed in the Hall of the Presidents. Nixon doesn't get booed in the Hall of the Presidents. Bwa.

Yes, but they still throw chicken bones at President Taft.

Posted by: Pale Rider on September 13, 2007 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Back when Dan Ackroyd's parody of James J. Kilpatrick on SNL had made him a national laughingstock, a CBS insider acknowledged that yes, he was a joke, and no, they wouldn't drop him. The owners loved him, so he stayed.
I live in Flint Michigan, a Democratic stronghold, but Parker, Sowell and their like infect the editorial page, and no wonder; the paper is owned by a Grand Rapids publisher.
Mind, you, it might be internal subversion. Someone like Bruce Bartlett might make bigger inroads on the Democratic majority than mountebanks like Cal Thomas.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on September 13, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

global yokel writes:

It says a lot about the sorry state of our media culture that two of the most widely-read and popular liberal writers (Paul Krugman and Glenn Greenwald) are a couple of guys who simply do their homework and state the truth.

Definitely. That's the weird development of modern times. If you pay attention to the facts about what is going on in the world, then you're obviously a liberal.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on September 13, 2007 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, the old Kilpatrick-Shana Alexandra satire of SNL - Great.

Then, one could read Kilpatrick's racist babble, while instructing all in the proper useage of English - Between his ramblings and Safire's thoughts on the proper tense, English teachers had back up. Had only Kilpatrick and Safire stuck to writing about English grammar and Will about baseball, instead of the political swill...

Cal Thomas is the B-1 Bomber, Dornan, of print, i.e. a gadfly with a bad toupe. He once wrote an entire column about having wasted his time and money, due to Political Correctness, in London. He and his wife had gone to a production of Carousel. He was flabbergasted at the producers changing the ethnic mix of the children of one of the characters. Two of them, were horrors of horrors, Black. He raved about how all of the children were supposed to be White. I guess, ole Cal, did not know that Carousel, was originally set in Budapest, with Gypsys, then changed to Paris. In the American film version, they were supposed to shoot in a small village in New Jersey - Then, they changed it to Maine, where the fishing population is highly Portugese-American. But, to ole Cal-vinist, all were supposed to be lilly white, sort of a fishing village in Indiana.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 13, 2007 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

I can't stop laughing at this, and I just yelled it out to mr. shortstop, and he's busting a gut also. How freaking lame do you have to be to get booed in the Hall of the Presidents? They should reprogram his animatronic to bellow back petulantly, "Yeah, well, history will judge me kindly! Nice mouse ears, losers!"

OK, shortstop, that cracked me up.

Posted by: Stefan on September 13, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Cal Thomas is the B-1 Bomber, Dornan, of print, i.e. a gadfly with a bad toupe. He once wrote an entire column about having wasted his time and money, due to Political Correctness, in London. He and his wife had gone to a production of Carousel. He was flabbergasted at the producers changing the ethnic mix of the children of one of the characters. Two of them, were horrors of horrors, Black.

Wow, how long ago was that? You've brought back a long-buried memory. While I was living in London in the 1980s, I went to see a production of Medea. They'd cast a white kid for one of Medea's children, and a black kid for the other. The woman sitting behind me would not STFU about how "jarring" this was. Finally I told her that in Euripides' original version, Jason was cuckolded by Medea and a black neighbor. She still didn't pipe down.

Posted by: shortstop on September 13, 2007 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop, I'll split the "bug-eyed David Broder" credit with you.

I'm waiting for 10 years from now, to when Cokie's voice inflection finishes changing so she sounds like a Louisiana plantation version of Katherine Hepburn.

"I'immm Co-kie Rooo - berts."

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 13, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Ugh. I just can't stand her. She literally makes my skin crawl.

Berken had a fine analysis at 9:41 last night.

Posted by: shortstop on September 13, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Cal Thomas, in 1987 (when he was still, I believe, Vice President of the Moral Majority), admitted in an op-ed that he had succeeded in using family connections, while he was in the military in 1965, in preventing his going to Vietnam. Lucky him.

Posted by: MaxGowan on September 13, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

"I suspect it demonstrates that syndicated op-ed columns are mostly run in smallish newspapers, and smallish newspapers tend to serve conservative communities."

San Francisco Chronicle a smallish newspaper in a conservative community? I think not, but it, too, publishes more conservative than liberal columnists. It's ONLY in-house daily op-ed columnist is conservative Debra Saunders, and it frequently publishes others from elsewhere. It's liberal in-house columnist, Robert Scheer, publishes only once a week.

I think this is more about corporate ownership of newspapers than conservative communities.

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