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Comments by YACCS
Monday, July 17, 2006

Nobody loves the commander any more

Poor Commander Lieberman

\TIMES AND LIEBERMAN CAMP BASH BLOGS IN TANDEM. The New York Times has just posted a long piece on Joe Lieberman and his efforts to rid himself of the travails he's caused for himself with his embrace, literal and otherwise, of President Bush. Reporter Mark Leibovich brings a great deal of sympathy to the telling of Lieberman's sad tale, and lets the Lieberman camp indulge in a bit of ritualistic blog-bashing without offering anyone the chance to rebut it. From the piece:

Mr. Lieberman, who seemed slow to recognize the seriousness of Mr. Lamont’s challenge, also appears taken aback by the ferocity of the onslaught, particularly from liberal blogs.

To Mr. Lieberman’s camp, the bloggers embody what his longtime friend Lanny Davis calls “the demonizing, hating, virulent, character-assassinating left of the Democratic Party.”

Mr. Lieberman began, “Some of the vituperations, some of the extremity of the language and anger,” before his voice trailed off. He paused for a second and started again: “They’re describing a person who is not me.” Colleagues have approached him on the Senate floor to console him, asking how he is holding up, as if he is sick or experiencing some trauma.

Mr. Lieberman’s allies discuss him these days with a tinge of sadness, as if mourning a kindly gentleman who has wandered into a bad neighborhood. “He’s being subjected to the hate machine like Bill Clinton and George Bush have,” said Mr. Davis, a former special counsel to Mr. Clinton. “Joe Lieberman has never been subjected to this before.”

There's plenty to dig into in this piece -- among them Lieberman's strained efforts to make light of his embrace of Bush. For my part, I find it surprising that not a single column inch was devoted to allowing anyone to rebut the Lieberman camp's broad-brush attacks on the liberal blogosphere. No question, bloggers can defend themselves just fine in their own medium, but still, there's no question at all that basic journalistic fairness should have required the reporter to get a rebuttal.

The piece also gives too little space to the substantive case against Lieberman, quoting just one single Lieberman opponent on the record who's made to sound a touch unhinged. Meanwhile, three people (including Lieberman himself) are offered extensive space to make the pro-Lieberman argument. On the other hand, the piece does paint Lieberman as a bit of a pathetic and hidebound figure who's completely lost his way in today's rapidly changing political environment. It even quotes Lieberman blaming his staff for one of his political screw-ups. Like I said, there's a lot here to chew over, so have at it.

--Greg Sargent

Yeah, Lanny Davis has a memory problem. A bad one.

But the thing is that Lieberman looks pathethic in this story.

posted by Steve @ 9:09:00 AM

9:09:00 AM

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