I’m not going to waste my time, not to mention valuable brain cells, detailing the shameless hackery, dutiful GOP party line stenography, breathtaking dishonesty, vicious nastiness, rotten-eggplant-level idiocy, extreme internal/self contradiction, sniveling sycophancy, and utter lack of journalistic ethics that comprise the Washington/Kaplan Post blogger Jennifer Rubin. I’ll just provide you with a few links to get a taste of what I’m talking about, if you’re so inclined:
*The Right’s Jennifer Rubin Problem: A Case Study in Info Disadvantage (Sample passage: “At every opportunity, Rubin wrote favorably about Romney and his campaign. And she didn’t just get things wrong, sometimes absurdly, she always got them wrong in a way that redounded to Team Romney’s benefit. If her goal was striving to inform her right-leaning audience with the truth, she was an abject failure.”)
*Why the Washington Post won’t fire Jennifer Rubin (“The paper’s ombudsman admits Jennifer Rubin would be fired if she promoted anti-Israeli rather than anti-Arab bile.“)
*Post Roast: Jennifer Rubin’s retweet (Post Ombudsman: “in agreeing with the sentiment, and in spreading it to her 7,000 Twitter followers who know her as a Washington Post blogger, Rubin did damage to The Post and the credibility that keeps it afloat.”)
*The 8 Worst Responses To The Boston Marathon Bombings (Yes, one of them was Jennifer Rubin’s)
*Washington Post Columnist Launches Sexist Diatribe Against Hillary Clinton On Twitter (Yep, Rubin again.)
*WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin Admits She Misled Her Readers (“Let’s take what she’s written here, in the cold reality of a Romney loss, and compare it to what she wrote when the Romney campaign was still in full swing.”)
*Jennifer Rubin, Mitt Romney’s top media shill (“The Romney campaign’s communications office has its own platform at the Washington Post, thanks to Jennifer Rubin“)
On and on it goes; it’s really endless how bad, unprofessional, insane, etc. Jennifer Rubin is. Yet Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt keeps paying her salary (while the Post cuts loose its Ombudsman, by the way – fascinating priorities!), so he obviously approves of what she’s doing. Or, more to the point, he like that: a) Rubin brings “eyeballs” – whatever their political stripe, they still count in terms of “hits” or whatever metric they’re using – to the Post, which remains desperately in need of a business model, any business model, to stay afloat in the internet age; b) she provides faux “balance” to the Post; and c) she at least gives the Post an argument that they let right-wing voices be heard, that they’re not totally “liberal” (in reality, the Post is overwhelmingly corporate in orientation, definitely NOT “liberal” on most issues).
As one of the most astute politicos – and one of the smartest people in general – I know said to me this morning, the Post seems to want a “party-line touter” on board, that the “simplest answer” to why the Post keeps her on board is that “she’s the kind of writer the Post wants.” But why would the Post want such a “writer?” According to my astute friend, “because they need to reflect both sides, regardless of any analytical imbalances, intellectual rigor (or lack thereof), or comportment with the facts as they are…so Greg Sargent, even though he doesn’t reliably carry Democrats’ water, is their ‘left’ guy – regardless of what he says, and Rubin is their ‘right.'” In other words, it’s the mindless “both sides” false equivalence that passes for “balance” and “objectivity” in these latter days of this once-but-no-longer fine paper, the Washington/Kaplan Post.
Still, does the Post really need to debase itself and its profession in this sordid way? Again, let me quote my astute politico friend: “[I’m] not saying it makes sense objectively, just observing it as a bit of Stockholm Syndrome-induced press strategy…of aiming for balance above all other goals.” In the end, though, it’s not really Jennifer Rubin’s fault. As the scorpion/camel story about the Middle East explains, the scorpion stings the camel even though it means they will both drown simply because it’s the scorpion’s “nature” to do that. Same with a scorpion like Rubin. In that sense, then, you can’t really blame Rubin for being a scorpion – that’s just who she is. But you CAN blame the Post for hiring her and for keeping her employed: as my astute politico friend says, “it’s on the Post for wanting her around.”
By the way, what set me off about Rubin today was that I saw her wretchedly dishonest, internally self-contradictory, brain-dead post on how the GOP needs to “get over Ronald Reagan” featured prominently in both online and print editions of the Post. I strongly recommend you do NOT waste your time reading it, as it’s filled with falsehoods, distortions, faulty logic, breathtaking dishonesty, utter lack of self awareness…all the hallmarks of a Jennifer Rubin column, in other words.
For instance, in her second sentence, she already goes off the rails, falsely asserting that Reagan, “unlike liberal icons such as Roosevelt or Johnson or Obama…presided over an economic boom.” Back in the world known as “reality,” of course, we know that the U.S. economy recovered from the Great Depression (which started during Republican Herbert Hoover’s administration) under FDR (kicking into overdrive as wartime production revved up after Pearl Harbor), also grew rapidly under LBJ, and has recovered from the Bush era “Great Recession” under President Obama (stock market way up, housing prices increasing again, unemployment way down from the peak, etc.).
A few paragraphs down, Rubin bizarrely asserts that both John McCain and Jim DeMint are “Reaganites,” stripping any and all meaning from that term. Of course, as the top-rated comment on her article points out, there are two Reagans: 1) the “imaginary figure who never raised taxes, never compromised, never deviated from any right-wing orthodoxy”; and 2) “the real Reagan, who was willing to compromise to get things done?” How on earth can such wildly disparate figures as John McCain and Jim DeMint both be “Reaganites,” whatever that term even means? Got me, but as the second-rated comment on the Rubin article explains:
One of the more refreshing things about Jennifer Rubin is her ability to turn on a dime and put out a whole new line in complete contradiction to most of what she said before and never give the slightest indication that she might have been wrong or that anything changed. A few months ago when she was cheerleading for Romney she told us Romney was just the ticket and Ryan was just the visionary we needed; now the two of them are absurd reactionaries, out of touch with modern America and peddling outmoded ideas. Jennifer, aren’t you glad we didn’t listen to you a few months ago?
So, there you have it: the Washington, aka “Kaplan” Post continues to employ – and to prominently feature – a lying hack who the Post’s own (former) Ombudsman pointed out does “damage to The Post and the credibility that keeps it afloat.” Now that the Ombudsman is gone (how convenient!), of course, there’s nobody internally to call out this disgrace to “journalism.” And as long as Rubin keeps driving “eyeballs,” and keeps giving the Post their desperately-desired patina of “balance” (whatever that means), apparently she will keep drawing a paycheck. You just might want to think about that the next time your Post subscription comes up for renewal…
P.S. As a commenter on Daily Kos pointed out, I actually DID end up wasting my time and brain cells on Jennifer Rubin’s drivel. Sigh…couldn’t help myself I guess.