Froomkin's Last Day At WaPo

Today WaPo gets rid of its best columnist Dan Froomkin. I do not always agree with Froomkin (his column yesterday on Afghanistan for instance, I support President Obama's policies on Afghanistan), but his column was essential reading. Today Froomkin writes:

I started my column in January 2004, and one dominant theme quickly emerged: That George W. Bush was truly the proverbial emperor with no clothes. . . . The ensuing five years and 1,088 columns really just fleshed out that portrait, describing a president who was oblivious, embubbled and untrustworthy.

When I look back on the Bush years, I think of the lies. There were so many. Lies about the war and lies to cover up the lies about the war. Lies about torture and surveillance. Lies about Valerie Plame. Vice President Dick Cheney's lies, criminally prosecutable but for his chief of staff Scooter Libby's lies. I also think about the extraordinary and fundamentally cancerous expansion of executive power that led to violations of our laws and our principles.

(Emphasis supplied.) To his credit (after all, Froomkin is looking for a job now), Froomkin points the finger at the Media:

How did the media cover it all? Not well. Reading pretty much everything that was written about Bush on a daily basis, as I did, one could certainly see the major themes emerging. But by and large, mainstream-media journalism missed the real Bush story for way too long. The handful of people who did exceptional investigative reporting during this era really deserve our gratitude: People such as Ron Suskind, Seymour Hersh, Jane Mayer, Murray Waas, Michael Massing, Mark Danner, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau (better late than never), Dana Priest, Walter Pincus, Charlie Savage and Philippe Sands; there was also some fine investigative blogging over at Talking Points Memo and by Marcy Wheeler. Notably not on this list: The likes of Bob Woodward and Tim Russert. Hopefully, the next time the nation faces a grave national security crisis, we will listen to the people who were right, not the people who were wrong, and heed those who reported the truth, not those who served as stenographers to liars.

A brave reporter and pundit unafraid to tell the truth how he sees it. Where are they in the Media now? There is one less at the Washington Post. But the Washington Post has largely been a journalistic and editorial disaster now for many many years. Any paper that keeps Fred Hiatt at the helm of its editorial pages is the heoght of hackery. There really is no worse page in the MSM than the Washington Post editorial pages.

In any event, thanks for the great work Mr. Froomkin. Godspeed.

Speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    He has plans (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:47:49 AM EST
    I will keep tabs on where he goes.  He dinged Woodward and Russert for the aroma of malfeasance that emanates from them too, while promising to serve accountability journalism.  We certainly have a lot of job openings in that department but I don't think any of them are paying very well right now...I don't think they come with bonuses right now either.  I too think we need to address Afghanistan and I think it calls for military action but I no longer have faith in our new President's old Secretary of Defense or Stanely McChrystal in handling Afghanistan. So I can't say that I think we should militarily take on Afghanistan any longer if these are the poppy warring torturing slobs at the helm.

    Glenn Greenwald is looking for a part-time (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:57:19 AM EST
    assistant.  Probably doesn't pay very well though.

    "Embubbled" (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by hitchhiker on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 02:03:14 PM EST
    That right there is a fine new word.  Wherever he lands, I'm in.

    Drug addicts know (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 03:03:44 PM EST
    that for there to be any hope of defeating their sickness, self denial must be addressed head-on.

    There is no sign today's "journalists" are ready to take that crucial step. On the contrary, they're not only firmly entrenched in their denial; they've stepped up their defense of the hypocrisy.

    In the lobby of every news organization there should be a giant photograph of David Gregory boog-a-looing with Karl Rove, and the caption should be Russert's (paraphrased) quote, "If we ask any embarrassing questions, they won't invite us back. Probing questions is not what we do."

    I hope that damning clip of David Gregory (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Spamlet on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 03:59:06 PM EST
    will eventually become as iconic as the one where U.S. Army special counsel Joseph Welch demands of Senator Joseph McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

    I like this one better (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by cenobite on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 07:12:49 PM EST
    He's registered a domain (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Linkmeister on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 05:08:15 PM EST
    or at least a parking place where he'll advise where he's going: http://busharchive.froomkin.com/goodbye.htm

    Froomkin, Afghanistan... (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 10:20:31 PM EST
    My little brother is in Afghanistan.  He's part of the new surge there.  And he's miserable.  Never been more so than on this tour.  And he is as loyal and honorable and hard working and optimistic a soldier as the marines have.  And he's completely and utterly miserable.  That should tell you something about how Afghanistan is going.  Or at least it does me.  Why we think, ultimately, it will be any different than our leaving Iraq is beyond me.  Then again, I guess we're never really "leaving" any of these places in reality.

    Why is he miserable? (none / 0) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:38:11 PM EST
    I believe you 100 percent, I'm just curious what it is in particular in his case.

    I met some guys in Russia at one point who'd fought in Afghanistan, and although they both seemed normal on the surface, they were psychically horribly damaged from the experience.


    he is done with it all (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Dadler on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 05:56:49 PM EST
    he is spent, wasted, exhausted and just wants to see his new wife and start their new life.  dust storms are horrible, he's disenchanted with the entire mission, doesn't see results on the horizon.

    he is done.


    Probably not things that anyone can talk (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 08:19:54 AM EST
    about at this time without jeopardizing something.

    I think we'll be leaving someday (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 08:17:34 AM EST
    We are still so short on well trained forces too, some training seems to have simply gone by the wayside as new recruits focus on mostly learning how to better kick in doors.  Count me as depressed by the whole situation watching from the sidelines.  Can't see where any of this is going to go any place swell.

    Nail in the Coffin (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 10:42:03 PM EST
    No different than FAUX, now.

    You'd think the Times (none / 0) (#3)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 12:38:17 PM EST
    would pick him up in a New York minute...unless the majors have a gentlemen's agreement.

    Maybe McClatchy...?

    Or an independent Froomkin website...two steps forward, one step back.  That may be what progress looks like these days in the news business.

    You'd think (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 12:43:57 PM EST
    any major outlet would pick him up. He has a built in audience and will get linky goodness like nobody's business.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 01:23:42 PM EST
    It's not like they'd be buying a pig in a poke.

    Guess that's the problem for some...he's a known quantity.  Should interest Rolling Stone, Mother Jones...The New Yorker?  Vanity Fair?!?

    He may have cut off any lines of retreat with his tagging of Woodward and Russert...media untouchables from the looks of things.


    I loved that he did that (5.00 / 7) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 01:26:41 PM EST
    Especially about St. Tim.

    what a piece of crap Russert was.


    Boy do I ever agree with you about Timmeh. (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Angel on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 01:51:09 PM EST
    Waaaaay overrated as a "journalist."  Sanctimonious ass kisser.  Sorry to speak ill of the dead but I just couldn't help myself.  He was so vile when it came to the Clinton's, especially Bill.  

    If, there were any doubts (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 02:22:10 PM EST
    about Russert's journalistic integrity,  you would think the Scooter Libby trial would have cured them.

    You'd think (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 12:40:18 AM EST
    But journalism isn't actually what the media wants.  


    That's what it's really about.


    His wife is (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:35:21 PM EST
    a horrible piece of work, too, just poisonous, IMHO.

    You would think (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 12:49:41 PM EST
    anyone with half a brain would pick him up...and that explains a lot of why he hasn't been picked up.