Congratulations to our friend Ed “Michael” Morrissey who was named blogger of the year by The Week Magazine at their gala banquet tonight (our friend Michelle Malkin was also nominated). Ed’s coverage of Canadian politics alone justifies his selection, as does his day-to-day work on the full range of current events. Nick Kristof of the New York Times won the award for best columnist based on his coverage of Darfur. Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Constitution won the award for editorial cartoons. I thought it appropriate that only the cartoonist gave an acceptance speech.
After dinner, we were treated to a panel discussion in which media types beat up the White House press corps for being too soft on President Bush. Arianna Huffington led the charge. She thinks that the White House press corps let the country down by not disputing the Bush administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein had WMD. Never mind that this claim was not disputed by foreign intelligence services or by our own. To the extent that there were a few dissenters within the intelligence communtiy, no one tonight explained why reporters whose beat was the White House should have found them, or why anyone should have credited them in the face of the overwhelming intelligence consensus to the contrary.
Nonetheless, the only real debate was over why coverage of Bush is so uncritical. One panelist argued that the cause is fear by reporters of Russ Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. The discussion got me wondering why those not on the front lines of the MSM’s struggle with the Bush administration are so contemptuous of those who are. The answer, I think, is that many of these folks hate Bush so much that no level of bashing short of their own pet irrational attacks can satisfy them.
I also learned from Huffington that William F. Buckley believes the war in Iraq is “the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history.” Until someone directs me to such a statement by Buckley, I’m going to assume that Huffington made that one up.
Fortunately, the conversation at my table was considerably more elevated. One major figure in network journalism lavished praise on the top legal blogs for their work during the Roberts and Alito confirmation battles. Leftist blogs in general did not make out nearly as well in the discussion. It was also fascinating for me to hear media insiders debate whether Katie Couric is a good selection to be the CBS News anchor. The table was divided, with the women expressing considerable skepticism (I expressed no opinion, and have none).