Sorry to hear that Dan Froomkin (a frequent source of material for this blog, and many others) has been fired.
Glenn Greenwald speculates it might be because of the whiny-titty-ass-baby, Charlie Krauthammer complaining.
Charles Krauthammer last night said that Obama critics on Fox News are “a lot like [Hugo Chavez’] Caracas where all the media, except one, are state run.” But right-wing polemicists like Krauthammer are all over the media.
In addition to his Rupert Murdoch perch at Fox, Krauthammer remains as a regular columnist at the Post, alongside fellow right-wing Obama haters such as Bill Kristol, George Will, Jim Hoagland, Michael Gerson and Robert Kagan — as well as a whole bevy of typical, banal establishment spokespeople who are highly supportive of whatever the permanent Washington establishment favors (David Ignatius, Fred Hiatt, Ruth Marcus, David Broder, Richard Cohen, Howie Kurtz, etc. etc.). And that’s to say nothing of the regular Op-Ed appearances by typical Krauthammer-mimicking neoconservative voices such as John Bolton, Joe Lieberman, and Douglas Feith — and the Post Editorial Page itself. “Caracas” indeed.
Notably, Froomkin just recently had a somewhat acrimonious exchange with the oh-so-oppressed Krauthammer over torture, after Froomkin criticized Krauthammer’s explicit endorsement of torture and Krauthammer responded by calling Froomkin’s criticisms “stupid.” And now — weeks later — Froomkin is fired by the Post while the persecuted Krauthammer, comparing himself to endangered journalists in Venezuela, remains at the Post, along with countless others there who think and write just like he does: i.e., standard neoconservative pablum. Froomkin was previously criticized for being “highly opinionated and liberal” by Post ombudsman Deborah Howell (even as she refused to criticize blatant right-wing journalists).
All of this underscores a critical and oft-overlooked point: what one finds virtually nowhere in the establishment press are those who criticize Obama not in order to advance their tawdry right-wing agenda but because the principles that led them to criticize Bush compel similar criticism of Obama.
[Click to continue reading The Washington Post fires its best columnist. Why? – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com]
From my humble experience, the only reason I ever (and I mean ever) visited the Washington Post was to read Dan Froomkin’s column, then to read his blog. I guess I’m the wrong demographic for Washington Post, I’m unabashedly liberal, educated, technologically savvy, and even (shudder) bourgeois, by income if not by mentality. The Washington Post is happy competing for conservative readers, and following the Washington Times Fox News model of all Republican news all the time. I trust Mr. Froomkin will land somewhere soon, and continue his responsible journalistic approach.
Dan Froomkin comments:
I’m terribly disappointed. I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn’t “working” anymore. But from what I could tell, it was still working very well. I also thought White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online.
As I’ve written elsewhere, I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That’s what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I’ll have to try to do it someplace else.
Krauthammer might have burst into tears when he read this article:
Charles Krauthammer, in his Washington Post opinion column this morning, tries to find loopholes for impermissible evil.
“Torture is an impermissible evil. Except under two circumstances,” he writes.
“The first is the ticking time bomb. An innocent’s life is at stake. The bad guy you have captured possesses information that could save this life. He refuses to divulge. In such a case, the choice is easy.”
Actually, no. The ticking time bomb scenario only exists in two places: On TV and in the dark fantasies of power-crazed and morally deficient authoritarians. In real life, things are never that certain. And trained interrogators say that even in the most extreme circumstances, traditional methods are the most effective.
Krauthammer continues: “Some people, however, believe you never torture. Ever. They are akin to conscientious objectors who will never fight in any war under any circumstances, and for whom we correctly show respect by exempting them from war duty. But we would never make one of them Centcom commander.”
Actually, no. They are normal people who share the post-World War II international consensus that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Indeed, the idea of putting someone without a healthy respect for human rights at Centcom is abhorrent — unless of course you believe that human rights don’t matter.
[Click to continue reading White House Watch – Krauthammer’s Asterisks ]
After flaying Krauthammer a bit more, Mr. Froomkin concludes:
Precisely what members of Congress were told and how they responded should absolutely be a part of any thorough official investigation into the abuses of the Bush years. The enablers must be exposed as surely as the complicit. And members of Congress who knew what was happening and remained silent must be held to public account for their moral cowardice.
But their failure to speak out does not change the fundamental moral equation.
If the United States is to live up to its core values, if it is to once again be a beacon of human rights to the world and a champion of human dignity, then when it comes to torture — to impermissible evil, as Krauthammer himself puts it — there can be no asterisks.