WaPo reporter and “close friend” of Von Drehle defends Beck profile; attacks me
September 18, 2009 12:06 pm ET – by Jamison Foser
Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach leaps to his “close friend” David Von Drehle’s defense, calling my criticism of Von Drehle’s Glenn Beck profile “shrill,” and accuses me of criticizing the article “because one of the targets of Dave’s story is Media Matters itself. Which Foser doesn’t bother to note.”
Let’s take that part first: Ludicrous. Von Drehle makes only passing mention of Media Matters; here it is:
“[T]here are ancillary industries feeding on the success of Beck and others like him. Both left- and right-wing not-for-profit groups operate as self-anointed media watchdogs, and one of the largest of these — the liberal group Media Matters for America — has a multimillion-dollar budget. Staff members monitor Beck’s every public utterance, poised to cherry-pick the most inflammatory sentences. (Conservative outfits do the same for the likes of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann.) These nuggets are used in turn to rev up donations to political parties and drive ratings for the endless rounds of talking-head shows.”
Really? That’s what led Achenbach to conclude that “one of the targets of Dave’s story is Media Matters,” and that I was motivated by a desire for revenge? Seems pretty weak.
Achenbach’s defense of his “close pal” David Von Drehle, and his attack on me, curiously avoids any discussion whatsoever of my central point: That Von Drehle failed to indicate a single falsehood Beck has ever told. That Von Drehle portrayed “liberal” estimates of the size of last week’s anti-Obama rally as no more valid than estimates from conservatives — estimates of 1 to 2 million people. Despite the fact that there clearly were not a million people at the rally. And despite the fact that the “liberal” estimates in fact came from news organizations and the DC fire department.
Since Achenbach ducked all that, here are some simple questions for him: