Slouching Toward the Pork

Have you read the Post today and Milbank’s piece on this ongoing Murtha battle? I hope Dana’s tongue was planted firmly in his cheek, because rarely have I seen such a devil-may-care attitude about some serious indiscretions in Congress — missteps that the Post traditionally and repeatedly assails in the A section.

Let me get this straight: Murtha saunters over to the Republican side of the aisle, sticks his finger in Mike Rogers’s face and threatens to cut off all his projects, and Milbank characterizes that by writing, “This is how it all works in the Capitol…” ????

I’m sorry, Dana, but didn’t Democrats run (and your paper report) on a “clean up Washington and control spending” platform? What’s even more egregious is the way Milbank paints Rogers, as some gadfly who is not even supported by his own colleagues. That’s not the story I’ve been reading and hearing in Washington since it broke last week. You can bet if Tom DeLay had threatened to strike Democrats’ earmarks, they wouldn’t have stopped their wailing and gnashing of teeth until a full Justice Department inquiry had been launched. Where are Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel now??

For that matter, where’s the Post?? Since when could the paper call a sitting member of Congress “naive” and have it not appear on the editorial page?? And where do these reporters get off in picking and choosing what’s an appropriate ethics violation? Murtha’s behavior is clearly banned in the House’s rules, and yet Milbank has the gall to label the violation “quaint” and “hollow”??

I’m all for today’s journalists looking to be hip and trendy to sell papers and stay ahead of the Jon Stewarts of the world. But the A Section of the Post — even a story labeled “Washington Sketch” (whatever that means) — is not an appropriate place for denigrating a member with a serious charge just because a reporter thinks so. Perhaps Dana has been in Washington too long.