I've always been
proud -- perhaps overly so -- that I was one of the first political journalists to openly question whether there was anything to all those stories about White House vandalism in the final days of the Clinton era -- first here
on TPM and then later in Slate
But the genre of uncritical and fatuous 'report the Bush spin as delivered' coverage lives on.
Here's just the latest example written by, of all people, Thomas DeFrank, the Washington Bureau Chief of the New York Daily News.
DeFrank's piece follows the standard plot points of the sop-to-Bush genre, contrasting the Bush style (obliging, middle American with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) with the Clinton style (grasping, domineering with phallic Christmas tree ornaments).
You apparently can't walk around the White House these days without being importuned by some member of the permanent staff who says things like: "The Bushes' humble, conservative style really resonates with my middle class values. A lot more than those Clintons, whose limousine liberalism nominally catered to working families like my own, while subtly mocking my work ethic and efforts to succeed by my own efforts! And did I mention not being able to invest a small portion of my Social Security funds in the stock market?"
And every DC reporter seems to have an obliging friend on the new White House staff who is always trying to tell the help not to bother with some particularly demeaning chore, only to be told, "No, no, no. It is okay. Really. Please! I did that for Mr. Clinton's sleazy Asian cronies many, many times!"
Where do I sign up to get Karl Rove's assistants to write my copy for me too?
Now back to working on the much-awaited Talking Points redesign and, before that, the even-more -awaited TPM line on John Edwards.