During defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing Thursday, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, cited a recent piece by right-wing columnist and blogger Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post in outlining policy areas related to U.S. ties with Egypt that he would like the former Nebraska senator to address “for the record.”
Inhofe called the piece, titled “Our dimwitted State Department,” “kind of an interesting article” but did not specify that it was an opinion piece.
“There was an article the other day in The Washington post by Jennifer Rubin called, “Our dimwitted State Department.” It’s kind of an interesting article. There are four questions that I’m willing to ask that you respond for the record. For people who don’t know what that is, that means later on in writing. The questions that I liked that she asked were: Did the sale of the F-16’s encourage [Egyptian President Mohammed] Morsi to crack down on his people? Number two, had we known he would crack down would we still have sent the weaponry? Number three, how will we respond to Morsi’s anti-democratic moves and the rise and violence against christians in egypt, or as will likely be the case, a failure to live up to egypt’s security obligations regarding gaza? And four, have we miscalculated the muslim brotherload? That would be for the record.”
The framing of the question drew disapproval on Twitter from the Post’s associate editor, Rajiv Chandreasekaran, who took issue with Inhofe’s characterization of Rubin’s piece as “an article.”
I hate it when senators refer to WP opinion blogger posts as articles. @jrubinblogger is NOT a WaPo reporter
— Rajiv Chandrasekaran (@rajivwashpost) January 31, 2013