In an online column for the Washington City Paper, Patrick Pexton, the former-ombudsman for the Washington Post, offered some free advice to the paper’s new owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Pexton closed his lengthy article with three paragraphs explaining why he felt Post conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin, should immediately be fired. Here is a taste:
Have Fred Hiatt, your editorial page editor–who I like, admire, and respect–fire opinion blogger Jennifer Rubin. Not because she’s conservative, but because she’s just plain bad. She doesn’t travel within a hundred miles of Post standards. She parrots and peddles every silly right-wing theory to come down the pike in transparent attempts to get Web hits. …
And she is often wrong, and rarely acknowledges it. She was oh-so-wrong about Mitt Romney, week after week writing embarrassing flattery about his 2012 campaign, calling almost every move he made brilliant, and guaranteeing that he would trounce Barack Obama. When he lost, the next day she savaged him and his campaign with treachery, saying he was the worst candidate with the worst staff, ever. She was wrong about the Norway shootings being acts of al-Qaida. She was wrong about Chuck Hagel being an anti-Semite. And does she apologize? Nope.
While my own frustrations and disagreements with Rubin could easily fill three paragraphs, Pexton’s accusations make little sense. How can Pexton “admire and respect” the editor who obviously has the power to change Rubin’s “just plain bad” ways, but chooses not to? If Rubin is truly not traveling “within a hundred miles of Post standards,” whose fault is that if not the editor of whom Pexton is such a big fan?
Pexton is also cherry-picking what he sees as Rubin’s sins, as though that job isn’t much easier while perusing the actual news pages of the Washington Post. Finally, Pexton complains that Rubin gets the most hate mail. Well, isn’t that pretty much expected when you are the sole Republican at a left-wing paper?
Had Pexton called for Rubin’s firing while serving as the Washington Post ombudsman, his words might have had a little more weight, and he would look a little less like an embittered mud-thrower.
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