Last week the Washington Post’s ombudsman, Deborah Howell made the kind of mistake of fact in her column that all journalists occasionally make, in an item about convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff::
“I wrote that he gave campaign money to both parties and their members of Congress. He didn’t. I should have said he directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.”
But of course the very idea that Abramoff’s crimes had a bipartisan angle to them inflamed the Bush-loathing left. Here’s what happened, according to Howell’s latest report:
“Nothing in my 50-year career prepared me for the thousands of flaming e-mails I got last week over my last column, e-mails so abusive and many so obscene that part of The Post’s Web site was shut down…..
“Witness three printable examples:
‘Yes, the WAPO needs an enema, and Howell should be the first thing that gets medicinally removed.’
‘You Deborah Howell, stop lying about Democrats getting money from Abramoff. Democrats do not control anything in Washington, so why would he waste money bribing them. Think and do your research, and stop being an idiot.’
‘This rag must be something that I pulled off a barscreen at a sewage treatment plant. Howell is simply a paid liar. How this creature endures itself is something I don’t understand. What a piece of flotsam.'”
Ah, Deborah, these people are supposed to be your friends and political allies. Here’s your official profile:
“Favorite comic: Doonesbury.
“Favorite columnists: Ellen Goodman, David Broder, William Safire, David Shribman.”
(Safire’s just fine–but Goodman and Broder?) Welcome to the real word of the left, Ms. Howell. The flameout you got from your supposed compatriots happens every single day to journalists who, unlike you, happen to be conservatives. Read the sort of e-mails that Michelle Malkin receives daily. This is the standard treatment that your supposedly tolerant ideological pals mete out to those who dare to disagree with them. I’m sorry you had to put up with that sort of thing. But doesn’t it tell you something about the folks on your side?