Paul Krugman on Marc Ambinder and the politicization of the terror alerts:
But I’d like to return to one point: even after retracting his statement about people who correctly surmised that terror warnings were political being motivated by “gut hatred” of Bush, he left in the bit about being “reflexively anti-Bush”. I continue to find it really sad that people still say things like this.
Krugman, Glenn Greenwald, and Marcy Wheeler are dealing with this. The only thing I have to add is that the Liberal Blogosphere, the supposed amplifier for all the irrational hatred of George W. Bush, didn't really get its act together until 2002, when the Bush Administration was in the middle of the process of obviously lying us into a war with Iraq. It wasn't because people hated Bush that they didn't trust him on the War. It was because of the War and his lies that they began to hate him. As Krugman says, by the time the terror alert controversy boiled over there was ample reason to think of this crew as a pack of liars who did everything for their own personal political gain, including taking the country into war. It wasn't irrational to distrust them. It was plain nuts not to.
But the real "gut-haters," the people who took an irrational dislike to a politician and reacted to everything he said and did as if he was a worse liar than Richard Nixon were the members of the Washington Press Corps who decided back in 1999 that Al Gore was not to be allowed to become President.
And one tactic in their war on Gore was to treat George W. Bush as something the man clearly wasn't---deserving of the Presidency. He was their man, and they stuck with him and championed him long after he'd proven to be an utter disaster, and they continued to dismiss all his critics as deranged by hatred, irrationally partisan, and deeply "unserious."
And pretty much they're still at it, which is why people like Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and John Bolton keep popping up on the TV and in op-ed pages. The Village Insiders are deeply invested in their own vanity and they will defend their egos and self-regard to the death.
Marc Ambinder has been clumsy about it, but he's also been pretty much all alone in admitting that maybe the Press Corps could have done a better job.