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Wanker of the Decade

To celebrate ten years of blogging, Atrios has been writing a series of posts at Eschaton on the top ten wankers of the decade. It culminated today, the anniversary day, with his selection of the winner. If you haven’t been following along, I recommend some remedial reading.

You can start with this morning’s review, a list of the nine runners up with links to his posts about them. Here, for instance, is an excerpt from his comments last Wednesday on 8th runner up Richard Cohen, the Washington Post columnist. The excerpt will give you an idea of Atrios’s perspective and the criteria for making the list.

Cohen’s had a long career, wearing one of the “liberal” hats at the Washington Post. It’s a bit sad, thinking about it, as occasionally the “good” Cohen makes an appearance and gets something really really right, but all of that is washed away by decades of the kind of wankery that can only come from lifetime employees of Fox on 15th. And when bad Richard makes an appearance, he’s really, really bad. Monsters walk among us bad.

As for the big test of the decade – just how awesome do you think the Iraq war will be! – Cohen failed miserably. He was bested by the fools, the Frenchmen, and of course the dirty fucking hippies.

From 2/6/03.

It is time once again to quote my favorite philosopher — Tevye, the lead character from “Fiddler on the Roof.” It was his habit to weigh his options by saying, “On the one hand, ” and then, “On the other hand,” until he confronted a situation where there was no other hand. This is where Colin Powell brought us all yesterday.

The evidence he presented to the United Nations — some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail — had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn’t accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool — or possibly a Frenchman — could conclude otherwise.

I’ll quote also from Atrios’s post about 3rd runner up Joe Klein of Time.

He’s a fairly typical Democrat who hates Democrats, liberal who hates liberals, the real problem with the Democrats being unions, hippies, people who hate the military, people who vote for Democrats, the Democrats they vote for. The usual.

He spent years being America’s Concern Troll when it came to Iraq. He opposed the war except, you know, he didn’t really bother to tell anybody. He wasn’t all that much of a fan of how things were playing out, but the real problem, of course, were the Democrats who were trying to kill off all of our troops by cutting off funding.

And the winner is? Well, who else? Tom Friedman, come on down.

Friedman possesses all of the qualities that make a pundit truly wankerific. He fetishizes a false “centrism” which is basically whatever Tom Friedman likes, imagining the Friedman agenda is both incredibly popular in the country and lacking any support from our current politicians, when in fact the opposite is usually true. Washington worships at the altar of the agenda of false centrism, and people often hate it. Problems abroad, even ones which really have nothing to do with us, should be solved by war, and problems at home should be solved by increasing the suffering of poor and middle class people. Even though one political party is pretty much implementing, or trying to implement, 99.999999% of the Friedman agenda, what we really need is a third party catering precisely to this silent majority of Friedmanites.

If you’re still not sure why Friedman is a fraud, review the video above from May 29, 2003, with Friedman’s famous “suck on this” explanation of why we needed to go to war in Iraq. What an arrogant SOB!

Yet he continues to rake in the big bucks: mega-bestselling books, highly paid speaking appearances, TV, the column. If ever an emperor had no clothes, it’s him.

Anyway, read Atrios.

Categories: Journalism, Politics
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