Since the Webb story is of more interest to me, (But seriously, tell me where I can find the hoo hoo pics) I'll focus on it mainly because of the dishonest account of the event depicted by Geroge Will in today's Washington Post.
The actual encounter went something like this:
"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.
"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.
"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"
"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
Will conveniently leaves out the fact that Bush was the one who initially ratchets up the level of contempt and that Webb's response really isn't that bad given Bush's dismissal of Webb.
It is a sad day for conservatives when this is the best they can come up with, but who can blame them, it's pretty much all they have. Their war in Iraq gets worse by the day, their hero in chief is mired in the low thirties, and no one outside of Bill O'Reilly and, get this, Chuck Norris gives a damn about the War on Christmas anymore.
I'm not even writing this because Webb needs anyone to come to his defense, even though countless others have indeed done so today. (See every blog) Webb doesn't need it, he's got the job for six more years and few if any will remember or even care once that time has elapsed.
No, today I'd like to talk about the nattering nabobs who make up the elite punditry class that rules our national discourse. What a frail bunch of petunias they are. Rudeness. George Will filled his spot in today's Post with an article about rudeness. Of everything going on in the world, is a spat between two men at a cocktail party the most important thing to write about today.
At least Will isn't as frail as Richard Cohen, who would surely attempt to rebuff Will's blogging detractors of today by writing the inevitable follow-up column that bloggers were mean to me!
Seriously, it seems that nearly every one of these people were home schooled and have only heard all their lives how great they were and have posters of kittens hanging from clotheslines in all their offices.
It's not far from the truth. In fact, a lot of as Atrios calls them "The Wise Old Men Of Washington" have spent the last thirty years in a vacuum where virtually everywhere they went they were told just how great they were. From their time in (group) think tanks to their glory days of being elite pundits, they have simply never had to take criticism. At least not until the electronic age.
I'm sure that they received a few nasty letters, which they probably figured were written by cranks. Hey, I've got this massive readership and only these two guys think I'm nuts or lying or whatever. That is no longer the case.
Now, while it has been true that newspapers have been putting their content online for a few years now, but most of that time was during the infancy of blogging. Now, their respective papers put their content online late the night before to get their stories out there to place their claim on setting the tone for the twenty-four hour news cycle.
That means a jackass like me can have most of the major newspapers read by 4:30 in the morning, and can have articles like Will's shredded even before his alarm clock goes off. This is the new way political warfare will be waged in the near to mid term. Kinda fun really, blowing the petals off the petunias.