E.J. Dionne: The right-wing’s shellacking …. Tuesday’s results underscored the power of unions and populist politics, the danger to conservatives of social-issue extremism and the fact that 2010 was no mandate for right-wing policies. They also mean that if Republicans don’t back away from an agenda that makes middle-class, middle-of-the-road Americans deeply uncomfortable — and in some cases angry — they will lose the rather more important fight of 2012.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attend a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 9, 2011. Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Melody Barnes, Director of Domestic Policy Council, are seen in the background. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Koch Industries Senior Vice President Mark Holden said in a letter to ASME board members that it is “inappropriate” for Mayer’s piece to be considered for the award because her article is biased.
“Her article is ideologically slanted and a prime example of a disturbing trend in journalism, where agenda-driven advocacy masquerades as objective reporting,” Holden said in a letter sent to ASME CEO Sid Holt and several ASME board members. “Given these facts, it would be inappropriate for ASME to give Ms. Mayer’s article an award in reporting.”
Aside from family feuds and dirty laundry, Mayer’s article detailed how the brothers were backers of a wide network of conservative think tanks and groups that helped spawn the Tea Party revolution.
…David Remnick, editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, rallied to his reporter’s defense. “Jane Mayer put together an accurate and honest piece of reporting. To watch them go around to try to undermine a superb piece of reportage is pathetic. . . I’m a little surprised to see a big-time operation behave like a bunch of Inspector Clouseaus”….
…The article was embroiled in controversy almost from the start. Apparently someone tried to leak disparaging material to The Daily Caller, a Web site run by conservative pundit Tucker Carlson, claiming there were plagiarism issues in Mayer’s reporting.
When Media Ink, which had also received the anonymous allegations, began investigat ing, it found the plagia rism claims to be bogus. The Daily Caller ultimately spiked the story because it didn’t pan out. No one ever learned who was behind the dirty-trick operation to smear Mayer.
Bo, the Obama family dog, is greeted by several of the President’s Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) achievers in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Nov. 29, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
National Teacher of the Year award recipient Sarah Brown Wessling of Johnson Community School District in Iowa with President Barack Obama during a Rose Garden ceremony April 29, 2010 at the White House in Washington, DC.