Jennifer Rubin is the token conservative at the Washington Post. I hate to put it like that, but it really is the case. The issue is, I’m not sure whether this is the WaPo trying to maintain some level of “balance” by hiring somebody so dramatically against everything the rest of the paper stands for (i.e. honest reporting and commentary), or whether this is some sort of demonstration of their liberal bias in that they skipped over a number of intelligent, thoughtful conservative voices in favor of the most clownish possible figure, channeling Voltaire.
Today’s latest bit of pointless outrage comes in an article where she rages against the Hagel confirmation yesterday, which she is sure (like many of her colleagues) is a portent of certain doom that has split the world into two convenient, easy to understand camps.
Let’s be clear: We have two parties: the Hagel Democrats and the pro-Israel Republicans. Only one party considers national security serious enough to place it above loyalty to the White House. One can hardly wait for the Hagel Democrats to appear at the impotent AIPAC’s conference next month to express their support for robust Israel-U.S. relations.
That’s right, Jennifer. Everybody who disagrees with you is a) pro-Hagel, b) anti-Israel, and c) a Democrat. Because those are all really the same thing in Jennifer Rubin’s world, a simplistic place where all things are black and white: either you are on her team about everything, or you are the enemy.
She also makes the effort to talk to a few people about the confirmation. The first group she turns to is the National Jewish Democratic Committee, who had unsurprisingly positive things to say about Hagel’s confirmation. While I consider this somewhat lazy reporting in that she went to a source that she could pretty much get the expected result from (it has “Democratic” in the name), at least they are part of the “Jewish lobby” that Hagel commented on and those like Rubin have taken upon themselves to be offended on their behalf.
However, if speaking to a specifically Democratic group to get a predictably supportive quote is lazy, the next source is sinfully slothful. Rubin goes to get a quote from Concerned Women for America, the radically right-wing group started by Tim LaHaye’s wife (who travels around the country trying to talk women into staying home) that are primarily an anti-abortion lobby.
Was Glenn Beck not available for comment? Did the Family Research Counsel not have a statement? Perhaps Mrs. Betty Bowers would have had something to say?
Or, more likely, Rubin couldn’t find anything significantly inflammatory enough to match the rage burning inside of her among actual Jewish groups, so she went to a reliably batshit source to give a reliably batshit statement that matched with her reliably batshit worldview.
Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic does a good job of indexing all of Rubin’s reassurances leading up to this confirmation that it wouldn’t happen, and of course it did. But it’s funny to see how often she skewed or simply invented “facts” in an effort to convince her readers (and possibly herself) that the thing they want is totes likely. It reminds me of when she admitted to lying about the campaign to give the impression that Romney was winning, even when she knew he wasn’t.
That’s ultimately the reason why it’s so baffling that the WaPo keeps a buffoon like Rubin on it’s staff. They know that she has a recorded habit of aggressively denying realities that don’t break her way, and when she inevitably turns out to be wrong, she sets her hair on fire and runs around screaming about the end of the world.
This is not me calling for the Washington Post to fire Rubin. This is me asking what responsible news outlet wouldn’t have already?