WASHINGTON — Journalists are attacking Politico and reporter Mike Allen after an article Wednesday featuring former Vice President Dick Cheney accusing President Obama of insufficiently responding to the failed Christmas terror attempt.
The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan labeled Allen “Cheney’s Chief Spokesman” and quipped that Cheney should “be paying him.”
“There he goes again,” Sullivan said of Allen, “the mouthpiece for Rove and Cheney, believing his ‘access’ as a stenographer makes him a journalist. It doesn’t. It makes him a stenographer.”
“Allen gussies up his source’s bile with a few fig leaf sentences and a gesture from a Democratic rebuttal,” Sullivan added.
Cheney’s scathing critiques of Obama have been a regular feature in Politico’s reporting in 2009. Allen and his colleagues have won several exclusive interviews with Cheney this year, and their ensuing reports tend to achieve significant media coverage.
“Dick Cheney uses Politico like Sarah Palin uses Facebook: a venue to spout false statements to the press without being challenged,” Greenwald wrote, alleging that the article fails to scrutinize Cheney’s claims or apply them fairly based on the Bush administration’s actions.
Washington Independent’s Dave Weigel questioned the relationship between Cheney and Politico in a post arguing the former Vice President’s attack on Obama “doesn’t really make any sense.”
“One of the problems with Politico’s connection to former Vice President Dick Cheney is that the paper seems to get quotes from the former vice president without the opportunity to ask follow-up questions,” Weigel wrote.
Conservative watchdog Media Matters blasted Politico for failing to vet Cheney’s own possible culpability in his charges against Obama.
“[T]wo of the four people who allegedly plotted that attack were released from U.W. custody in 2007, while Dick Cheney was Vice President,” wrote Media Matters’ Jamison Foser.
“So to sum up: Dick Cheney sends Mike Allen a press release, which Mike Allen then copies-and-pastes it into a ‘news article’ without mentioning key facts that would undermine Cheney’s press release,” Foser continued. “Aren’t you glad Politico got a spot on the Pulitzer committee?”
“Politico really is just a GOP bulletin board,” Foser posited.
Following Politico’s previous interview piece with Dick Cheney just weeks ago on December 1, Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen accused Allen and his organization of “stenography.”
“There’s no real journalism to be found,” Benen wrote of the story. “No fact-checking, no pushback, no scrutiny. Just an uninterrupted string of predictable, misguided nonsense.”
“Cheney could have just written a blog post/screed, and had Politico publish it,” Benen added. “This would have saved Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei the trouble of adding quote marks to their stenography.”
While most of the writers attacking Allen and Politico appear to hold different viewpoints from Cheney on national security and a variety of other issues, their criticisms have more to do with the proper role of journalism than ideology.
Greenwald has dubbed Allen “the single most obedient, right-wing-power-worshipping reporter in Washington, a distinction for which there is a crowded and heated competition.” Last year, he called Politico a right-wing “cesspool.”
Still, Cheney has no shortage of political foes – he ended his term this year with a measly approval rating of 13 percent, according to CBS News. Weeks before exiting his post, a combined 64 percent said he was the worst vice president in US history or performed poorly, CNN reported.
Update: Echoing her colleague Glenn Greenwald’s remarks, Salon‘s editor-in-chief Joan Walsh has joined the chorus of writers attacking Politico for failing to vet Cheney’s claims.
“I think [Cheney] needs to get Sarah Palin to show him how to use Facebook — then he wouldn’t have to go to Politico and use it as his personal billboard so that he gets his point across, and he gets his lies across,” Walsh said Wednesday on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.
FireDogLake‘s Spencer Ackerman made a racy joke on Wednesday about Allen and Cheney’s relationship while previewing a guest post by Adam Serwer. “One wonders if Cheney insists on being called Mr. Wipe-Me-Down during those, um, sessions with Mike Allen,” Ackerman wrote.
“Reading the Politico piece,” Serwer added, “you’d think Cheney was just like a security analyst at a think tank or something, not a culpable figure in the very act he’s criticizing.”
The opening line read: “Michael Allen (1964-) is a stenographer for the political establishment in Washington, D.C.”
“If there’s any justice in the world, this will never be changed,” remarked Glenn Greenwald on Twitter.
It has been changed back and now reads, “Michael Allen (1964-) is the chief political writer for The Politico.” The page has been temporarily locked.
Melania Trump brags her husband ‘sees potential’ in the gays
In a bizarre moment, the first lady announced that President Donald Trump is all for gay people.
Speaking to a crowd in Atglen, Pennsylvania, Melania Trump described the president as someone “who sees potential in everyone he meets, no matter their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.”
She didn't use the typical term LGBTQ or even mention transgender people. But mentioning LGBTQ voters likely isn't a good idea in the Trump administration because of the laundry list of things they've done to hurt the community.
“Donald loves helping people and he loves seeing those around him and his country succeed,” Mrs. Trump added, claiming he has a “very big heart and a great sense of humor.”
Veteran Republican operative drops a scathing op-ed as he leaves the GOP: ‘Real Americans don’t pledge fealty to a strongman’
Mike Gillis has served in numerous Republican administrations over the decades. In an op-ed published in the New Yorker this Thursday, Mike Gillis announced that he's leaving the Republican Party.
"...I cannot stand idly by and watch as these crooks take over the party I love. I cannot abide this coarsening of discourse, and so on and so forth, etc., etc. Here are the reasons that I am leaving the Republican Party," Gillis writes.
According to Gillis, Trump is "ruthlessly" dividing the country.
"Brother pitted against brother, cat against dog, exterminator against cockroach, sentient robot against mad inventor. Americans must accept that, no matter our particular beliefs, we are all citizens of the United States—whether we be Republican or Democrat, Canadian or Bulgarian, Mesopotamian or Sumerian."
‘Reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty’: House issues scathing report on Trump migrant family separation policy
The Trump administration knew it would not be able to reunite refugee and other migrant families as it ripped children—including infants—from the arms of their parents but did so anyway, according to a congressional report released Thursday on the U.S. government's family separation policy.
"The Trump administration's family separation policy lasted far longer than is commonly known and was marked by reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty."—House Judiciary Committee reportThe House Judiciary Committee spent 21 months investigating the planning and execution of the administration's policy, which resulted in the seizure of more than 2,500 migrant children—including some with physical and mental disabilities—from their parents. Its report (pdf) is the "first complete narrative of the inhumane family separation policy in the administration's own words."