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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Froomkin is back. Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing is back from extended vacation. Regarding Jack Abramoff's relationship with the White House and Scottie McMuffin's attempts to downplay its significance, Froomkin writes:
McClellan's continued attempt to portray the Abramoff scandal as bipartisan doesn't exactly help his credibility on the question of White House meetings. His assertion flies in the face of the facts and is a Republican talking point espoused only by the most partisan or most credulous.
I'm inclined to think that this is a dig at the Washington Post's Ombudsman, Deborah Howell, who has recently been criticized for wrongly saying that Abramoff gave money to both Republicans and Democrats (he didn't) and then engaging in a bit of truthiness in backing off that claim. Froomkin would certainly have reason to be less than pleased with Howell since she wrote a while back:
Political reporters at The Post don't like WPNI columnist Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing," which is highly opinionated and liberal. They're afraid that some readers think that Froomkin is a Post White House reporter.

John Harris, national political editor at the print Post, said, "The title invites confusion. It dilutes our only asset -- our credibility" as objective news reporters. Froomkin writes the kind of column "that we would never allow a White House reporter to write. I wish it could be done with a different title and display."

Harris is right; some readers do think Froomkin is a White House reporter. But Froomkin works only for the Web site and is very popular -- and Brady is not going to fool with that, though he is considering changing the column title and supplementing it with a conservative blogger.
Those "readers" Harris and Howell referred to were apparently the webmaster for Bush-Cheney 04. Only an idiot would think that Froomkin is a White House reporter. Same way only an idiot would think the Abramoff scandal is bipartisan.

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