Richard Cohen's Angry Elitism

Digby nailes Richard Cohen, Op-Ed writer for the Washington Post who has written two columns this week on how he hates the negative feedback he's getting.

Richard Cohen has been upset by the angry mob for some time. And when that happens he inevitably turns to the Republicans to set things right. They are, after all, the "conciliators." But far be it for me to say he has a political agenda. I frankly don't think he does. He is just easily upset by human beings who object to being treated like imbeciles by sniffing sycophants like Richard Cohen and don't feel like taking his condescending shit anymore.

I'm not quite as old as Cohen but I lived through the same era. How pathetic now to see liberals of my generation get so exercised over a few hostile emails. It's obviously been a while since they felt anything more strongly than irritation at too much foam on their cappucino. They sound exactly like the older generation sounded when we were young --- afraid of change and seeing political passion as being "hateful" and dangerous. Baby boomer elites are now that creepy old guy muttering at the kids to stop walking on his lawn or he'll call the cops.

That's exactly right.  There's a hatred of democracy and popular participation that has crept into our punditocracy, political class, and political bloodstream.  I feel myself tempted that way on occasion, but it's deeply wrong.  Cohen has abandoned moral consistency or introspective ability, and that is why he's not well-liked.  It has nothing to do with his lapdog-like treatment of George W. Bush.  That's more of a symptom.

And Peter Daou has more on this general problem.

Tags: Media, Richard Cohen, Washington Post (all tags)



Re: Richard Cohen's Angry Elitism

I'm not sure that it's so much that Cohen has "abandoned" moral consistency and introspective ability, it's that he never really had them.  If he had those sort of traits, The Post would never have let him on the page, or would've forced him out like Colman McCarthy.

by DanM 2006-05-09 08:57AM | 0 recs
The problem with Cohen

  Cohen wouldn't be such an issue if his point of view wasn't being packaged by the Post as "liberal". He is who he is -- a self-loathing faux-liberal entirely too trusting of and deferential to the Bush administration.

 Most true liberals, of course, quickly recognized this administration for the lie factory that it is. And we have been proven right on just about every issue.

 The problem is that the TRUE liberal point of view, thriving so much in the blogosphere, is almost completely unrepresented in the commercial media. Instead, a weak, waffling equivocator like Cohen gets slotted into the role of the "liberal" -- reinforcing the myth that liberals have no values and no ideals.

 If the Post published true progressive writers like Matt Stoller, or Digby, or David Sirota, or Glenn Greenwald, or one of several dozen others, Cohen's rants would be irrelevant. It's the lack of true liberal voices in the commerical media that make Cohen's blatherings so damaging -- and therefore worthy of all-out attacks from us.  

by Master Jack 2006-05-09 09:07AM | 0 recs
In other news, the Pope turns out to be Catholic

The lefty sphere has been attacking the Post and other rags for their pro-regime bias (and for good reason) every since there's been a lefty sphere.

So why is it noteworthy that a Post hack peddles the latest pro-regime CW? (Apart from that it concerns the lefty sphere.)


There's a hatred of democracy and popular participation that has crept into our punditocracy, political class, and political bloodstream.  

Implying that, at some time in the past, it hadn't started to creep yet? You've hardly refuted the null hypothesis there - my bet (equally lacking in evidence!) is that there's always been such a hatred among many of those mentioned, but it's got less publicity - perhaps because there weren't lefty bloggers back then - or it's passed out of collective memory.

The Patron Saint of the Hamilton Project, for instance, loathed democracy with a will, I seem to recall...

by skeptic06 2006-05-09 10:57AM | 0 recs
See above

 Richard Cohen is putatively a "liberal" writer, but he spends more time kvetching about liberals than going after the very low-hanging fruit of the many misdeeds of the Bush administration.

There's a reason the blogosphere is fed up with this guy -- he's presented as someone who speaks for us, and he does exactly the opposite.

Have you ever seen Will or Krauthammer devote columns to whining about Rush Limbaugh's listeners and cautioning that they're terrible for the Republicans?


by Master Jack 2006-05-09 01:16PM | 0 recs
He never will be a "movement" guy

  But there's no excuse for ANY liberal (or even moderate) columnist, "movement" or not, to post ANY defenses for Bush. None whatsoever.

 The problem is that there are plenty of unapologetic, unabashed right-wingers in the commercial media, but almost NO liberals in the media that aren't sniveling tulip-tiptoers like Alan Colmes and Richard Cohen.

 If we had a few David Sirotas or Murray Waases in the commerical media, Richard Cohen would stop mattering.

by Master Jack 2006-05-09 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Richard Cohen's Angry Elitism

william rivers pitt addresses cohen's issue with angry e-mails : R.shtml

by caterina 2006-05-10 05:04AM | 0 recs


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