This is the Archive site for Firedoglake. To go to the main site please click on the following link

Friday, December 23, 2005

Ho Ho Ho: A Christmas Chat With Jim VandeHei

Dear Jim,

I am so very sorry I missed your WaPo online chat this morning. I worry that you might take it personally:
Happy Holidays. Tis the season, so be nice to your chatter and no nasty e-assaults from the bloggers.
I'll have you know that we were up until the wee hours of the morning planning a deluge, but it's been quite a taxing season what with waging the War on Christmas and all so when the dogs woke me up with that "Mom let's go to town for donuts" look well that was the end of that. Not very Rommel-like of me, I know. I hope you were not too disappointed.

But I fear you are working on a wee persecution complex, and I hope we have not contributed to it:
Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.: What did you give/get for Secret Santa this year?...

Jim VandeHei: I gave Froomkin a new name for his column -- and the blogs more reason to hate me.
Oh Jim, Jim! Please, we don't hate you. In fact we have high hopes for you in the new year. You almost got a laugh out of us on that one.

No, we love you. Or we want to love you, anyway. Not a Richard Morin kind of love where you wonder what you're going to blog for the day and you turn on Fox news and see him tittering like a school girl over some dead cat bounce in Bush's poll numbers and you sit back, light a cigarette and say "well that's me for the day." And not in that John Harris "here's my excuse to say 'whiny-ass titty baby' again" kind of way. You are actually potentially useful as more than just the butt of an easy joke.

You cover something we care about Jim, and there is the rub. You're the only access we have to on-the-ground info in DC regarding things like the CIA leak and the Abramoff case and the NSA wiretapping scandal. So when you fail to ask the penetrating question or connect the obvious dots in the process it's immensely frustrating to us. We don't aspire to breaking the big story or getting the big scoop, and when it does happen it's probably only by accident because you're worried about offending someone and have dropped the ball, haven't followed up a lead you probably should have.

We presume you don't go to the White House Christmas party and whine about how the Preznit is mean to you and hates you, so just think of what we do as a bit of "push back." An attempt to gently nudge you into a place where you and your editors will be a little more worried about the verdict that we your readers will render unto you and a little less worried about arranging a flattering light for the people in the Administration you are ostensibly reporting on.

Because I've got to say, for all the hope we have for you, this concerned me a bit Jim:
Jim VandeHei: I don't know of anyone with any power seriously weighing the impeachment of Bush. I know some liberals are trying to pressure papers, including mine, to poll on the topic and write about it, but it is not a serious topic among Democrats in Washington.
If I was going to interpret this cynically I would say that as far as you are concerned, it's only news if the politicians say it is. I know this is the position of inveterate Kool-Aid chuggers like Richard Morin, but you Jim? An MSNBC online poll two days ago showed 85% of 135,000 respondents believe the President's actions justify impeachment. If they were all partisan libruls please let me know because someone wasn't holding up their end in the War on Christmas.

Anyway the good news from the whole chat is that golly you know we exist. Who knew. And please don't be so thin-skinned. We are pulling for you. We are hoping that the next time Rove says "over here, Jim," you remember we are here and say "not again Karl, never again. Not in the face."

Wishing you and yours a happy Kwanzaa.