UPDATE: The Washington Post has removed the video in question from its Web site. Kris Coratti, Director of Communications at the Post told TPM: "The video was a satirical piece that lampooned people of all stripes. There was a section of the video that went too far, so we have removed the piece from our website." But Media Matters cleverly archived a copy, now embedded below.
ORIGINAL POST: As many of you know, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank used to do respectable journalism, back when I was six years old or something. But lately, he's basically been reduced to whispering off-camera expletives to Huffington Post National Editor Nico Pitney and performing in inane videos with Chris Cillizza, called "Mouthpiece Theatre." These videos are basically leaden, universally idiotic, and barely worth mentioning. But that all changed today, when Milbank told a joke about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was, on its own merits, newsworthy.
In the video, Milbank and Cillizza go on and on and on, suggesting the brands of beer that President Barack Obama could serve at other "beer summits." Examples: David Vitter would drink "Happy Ending," Jeff Sessions would drink "Dixie," Robert Byrd would drink "Old Peculier." But the seminal moment comes at about the two-and-a-half minute mark, when Milbank says, "And we won't tell you who's getting a bottle of Mad Bitch." That's when an image of Hillary Clinton appears on the screen. Har!
Here's some reaction!
This is the kind of garbage that has permeated media coverage of Hillary Clinton for years.
Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo writes:
If I were on the board of directors of the Kaplan test prep company, and discovered that the people running a money-losing Kaplan subsidiary (better known as the Washington Post) had greenlighted a feature called "Mouthpiece Theater," I would demand that either they be fired, or that the Post itself be liquidated.
One wonders how much of the Post staff's time and resources were devoted to researching, writing, staging, shooting, and editing such an extraordinarily value-free contribution to the annals of political commentary. Milbank and Cillizza are no Stewart/Colbert, or even Letterman/O'Brien--not only because they're simply not as funny, but because their status as (ostensibly) political reporters means that they owe us more than lame-puns-for-the-sake-of-lame-puns, as per the typical, bland humor of late-night TV. "Two of the biggest maws in Washington"--judging from the impish grins they maintain throughout the video and from their general teehee! look what we're getting away with! tone (oh, and from the fact that their video closes with TotBMiW taking swigs of Jackass Oatmeal Stout)--seem, actually, to understand this.
Of course, Garber writes on behalf of the Columbia School of Journalism, so I'm not sure why Dana Milbank falls under her purview.
I don't think these reactions are misplaced! But, for my part, I'd say that it's important that we do not let Milbank's insult of Hillary Clinton obscure a more critical point, which is that nothing that Milbank and Cillizza do on these videos is ever, ever, ever, even remotely funny.
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