THE BLOG

NEW! The Deadline Voyeurs and Their Amazing Invention - or, Yellow Journalists At the Gray Lady

05/25/2006 10:19 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mayday! It's almost time to put the Times to bed, and we don't have our lead story! Somewhere Democratic couples are screwing - or not - and there's no new dirt. It's a crisis for the crack journalistic cadre we call the Deadline Voyeurs. They're the elite team that drives the great newspaper once known, because of its dignity and gravitas, as the Gray Lady.

Fortunately, scientists have created the perfect new tool: an "invisibility cloak." Who says our military budget's too high? Thanks to this gizmo, we'll have all the sleaze we need in no time!

Gray Lady Down

Atrios, Peter Daou, and Firedoglake have covered the story of the press's fixation with the private lives of Democrats thoroughly and eloquently. (more Daou here)

There's no need to go over such well-travelled ground except to say: Election time must be a-comin'. When the "dean" of the press corps, the Post's David Broder, acknowledges that he and the rest of the Deadline Voyeurs would rather speculate about the Clintons' sex lives than study the issues, that tells you everything you need to know.

And, as has been pointed out, the slime always seems to be pointed at Dems.

It's funny. There was a widespread rumor in DC that Bush #1 had an outside lover (a Secret Service agent told me it was true ...), but the press never found that newsworthy. There were no stories speculating on how often George Sr. and Barbara were breaking out the Marvin Gaye records and lighting the scented candles. Wonder why?

Now they've published their latest round of salacious Clinton stories, including their calculations on the frequency of Clintonian coitus. It's "all the news that's fit to print" - and sell from a Trojan dispenser in the grime-covered men's room of a truck stop on some nameless interstate.

Mo Bettah?

Some of my liberal friends will say "Sure, but they've got Maureen Dowd." My answer? Google "Daily Howler," "Maureen Dowd," and then "Gore." Then do the same with "Kerry." She's been responsible for some of the worst and dishonest tabloid-style smearing of Democrats. Unlike her cohorts, she also trashes Bush and Company. But that's not because of political beliefs - she just can't stand not looking cute at someone's expense.

And she saves the bedroom stuff for Democrats - John & Teresa, Al & Tipper, and of course Bill and Hillary.

This is the same Maureen Dowd who recently did the talk-show circuit in support of her new book, lamenting the fact that she can't get a date - because, she says, men are afraid of successful women.

Here's another thought: Maybe human beings (even men) are reluctant to become intimately involved with someone who's so relentlessly narcissistic and ambitious that they'd cheapen the political discourse and help affect an election's outcome, just so they can look a wee bit cuter to their readers. Just a thought, Mo dear.

To Boldly Go Where No Other ... oh, never mind

Thank God our scientists are apparently on the brink of inventing an "invisibility cloak." That'll help our Deadline Voyeurs when they're in a pinch.

Look! Up there! The Senate's confirming an admitted lawbreaker to run the CIA. New scandals are exploding every day in Congress. The earth itself stands on the brink of extinction.

But the Deadline Voyeurs don't know how to make those stories interesting. That would be work. Hard work. Let the bloggers do it. With this new cloak (actually it's apparently more like a big suit of armor), they can creep into the bedroom of any Democrat and see what's happening (or not). They can even raid the trash cans in the bathroom for evidence.

Just imagine: once they've got their dirt, they can "uncloak" themselves over the bed for dramatic effect - like Romulan warbirds that used the wrong coordinates and materialized in a Jenna Jameson video. That would put a damper on the festivities, wouldn't it? The dilithium crystals can't take much more of this, Captain!

David Broder: Gossip Columnist

I have profound disagreements with Hillary Clinton. (I'm the guy who wrote something called "Hillary's Reckless and Cynical Game.") But she doesn't deserve this - and neither does the country. And what's more, it's an insult to women. There was a "heh heh" tone to male reporters' coverage of Bill's misadventures under the desk. That's been replaced by a smarmy, elbow-jabbing, ""but does she really know how to please a guy?" jockiness. And this about a woman who, agree with her or not, is brighter and has a better grasp of the issues than 99% of her peers.

Unfortunately for Hillary, she's in a quandary: This trash must make her life miserable, but it's also the reason why the media is pushing her candidacy so aggressively. Without it, they'd be writing about her un-electability against McCain or whomever.

It's not that they like her politics. It's just that if she's the Democratic nominee they can keep this lazy salaciousness going through 2008. If R Kelly were in the race, they'd be pushing him instead.

Beats working, I guess. But it's sure a sad sign for the country, and disgrace for a once-honorable profession and a once-respected institution. But David Broder and the gang at the Times aren't paying attention. The bedroom windows are open, the curtains are drawn, and it's showtime in Washington.

The Gray Lady snaps her fingers. The Voyeurs are on the case. Get out the invisibility cloak!