08/02/2009 02:40 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Washington Post Joins Corporate Media Campaign to Spread the Hate

By now, you're likely familiar with the parade of racists, sexists, conspiracy theorists and hatemongers on the payrolls of mainstream media: CNN's Lou Dobbs advances the claims of unhinged birthers; FOX's Glenn Beck calls the president a racist; MSNBC pays as an analyst Pat Buchanan, who says slavery was good for black folks. Not to be left behind, ABC welcomed to its This Week roundtable right-winger Michelle Malkin, who has referred to the first lady as President Obama's "cron[y] of color," and is advancing the conspiracy theory that Democratic health-care reform is designed to euthanize old people.

Bottom line: hate sells.

Eager to bring eyeballs to its Web site, the Washington Post this week got in on the act, producing a video featuring two star columnists, Chris Cillizza (reportedly a nice guy) and Dana Milbank (reportedly not), that suggests at a future White House beer summit, Hillary Clinton be served a brew called Mad Bitch.

Once the video began circulating on the blogs, the Washington Post chickened out and pulled the video from its site -- without apology to viewers, and apparently without disciplinary action for the columnists and producer Gaby Bruna.

This should be a huge story -- two respected, important columnists for a major media outlet all but call the secretary of state a bitch -- but corporate media would have to be willing to critique two of their own were the story to get legs. Not likely to happen.

In fact, a day after the video was pulled, Chris Cillizza was featured on the roundtable of this Sunday's CNN show, State of the Union, and was not asked a single question about his role in Mad-Bitchgate.

If the presidential campaign of 2008 was the mainstream media's teachable moment, it seems the wrong lesson was learned. Instead of the corrective soul-searching one would hope for among executives and editors at major media outlets as their on-air figures grappled with their inner sexists and inner racists during prime time, media bigs seem to have reached the conclusion that hatred sells.