06/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why Didn't Washington Post Columnists Call Cheney a Disgrace?

What a difference two terms make.

Or more specifically, what a difference they make when a Republican former vice president harshly critiques the new White House, compared with when a Democratic former VP raised policy concerns. Seriously, press double standards just don't come more pronounced than this.

Last week, when Dick Cheney made his case that the Obama White House's national security policies are making Americans less safe, he won high marks from the Beltway press corps, which looked the other way and pretended it was normal for a dislodged VP to launch such a wildly partisan and public attack on the new White House. (Fact: It's not.)

Cheney was a serious, big-time policy player who landed punches on Obama, the press seemed to agree. But go back to the fall of 2002 and look at how media elites reacted when Al Gore made a public speech raising doubts about how and why the Bush administration was rallying the country for war with Iraq.

The cool kids in the press agreed: Gore had flopped and served as a Beltway punching bag. Gore was "beyond that pale," "cynical," a "pure opportunist," and a 'disgrace."

Read the full Media Matters column here.