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Washington Post. Sloppy Journalism. Stop it. Now.

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Sometimes I know what it's like to have kids.

You get tired of always having to be the parent. Always having to be the bad guy. Never getting any respect. But someone has to do it. And if not you, then who?

That's why liberal blogs are constantly berating the traditional media. Because the traditional media is made up of a growing number of increasingly sloppy children. And their sloppiness is now jeopardizing our democracy. It's gotten us into a war that's a disaster, and it's helped re-elect a president who isn't capable of managing our country. All because the traditional media let themselves be emasculated and lobotomized rather than simply doing their job.

To wit, this lead sentence from tomorrow's front-page Washington Post story on Senator Feingold's censure resolution:

For months the Democrats have resisted calls from their liberal base to more aggressively challenge President Bush.
Calls from their "liberal base?" Really? Where did you get that from? Seriously. I want facts. How did the Washington Post determine that it was the "liberal base" of the Democratic party that has been the driving force calling for Dems to challenge President Bush?

Actual real-life surveys show that most Democrats, and most Independents, have had it with Bush. Not just liberal Democrats, but all Democrats, and even most Independents.

So, seriously, where did the Washington Post get the facts to justify the very first line of its front page story about Senator Feingold? Nowhere, that's where.

They just made it up.

Because that's what journalism has become. A place where you hide the truth, lest you scoop your own book (Woodward) or invite the ire of the Bush administration (New York Times). It's a place for sloppy people to make a good amount of money telling the rest of us what to think, even though they themselves stopped thinking long ago.

I really don't mean to knock all traditional journalists. I've worked as one myself. But I find myself at an increasing loss for words every time I read one of these bizarre right-wing slanted stories coming from the Washington Post and the New York Times. Stories that simply aren't based in fact, but appeal to your sense of what you'd think was true. As Stephen Colbert says, they're stories with "truthiness" - meaning, they're not true, but they sound true, and that's what really matters.

The Washington Post and the New York Times, and the rest of the traditional media that emulates them, need to stop thinking like GOP clones and start thinking like the independent journalists they once were and still can be.

If you're going to label bloggers, and our readers, and the growing numbers of Americans increasingly angry at the direction our country is heading "the liberal base" of the Democratic party, then that would mean our liberal base comprises around 66% of the country right about now.

It simply no longer passes the laugh test to label all opposition to George Bush as liberal, or fringe, or base, or being in the minority. The man is at 34% in the polls. Even his own base has had it with him. So spare us your sloppy bs about the Democratic base being the moving force behind public ire at the president.

This is part of a larger problem. Not just a larger problem of conservative bias in the mainstream media, a media that is simply terrified of doing its job in the shadow of George Bush. No, the larger problem we face is the attempt by the traditional media to marginalize its liberal critics.

We are not just angry with the direction our country is heading, and with the failed president who is leading us over the cliff, we're also angry with traditional journalists whose writings once helped further American democracy and who have now sold out to sloth and influence. And that's why those traditional journalists feel the need to marginalize us in return.

They tell us that bloggers are all angry, immature, children who type in their pajamas. Forget that most of the top bloggers are in their 30s and 40s, many are professional journalists, lawyers, and have PhDs, backgrounds in government, and beyond.

I'd bet most of us have better resumes than most of our critics.

They also tell us that blog readers are all angry, far-left, party activists who are unreasonable and will only accept the most extreme of political views.

I communicate with a lot of my readers, and I (and a number of bloggers) even hold coffees with them when I travel. And they come from all stripes. Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican. What identifies them, and unifies them, isn't that they're all particularly lefty or righty or centrist - it's that they're mad as hell about the direction in which our country is heading, and about the lack of courage and conviction in today's politicians.

The problem with today's media is the same problem with today's Democratic party. They confuse anger with policy. They do not understand that we are united in and motivated by our anger, regardless of our politics. And it is sloppy journalism, and sloppy politics, to assume that what is motivating the blogosphere today is its liberalism rather than its frustration.

We are not fed up with a particular policy, we're fed up with politics.

I am not the liberal base of the Democratic party, sorry to disillusion anyone. My views are more nuanced, and diverse, and can't be put in a convenient little partisan box just to make the Washington Post happy. And I'm hardly unique in the blogosphere, nor are my readers.

There is nothing wrong with being the base of the Democratic party. But the blogs represent far more than that base, and that base does not rule the blogs. No wing of the party rules the blogs - or rather, no political wing. If anything, we represent, we are, the reform wing of the Democratic party. We are motivated, and united, by our utter horror at what we see happening to our country, and by the fact that, for whatever reason, we, unlike our political leaders, are not afraid to fight back and take back our country.

Does that make us activists? Sure. Angry? Absolutely. But this has nothing to do with our politics nor whether we are the base, the center, or the far-right of the Democratic party. And I'd suggest that there are a growing number of non-far-right Republicans in the same boat. They are fed up with the direction our country is heading, and the inability of conventional politics to address the growing disaster. It just isn't about right or left anymore, and you're all just too lazy or stupid or old to see it.

Sloppy journalists and cowardly politicians need to wake up and learn that fact, or they will never understand who we really are until it's too late.

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