Twelve years of primary education at the hands of the Dominican sisterhood left me with a permanent tic against explicit vulgarity, but sometimes the truth can only be expressed rudely. Only an arsehole Media Village Idiot could have written “Barney the Bully“:
… The amiable [Savannah] Guthrie tried again. How does he feel about the worsening tone in Washington?
“Well, you exemplify what I think is a change in the tone,” Frank said. “You’ve managed to ask all sort of negative questions. . . . It’s ‘gotcha’ journalism. It’s ‘gotcha’ politics. And it does lessen our chances to get things done.”
The interviewer gave it a final attempt. Does Frank “feel any responsibility for your own role in, kind of, that tone that we do see in Washington?”
“Well, congratulations,” Frank said with derision. “You’re four-for-four in managing to find the negative approach.”
It was a chance for the nation to see what so many in the Capitol had seen up close over the years: That Barney Frank, liberal lion, gay pioneer and respected legislator, is also one mean and ornery S.O.B….
The Republican strategist Karl Rove, writing on FoxNews.com, welcomed the retirement of the “petulant, abrasive and downright nasty” Frank. Rove, who knows something about nastiness, wrote: “Brilliant, but acid tongued and generally unpleasant, Mr. Frank ruled with an iron gavel, ran over critics with delight and treated committee members and especially Republican colleagues as lesser forms of life.”
Congressman Frank is a smart, skillful legislator who’s spent his life working to pass the best laws possible, even when it meant compromising with proudly ignorant know-nothings, most of them registered as Republicans. Savannah Guthrie is a professional
blonde talking head paid for her talents at mouthing partisan right-wing talking points while always remaining “amiable“. Karl Rove is a highly-paid thug who’s done his considerable best to degrade his own party’s standards — such as they ever were — during a career of lying, back-biting, ratfucking, theft, and every other form of white-collar criminality going back to his college days as a Young Republican at the end of the 1960s. Pretending that Frank’s inability to suffer fools gladly has been worse for public civility than Rove’s long campaign against honesty in politics, or embracing our major media’s craven pretense that calling someone a liar in front of a recording device is worse than being a liar, is gutless, dishonest, and behavior unworthy of a well-paid, well-educated individual with the distribution and readership of one of the national papers of record, Mr. Millbank.
I dislike Savannah Guthrie as much as the next guy, but she’s:
1 – not blonde; and
2 – not really a right-wing shill, at least not any more than any other “independent-minded” moron on cable TeeVee is.
Will Millbank be drinking that Mad Bitch beer to celebrate the improved tone in Washington now that Frank is stepping aside?
Millbank reminds me a lot of Milquetoast
” I will miss Frank’s tart tongue. But he would have been a more successful lawmaker if he had learned that it’s sometimes better to hold it.”
Milbank is the perfect repast to Doug’s post on the Me-dia today. He was an exhaustive proponent of the war-of-choice, Iraq and the incestuous ’embedding’ of journos with the troops. Perhaps if he had tongued some dissent and
expressed questions early in 2003-4, his ciritque would carry some weight.
As it stands, Dana is a lightweight, and is not worth the bandwidth.
Frank might be caustic, but he could work with others to get things done, and he wasn’t above crossing the aisle to do it. Can anybody argue that he wasn’t on the job all these years?
West of the Cascades
Did I miss the Millbank column describing Dick Cheney as a “bully” for telling a Senator to “go fuck himself” and cheerleading the torture of prisoners?
Oh, I probably did, since I’ve made a point not to read his columns for the last four years.
Thanks again to Anne, John and the rest of the good folks at Balloon Juice and elsewhere on the internets that read these morons so the rest of us do not have to.
He’s such a dick.
@West of the Cascades: I’m sure he had harsh words for Sensenbrenner when he would use his chairmanship to turn off the microphones of the Democrats during hearings and insert language into the minutes that the Democrats supported child molesting. But the tone of the Democrats is just so unbearable.
I’ve had an allergic reaction to Milbank for quite a while now.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Uh huh. Bitch’s Brew? Fuck you, Dickwhisperer.
It’s a good post. Balloon Juice did itself proud today.
And yet they all love that nasty old bastard Alan Simpson.
You see, this is why I bang my head on the keyboard every time Milfuck comes out with his occasional good column, and folks go “Wow — lookit that….he’s seen the LIGHT!”
The motherfucker’s been pulling that same bait and switch all the years he’s been at the Kaplan. Yes, he occasionally comes out with a good, witty “Emperor has no clothes” style smackdown. But at heart, he’s still just a hack, as is continually evidenced by pieces like this one.
In fact, I’d say he’s a WORSE hack than the rest of them, because unlike people such as Friedman or Brooks, he is obviously NOT a product of his own self-delusion. (I don’t know that they are either, but it’s at least plausible given how consistently godawful they are.) He actually has the capacity to see the truth and more importantly, TELL the truth — and, more often then not, he CHOOSES not to.
Here’s my problem: in the village, it’s o.k. to take the US economy hostage and threaten to sink it, and it’s o.k. to make the lives of millions of helpless, poor people wretched. It’s just not o.k. to pick on the villagers, or make them uncomfortable. Because the village is all that matters.
Maybe if Barney Frank wasn’t the target of bullying (both implicit and explicit) throughout his life, he would be more cordial towards the people who constantly antagonized him. For my part, I say, “Good on him”.
Speaking of bullying, Dana Milbank certainly fits the bill.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
ETA sorry– responding to ran diego @12
didn’t occur to me, but since you brought it up, look what the google found
Guess who. Go on, guess.
the painfully blunt Simpson
Simpson, an Army veteran, is again correct.
The folksy and salty Simpson, who turned 79 years old on Thursday and stands 79 inches tall, has long been one of my favorites in politics.
Simpson is exactly the right man for the debt commission: a dealmaker.
@West of the Cascades:
LOL. I had forgotten how gracious Cheney was for accepting the Schlemozzle’s apology/
“There’s a Mr. Cain on Line 2”.
it must be hard being the poor man’s Howard Kurtz
@1: “2 – not really a right-wing shill, at least not any more than any other “independent-minded” moron on cable TeeVee is.”
So a right-wing shill. Do you actually pay attention to people who purport to be “independent”, ever? Ever listen to what they say, and what they angle towards?
As much as I agree with you about the attitudes of the Villagers, I find your description of Guthrie offensive. As noted above, she isn’t blonde, and your implied assertion that she is just some stupid mouthpiece is flat out wrong (and if I, as a male said it I’d be labeled misogynistic). After working the local news in Tucson she went to Georgetown law school, where she excelled and then clerked for a federal district judge. She’s very smart and capable – not some dumb blonde newsbunny. This may not have been her shining moment, but don’t crap on people when you can’t even get the color of their hair right.
that a whole party embraced Newt’s GOPAC memo just might have a tiny bit of why the tone in DC is so caustic
including calling your political oponents traitors
All I can think of to say is “Thank you,” and “Well done, start to finish.”
” Ever listen to what they say, and what they angle towards?”
I’ve engaged in a non-scientific study of those who call themselves, independent, libertarians, classical liberals; in other words, conservatives, for 5 or 6 years.
Ask me a specific question, and i will try to give you that position.
I listen. I’ll grant you that they’re typically intellectually incurious, obsessed with some incoherent idea of balance, and are otherwise more interested in appearing savvy. But being a right-wing shill requires substantially more than that. Calling Savannah Guthrie a right-wing shill demeans the accomplishments of people like Sean Hannity.
@arguingwithsignposts: That’s ice cold.
Mike in NC
There’s a reason they call him Dana Millwank.
Frankly, any Congressman who purports to care about the poor and his/her constituents and HASN’T been snippy, snarky and rude to Republicans for the last 40 years doesn’t really care all that much about the poor and his/her constituents.
The Tennessee Tea Party, which is basically the Tea Party, tweeted an offensive slur on news of Frank’s retirement, which doesn’t help the Tea Party’s image as racist, homophobic, bigots. They’re in big damage control now. But too late.
Barney Frank like every other forceful truth teller is pariah to this crowd. Of course he is. The establishment doesn’t like anyone pointing out ugly truths — especially when that’s supposed to be their job.
The Ancient Randonneur
The Dick Whisperer is still a dick.
The Repukes and media gasbags never miss a chance to assert their privilege. Like spoilt, rich fratboys they feel entitled to run wild, lie, cheat, ratfuck and bully whoever they come across. But if anyone like Frank should ever challenge or strike back with a sharp remark, it’s the out-group THEM who are always the problem.
‘Libruls’ are expected to be milquetoasts like Tom Daschle and never speak up lest the Hate Machine be turned in their direction.
Wow Hamsher and Greenwald just got their Obama challenger from the left. Rocky Anderson former Mayor of Salt Lake City is running for the Justice Party Presidential nod.
I always liked him. But damn……
Barney Frank is a liberal lion because he tells fools to shut up.
Whining about that is pathetic.
I really like how Barney Frank lays it down on people and I’m really sad he’s retiring and I hope they put him on the TV a lot
On the brighter side, the Dick Whisperer’s column and the other spiteful bs is a lasting tribute to Congressman Frank’s 30 years of effective legislative career with the added bonus of intimidating the ratfucking bastards every step of the way.
Okay, so I’m trying to figure out which of these things was wrong.
Ms. Laurie, were I not off the market, I would ask you to marry me.
@Cacti: I think the problem is that he has a (D) after his name. At least, that is the problem in the Village.
Villago Delenda Est
Millbank: Villager scum who needs a tumbrel ride. Stat.
@Villago Delenda Est: Do you have the tumbrel concession for the East Coast? There seems to be salesmanship going on here.
ETA: Well, not salesmanship, but definitely marketing.
Millbank is defensive because he knows Frank’s complaint is valid.
His complaint was that Guthrie refused to discuss anything substantive.
I know that because Frank said it, in the interview Millbank is quoting.
She asked him 3 horse race questions and one “tone” question.
Frank was disgusted and impatient with that, and he should be.
A 30 year career and that’s all she’s going to talk about?
It’s so obvious that Barney Frank is so much smarter and so much better informed than Millbank that the reporter must have been driven to a frenzy of seething rage. Standard stuff.
OK, Savannah Guthrie is not a stupid person, she just plays one on TV.
Villago Delenda Est
Oh, I’m pushing that meme for the entire Village. I don’t think there’s any way to save it. Courtiers need to go. Either via tumbrels, or via reassignment to the drive up window at McDonalds. Their choice.
Thank you Washington Post!
Without your insightful journalism, I might not have learned today that the greatest threat to our Republic is a combination of “potty mouth” teenagers on Twitter, and the rudeness of Barney Fag.
I think part of the problem is that the Milbanks and Marcuses of the world think of themselves as the “adult” Democrats/Liberals in the room and get embarrassed when somebody on their side (they don’t realy have a side but they think they do) crosses the VIllagers line of acceptable behavior. They don’t want to have to defend the likes of Frank or the girl who said Brownback blows when Krauthammer confronts them about it at the WaPo holiday party. They, of course, could confront Charlie with any number of crazy things he wrrote himself, but even if they did he’d defend it and they’d ultimately tell him he might have a point. (something he’d never tell them). And if they brought up Tea Bagger craziness to him he’d declare them real Murkans and say that all the left has are lazy, smelly hippies. And they’d hang their heads in shame. It’s the standard Democratic shame in a town wired for the GOP. So they work their darndest to be pre-emptive scolds of Democrats/liberals who “break the rules”.
Bottom line – GOPers are proud of their craziness and Democratic leaning Villagers are ashamed of the folks in their party who call out the GOP on their craziness/ignorance/racism/etc.
So, let’s review
Guthrie tells Frank his retirement means Democrats won’t take back the House
Then she tells him he’s retiring because he’s been redistricted out.
Then she tells him he’s responsible for the “tone” in DC.
Then she tells him that again.
That’s when he tells her she’s ‘4 for 4’ on
stupid questions. How is this Frank’s fault,again?
@Villago Delenda Est: I know its your gig, I was just speculating (because it would be irresponsible not to) as to your motivation. Pure (for the purposes of this discussion pure includes, but is not limited to, altruism, viciousness, revenge, hatred, rage, wrath, and simple blood lust) or monetary?
Millbank is like Jake Tapper.
He goes right for the throat when anyone dares to mention that they never ask real questions.
I think both Millbank and Tapper know it’s true, and that’s why they respond so defensively.
Isn’t Milbank the doofus who went on Tweety? or somebody’s show wearing an orange snow/hunter’s hat one time? Just bring in Caligula’s horse into the Senate already.
I object to calling that ditz a blonde but for different reasons. As someone of the Scandinavian persuasion, I have grandmothers, mother, sisters, aunts, and several girlfriends who are or have been blonde. None of them have been remotely stupid. One blonde sister was playing JS Bach in public performances at 11. One girlfriend had a Ph.D. and spoke six languages fluently.
In fact, the only dumb blondes I have known in life were those who got their coloration out of a bottle.
Silly Barney, expecting the DC press corps to care about substance. He should know better.
He’s only hard on people who deserve it.
ETA: I come here so infrequently, I’d almost forgotten how thoroughly I detest Las Vegas.
West of the Cascades
@Villago Delenda Est: Oh please let it be our choice. Ruth Marcus, Millbank (hell, everyone who writes for WaPo except Robinson and Dionne) to the tumbrels, but I really want to be able to order a McRib from McMegan …
@kay: and as of yet, is there any evidence that she (Guthrie) has ever bothered to question ANY republican office holder with the same set of questions…. I know Barney can be a handful, yet he handled her with aplomb, I would love to see the same insightful interview done of say Joe Wilson of “you lie!” fame or Virginia Foxx when she was arguing against the Matthew Sheppard hate crimes law. I got no problem with someone asking hard questions of our lawmakers, just would love to see the same exactitude for our Republican brethren
Why are we attacking people for being blonde? Hillary is blonde. Elizabeth Warren is blonde.
Actually, Congressman Frank will probably rate in history as one of the most effective and productive Members of Congress during the recent era. Granted, given our dysfunctional era, that’s not saying much, and he’s certainly no Rayburn or Powell in terms of overall output and transformational change, but Dodd-Frank and stopping the impeachment charade will each rank as important accomplishments historically.
In the Rayburn era, when long-term influential Congressman retired, the Village journalists would usually attempt to actually sum up the historical record. Not that they did a great job (they would usually ignore the segregationist stuff), but they at least tried. Dana Milbank is heir to that tradition, yet failed miserably. George C. Marshall certainly didn’t suffer fools gladly either, but should his entire career be summed up just because of that?
Villago Delenda Est
If it were monetary, I’d be happy with just a popcorn futures contract.
I’m in the pure category. I loathe pompous dicks like Millbank.
Piratedan, Honestly I think Guthrie is Democratic-leaning. I don’t watch cable news, but I used to, and that was my “gut” on her.
I don’t think she’s stupid,either.
I don’t know why they ask so many “tone” questions.
I think they should stop. No one but them gives a shit about that. If they stopped, no normal person would say ‘but what about the tone?”
No one would miss those questions, or insist they be asked. They could just stop. Really. Cold Turkey.
Is america only nation under the sun that gives a shite about pundtwits ? The americans’ obsession with two bit hacks posing as know-it-all fucks is sickening.
Please. Before you read this thread did you even know who Savannah Guthrie was? You see one instance of someone’s actions and label her dumb. That’s bullshit.
Moreover, as much as I really like Barney Frank, he did EXACTLY what Newt Gingrinch has done in the debates – take on the media for asking dumb questions, when in fact they were pretty lame questions, and everyone here just calls Newt a dick, which he is of course. This is another example of its ok if your side does it but boorish behavior is if the other side does.
@kay: we also should take into account all the hosts on “The Today Show” only read the questions written for them by producers.
They really shouldn’t. But that’s the way it’s been set up for the past 60 years.
Dana ‘He’s such a dick’ Milbank really is such a dick. While at the same time being dickless. It’s the kind of versatility the Village admires. He’s a five tool tool.
@LosGatosCA: He’s the WaPo version of Bobby Valentine.
“Professional blonde”? BLECH!!!!!!
Jenny, it’s a shame because Frank is so quick and clever. It could be really great for viewers if they had a real back and forth, instead of this wholly insidery drama BS.
I think it excludes the public. It’s a closed circle.
@kay: These questions are exactly the problem. Milbank opens with this:
Frank refuses the role of Elder Statesman. So what would have earned him the title? One look at the questions and the answer is clear. He should be talking about how weak Democrats are and complaining about the ‘tone’. These are the heights to which Milbank will have the Elder Statesmen aspire. I don’t know whether Rep. Frank is a nice guy or a complete jerk. What I do know is that there is no possible answer to these 4 (3.5 really) questions which would have left the public more informed. Meanwhile the European economy is about to implode, Barney Frank has expertise in this area, isn’t there SOMETHING Guthrie could have asked him? Bueller? Anyone?
“He’s a five tool tool.”
Is he going to the Yankees or the Phillies? A five-tool tool would fit in on either roster.
@burnspbesq: To be a complete tool he needs to spend an all star quality season with Boston and then go to the Yankees.
The whole article is full of fail:
I don’t like DFrank but Seriously, WTF did Milbank want?
Sven, I agree but we’re stuck because every time anyone raises it, they all deny it.
Jake Tapper wrote 9 furious paragraphs when Obama called them out on the Trump bullshit.
They deny it. They’re defensive and hostile.
I think it’s doubly damaging because it makes THEM the story.
That excludes their viewers and readers.
Cliff in NH
Huh, not even close to 12 years with them, but the few years I experienced led me in the opposite direction.
I ended up as a Realist: “If it’s real, we believe in it.”
@kay: I shouldn’t get worked up about it, but it is just hard to believe sometimes. Over at crooksandliars I was reading a post on local news which made me feel much the same way. While the fam. was together over Thanksgiving I ended up watching the network and local news for the first time in probably 8 months. With NPR it is frustrating to see what the frame is, or who are held up as ‘experts’. The evening news seems to just be content free. (GrUMblE, mUmBLe, gRumBle)
pseudonymous in nc
Milbank has yet to grasp the difference between “being funny” and “being an asshole”.
Cliff in NH
My moto: Prove It!
Your primary education lasted 12 years? I shall refrain from the obvious cheap shot.
Pat In Massachusetts
I for one am looking forward to the “nastiness” that is Barney Frank. I thoroughly enjoyed his interview with Savannah.
I hope he stands the entire Village on their ears before he is done.
Get as nasty as you can be, Barney.
@Irony Abounds: Frank is capable of answering substantive questions when they are asked. He was objecting to the lack of substance in the interview. Gringrich simply is a dick to the media. There is a difference.
I like local tv news. It’s still news. They never do analysis. Ever.
The Trump/birth certificate thing really, really bothered me, and it was the “last straw” for cable news. I was personally offended by that. It seemed as if they subjected us to something. It felt aggressive and blatantly commercial. My daughter, who is not really politically attuned, said “why are they doing this?” She didn’t mean Trump. She meant media.
I think we both felt as if they had somehow made us complicit in that disgusting, demeaning show of nastiness and bigotry. If she picked it up it must have been all over, because she doesn’t follow political news.
I love to watch election returns, and those were fun to watch on cable news, but now I go to the AP site and just look at numbers.
I love newspapers, too. I buy three. Local, what I think of as “regional” and national. They should stop pissing me off with this stuff.
I’m a loyal customer:) I want them to succeed, and be…great!
Milbank also had a run-in with a bank over his mortgage a few months ago (mentioned in this blog). The bank lost his paperwork repeatedly, to their benefit. IIRC, what changed it was that he complained in his WaPoo column, at which point the bank played nice.
But even personal experience didn’t change his attitude.
In the end, these guys are wh*res, pure and simple. They’ll have the odd quirk, like Andrew Sullivan not liking torture, but in the end they will support Power, and its right to do whatever Power wills.
I love how one of Dickwhisper’s example of Barney Frank’s incivility is that he asked a person at a town hall what planet she was from. The lady had just called President Obama a Nazi!
These village idiots don’t understand that lying is way more uncivil than swearing or sarcasm.
Answering a journalist’s stupid question with a remark in the tone it deserves is beyond the pale! What a big meanie!
Initiating hate speech for a three hour 5-day a week radio show? That’s exercising your First Amendment rights!
The Village corrollary: The Village constantly mistakes integrity and competency for incivility, just as they constantly mistake lack of integrity for genius.