Richard Cohen must now regret “comment” feature

Richard Cohen, the Washington Post columnist whose overall liberal credentials have been severely mocked by the blogosphere for his early and firm support for the...

Richard Cohen, the Washington Post columnist whose overall liberal credentials have been severely mocked by the blogosphere for his early and firm support for the Iraq war, scored another hit with the bloggers with his column yesterday. In it, he argued that Scooter Libby's trial was "a mountain out of a molehill," spurred by "the liberal press (especially the New York Times)," that turned out to be "a train wreck." He also called for Libby's 30-month sentence to be commuted. But the line that got the most reaction was his unfortunate (for a journalist) summation of what the public should know about the "dark art of politics" :

As with sex or real estate, it is often best to keep the lights off.

Mega-bloggers like Glenn Greenwald at Salon picked up on this, noting that it apparently constitutes a call from a prominent columnist at America's best political reporting paper for less stringent coverage of politics. The result? The comments thread attached to Cohen's article on the Post's Web site had, as of 1:30 on Wednesday, more than 100 pages of comments about the article-- the vast majority of them overwhelmingly negative. Cohen is accused of being a cocktail party-frequenting limousine liberal who doesn't believe the same laws that apply to most people (perjury, for instance) should apply to the rich and connected.

The Post has, in my opinion, the best Web site of any major newspaper, and features almost every technological bell and whistle you could think of. But so far, no response from Cohen to his hundreds of detractors. The concept of "engagement with your audience" doesn't mean much if no dialogue takes place.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.