Wednesday, April 18. 2012
Atrios has run a series of posts, starting with nine runners up and converging on "the one true wanker of the decade." He distinguishes "wankers" from "wingers" so as to give a pass to the furthest right ideologues, propagandists, and lunatics -- possibly because there's no end of them, also because the research quickly overwhelms anyone's sense of humor. So his game are mostly self-professed centrists who repeatedly wind up doing the right's dirty work. He also looks for writers perched on big media outlets. (Alex Pareene has done similar, more comprehensive lists. See his Hack Thirty from 2010 and his 2011 Hack List.)
The Eschaton list in top-to-bottom order:
I don't have strong feelings here, mostly because these are people I almost never read -- Sullivan is an exception, and I find his ranking a bit puzzling -- and in some cases have never heard of. (Fred Hiatt is one, but I'm told he runs the Washington Post's editorial page, which makes it possible to knock all these blokes off with just one slot: "Krauthammer. Broder. Hoagland. Kristol. Novak. Cohen. Lane. Cupp. Thiessen. Kurtz. Samuelson. Diehl. Kelly. Noonan. Will. Ignatius. Parker. Marcus. Milbank. Gerson." A couple names there don't ring a bell either, but I can fill in first names (and more) for most of them -- Robert Samuelson being a particular pet peeve.
What I'd like to see are some more specific lists: especially, which journalists/pundits were most effective at shutting down any sane discussion of 9/11 and the march to war in Afghanistan? I have a much clearer picture of Iraq (Judith Miller and Kenneth Pollack are key figures there, also George Packer). And what about the insanity of thinking it safe to turn Congress over to Republicans in 2010? I mean, a lot of "opinion makers" were simply negligent in not realizing what that would mean.