Another Day, Another Epic Journalists Battle

HuffPost’s Jason Linkins, National Journal’s Ron Fournier and WaPo’s Greg Sargent are locked in some kind of epic battle rumbling across the internet like a bar fight that’s blown through a window and out onto the sidewalk.

Nowhere is safe.

Just take a look at Linkins’ post from last night, titled “What if Ron Fournier Can’t Read?”—it’s more than 2,000 words devoted to explaining to Ron Fournier why Ron Fournier is wrong about all presidents, everywhere (especially Obama). Linkins followed that up with 11 tweets this morning to further make his case.

Here’s the weird thing. Fournier was arguing that Obama actually can be a great leader and accomplish great things, if only he’d just step up and do it already. Seems okay, right? Well the undercurrent here is that government’s failure to actually fix any of the country’s problems of recent are all traced back to Obama’s failure to lead (he could do it if he’d just… do it!). So, yes, Fournier was almost giving Obama a compliment, but kind of the same way a slap in the face can be considered a hello. No matter what obstacles political opponents put in Obama’s path, it will always be the President’s fault for failing to just leap over them like Superman.

Linkins and Sargent, though, saw right through all this with their apparently laser vision and now they’ve both stepped in to explain why even real great leaders can’t actually move mountains out of their way, as much as we’d like to think they can. Sargent’s post is here, but Linkins seems to be the one wearing the brass knuckles.

Some highlights:

  • “Suffice it to say, Ron Fournier is wrong and I am right.”
  • “I’m afraid that Fournier doesn’t have much of a clue as to the process by which these obstacles are surmounted.”
  • “Sadly, Fournier opted to continue, and those things that he had actually managed to demystify suddenly became foggy once again”
  • “Now, Fournier believes that people like me, who do this sort of real-keeping, are a bunch of fromage-slurping surrender-bunnies.”

We have to pause the list here for a moment, just to make sure you caught “fromage-slurping surrender-bunnies.” Got it? Okay. Moving on.

  • “This is one of the other absurd features of Fournier’s lament, frankly.”
  • “The guy who is waving the white flag is Ron Fournier.”

We get that last one was rhetorical, but maybe someone here should really think about surrender.