It’s time to get smarter about how we approach this phase of our operation, to think creatively about how we integrate security, diplomacy and development.Yet, if you were one of the poor souls who exclusively relies on the Post-Dispatch for their news, you wouldn't know anything about this. All you would know is that Russ Carnahan lauded U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who recently passed away, in part of his column. In Wagman's entire post about the op-ed, he never even mentions the central point of a post titled, "End This War." It is a truly remarkable achievement in bad journalism and, as my emailer pointed out, must have taken some effort.
We have fought the war against the Taliban and the extremists. Now we must fight for peace – a lasting peace that is every bit as vital to our global and domestic security.
Let us end this war in Afghanistan.
Compare this post to that of an actual journalist, Jo Mannies, in her post titled Carnahan calls for more attention on peace in Afghanistan:
Shortly before giving up his House oversight post over Afghanistan, U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan is laying out his view that the United States needs to shift its focus from war to peace.So, just to review, at a time where discussions of changing the course in Afghanistan are a relatively taboo subject in Congress, Carnahan went out on a limb to make a pretty courageous statement about the need to change our focus. Yet, a day after turning a mindless Ed Martin tweet about a Craigslist advertisement into a story for the Post-Dispatch, Jake Wagman amazingly manages to either miss or deliberately avoid the entire point of the column. Ed Martin could not ask for a better lapdog.
"It’s time to get smarter about how we approach this phase of our operation, to think creatively about how we integrate security, diplomacy and development," Carnahan, D-St. Louis, said in an op-ed piece published Thursday on the Washington-based publication The Hill's "Congress Blog."
"We have fought the war against the Taliban and the extremists. Now we must fight for peace -– a lasting peace that is every bit as vital to our global and domestic security. Let us end this war in Afghanistan."
I guess that somehow, even at a time of crises for newspapers, the Post-Dispatch is complacent about their political coverage of St. Louis. But this will be a huge mistake in the long run. Just like a small stream of water can carve through rock over time, as enough people compare the garbage Wagman puts out on a daily basis with researched and meaningful pieces at other outlets like the Star, the Beacon or a number of blogs, they will slowly but surely begin to realize that relying on the Post-Dispatch for news about anything on Wagman's beat is a giant mistake. As long as they continue to allow Wagman to drop the ball on their political coverage, the Post-Dispatch will be hemorrhaging credibility. And credibility is all that a journalistic institution has.