Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No New Ideas in Foreign Policy Pages

FAIR on WaPo's foreign policy page:

The lineup included Henry A. Kissinger--inevitably--and a bunch of hawks from right-wing think tanks and/or the Bush administration: Danielle Pletka of AEI, Michael Rubin of AEI and Rumsfeld's Pentagon, Patrick Clawson of WINEP (who co-wrote a book with Rubin) and David Makovsky of WINEP. Michael O'Hanlon works at the centrist Brookings but is a famous Iraq hawk. Those who aren't obvious hawks mostly have Republican connections: Michael J. Green of CSIS worked for G.W. Bush's NSC, Karen Donfried of the German Marshall Fund was an aide to Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Soderberg used to work for Bill Clinton and now advises Michael Bloomberg. Ronald D. Asmus was a former Clinton aide but is best known for his advocacy of NATO expansion. For a change of pace, they've got David M. Walker of the Peter G. Petersen Foundation, who's a deficit hawk. The only bona fide dove on the list would seem to be Russia specialist Stephen P. Cohen of Princeton. You'd think the disasters of the Bush years would create interest in new ideas on international policy--but at the Washington Post, a debate between alumni of Bush's Pentagon and State Department really is considered balanced.
A lot of talk lately about struggling newspapers and the decline of American journalism. Perhaps it's as simple as this. No new ideas, no engaging debate. The WaPo hasn't been hit as hard (yet) as other's in the newpaper revenue slump, but they've gotten lazy, and that no good for us or them. Constantly reminding readers that Bob Woodward is still a managing editor isn't going to hold up for much longer as a business plan.

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