I wrote the other day about the Washington Post’s ombudsman Patrick Pexton’s very sad sadness that “journalist” Jennifer Rubin had twittertwatted an approving link to Rachel Abrams New & Improved Final Solution For The Palestinian Mudpeople where the children are “devil’s spawn” and the women are “unmanned animals” and they should all be drowned at sea and eaten by sharks. Pexton pointed out that he thought Rubin had brought shame upon the WaPo (as if employing adorable chipmunk-cheeked torture-enthusiast Marc Thiessen isn’t shame enough) and he gave her the “we’re not mad, we’re just very disappointed” treatment” which might have left a bruise on Rubin’s soul although it would be kind of hard to see it since her soul is blacker than a thousand midnights.
As Glenn Greenwald points out Pexton admits (but secretly! shhhhhh. don’t tell!) that Rubin should probably be shown the other side of the door but, hey, he’s just a ineffective apologist for the sins of the paper and he has no other-worldly powers except for Super Regret and Angst:
That’s all fine as far as it goes, but what about the question posed by the reader: wouldn’t Rubin have been fired for promoting this hate-mongering had it been directed at Jews and Israelis rather than Palestinians? Pexton’s email response, published by the reader who emailed him, was this:
[Pexton]: Off the record, I think it’s quite possible. But the ombudsman does not hire or fire people here. I only comment.
Leave aside the bizarre belief of establishment journalists that they can unilaterally decree their statements to be “off the record” and then expect that to be honored in the absence of any agreement by the person to whom they’re making the statement. What is most striking here is Pexton’s highly revealing cowardice — probably well-grounded — in wanting his observation about this double standard to be kept private; shouldn’t an Ombudsman who believes this be eager to raise it in public?
What’s particularly remarkable is that Pexton is admitting (albeit wanting it kept secret) what any honest observer knows to be true: that there is a very high likelihood — I’d say absolute certainty — that Rubin would have been fired had she promoted a post like this about Jews and Israelis rather than Arabs and Palestinians.
The problem is that Rubin is doing exactly what Fred Hiatt wants her to do:
As a general matter I think it isn’t wise for me to comment on the work of the ombudsman, who is entitled to his views, and over whom I do not have editorial control.
However, I will say this: I think Jennifer is an excellent journalist and a relentless reporter. I think because she has strong views, and because she is as willing to take on her home team, as it were, as the visitors, she comes under more scrutiny than many and is often the target of unjustified criticism. I think she brings enormous value to the Post.
So basically, Rubin can advocate the skullfucking of Palestinian orphans causing Pexton to run and complain to Fred Hiatt who will give it great consideration before consulting the sacred texts of the WaPo stylebook to see if skullfucking is one word or if it is hyphenated.
As they say: duly noted….