Dan Froomkin, shown here on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” has been fired by The Washington Post.
Being popular and Internet-savvy, writer Dan Froomkin surely holds a place in today’s struggling newspaper business that’s secure. At least that’s what you’d think. Instead, The Washington Post has fired him. The move removes one of the only mainstream commentators to criticize Barack Obama from the left.
One of the rarest commodities in the establishment media is someone who was a vehement critic of George Bush and who now, applying their principles consistently, has become a regular critic of Barack Obama—i.e., someone who criticizes Obama from what is perceived as “the Left” rather than for being a Terrorist-Loving Socialist Muslim. It just got a lot rarer, as The Washington Post—at least according to Politico’s Patrick Gavin—just fired WashingtonPost.com columnist, long-time Bush critic and Obama watchdog (i.e., a real journalist) Dan Froomkin.
What makes this firing so bizarre and worthy of inquiry is that, as Gavin notes, Froomkin was easily one of the most linked-to and cited Post columnists. At a time when newspapers are relying more and more on online traffic, the Post just fired the person who, in 2007, wrote 3 out of the top 10 most-trafficked columns. In publishing that data, Media Bistro used this headline: “The Post’s Most Popular Opinions (Read: Froomkin).” Isn’t that an odd person to choose to get rid of?
Following the bottomless path of self-pity of the standard right-wing male—as epitomized by Pete Hoekstra’s comparison of House Republicans to Iranian protesters and yet another column by Pat Buchanan decrying the systematic victimization of the white male in America—Charles Krauthammer last night said that Obama critics on Fox News are “a lot like [Hugo Chavez’] Caracas where all the media, except one, are state run.” But right-wing polemicists like Krauthammer are all over the media.