The Corner

Re: Cut Webb Some Slack

Kathryn, I’m not buying your readers’ interpretation. If the exchange was polite or normal, it would not have struck the reporter as remarkable. Admittedly, one has to trust the Washington Post to a certain extent that the reporter’s interpretation of events was accurate and that Webb was being — at best — gruff to the President of the United States who was trying to build bridges and the like. But there’s a reason the story starts with this anecdote and since the Post has generally been sycophantic to Webb, I have a hard time believing it’s suddenly being grotesquely unfair to the man. If you take the — by my lights — most reasonable view that the Post was fairly capturing a moment of extreme dyspepsia from Virginia’s junior Senator, then Bush’s response to Webb’s tone is understandable.

All of that said, do I think this is an enormous news story? Do I think this should definitively color our views of Webb? No, not at all.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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