The US vs. The Washington Post

The US said this :

Washington Post readers said this :

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39 Responses to The US vs. The Washington Post

  1. Ford Prefect says:

    Since the majority of the Post’ s readers are employed by the Government are feed off the Government for their very existence, they may actually be correct.

    • ChrisD says:

      Is this assertion tongue-in-cheek? If not, do you have any data? As someone who lives in the Post‘s distribution area, this is not my experience at all. Almost everyone in my neighborhood subscribes, and none of them are government employees/contractors/whatever.

      Memo to Steve: No, I have not changed the subject. If anyone did, it was FP. I am simply replying.

      • James Sexton says:

        Chris, this is a surprise revelation to me. In my many visits to the nations capitol, the only workers in private industry I ever encountered where order takers at BK, barmaids, and young ladies lined up on Penn and Independence Ave.

      • ChrisD says:

        James, the Post is not sold only in the District of Columbia. Furthermore, perhaps your “visits” to the capitol did not expose you to a representative sample of the population. Although the government is the area’s largest single employer, I can assure you that it is very far from being the only employer.

      • Mike Davis says:

        However all other employers in the region are dependent on the government for their business to exist. he area is suited for plantations or government services as it is a reclaimed swamp!
        I understand it will be submerged when the sea levels rise!

        The poll is the result f selected responders. I recall a set of similar polls from 2 opposing papers in the same region and the results are similar to this. It shows Papers have a limited subscriber base based on the paper’s biases. When I subscribed I also picked the one paper that provided what I thought was unbiased news rather than liberal opinion pieces!

      • James Sexton says:

        lol, Yes, Chris, I hope I didn’t leave the impression that I thought all employees in the D.C. area were govt. workers.

      • ChrisD says:

        it is a reclaimed swamp

        That’s actually a myth.

        The poll is the result f selected responders

        Right, that’s my point. It’s not a random sample of the population, and it has no validity. (And it’s also the Post’s readers, not the Post itself, as Steve’s page title says.)

      • Mike Davis says:

        So it is a river delta like the Mississippi delta where New Orleans is built and the historic records claiming Washington was built on a drained swamp are wrong?

      • ChrisD says:

        Lowlying parts near the rivers were marshy and subject to tidal flooding, and some of current DC is on fill (the Potomac used to be much wider), but most of the core city was firm and dry. There were forests, plantations, mansions, pastures for grazing animals, etc.

        Regarding the historical documents, as one writer put it, “It bears remembering that to many Europeans in the 18th century all of America was a swamp.”

        Google “washington swamp myth” and you’ll find plenty of info, e.g., “DC Mythbusting: Built on a Swamp?”. And this 2008 piece from the Post’s Sunday magazine, while not particularly about the swamp myth, is fascinating.

      • John Endicott says:

        Washington and swamps? Hmmm, let’s look to see what people a little closer to the time had to say on the subject.

        Attorney General Richard Rush writing to John Adams, 5 Sept. 1814 refers to the city as still being “a meagre village, a place with a few bad houses and extensive swamps

        Joseph Martin in A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer of Virginia and the District of Columbia, (1835)

        “The composition of the city low grounds, lying below the hights, from the Capitol to Halorama and to the margin of the Potomac, are alluyial, and appear to have been reclaimed but recently.

        Within the memory of many now living, seines have been hauled, and fish taken, where handsome stores now stand, in the part of Pennsylvania Avenue in which most business is now carried on, namely – between 9th and 10th streets.

        The extent of the marshes below Columbia College bears evidence that a part of the stream of Rock creek once found its way across towards the Eastern Branch, along the foot of the hights which flank the northern part of Washington.

        By judicious draining these swamps have been recently limited to a comparatively small space, but their existence has still an injurious effect upon the health of the inhabitants residing in their vicinity. This fact is clearly established by the improvement of the health of all situated in the vicinity of the low grounds from the centre market to Capitol Hill.”

      • ChrisD says:

        Hmmm, let’s look to see what people a little closer to the time had to say on the subject.

        As usual, you guys know more from a few minutes’ Internet research than the actual experts do. People who have spent years researching this say otherwise. There’s a difference between “Some marshy land near the rivers was drained” and “Washington is built on a reclaimed swamp.”

        Do the google thing I suggested above.

        • “Actual experts” – like “snow is a thing of the past” “ice free Arctic” “Himalayan glaciers gone by 2305” “no MWP” “continents can’t move”


      • John Endicott says:

        Ah, I see. People removed from the time period in question by hundreds of years know more about what was going on back then than the people who were actually there and experienced for themselves what it was like. No wonder you put so much faith in models, actual real world observations mean nothing to you.

      • John Endicott says:

        you guys know more from a few minutes’ Internet research than the actual experts do

        Um, that’s exactly what you suggest with:
        Google “washington swamp myth” and you’ll find plenty of info

        How is googling *NOT* a few minutes’ Internet research?

        ChrisD knows more from a few minutes’ Internet research than the poeple that actually lived in the time period in question!

      • ChrisD says:

        Um, that’s exactly what you suggest with:

        Geeze, John, no, it isn’t. What I suggested isn’t doing research, it’s locating the people who HAVE done the research and then reading what they have to say.

        If you do this you will find people like Don Hawkins, who has spent decades digging through archives, deciphering musty maps, reconciling paintings and drawings to written descriptions, and on and on. THAT is research.

        Your research, in contrast, appears to consist of a few minutes’ web surfing.

        The fact is that nobody who has ever looked into this more than casually would ever describe DC as being built “on a drained swamp.”

        From the Post magazine piece:

        [Don Hawkins] describes Capitol Hill as a lumpy and thickly forested eminence rising 80 feet above a mosquito-infested patch of spring-fed marsh at its foot, and explains how the short, steep bluffs on the north side of the Tiber provided the platform for the future site of the White House. This gently rolling landscape was bordered to the north by a five-mile-wide arc of higher, more broken ground and overlaid with fields of tobacco, corn and wheat, interlaced with small forests of maple, black cherry and tulip poplar, and dotted with the Georgian homes of wealthy planters and the sagging wooden structures of tenant farmers and slaves. The land that became L’Enfant’s federal city was never a swamp, but it was a water-rich environment, crisscrossed by streams and framed by Rock Creek, the Potomac and the Anacostia, known then simply as “the Eastern Branch.”

        That’s not the description of a swamp.

      • ChrisD says:

        Yes, Steve, there are “actual experts.” People who have spent decades studying something like the original topography of Washing, DC. You know, experts.

        • I’m guessing that the higher elevation areas like Georgetown which are built on bedrock are not fill, and the lower lying flat areas are.

          This is of course only a guess, and has nothing to do with what observed when I worked with Vice President Gore in Washington 16 years ago.

      • ChrisD says:

        I’m guessing that the higher elevation areas like Georgetown which are built on bedrock are not fill, and the lower lying flat areas are.

        I already said that parts of DC are built on fill. Where the Jefferson Memorial is, for example, used to be way out in the river.

        But filling in parts of a river is a completely different proposition from draining a swamp, isn’t it?

  2. ChrisD says:

    Point 1: Who here thinks that self-selected Internet polls have any validity whatsoever? Show of hands?

    Point 2: Even if the poll were valid, which it isn’t, the page title is still wrong. Here, I’ll fix it for ya: “The US vs. The Readers of The Washington Post”.

    • rw says:

      No one is likely to hire you as a headline writer. Since that job requires a genuine feel for English in situ (which is not the same as FOL-speak).

      • ChrisD says:

        The revised headline is not the one I would write (nor is it the capitalization I would use). It is simply a correction of Steve’s incorrect headline, with the corrections in matching style.

        In point of fact, I was a writer at one point in my career, and quite successful at it, thank you very much.

      • ChrisD says:

        PS: Your second sentence is a fragment, and some–though not all–writers would frown at your use of “since” in place of “because”.

        Ironic, eh?

      • Mike Davis says:

        Most successful fantasy writers continue writing until they are buried. Actually most successful writers of any sort continue writing and do not really retire, they just slow down their output.
        You said you were once WHAT?

      • ChrisD says:

        I said that I was once a writer and that I was quite successful at it. I didn’t say anything about fiction. And I stopped doing it because I like what I’m doing now better.

    • Paul H says:


      Do you always take things so seriously?


  3. James Sexton says:

    Is funny, ever since the Rep landslide was a foregone conclusion, the markets have been trending upward. That said, the markets are but a poor, distorted reflection on the economy as a whole. As far as WaPo readers, their distorted view of reality is evident in just about everything that occurs in the Mecca of insanity.

  4. Perry says:

    WaPo is Rsole, spelled politically incorrectly.

  5. johnmcguire says:

    I jumped through all the hoops required to gain access to the comment section of the wash post , I attempted to post clean concise comments relevant to the articles I posted under only to have them denied. I no longer bother with the washed up post or care about the opinions expressed there as the are all censored!

    • ChrisD says:

      John, I don’t know what happened, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of any censorship in the Post’s comments. I’ve seen the most outrageous, filthy ad homs you can imagine directed at the Post and its writers.

      There is for sure no real-time moderation. Offensive comments have to be reported (and on some Post pages, like this one, the only way to do that is via email).

      What exactly happened, what message did you see, etc.?

      • Mike Davis says:

        Then you are not familiar with proper propaganda methods.
        Allow those comments that agree and KYA.
        Allow those comments that make the opposing side look like idiots.
        Censor any logical opposing comments that reveal your incompetence.
        Allow all threats and foul language and even have people post comments that look to be from the opposing side.
        This is common practice and there are Public Relations classes that teach this.
        There are full courses on proper poll taking methods to get the desired results.

      • Mike Davis says:

        I should add that I learned all that hanging around the Harry Reid Liberal Political Activist School at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
        It had a PC name but was refereed to as the preceding.

      • ChrisD says:

        Mike, do you have experience posting comments there? Do you have any evidence of censorship?

        I have participated in many WaPo discussions, and I can tell you that they are robust and contentious. I’ve never seen the slightest hint of censorship, nor do I recall ever hearing anyone complain about censorship. And I’ll reiterate that all comments are posted immediately. There is no moderation.

        Unless you have contrary information, I’d suggest that assuming you know what they do based on nothing but “proper propaganda methods” is just not a good idea.

      • PhilJourdan says:

        I guess you do not get out much then. The censorship at the post comment section is well documented and widely known. By the experts. But I guess a couple minutes of anecdotal reading trumps all the experts for you, n’est pas?

      • ChrisD says:

        I didn’t say “a few minutes”, I said that I have participated in numerous discussions there and that I had never observed any indications of censorship, that I had never seen any comments complaining about it, and that all comments are posted immediately. All these are facts.

        Where will I find the experts who provide the well-documented, widely-known censorship in the Post’s blog/article comments? A link?

  6. Mike Davis says:

    I have this minor problem. I tend to stay away from sited that display propaganda type opinion pieces rather than real news.
    I came to this site to see what Steven had to offer in the way of historical climate articles and I found you. You represent most of what I have opposed throughout my working career and personal life so I take pleasure in posting an opposing view to yours.
    My views are based on real life experiences and analyzing research papers,. However I also use a BS detector that has come in handy in the past.
    Any comments that were made about WAPO or HUFFPO are based on seeing similar activity in liberal propaganda sites.

    • ChrisD says:

      Mike, today’s Post includes op-eds by George Will (“A recoil against liberalism”) and Kathleen Parker (“Blindsided by their own blindness”). The Post’s op-ed page is almost always about half liberal and half conservative.

      Nor are its endorsements automatic for the liberal side. E.g., in the previous Maryland gubernatorial election, it endorsed the incumbent, conservative Republican Bob Ehrlich, over the challenger, liberal Democrat Martin O’Malley. Why? Because Ehrlich had done a decent job. This week, in a reverse rematch, it endorsed incumbent O’Malley over challenger Ehrlich. Why? Because O’Malley has done a decent job.

      Painting major publications with such a broad brush (it’s just “liberal propaganda”) is rarely either accurate or useful.

      (And I take it that you have no evidence of censorship at the WaPo site, since you sort of avoided the question.)

    • ChrisD says:

      And, BTW, lumping WaPo and HuffPo together is specious. One is an unabashedly liberal web site that’s about ten minutes old. The other is one of the world’s great newspapers, with a tradition that goes back to the 19th century. You may not like its editorial position, but its news reporting has been top-notch for far, far longer than either you or I have been alive.

  7. Airframe Eng says:

    well, at least we can all agree the Post article is wrong. 🙂

    Anything that impedes excessive bleeding is beneficial to the patient. If the GOP shuts down Government long enough, it might eventually become apparent that we didn’t need hardly any of it.

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