Charles Pierce on Politico: ‘Close it down’


You may have heard that Dick, Lynne and Liz Cheney talked family politics at the Politico Playbook lunch in Washington. Cheney Family Discusses Political Playbook:

vader2The Cheneys appear to be conducting a publicity tour that is allowing the former vice president to resurrect his interventionist foreign policy ideas and the former Senate candidate to ease her way back into politics after abandoning her Senate campaign against Senator Michael B. Enzi, a fellow Republican.

Funny how this New York Times fluffer piece failed to mention this: Cheney Event Repeatedly Disrupted By Protesters. Politico’s live stream of an interview with Dick Cheney and his family cut to black on Monday just as a protester with handcuffs accused the former vice president of being a war criminal. Protester With Handcuffs Tries To Arrest Dick Cheney As Politico Cuts Live Feed. Awesome!

Of course, whenever Dick Cheney and Politico appear in the same sentence, that means see Charles Pierce at Esquire. Damn, Charlie, don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel. Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Mainline Antifreeze, Part The Infinity:

Close it down.

Its puerilty has finally crossed over into indecency. Its triviality has finally crossed over into obscenity. The comical political starfcking that is its primary raison d’erp has finally crossed over into $10 meth-whoring on the Singapore docks. Once a mere surface irritation, Tiger Beat On The Potomac has finally crossed over into being a thickly pustulating chancre on the craft of journalism. It has demonstrated its essential worthlessness. It has demonstrated that it has the moral character of a sea-slug and the professional conscience of the Treponema pallidum spirochete. Trust me. Stephen Glass never sunk this low. Mike (Payola) Allen has accomplished the impossible. He’s made Jayson Blair look like Ernie Pyle.

It’s not just that TBOTP invited the Manson Family of American geopolitics to come together for an exercise in ensemble prevarication. It’s not just that the account of said exercise is written in the kind of cacophonous cutesy-poo necessary to drown out the screams of the innocent dead, and to distract the assembled crowd from the blood that has dripped from the wallet of the celebrity war-criminal leading the public display. And it’s not as though this was a mere interview—a “get” that could help you “win the morning (!).” In that, it might have been marginally excusable. No, this was one of Mike Allen’s little grift-o-rama special events—a “Playbook lunch,” sponsored by that noted mortgage fraud concern Bank Of America. There’s an upcoming TBOTP “event” in L.A. that is sponsored by J.P. Morgan. I know what Mike Allen is, but I am so goddamn tired of haggling about the price. Here’s how TBOTP‘s own account of the event begins.

Sing it with us: “Here’s the story of a man named Cheney …” Dick, Lynne and Liz Cheney had a message they wanted to send with their appearance at POLITICO’s Playbook lunch on Monday: We’re a family, we’re happy together, we joke together, and we’re beating the drum for an aggressive foreign policy together. It’s almost as if the Cheneys were the Brady Bunch—if the Brady Bunch had started a hawkish think tank and were warning the country about the failures of President Barack Obama’s leadership around the world.

Yes, and if Mike were an authoritarian greed-monkey with a borrowed heart that he declined to employ in any meaningful sense, if Carol were a lifelong scold and nuisance pretending to be a historian, and if Marcia were a talentless clown who, if it weren’t for the largesse of Mike’s friends and their foundations, would be selling phony subprime packages to the blind from a strip-mall in Kannapolis.

Also, whatever editor it was who passed on the tone of this account should be sent back to the oyster cannery where they found him.

There’s just one problem: this Brady Bunch wasn’t all together. Mary Cheney—the former vice president’s other daughter, who famously broke with her sister Liz over same-sex marriage—wasn’t there. And her absence was obvious every time she came up in the conversation, even as the other Cheneys pleasantly included her in all the family stories they spun. This was a Brady Bunch with an empty square—and the rest of the family spent the lunch hour trying to pretend it wasn’t empty.

That’s the freaking problem? That Dad and Mom and Exemptionette got together, but The Gay One didn’t show up. The problem was not that your publication decided to publicize itself, and suck up some of that sweet sponsorship cash from Wall Street, by putting a coward and a torturer on display with the more unpleasant members of his family? The problem was not that the alleged journalists running your place decided to give a platform to a man whose only public appearances in the near future should be unsponsored events at the Hague?

They even laughed together as the inevitable Code Pink protesters interrupted the lunch, with Lynne Cheney joking, “I wondered why the line was so long” to get into the event. (Dick Cheney sat more uncomfortably, laughing slightly but turning away from the protesters.)

Oh, those silly protestors. They are, how you say, so recherche? More than 4,000 American soldiers, and over 100,000 Iraqis, also might have shown up, inconveniencing the Bride Of Dracula even further, but they were otherwise occupied with being dead because of the war into which hubby lied the country so he could line his pockets. Tres amusante, non?

There is much more. Charlie does a full point-by-point takedown of Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney and his family at Politico, and in the process eviscerates Tiger Beat on the Potomac.


  1. If only we could still have mass book burnings and bring back the public stocks for humiliation…

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