Alex Pareene is 23. He was just 20 when he dropped out of NYU to take over the political blog, Wonkette.com, not long after its founding writer Ana Marie Cox departed. Following 18 months covering the Beltway scene in that era of the second Internet boom (now feeling almost as distant as the first one a decade ago), he was transferred to Gawker.com where he still discusses the political scene. Today, he posted there about Chris Wallace’s defense of President Bush at the panel discussion following last night’s invitation-only preview of Frost/Nixon at the National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium in DC.
As readers of Frank Gannon’s post below will recall, Chris Wallace dissented from Ron Howard’s equation of Bush and RN, and argued that the outgoing President should not be compared to his miscreant predecessor. But Pareene, a generation younger than the Fox News veteran, has a different view:
Chris is right, of course. Bush is no Nixon. Nixon was a smart paranoid criminal lunatic who actually effectively managed the nation even as he abused the office for his personal gain, railed against Jews, and illegally bombed Cambodia. Bush, of course, is a messianic moron who ran the nation into the ground, allowed a great American city to be washed away, and lied us into a pointless, poorly planned foreign war because he was so stupidly convinced of his own essential goodness and infallibility.
Words to keep James Reston Jr. awake at night, perhaps – and I have to wonder how favorably Pareene would view RN’s Presidency had he not grown up with the accounts of it in liberal-leaning textbooks and the mainstream media. (The comments to the post are also worth reading, though these nearly all focus on Katrina and Iraq rather than RN.)
In another post at Gawker today, Pareene directs the attention of his readers to another volcanic performance by Christopher Hitchens (on the theme of Sen. Hillary Clinton, naturally) on Hardball last night, comparing it to Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (His post has an edited version of the appearance, but the complete version gives a better idea of Hitch’s carefully timed drollery.)