The Washington Post has a problem with partisan memory loss.
Many of you may have heard of the recent nastiness of a Virginia homeowners’ association attempting to deny Colonel Van T. Barfoot (U.S. Army, Ret.), a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, the right to erect a flagpole in his own front yard. If you are like me, you heard about this first on Wednesday, December 2, on the Mark Levin radio show.
If you’re like the Washington Post, however, you heard about it from Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) on December 3, 2009.
Today’s WaPo story, by Christian Davenport, sums up the participants in the flagpole fracas in this way:
By the time the flagpole battle ended this week, after threats of litigation, accusations of anti-Americanism and indignation that spilled far beyond the development's boundaries to become fodder for a nation of talking heads and blogging pundits, even Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and the Obama administration had chimed in.
In the end, it took the combined forces of the American Legion, members of Congress, untold numbers of sympathetic veterans and the spokesman for the leader of the free world to persuade the homeowners association to back off its threat to sue a war hero. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) finally brokered a deal that will allow Barfoot to keep his flagpole.
Now there is no doubt that Virginia’s part-time Governor chimed in, or that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (when asked) also offered an opinion favorable to Col. Barfoot’s cause. Nor is there doubt as to the role of Senator Warner, whose office apparently mediated the dispute. The issue with the reporting of this story is this: None of these players would have become involved, had Mark Levin not picked up this story from the blogosphere.
That’s right, I said it! Levin should have been mentioned by name in this story, instead of as a generic talking-head. He broke this story in the national media, beating the Washington Post by a full day. He made this an issue for Governor Kaine and Senator Warner, by relating the story to his nationally syndicated radio show audience. He was, to the best of my ability to find out, the first media figure on the national stage to talk about this story.
And with more than twenty years of national leadership in the conservative movement, is it really right to put Levin in the same group as, say, Washington radio station WMAL’s “Grandy and Andy” morning show? They are fine fellows, to be sure; but Levin is a popular nationally syndicated radio host and best-selling author.
And if the absentee Governor of Virginia can be given credit for a drive-by thumbs-up to a man who won the nation’s highest honor for valor in combat, certainly Levin deserves credit for leading the charge.