Cambodian Mass Murderer, Dick Cheney -- Morally Equivalent?

After discussing on the Washington Post website how he’s an atheist who’s enjoyed recreational drugs and who giggles at calling hemorrhoids "asteroids," Washington Post Magazine editor Gene Weingarten truly offers too much of a peek into his soul. He suggests murderous Cambodian tyrant Pol Pot and Vice President Cheney are somehow morally equivalent. Weingarten also writes a humor column in the weekly magazine, which raises this question about the Cheney-like-Pol Pot thing: Is Weingarten failing at being a humorist? Or is he really lost in a bottomless pit of moral obtuseness?

Believe it or not, the line about Cheney surfaces in a discussion about peevish people who get extremely angry over bumper scratches on their cars:

Money talks: Maybe people don't want their cars scratched because they want to trade them in or sell them someday. A few scratches or dings can take hundreds of dollars off the re-sale value of a car. Someone leaning their seat back will not cost you hundreds of dollars. You are wrong on this one. I don't hit bumpers and I partially recline my seat on airplanes, this does not make me a bad person.

Gene Weingarten: Yep, the reclining does make you a bad person. Not evil like Pol Pot or Dick Cheney, but inconsiderate.

I need to say this again: No one should try to hit another's bumper. But bumper bumpage is a part of life. Yawn and get on with it. Here's the best way I can summarize it: I'd rather have a beer with someone who doesn't care if his bumper gets a slight dimple than with someone who cares deeply about this.

Even PBS holds Pol Pot responsible for a million deaths in Cambodia. The Washington Post has published book reviews with estimates from 1.5 million to 1.7 million deaths under Pol Pot. How does Weingarten square that with (no doubt) the Iraq war?

But he'll no doubt claim it was only a joke. But it wasn't funny -- or in any way accurate.

(Hat tip: Tom Johnson)

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis