The Washington Post had better refrain from telling other media outlets to tone down their rhetoric, for on Sunday, one of the paper's longest running columnists asked on national television, "How much time do we have left to talk about how stupid Sarah Palin is?"
Such was said by Richard Cohen, a man that has been with the Post since 1968, towards the end of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: Richard Cohen, do you have answers?
RICHARD COHEN, WASHINGTON POST: I have nothing but answers. I don't think for a second that Sarah Palin knew the meaning of blood libel. I just don't. There's nothing in her background which suggests it. And if she did, I don't think she used it all that inappropriately. I mean, if it refers to a false accusation for which a community is blamed then she was right.
BERNARD-HENRI LEVY, FRENCH PHILOSOPHER/INTELLECTUAL: Hold on. You think Sarah Palin is stupid enough not to know what a blood libel is?
COHEN: How much time do we have left to talk about how stupid Sarah Palin is?
LEVY: No, no, no. Frankly, I don't believe --
Fortunately, James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal was there to offer some sanity:
JAMES TARANTO, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Look, the blood libel is a -- is a lie about the killing of children. Remember, there was a child who was killed in this attack. And the "New York Times" leading the way but others particularly in the media and a few politicians, but mostly this has been the media, went out and blamed conservatives, particularly conservative media figures, which is what Sarah Palin is, for the death, among others, of this child. So blood libel, yes, she's not using it in the literal sense. It is often used in metaphorical senses. I could give you a list of examples from the "New York Times," the "Washington Post," various liberal commentators, who've thrown around the term blood libel --
LEVY: I'm waiting for the list. Give me the list of the example of the metaphorical use of blood libel if it is -
TARANTO: Representative Deutsch -- Representative Peter Deutsch in 2000, a Democrat of Florida, said --
LEVY: If you use blood libel in this way, maybe you are right --
TARANTO: Nobody has said it was obscene until now.
LEVY: I say today it is obscene in whoever mouth it is.
ZAKARIA: And we are going to try to keep this at a -- at a civil level, which means of course we're going to leave and everyone can quarrel off camera.
Hmmm. So I guess calling Sarah Palin stupid is civil in Zakaria's view.
Color me very unsurprised.
Nice job of toning down the rhetoric, boys!
(H/T The Blaze)