In today's Washington Post, Dana Milbank strikes a blow for objective journalism in his "Taking One for the Team, When He Could Remember."
Kyle Sampson, former aide to Attorney General Gonzales, testified Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cutting to what genuinely matters, Milbank writes: "Sampson was indeed a bit pudgy and jowly, and he spoke in a nerdy voice that sounded strange coming from a man whose combative e-mails had been released by the Justice Department in recent weeks."
This isn't the first time Milbank felt the urge to call a Republican a nerd. He said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. was one when Alito was nominated. As I pointed out at the time, it's not likely Milbank himself would be confused for James Bond.
Milbank also highlighted how many times Mr. Sampson's memory failed him during the seven hours of testimony: "He used the phrase 'I don't remember' a memorable 122 times."
That may be memorable, but it's hardly a Washington record. Former President Bill Clinton, in his Paula Jones' deposition, couldn't remember 267 times. Of course, Clinton didn't say "I don't remember" that many times, only 71. He offered some variety with not recalling, not recollecting, not having any memory, not having direct knowledge and not having any idea. Clinton, who in high school was a drum major and won first chair in the state band's saxophone section, could never be accused of nerdiness.
Not by Dana Milbank, anyway. That characterization seems reserved for Republicans.