The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, December 05, 2003  

Or What’s Left of It
And On the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

More than a year ago I warned readers, at least those not already long since in on the gag -- and at the very heart of it all, it is a gag -- not to take Charles Krauthammer seriously when he’s wearing his tin-foil hat.

Krauthammer, a nationally syndicated columnist with a home base at the Washington Post -- an observation I offer not to imply in any manner whatsoever that he is or ever was or ever will be a journalist, because he isn’t, he wasn’t, and he never will be -- again put on that precious little tin-foil cap just the other day.

The result: “The Delusional Dean,” the clearest example of punditorial projection I’ve seen since Camille Paglia, referring to someone other than herself, if you can believe it, used such phrases as “what a phony,” “the hair,” “a monster,” and “delusional narcissist.”

After reading what I hope for his sake are not his own words but rather Krauthammer’s latest verbatim transcript of what he heard from the voices speaking into that tin-foil dunce cap, I could only conclude that the Washington Post, which, as noted here yesterday with respect to Tina Brown, apparently leaves its vast stable of columnists unsupervised on Wednesdays (ahead of Thursday’s issue), does the very same thing on Thursdays (ahead of Friday’s issue).

Just as I would advise Krauthammer not to listen to the voices, don’t listen to me. I’m happy to let Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler, a vastly superior expert on matters of dishonesty in the media, expose Krauthammer as the despicable and disreputable fraud he truly is.

I agree with Somerby: Krauthammer should be dropped -- disemployed, fired, canned -- and immediately, by the Post and every other self-respecting newspaper in the country (if there’s any such thing anymore) that carries his column, including my local broadsheet, the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As if. When it comes to right-wing columnists, the babbling know-nothings of cable TV, radio talk-show wannabe jocks, and conservative “think tank” “scholars,” the old rules don’t apply, as they say.

You know what would be interesting, though? If someone, anyone, would take the time to explain to newspapers, broadcasters, cable network operators, and the like what is meant by the phrase “the covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” and how the intellectual and practical underpinnings of that concept, if adopted and adapted to the media’s relationships with their readers and viewers, even implicitly, might, just might, enhance the industry’s collective reputation and credibility.

I’d assign to the task to Ann Coulter (J.D., Michigan, `Vague), but from her latest efforts (see below) it’s obvious she would have been a dismal failure in the study of intellectual property there, let alone any unsupervised foray into contracts, leading me to conclude she was admitted to Michigan to fill some kind of affirmative action slot of which we assuredly will never be made aware.

I mean, anyone can fake his way through constitutional law, during law school and afterward (c.f.: William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Warren Burger, Robert Bork, etc.), but IP and contracts, well, that’s another matter.

[FYI, the ombudsman for the Washington Post is Michael Getler and he can be contacted via e-mail by clicking here.]

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