In a discussion today with Patrick LaForge of the NYT, who is a genial and intelligent person (I am no anti-Palafo partisan in other words), said the Times could not have a "partisan narrative" in its stories.
I immediately recognized this as response in support of he-said-she-said reporting, as described by my friend and colleague, Jay Rosen (I am pro-Rosen, which is now properly disclaimed).
I responded to LaForge by saying I am not partisan, I am a user, citizen, voter, taxpayer, but in US politics I am definitely not partisan. I can prove it by offering that if anything I am a Republican partisan because I've voted Republican more than I have voted Democratic. I am one of those independents who leaned right, until I learned what that meant. I voted Democratic in the last two national elections, as a result. But I could vote Republican, if they quit being the depraved advocates of the inbred ruling class that they have become.
Now to Patrick, of what relevance is the term partisan, when a famous partisan like David Frum, consistently writes on his blog, positions that, if you read them without knowing who was writing, you would be certain were written by a Democratic partisan?
When the Times runs an article that blames "Congress" for outrageous obstruction by Republicans, you are doing all of us a disservice. And not in a partisan way. If we're to make informed choices at the ballot box, we have to know who's doing what. The piece we debated in a 140-character-limited way, obscured the facts. It is not partisan to unobscure them. It's more properly called "editing."
Here's Frum's latest. Note that he doesn't say Congress when he means Republicans. This is the new partisan discourse. It's honest, direct, and informs the reader. It respects the reader. Now when Frum says something fact-based that favors Republicans, you can be sure I'll listen. Because I've come to trust him.
BTW, the President, a Democrat, was making this mistake too until recently. He said Congress when he meant Republicans. I tweeted today that I was glad to see those days are behind him. This is more likely to work too, because it provides air cover to Democrats who do the right thing. And also, if some Republicans split off, it couldn't hurt to point that out as well.