By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2009, 12:09pm PT  

As of tomorrow, the increasingly useless Washington Post will become more so. Dan Froomkin, one of the few journalists at the once-credible newspaper who bothered to do his job by investigating and asking the questions that mattered during the Bush Administration's historic gutting of America and so much of what it stands for, filed his final "White House Watch" column today. He described, today, what he does as "accountability journalism." We could use dozens more like him in the MSM.

His piece today echoes FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley's exposé on these pages yesterday, in his description of Bush as "the proverbial emperor with no clothes." He goes on to note how, after 9/11, "the nation, including the media, vested him with abilities he didn't have and credibility he didn't deserve."

As Rowley pointed out in her piece, in relating her frustration at 60 Minutes failing to air their interview with her warning about the dangers of going to war in Iraq, historians will "at some future point, [try] to figure out how such a naked emperor was able to continue despite some of us who tried to yell." When that history is put into perspective, they'll find Froomkin's paper trail, revealing him to be one of the loudest (ignored) shouters. For that, he's now (at least temporarily) out of a job.

In addition to the litany of Bush lies (a word that WaPo became allergic to over the last eight years) which Froomkin looks back on today, he also continues his critical warnings about the Obama Administration and recognizes some of those journalists --- in both the MSM and the blogosphere --- who didn't fail in their Constitutional duty to the nation over the past few years.

We most appreciate both the shot he takes at WaPo's own Bob Woodward, while recognizing the "fine investigative blogging over at Talking Points Memo and by Marcy Wheeler."

[Ed Note: Wheeler will be joining me this evening as a guest on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show, which I've been guest hosting all week. Update: Audio interview now here...]

"Hopefully, the next time the nation faces a grave national security crisis," Froomkin writes, "we will listen to the people who were right, not the people who were wrong, and heed those who reported the truth, not those who served as stenographers to liars."

On a personal note, back in 2006, when the bulk of the MSM were still deluding themselves, in full-tilt denial about the credibility of the work those of us who are "just bloggers" were doing --- (Isn't it odd that they blame us, even now, for their own impending failure, after so many years of marginalizing the relevance of 'bloggers who work in their pajamas out of their parents' basements'? If we hastened their demise, what does that say about them?) --- Froomkin recognized the importance of the work The BRAD BLOG was doing and invited me to pen a column on questions of election integrity that the media should have been asking in advance of the 2006 election, for Harvard's prestigious Nieman Foundation for Journalism's "Watchdog" website, where he remains their Deputy Editor. We are ever grateful for that opportunity, his frequent linkage to these pages, and, frankly, for his early and continuing recognition of the importance of the blogosphere over all. After all, we were getting it right from day one. The MSM weren't. (And still aren't.)

But this sounds alot like an obit, and it is not. Froomkin will reemerge soon, after he "take[s] a few weeks off before embarking upon [his] next endeavor." Whichever outlet is lucky enough to have him grace its pages will be infinitely better off for that contribution, even as WaPo seems satisfied with withering on the vine with rightwing liars, those who brought on so many of our current problems, still staining their pages on a daily basis. At "worst," hopefully he knows he's always welcome to contribute here at The BRAD BLOG. Though he may have to buy some pajamas, and we'll have to find out if our parents mind him moving into their basement.

[Cross-posted at the Commonweal Institute's 'Uncommon Denominator' blog...]

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