The Washington Post

Harry Reid thinks The Washington Post’s sports section is going downhill


I’ve been so nice to Harry Reid over the years. I blogged about his plaudits for Stephen Strasburg, delivered on the Senate floor. I blogged about his use of “That’s a Clown Question, Bro,” never using the opportunity to take out-of-nowhere shots at Reid’s policy beliefs or strategic choices or desperate appropriation of a quip made by a man less than a third of his age. I even exchanged e-mails with one of Reid’s staffers, and I thought we were all cool.

Well, we’re not cool. Not after Reid delivered this little speech on Thursday.

“I’ve been thinking how best to describe what’s going on here on Capitol Hill the last couple of weeks,” he said, via Politico. “Every morning I get up, the first thing I read is the Sports page. I’m disappointed in the Sports page in The Washington Post. It’s not nearly as good as it used to be. And the New York Times is not very good either. But I read them. That’s the first thing I do. There’s always some good news on the sports page. And then I go to the front page and get some of the bad news.”

Well that’s just great. The majority leader of the Senate is taking time out from his busy schedule to point out that my little family, the thing I care about more than anything in the world except my daughter, is not as good as it used to be.

You know what, Senator? Nothing is as good as it used to be. Food used to be more flavorful. Men used to be manlier. Scripted television used to be more hilarious. D.C.’s dinner party repartee used to be more unbearably clever. And yes, newspaper sports sections used to be more robust accompaniments to your morning coffee, because staffers didn’t have to waste time transcribing senators talking about baseball players for web logs.

Still, I invite you to come over to the office some day. We’ll print out every single blog item that we publish in a week, and stack them up next to every single print issue from that week. Then we’ll pick a random week from, say, 1971, and print out every single sports section from that week. Then we’ll read it all together. And then we’ll decide which group of readers would have been best informed about their local sports teams. It’ll be fun. I’ll buy the coffee and scones.

Not as good as it used to be????? Why, I never.

(The real point of Reid’s lecture had to do with the Jets. “I follow sports no matter what it is — basketball, football, baseball — whatever it is,” he said. “And I’ve watched very closely — it’s not one of my favorite teams, but it’s really, really fun to watch — and that’s the New York Jets, New York Jets, yes, New York Jets.

Coach Ryan, he’s got a problem,” he continued. “He has three quarterbacks: Sanchez, he’s got Tim Tebow, he’s got a guy by the name of McElroy. He can’t decide who their quarterback is going to be. That’s the same problem the Republicans are having. Romney’s gone, but he’s still in the background. We have McConnell and we have Boehner. Who is the quarterback, Mr. President? Who is the quarterback?

Now, committed sports fans know that Ryan has, in fact, decided who his quarterback will be. I’m thinking a Congressional leader, like, say, Joseph T. Robinson, would not have made such a blunder. I’m thinking the senate leadership’s attention to sports detail is not as good as it used to be.)

(And no, I wouldn’t actually dispute an argument that the printed Sports section used to be better. But like I said, everything used to be better.)

(Via Reader Eric.)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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