City Desk

Washington Times and Obama’s “Admitted Drug Use”

Herewith a little peek into exactly why the editorial board of the Washington Times has zero credibility.

On Sunday, in a controversial column, Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell slammed the Post's news operation for a tilt toward president-elect Barack Obama–in news stories, in photographs, and in a failure to dig deeper on certain matters.

One of those matters, in the words of Howell, was this: "The Post did nothing on Obama's acknowledged drug use as a teenager." Though I think Howell has been a great ombudsman, chiding the paper for failing to investigate the teenage drug use of any full-grown man amounts to a brain fart.

Now look at how the Washington Times editorial people are playing the Howell column. As a perch to denounce the liberal media conspiracy, of course. Check out how they paraphrase the bit about drugs: "The column also says that the president-elect deserved more scrutiny of his past relationships with Tony Rezko and his admitted drug use."

"Admitted drug use"–sounds pretty powerful, pretty damning. Of course, if you do the responsible thing, and add in "teenage," that takes away a bit of the sting. But the Washington Times editorial board, of course, doesn't have time for such qualifiers. Admitted drug use. Better to leave that notion hanging there–the notion that, hey, perhaps this guy has been using drugs all along, that he pops 'cid before he hits the Senate floor, that he gives his best speeches when high, that a quick snort or two keeps him going on the 24-7 campaign slog, that he can't relax at night without eight or nine scotches....That's what admitted drug use suggests.

But if any group of people is qualified to make such a judgment, it's gotta be the people at the WaTi edit board. Nehi Grape–that's the edgiest those people have ever gotten.

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  • ttj

    What kind of amateurs are you? Drug use is drug use. It doesn't matter if it is teenage drug use. Try filling in the phrases: George Washington's admitted ________. Abe Lincoln's admitted _________. Franklin Roosevelt's admitted ___________. Jimmy Carter's admitted _________. Doesn't work too well, does it? But suddenly, Barack Obama is given a pass. Why? Nobody knows. But maybe you, with all your credibility, can explain it for us.

  • KCinDC

    How did Obama get any more of a pass than Bush, whose drug use continued until he was much older? And of course what people do in their 40s is more relevant than what they do in their teens.

  • Ted Scheinman

    Hey, Nehi Grape is some pretty strong shit.

  • Erik Wemple

    I think it does matter if it's teenage drug use, actually. For the same reason that the courts make a distinction between juvies and adults: At an age certain, a higher level of accountability attaches to your actions. So if someone grows out of teenage drug use, as most do, it's simply no longer a story--not for Obama and not for any other politician.

    A stronger response to your concerns comes via this link:

    This is an NYT story by Serge Kovaleski about Obama and drugs. It reveals that Obama's classmates said he wasn't much of a druggie. Now, if you were the Post, would you send someone out to re-report the story?

  • Christine

    I applaud the Washington Times. I think it's a little scary that those who support Obama also worship him. It's a fact. Research groups have all but proven the media was biased toward Obama. I would argue it's more than bias; it is blind obsession. It's scary that if you try to criticize Obama on anything, you come across as racist, and I'm not even white. I think it's a sad day in America when you can't criticize your president as a citizen. Obama has good ideas. He is a smart man. He is using all of Hillary's staff and friends, but some would argue that's shrewd. But I cannot find one Obama supporter that can find a shred of fault with their candidate. Also, he's not president yet and everyone is walking about like drugged up followers of a cult.

  • Christine

    p.s. Obama wasn't a teenager when he purchased a home at well below market value from a known criminal, Tony Rezko...
    He wasn't a teenager when he decided to marry that racist wife of his and attend Rev. Wright's church.