Politico Poo-Poos the Wall Street Journal's Big Fiscal Cliff Story

Connor Simpson
December 22, 2012

Since when did Politico become the media's biggest shot thrower? In this morning's Playbook email, Politico's Mike Allen took some shots at the Wall Street Journal for their big fiscal cliff story. 

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The Journal published the recap-to-end-all-recaps of the fiscal cliff negotiations Saturday morning. According to the report, the negotiations officially broke down Monday afternoon, and John Boehner struggled to raise support for any sort of increase in tax revenue among Republicans (which we kind of already knew). The best moment in the whole story, and the one most tweeted about, was this exchange between the President and Boehner: 

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At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"

"You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."

Damn, that's cold. 

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But Mike Allen was not impressed. Not one bit: 

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--PLAYBOOK TRUTH BOMB: Except for the few quotes above, the story is rehash - used news, as they say. We liked the "I get that for free" quote, but the Journal didn't get the context. We checked, and Obama was referring to public concessions by Rep. Tom Cole and Senate Rs on the need to raise rates. So the White House didn't have to trade anything for that.

This is just the latest round of shot-firing from the outlet that is trying to take down Nate Silver. It's Dylan Byers who usually acts as the enforcer there. Allen is one of the company's biggest attractions. It is he (and Jim VandeHei) who Salon's Alex Pareene put on the top of his annual hack list, after all. A word of advice for Allen: this is a bad look for you. Stars don't act as enforcers. Gretzky never fought anyone. He had Semenko and McSorley for that. (Not that we're comparing you to Gretzky in any other way.) Leave the shots to Byers. This makes you look jealous. 

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Anyway, give the whole WSJ story a read. See for yourself if it's all "used news."