The Politico is a booming internet news site. Unfortunately, it has achieved that status through a marketing strategy rather than through a relative quality of journalism. It’s closer to Drudge in what it does than it is to, say the NY Times.
The founders and top management of the site are politially aligned (eg the President and CEO is Chairman of the Reagan Library and worked in the Reagan white house). For a full story on the people and the site, read here.
Which brings us to Mike Allen, whose photo sits up top. You may recognize him from appearances on cable news and talk. Not all of the staff at Politico allow themselves to be used as shills for some contemporary Republican talking point but Allen apparently suffers too little discomfort in the role. Case in point, the following courtesy of Think Progress
On Tuesday, the Washington Times revealed a recent Department of Homeland Security assessment that warned about increased activity by “rightwing extremists.” Conservatives have responded with hyperventilation, claiming that the report meant the government was targeting them. On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Tuesday night, Politico’s Mike Allen added fuel to the outrage fire, claiming that the report couldn’t have been written by someone from “the real America”:
I think some bureaucrat who wrote this report like misstated in a way that doesn’t comport with your or my observations about the real America. I think it was somebody, who written inside the Beltway, who maybe has fantasies about what happens outside in the real America. But I think it was obviously overstated that I can only get so like excited about that.
Allen’s “real America” rhetoric is ridiculous. In fact, it is reminiscent of far right talker Michael Savage’s claim yesterday that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano should be fired over the report and replaced with a “real American.” It’s doubtful that Allen is comfortable sounding so similar to Savage.
HEWITT: Let’s turn to the other major story, it has been on talk radio, it will be on the cable channels tonight and it will probably go on for some time, the Washington Times story, Mike Allen, about the extremism assessment. How big of a story is this?
ALLEN: I think it’s a big story — I don’t know, I think some bureaucrat who wrote this report like misstated in a way that doesn’t comport with your or my observations about the real America. I think it was somebody, who written inside the Beltway, who maybe has fantasies about what happens outside in the real America. But I think it was obviously overstated that I can only get so like excited about that.
HEWITT: What I really want to know is who wrote it. This to me is to me the most interesting. If it was some career serving, 25 year veteran of some obscure analytical branch, that would be one thing. But if its a new Obama appointee, Mike Allen. That really makes me grin because it’s so…
ALLEN: Well, I think that you’re right. I think it’s a good reporting target that we should find out and I think it’s something that they should cough up and if nothing else to present information to help you determine like whether this is worth getting too stoked about.
HEWITT: Any buzz on that yet, has that surfaced yet?
ALLEN: Oh no, of course. The Washington Times story was very widely circulated today and I think that they were right to pick upon this as an interesting story that was going to drive conversation. What actually means is, I think, is unknown and probably pretty doubtful.