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Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another New Republic Edition)

Over at the New Republic, David Greenberg defends Bob Woodward:

Open University: Some readers may know that, between stints at TNR in the 1990s, I worked as an assistant to Woodward on The Agenda, and I have argued for the indispensability of Woodward's reporting--and against the criticisms of him by many of my usual ideological brethren--in this piece for The Boston Globe...

That's interesting. Two years ago I wrote:

Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily JournalIt is certainly true that nothing Bob Woodward writes can be fully trusted without very, very careful, careful checking.... For the full Woodward treatment, read his The Agenda, then read his Maestro, contemplate how one and the same person could use the Third Person Omniscient to write both accounts of the making of Clinton economic policy, and collapse to the floor in helpless laughter...

I would like to hear Mr. Greenberg explain how Woodward's account of the making of Clinton economic policy in Maestro--where an intelligent but naive president is tutored in the realities of economic policy by wise Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan, and chooses intelligent policies in the national interest--is consistent with the account that Greenberg worked on in Woodward's The Agenda, in which the process (a very good, a very thoughtful process, that I know, for I was there) is reported to have been, in Woodward's words, "chaos. Absolute chaos."

I don't think Greenberg can. I don't think Greenberg dares try. And if he dares not try, then he needs to stay quiet. Very quiet.