Washington Post FAIL (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?)

In paragraph 17 of Philip Rucker's profile of Mike Vanderboegh, we read:

Vanderboegh said he once worked as a warehouse manager but now lives on government disability checks. He said he receives $1,300 a month because of his congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension... The first four paragraphs of Rucker's article are: Former militiaman unapologetic for calls to vandalize offices over health care: The call to arms was issued at 5:55 a.m. last Friday. "To all modern Sons of Liberty: THIS is your time. Break their windows. Break them NOW." These were the words of Mike Vanderboegh, a 57-year-old former militiaman from Alabama, who took to his blog urging people who opposed the historic health-care reform legislation -- he calls it "Nancy Pelosi's Intolerable Act" -- to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide. "So, if you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party [that they] cannot fail to hear, break their windows," Vanderboegh wrote on the blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars. "Break them NOW. Break them and run to break again. Break them under cover of night. Break them in broad daylight. Break them and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience. Break them with rocks. Break them with slingshots. Break them with baseball bats. But BREAK THEM"... Anybody else think that Philip Rucker needs some help in figuring out what the lead of the article should be? Even replacing the description of Vanderboegh as "a former militiaman from Alabama" with "an ex-warehouse manager living on government disability checks in Alabama" would have given a much clearer picture of what is really going on here, wouldn't it? Steve Benen: The Washington Monthly: THE LIMITS OF AN EXTREME IDEOLOGY.... The Washington Post ran a profile [by Philip Rucker] of Mike Vanderboegh, a 57-year-old former militiaman from Alabama, who disapproves of the new Affordable Care Act. Vanderboegh, who describes himself as a "Christian libertarian" and has been part of various clandestine militia groups, has been encouraging those who agree with him to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide. It's about what you'd expect from someone like this, and Vanderboegh is unapologetic about his extremism. In his interview with the Post, he makes multiple references to people who "are armed and are capable of making such resistance possible and perhaps even initiating a civil war." Given the threat of domestic terrorism, all of this is disconcerting, to be sure. But Josh Marshall flags the punch-line from the profile: Vanderboegh said he once worked as a warehouse manager but now lives on government disability checks. He said he receives$1,300 a month because of his congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension.

I see. So, Vanderboegh has a physical ailment, so instead of working, he's turned to the government to supply him with a modest income. Whether Vanderboegh appreciates the irony of a radical libertarian, who demands that a small government leave people alone, getting taxpayer-financed checks from the government not to work, is unclear. But reading this, I'm reminded of the recent scene in Ohio, in which Tea Party activists berated a man with Parkinson's. A conservative told the ailing man, "You're looking for a hand-out, you're in the wrong end of town. Nothing for free over here, you have to work for everything you get." Another conservative, after mocking the man with wadded bills, shouted, "No more hand-outs!" To be clear, I don't doubt that Vanderboegh is entitled to government benefits. To my mind, there's nothing at all wrong with federal programs that provide assistance to those who can't work for medical reasons. I support such efforts enthusiastically. But Vanderboegh and his compatriots seem to think my approach represents radical "big government," which necessarily needs to be curtailed to promote and defend "liberty." Indeed, for those right-wing activists in Ohio, government disability checks are, by definition, "hand-outs."