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Howling at Howell (and Morin)

Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell posted an interesting entry on her new internal “omblog.” Both she and Polling Editor Rich Morin have been getting heat from the left over why the Post won’t conduct polls asking whether President Bush should be impeached (they did conduct such polls during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal).

Morin defends the decision not to conduct such a poll:

    “We poll on subjects when, in our judgment, it is newsworthy to do so. It is a decision based on facts on the ground and our evaluation of whether a poll would further our reporting.”

Not everybody buys Morin’s explanation, however. Howell quotes some of the nasty emails:

  • “COME ON, JUST TELL THE TRUTH. YOU ARE A WEASLY (sic) LITTLE BASTARD TOO CHICKENSHIT TO DARE ANGER THE PRESNIT(sic) BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT AN IMPEACHMENT POLL WOULD REVEAL.”

  • ” You f–kin’ fool, if you don’t start listening to the people all you F–KING GOP ASSHOLES are going to be out of a job. You get it?”

  • One from an ex-Marine in Potsdam, N.Y., asked if Rich graduated from Liberty University or Regents University, called him “an original horse’s ass” and “a little snake. Hopefully there will be a day, Mr. Moron, when you’ll get an ass-kicking instruction to justice and ethics, American values that you’re so desperately in need of acquiring.”

Media Matters is on the case and largely stoking the flames by encouring readers to write both Howell and Morin. Other websites provide readers with sample letters that emails can–and do–just cut and paste into emails to Howell and Morin.

Howell and Morin are none too happy about it. Says Howell:

    We first laughed about it. Now, four waves into this campaign,we are annoyed. Really, really annoyed.

    Some free advice: You do your cause no service by organizing or participating in such a campaign. It is viewed by me and others with the same scorn reserved for junk mail. Perhaps a bit more.

    That said, we do not ask about impeachment because it is not a serious option or a topic of considered discussion –witness the fact that no member of congressional Democratic leadership or any of the serious Democratic presidential candidates in ’08 are calling for Bush’s impeachment. When it is or they are, we will ask about it in our polls. Enough, already.

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