The Powers Project

Yesterday I did a post reacting to a column by Fox News “personality” and Daily Beast columnist Kirstin Powers accusing the president of trying illegally to shut down Fox because it “won’t treat him like an emperor.” Having read similar fare from Powers over the years, I compared her to other faux-Democrats who make a living from providing bipartisan cover to conservative media, in one of the older games in Washington.

The post provoked protestations from Powers herself on Twitter that I didn’t know what I was talking about in doubting her “Democratic” or “liberal” self-identification, and a lot more communications from her conservative fans accusing me of being an agent of Media Matters or the White House or whatever. I then published an “update” apologizing for extrapolating a general impression of Powers from her writing without having watched more than a tiny, accidental sampling of her appearances on Fox News.

But that’s apparently not enough. I’m still getting private communications from rational people telling me I was unfair to poor Powers, who is fighting the good Democratic fight at Fox, or at least exhibiting a genuine independence.

So all right, I’ll do something I’d dislike just as much if we were talking about some MSNBC “personality”: I’ll make a point of trying to watch Kirstin Powers when I can at least through the weekend, and then make a fresh assessment of her basic journalistic orientation. I’ll need the moral support of readers in doing this, since the Powers Project will involve a considerable exposure to other Fox fare, and it’s not that clear when she’ll appear.

After this, I will vow never to comment on the politics of people who primarily work on television, because I’m just not going to watch enough of the stuff to make any judgments.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.