The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Ace Is Sick and Tired of Jim Swift

Posted on | September 8, 2019 | 1 Comment

One of the amazing things about Ace of Spades is that he will use some of his best material as just throwaway stuff. Like, he’s got a sidebar item now pointing out that Jim Swift, formerly of the Weekly Standard, and currently with the Bulwark, is still ax-grinding against Salena Zito.

OK, I know Salena Zito — a popular reporter and columnist — but I had only the vaguest idea of who Jim Swift is, and I’d never heard of this particular controversy before today. Last year, a bunch of anonymous Twitter accounts began promoting what they claimed was evidence that Zito was plagiarizing, inventing quotes and otherwise engaging in bad journalism. Zito defended herself by producing notebooks and recordings of interviews, and her editors stood behind her reporting.

The reason why Zito became a target was that she had traveled extensively in the small towns of the American heartland to do reporting that contradicted a narrative beloved by the liberal media and the #NeverTrump crowd. Whereas Trump’s critics had asserted that many people who voted for him in 2016 were dismayed and disappointed by his performance as President, Zito talked to lots of Trump voters who were basically happy with the job Trump’s done in the White House. So the hit-job on Zito was not merely an attempt to destroy her career, but also to discredit her account of the pro-Trump mood in the heartland.

Back in January, when Jim Swift was hired at the Bulwark, Ace noted Swift’s role in “attempting to scalp-hunt Salena Zito,” pointing out that this was particularly egregious given that Zito was a reporter for the Washington Examiner, which was owned by the same company (Clarity Media Group) that also owned the Weekly Standard. As Ace says in his current sidebar item:

I’ve heard that Clarity Media were enraged by Jim Swift’s scalp-hunting political op against a fellow employee of Clarity Media, and this was one of the very last straws that led to Clarity Media saying, “F–k you, we’re not even going to wait more futile months for you to try to find a new buyer, we’re pulling the plug, shutting you down, and making a new magazine with your subscriber list.”

Is that true? I don’t know, but it certainly would ill behoove an employee of a major media company to engage in public attacks on the credibility of another employee of the company, especially considering how the Weekly Standard was circling the toilet bowl at that time.

The real question is, why is Swift still grinding that ax? He went to war against Zito and lost and yet, rather than dust himself off and move on, he returns to the battlefield, reliving his defeat.

To quote Wombat: “Who the hell are you, buddy?”

Well, once Mark Sanford defeats Trump, I’m sure everything will work out fine for Jim Swift and his Bulwark buddies . . .



 

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