Broder's Views Challenged in Friday Chat

By: E&P Staff In a chat this afternoon, David Broder was peppered with a number of questions from readers angry with some of his recent columns -- including the April 26 piece comparing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

For instance, a New Yorker asked: "What is one single instance of incompetence on the part of Harry Reid that is of comparable magnitude to Alberto Gonzalez's mismanagement of the Department of Justice?"

The Washington Post Writers Group pundit replied: "Senator Reid is not managing a large bureaucracy, as is the Attorney General. But in his role as the spokesman for the Senate majority, he has made more egregious mistakes than I think they deserve. I continue to believe they have abler leaders in their ranks."

An Asheville, N.C., reader questioned Broder's column claim that a long list of senators, including Democrats, are unhappy with Reid. Yet every Democratic senator signed on to the April 27 Washington Post letter criticizing Broder for his anti-Reid column.

"What Democratic senators were on that long list?" asked the reader. Broder would not give names.

A Baltimore resident asked: "What would you say to try to regain the confidence of someone like me who has become increasingly skeptical of opinion makers like you because you have been so wrong so many times about the Bush administration and Iraq?"

Broder replied: "I would urge you to view skeptically what any of us -- including myself -- say. We are very fallible. I certainly misjudged George W. Bush when he was a candidate, and that is not the only such misjudgment I have made. Not by a long shot."

To read the entire chat, click here.


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