Dana Milbank, Fiction Writer

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the Pitney-Milbank debate is that Dana Milbank simply is unable to read the English language and relate it to his readers.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the Pitney-Milbank debate is that Dana Milbank simply is unable to read the English language and relate it to his readers.

Yes, Nico Pitney was told in advance by the White House that President Obama was probably going to call on him, and the White House phone call seemed to suggest that it was interested in hearing about Iran.

Milbank then twisted that into the White House asking for a particular question, a particular phrasing, and (impliedly) a particular frame. Milbank also asserted that Pitney’s e-mail to Iranian facebook sites had said that the White House had asked him to contact those sites, when the e-mail said nothing of the kind, and did not even suggest it.

As Pitney said at the end of the exchange, it’s pretty hard to think that there was collusion when Obama then ducked the question, and even Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times acknowledged that it a legitimate question (which is more than you can say of Dana Milbank’s focus on how Obama looks in a swimsuit.).

Milbank raised this issue. He attacked Pitney. He wouldn’t let go after several days. And all of it was based upon a fiction that he himself had concocted. I don’t know what else you could say that shows the corruption of the White House press corps.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.