As Palmer Report continues to grow in audience size and stature, at least once a week some competing news site publishes a desperate fictional attack piece about me, in the hope of sabotaging my reputation. These stunts tend to backfire on the publications that try it, and I’ve learned to ignore most of it, because I’m too busy focusing on doing my job. But a new attack piece from The Atlantic is so far beyond the pale that it attacks just about everyone on the left in an attempt at smearing me – and that’s where I draw the line.
The article in question from The Atlantic is titled “How the Left Lost Its Mind,” and the entire piece is a thinly veiled attempt at harming Palmer Report’s reputation. But it starts off by insulting the Women’s March with a tinfoil-laden pink hat, in apparent attempt at slamming the entire Resistance for daring to read Palmer Report. Then it quickly moves on to wildly misrepresenting an instance where Democratic Senator Ed Markey used Palmer Report as a source, dishonestly sabotaging Markey’s reputation in the process.
Then, in various ways, this attack piece goes on to insult everyone from respected Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe, to Congressman Ted Lieu, to Governor Howard Dean, and even actress Debra Messing – because they’ve all committed the sin of sharing Palmer Report articles on Twitter. The Atlantic seems to be so resentful of Palmer Report’s growing stature, and so worried about rising competition, that it’s now trying punish and sabotage everyone who has ever shown any interest in Palmer Report in any way, shape, or form. Considering that The Atlantic used to be a respectable publication when I was growing up, I’m embarrassed for them.
And as if to signal that it knows it can’t stop Palmer Report from continuing to grow in stature, The Atlantic is also taking a pathetic swing at my millions of readers, calling Palmer Report the “the publication of record for anti-Trump conspiracy nuts who don’t care about the credibility of the record.” I’ve heard from an endless stream of Palmer Report readers today who, upon having read this attack piece, have informed me that they’ll be sticking with Palmer Report but they’ll never read anything from The Atlantic again. So why is The Atlantic even publishing this self-harming garbage?
This article was written by McKay Coppins, a fading political pundit who used to get a lot more cable news appearances than he does now, and who has spent a disturbing amount of time hurling juvenile barbs at me on Twitter (even though I’ve never interacted with him). Is he that desperate to mark what’s left of his territory? Is he that afraid that cable news will start booking me instead of him? And yet this is not the first time in which The Atlantic has taken this kind of dishonest swing at Palmer Report.
Back in February, Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic published an article whose entire point was to falsely accuse Palmer Report of being “fake news.” It was the kind of baseless garbage attack you’d expect from the likes of Donald Trump. When I wrote to Meyer and pointed out the wild factual inaccuracies of his attacks on me, he privately apologized to me via email three times over the course of two months for the shoddy journalistic practices he had employed. He also promised me the article would be fixed. But his false claims about me never did get revised or retracted, suggesting that the bosses at the The Atlantic weren’t allowing him to fix it.
What’s alarming in particular about The Atlantic’s latest attack piece on Palmer Report is that it contains literally nothing new. It’s as if Coppins, or his bosses, simply decided it was time to take another desperate dishonest swing at Palmer Report by recycling the same old phony nonsense. Again, this kind of grotesque behavior is par for the course in this industry. 80% of political journalists are lazy hacks who spend their time slinging mud at the other 20% who are good at their jobs. But I’m drawing the line this time, not because The Atlantic keeps attacking me, but because it’s now attacking everyone under the sun to try to harm me. Insulting my audience, smearing respected politicians and scholars, it’s all nothing short of demented.
If a publication with the vast resources of The Atlantic truly feels like it can’t compete with little old me, then it’s time for them to shut down their whole operation and go do something else with their lives. It’s beyond the pale for The Atlantic to employ these scorched earth tactics, trying to burn the entire Resistance to the ground just to needle me in the process – and I won’t allow it. For the sake of the Resistance, this matter will be dealt with in appropriate fashion. But in the mean time, I’m going to keep doing my job.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report