PW BLOGS: PhillyNow  |  PW Style  |  Make Major Moves  |  The Trouble with Spikol

  Cup o' Joel  

Dana Milbank’s column on Peter Orszag: Dick jokes galore!

Once upon a time, I dimly remember, Dana Milbank was a pretty sharp Washington Post reporter — albeit once with a sense of humor that made his weekly chats at the website both informative and entertaining. As he moved into column writing, though, he became the Post equivalent of Maureen Dowd: trifling, nonsensical and almost completely unilluminating. There was last year’s “Mad Bitch Beer” brouhaha, of course, involving Hillary Clinton. But today we get an even better sense of the depths Milbank has sunk to.

His column about Peter Orszag, the president’s budget director, is a series of dick jokes.


On Monday morning, we finally learned the secret to Orszag’s sex appeal: The man may look like Louis in “Revenge of the Nerds,” but he has an enormous deficit — $1.6 trillion this year alone, and forecast to last for years, according to the 2011 budget the administration released Monday.

To see the 41-year-old Orszag perform Monday in an auditorium at the White House complex was to see a man with an impressive body of facts, who is not shy about sharing it.


Orszag knew all the moves. “You have to remember,” he told his listeners, that “the 2001-2003 tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit were not subjected to PAYGO.”

Oh, Peter, subject me to PAYGO.


No doubt about it: Orszag has some amazing figures.

As comedy, this is third-rate high school “that’s what she said” stuff. As journalism … well, as journalism, it’s better comedy.

Worse yet, it’s not all that timely. The explosion of Peter Orszag as sexpot stories came last month, when news broke of his engagement to one woman and illegitimate child by another. Milbank’s column about Orszag is late, lame and dumb. He used to be capable of better stuff than this, but I’m not sure that’s the case anymore.

Leave a Reply

Name *required

Mail *will not be published, required