TYRRELL: Fair and foul in the First State

Press opposes O’Donnell, champions Coons

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The race for the United States Senate in Delaware is a splendid example of what is called kultursmog, and the smog spreads untreated. One candidate, the conservative, has been slandered repeatedly, and no one objects, not even most conservatives. The liberal opposing her has been given the proverbial free ride, even by most conservatives. Yet he is a fruitcake. She “dabbled” in witchcraft in high school, she tells us. He may have studied it in grad school along with other pseudo-studies. Yet he is stonewalling, while the press pillories her. No one objects save talk radio.

The Democrat is Chris Coons, the county executive of New Castle County, and his record gets more bizarre as the weeks pass. As a college student he converted from some kind of conservatism to some kind of far-left enthusiasm. He described himself as a “bearded Marxist” upon returning from Africa and reporting his enlightened transformation in the student newspaper. Now the mainstream liberals are covering up for him. The Washington Post reports that he “spent time in South Africa and Kenya doing relief work,” but is mum on his Marxism.

Howard Kurtz on his CNN television show, in taking a swipe at Sean Hannity last weekend, called Mr. Coons‘ “Bearded Marxist” article a joke. One can understand why the agelastic Mr. Kurtz would find it a joke. Nothing in the piece was funny, except that Mr. Coons was becoming a Marxist about the time that communism was evaporating across the world and leaving, according to “The Black Book of Communism,” 100 million graves.

But now, Jeffrey Lord, who unearthed the aforementioned information about Mr. Coons‘ Marxism, has filed a second installment in the American Spectator. He brings our story a bit more up to date. Mr. Lord tells us that this month Mr. Coons assured the Yale Divinity School’s Notes from the Quad that serving in the Senate would be a “great way for me to apply the principles and values that were honed at YDS.” Mr. Coons got a Master of Arts in Religion in 1994, specializing in ethics. He learned a lot.

Now everyone who has followed the Delaware race knows that the conservative, Christine O'Donnell, has been exposed by Bill Maher, the comic genius, for appearing on his show sometime in the 1990s and claiming to have “dabbled” in witchcraft. But do you know what was being taught at the Yale Divinity School when Mr. Coons was there as a graduate student? Witchcraft. Had Christine been a bit older and presumably sophisticated she could have attended classes with Mr. Coons and been taught witchcraft by scholars. Perhaps she could have earned a Ph.D. in the mysteries of reading chicken entrails.

Along with classes in witchcraft, there were classes in Queer Worship, Feminist/Womanist/Gendered Theologies, and in the Introduction to Christian Ethics II, there was Black Liberation Theology, a study Mr. Coons first picked up in Africa. Were the “values” taught in these classes among those absorbed by Mr. Coons at the YDS? We do not know, because Mr. Coons is not answering Mr. Lord’s calls for him to release his transcripts. I have instructed Mr. Lord the next time he calls to adopt a deep baritone voice and announce that He is “the Lord,” and He is becoming impatient. Test Mr. Coons‘ faith, I say.

Now while all this is being revealed, no one in the press seems the least curious. If Miss O'Donnell has a bad hair day, it is reported in the press. But Mr. Coons‘ Marxism is at best treated as a joke. His promise to apply the values he learned at YDS, does not even call into question what those values might be. Queer Worship? Feminist/Womanist/Gendered Theology? Black Liberation Theology? Witchcraft? The press is too busy digging up dirt on Miss O'Donnell.

Yet there is hope. Mr. Hannity, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh are on the case. Maybe even Fox News will take an interest. Yet do not expect the liberal media to engage in fair and balanced coverage of the Senate race in Delaware. Fairness is utterly alien to them, which is another reason there is such a reaction building among the American electorate. Fairness is an American value, though it is probably not taught at the Yale Divinity School.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of the American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. His new book is “After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery” (Thomas Nelson, 2010).

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