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Wesley Pruden

Wesley Pruden

American journalist legend and Vietnam War author James Wesley Pruden Jr. is Editor Emeritus of The Washington Times. Mr. Pruden’s first job in the newspaper business dates back to 1951 as a copyboy at the now defunct Arkansas Gazette where he later became a sportswriter and an assistant state editor. In 1982, he joined The Washington Times, four months after the paper began, as chief political correspondent. He became assistant managing editor in 1983, managing editor in 1985, and editor-in-chief in 1992. He retired in January 2008 and became editor-in-chief-emeritus. Mr. Pruden is known for his coverage of President Ronald Reagan. In 1991, he won the H.L. Mencken Prize for excellence in writing and commentary. Mr. Pruden writes a twice-weekly column on politics and national affairs for The Times.

Articles by Wesley Pruden

The Democratic assault on free speech

Everybody's for free speech — until somebody says something he doesn't like. But the genius of the First Amendment is that it is so direct and plain that even a lawyer or a judge can understand it. Published January 26, 2015

President Barack Obama eats shave ice with daughter Malia at Island Snow, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, in Kailua, in Hawaii during the Obama family vacation. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama lives in ignorance of Islamic threat

President Obama has a happy and untroubled life on Fantasy Island, where he lives in splendid isolation from the world where the rest of us live. He is never troubled by terrorists, whether Islamic, Jewish or Episcopalian. All rough places have been made plain, manna falls right on time every morning, the water is pure, clear and cold, and golf courses where everybody breaks par stretch to a happy oblivion. The ants never get into his pants. Published January 22, 2015

President Washington (Painting by Gilbert Stuart)

Obama's tax riot will make a memorable State of the Union

The annual State of the Union might not be an occasion for the president to preach to the choir, but it's an opportunity for the choir to catch 40 winks. Neither the soprano nor tenor will miss anything. Published January 19, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press)

Why Hillary Clinton won't run for president

Hillary can't win, and that's why she won't run. She may not know that yet herself, but a lot of Democrats want her because she's all they've got. The Republicans are counting on her to run because they think she's the candidate they can beat in what looks from here like it could be a Republican year. Published January 15, 2015

The latest cover of Charlie Hebdo.

Doomed to remember more dates in infamy

A headline in London exclaims that what happened in Paris "has galvanized France." Well, that's good, so far as it goes. Galvanized can be a good thing only if the galvanizee stays galvanized. The record is not encouraging. Published January 12, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press)

Obama should stand tall to Islam

The radical Muslims who are making war on the world are confident they can win, destroy religious and ethical beliefs and cultures different from their own, and impose a worldwide caliphate. Published January 8, 2015

John Boehner (Associated Press)

Democrats try, fail to burn Steve Scalise

The Republican caravan finally arrives, with a flutter of banners, the banging of pots and pans and dogs barking in the dust at everyone's feet. Those long-faced spectators relegated to the side of the road are Democrats, unable to hide their surly resentment and disappointment. They're packing heat disguised as eggs and tomatoes for throwing. Published January 5, 2015

A football sits near the pylon marking the end zone as teams warms up before an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J.  Federal drug enforcement agents showed up unannounced Sunday to check at least three visiting NFL teams' medical staffs as part of an investigation into former players' claims that teams mishandled prescription drugs. There were no arrests, Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Rusty Payne said Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. The San Francisco 49ers' staff was checked at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, after they played the New York Giants. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' staff was checked at Baltimore-Washington International airport after playing the Redskins. The Seattle Seahawks, who played at Kansas City, confirmed via the team's Twitter account that they were spot-checked as well. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

John Freeman: A British diplomat not easily forgotten in Washington

Diplomats usually have a short shelf life. They're paid to retreat into the woodwork and lie for their country, as the old saying goes, but, with Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton celebrated exceptions, diplomats are here today and gone when a president is through with them, usually tomorrow. Like old times, they're often easily forgotten. Published January 1, 2015

Steve Jobs    Associated Press photo

Technology breeds broken throwaway culture

Some things can't be fixed. I learned this painful lesson the hard way when I was 4 years old. I had my heart set on a toy steam shovel. A tiny bucket at the end of a string could be reeled in to lift a teaspoon of mud. A little boy could build an interstate highway system with it. Published December 29, 2014

John Newton          Detail from a portrait by John Russell

The amazing grace of Christmas morn

In the clutter of Christmas morn, the Christ born in a manger 2,000 years ago lives, liberating the hearts of sinners and transforming the lives of the wicked. The redeeming power of the Christmas message is nowhere more vividly illustrated than in the incredible life of an English slaver named John Newton. Published December 24, 2014

Thomas Jefferson     Portrait by Rembrandt Peale

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio debate in spirit of Founding Fathers

It's still a long, long way to 2016 as the mud flies, but sniping has started early in both parties, and that's good. The system is working exactly the way it's designed to work. Some people, forever fretting about spilling tea on their crumpets, are looking for the ladies' fainting couch. But here's a toast and a cheer for contentious politicians. Published December 22, 2014

In this Dec. 17, 2014, file photo, a poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Hollywood cowers at this laff riot over 'The Interview'

Movies may not be better than ever, as a Hollywood marketing slogan in yesteryear boasted they were, but the critics take movies seriously in North Korea. The chief movie critic in Pyongyang can kill a movie with a single review. He might even kill anybody who goes to see it. Published December 18, 2014

Karl Rove, a personable fellow who was deputy chief of staff in George W. Bush's White House and is sometimes credited with being the genius of George W.'s success, turns out to be a big fan of "rectal feeding," as used by the CIA to persuade terror suspects to spill their secrets.  (Associated Press/File)

Be careful who takes you to lunch

Lunch can sometimes be a big deal in Washington. Lunch is where alliances are struck, deals are made, and sometimes where foes become more or less friends over a shrimp cocktail or a chicken salad at the Palm. But if Karl Rove invites you to lunch, be sure you get to pick the restaurant. Published December 15, 2014

CIA Director John Brennan pauses during a news conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Brennan defending his agency from accusations in a Senate report that it used inhumane interrogation techniques against terrorist suspect with no security benefits to the nation. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The CIA and the lack of political morality

Efficiency was once a precious American virtue. America is great because America is good, in the words once credited to Alexis de Tocqueville, and when America is no longer good it will no longer be great. Whether he actually said them or not, the words are true. Published December 11, 2014

This Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, photo shows the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. On Friday, Rolling Stone magazine cast doubt on its story of a young woman who said she was gang-raped at a party by the fraternity at the University of Virginia, saying it has since learned of "discrepancies" in her account. (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Ryan M. Kelly) **FILE**

Feminists wrong on UVa rape story

Some of our most dedicated feminists are trying to make a good thing of rape, heretofore regarded as one of the more horrific crimes. Once upon a time rape was even a capital crime, like murder. Many men went to the gallows or the electric chair for it. Published December 8, 2014

Tom Cotton (Associated Press)

Republicans leave Democrats out of lame-duck brawling

That's the pungent scent of the weak and fearful drifting across Capitol Hill. The establishment Republicans, eager to run from the sound of the popgun, are putting out peace feelers and they haven't even taken a hit. Published December 4, 2014

Al Sharpton (Associated Press)

Doesn’t Al Sharpton deserve a rest?

The terror of Ebola in the United States has subsided. Maybe it's too soon to tell, but it looks like we're not all dead, after all. Dispatches from West Africa have vanished from the front pages. The digital purveyors of news have gone on to more important catastrophes, such as the latest celebrity wardrobe malfunctions, feuding between Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell, and gays fighting in borrowed hot tubs. The disappearance of Ebola from the public consciousness is a tribute not to the power of medical science, however, but to the power of the press. Published December 1, 2014

President Obama (Associated Press)

A dog whistle by the master

Barack Obama has the master wordsmith's gift for bending language, saying something that sounds good, but heard as something not so good. Published November 27, 2014

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former US Secretary of State, speaks during her keynote remarks at the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves  summit, Friday Nov. 21, 2014 in New York.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Hillary’s dreams turn a trifle sour

The laughter has yet to turn to tears, but the applause for Hillary Clinton is beginning to sound a little thinner than it did only yesterday. Published November 24, 2014