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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

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

Shootout on Potomac looms over immigration amnesty

This is the week Washington has been waiting for. Barack Obama is expected to send up his executive amnesty for 5 million illegal aliens and double-dog dare the Republicans to do anything about it. Published November 17, 2014

Barry Goldwater greets an Indianapolis crowd during a campaign tour in Oct. 1964. (AP Photo

Good for a story, and good for the conscience

Barry Goldwater was the favorite candidate of every correspondent who appreciated a good story. I covered his 1964 presidential campaign for the old National Observer, the late, great Dow Jones newsweekly, and he never let us down. He was blunt, irreverent and unpredictable, often mocking the press caricature of him as a reckless gunslinger from the Old West. He was great copy. Published November 17, 2014

Thomas "Mack" McLarty         Associated Press photo

Democrats working through the five stages of grief, still in denial

The Democrats are still trying to get through the famous five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They're still stuck on denial. How could such a thing happen when we're so wise, so good, so compassionate, so sincere? Published November 13, 2014

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., speaks to reporters, surrounded by supporters, in front of the New Orleans VA Hospital construction site, the day after being forced into a runoff against her main challenger, Rep. Paul Cassidy, R-La., in New Orleans, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Good times roll again on the Louisiana bayou

The good times are about to roll again down on the Louisiana bayou. The good old boys gathered Monday to present a solid front against Mary L. Landrieu and her fading "clout." Gallantry be damned. Published November 10, 2014

Davy Crockett    Associated Press photo

Trying to be gracious on a bitter night

No sad-sack candidate gets out of bed on Election Day deciding what to say in a concession speech. There's always Harry S. Truman's miracle of 1948 to inspire a heartfelt prayer for a miracle. But late on election night, when all hope has vanished on a cloud of gloom, a loser has to step up to the cameras and say something nice about someone he, at the moment, purely despises. Published November 6, 2014

Gov. Earl Long in 1959    Associated Press photo

Bipartisan good news on election eve

After the poll is over, after the break of morn, after the consultants' leaving, after the stars are gone; Many a heart is aching, if you could read them all — many the hopes that have vanished, after the poll. Published November 3, 2014

Donald Trump poses for photographs during a ground-breaking ceremony for the Trump International Hotel on the site of the Old Post Office in Washington on July 23, 2014. (Associated Press) **FILE**

'A new kind of hell to pay'

"Muddling through" is not an inspiring strategy for any president. Barack Obama's administration is a muddle, as anyone can see, and everyone can see that he's through as a leader, just when a leader is needed to reassure a frightened nation. Published October 30, 2014

In this Nov. 20, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama awards former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Bradlee died Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, according to The Washington Post. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

Ben Bradlee and the end of a rowdy era

The obituaries for Ben Bradlee, who died this week age 93, invariably described him as "the legendary editor" of The Washington Post. That was careless language. Ben was not "legendary" at all. He was very real, as the Watergate defendants learned to their chagrin and sorrow. Published October 23, 2014

Senate candidate Bruce Braley, right,  campaigns with  U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in an Iowa Votes rally in Des Moines  Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, at the Hotel Fort Des Moines . (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Rodney White)  MAGS OUT, TV OUT, NO SALES, MANDATORY CREDIT

It was a dark and stormy Democratic night

This is the week the political world, like the worm, begins to turn. The polls, the hunches, the guesses and the vibes that only junkies feel all say it's a Republican year and Harry Reid will soon take a seat on the back bench. Published October 20, 2014

The deadly virus in the electorate

Sometimes incompetence gets its due reward. No one has to accuse Barack Obama of spreading the Ebola virus. The incompetence of this administration is there for everyone to see, and suffer. "Leading from behind" works no better against a deadly virus than it has against evil in the Middle East and greedy ambition in Ukraine. Published October 16, 2014