- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2001

Scare stories
"When I started 30 years ago as a consumer reporter, I took the approach that most young reporters take today. My attitude was that capitalism is essentially cruel and unfair, and that the job of government, with the help of lawyers and the press, is to protect people from it. … I and other consumer activists said, 'We've got to have regulation. …' And I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to realize that these regulations make things worse, not better, for ordinary people.
"The damage done by regulation is so vast, it's often hard to see. …
"Largely due to the prevalence of misleading scare stories in the press, we see in society an increasing fear of innovation. …
"What's happened to America? Why do we allow government to make decisions for us as if we were children? … We're living longer than ever. A century ago, most people my age were already dead. If we were better informed, we'd realize that what's behind this longevity is the spirit of enterprise, and that what gives us this spirit — what makes America thrive — isn't regulation. It's freedom."
—ABC News reporter John Stossel, writing on "The Real Cost of Regulation," in the May issue of Imprimis

Unstoppable America
"The United States is a visionary nation. Americans believe in the promise of a better world. Unlike other societies, the United States has no shared ethnicity, no common religion, no sense of historical heritage. Instead, there is an idea. Running through the currents of our history is a presumption that it is possible to have it all. And not just that a few people can have it all, but that all of us can.
"In comparison to other cultures, that's unusual. Human needs and desires exist on a spectrum from the material to the nonmaterial. Most people most of the time, for much of human history, have clung to the hope that they can have enough to live and be content. Americans believe that all needs can be satisfied, that we can have wealth and happiness, homes and spiritual fulfillment, comfort and community, sated appetites and satisfied souls. The only thing missing is how. …
"At any given moment in our history, there are visionaries who think they have found it. That makes the culture vibrant, dynamic and creative. It ensures that society will always be striving for something more, something better. But visionaries are rarely realists and their reach is greater than their grasp. They promise a better world, but with such high expectations, the vision always falls short of its goals."
—Zachary Karabell, from his new book, "A Visionary Nation"

Brock's seduction
"In the late 1980s and early 1990s David Brock was a prized hatchet man for the American Spectator. …
"Then, something happened.
"Brock took a mammoth, $550,000 advance to write a book about Hillary Clinton, but by the mid-1990s no liberal source in the world would talk to Brock. The famed investigative reporter of the Right couldn't get the story, unless by 'getting the story' you mean dissecting a stack of newspaper clippings compiled by an intern. So, in a desperate gamble to save his repu-tation and the lifestyle to which he'd grown accustomed, Brock tried to make his failure a selling point: 'If I, the greatest and most attractive investigative reporter in the world, can't get the story, there must be no story!'
"The idea was inspired. Declare that you've closed the book on Hillary Clinton simply because you couldn't write one in the first place.
"Alas, while writing 'The Seduction of Hillary Clinton,' Brock was seduced himself, by … Clinton sycophant Sid Blumenthal. Whether the smell of sulfur caused him to further lose his senses is unknown."
—Jonah Goldberg, writing on "Brock's Self-Borking," Thursday in the National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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