- The Washington Times - Friday, November 19, 2004

Nobles: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for giving some law school students a lesson in Constitution 101.

Although a few pesky protesters did their thing outside the University of Michigan’s Rackham Auditorium on Tuesday, the audience inside gave featured speaker Justice Scalia a “thunderous applause,” according to the university’s newspaper, the Michigan Daily. As well they should. The justice is one of the finest, most erudite and humorous speakers in the country, not to mention one of the best minds on constitutional interpretation there ever was.

It wasn’t all garlands and rose pedals, however. The law students peppered the justice with (mostly) good questions on everything from affirmative action to abortion. Yet, contrary to popular higher-education belief, there is such a thing as a bad question. When one student started to ask about the 2000 Bush v. Gore case, Justice Scalia interrupted, saying: “I’m inclined to say it’s been four years and a election. Get over it.” It might not have been eloquent, but it was well said.

The meat of the justice’s speech centered on constitutional interpretation and what he calls “originalism,” or a strict interpretation of the Constitution. “In the last 40 years … we’ve become fond of the phrase that we have a living document,” Justice Scalia said. “But if something is wrong, then change the law or change the Constitution, but don’t reinterpret the Constitution.” Again, well said.

For telling it like it is, and how it should be, Justice Scalia is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: The U.S. media, for taking every opportunity to cast our troops in the worst possible light.

Watching the nightly news, you might not have known that U.S. forces achieved a historic victory in Fallujah this week. You might not have known this because all the U.S. media, spearheaded by NBC News, seemed to care about was one Marine shooting an insurgent pretending to be dead. As the Wall Street Journal lamented on Thursday, “Have we lost all sense of moral proportion?”

Is one Marine, wary of “dead” terrorists rigged with bombs, more important than the 40-plus Marines who gave their lives in the battle? Does one Marine, weary of fighting and seeing his buddies cut down by fanatics, trump the torture chambers, starving prisoners and disfigured victims that U.S. forces found throughout the city? It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.

In just over a week, our guys killed more than 1,200 terrorists, captured 1,000 more and liberated a city in the grip of Islamists for the past eight months. And all the media can do is find their next Abu Ghraib. Memo to big media executives: The election is over and you lost. Now get back to reporting the news.

For their relentless efforts to shame our troops, the U.S. media are the Knaves of the week.

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