- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The press at war

“In encounters with various conservatives this past week, I have come to realize that they are entirely serious about regarding the [mainstream media], in particular the New York Times under the editorship of Bill Keller, as not just objectively treasonable but subjectively so — in other words, as being consciously hostile to the Bush administration’s war aims. …

“Some of the paper’s columnists now throw out a big chest about the hatred and threats that their editor is enduring, but it is very unlikely indeed that Keller will be charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. … [I]t’s too late for Frank Rich to pretend that this is Spiro Agnew versus the Pentagon Papers. His newspaper has begun the argument at least one rung down from the brave old days, because it has already endorsed a special-prosecutor official-secrecy witch hunt on a trivial question. …

“There is no neat fit between press freedom and any ‘right’ view of the war. In Abraham Lincoln’s time, newspapers printed disclosures that they hoped would aid the Confederacy. In World War II, the Roosevelt-hating Chicago Tribune gave away the crucial fact that the United States had managed to decode the cable traffic of imperial Japan. Yet the First Amendment survived. The Bush people will make a huge mistake if they continue with their campaign against the news media. But the New York Times in particular should admit that, by endorsing the costly and futile intrusions of Patrick Fitzgerald, it helped to fashion a whip for its own back.”

— Christopher Hitchens, writing on “Full Disclosure,” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

Bourgeois boom

” ‘How beastly the bourgeois is!’ D.H. Lawrence wrote, summing up the attitude of generations of artists and intellectuals. … This kind of vitriolic contempt for the commercial middle classes has been a mainstay of modern literature at least since Flaubert, who wrote that ‘the whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois.’ Indeed, after a century and a half of abuse, the very word bourgeois has become a pejorative. …

“In her … new book, ‘The Bourgeois Virtues’ … the economist Deirdre McCloskey rides out, Don Quixote-like, to defend the honor of this slandered class. The name of capitalism, she points out, was long held in dishonor by those who believed in the triumph of socialism. Yet history has shown that it is capitalism, with all its injustices, that does the best job of improving the lot of the average man. The word bourgeois, which names the human being who creates and is created by capitalism, is overdue for a similar rehabilitation.”

— Adam Kirsch, writing on “With the Naivete of One Who Is in Love,” July 5 in the New York Sun

Molding our children

“If we don’t engage our kids in discussions about what’s in the news on a regular basis, they will leave home for college with a blank slate when it comes to national and world affairs. …

“David Horowitz, among others, has done a magnificent job of informing us about the sickening state of American universities. It is no secret many professors care more about indoctrination than education. But because we know what awaits our children in our halls of ‘higher learning,’ we have a responsibility to talk with them about more than whether their rooms are clean, their friends are drug-free and their homework is finished.”

— Rusty Humphries, writing on “Parents: The antidote to liberal brainwashing,” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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