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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

Al Franken and Leeanne Tweeden

Gropergate! The halls of Congress under siege!

When I was a young reporter on a certain newspaper in the South, fresh on a new job, I took a fancy to a sweet and pretty young woman (that's how we talked in those days) working on what newspapers quaintly called "the Society pages." Published November 16, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a family photo during the ASEAN-U.S. 40th Anniversary commemorative Summit in Manila, Philippines, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (Manan Vatsyayana/Pool Photo via AP)

Coming home from an Asian tutorial

No one should be rude. Bad manners are not nice. Doesn't everybody's mama teach him that? Donald Trump certainly knows how to overdo it, but sometimes a president must be strategically rude to make a necessary point. Published November 13, 2017

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is surrounded by reporters as she heads to go vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Saving opportunity from the Republican ruins

Second thoughts on the morning after the morning after are never as much fun as the champagne and caviar. Someone has to find the footnotes to the good news. Published November 9, 2017

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks as Facebook's General Counsel Colin Stretch, Twitter's Acting General Counsel Sean Edgett, and Google's Law Enforcement and Information Security Director Richard Salgado, testify during a Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, on more signs from tech companies of Russian election activity. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ** FILE **

Never letting a massacre go to waste

Shooting up a church, even in a small town where a lot of people voted for Donald Trump, is a wicked thing to do. Everybody -- well, nearly everybody -- thinks so. But some people are determined not to let a convenient massacre go to waste. Published November 6, 2017

Special counsel Robert Mueller (Associated Press) **FILE**

A lot of noisy ado about nothing much yet

The mountain labored, and brought forth a mouse. It's a skinny little thing, not likely to frighten the most delicate milady. Robert Mueller is surely hard at work in his laboratory trying to breed a larger and more impressive creature. Published October 30, 2017

Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Hillary's very own Russian collusion connection

The Clinton can is as full of worms as her harshest critics ever imagined it was, and now the worms are turning. Washington is agog, liberal and conservative alike, as the details of the spreading story of confusion, chicanery and crime in Hillary's campaign for president emerge from the dark and fetid places so abundant in the capital. Published October 26, 2017

Former President Barack Obama. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Paying the price for Trump Derangement Syndrome

Fear and loathing can be great fun, but the Democrats are learning to their chagrin that resistance, estrangement and alienation can only take a party so far. Published October 23, 2017

Roger Goodell. (Associated Press)

The NFL owners with a playbook of their own

The owners of the National Football League finally came up with a playbook of their own. Beset by players who want to be political commentators who work from their knees, and by angry fans who only want to watch a football game without insult to the country they love, the owners consulted their playbook and think they can run out the clock. Published October 19, 2017

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, head of Austrian People's Party, smiles in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, after the closing of the polling stations for the Austrian national elections. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) ** FILE **

An Austrian thumb in the eye of the elites

The elites everywhere are having a hard time. When the peasants no longer salute, tug a forelock and obey with a whimper, even if with a snarl and a whine, you know you've lost your mojo. Published October 16, 2017

Cyrus Vance, Jr.

A Weinstein verdict to suit the Red Queen

Sometimes the lynch mob gets the guilty party, but that's not the way to run a railroad. We have laws, after all, even if some of them are subject to change. But due process is permanent. Published October 12, 2017

Barry Goldwater campaigning in 1964     Associated Press photo

Having fun with diagnosing the Donald

Witch doctors are not necessarily more skilled than psychiatrists and psychologists, but they're sometimes harder on the pocketbook. A group of "mental-health professionals" have offered to resolve the Donald Trump "problem" for free. In the learned and precise professional language of their trade, they think he's "nuts." Published October 9, 2017

President Donald Trump listens to Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo during a meeting with first responders at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. Associated Press photo

With neither bombast nor bravado, a presidential president

Donald Trump promised in his barnstorming campaign for president, with bombast and bravado, that once elected he would tone everything down and be "presidential." He was elected and we learned that, candidate or president, the Donald doesn't do presidential. Published October 5, 2017

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The crass politics of windy compassion

Those ill winds blowing out of the Caribbean are blowing somebody good, or at least there's somebody who thinks they're good. There's always profit in somebody else's misery. Published September 28, 2017

Members of the Oakland Raiders take a knee while others stand during the national anthem. (Associated Press)

Once upon a knee at the old ball game

There's a lunatic in Asia credibly threatening the world with a hydrogen bomb. Congress can't pull itself together to do anything. But enough of that. We're all obsessed now with what a few tubby athletes think about the flag, the national anthem and the country others have shed blood and lives to defend and protect. Published September 25, 2017

George McGovern. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The sad tale of two stumbling parties

We've heard the words and music of this song before. The hoariest cliche in American politics, presented as accomplished fact by every wise head in academe and media after every wipe-out election, is that the losing party is finished. Kaput. Destroyed. Done for. Dead, as in the graveyard. Published September 21, 2017

Rep. Nancy Pelosi. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The furtive romance at the White House

Summer's almost gone, but romance is still in the air over Pennsylvania Avenue. Nancy Pelosi's dancing the night away with the devil at the White House, and Chuck Schumer, the chaperone, is making himself right at home on Donald Trump's sofa. That's Mitch McConnell sitting off to the side by himself, trying to figure out whether to look chagrined or cheery. Or at least not as superfluous as he feels. Published September 14, 2017