Wesley Pruden | Stories - Washington Times
Skip to content

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

Karl Marx. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

It's an unkind cut and Gillette takes it on the chin

Business schools are growing like weeds in the nation's universities, many of them endowed by the smart, the clever, and the innovative upon whom capitalism has not merely smiled, but laughed out loud. Published January 17, 2019

James Comey. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

It's OK now to ask whether Mueller has anything to say

There's a politically incorrect question hanging over Washington that it's almost safe to ask: How much longer can Robert Mueller spin his client-for-life until even Nice People start asking questions? Published January 14, 2019

Judge Amy Barrett. (Associated Press)

The graveyard ghouls and a lather of speculation

Not all ghouls live in the graveyard. Some of them are busy in the capital sunshine, making book on Ruth Bader Ginsburg's chances of returning to the U.S. Supreme Court and staying there to assist in the rendering of Donald Trump and his administration as dead as one of those graveyard ghouls. Published January 10, 2019

Nancy Pelosi. (Associated Press)

A tear for the schoolmarm teaching civics to the House

A schoolmarm's lot, like that of a policeman's, is not a happy one, particularly if her lot is a roomful of noisy children whose ignorance is boundless and who have only a small ambition to do anything about it. Shed a bipartisan tear for Nancy Pelosi. Published January 7, 2019

Jimmy Carter. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

A lot of noise before the storm

Thursday was a strange day in Washington. There was the changing, not of the guard but of half of the Congress, and Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats acted as if she were Franklin D. Roosevelt (in drag) and it was 1932 and "happy days are here again." Published January 3, 2019

Elizabeth Warren   Associated Press photo

Witches, Presbyterians and the Booger Man

The Booger Man's gonna get you if you don't watch out. That's the media's message in the finding that at last there are more witches and wiccans than Presbyterians out there, waiting to pounce. Published December 31, 2018

Theresa May

The lady at bay in Old Blighty

Theresa May, who has mismanaged Britain's exit from the European Union, won her vote of confidence in the House of Commons this week, and now she's in the hard place the country preacher found himself after winning a vote of confidence to unify his congregation, soothe hurt feelings and make peace with his deacons. Published December 13, 2018

Harry S Truman at the piano with Lauren Bacall. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

A modern president and his tweet stuff

Thomas Jefferson collected old books and French wines, Warren Harding collected poker buddies, and FDR collected stamps. Harry S Truman collected sheet music and played the piano. Once he played it at the National Press Club, with Lauren Bacall draped across the upright with a helping of cheesecake. Bess, the first lady, was not amused. Published December 10, 2018

John Adams. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Civil is nice, but winning elections is better

Everybody wants to go to heaven, the wise man observed, but nobody wants to die. It's not a puzzlement. Everybody wants kind and gentle in our politics, but nobody wants to risk losing an election. That's not such a puzzlement, either. Published December 6, 2018

A detail from a portrait of George H.W. Bush displayed inside the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum. (Associated Press)

No. 41, the real 'man in full'

No. 41 deserves all the warm, kind words he's getting, but they don't quite capture the man I got to know at the end of his presidency. The man in full emerged when the shadows began to lengthen, as they inevitably will for us all, and as the good days began to ebb. Published December 3, 2018

Sen. Lindsey Graham. (Associated Press)

A little hysteria can make the news go down

We're suddenly awash in so many crises capable of ending civilization as we know it that there's barely enough hysteria to go around. A worldwide hysteria shortage. Who knew? Published November 29, 2018

President Donald Trump greets Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R. Miss., during a rally in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (Associated Press)

Only a public hanging for the senator will do

When you're losing an election and you're not sure there's anything you can do about it, the modern Democrats have a sure-fire strategy: Cry "racist!!" (with not one but at least two exclamation points), and count on the illiterates in the media to do the rest. It works nearly every time. Published November 26, 2018

In this Feb. 1, 2017, file photo, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts prepares to speak at the The John G. Heyburn II Initiative and University of Kentucky College of Law's judicial conference and speaker series in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

It's not war, but a remarkable skirmish at the top

Politics is what Washington does, and denying it long ago became an art form, practiced by Democrat and Republican, conservative and liberal. There are a thousand ways to make the denial, some more eloquent than others. None are particularly believable. Published November 22, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

A newer, hungrier kind of Democratic radical

Nobody is as insignificant in the Washington pecking order as a freshman member of Congress just off the turnip truck and into a maelstrom of ignorance and uncertainty all about him. One member of a freshman class of not so long ago recalls arriving at Reagan National Airport, finding his way through the terminal maze to curbside, and hailing a taxi. Published November 19, 2018

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a press conference inside 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)

The politicians are having it tough in Old Blighty, too

Britain and the envious Europeans are discovering that breaking up is hard to do, particularly when the Europeans want to keep the house, the car, the bank account and give up only the kids. The particulars of the deal were written by the British themselves, so you might not understand why any of them wouldn't like it. Published November 15, 2018

Brenda Snipes. (Associated Press)

A little corruption greases the wheels

Americans are an impatient lot. Given a choice between corrupt and incompetent, we're likely to choose corrupt. Both corrupt and incompetent is rarely popular. Published November 12, 2018

Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of "PBS Newshour," takes part in a panel discussion during the 2018 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Doesn't anybody here respect us journalists?

The snowflake disease is catching. Donald Trump, of all people, tried to teach a couple of White House reporters a little needed manners this week and you might have thought he had repealed the First Amendment with an executive order. Published November 8, 2018

Maxine Waters   Associated Press photo

So long to the end of the beginning

Just as soon as they get the dead carried out we can dispense with the last rites and continue the election that counts most. Ready or not, like it or not, the 2020 presidential election campaign begins this morning. Published November 5, 2018

James Carville (Associated Press) ** FILE **

But is it still 'the economy, Stupid'?

We're about to see whether James Carville, the dark genius of Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns, knew what he was talking about when he posted the famous warning to the Clinton campaigners in the war room of campaign headquarters in Little Rock: "The economy, stupid." Published November 1, 2018