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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

Sen. Dianne Feinstein. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

A little sanctimony in the Senate

Asking a U.S. senator for his views on morality is the ultimate fool's errand. As the innkeeper of "Fawlty Towers," the British sitcom, was fond of saying in moments of neighborly frustration, "you might as well ask the cat." Published May 10, 2018

Former Secretary of State John Kerry. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

John Kerry's 57 varieties of mischief

John Kerry has spent all his life getting things wrong. He came home from the war in Vietnam to trash as war criminals the men with whom he wore the colors. Published May 7, 2018

Dr. Joseph Goebbels, German minister of propaganda, addresses the 28th Brigade of Storm Troopers in the Lustgarten, Berlin on Aug. 26, 1934, before the demonstration at Coblenz. (AP Photo) ** FILE **

When there was no crying in the newsroom

Everybody wants to be a snowflake, now including even newspapermen. There's nothing inherently wrong with something called "World Press Freedom Day," but journalism has always been a contact sport. That's what made freedom of the press one of the best ideas the Founding Fathers ever came up with. Published May 3, 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Associated Press)

The Iran nuclear deal begins to crumble

These are not happy days for the liberals, or progressives, or Democrats, or whatever they're calling themselves this week as, one by one, they stink up the familiar labels we've all used over the years. Published April 30, 2018

Jefferson Davis

When it's finally a friendly 'adios' to California

South Carolina and California don't seem to have a lot in common. South Carolina is small, prosperous, and cohesive, and California is large, all but bankrupt, and talking about splintering into an undetermined number of pieces. Published April 26, 2018

In this April 21, 2018, file photo, people watch a TV screen showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. The signs read: "North Korea says it has suspended nuclear tests." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

A summit imperiled by Rocket Man's travel tribulations

"Just getting there, as Cunard once boasted of transatlantic crossings by ship, "is half the fun." The Atlantic is still there, but ocean liners are not, and almost the only way to cross the ocean sea now is by air. That's no fun at all. Dining aboard an ocean liner has been replaced by dining aloft, and you're lucky to get a pretzel or a stale cracker. Published April 23, 2018

Mike Pompeo. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The Democratic terror of a miracle in North Korea

Trying to spark a new romance, or even arrange a weekend tryst, is not always easy. It's impossible with the help of spectators eager to throw things, not orange blossoms but sticks and stones with sharp edges. But that's how Washington tries to conduct diplomacy, circa 2018. Published April 19, 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Still waiting for the garlic bullet

Donald Trump called James Comey a "slimeball," which is not a very presidential way to talk. But just this time we might have to forgive the president. James Comey really is a slimeball. Just about everybody says so. Published April 16, 2018

Sarah Bernhardt. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Paul Ryan and the long goodbye

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has a difficult job. He has to spend a lot of time with congressmen, after all, and the typical congressman, Republican or Democrat, is composed of two pounds of ambition, three pounds of compressed gas and eight ounces of brains, stuffed into a one-pound bag. Who can deny him a hermitage in the Wisconsin wilds. Published April 12, 2018

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

Fear, loathing and John Bolton

If John Bolton frightens the nation's enemies half as much as he frightens Chicken Little and all the Democrats at home, all the strife, evil and deceit in the world will soon be history. Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un will lie down with the lion and not have to worry about being the midnight snack. Published April 9, 2018

Robert Mueller. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Robert Mueller, villain and breaker of hearts

Thousands of the readers of The Washington Post suffered strokes, heart attacks and an outbreak of social disease this week in the wake of its big front-page story that Robert Mueller, in hot pursuit of the president for lo! these many months, has informed Donald Trump's lawyers that the president is not, after all, "a criminal target." Published April 5, 2018

President McKinley

Running in hot pursuit of George Orwell

George Orwell is dead and gone, and more than a half-century has passed since he wrote "1984," but he would recognize America today. He was an Englishman (real name Eric Blair) who understood that no state is immune to human mischief. Published April 2, 2018

FILE - In this image released by ABC, Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman appear in a scene from the reboot of "Roseanne," premiering on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST. For the reboot, Roseanne will be at odds with her sister Jackie, played by Laurie Metcalf, over President Donald Trump. Barr said she thought it was important to show how the Conner family deals with the same issues many American families are facing. (Adam Rose/ABC via AP, File)

Hollywood gets a few lessons in storytelling

The grassroots keep sending messages to Hollywood, but usually nobody's home. Oblivious to real lives outside the California bubble, the masters of the fanciful, the absurd and the bizarre wouldn't read the message, anyway. Published March 29, 2018

This image released by CBS News shows Stormy Daniels, left, during an interview with Anderson Cooper which aired on Sunday, March 25, 2018, on "60 Minutes." (CBS News/60 Minutes via AP)

All flash and no flesh: The Stormy Show

The mountain huffed and it puffed, and roared with promises of revelations that would shake the foundations of the republic. Or at least make the lights flicker. All it produced was a scrawny little mouse: Donald Trump is a vulgar womanizer, a pursuer of shady ladies with expensive lawyers and big boobs, and always on the make. Ho. Hum. Published March 26, 2018

The septuagenarian smackdown

This won't be "the thrilla in Manila," or the "rumble in the jungle," but "two clowns in a septuagenarian smackdown" should do more for the sweet science of boxing than anything since the two Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fights on the eve of World War II. Published March 22, 2018

Andrew McCabe. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

A hero only to a lynch mob

Only a few days ago Andrew McCabe was nobody's idea of a hero, except to James Comey and maybe Robert Mueller. They think Mr. McCabe, tarnished or not, cashiered or not as the deputy director of the FBI, purveyor of fibs, stretchers and lies with and without varnish, might still be useful to their campaign to bring down Donald Trump. Published March 19, 2018

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

One last dance with Hillary

There's scarcely a pundit, wise guy or blowhard at the end of the bar who hasn't sworn off Hillary Clinton, vowing that it's time to find something new to rant and rave about. Published March 15, 2018

Can California do what the Confederacy couldn't?

California has no cannon guarding San Francisco Bay, and it's not likely that anybody at City Hall would know how to use one if there were, but Jeff Sessions, the U.S. attorney general, nevertheless has some wise words along with his lawsuit against California's sanctuary cities seeking to nullify federal immigration law. Published March 12, 2018

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

The Democrats ponder a second McGovern fling

The silly season arrives early. Considerably more than a dozen prospective Democratic candidates for president in 2020 are lining up to talk about how they would dispatch the Donald to the island of discarded presidents. Published March 5, 2018