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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

PRUDEN: Steady descent into third world

Opening a can of worms always tempts a mischief-maker, but it's risky business. That can of worms might turn out to be a can of snakes, like Barack Obama's latest gift to the nation. Published April 24, 2009

PRUDEN: The insults were only for America

The president's critics ought to lighten up. We should give him credit for not knowing any better. (He was "finished" and "polished" at Harvard, after all.) Barack Obama is an accident of history, a street hustler from the South Side of Chicago with the gift of gab who landed on the world stage like a whale beached at the whim of a storm, the wrong man at the right time. Published April 21, 2009

PRUDEN: Hail the tea bag, weapon of terror

These are not your granny's tea parties. One tea party even panicked Secret Service bodyguards when a foolish tea-sipper threw a harmless tea bag over the White House fence. Published April 17, 2009

PRUDEN: No work here for Mr. Nice Guy

Barack Obama doesn't have much time to bask in the success of the Navy's rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama. The pirates vow to inflict brutal vengeance, all to put the fear of Allah into the civilized seafaring nations of the West. Published April 14, 2009

PRUDEN: The challenge on the bounding main

Just when we need Captain Bligh he's gone AWOL. The harsh and unforgiving skipper of HMS Bounty would make quick work of the Somali pirates. Published April 10, 2009

PRUDEN: Tickling with cheap flattery

Barack Obama may not be the Big Thinker his fans think he is, but his big-time groveling is impressive. We've never seen a presidential performance quite like his Groveling, Toadying and Apple-Polishing Tour of the Olde Countries. If this is Monday, this must be a mosque. Published April 7, 2009

PRUDEN: Obama discovers complicated world

Barack Obama's late education continues. He discovered in London that the world, like life, is "complicated." France and Germany threatened to gang up on "le Anglo-Saxons." The last president who marveled at how suddenly the world gets "complicated" after the election was Jimmy Carter. Published April 3, 2009

PRUDEN: Fleeing the dilemma for dilemmas abroad

Barack Obama has not been president for three months yet, and already he's exercising the presidential prerogative of packing up his teleprompter, his charisma and the first lady, and getting out of Dodge. When the going gets tough, the tough are eager to be gone. Published March 31, 2009

PRUDEN: Taking the show on the road

The president is aware not only that "it's the economy, Stupid," but he understands that Stupid can't think about two bad things at once. Worrying about where groceries come from is only human, and it helps close the sale abroad when Stupid is foolishly spending all his outrage on the AIG bonuses. Published March 24, 2009

PRUDEN: The faith healer's tent in tatters

Watching faith healers is fun, if you can overlook the pain and desperation in the eyes of the supplicants, and cheerfully endure the mosquitoes, gnats and other night bugs flying in tight formation through gaps in the tent flaps. You have to ignore reality and just enjoy the show. Published March 20, 2009

PRUDEN: A little stubble hints of trouble

Some of Barack Obama's friends are speculating that the honeymoon is over. We've reached that exquisite point in the marriage when the party of the first part and the party of the second part agree that the evening's honeymoon entertainment will be a movie on DVD and that anything spicy must come from room service. Published March 17, 2009

PRUDEN: 'Blaming the Jews' doesn't always work

It's getting crowded under that bus where President Obama throws the discards no longer useful to him. Fortunately, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is there to offer the last rites, this time for Charles W. Freeman Jr., may peace be on him. Published March 13, 2009

PRUDEN: Can't anybody here play this game?

Big mouths and ignoramuses have bedeviled presidents before Barack Obama, but he can actually write and sometimes speak sentences brimming with grammar and syntax. We're told he speaks prose with flawless fluency, particularly with a teleprompter. Published March 10, 2009

PRUDEN: It's a scary movie, but the plot is old

Woe is definitely us, woe laced with trouble, nurtured by tribulation and swathed in sorrow. Surely soon there will be a booming back-alley market in hemlock. Published March 6, 2009

PRUDEN: Back to a future fit for a serf

Miss Crow only wanted to do something in a modest way to save trees, proposing that everyone get only "four squares" of toilet paper per visit to "the ladies" (and presumably "the gents" as well). Published March 3, 2009

PRUDEN: A lively tale revives a capital mystery

History is bunk, old Henry Ford famously said, and it's true that a lot of what we're told is history is certainly bunk. "Movie history" can be bunker than most. The history we think we remember can be the bunkest of all. Published February 27, 2009

PRUDEN: A Flying Dutchman in pursuit of speech

Geert Wilders comes to town this week as Exhibit No. 1 of why the Europeans no longer matter. Even our British cousins, who not so long ago bristled at even being called Europeans, have abandoned their ancient traditions of free speech. Published February 24, 2009

PRUDEN: Nothing cowardly about good manners

Some nice white folks ought to invite Eric Holder home to supper. He's feeling neglected, though it's not quite clear why he would want to nibble on Russian caviar and sip French champagne, the routine fare of white folks, with "cowards." Published February 20, 2009

PRUDEN: The big bureaucratic chill

Buffalo in winter is a city that Al Gore should love. It's cold, dark and adrift in snow. Ice is the default setting. When fresh snow arrives even the television newscasters restrain the hysteria that's the mark of the television news trade. Al's global warming rants that the end is near fall on frozen ears in Buffalo. Published February 17, 2009