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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: At the top of the televangelist's game

Barack Obama did what he does best. Billy Graham once said Bill Clinton could make a great evangelist, but Bubba's not a patch on this president. Mr. Obama early on mastered the cadence of the black church - dropping his voice on the last word of the sentence to make the listener pay attention - and he understands the power of language. He speaks great prose. He understands that a televangelist concentrates on sales, not substance. Published September 11, 2009

PRUDEN: A crucial week for Obama's teleprompter

This is a big week for the president's teleprompter. He's first taking it across the Potomac for a speech urging schoolchildren to wash their hands, study hard and stay in school. Published September 8, 2009

PRUDEN: Slip-siding toward nasty Sept.

First-term presidents, like congressmen on the run and baseball teams contending for the pennant, have to get serious after Labor Day. They're all running out of the margin where mistakes are not always fatal. Published September 4, 2009

PRUDEN: Force-feeding sauce to haughty ganders

What this country needs, in addition to the good five-cent cigar, is a simple amendment to the Constitution decreeing that every law enacted by Congress will apply to members of Congress in the way it applies to everyone else. Published September 1, 2009

PRUDEN: Celeb grief to save Obamacare?

Nobody does celebrity death like the Americans. The British are capable of spectacular one-shot descents into commercial grief; the ceremonial burial honors for Princess Di couldn't be duplicated anywhere. Where else is there a backdrop like Westminster Abbey? But only in America can a celebrity's death be a good career move. Published August 28, 2009

PRUDEN: More chickens home to the roost

This is no way to treat kinfolks, but cousins don't always count. Napoleon described England as a nation of shopkeepers, and shopkeepers are always on the scout for opportunities to pinch a penny. Published August 25, 2009

PRUDEN: A dread disease, no known cure

Somewhere betwixt swine and swindle, we've got a flu crisis. Well, maybe not a real crisis, or even a semi-convincing phony crisis, but the government is working on it. What we have, actually, is a crisis of hysteria promoted in certain government precincts. Published August 21, 2009

PRUDEN: Finding no buyers for snake oil

Master politician that he is, Barack Obama is a lousy calculator. He spectacularly misjudged the American public's appetite for a government nanny. Or maybe he miscalculated the power of his slippery tongue to sell government snake oil. Published August 18, 2009

PRUDEN: Life's confusing beyond Bubble

Congressmen (and women), with due apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald, are different from you and me. Privilege makes them soft where life teaches the prudent to be hard, cynical where their constituents must be trustful. Published August 14, 2009

PRUDEN: Recycling the contempt

Recycling is so popular that even our congressmen, unaccustomed as they are to practicing what they preach, do it. They're reaching back into the dark past to recycle contempt. Never waste a crisis, even if you have to manufacture the crisis. Published August 11, 2009

PRUDEN: Kim Jong-il plays 'Let's make a deal'

Bubba always lands on his feet. This time his size 12s landed on Page One, which he regards as his permanent natural home. He put Hillary in his shade as well, a genuine twofer. Published August 7, 2009

PRUDEN: Peddling the Edsel when nobody's buying

Congress is getting an earful about Barack Obama's health care "reform," but before August is out, nobody's ears will be big enough to hold it all. Not even the president's. Published August 4, 2009

PRUDEN: An old dog keeps his teeth

No wonder the Democrats are dazzled, frazzled and confused. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are sitting on enormous majorities, but they're at the mercy of an obscure conservative congressman from rural Arkansas and a tiny band of Democratic dogs, some blue and some ol' yaller posing as the more fashionable blue. Bow, wow. Published July 31, 2009

PRUDEN: A teaching moment in class warfare

Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his friends - first among them President Obama - think the most celebrated arrest since Sacco and Vanzetti was all about race. Published July 28, 2009

PRUDEN: The bigger the talk, the harder the fall

If Barack Obama really can walk on water, why is he standing hip deep in baby alligators? He's learning the oldest lesson in Washington, that presidents come to town thinking "nothing succeeds like success" and learn sooner than later that "nothing recedes like success." Published July 21, 2009

PRUDEN: 'Wise Latina' routs gang of white men

Judged against the standard of the U.S. Senate, maybe Sonia Sotomayor has a point. "A wise Latina" certainly came across smarter than most of those white men on the Judiciary Committee. Published July 17, 2009

PRUDEN: Franken, a clown for all seasons, arrives in time

We've never had an Official U.S. Senate Pornographer before, though pornographic behavior is frequently the entertainment provided to the public by the world's oldest deliberative body. So Al Franken, the answer to Harry Reid's prayer, should fit right in. Published July 14, 2009

PRUDEN: Ministry of Apology would cure all ills

What the country needs now is a new bureaucracy to manage the growing appetite for apologies, amends and remedies for various other slights. The apology could be the lasting legacy of Barack Obama. Published July 10, 2009