A liberal columnist’s brother begs to differ: Happy New Year, here comes 2010.
You just never know.
As with everyone else here in the Virtual Newsroom, 2009 has been a busy and productive year.
Liberalism is the gift that keeps on giving, the Obama Administration a veritable cornucopia of liberal fruits and nuts. Janet Napolitano’s assurance that “the system worked” is only the latest fruit of the nutty idea that the real problem in the world was George W. Bush. “There’s always some son of a bitch who doesn’t get the word,” John F. Kennedy once remarked at a particularly dicey moment of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Clearly would-be plane bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian of al-Qaeda descent, did not get the word that with Bush replaced by the soothing assurances of The One there was just no further need to blow up Americans.
But don’t worry, perhaps Secretary Napolitano can run health care.
On the other hand, it is always good to know that at least one member of the Dowd family of Washington, D.C. has gotten the word. More to the point, Kevin Dowd, conservative brother of the New York Times’ liberal columnist Maureen Dowd, not only gets it, he is not shy about making his point.
Sister Maureen seems annually aware the Times actually needs readers if it is to overcome its apparent urge to commit the journalistic equivalent of what the Japanese call sepuku. That would be hara kari (or hari kari, if you prefer), a ritual suicide which involves ripping oneself open with a dagger as defeat, disgrace, or death looms, something the Times repeatedly toys with when its news columns print liberalism instead of facts. The sharp blade of ideology, gleaming as it has ripped through the paper’s credibility, has sent readers fleeing to the Virtual Newsroom, where the likes of Kevin Dowd flourish as they reveal the facts behind a Van Jones or So We Might See or Kevin Jennings or ObamaCare or whatever, all of which is generally classified by readers as news the Times sees fit not to print. One can only spill so much credibility, the life-blood of journalism, before life as a newspaper fades and the world moves on, in this case perhaps from the NYT to the WSJ.
The Kevin Dowd column as a year-end stand-in for sister Mo comes to mind as we look back over 2009 and see what it is that stirred the most reaction from stories in this corner of the Virtual Newsroom.
Without doubt there were but two.
First was the “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being Maureen Dowd.”
It is not surprising that readers are not fond of liberalism, but the intensity and volume of reaction to this one column about Kevin’s sister Mo was a standout. The response was stunning in its fury with the liberal point-of-view, Ms. Dowd — or as we called her here “White Mo” (for her insistence on following the liberal obsession of judging others by skin color) — is seen to represent. It was clear that fairly or unfairly she has evolved in her career into a symbol of the haughty liberal elitism and double standards the Times itself has employed as it has relentlessly driven its readers away. Readers were downright gleeful in feeling White Mo had been delivered a comeuppance, with several going out of their way to say they had e-mailed the column directly to her. One self-identified (and anonymous!) Georgetown neighbor reported in that his or her small children, unaware of White Mo’s profession or politics, zing her as “the crazy lady.” Hmmm. I don’t think brother Kevin would approve of that, in spite of familial political differences, and in truth I don’t either. Yet it is perhaps a measure of the aura that liberalism casts even to the babes in Georgetown’s midst.
Next in line would be the response to the series of stories (here, here, and here) on the So We Might See coalition of seven major religious faiths, a group organized by my own United Church of Christ. There was something of a firestorm over this one, as would be expected at the revelation of collusion between a distinctly unholy trinity that involved churches, the FCC and George Soros’s money in what certainly appeared as a blatant effort to intimidate or shut down dissent as expressed by various talk radio and TV hosts. In particular, the effort to intimidate Rush Limbaugh with a petition to the FCC citing him for “hate speech” as well as support for efforts to remove CNN’s Lou Dobbs and Fox’s Glenn Beck from the air for the same reason ignited a fury with members of the denominations involved, notably Catholics, Methodists, and the Disciples of Christ.
All three faiths changed or halted their participation in the “Hate Speech Hurts” campaign, with the Catholic Bishops specifically refusing to go along with any perceived effort to personally target Limbaugh, Beck, Dobbs and Fox News star Bill O’Reilly.
In this instance, Lou Dobbs extended an invitation for me to appear on his CNN show (as well as his popular radio show) — which turned out to be his last CNN show. Mr. Dobbs has had an extraordinary almost 30-year career at CNN, and it certainly appeared that the CNN managers of the moment had shamefully allowed themselves to be intimidated by anti-free speech groups like So We Might See. Dobbs was nothing if not the gracious host that evening and has said he is considering his options for the future. The libel of bigotry against Dobbs, married to a Mexican wife, was indeed the libel of a good and decent man. We wish him all the best.
WHILE WE ARE ON THE SUBJECT of columns featuring Ms. Dowd and So We Might See, as the start of what will undoubtedly be a contentious election-year dawns, it is a good moment to bring up the old chestnut that is the subject of civility.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?