Referring to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the estimable Hugh Hewitt has asked us to clean up our own backyard. We long ago quit reading the Star Tribune’s editorials. Our pain threshold simply isn’t that high. As Rocket Man says, there are limits to what duty compels.
As I met or spoke with the editors at the Strib over the years — Susan Albright, Kate Stanley, Jim Boyd, Dave Hage, et al. — I was struck by their lack of knowledge regarding most of the issues they opined about, their lack of interest in the coherence of their own arguments from one day to the next, their lack of intellectual integrity, their willingness during the Clinton years to convert today’s White House talking points into tomorrow’s editorial, their refusal ever to articulate honestly a serious argument contrary to their own position, their sheer bullying use of their bully pulpit (remember the case of Dan Cohen, among many others), and their refusal to admit a contrary voice to their numbers. Rudy Boschwitz notes that their unanimity is handy because it makes the editorial board meetings so much shorter.
A few years back I saw them misuse the power of their political endorsements against a black DFL Ramsey County District Court judge, former University of Minnesota Gopher basketball player Walter Bowser. One of the board’s female editors asked Judge Bowser a few hostile questions by telephone and wrote an editorial endorsing the woman lawyer who was running against him on utterly bogus grounds. You have to understand the priorities.
For a golden example of the sickeningly dishonest essence of the Strib’s editorials on the issues of the day, see this morning’s editorial on North Korea: “North Korea/US needs to open bilateral talks.” According to the Strib, “Bush helped precipitate this crisis by taking a hard line on North Korea from his first days in the Oval Office.” I guess history begins with the Bush administration, and President Bush’s hard line has not been vindicated by events.
North Korea — the Strib does not see fit to mention the name of Kim Jong Il, only that of President Bush — is guilty of “flirting” with nuclear weapons and of “obnoxious behavior.” And the “solution” to the crisis is the promise of goodies by the US: “North Korea needs to hear directly from the United States that it must end its flirtation with nuclear weapons, its export of dangerous missile technology and its generally obnoxious behavior if it wants additional food and fuel aid, economic development help and normalized relations with the United States. All those things should be on offer when Americans and North Koreans sit down to begin talking with each other.”
See, children, those goodies provided by the Carter/Clinton brigade were working like magic until President Bush took office in 2001. All we need to do is go back to the good old days when Tinkerbell conducted US foreign policy. Today’s crises have no connection to history before January 2001.
Hugh Hewitt is the anti-Strib. His WorldNetDaily column today not only provides the historical context to today’s crisis, it cites evidence and refers the reader to related material that bears on his argument: “The cost of Clinton’s policies.”
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