When a liberal hack wins the Pulitzer for commentary or editorial cartoons or news coverage promoting the left-wing party line, it is full of sound and fury signifying nothing but the left’s domination of the institutions conferring recognition and renown. When a conservative of some stripe wins a Pulitzer, it suggests (to me) that his or her undeniable excellence has overcome the resistance of the judges.
Such is the case, I believe, with the award of the Pulitizer Prize for commentary yesterday to the Wall Street Journal’s Global View columnist Bret Stephens. The New York Times’s Tom Friedman needs no help from Stephens in looking like a pitiful fool, but Stephens makes even more sophisticated liberals like the Washington Post’s David Ignatius look silly by contrast.
The Journal has posted Paul Gigot’s nominating letter and the selection of Stephens’s weekly 2012 Global View columns submitted to the Pulitzer judges here. In tribute to Stephens, Commentary has posted a selection of Stephens’s writing that it has published over the last several years. “These articles,” writes Jonathan Tobin, “like his award-winning columns in the Journal, speak to the breadth of his expertise and to the brilliance of his thinking.” (Beware the incessant Dove ad that descends after accessing the post.)
Not all of the pieces selected by Commentary are accessible without subscription. Among those that are accessible without subscription are the outstanding essays “Realists to the rescue?” (February 2007), “How to manage savagery” (September 2008), “They Syria temptation–and why Obama must resist it” (March 2009), “Born on the fourth of June” (June 2012) and “The coming global disorder” (October 2012).