The New York Times Comics

I used to subscribe to the New York Times, but now only get in on Sunday. The only reason I continue to have it delivered on Sunday is so I can continue to peruse it online during the week.

When I had it delivered daily, I felt obligated to read the damn thing, which meant subjecting myself to Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert and the execrable Paul Krugman. Now I just look at the headlines.

But still, I have to deal with that Sunday paper, which means the dreaded “week in review” section with the absurd Frank Rich and the self-righteous Nicholas D. Kristof.

Today’s “week in review” provides some good examples of how annoying the Times can be. First there’s a piece by Adam Liptak on the U.S. Attorney firings “scandal.” He writes:

Speaking to United States attorneys in 1940, Attorney General Robert H. Jackson, who later became a distinguished Supreme Court justice, said the power of the position is enormous and easily perverted.

“The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty and reputation than any other person in America,” Mr. Jackson said. That power, he said, must be shielded from politics and even from the Department of Justice.

Yes, I know Robert Jackson was distinguished. For example, he uttered the wise words, “The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” an idea that today’s “civil libertarians” ought to heed. But what I don’t get is if, as Jackson said, these prosecutors have enormous power over life, liberty and reputation (think Patrick Fitzgerald), then who’s going to restrain this power if not elected politicians who are at least answerable to the voters?

Frank Rich never fails to come up with just the right spurious tidbit. He quotes Bagdhad correspondent Richard Engel who now works for NBC, but must have been working for ABC at the time. Engel is one of the many thirty-something types who, after being thoroughly indoctrinated by their college teachers in post-60’s pacifism, now hold forth daily on the futility of war:

“Peter, I may be going out on a limb, but I’m not sure that the first stage of this Shock and Awe campaign is really going to frighten the Iraqi people. In fact, it may have just the opposite effect. If they feel that they’ve survived the most that the United States can throw at them and they’re still standing, and they’re still able to go about their lives, well, then they might be rather emboldened. They might feel that, well, look, we can stand a lot more than this.”

— Richard Engel, a Baghdad correspondent speaking to Peter Jennings on ABC’s “World News Tonight.”

I too may be going out on a limb, but despite the “shock and awe” label, the reality was a lot different. The fact is that the bombing campaign was a remarkable example of the surgical capabilities of the military and the administration’s desire to limit civilian casualties. The Times’ John Burns described going out after a night of bombing to find a building reduced to complete rubble next to another building without a window broken. The U.S. hardly threw “everything it had” at Iraq, which is why the war is still going on.

Finally, there’s Nicholas D. Kristof writing about Israel and quoting the Hashemite half-wit, King Abdullah of Jordan, addressing Congress this month:

“The wellspring of regional division, the source of resentment and frustration far beyond, is the denial of justice and peace in Palestine.” Though widely criticized, King Abdullah was exactly right: from Morocco to Yemen to Sudan, the Palestinian cause arouses ordinary people in coffee shops more than almost anything else.

Exactly wrong! As Mark Steyn pointed out recently, about a hundred Buddhists a month are murdered by Muslims in Southern Thailand. Yet there’s “no evidence” that the Thai government is currently occupying the West Bank. All around the world, it’s Muslims murdering Jews and Muslims murdering Christians and Muslims murdering Hindus and none of them (except for the Israelis) have anything to do with the plight of the Palestinians. But it is leftish dogma that “solving” the Arab-Israeli conflict is the key to world peace.

Now if we can only get some prosecutor, with the Javert-like zeal of Patrick Fitzgerald, to go after the New York Times for leaking classified information on NSA wiretaps – a far greater threat to national security than the “outing” of Vanity Fair Plame.

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