by Robert Morrison
August 25, 2011
I read in a recent issue of the Washington Post that the newspapers future is being firmly staked on going populist. (I scan the Post, dear reader, so you dont have to.) The column ran on the editorial page of the capitals hometown paper, so it must be important. The writer was Patrick Pexton. Ive never heard of this estimable fellow before, but Mr. Pexton is identified as the Ombudsman for the Post.
Now, an Ombudsman is someone hired by a newspaper to keep it fair, balanced, and not easily swayed. Ombudsman is a Swedish word, imported into our country by those dear Social Democrats who flock to book-signings by Garrison Keillor and who like to think of themselves as populists, not liberals. They think that taxing the people to keep NPR on the air is just another example of good government. Ombudsmen are people who cheer when they see you putting out your re-cycling bin. Shoveling public monies for their pet projects is something they regard as populist, a shovel-ready project if ever there was one.
I was intrigued by the idea of the Washington Post going populist. Does that mean that former Post editor Ben Bradlee will hold his 91st birthday party in, say, Williamsburg or Annapolis, instead of where he held his 90thin the plus chic Ile de Re, off Frances Atlantic coast? (What, Ben, has Marthas Vineyard become passe?)
Mr. Pexton assures us that the Post cant be a liberal or a conservative [newspaper]. It must be hard-hitting and scrappy and questioningskeptical of all political figures and parties.
Uh, the Post is not a liberal newspaper? You may have heard of this weeks earthquake in Washington. Nature herself must have hiccupped at the bald assertion that the Post is not a liberal paper. Is the Leaning Tower of Pisa leaning left or right? Well, it depends on where you stand. But everyone knows it leans.
Heres a little readers test of the Washington Posts self-proclaimed populism. Which of the following groups gets called in the Post what it calls itself: The Peoples Republic of China, the old Soviet Union, al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Marriage Equality, or the Pro-Life Movement?
The Posts Ombudsman may want to be populist, but not that populist. National Public Radio (NPR) caught a lot of flak from its liberal listeners when it dared to use the term pro-life.
NPR has an Ombudsman, too, a gentleman named Edward Schumacher-Matos. Last year, Mr. Schumacher-Matos wrote:
I checked with NBC, CBS, CNN, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer and not one of them uses the terms “pro-choice” or “pro-life.”
“We call them pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion rights because it’s the right to abortion that we’re talking about,” said Linda Mason, CBS senior vice president of news and in charge of standards. “What does pro-life mean? That leaves people scratching their heads.”
In their world, abortion is of course a right. And we should be taxed to pay for it, as we are under ObamaCare. So CBSs Linda Mason wouldnt dream of calling us pro-lifers we call ourselves. For them, abortion is not just a right; its a rite.
One of the reasons so many groups known to us simplistic types as terrorists get called, with all due respect, by the name they call themselves, is that they have a record of kidnapping journalists they dont like. They murdered the Wall Street Journals Danny Pearl and held FOX News Steve Centanni hostage until he agreed to renounce his Christian faith on camera.
Non-violent pro-lifers simply march on Washington every January 22nd We pray and sing and call for laws to protect innocent human life. Hundreds of thousands of us have come for thirty-eight years to petition for the redress of this grievous grievance.
Still the liberal media scratch their heads. Violence is not an option for pro-lifers. But registering, voting, and speaking out are options for us. Sometimes, we even get to laugh. Like when we read that the Washington Post is not liberal, but populist.