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Bitterness, Hatred Blinding Many Journalists


Gregory J. Rummo

“The uncovering of mass graves, torture chambers and other evidence of a systematically brutal regime in Iraq hasn't deterred those who assert the war was all for naught. There are no weapons of mass destruction. Iraqis aren't really happy to be liberated. The war was illegal, unjustified, immoral. American postwar leadership is chaotic. Postwar Iraq is dominated by looters and closet Baathists.”

So began “21 Years of Solitude,” an editorial in the Review and Outlook section of the May 27 edition of The Wall Street Journal that detailed the last two decades in the life of Juad Amir Sayed, a Shiite theologian forced into hiding for 21 years by Saddam Hussein’s executioners.

He’s one of the fortunate ones. At least he’s still alive.

What is it that blinds the Paul Krugmans, the Molly Ivins and the other myopic columnists to the truth behind these stories? Why do they think it is their raison d’etre to hyperventilate every week in their columns about the “chaos” in Iraq and the “immorality” of the Bush administration for waging war while they conveniently ignore decades of atrocities at the hands of its former brutal dictator and his two maniacal sons?

It is an overarching hatred of George Bush that has robbed them of their ability to see clearly the events of history in the light of truth.

They just can’t stand it that he won the presidency, that he has achieved two significant victories in the war against terrorism on battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq while winning policy battles such as the recently passed tax cut here at home. What really has liberals seething is the president’s ability to remain unflappable. While they rage he simply ignores the criticism, presses on and accomplishes his goals.

The latest round of acrimony among leftist journalists was born in the bitter dregs of not getting their way in November 2000—the 8-year Clintonian love fest having come to an abrupt end in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Bitterness has been aptly described by the apostle Peter as a “poison.” The writer of Hebrews explained it is like a “root” that “caused trouble.” Who better to judge than these two “journalists” who, along with 38 other writers, were given the responsibility to cover The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Bitterness among the Bush-haters has led them to write vitriolic rants—purple prose containing little to stimulate the intellect. There's lots of heat and very little light. Word count is not important to these columnists. All they wish to elevate are the numbers that determine systolic over diastolic.

The premise is always the same—criticize ABD—“Anything Bush Does.” Often, the “facts” are spun so dizzyingly as to rival the best vomit machines at Six Flags. To know what’s coming all I need to read is the headline and the byline.

Here’s a sampling from columns that appeared last week:

From New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: “But the people now running America aren't conservatives: they're radicals who want to do away with the social and economic system we have.”

From syndicated columnist Molly Ivins: “Iraq is in chaos and apparently the only way we’ll be able to stop it will be to kill a lot of Iraqis. Just what Saddam used to do.”

Ann Coulter, commenting on the relentless Bush bashing writes, “In one of 4 billion columns attacking President Bush this year, Times columnist Maureen Dowd accused him of getting into Yale only because he was a legacy. She sneered at the argument of White House aides that Bush also earned a degree from Harvard Business School though no Bush family member went there. Dowd responded:
They seemed genuinely surprised when told that Harvard would certainly have recognized the surname and wagered on the future success of the person with it.’”

The press plays an enormously important role in a country with a democratic form of government. By holding elected officials’ feet to the fire, it makes them accountable. Sometimes this involves asking the tough questions and appearing confrontational.

But with a mostly liberal mainstream media and a popular conservative Republican in the White House, extremism is running rampant on the opinion pages of many newspapers, and in some cases, has spilled over to the front page.

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion—including columnists, who unlike reporters, are allowed to express theirs freely in their work. But many have stepped over the line of civility, and have allowed their bitterness and hatred to affect their thinking.

Paul the apostle, the author of a major portion of the New Testament, wrote, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”

Coming from one of the greatest “journalists” of all time, that is advice worth heeding.


Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at

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