George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.
Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.
Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.
Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who scored the first basket in the history of the league that evolved into the National Basketball Association, died last week at age 94.
It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.
How far the PA will go to present the lie as the truth and the truth as a lie? Its claim that Jesus was a Palestinian is old hat. But now the “resurrection” also refers to “the Palestinian state.”
The late Michael Kelly was a brilliant writer and editor (The New York Times, Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic) who coincidentally happened to be an American patriot and a strong supporter of Israel – a combination not commonly found in the circles in which he traveled.
Even as he left office in January 2002 on a note of unprecedented triumph and popularity, the tone of the New York Times’s editorials and most of its news coverage was startlingly jaundiced.
Koch became a chronic – some would say compulsive – critic of Giuliani.
Al Gore has been in the news again, and even some of his biggest admirers are upset with Gore’s decision to sell his Current TV cable network to Al Jazeera, which is owned by the oil-rich Islamic monarchy of Qatar, for $500 million.
Ehud Barak may or may not be out of Israeli politics for good, but his recent resignation announcement reminded the Monitor of just how much the man had been willing to give up to Yasir Arafat at the tail end of Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Roughly 30 percent of those Jews who had voted for Reagan in 1980 went for Mondale in 1984.
With all the media attention paid to the recent 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympic massacre, another anniversary – this one related to something far more consequential in terms of Israel’s history – slipped by relatively unnoticed.
The charade is played out every evening on election day. Television news anchors and beat reporters, on local stations and the networks, come on the air full of breathless anticipation, seeking to build an atmosphere of nail-biting uncertainty.
Several years ago the Monitor ranked the U.S. presidents (from Truman through Clinton) in terms of their relationship with Israel. Since then, readers occasionally have asked whether time and added perspective have had any effect on the list and where Barack Obama would place on it.
A new biography of the late Walter Cronkite has forced even admirers of the iconic CBS anchorman to reassess the man long held up as a paragon of journalistic ethics and objectivity.
Wright, Klein writes, “became far more than a religious and spiritual guide to Obama; he was his substitute father, life coach, and political inspiration wrapped in one package. At each step of Obama’s career, Wright was there with practical advice and counsel…. It would be no exaggeration to say that Jeremiah Wright…prepared him to run for president.”
About a decade ago the Monitor recommended a bunch of books on U.S. presidents and the Middle East and then updated the list a few years later. With interest in the 2012 presidential race heating up, another look at the list seems in order.
A good portion of the reliably liberal mainstream media had soured on Barack Obama once his historic 2008 ascension to the presidency gave way to a mostly lackluster performance when he actually moved into the White House.
Mike Wallace died earlier this month at age 93, and while some may find it preferable to focus on the positive when speaking or writing about an individual on the occasion his passing, the Monitor had little good to say about Wallace while he was living, so why start now?