The responses are still coming in to last week’s Top 25 (alphabetical order) listing of “Media Friends” of Israel as nominated by the Monitor’s faithful readers. Most of you who’ve e-mailed or faxed your reactions agree with most or all of the names, though a number of readers were livid over the appearance on the list of long-time radio host Bob Grant (see this week’s Letters to the Editor section for a taste of their wrath).
Just a reminder to those who took issue with the inclusion or exclusion of this or that particular name and whose responses were a tad personal: This was not a listing of the Monitor’s personal choices, but the results of a reader poll. Take heart, though; you’ll get your chance to bash us next week with the appearance of the Monitor’s personal list along with some reflections on readers’ choices and comments.
A number of readers were curious about the identities of those who came close to making the Top 25. Fair enough. Some of the more prominent media types in the just-missed category were columnist Don Feder of the Boston Herald; Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard; radio talk show host Michael Medved; Brent Bozell of the Media Research Institute; Rich Lowry of National Review and Jay Nordlinger of National Review Online; Lawrence Kudlow of CNBC and National Review Online; John Leo of U.S. New & World Report; R. Emmett Tyrrell of The American Spectator and AmericanProwler.org; Martin Peretz of The New Republic; David Horowitz of FrontPageMag.com; and Tony Snow of Fox News.
An observation: The near-total absence of recognizable liberals from the names sent in should serve as one more indication that vigorous defense of Israel is found these days almost exclusively in the precincts of the right.
Before we get to the Top 10 vote-getters (all right, skip down for a quick glance and then return to this paragraph), here are a few comments from readers:
Henry Finkel (not, he assures us, the Henry Finkel who enjoyed a fleeting measure of fame as the Boston Celtics’ backup center in the late 1960’s and early 70’s) puts Rush Limbaugh at the top of his list. “Limbaugh,” Finkel writes, “has always been passionately pro-Israel, but never more than during the past five or six months as Israel came under increasing attack from Palestinian terrorists and European Jew-haters. And Limbaugh does not hesitate to criticize President Bush – whom he wholeheartedly supports – whenever he feels the president isn’t being supportive enough of Israel.”
Martin Holtzman of Palm Springs more than concurs with that assessment of Limbaugh. “He gave the best and most eloquent defense of Israel I’ve heard in years,” Mr. Holtzman writes.
Joyce Heller of Miami Beach is thrilled with George Will, who, she reminds us, has been defending Israel from its assorted enemies since he first began working as a columnist back in the mid-1970’s.
Will is also the top choice of Bernard Rosen, whose e-mail to the Monitor included helpful links to several recent columns by Will on Israel and the Middle East.
Ellen Singer’s list of nominations included Will and Top 25 finishers Steve Malzberg, Curtis Sliwa, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh.
Finally, the Top 10 vote-getters:
1: George Will
2: Rush Limbaugh
3: Cal Thomas
4: William Safire
5: Sean Hannity
6: Joseph Farah
7: John Podhoretz
8: A.M. Rosenthal
9: Michael Kelly
10: Charles Krauthammer
Jason Maoz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org