In 2003, at the height of the Jayson Blair scandal that ultimately cost Blair and his editor, Howell Raines, their jobs at the New York Times, Stanley Kurtz wrote:
Howell Raines is not the real issue, and getting rid of Raines won’t solve anything. The problem is Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and he’s not going away. In his wonderful book, How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace), Harry Stein lays out the disturbing facts about “Pinch” Sulzberger. (Sulzberger’s father was nicknamed “Punch,” and the none too flattering nickname for Junior is “Pinch.”)
Pinch was a political activist in the Sixties, and was twice arrested in anti-Vietnam protests. One day, the elder Sulzberger asked his son what Pinch calls, “the dumbest question I’ve ever heard in my life.” If an American soldier runs into a North Vietnamese soldier, which would you like to see get shot? Young Arthur answered, “I would want to see the American get shot. It’s the other guy’s country.” Some Sixties activists have since thought better of their early enthusiasms. Pinch hasn’t. [emphasis mine–Ed]
In a moment of staggering irony and hypocricy, Pinch’s paper asks, “Where Are the War Heroes?”:
One soldier fought off scores of elite Iraqi troops in a fierce defense of his outnumbered Army unit, saving dozens of American lives before he himself was killed. Another soldier helped lead a team that killed 27 insurgents who had ambushed her convoy. And then there was the marine who, after being shot, managed to tuck an enemy grenade under his stomach to save the men in his unit, dying in the process.
Their names are Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester and Sgt. Rafael Peralta. If you have never heard of them, even in a week when more than 20 marines were killed in Iraq by insurgents, that might be because the military, the White House and the culture at large have not publicized their actions with the zeal that was lavished on the heroes of World War I and World War II.
Charles Johnson rhetorically asks, “Isn