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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 27, 2010 / 13 Iyar 5770

What Slick Willie knows about civility and the betterment of society

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Add one more name to the list of politicians past and present who are champions of civility — for the other guy.

Last week, Bill Clinton gave a series of interviews in which he warned against the kind of rhetoric that demonizes the country's leaders. No doubt the lecture was well received. After all, who could be against civility?

Anybody who wants to be a popular opinionator need only echo popular opinion. It's the surest route to avoid saying anything of substance.

But the true artist in these matters will use a popular theme to advance his own partisan cause. As when a politician comes out for being civil while leaving the impression the opposition isn't. He demonizes the other side by accusing it of … demonizing others. Slick.

I can't recall Bill Clinton's ever appealing for civility when it was George W. Bush who was president and target-in-chief. Even though that president was called every name in the book and then some.

Ever see those posters depicting W. in Nazi uniform, complete with a Hitlerian mustache? Somehow those assaults on his character, policies and everything else about the man never aroused the kind of concern in politically correct quarters that is now routinely expressed when Barack Obama is being trashed.

The gifted partisan will address his call for civility mainly to those on the other side of the partisan divide. There is a standard conjugation in these matters: I engage in robust political discourse, you're being manifestly unfair, they lack all civility.

Nevertheless, there is something endearing about Bill Clinton when he turns all boyish innocence, and starts appealing for civility. Some folks are charmed by it. (There's one born every minute.) Maybe he's seen the light. Doesn't he deserve the benefit of the doubt, still again?

But I'd be more trustful if, even while calling for civility, the former president didn't feel it necessary, when discussing Tea Party types, to throw in a comparison to the Oklahoma City bombing: "…we have enough threats against the president, enough threats against Congress that we should be sensitive to it. The 15th anniversary of Oklahoma City — I'm not trying to draw total parallels, I'm just saying we should be aware of this."

Letter from JWR publisher

Slick. A partial smear tends to be so much more effective than a whole one. It seems, if only seems, more like a fair and balanced judgment. The nod to fairness ("I'm not trying to draw total parallels…") lends a certain credence to what otherwise would be only bald and unconvincing propaganda.

That's why, when it comes to coloring the news, NPR's more muted approach is so much more effective than Fox's blatant biases, and why the New York Times' most effective editorials appear in the guise of news stories. (Its actual editorials tend to be as dull and unconvincing as they are predictable.)

The most effective partisans throw in an isolated criticism of their own side now and then in order to give the appearance, if only appearance, of fairness. They're really being about as fair as the notorious Fairness Doctrine, which succeeded in gagging broadcasters for decades, reserving the airwaves for respectably liberal opinions.

See the virtual monopoly someone like Walter Cronkite enjoyed for years before cable was unleashed and competing ideas given a chance to be heard.

There are few opinions that can't be attractively packaged and tied with a ribbon of authority by being called News Analysis. At least Fox and MSNBC do not disguise their biases, unlike news outlets like CNN and MSM (Main Stream Media) in general. Their oh-so-objective tone tends to obscure their highly subjective approach to the news.

Maybe those in charge of such networks are so deluded they think they have no prejudices. That's the most effective kind of partisanship — when partisans can convince themselves they're not.

The Wall Street Journal may have become the most respected paper in the country because it keeps its news and editorial departments so separate that readers may not realize that, if its news coverage has a bias, it's to the left — in striking contrast to its own editorial positions. Now that's integrity.

The least a partisan can do is admit he is one. It would be a nice change if now and then some prominent partisan would deliver an appeal for civility that isn't really just one more attack ad. Throwing in an occasional Clinton clause — "I'm not trying to draw total parallels" — does not fairness make.

Understand, I'm not trying to draw total parallels between Bill Clinton and the kind of smooth operators who use a high-minded appeal to pursue a low end. I'm just saying we should be aware of the possibility. (There. See how it works?)

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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