Jewish World Review May9, 2012/ 17 Iyar, 5772
The dirtiest campaign?
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Every presidential campaign seems more vicious than the last, probably because it's happening right now, and the public has had four years to forget the slings and arrows of the last one.
Impressions differ. Some of us can't remember a presidential campaign that wasn't characterized by personal attacks.
Recall the phony letter that
Of all the labored quips Mr. Rather liked to throw into his newscasts, the only phrase of his that may be remembered is his strange defense of that scurrilous letter as "fake but accurate." That's funny, all right, but not intentionally.
A fixture of the evening news and anointed successor to Saint Walter (Cronkite), Mr. Rather will be remembered as the talking head who fell for a highly questionable story. And broadcast it far and wide.
How sad. A legend in his own time,
After all those years of real bravery and empty bravado, scoops true and false, his obituary -- may he live to 120 in good health -- will begin with a reference to this phony story. Oh, the things we do to ourselves when we grow full of ourselves.
Then there was the campaign against
And what about the accusations against
It is the job of a vigilant, independent press to check out all such exposes -- true, false and mixed. It's a dirty business but somebody has to do it. There are those who would keep the press from digging into such unseemly matters. But should we fire the garbage collectors as long as the rest of us keep producing the stuff? Somebody's got to sort it all out and clean the place up.
This year's wave of rhetorical trash has only begun to arrive ashore. The only way to approach it is with a skeptical eye -- and with patience, endurance and the faith that truth will prevail in the end despite all the odds.
Come to think, it's not just the quadrennial hullabaloo of a presidential campaign that requires patience, endurance and faith, but life itself.
Strength. This presidential campaign has just begun.
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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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