On Oct. 3, the Sunday opinion page of the New York Times (a newspaper that has identified itself as "All the News That's Fit to Print") published a column by Frank Rich.
Among other things, columnist Rich:
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- identified the woman nominated by Delaware Republicans to the U.S. Senate as an idiot: "The very useful idiocy of Christine O'Donnell."
- also called her "the brightest all-American media meteor since Balloon Boy."
- wrote, "[S]he's more than willing to play the role of useful idiot for her party."
- opined that "Christine O'Donnell, Tea Party everywoman, ... just may be the final ingredient needed to camouflage a billionaires' coup as a populist surge."
Mr. Rich has therefore twice contended that the Small-Wonder State Republican voters' choice for U.S. Senate is endorsement of idiocy.
Is that really "Fit to Print"?
Or is this defamation masked as political comment not a major departure from "News Fit to Print" as well as a major reason for dwindling New York Times circulation?
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Senate nominee O'Donnell has been "slandered repeatedly," observed American Spectator editor and syndicated columnist Emmett Tyrrell, who went on to note:
- "The liberal opposing her [Chris Coons] has been given the proverbial free ride."
- "She 'dabbled' in witchcraft in high school, she tells us. He may have studied it in grad school along with other pseudo studies. Yet he is stonewalling, while the press pillories her. No one objects save talk radio."
- "The Democrat is Chris Coons, the county executive of New Castle County, and his record gets more bizarre as the weeks pass. As a college student he converted from some kind of conservatism to some kind of far-left enthusiasm. He described himself as a 'bearded Marxist' upon returning from Africa and reporting his enlightened transformation in the student newspaper. Now the mainstream liberals are covering up for him. The Washington Post reports that he 'spent time in South Africa and Kenya doing relief work,' but is mum on his Marxism."
- "Coons assured the Yale Divinity School's Notes from the Quad that serving in the Senate would be a 'great way for me to apply the principles and values that were honed at YDS.' Mr. Coons got a Master of Arts in Religion in 1994, specializing in ethics. He learned a lot. … [D]o you know what was being taught at the Yale Divinity School when Mr. Coons was there as a graduate student? Witchcraft! Had Christine been a bit older and presumably sophisticated she could have attended classes with Chris and been taught witchcraft by scholars. Perhaps she could have earned a Ph.D. in the mysteries of reading chicken entrails. Along with classes in witchcraft, there were classes in Queer Worship and Feminist/Womanist/Gendered Theologies, and, in the Introduction to Christian Ethics II, there was Black Liberation Theology, a study Coons first picked up in Africa. Were the 'values' taught in these classes among those absorbed by Coons at YDS?"
- "If O'Donnell has had a bad hair day it is reported in the press. But Coons' Marxism is at best treated as a joke. His promise to apply the values he learned at YDS does not even call into question what those values might be. Queer Worship? Feminist/Womanist/Gendered Theology? Black Liberation Theology? Witchcraft? The press is too busy digging up dirt on O'Donnell."
- "Yet there is hope. Hannity, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh are on the case. Maybe even Fox News will take an interest. Yet do not expect the liberal media to engage in fair and balanced coverage of the Senate race in Delaware. Fairness is utterly alien to them, which is another reason there is such a reaction building among the American electorate. Fairness is an American value."
And let me add: There is even further hope in the fact that unlike so many Democratic congressmen running for election who have not invited Obama to campaign for them, Coons of Delaware has.