Three Cheers for John McLaughlin!
Jude Wanniski
January 13, 1997


Memo To: John McLaughlin
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: New York Times

Thank goodness for John McLaughlin! I thought I was dreaming when I read the front page Times piece by Adam Clymer, January 10. I've been reading the NYT since I was 13 years old, and I can never remember being as astonished at the placement and treatment of a story as I was with the "revelations" about Newt and the GOP House leaders. What was the source? Some citizen just happened to be surfing the ether on a police band and came across this particular conversation. The citizen had a tape recorder at his fingertips and thus happened to record the entire conversation after identifying Newt's voice. This anonymous wire-tapper, who I assume has been listening to Newt's conversations for an extended period of time, patriotically transcribed the conversation and had the presence of mind to get it into the hands of a congressional Democrat who is said to be "hostile" to Newt Gingrich. The Democrat rings up Adam Clymer, passes along his illegal wiretap, and the editors of the Times not only slap it on page one above the fold, but allow Clymer to spin the story in a way that suggests what readers will find in the transcript will demonstrate a prima facie case of dishonesty on the part of Gingrich. How is it that the senior wise men of the national press corps will permit this to happen without a murmur, but a man who has come to journalism late in life, you, understands what a disgrace this is? This was truly tabloid journalism.

Clarence Page and Eleanor Clift really should be ashamed to themselves. Is there no limit to the disgraceful behavior of Democratic partisans they will not routinely defend? At least, from time to time, I've seen Eleanor Clift think things through for herself and produce an opinion not available in the official party line. Clarence Page, I'm afraid, is hopeless. I can't remember him ever thinking for himself. Even his sneers are scripted, and he gets more predictable from one show to the next. There really isn't anything his color brings to the show, as he is so thoroughly indoctrinated by Democratic partisanship that he might as well be white. Look at Carl Rowan's column in the Post on Gingrich and you will see what I mean. Rowen has always been identified as a liberal Democrat, but his work is always from the perspective of a black journalist. You should have liberal and conservative journalists on your show who may identify with one party or the other, not Democrats and Republicans who pretend to be journalists.