Although I get a lot of news online, I love to read real newspapers. You can linger forever on a particular page without getting eye strain, or you can physically flip it with gusto to show your contempt for what some editor thought should be holding your interest.
If you’re reading this online, that’s great. I do a lot of that, too, even on my iPhone. But in terms of tactile satisfaction, flipping beats tapping, at least for people born before the country turned into a sex-obsessed, Tim Burton nightmare celebrity blowout.
Anyway, after consuming a couple of real newspapers (The Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal) each morning, I peruse The Washington Post, which never fails to spark spirited flipping, which also saves time.
Recently, I especially liked flipping past the sentimental pieces about the squatters and their love lives at the Occupy D.C. trash dump, which the cops finally swept away at McPherson Square, just two blocks from the White House. I also enjoy, almost daily, skipping past goo-goo articles that run on for pages about some new plan to “save” public education.
Reading The Post is like wading through weeds in a neglected garden. You can find some real news and information springing up like wildflowers, and even some good writing from the likes of Charles Krauthammer or George F. Will, but you have to plow through acres of politically correct articles and some trash. I really don’t care about Snooki’s weird cravings.
Last Sunday’s edition showed why sensible people read The Washington Post with a grain of salt at the ready. Some might even keep a roll of Tums handy, but I do not, as I am made of stern stuff.
The Outlook section, which occasionally features a genuine conservative but more often features fake conservatives who trash their peers, had a half-page column about Ronald Reagan on the day before the Gipper’s 101st birthday: “What would Ronald Reagan do? Who cares.”
The subhead said, “Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett says the GOP candidates should get over Reaganomics.”
Well, everyone has a different way of celebrating Mr. Reagan’s considerable achievements. The Post’s way is to give space to an apparently disgruntled former Reaganite who assures us that Mr. Reagan’s historic economic boom was time-bound and “not appropriate today. … Those who say otherwise are engaging in cookie-cutter economics.”
This contrasts with The Washington Times’ Commentary section the next day, which ran three pro-Reagan pieces on its front page, two of which summarized the new report about Reagan’s economic and domestic policies from the Carleson Center for Public Policy, titled “The Reagan Resolve.” OK, I wrote one of the pieces, but the other was by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who reminds us that Reagan succeeded because he applied timeless principles, not because of expedient departures from those principles.
Getting back to the Sunday Post, the Metro section had a four-column color photo feature on - what else - the Post’s favorite “cause.” The photo was of two lesbians raising children, and the story was about the District of Columbia’s plunge into miseducating schoolchildren in the name of stopping bullying. The headline over the photo was, appropriately, “Redefining family.”
As if that weren’t enough of a shot at marriage, an article from Slate in the Post’s business section was headlined, “How a boom in divorces could boost the economy.”
The writer, Matthew Yglesias, made the case that a recovering economy will lead to more marital breakups as couples feel they can afford to get a divorce. Others might lament this collateral damage from prosperity, but not Mr. Yglesias. Here’s his last paragraph:
“And each new household carries with it not just a home, but appliances, furniture and other durable goods. An income boost, in other words, could create a wave of household formation that drives nationwide incomes even higher. That’s why I, at least, will be rooting for more marriages to fail in 2012.”
Oh happy days.
Going back to Outlook, the lead column was, “Romney is the right’s cup of tea after all.”
Mind you, this was before Rick Santorum’s blowout victories two days later in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota. But before that reality check, writer Theda Skocpol was able to assure us that “the former governor is the tea party’s stealth candidate.”
Somebody had better tell the Tea Partyers who the Post thinks should be their favorite candidate, because they don’t seem to have gotten the memo.
Now, please excuse me. I have to wash some ink off my fingers and roll up a certain paper for use in the fireplace. Ah. That’s more like it.
Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.