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A reader did not care for the item I posted a few days ago about Anne Wexler, the former Eugene McCarthy activist turned Fortune 500 lobbyist. (My item cited a critical piece about Wexler by Michael Kinsley.) Fredrick W. Jackson wrote:
Ken Silverstein has the gall to praise Michael Kinsley’s defamation of Anne Wexler in your publication. I always considered Kinsley an out of touch “arch” liberal (emphasis on the arch), but his Op Ed piece was a new low. Those of us who have worked with Ms. Wexler over the years value her leadership and friendship– and mourn her passing. A much better analysis of her life is found in Robert Barnett’s piece in Politico (or, for that matter, in any of the many other articles about her).
What is it about folks like Kinsley (and, obviously, Silverstein) who cannot stand the success of those who have made it through the mine field of politics and business with their integrity intact? I view him as a coward for waiting until her death to launch his tirade– I gather he feels she is guilty of consorting with the enemy. This presupposes that there are “enemies” in public debate, a very Nixonion concept. He fits right in with the Karl Roves and Sarah Palins of our world, where victory goes to the loudest screamer.
Kinsley cannot do Anne’s reputation any damage– he only hurts what is left of his own reputation. Please pass along to him my contempt for his way of viewing the world, and for his attempt to besmirch one of the “good guys”.
For my part, I still believe Wexler was utterly amoral, which is far worse than being immoral.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”