A Day in the Life of a Liberal Op-Ed Page: 'Mourn, Don't Celebrate the 4th'

Readers of these columns might have noticed that I occasionally include at the foot the fact that I live in 'the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY.' To give you a flavor for what I'm talking about, consider today's op-ed page in my hometown daily, the Ithaca Journal. The Journal is a Gannett newspaper. That's the chain [led by USA Today] that, as I've documented, chose as a news editor someone who believes calling VP Cheney 'Satan' makes for the best commencement speech ever.

Back to this morning's Journal. There are two op-eds, by current or former area residents, and two letters to the editor. Let's have a look. First, an op-ed defending Iran's right to acquire nuclear weapons and accusing the United States of 'terrorism'.

Excerpts: "Given that Iran has been demonized by the U.S. for 25+ years . . . can we not understand why it wants to defend itself?" The piece goes on to allege: "The immoral reliance on militarism has fueled the U.S. Empire and terrorism since WW II." By the way, the author, John Marciano, is a professor emeritus at nearby SUNY Cortland.

On the eve of July 4th, the Journal chose this 'patriotic piece' as its other op-ed of the day: "Mourn, Don't Celebrate, this Independence Day." Excerpt really unnecessary, but, just for the record, the column:

  • Claims the Bush administration is "attacking the Constitution."
  • Compares "Bush's rule" to that of a "dictator."
  • Analogizes the USA of today to the rise of [can you guess?] . . . Hitler.
  • Encourages people to carry flags upside down in July 4th parades.

The two letters to the editor are in the same vein. The first, entitled "We're Not Stupid, W" accuses Republicans in general and W in particular of "cheap political tactics" in a "feeble attempt to mask the impotence of himself and the Republican party."

The other letter accuses Bush of lying over the gay marriage debate, somehow associates the president with people holding vulgar signs at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, and ends by claiming the president is engaging in "cheap political exploitation."

See what I mean?

Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle.' Contact him at mark@gunhill.net

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