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I FOUND ELLIOTT NEGIN’S “How the Bomb Was Spun” (8/18) an interesting editorial, but I failed to see how Negin’s use of quotation marks around the word “historian,” used to describe Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s professional qualifications, advanced his cause. The facts are that Gingrich does have a Ph.D. in history, taught history at the college level, and has published in refereed journals in the field. He is a historian (a fact). Not a “historian” (implied snicker).
I can only surmise that “journalist” Negin was trying to denigrate Gingrich by his editorial use of quotation marks. Since Gingrich does qualify as a historian, the only person Negin denigrated by his sophomoric implication is himself. If Negin regularly uses such stunts, I find it improbable that he has the credibility to objectively seek the truth concerning journalism, and should therefore be disqualified from critiquing the Washington Post or editing anything for American Journalism Review. Perhaps his attempt to set the record straight about the Post‘s coverage came from some crapulous idea that he knows what is “right.”
In the meantime, I suffer from the continued wallowing of Washington City Paper in every leftward hermeneutic of pretty much anything. Negin’s piece, while informative, was in the end just more leftist carping. If the Post drifts rightward, as Negin fears, perhaps City Paper might also occasionally catch the breeze—in the interest of promoting Negin’s apparently sacred unstifled debate. Considering that the best City Paper can do is send running-dog ideologues like Negin to critique the ideologues at the Post, it could only be an improvement.
Arlington, Va., via the Internet