Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Tommy Denton -- "I'm Right. All My Friends Agree!"

Senior Roanoke Times' Editor Tommy Denton's weekly column often provides insight into the thought processes behind the paper's leftish slant, but rarely so much as yesterday. Denton's topic -- the dangers of an over-secretive government -- is one that all liberty-loving Americans must take seriously. But consider who Denton cites as support for his arguments.

First, Denton writes that the American Civil Liberties Union is involved in forcing the Bush administration to act in the "sunshine." Oh yes, the ACLU, that organization recently discovered to be violating the privacy of members and donors, not to mention its annual campaign to protect Americans from nativity scenes and creches, and force the Boy Scouts to accept homosexual leaders. Sure, we trust them.

Denton assures us the American Library Association likewise supports "Sunshine Week," though the ALA is known to be so left-leaning it won't condemn Castro. Well, maybe for smoking cigars.

Then Denton gives us this howler --

Leading the institutions trying to air out and deodorize the dankness of offical secrecy through the "Sunshine Week" project is the American society of Newspaper Editors...[as well as] various magazine and newspaper companies, academia and journalism organizations."

Oh, if newspaper editors, academia and journalism organizations say so, it must be true.

Denton ends his column with a quote from Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, one of the most partisan politicians now in Congress.

Good grief.

It's sad, but Denton's problem, as well as his newspaper's, is that he no longer possesses credibility, and it appears that part of the problem is that he listens only to people who agree with him. The Roanoke Times' sins of anger and spleen are coming back to haunt it. Blindly playing its game of Bush-hate, it's lost the ability to engage in reasoned discourse, preferring to listen to its worser angels. The Roanoke Times needs to diversify its intellectual base and listen to voices that disagree with it, not just those who support its views.

Or to paraphrase the words of the "WHO" song -- "Tommy, can you hear us?"