Cliff May

When I opened the Outlook section on Sunday, my letter wasn’t there. I approached the Post’s Ombudsman. I said that while this wasn’t a big deal, Post readers were misled about my position (though the respected blogger Paul Mirengoff at Powerline quickly and accurately sorted fact from spin for his readers). Shouldn’t the Post want to get the story right? She replied: “The author of the piece disagrees with your letter.”

I wrote back: “She maintains that I was indeed ‘won over’ … that I was persuaded and that I changed my views? How would she know that? And how could I be unaware of it? For her to be right, wouldn’t she need not just the skills of a reporter but also the powers of a psychic? And for me to be wrong, would I not have to be an amnesiac?”

Finally, in an effort to make an annoyance go away, I was informed that my letter probably would run on a Saturday “Free For All” page, a space where readers are permitted to figuratively stand on soap boxes and shout opinions, however cranky, bizarre or eccentric. I said I hardly thought that the appropriate way to correct a mischaracterization of views held by someone on a commission reporting to the White House.

Most readers of the Post’s Sunday Outlook section are unlikely to see my letter. They won’t know the whole story. But you do, and that’s some consolation.


Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.