Emmett Tyrrell
WASHINGTON -- Last week a national treasure spoke. That would be Charles Krauthammer, syndicated columnist, television commentator and all around public sage. He also is a chess player.

Krauthammer noted that two months ago a petition bearing the signatures of some 110,000 tyrants was sent to the Washington Post -- from where did it come, I would like to know -- demanding that the Post discontinue publishing articles that deny global warming or -- who knows -- take even a skeptical view of global warming. Yet Krauthammer assures us that precisely a day later his column containing the exact heresy ran in the Post. So, apparently, the Washington Post, unlike the Los Angeles Times, will remain unintimidated by the global warmist tyrants, at least for now.

But their attempted act of coercion against a free press did occasion an extended discourse by Krauthammer on the American left's many attempts to control and even end debate on various public issues in America. Of course, liberalism has for decades pretty much controlled debate in America. Ever since Vice President Spiro Agnew spoke out against mainstream media bias 45 years ago, conservatives have made liberal bias a mainstay of their political complaints. The fact that liberals have been so unmoved by these complaints merely adds credibility to the conservatives' complaint.

It is not only in media that this left-wing bias reigns. In the universities, the biases of the left reign almost unchallenged. And through the universities, vast elements of our culture have a left-wing taint that is out of proportion to the left's political numbers. In the universities, government bureaucracies and the corporate world, left-wing bias overwhelms. As liberalism has been eclipsed in recent years by the more intolerant American left, the left's control of debate has merely strengthened, to the point where the left now dares to dictate to newspapers what can be written and when a debate is to be concluded.

Yet, all is not lost. In fact, the left's attempt to stifle debate is very gratifying to me. It indicates how powerful the opposition has become both in numbers and in influence. Conservatism is represented in newspapers -- for instance, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times -- in Fox News, in talk radio, and in periodicals both at the national level and state and local levels. Then there is the Internet. Maybe someday the tyrants will silence the Washington Post, but how will they silence the Internet?


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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