Best Defense

Today’s Best Defense tip: Pay attention when columnists police their own side

Listen up, little grasshoppers, and I will pass on an insider’s rule of journalism: Always pay attention when a columnist goes after someone aligned with his own ideology. First, it tends to be well-informed. Second, it raises the credibility of the columnist, showing a willingness to police the views of his or her own side. ...

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Listen up, little grasshoppers, and I will pass on an insider’s rule of journalism: Always pay attention when a columnist goes after someone aligned with his own ideology. First, it tends to be well-informed. Second, it raises the credibility of the columnist, showing a willingness to police the views of his or her own side.

I mention this because I often disagree with the views of Michael Gerson, but was impressed by his mid-summer column dissecting the views of a confederate of Sen. Rand Paul who was into celebrating the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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