The mad search for pro-Trump colum­nists

Fail­ure to no­tice the ob­vi­ous is a symp­tom of de­nial

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. is ed­i­tor in chief of The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor. He is au­thor of “The Death of Lib­er­al­ism,” pub­lished by Thomas Nel­son Inc.

Over the week­end some pa­thetic wretch — ob­vi­ously a ca­su­alty of the Nov. 8 elec­tion — writ­ing un­der the pen name Paul Farhi, filed a col­umn in The Wash­ing­ton Post lament­ing that af­ter an ex­ten­sive search of the news­pa­pers of this great coun­try he could hardly find any pro-Trump colum­nists. Ac­tu­ally, he could not find any, not even among the alt-right, not even among the KKK or the Neo-Nazis with whom The Post has be­come so fa­mil­iar dur­ing this elec­tion year. Ap­par­ently, the pro-Trumpers are nowhere to be found.

Mr. Farhi wrote un­der the head­line “Pro-Trump Colum­nists Hard to Find.” He went on to con­fect a comic “want ad” for the miss­ing pro-Trumpers. Then he pro­ceeded with roughly a thou­sand an­guished words de­voted to the the­sis that “Ma­jor news­pa­pers, from The Wash­ing­ton Post to The New York Times, have strug­gled to find and pub­lish pro-Trump col­umns for months.” Yes, he (or maybe it is she) ac­tu­ally wrote, “for months.” Then he quoted ed­i­tors from news­pa­pers around the coun­try, in­sist­ing that they had been un­able to find a pro-Trump colum­nist. He even quoted the head of the “edi­to­rial depart­ment” of the Repub­li­can-lean­ing Ari­zona Repub­lic, Phil Boas. Mr. Boas said there was not even a pro-Trumper among the “tra­di­tional voices on the right.” The news­pa­per de­fied a 126-year record of Repub­li­can­ism to en­dorse Hil­lary. It could have done worse. The Chicago Tri­bune en­dorsed Gary John­son who, when asked about Aleppo, said, “What is Aleppo?”

Con­ser­va­tive colum­nists were cited, among them Ross Douthat and David Brooks. Ed­i­tors were quoted, The Times’ James Bennet and The Post’s Fred Hi­att. Noth­ing — no pro-Trump colum­nists any­where.

Now al­low me to sub­mit Mr. Farhi’s id­i­otic labors as still more ev­i­dence of an es­tab­lish­ment in its ter­mi­nal stages of de­cay. Thirty or more years ago, a sim­i­larly out-of-touch es­tab­lish­ment de­rided those of us who dis­agreed with them, say, by sup­port­ing Ron­ald Rea­gan’s can­di­dacy or by fa­vor­ing peace through strength. Now the present es­tab­lish­ment goes beyond de­rid­ing us. It ig­nores us. It claims to be look­ing for pro-Trump colum­nists but can come up with not a sin­gle one. As Frank Buck­ley, who ac­tu­ally writes a pro-Trump col­umn for the ap­par­ently in­vis­i­ble New York Post, says, “The es­tab­lish­ment still can’t fig­ure out what hap­pened on Elec­tion Day.” It got clob­bered in 2010, 2014 and 2016, but it re­mem­bers only 2012, the year Amer­i­cans could not turn their back on Barack Obama, though in 2016, they turned their back on his legacy.

Cu­ri­ously, Mr. Buck­ley and the New York Post were un­de­tectable by Mr. Farhi and his ed­i­tors. Nor did they de­tect The Wash­ing­ton Times or The Wall Street Jour­nal, where pro-Trumpers have ex­isted as they ex­ist on­line. That Mr. Farhi and his ed­i­tors can­not lo­cate the pro-Trumpers even for a horse­laugh is symp­to­matic of a se­ri­ous con­di­tion. They are suf­fer­ing from a psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tion called de­nial. They need help.

If he had taken the time to read these highly read­able com­men­ta­tors, Mr. Farhi would have come up with plenty of writ­ers who were fa­vor­able, or at least serene, to­ward Don­ald Trump, now the pres­i­dent-elect. For in­stance, at the New York Post he would have come across Seth Lip­sky and the afore­men­tioned Mr. Buck­ley. At The Wall Street Jour­nal he would have come across Bill McGurn and the inim­itable James Taranto. At the Good Times he would have met Wes Pru­den, Mon­ica Crow­ley and, dare I men­tion him, me.

As a mat­ter of fact, about the time that Mr. Farhi was pre­par­ing his fan­tasy, I was reread­ing my col­umns from the last few months, which were hero­ically pub­lished in The Wash­ing­ton Times, at Spec­ta­, and var­i­ous other places. I have not only been writ­ing a pro-Trump col­umn, but in at least a half-dozen, I pre­dicted Mr. Trump’s ul­ti­mate vic­tory. I made that pre­dic­tion for the last time one week be­fore Black Tues­day, Nov. 8. Why does not Mr. Farhi have a good laugh at my ex­pense?

In these col­umns I wrote about fly­ing with Don­ald on his cam­paign plane and cov­er­ing the cam­paign a la Teddy White. I weighed the num­bers in the forth­com­ing race. I com­pared Don­ald’s ro­bust re­sponse to Hil­lary’s fee­ble thrusts. In The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor, I also pub­lished writ­ers who boldly spoke up for Mr. Trump, in­clud­ing Es­ther Gold­berg, Jef­frey Lord, George Neu­mayr and, of course, Mr. Buck­ley. I even pub­lished anti-Trump pieces by such colum­nists as David Ca­tron, Ross Kamin­sky and Wil­liam Murchi­son. Our read­ers can make up their own minds. If Mr. Farhi’s ed­i­tors wanted pro-Trump writ­ers they could have called me. I have a tele­phone and I am avail­able via the In­ter­net.

In his col­umn, Mr. Farhi blub­bers on about what he calls “fake” news, pick­ing up a theme that has be­come all the rage with the es­tab­lish­ment. Sup­pos­edly, the lu­natic fringe is spread­ing news of con­spir­a­cies in the press and the right is es­pe­cially sus­cep­ti­ble. Well, I do not know about the right, but I have just writ­ten a col­umn about the fake news that Mr. Farhi and his kind spread. We shall see what the jour­nal­is­tic com­mu­nity does with it. I say they will ig­nore my claim that the New York Post and The Wash­ing­ton Times and The Wall Street Jour­nal ex­ist.


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