View Full Version : Robert Novak---Leonard Pitts Speaks Out Against the Trashing on blogs

08-10-2008, 12:56 PM

I couldn't find the link in our local lib rag to this article (which was published in the editorial page of the STL Post Dispatch, so found this.

I don't always agree with Leonard Pitts, but certainly do in this case. He's speaking out against the trashing of our political adversaries. Too bad he didn't say where he found all the hateful comments about Novak.

Pitts: Novak's Illness Nothing To Celebrate

When the news broke a few days ago that Novak http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo/media/mug-leonardpitts.jpghad a brain tumor and would retire, I was not made prostrate by grief. What I felt was that whisper of common mortality, that sense of there-but-for-the-grace-of-God one usually feels when tragedy strikes someone who is known to you, but not too closely. I felt sorry for the man and for his loved ones. It did not occur to me to celebrate their misfortune. In this, I am evidently different from a number of observers who have infested Internet Web sites with exultation over the columnist's diagnosis/Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald. More here (http://www.sacbee.com/110/story/1137093.html).

He continues with the disappearing evil messages on the various boards.

In this, I am evidently different from a number of observers who have infested Internet Web sites with exultation over the columnist's diagnosis. To be sure, the majority of bloggers and posters even those offput by Novak's often brusque conservatism and abrupt personality have wished him well. But there has been no shortage of those who were unable to attain that level of grace. One calls Novak's fate evidence of God. Another calls him a scumbag. Still another claims this proves "Republicanism" is a mental illness. LOL, it says.

And then there's the message board of Novak's home paper, the Chicago Sun-Times, where whoever is in charge of deleting offensive content is surely working overtime to keep up with the invective. I managed to snag two of the messages before the censor got hold of them. One expressed the hope that Novak "suffers like the victims of his lies." Another said, "May he rest in pain." There is nothing new here. Similar responses attended the late Tony Snow's battle with the cancer. And Michael Savage, a barely housebroken radio personality, played a song by the Dead Kennedys when news broke that Sen. Edward Kennedy had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

The intention, I imagine, is to debase those with whom one has political disagreements. The authors of this sort of abuse evidently don't realize that what they really debase is themselves and political discourse as a whole.

This is my favorite paragraph, after Pitt recalls the relationship of Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill, who could do battle on political issues, then go have a drink together.

That's the mentality you're seeing here politics as war and it is not pretty. The thing is, there are truths above politics and one of them is that you do not laugh at the other guy's tragedy. How estranged are you from your own humanity, how deficient was your home training, when you need to be reminded of that? Friend or foe, there is only one word any of us should feel compelled to offer Robert Novak right now: Godspeed.