Monday, February 12, 2007

Personal Asides: Lynn Sweet’s Dateline—“Aboard Obama 1”: You Can Say That Again...Jill is Right So I Say “Right On.”


Two great, phenomenal old-line journalists played major political roles for their chiefs—George Tagge of the “Tribune” for Robert R. McCormick, whom I have described often and George Rothwell Brown, Washington bureau chief of the Hearst newspapers who played a major role in helping old W. R. Hearst try to realize his ambitions. Brown carried the message from Hearst to House Speaker Garner that the California Democratic delegation, pledged to Garner, would switch to Franklin Roosevelt on the 4th ballot.

What Lynn Sweet does for her cause in addition to churning out breathless, brilliant advocacy journalism is anyone’s guess but she belongs in the first tier among journalists of Tagge’s and Brown’s nature—brilliant, adroit, astute and deftly committed to cause. Yesterday in the “Sun-Times,” feminist Sweet datelined her laudatory, ecstatic review of the Barack Hussein Obama trip to Springfield this way: ABOARD OBAMA-1. That was a fair description…because the entire “Sun-Times” from publisher John Cruickshank through the entire reportorial staff is ensconced for an all-expense-paid ride aboard the Obama campaign with even more advocacy than McCormick’s “Tribune” had ever shown for Robert Taft.

Sweet rides “Obama-1” first-class; other feminists not of her stature follow in coach but perform with equal deference on “Obama-1”: the emotional, girlish Carol Marin who gushed that Obama sounds smarter than George W. Bush…and Jennifer Hunter, a editorial writer who doubles as political analyst--who got her powerful “Sun-Times” job the old fashioned way —by marrying the publisher. Ask not what happened to the old partisan journalism of Lincoln’s time where news reporters not only crusaded but often made up heroic lines for their heroes to utter. It lives and thrives in the Apparel Mart.


In the civil rights movement there were workers and others whom Martin Luther King, Jr. called “saints”—those who exhibited exceptional courage...often got themselves arrested in the early days and took the bricks and brickbats as they marched together. In the pro-life movement there is a similar designation. They categorize anyone who has been locked up in behalf of unborn life a “saint”—and I have not made that category yet. Almost. One day when I was picketing Ruth Rothstein posh apartment building with fourteen others, I was nearing an intersection when a police wagon called by the eminent civil libertarian Rothstein pulled up with blue lights flashing and cops unceremoniously hauled in all fourteen of my colleagues—leaving me holding my sign bearing the biblical quotation “I am fearlessly and wondrously made!” as they roared off with the sirens blazing. I felt ignored. Thus while these saints were bailed out an hour later…they are and I am not a saint. And at my present state of decrepitude will probably never be.

Jill Stanek is in the league of pro-life saints not because she was locked up but because as an OB nurse she spotted egregious crime…the wanton abandonment of a baby born from a botched abortion…and nurtured the child while it died and then went on to dramatize the issue to try to get the conscience of the nation. She touched many consciences, although not that of Barack Hussein Obama, the voyeur of hope who saw no percentage in supporting the cause of dying babies who cannot vote. She went on to secure passage of a congressional act and was on hand when this president signed the bill—her bill—into law. Thus she is a saint of the pro-life movement—a fearless one at that.

Now a commotion has been raised about Stanek being indelicate concerning the state Senate majority leader. It begs the question as to who is right on the issue of HPV. There is no question that Jill Stanek is right. State Sen. Debbie Halvorson has publicly used her own experience…bringing it to light…to state a faulty premise that has a seriously unfortunate consequence for young women…arguing from her own HPV that all girls should be inoculated at public expense. It begs the question as to how the HPV was contracted—an experience that would serve young women by being instructive. When Stanek called on Halvorson to further illustrate that experience, a hail of mud and bricks have rained down on her assailing her for unfairness. Those who flail her do not understand the consequences. Not in the slightest. Of course the bluntness of Stanek’s message was startling. But her bluntly courageous stand should be honored…as should Stanek the pro-life saint…that the answer to serious infection—sometimes physically, always morally—is abstinence before marriage and abstinence in relationships outside marriage. God bless, Jill.


  1. Tom, in your earlier comments about Jill Stanek and State Senator Halvorson you wrote that (1) Halvorson acknowledged she had HPV and argued for a vaccine; and (2) Jill Stanek wanted Halvorson to publicly reveal the sex partners of her and her spouse throughout their lives, as if that revelation was necessary to illustrate the risks associated with having multiple sexual partners. Unless your readers were familiar with the bill, there was no mention of using public funds for inoculations or vaccine. More information about HPV can be found at the Center for Disease Control site. .

    Though her work regarding prevention of abortions is admirable, Stanek’s requests of Halvorson were neither necessary nor useful.

  2. Tom
    Watching the Obama crowning, with the local and national media falling all over themselves, it became all to clear that your observations are correct. Chris Mathews, Fineman, Sweet, Zorn all giving the big picture without looking behind the curtin. Erik Zorn giving a tip of the hat for the "RISK" of doing it in springfield on a cold day. Never pointing out that the whole state is run by the Democrats and everyone who works there is a Democratic hire. Even Madigan was there, the Mayor is backing him as well. I don't think a snowstorm would have stopped the mall from being filled.
    You have to give credit to Obamas people picking places and events that they can fill with their people looking as though he is riding a tide of popularity, instead of what it is, an illusion. UIC had 10,000 antiwar protesters who there to protest the war and were even more to the left than Obama.
    ABC 7 last night did give a glimse behind the curtin by accident when they showed UIC but also showed a group in Evanston called with only 6 people there! Oops they forgot this thing was staged.
    It is easy to fool the masses when the Media plays along.

    I was thinking back to the last primary when candidates for Governor could not get the press to show up for ANY event, until Topinka announced. It just shows the media picks and chooses who they want to be candidates.

  3. The strongest weapon a candidate has right now is victimhood. Victimhood is faultless, pure and absolving of responsibility.

    Obama has great victimhood. He's black and raised by a single mother. He's got a murky background, and when his education and religion are questioned, he gets a new victimhood.

    Obama's wife was interviewed on 60 minutes, and said that Obama is a black man and could get shot in a gas station. That comment was unexplained, and unquestioned by CBS News. Does that mean Obama's blackness makes him a target of crazy whitey? What glorious victimhood.

    Jill questioned Halvorson and gave her a new victimhood. Halvorson is a victim of HPV so she thinks that every young girl can be victimized by it. What Jill did, however, is to ascess Haovorson's responsibility in getting the HPV. Was it victimhood or sexual indescretion? Do we have to vaccinate every young girl because Jill or her husband slept their way into a HPV? Can't ask the victim!

  4. I understand F. March's point, but candidates need to aggressively steer interviews away from family/relationship gab to policy discussions. For instance, this HPV discussion: address the cost/benefit relationship of inoculation.
    A quick reading of info presented at the CDC site suggests that while health risks HPV poses to the nation are not in the same category as other STDs, many Americans are infected. A discussion of the cost/benefit relationship of inoculations is of more value than any discussion of a pol’s prior or current relationships. The point about abstinence is valuable, but so is the possibility that feelings of love would overcome the rejection of a potential spouse solely on the basis of the number of prior relationships.

    And why do these "news shows" interview candidate spouses? It makes about as much sense as voting for a candidate because that candidate’s spouse once held office.