Left, Right & Center
A great improvement befell American journalism in the late 1980’s with the departure of Sidney Blumenthal and the arrival of E.J. Dionne, Jr. at the Washington Post. Although Blumenthal’s work usually ran in the “Style” section of the paper, while Dionne’s has appeared mostly in the news pages, the beat they have covered is largely the same: the ideological side of politics. But what a difference between them: Blumenthal’s (presumably self-assigned) mission was to skewer the Right, especially neoconservatives, and to do so in a manner uninhibited by any scruple of balance, fairness, or accuracy. (See my review of his book, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment, in the October 1986 COMMENTARY.) Dionne, by contrast, is at pains to report faithfully the views of the groups and individuals he covers.