As printed in the
December 31, 2001 edition
Editorial in the Daily
year, the editor of The Oklahoman's editorial page, Pat McGuigan, serves as a
judge for the Media Research Center's "Notable
Quotables" awards, compiling examples of liberal news media bias as
uttered by the nation's best-known journalists.
This year, besides the usual negative catalogue, judges chose quotes
described as "Glimpses of Patriotism." The best example of positive
media coverage came from Lance Morrow, writing for Time magazine after the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11:
"For once, let's have no 'grief counselors' standing by with banal
consolations, as if the purpose, in the midst of all this, were merely to make
everyone feel better as quickly as possible. We shouldn't feel better. For
once, let's have no fatuous rhetoric about 'healing.' Healing is inappropriate
now, and dangerous. There will be time later for the tears of sorrow. A day
cannot live in infamy without the nourishment of rage. Let's have rage....
"As the bodies are counted, into the thousands and thousands, hatred
will not, I think, be a difficult emotion to summon. Is the medicine too
strong? Call it, rather, a wholesome and intelligent enmity....Anyone who does
not loathe the people who did these things, and the people who cheer them on,
is too philosophical for decent company....The worst times, as we see,
separate the civilized of the world from the uncivilized. This is the moment
of clarity. Let the civilized toughen up, and let the uncivilized take their
chances in the game they started."
Tony Snow, a well-known conservative commentator, was one runner-up.
Concluding the Sept. 16 edition of "Fox News Sunday," Snow offered
"The United States had a spirit before it had a name -- one of faith
and freedom, of ambition tempered by piety. We once were a nation of neighbors
and friends -- we are again today. We once were a nation of hardship-tested
dreamers -- we are again today. We once were a nation under God -- we are
again today. Our enemies attacked one nation, they will encounter another, for
they underestimated us. Today in our grief and in our rage, our determination
and hope, we've summoned what's best and noblest in us. We are again
One of the most poignant moments on recent broadcast television came when
Tim Russert, moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press," concluded the
Sept. 16 broadcast this way:
"I have spent this week wiping my eyes and grinding my teeth and
wondering why. I've drawn strength from a story about a man I knew, Father
Mychal Judge. The chaplain of the New York City Fire Department, a Franciscan,
he raced to the World Trade Center after the explosion to comfort the injured.
While administering the last rites to a dying rescue worker, he himself was
killed by flying debris. New York's bravest
physically carried Father Mike away....
"Together, firemen, priests, and brothers wept and sang the prayer of
St. Francis, 'May the Lord bless and keep you and show his face to you and
have mercy on you.' That is the way of New York. That is the spirit of
Such a prayer was first recorded in the Book of Numbers, a catalogue of
ancient Israel as the tribes wandered in the desert. Eventually, they reached
the promised land.
The Oklahoman salutes colleagues in print and broadcast journalism who this
past year delivered news and commentary worthy of our profession's best
traditions. Human history catalogues birth, growth, ascent, decline,
degradation -- and rebirth. The year 2001 began with evidence that people in
these United States were adrift in a sea of moral relativism, uncertain of,
even unfamiliar with, our own best traditions. Even now, too many would
surrender ordered liberty to gain fleeting
Yet 2001 ends with rational hopes that the evil ones who sought to destroy
the American spirit underestimated a great nation's residual strengths. They,
and many here at home, did not perceive that fresh breeze sweeping the nation.
The true promised land will never come in this fallen world, but those who
work wisely can build in corners of America -- and in corners of the world
-- something better than what they found.
U.S. Marines and Special Forces are in the desert -- not wandering, but
seeking the foe, so ours might remain a land of promise. This is indeed a time
of clarity. Remembering the dead, may we witness a prelude of renewal,
restoration and revival.