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Jewish World Review Jan. 7, 2003 / 4 Shevat, 5763

Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald
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The best of the Q&As


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | It has been another fruitful year for the Q&A business in 2002.

We managed to track down an impressive crew of more than 40 authors, intellectuals, columnists, experts, pundits, troublemakers and a few local heroes to help us make sense of the news or opine about it. Here are some of 2002's greatest hits:

REGIME CHANGE

"I support the idea of regime change in Iraq for lots of reasons. I have for a long time. I'm a friend of the Iraqi and Kurdish opposition. I was indeed a friend of theirs before either member of the Bush family got involved. So I wouldn't say I was a supporter of Bush's. I don't mind if he supports me. He's welcome to join."

- Author/ journalist Christopher Hitchens, October

NO IRAQ ATTACK

"I do not think it is moral for a constitutional republic to attack another country that has not attacked the United States or credibly threatened to attack the United States. The Iraqi government is certainly odious. Saddam Hussein is an utter thug. No one would deny that. But Iraq does not pose a credible security threat to the United States, so it's wrong for the United States to take action against Iraq in the absence of such a threat."

- Cato Institute foreign policy expert Ted Galen Carpenter, September

FOX NEWS

"At CNN now it's really like living in an al-Qaida bunker. People see incoming bombs exploding everywhere. They don't know where they're coming from. They don't know who's in charge. All they know is that it's chaotic and they are scared . CNN isn't sure of itself. When Judy Woodruff puts leather on, you know something's weird. At Fox, we're not sitting around trying to figure out what we want to be. We know who we are."

- Fox anchor Tony Snow, February

MEDIA BIAS

"It is not what some people on the right think it is. It is not a conspiracy. It is a consensus, a group-think-type situation. They think the same way, these media elites, on the big social issues of our time. In some cases, they hardly even know there is another side to an issue."

- Former CBS reporter and "Bias" author Bernard Goldberg, September

PREVARICATING POLLS?

"The most dangerous thing is that opinion polls are a poor substitute for good debate and for an educated public. They misrepresent public policy issues and they misrepresent what kind of government we live under, which is a constitutional republic that limits government and provides and protects the freedom of the individual."

- "Mobocracy" author Matthew Robinson, March

DEMOCRATIC PROCESS

"The November elections, in a longer-term sense, were a defeat for the Democrats, who are increasingly a party with nothing to say. They're just riding on their historical momentum and that's gradually ebbing away."

-Wall Street Journal Editor Robert Bartley, November

WHILE WE SLEPT

"I don't know if 9/11 could have been stopped. But was America asleep? Yes. There's no doubt about it. I don't want to single out the FBI or CIA exclusively for this problem. This was a failure of society. It was failure of political leadership. A failure of the media. And it was a failure of law enforcement and intelligence - combined. Your paper was one of the few papers to talk about this issue."

- Mideast terrorism expert Steve Emerson, February

INS MESS

"In the long run, I'm hopeful that more people in Washington will grasp the idea that getting a handle on illegal immigration and winning a war on terror are inextricably linked. Right now, many people refuse to see that connection."

- "Invasion" author Michelle Malkin, October

HOW CITIES GROW

"I make a big distinction between rebuilding and regenerating. Plenty of cities, including portions of Pittsburgh, have been rebuilt. You've got stadiums and Gateway Center. That is rebuilt. It is not regenerated. The urbanism, the urban process, is an ongoing, ever-changing, ever-adjusting growth process, in which businesses open, close, sell, expand. New innovations happen. Nothing associated with rebuilding is about innovation. Innovation only happens in small doses, and that's what city economies and the fabric of cities require. And that requires a human input of individuals, not a big developer input."

- "Cities Back From the Edge" author Roberta Brandes Gratz, April

SCRIBBLERS VS. THINKERS

"Maureen Dowd, too, like Molly Ivins, is a good writer. You can never take that away from them, but you don't feel when you're reading them that they are thinking through something. They're thinking through sentences full of insults. They're not thinking through arguments."

- Young conservative pundit Jonah Goldberg, October

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JWR contributor Bill Steigerwald is an associate editor and columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Comment by clicking here.

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02/12/02: Has Soldier of Fortune gone soft?

© 2002, Bill Steigerwald