Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review April 7, 2003 / 5 Nisan 5763

Deroy Murdock

Deroy Murdock
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Michael Kelly, R.I.P. | I never had the pleasure of knowing the late Michael Kelly. The 46-year-old Washington Post columnist and editor-at-large of the Atlantic Monthly and JWR contributor died Friday while covering Operation Iraqi Freedom. He perished in a Humvee accident while rolling toward Baghdad with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

I did have the pleasure of reading his sparkling prose and thinking about his original insights on current events, both foreign and domestic. He usually wrote as a liberal who somewhere had been bitten by reality. He seemed to grow increasingly skeptical of the politically correct and profligate at home and the pusillanimous abroad.

Michael Kelly's work often made me say to myself, "I wish I had written that!" I felt this most strongly when he produced the only thing about the Monica Lewinsky fiasco for which Americans should be grateful. His February 4, 1998 column, "I Believe," was a masterpiece, well deserving of a Pulitzer Prize all by itself. It was the single best piece of commentary to emerge from the entire Zippergate-Impeachment debacle. After I read it in the New York Post, I went straight to Kinko's, made about a dozen copies of it and handed it out to friends. For months, I e-mailed it to my own Friends of Bill who demanded to know why the American Right was picking on their hero.

In that op-ed, Kelly wrote as if he were a gullible liberal, outlining how he accepted Bill Clinton's explanations for why he was involved with Lewinsky. "Such innocent intimate friendships are quite common between middle-aged married men and young single women, and also between presidents of the United States and White House interns," Kelly wrote, sauteeing Clinton with facts and humor above a light flame of sarcasm. Whether you agreed or disagreed with Kelly, this was as good as punditry gets. Kelly's column should be stored at every editorial page in America in a clear container that reads: "In case of emergency, break glass."

Michael Kelly, the first American journalist killed in Gulf War II, is survived by his wife, Madelyn, his sons -- Tom, 6 and Jack, 3 -- a first-rate body of work and millions of admiring readers who already miss him.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a Media Fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Send your comments by clicking here.


03/24/03: Whether they like it or not, we are not alone
03/17/03: Even a disarmed Iraq would be terror central station
02/19/03: "Standing Tall" plan lets Twin Towers soar again
11/04/03: Key victories on Tuesday would fortify the American right
10/17/02: BARCELONA DIARIST: Bombs in Bali blow away all excuses for terrorists' evil
10/06/02: High Court should overturn NJ's stunning disdain for Constitution
10/03/02: New Jersey Dems treat election law like Kleenex
08/21/02: Add Saudis to new INS fingerprint/photo program
07/23/02: Federal official finally pays for 9-11-related ineptness
07/08/02: Olympic truce could give peace a chance
03/07/02: Bush should scrap the 30% raw materials tax
03/05/02: "RINO" Riordan fades as Simon surges
01/16/02: FDNY chisels away the truth
05/04/01: Saving the bald eagle v. saving millions of lives
04/26/01: Poking holes in 'education reform' rhetoric
04/20/01: The barons of pork and the harm they do
04/13/01: The impunity of federal agents
04/06/01: Why I boycott the cult of the New York Times
03/30/01: A sure way to prevent prison escapes
03/23/01: This American life: Taxing everything from womb to the tomb
03/16/01: Free-speech solution to campaign reform
03/09/01: The needed separation of race and state
02/23/01: GOP turncoats
02/16/01: Marc Rich scandal eclipses other shady pardons
02/09/01: Say goodnight, Jesse
02/02/01: Waiting in vain for the Clintons' final insult
01/31/01: Jesse Jackson's Church of Instant Forgiveness
01/30/01: Domestic relations
01/18/01: Team Bush blocks golden opportunity for Ashcroft to address conservative black group
01/16/01: Alan Greenspan flies by the seat of his pants
12/15/00: The Right is too nice for its own good
12/06/00: The right not to vote at issue in Florida
11/16/00: Equality and fairness at issue in Florida fiasco
11/14/00: Florida officials use telepathy in prez ballot hand-count
11/13/00: Palm Beach's dazed and confused voters have no right to get it right

© 2003, Deroy Murdock