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Honoring the Fallen and Digging Through the Past

Friday, August 19, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

World Magazine has an article on the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Bloem that you will want to read. The MSM needs to do more than obsess on Cindy Sheehan. It needs to more completely cover all the sacrifices being made, and all the families that are carrying that burden.

World also has a story on the “unusual recruits” to the military
, about whom you are not hearing much.

The Washington Post reports on the “reporting” underway on the Roberts’ nomination. Basically, dozens of boxes of documents are being given out to various news organizations. That’s tough, old fashion newpapering if you ask me:

Archivists drew names from a large, yellow suggestion box, as if performing the NFL draft. USA Today, with the first pick in the first round, went with Box 49, “set-aside cases.” Reuters, picking second, chose Box 1, “advisory committees.” ABC News got Box 6, “briefing materials,” and Fox News selected Box 11, “Contra Aid.”

The boxes distributed, the room took on the tense, quiet mood of a place where the SAT is being administered. Readers pored over pages and folders, scribbling. Cameras circled. One cameraman, for lack of something better to do, was filming an empty box; to his right, a sign on the wall proclaimed: “This is your heritage.”

The mood soon turned again to disappointment. USA Today’s Joan Biskupic returns her first-round draft pick, Box 49, after just a few minutes. Anything good? “I’m bringing it back, aren’t I?” she replied. The New York Sun’s Josh Gerstein returned Box 7 with equal speed. “The body was decent, but the finish left something to be desired,” he judged. And the others found the same thing. NBC? “Nothing.” Fox? “Nah.” Boston Globe? “Nothing.”

An hour into the search, the readers had found only a quarter-inch stack worthy of photocopying combined. “Pimples of history,” said the Times’s Todd Purdum.

Gerstein gathered his belongings and left. “Not a valuable activity,” he decided.

My guess is that most of these srcibblers have never used an archive before and don’t know how to look. Some Post reporters are cobbling together stories in support of the Roberts-is-anti-women meme, but opposing the bad economics of the now repudiated school of comparable worth legislation is hardly the stuff of scandal.

When I read that “Fox News selected Box 11, “Contra Aid,” I wondered if they were going to find the double secret memo in which Judge Roberts urged that the cake be baked in the shape of a key, but then I realized if Special Prosecutor McKay and all the combined forces of the Iran-Contra Congressional panels had never before fingered Roberts, it was very, very unlikely that the archives would suddenly throw up a smoking gun.

What is being thrown out is the paper trail of the legal office of the first term of the Reagan Adminsitration, and scholars of the office –there are a couple– will be thrilled. The reporters assinged to read them will be bored. And only the fanatics looking for anything will wave twenty year old documents around saying “see, see, he must be filibustered!”

My favorite headline is from the New York Times: “Nominee’s Early Files Show Many Cautions for Top Officials, Including Reagan.”

There’s a stunner: A lawyer urging caution. Pretty soon the news will be out that he dressed conservatively in those years.

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