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Monday, July 23, 2007

Where is the next generation of Jimmy Breslins?
Posted by Jill | 6:55 AM
When I think about journalists, I usually think first about the kind of hacks we see today -- people like Judith Miller, Adam Nagourney, and the editorial board of the Washington Post. Then my eye turns to television and I think about David Gregory asking a few tough questions so maybe we won't notice him dancing onstage with Karl Rove or smirking while Katty Kay talks about Hillary Clinton. I think about Chris Matthews' mancrushes and obvious misogyny. I think about Willian Kristol being taken seriously anywhere.

Then I think about the guys I used to read in the New York Daily News when I commuted into New York every day -- guys like Mike Royko and Lars-Erik Nelson and Pete Hamill. Reading these guys was like reading a kind of cigar-chomping dub poetry. Even Nelson, with whom I often disagreed, was a fine writer.

Royko and Nelson are dead, and Pete Hamill is mostly off writing books. But there is still Jimmy Breslin:

I am walking in Rosedale on this day early in the week while I wait for the funeral of Army soldier Le Ron Wilson, who died at age 18 in Iraq. He was 17 1/2 when he had his mother sign his enlistment papers at the Jamaica recruiting office. If she didn't, he told her, he would just wait for the months to his 18th birthday and go in anyway. He graduated from Thomas Edison High School at noon one day in May. He left right away for basic training. He came home in a box last weekend. He had a fast war.

The war was there to take his life because George Bush started it with bold-faced lies.

He got this lovely kid killed by lying.

If Bush did this in Queens, he would be in court on Queens Boulevard on a murder charge.

He did it in the White House, and it is appropriate, and mandatory for the good of the nation, that impeachment proceedings be started. You can't live with lies. You can't permit them to be passed on as if it is the thing to do.

...and he goes on from there. Go read it. Now.


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