Long before the blogosphere and even longer before the internet, there were Op-Ed columns. You know, those wonderfully pithy opinion pieces, usually found near the end of the front section. I’ve been addicted to them for years, much as I have recently committed myself to reading certain blogs on a regular basis.
A wise politician (Truman? T. Roosevelt?) once said – and I paraphrase here – that, in a democracy, everyone is entitled to their own politics, but not their own facts. Such is the beauty of the op-ed page. Sure, the opinions of the writer, whether about politics, religion, social issues, etc., are often expressed in colorful, witty, and even vulgar terms. But a good op-ed columnist makes clear what is fact.
Two pieces I read today are cases in point. Jonah Goldberg (a personal op-ed favorite) spewed mind-boggling statistics regarding the Libor scandal in England. The article itself was extremely interesting (recommended reading for EVERYONE), but it was his final paragraph that clearly brought home the consequences of this scandal and the all-too-numerous ones like it.
Mr. Goldberg writes: “The more inured we grow to such stories, the more we come to accept that acceptable behavior is simply whatever we can get away with.”
Think about it.
Tomorrow: OP-ED Part 2: Higgs boson. Wow!