July 12, 2003
Jill Stewart rehabilitated?

(Yes, my choice of words in the title was deliberate. Irony seekers need to look elsewhere.)

Jill Stewart, formerly of the now-defunct LA New Times, has settled in to her new job as a free-lancer with a vengeance. She has written a spate of incisive articles, of which several have been quite critical of Democratic governor Gray Davis or the left-wing educational establishment. She is becoming popular again amongst conservative or libertarian bloggers. (Common Sense and Wonder links to this column in the San Francisco Chronicle, and Joanne Jacobs links to this Sacramento News & Review article. One deals with who is bankrolling Gray Davis, and what they expect in return, and the other deals with the sharp increase in reading scores among Latino students in the wake of Proposition 227, which effectively ended long-term bilingual education programs.

I mention the "rehabilitation" thing because Ms. Stewart was also the author of one of the more odious articles of 2002, in the LA New Times. Since the paper is gone, the website is also gone, but through the wonders of google caches, I was able to find a snippet of her rant:

Let me be among the too-few columnists in this self-absorbed, egocentric, materialistic, pleasure-obsessed, jingoistic country of ours to cry out into the great mindless void that no, in fact, we have not changed in the year since September 11.

Moreover, since I feel so much better getting that off my chest, let me add that I am achingly weary of seeing Americans treat the tragedy as if it outstrips every other contemporary tragedy in our world, and I am irked beyond belief that the victims of September 11 and their survivors are treated with a holy sanctity not afforded to other victims and other survivors of man's horrific actions against mankind.

Indeed, I say without shame to America's ever-growing, increasingly troubling and loudly throbbing Cult of Nine Eleven, "For God sakes, get a grip!"

. . .

Can you imagine how we'd hate the Brits if we were still deeply pissed off about the Revolution? Or how awful it would be if grade-schoolers sang morbid songs about the rotting Civil War dead at Richmond?

We reject the mournful, noir world of self-pitying, self-aggrandizing, excess-testosterone tribalism. We say, let other countries wallow in that if they must. But more and more, I sniff a hint of wallowing. I hear a bit of tribal whining.

So, on September 11, I suggest that you not light a candle for the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Plenty of others will do so for you."

Stewart was (rightly) raked over the coals in the blogosphere for her article. It seems as long as she doesn't try to sound too cynically hip, she is a good writer.

(BTW, the quote is courtesy of Megan McArdle, who quoted the piece on her old blog (Live From the World Trade Center). It's amusing that an article from a defunct paper was quoted on a defunct blog, but it's still available on the web. Ah, technology!)

posted on July 12, 2003 12:03 PM


Sacramento columnist Jill Stewart is certainly no fan of C.O.s. Read her insulting comments about C.O.s and the CCPOA in one of her columns at: http://jillstewart.net/issue0123.html

Send Jill your thoughts at: jill@jillstewart.net

posted by C.C. Poa on August 13, 2003 01:40 PM

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