Dont Ask Post If Galbraith Was Left-Wing

     When one of the foremost proponents of liberal thought passes away at the age of 97, it would seem natural that the media would admit he was indeed liberal.

     But The Washington Post has been inconsistent on that point. In a May 1 tribute entitled John Kenneth Galbraith; Popularized Modern Economics, the paper used 2,044 words and liberal wasnt one of them. It took them a week to fully set the record straight.

     Galbraith had liberal credentials dating back to FDR. As the May 1 article described him, Galbraith advised Democratic presidents and candidates from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton. It went even further and linked him to both liberal Eugene McCarthy and anti-war efforts of the 1960s. In the early 1960s, while serving as President John F. Kennedy's ambassador to India, Dr. Galbraith expressed grave doubts about increasing U.S. involvement in the cankerous conflict brewing in Southeast Asia that would erupt into the Vietnam War. Later that decade, he was chairman of the left-leaning Americans for Democratic Action, and he backed the unsuccessful antiwar presidential candidacy of Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy (D-Minn.) in 1968, the article explained.

     Then, on May 8, the paper tried a new strategy and called him one of the noteworthy liberal intellectuals and detailed his longstanding friendship with another of those elite, his neighbor, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. That Post article said they loomed over American politics and ideas for the quarter-century following World War II.

     Rather than hide his left-wing politics, the latest article embraced them. There was a time it's been decades now when politicians or pundits would call people liberal intellectuals and not mean it as an insult, wrote the Posts John F. Harris.

     He commended Galbraith and Schlesinger, saying there simply is no one these days who does what they did. And how did the Post describe that? They were dominant figures in their intellectual disciplines, but their books were bestsellers. They emblazoned the covers of Time magazine (twice for Galbraith, once for Schlesinger). They steered the Democrats and rallied the fight against the Republicans, and when their side won, they occupied coveted positions in the government.

     It took the Post a week to set the record straight on someone who lived 97 years.

     Its about time.