Anti-Pence column jumped the nastiness shark (Sept. 9). Sometimes a column features such unmitigated, unmerited nastiness that it requires an answer for the record. Such is the case with the latest outpouring of poison from the pen of veteran pundit Margaret Carlson, who manages in just one column to spread gratuitous calumny in myriad, unrelated directions.

The putative target for Carlson’s ire was vice president Mike Pence’s decision to stay at President Trump’s resort in Doonbeg, Ireland rather than in Dublin, 180 miles away, where Pence was to meet with Irish leaders. Pence’s decision was indeed misguided, but it was hardly worthy of Carlson’s level of bile.

Pence has a cousin who lives in Doonbeg, and his great-grandmother grew up there. Recent history is replete with presidents and vice presidents paying homage to family roots while on official business abroad. Unless Carlson erupted against the expenses incurred for purely “fun” trips taken by Michelle Obama and daughters, she should spare us her protestations that “the taxpayer will pay dearly” for Pence’s family pilgrimage….

The deeper shame of treating FBI’s McCabe like a star (Sept. 5). 

Whither ethics? Whither an appropriate sense of shame?

I wish to associate myself with my colleague Becket Adams’ unease about the propriety of disgraced former FBI official Andrew McCabe serving as the featured guest for a Democratic fundraiser and serving as a paid analyst for CNN. Allow me, though, to broaden that contemplation.

It is obviously outrageous that McCabe should so quickly be feted as a political hero (by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party) and treated as a legitimate analyst (by CNN). The problems, in both situations, are multiple. First, it is inappropriate for the former acting director of the FBI to so quickly become a partisan figure. McCabe is calling into question the impartiality of his former agency. Second, it is inappropriate for either organization to not just effectively rehabilitate, but celebrate, someone fired by the FBI after a neutral inspector general’s report showed him to be have committed ethics infractions and lied under oath at least three times….


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