Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Tony Lewis passes on

Posted by Charles II on March 25, 2013

Via Jesselyn Radack, tireless civil liberties lawyer (who exposed the wrongdoing in the treatment of so-called “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh) and director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project, at DK.

Adam Liptak, NYT:

Anthony Lewis, a former New York Times reporter and columnist whose work won two Pulitzer Prizes and transformed American legal journalism, died on Monday at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85.

The cause was complications of renal and heart failure…

he was hired by The Washington Daily News, a lively afternoon tabloid, and won his first Pulitzer there, in 1955, when he was 28.

The prize was for a series of articles on Abraham Chasanow, a Navy employee unjustly accused of being a security risk.

It’s a mediocre obituary, I think (see WaPo for better), which downplays the extent to which Tony Lewis put himself forward to defend core constitutional principles at times when the mob was howling to overthrow them. He wasn’t just a neutral reporter, but a knowledgeable man with a clear view of the issues, and a passion for doing the right thing. He was one of the earlier voices against the Vietnam War. I was saddened to learn that he slackened off on his defense of “dangerous speech” in his latter days, but I understand. It’s very difficult to watch the right-wing demonize, dehumanize, and indirectly advocate violence against people (consider Dr. George Tiller, cold-bloodedly assassinated in Wichita) and not think, There has to be some way that the law can stop this.

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