This is the NY Times on drugs

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While reading Bill O'Reilly's new book, Culture Warrior, I came across this gem, starting on page. 70:

To prove my point, let's turn again to holy writ for the secular—progressive movement: the pages of the New York Times.

Every Sunday, a man named Randy Cohen writes a column in the paper's magazine called "The Ethicist." That's ethics as in "the principle of right conduct." On September 6, 2005, Mr. Cohen printed this question from an anonymous correspondent who lives in Brooklyn, New York: "I live in a gentrifying neighborhood. Someone on the block is dealing drugs that, I recently learned, are less benign than I'd assumed; he's dealing crystal meth. I believe the drug laws are overly punitive, and I've never had a problem with the dealer. But I would like to see the block cleaned up and the drug traffic gone. What's the morality of narcking on the neighbors?"
 
Thereupon, Randy Cohen, the ethicist at the New York Times, gave the following moral advice: "if your local drug dealer is merely unsightly, do nothing. This is not to endorse crystal meth but to assert that the war on drugs does more harm than the drug use it seeks to suppress. I would be reluctant to invoke laws that can be inflexible and ineffectual."

Further down on page 81 O'Reilly states that Randy Cohen has

"no background in theology, law or philosophy.... he's a former gag writer for Rosie O'Donnell's daytime talk show and for Late Night with David Letterman."

O'Reilly then goes on to discuss the role of crystal meth usage in spreading AIDS through the use of shared needles, its history of precipitating domestic violence and child abuse and broken homes.

There is very little, in conclusion, that I can add to this that isn't obvious. Perhaps the circulation of the New York Times is down, in part, because their past regular readers did not want drug dealers in their neighborhoods accosting them and their children. Even if they were extremely wealthy Times readers who lived in gated communities, they did not want someone to advocate such leniency to drug dealers because it drove down the real estate values in New York metropolitan areas where they chose to buy investment property.

In either case, Randy Cohen isn't helping Pinch to grow his readership. But I bet his ideas sounded really good in the late night bull sessions in some college dorm where single hipsters with no children or property or sense of community (or social responsibility). Particularly if those bull sessions were fueled by recreational drugs.
 
Jack Kemp    10 24 06

While reading Bill O'Reilly's new book, Culture Warrior, I came across this gem, starting on page. 70:

To prove my point, let's turn again to holy writ for the secular—progressive movement: the pages of the New York Times.

Every Sunday, a man named Randy Cohen writes a column in the paper's magazine called "The Ethicist." That's ethics as in "the principle of right conduct." On September 6, 2005, Mr. Cohen printed this question from an anonymous correspondent who lives in Brooklyn, New York: "I live in a gentrifying neighborhood. Someone on the block is dealing drugs that, I recently learned, are less benign than I'd assumed; he's dealing crystal meth. I believe the drug laws are overly punitive, and I've never had a problem with the dealer. But I would like to see the block cleaned up and the drug traffic gone. What's the morality of narcking on the neighbors?"
 
Thereupon, Randy Cohen, the ethicist at the New York Times, gave the following moral advice: "if your local drug dealer is merely unsightly, do nothing. This is not to endorse crystal meth but to assert that the war on drugs does more harm than the drug use it seeks to suppress. I would be reluctant to invoke laws that can be inflexible and ineffectual."

Further down on page 81 O'Reilly states that Randy Cohen has

"no background in theology, law or philosophy.... he's a former gag writer for Rosie O'Donnell's daytime talk show and for Late Night with David Letterman."

O'Reilly then goes on to discuss the role of crystal meth usage in spreading AIDS through the use of shared needles, its history of precipitating domestic violence and child abuse and broken homes.

There is very little, in conclusion, that I can add to this that isn't obvious. Perhaps the circulation of the New York Times is down, in part, because their past regular readers did not want drug dealers in their neighborhoods accosting them and their children. Even if they were extremely wealthy Times readers who lived in gated communities, they did not want someone to advocate such leniency to drug dealers because it drove down the real estate values in New York metropolitan areas where they chose to buy investment property.

In either case, Randy Cohen isn't helping Pinch to grow his readership. But I bet his ideas sounded really good in the late night bull sessions in some college dorm where single hipsters with no children or property or sense of community (or social responsibility). Particularly if those bull sessions were fueled by recreational drugs.
 
Jack Kemp    10 24 06