I fell in love with George Will in the early 1980s when he was a regular panelist on ABC’s “This Week With David Brinkley.” Apparently I was not alone in my affection, for he has since become one of the most respected and widely read journalists in the country. His columns appear in more than 450 newspapers, including the Times-Herald.
So great was my esteem that I have often thought if I could choose one person I would most like to work for, or merely spend some time with – just hang out and talk about politics, life in general, and baseball – I would choose George Will.
George was, is, and always will be a conservative. So while I didn’t always agree with him, I nevertheless admired his style.
He wrote with wisdom and calm, intelligently supplementing his opinions with historical analogies and learned quotes, avoiding the shrill hyperbole characteristic of many of today’s goofy, uber-conservative, wannabe pundits we hear and see on right wing radio and TV.
Over time however, I sensed a change in him. When his second wife, Mari, became a consultant and speechwriter for the 2012 Rick Perry presidential campaign, George’s writings took on a sharper, harsher edge. I shrugged it off however, thinking to myself, it must be something hormonal, typical of an aging, perhaps frustrated male.
After all, many men do things they might otherwise not do to placate an occasionally cranky spouse. Consequently, I forgave this seemingly minor transgression.
Then he did the unthinkable. He dumped ABC and joined Fox News.
I was devastated. Fox of all places! A place where apparently the right to receive a paycheck is conditioned on the recipient having publically disparaged President Obama, while at the same time deifying Ronald Reagan at least a dozen times during the preceding pay period. Out of habit I continued to read his columns, but I no longer enjoyed them, and I no longer yearned to work for him or hang out with him. He was summarily ousted from that fanciful realm by Rachel Maddow. (I understand her two favorite hobbies are mixing drinks and fishing. What’s not to like?)