• A recently received an e-mail that piqued interest, from Robert M., who writes:

    "I'm tired of your over-the-top patriotism and the general Fox jingoistic attitude. Give it a rest. You're a journalist and you're not supposed to be taking sides. Get a clue. Then get out."

    Robert, you get a clue.

    You say I take sides. You're right. Given a choice between terrorists (search) and the U.S., I choose the U.S.

    Between those who want to destroy this country and those who live in this country, I choose those who live in this country.

    There's nothing incompatible with being a good journalist and a good American. My country makes my profession possible. Not the other way around.

    We're free to trash this country and that's fine. But God forbid I should tip my hat to this country. That's bad?

    Robert, you seem to have no problem with people who don't talk up this country. So why make an issue of someone who does?

    If your definition of a good journalist is one who hides his good views of this good country, then good riddance -- you and I do not see eye to eye.

    You go onto say we do a lot wrong in this country. I think we do far more right in this country.

    You say we don't do enough to hear the rest of the world. I say we've done a hell of a lot to help the rest of the world.

    You say we should try to get inside the heads of terrorists. I'd sooner poke around inside the head of Charles Manson.

    Sometimes evil is evil, wrong is wrong and scum is scum.

    You're right. I'm biased. I prefer to extol a country that recognizes values than turn a sympathetic ear to those extol something far worse.

    I'm a good enough journalist to know the difference. And a good enough American to appreciate it.

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