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Right turn only.

Underlining what has long been obvious, Policy Review, gossip sheet of the crank rightists at the Heritage Foundation, has an article by Dinesh D'Souza in its Fall issue, noting with pleasure the present political tenor of The New York Times. "The front page," D'Souza writes, "is less likely now to feature articles on suffering welfare mothers, and more likely to chronicle the resurgence of patriotism and family values. . . . [Executive editor] Abraham Rosenthal's effort to restore balance is welcome. . . . The New York Times . . . is reaffirming its greatness . . . and once again taking up responsible journalism."

Rather in the same manner, William A. Henry 3d's column in the October 1 issue of Time praised Martin Peretz's New Republic as "quirky" and "thought-provoking," the code words in such a context for undiluted reaction. Time's admiration coincided with a more than usually horrible article in the October 8 New Republic, "The Sins of the Sandinistas," by Robert S. Leiken.

Leiken purports to attack the Sandinistas from the left, a contortion given his past role, undisclosed by The New Republic, as drum majorette for Eden Pastora and Arturo Cruz. Among the more egregious slanders: Leiken mentions an old woman who made four trips to a local hospital but could not get a doctor's appointment (an experience he suggests typifies the failure of the revolution). As a matter of statistical record, the annual number of medical consultations per person in Nicaragua nearly tripled between 1978, the best prerevolutionary year, and 1982. More than 300 health clinics have been built or staffed since the revolution. More than

80 percent of the population has good access to health care. Before the revolution, 10 percent of the population consumed 80 percent of the health services, while more that 50 percent had never been to a doctor or hospital.

Leiken has the insolence to write that before the revolution "even poor Nicaraguans were accustomed to beef and chicken." This drivel makes it hard to explain why 67 percent of all children were malnourished. What The New Republic favors in its quirky way is continued aid to the contras, who quirkily rape and kill people.

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Title Annotation:endorsements of right-wing journalism in the New York Times and The New Republic
Author:Cockburn, Alexander
Publication:The Nation
Article Type:column
Date:Oct 13, 1984
Previous Article:From lies immemorial (cont.) (criticism of thesis that Jews did not displace Arabs in Palestine) (column)
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