Nice Tea

Earlier today, I heard a talk show host ask for contributions to his “naughty” and “nice” lists. He bemoaned how easy it was to fill up the “naughty” list, but how hard it was to find “nice” people to laud. So I figured I’d take ask you to nominate people for the “nice” list. And you get bonus points for nominating someone you customarily disagree with or criticize.

My first nominee has to be LT SMASH. SMASH spent a most of his summer on active duty in DC, and spent much of his free time visiting with his wounded brothers and sisters in arms at Walter Reed. He also spent a lot of time listening to the idiotic protesters from CODE PINK outside the hospital.

And, finally, after listening to them for weeks, he spoke back. And he spoke clearly, honestly, forthrightly, and actually managed to shame those shameless scum. And he did it in an utterly classy way.

My second nominee is going to come across as utterly self-serving and a real suck-up, but I don’t care. That’s Kevin Aylward, also known as Mr. Wizbang, the Big Cheese, Boss Dude, and a few other things I better not repeat here (mainly when he changes stuff behind the scenes without telling anyone). Kevin has not only grown what started out as his personal blog into a mini-empire, with eight domains (and more coming), but has run the Weblog Awards for four years running.

Now, for the bonus round: a couple nominees that I’ve spent my share of time running down.

I’m no fan of Rush Limbaugh’s. I was, briefly, about 15 years ago, but lost my taste for him after the Chelsea Clinton incident (which I am NOT interested in re-hashing). I eventually got over it — I carried the grudge longer than the Clintons did — but I still don’t particularly care for his style.

But while I still don’t care for Rush the entertainer, Rush the commentator, Rush the personality, I have developed a great deal of respect for Rush the man. Because of one incredibly generous, selfless deed. For that, Rush gets a prominent placement on the “nice” list.

Another person I’ve routinely smacked around is Eason Jordan. To put it simply, I think he’s an utterly perfect example of what is wrong with much of today’s journalism, and an exemplar of why the blogosphere have grown so much: he and his ilk have given us so much bias, inaccuracy, and just plain wrongness that fact-checking them has given many of us our blogging “careers.”

When he started his new venture, reporting from Iraq (the place where he willingly covered up many of Saddam’s atrocities, then baselessly said that US forces were “targeting” journalists, I and many others were very skeptical.

When the blogosphere started noticing that the AP kept going to the same police officer for reports on terrorist attacks, attacks all over the map, and the Iraqi government hadn’t heard of the cop in question, Michelle Malkin got a good snark out of it. She suggested it might help Jordan establish himself by tracking down this Captain Jamil Hussein.

Jordan took that challenge seriously, and accepted it. Then he took it one step further: he invited Michelle Malkin to come to Iraq and work directly with him.

Yeah, it was pretty much a PR stunt. But he made the offer, she accepted it, and it looks like he’s going to keep his end of the deal.

OK, there’s four people on my “nice” list this year. Who else do you think makes the cut, and why?

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