From the Left



The guy who paid Stormy Daniels to shut up

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Michael D. Cohen, Esq.:

So you're the one who paid Stormy Daniels to shut up?

According to The New York Times, you claim to have forked over $130,000 during the 2016 campaign to Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic film "actress" who performs under that nom de coitus, in exchange for her promise not to talk about having sex with Donald ...Read more

I am a child of domestic violence

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I am a child of domestic violence.

As a boy, I couldn't fall asleep until I heard my father return from his nocturnal ramblings. I'd listen hard, trying to gauge his mood from the tone of his voice, trying to determine if it was safe to close my eyes. Some nights, it was.

Other nights, it was not. On those nights, I came hurtling from my bed ...Read more

In Trump they trust

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So apparently this is now Republican Party doctrine:

You can't trust the news media. They're biased.

You can't trust the CIA. They're hacks.

You can't trust the Justice Department. It's unfair.

You can't trust the FBI. It's disgraceful.

But you...Read more

The question Trump failed to answer

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This is about a question Donald Trump failed to answer.

Granted, there are a lot of those, but this was a particularly tough one. Indeed, it was likely more difficult in its way than anything April Ryan or Lester Holt has ever asked him. But then, they're only adults. Ava Rose Olsen is 7 years old.

As anyone who has experience with human ...Read more

Understanding is the last thing they want

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

What we've got here is failure to communicate.

Except it's not really failure. It's actually unwillingness to communicate, fear of what communication might mean. After all, if you communicate, you might understand some painful truths -- and then where would you be?

That's why discussing race with a white person is often one of the most vexing ...Read more

2/2/18 Leonard Pitts bonus column

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Leonard Pitts has filed a BONUS column on the death of singer Dennis Edwards. It is available for immediate release.

Dennis Edwards, a Temptation who stood nine feet tall

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"The first time I met Dennis Edwards, I thought he stood nine feet tall.

As I recall, it was 1977. Edwards, who died of meningitis in a Chicago hospital on Friday, a day short of his 75th birthday, strode into the Los Angeles offices of SOUL Magazine that day to give his first interview after leaving the Temptations. And I had assigned it to me...Read more

Sisters are doin' it for us all

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Sisters are doin' it for themselves.

That, you may remember, was the title of a hit 1985 pop song. But 33 years later, pop has become prophecy.

What other conclusion can one draw from the tsunami of woman power now bearing down on us? As chronicled by the New York Times, CNN, NBC News, Time and others, 2018 has brought a record number of women...Read more

What if Donald Trump were smart?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

What if Donald Trump were smart?

It is likely not a question you've given a lot of thought. After all, the urgency of our ongoing disaster leaves little time for speculation. One is too busy tallying up the damage that's happening to worry about the damage that could.

But maybe it's time we did.

Tyrannies, we tend to think, are things that ...Read more

Democrats, you've been had!

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Democrats:

That was no government shutdown. It was a long weekend. It was a snow day.

Don't get me wrong. I am no fan of shuttering the federal government as a tactic of political negotiation. In the first place, it inflicts hardship on the people you're sworn to serve. In the second place, it confirms the U.S. Capitol building as the ...Read more

One year later...

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

And here we are, one year later.

If you are groping for markers by which to measure how profoundly we have been changed since Inauguration Day, here's one you might want to consider:

In January of 1998, reports surfaced of a sexual affair between President Bill Clinton and a 24-year-old White House intern. It would mushroom into...Read more

Journalism holds power accountable

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I was wrong.

Years ago, people used to ask me what journalists should do to combat the nation's drift toward "factish" and "truthy" logic. What was needed, I'd reply with misplaced confidence, is robust fact-checking. If news media were more aggressive in calling people out for lying, I predicted, they'd be less likely to do so with impunity.

...Read more

Dr. King's words still ring true ... 61 years on

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

A few words on the difficulty of voting while black.

As we mark what would have been his 89th birthday, it seems fitting to recall that Martin Luther King spoke to that difficulty in a 1957 speech whose words ring relevant 61 years later. "All types of conniving methods are still being used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters," ...Read more

'Fire and Fury' is the book we got, not the one we needed

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

America desperately wanted this book. America desperately needed it, too.

That's why "Fire and Fury," by journalist Michael Wolff, which purported to be a fly-on-the-wall, inside view of life in the Trump White House, shot to Number One on last week after Donald Trump's lawyers tried to suppress it. It...Read more

'Not enough white men in the room'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

There were not enough white men in the room.

Indeed, there were almost none, if we are to believe an anonymous witness who testified before the Washington, D.C., grand jury that has been handing down indictments in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Donald Trump's campaign and administration. New York Post columnist Richard Johnson ...Read more

2017, the year the last norms fell

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It really wasn't all that bad.

That, at least, was the consensus response from a dozen historians to whom Politico posed a question in the waning hours of the old year: "Was 2017 the Craziest Year in U.S. Political History?"

Only one answered in the affirmative. The rest deferred to years they consider crazier, including 1861, the year America...Read more

Heartland terrorists want Trump fans on their jury

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Call it the deplorables' defense.

Three men in Southwest Kansas who plotted to kill Muslims believe they cannot get a fair trial unless there are hardcore right-wingers on the jury.

Luckily, Curtis Wayne Allen, Patrick Eugene Stein and Gavin Wayne Wright were thwarted in their attempt to blow up an apartment complex and a mosque in Garden City...Read more

Men, let's not take the low road to gender equality

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: Mary Sanchez continues to fill in while Mr. Pitts is away.

After the dizzying rush of revelations and accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment by movie moguls, actors, senators, editors, talking heads, bible-thumping candidates for office and all manner of other powerful men, American society finds itself at a ...Read more

A tax bill only millionaires could love

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: Bill Press is filling in for Mr. Pitts while he is away.

It's risky to paint with a broad brush, but it's still no exaggeration to say that, for most Republicans, to cut taxes is their religion. They believe God put them on earth for one reason only: to cut taxes for the rich. And Republicans in Congress just did.

Donald ...Read more

Has a sexual harassment backlash begun?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Two months into the scandals and national reckoning that followed charges of sexual abuse and harassment against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement that spurred it on appears to be entering a new reckoning of its own: fear of a backlash.

No, it is not the sort of backlash that brings men to the streets to defend sexual harassment...Read more

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