George Will had an interesting passing remark early on in his interview with Brett Tomlinson -- "our current understanding of partisan journalism."

The idea of journalism as a high-minded confrontation of ideas is a relatively modern concept. For a good part of the nation's history, vicious partisan journalism was part of the social and political landscape. In the early republic, if you had a beef, you set up a newspaper to broadcast your dissatisfactions in the strongest of terms. Most modestly informed students of history know about the abhorrent journalistic treatment of Lincoln as he became a credible candidate for president. If it didn't exactly make Trump's outbursts look mild, it showed that Trump comes from the same tradition.

Will is right to qualify his reference to partisan journalism as current. It would have been interesting to hear his take as a historian coming to the problem from the longer view.

Charles Saydeh p'99
Carmichael, Calif.