The World and Everything in It — January 28, 2021


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

Lockdowns mean isolation, and that’s hurt the ability of some children to cope.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also a new study shows it is possible to open up the schools, with sensible precautions. 

Plus a conversation with an early pioneer of the pro-life movement.

And commentator Cal Thomas on sensationalized reporting.

REICHARD: It’s Thursday, January 28th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Time now for the news with Kent Covington.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden announces executive orders on climate change » President Biden is taking aim at oil, gas, and coal in a new set of executive orders. 

BIDEN: In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer. 

The orders target federal subsidies for oil and other fossil fuels and they halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. They also aim to conserve 30 percent of the country’s lands and ocean waters over the next decade and move to an all-electric federal vehicle fleet.

Biden has set a goal of eliminating pollution from fossil fuel in the power sector by 2035 and from the U.S. economy overall by 2050.

But he insisted that he does not intend to try and ban oil fracking. 

Former Secretary of State John Kerry now serves as the Biden administration’s Special Envoy for Climate. He told reporters Wednesday…

KERRY: The stakes on climate change just simply couldn’t be any higher than they are right now. It is existential. 

Kerry said simply rejoining the Paris climate accord is not enough and bold action is needed.  

Republicans immediately criticized the plan as a job killer. Biden countered by saying his plans will create new jobs in a green economy.

U.S. bomber flies over Middle East in apparent warning to Iran » The U.S. military sent an apparent warning to Iran in the form of a B-52 flyover in the Middle East. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: The Pentagon said the B-52 bomber recently flew nonstop to the Middle East from Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base. 

U.S. Central Command later posted pictures of the bomber flying alongside Saudi Air Force F-15 fighter jets. 

The U.S. military didn’t mention Iran by name, but it said the flyover was meant to—quote—“deter potential aggression.”  

The flights had become common in the final months of President Trump’s administration. But this is the first such show of force under President Biden. 

The president has expressed a desire to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement if Iran honors the terms of the deal. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown. 

Russian police raid Navalny Office, residences » Russian police on Wednesday raided the Moscow apartment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, along with another residence where his wife is living. They also searched the offices of his anti-corruption organization.

Leonid Volkov is head of Navalny’s organization. He said police carried out the raid over alleged epidemiological or sanitary violations.

The searches come amid rising tensions over Navalny. Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets demanding his release. 

Authorities arrested him at a Moscow airport earlier this month as he returned from Germany. He spent months there recovering after being poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

Declassified U.S. intel bolsters Wuhan lab coronavirus theory » Recently declassified U.S. intelligence appears to support the theory that the coronavirus may have come from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The outgoing Trump administration declassified the intel earlier this month. It centers on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a high-security lab with links to the Chinese military. 

The intelligence revealed that several employees at the laboratory got sick in fall of 2019 and showed symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 

U.S. intelligence officers also found that the Chinese military has conducted research on biological warfare at that very same laboratory. 

And an intel report stated that “Accidental infections in labs have caused several previous virus outbreaks in China and elsewhere, including a 2004 SARS outbreak in Beijing.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Actress Cloris Leachman dies » Actress Cloris Leachman has died. Her award-winning acting career spanned more than 70 years. 

In 1971, Leachman won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the The Last Picture Show.

And she won a collection of Emmy awards for TV hits including the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Malcolm in the Middle

In a 2011 interview, Leachman explained why she always loved her work. 

LEACHMAN: I think acting is partly being a detective, so it’s fun to sort it out and figure it out, see who all the people are and see what to do; great fun. I’m very, very privileged. 

Cloris Leachman died in her sleep at her home in California. She was 94 years old.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: COVID in classrooms.

Plus, Cal Thomas on journalistic fawning over the new president.

This is The World and Everything in It.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Thursday, January 28th, 2021.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up, reopening schools.

President Joe Biden says the need to reopen schools is a “national emergency.” And several of the executive orders he signed last week target objections to bringing students back to class. Those orders direct federal agencies to send more personal protective equipment to schools and make COVID test kits available.

REICHARD: Still, teachers in many large districts aren’t convinced. They insist it’s not safe for them or their students to return to class. But a new study published last month in the medical journal Pediatrics suggests there is a way to do it safely.

Joining us now to explain the study’s findings is WORLD’s medical correspondent Dr. Charles Horton. Good morning!

CHARLES HORTON, GUEST: Good morning! Good to be back.

REICHARD: Start by telling us what these researchers were looking at, in terms of data.

HORTON: First off, this was a big study—not just in findings but in size. It was a collaboration between Duke and the University of North Carolina, funded by the NIH, and it looked at eleven school districts with close to 100,000 students total across nine weeks.

The background is that in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper gave school districts the choice between remote learning or a hybrid model, partially remote and partially in person. For schools that reopened, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill created guidelines that emphasized masks, distancing, and hygiene. It’s worth mentioning that the classrooms were also less full, because many districts used a two-day week where 50 percent of the students were present Monday and Tuesday, 50 percent were present Thursday and Friday, and Wednesday was for cleaning — and also because parents in those districts still had the choice of remote learning if they preferred it.

REICHARD: OK so that’s the data the researchers looked at. What did they find?

HORTON: In a nutshell, they found that if everyone works together, schools can reopen. The bad news is that there were around 800 cases of Covid during that time, but the good news is that only 32 of those folks were considered to have caught it at school. And none of those 32 were teachers.

They did basically study the best-case scenario, where people were diligent about masks and distancing, and where people who’d had an exposure quarantined—they actually quarantined about 3,000 people during those nine weeks.

Each of the three case clusters that did occur happened in contexts where it wasn’t really possible to wear masks reliably. One was a pre-kindergarten, and two involved special needs students. I do think it’s noteworthy that taking masks out of the picture did bring case clusters back, so as much of a pain as it is, I think it’s pretty clear that they help.

Those case clusters involved 15 people. That means if we take those away and you have 17 people catching Covid from the schools, versus well over 700 catching it somewhere else.

Interestingly, there were two clusters among public school students who were only attending school virtually—which means that the kids in question had to have caught it from each other outside school.

REICHARD: I understand the CDC also recently released similar findings, right?

HORTON: Yes, on Tuesday they published a study of 17 K-through-12 schools in Wisconsin. Both the methods—masks, distancing, and vigilance—and the results backed up what the North Carolina study found. There were 191 cases within the participating schools during the study period, which was 13 weeks, but only seven people were found to have caught it in school. And again this time, none of those were teachers—all seven were students.

REICHARD: We’ve known for a while now that children don’t seem to be as affected by COVID-19. What does the latest research tell us about their susceptibility to it and their ability to spread it?

HORTON: Right, since the vast majority of people getting seriously ill from Covid are adults—and usually older adults—the main question with children has been how contagious they are or aren’t. In other words, having a group of healthy children get Covid isn’t likely to cause any serious harm for them. So the reason for this focus on the mechanics of how they transmit the virus to one another is concern about spreading the virus to more susceptible people—say a child whose parents aren’t in good health, or who lives with his grandparents.

And what this study seems to say about that is that children can catch Covid, and they can give it to each other—or they can’t, depending on how a school handles things. So if the schools act responsibly, they can return to classes while exposing the children to a level of risk that appears much lower than what they’re accepting outside school.

REICHARD: Why is that?

HORTON: It goes back to how many cases we saw from community transmission, versus how many from school—remember those two clusters among the students who only did virtual classes.

I’m really glad to see this study, because it seems like we’ve often encountered this cultural dichotomy between “lock everything down and teach students via Zoom,” on the one hand—which is hard for the children, the parents, and the teachers—and on the other hand going back to seating students close together, no masks, etc. Neither of those has worked well, but instead of debating which is even worse, this study points to a better way: We can bring the students back into the classroom, thoughtfully.

REICHARD: Dr. Charles Horton is a physician and WORLD’s medical correspondent. Thanks so much for joining us today!

HORTON: Always a pleasure!


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: the mental health of children.

The push to reopen schools isn’t just about education. It’s also about children’s physical and emotional wellness. The pandemic has taken quite a toll on both.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And that’s driving up visits to the emergency department. Cases of kids having a mental health crisis rose over 30 percent last year compared with 2019.  

WORLD senior correspondent Katie Gaultney explains what’s behind that trend.

AUDIO: [Kids playing]

KATIE GAULTNEY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: For 9-year-old Charlie Lewis, this day started like many others: eat breakfast, get dressed. Then it’s time to ruffle some sisters’ feathers before homeschool lessons.

AUDIO: [Kids rough-housing]

But, his three younger sisters quickly turn their attention to Barbies…

NOELLE AND QUINN: Look, look, all the ballerinas are going to be posing. It’s fine if you put my ballerinas in your case… 

…and the feather-ruffling suddenly isn’t all that satisfying for Charlie. He wanders around the house trying to find something to do—and looking a little like a caged animal, pacing. It’s a wet, cold day in Dallas, so he can’t go outside. He misses a lot from pre-pandemic life: playing at friends’ houses, visiting stores, going to the Arboretum with his grandmother. And he’s worried about his family’s health. His grandparents live nearby, and they recently came down with COVID-19.

CHARLIE: Yeah, I was worried and afraid they might die… 

And he wonders if his immediate family will be okay, too.

CHARLIE: I am scared that my family will get sick and maybe one of them will die. I just wish things would go back to normal.

Charlie says he knows they’re doing the right things physically. They’re limiting their time in public, washing hands, and so on. But he may not realize he and his sisters have an asset in the mental battle against the pandemic: supportive parents.

Texas-based licensed professional counselor Tiffany Amerson says parents need to equip kids with the vocabulary to deal with their anxiety or frustrations.

AMERSON: They don’t understand how to talk about their fears in a healthy way. And so that is our job as parents is to start that. And that’s kind of hard when we’re dealing with it ourselves. 

Dr. Don McCulloch is a clinical psychologist who teaches at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He agrees with Amerson that children sometimes absorb their parents’ anxieties.

MCCULLOCH: The level of anxiety could be something that they’re inheriting from their parents. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a fair amount of adults that are anxious…

But, McCulloch is quick to clarify, if your kids are struggling, that doesn’t mean it’s your fault.

MCCULLOCH: There’s a sense in which even if the parents are handling their anxiety well and their parenting well, it’s really quite possible that children without pre-existing anxiety are just sensing that something is off.

Something is off. Disruption on the level of a pandemic can be traumatic for kids. Dr. Ruth Kuchinsky-Smith has experience as a school psychologist, among other roles. She currently teaches at Cairn University in Pennsylvania. She said the biggest mental obstacles for kids may manifest due to their sudden lack of social interaction.

KUCHINSKY-SMITH: I think that of all of the problems that are happening, the fact that they can’t interface with their friends and just hang out and be with them is difficult.

McCulloch cited a UCLA study showing higher-than-ever stress levels among incoming college freshmen even before COVID-19 was on anyone’s radar.

MCCULLOCH: It’s sort of a perfect storm situation because what we had was in society prior to the pandemic, you had increasing numbers of anxiety that was being documented by therapists.

His friends who are clinical child psychologists have told him their schedules have been packed for months with new patients. Kids often exhibit resistance to going to school, but for the first time, colleagues are reporting children running away from school, unable to deal with changing classroom procedures, not wanting to be separated from their parents, or afraid of germs. And kids are reacting more frequently and dramatically to what might have been minor disappointments pre-pandemic.

In older children, child psychologists and therapists are seeing increasing isolation behaviors.

MCCULLOCH: So if the child sort of has the option or choice of their own room, they may just may isolate themselves more and just not want to have to kind of deal with it.

Kuchinsky-Smith also worries about the digital influence of staying at home. Parents may be turning on the TV more than usual for stir-crazy kids. And schools are offering virtual lessons. But all that TV, computer, and tablet time may have long-term impacts.

KUCHINSKY-SMITH: I think about when we’ve had a lot of screen time, it is to the detriment of eye contact and interaction with each other, and that was missing prior to the pandemic. But I think it’s increased now that we’re not able to look each other eye-to-eye because we’re on screen time. 

She said kids may need some social coaching when life returns to normal. In the meantime, the experts I spoke with suggest having regular conversations with kids about how they’re handling things emotionally. Talk about what we can be grateful for. And pray together.

Tiffany Amerson urges parents to raise a hand—engage a counselor or therapist—if they see their child spiraling.

AMERSON: If you believe that your children are being impacted by this, don’t wait. You will never say in the future, “Man, I’m sorry that I got my children help sooner,” but I have oftentimes heard parents regret not intervening at an earlier time.

If this all sounds like a lot, don’t despair. Kuchinsky-Smith and McCulloch stress how resilient most kids really are. McCulloch pointed to a study conducted by Dr. George Bonnano after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Some kids who suffered trauma continued to struggle for years. Some improved after a few months. But the vast majority didn’t exhibit any ongoing effects. He expects the same after the pandemic.

MCCULLOCH: For some, it’ll be a long-term, difficult thing, depending on where these things hit developmentally and what the actual events were for them, but for the majority, we’ll get through it.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Katie Gaultney.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Glenn Roberts works with a group called Ocean Defenders Alliance. He along with other volunteer divers clean up trash from reefs off the coasts of Hawaii. 

He always finds a lot of fishing line and trash, sometimes even tires. But he told KHON tv that on one recent dive, he found something surprising.

ROBERTS: This was one of the more unusual things that we’ve found, which was this GoPro still sealed in the case.

He opened up the camera, took out the memory card and found that the files on it were still intact. 

The last video on the card was from 2014. It explained how the camera wound up on the ocean floor. The video showed a young man diving from a cliff in Oahu.

AUDIO: [SOUND FROM VIDEO]

So Roberts posted the video to his Facebook page, asking for help finding the camera’s owner. 

And it didn’t take long for that video to find 26-year-old Nainoa Kamai.

KAMAI: I just started getting a bunch of messages of this video of me from seven years ago. So I clicked on it and I was like, no way! Somebody found the GoPro.

Kamai shot the video at age 18 at a popular dive spot called Spitting Caves in Oahu. He said it was his first and his last time cliff diving.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, January 28th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we thank you for that.

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the Olasky Interview.

Today, a conversation between WORLD editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky and Connie Marshner. 

She’s a longtime conservative political activist and thinker, and she once served President Reagan on his Family Policy Advisory Board. 

She’s been a pro-life advocate since the earliest days of the movement.

EICHER: Tomorrow is the 48th annual March for Life. This year’s event will be a bit different because the hundreds of thousands of people who normally converge on Washington will stay home and participate virtually. But Connie Marshner attended the very first March for Life in 1974 in person. In this excerpt, she reminisces about that milestone and a few other highlights.

MARVIN OLASKY: Well Connie, you and I are old timers at this point. It’s very good to see you again.

CONNIE MARSHNER: Same here, same here.

OLASKY: So we’ve had a lot of experience. You, especially in the pro-life movement. I’ve been coming at this as a journalist, you’ve been involved as really an activist, one of the leaders…

MARSHNER: Right, right.

OLASKY: If you’d had to bet in 1972, if you were told, one party is going to be the pro-life party, one party is going to be the party of abortion…

MARSHNER: If the question had come up, of course, it would have been the democrats would have been pro-life, because that’s where the Catholics were, right?

OLASKY: Yeah. 

MARSHNER: The big issue at the time was population control.

OLASKY: Okay, so in Washington understanding at that point—of people on the hill—the abortion issue was a subset of the population control issue?

MARSHNER: Those who were paying attention to. And it was really only us who was paying attention to it. It wasn’t on anybody’s radar. I mean, at the time, the joke was, you know, “Congressman, what do you want to do about this abortion bill? Oh, pay it.” So nobody really took it very seriously. And so when Roe v. Wade came down, nobody paid much attention to it. Except for those who were religiously oriented.

OLASKY: Now you know that the Supreme Court was…

MARSHNER: Oh, no, not at all. No, there had never been, you know, there’d never been much of an argument about it. It was perceived as a procedural kind of thing. It wasn’t advanced on the issues. People didn’t talk about it ahead of time. It came as a surprise.

OLASKY: Was their awareness that there had been oral arguments on this?

MARSHNER: Probably, but nobody had paid much attention to them.

OLASKY: Okay. What was the first reaction of you and other people you were with?

MARSHNER: Well, Nellie Gray, took it upon herself…now she was a liberal, feminist, civil rights activist who worked for the federal government. She was from Texas. Very progressive minded sort of lady. And she took it upon herself to visit the people who she assumed would say, oh, my goodness, we got to fix this. And then do so. People with names like Kennedy. And she didn’t get the time of day. And then to her horror, she discovered that this republican named James Buckley, who of all things was a conservative, was interested in introducing a human life amendment, and she’d never talked to a republican her life, and had no use for them—certainly not a conservative one. But all of a sudden, she found herself with a new set of friends. So Nellie organizes the March.

OLASKY: This is March number one in 1974.

MARSHNER: Yeah, because in those days, that’s what you did. If you had a civil rights issue, you organized a march. And somehow or other, she made contact with a couple of guys in New York, and they were just, you know, the Long Island equivalent of good old boys. And they put together bus loads, and they brought a couple of buses down. I mean, these are the salt of the earth, blue collared, good Catholics, probably Irish. And they came and they marched. And, you know, those of us who were the conservative movement showed up and, yeah, it was very small.

OLASKY: So what’s really Nellie thinking about this, I mean, she’s a democrat, and so forth. And now she’s allied with these people.

MARSHNER: I don’t think she was ever comfortable with them politically. During that March, I mean, don’t forget, she had a full time job. And so the March was her hobby for a long, long time. Then when she retired, she did it full time. Then she got caught up in the circular firing squad of the 80s. The Republicans were saying, I guess it helps to be pro-life. So there there were still 40, 50, 60 pro-life democrats at that point in Congress,

OLASKY: When Reagan ran against Ford in 1976, was the abortion issue part of that?

MARSHNER: Well, Gerald Ford was always pro-abortion. Betty was very pro-abortion. Reagan had a good heart. But he didn’t have an instinct for power. He didn’t understand how power worked.

OLASKY: Was there frustration with Reagan as he talked a good game but really didn’t come through? And how did that emerge?

MARSHNER: From the very beginning with the nomination of O’Connor and the fact that he would never do anything for the March for Life. When people got disillusioned with Reagan, and there had been a huge grassroots movement who came in for Reagan because they thought he was going to be the pro-life Savior. When that didn’t happen, they dropped out of politics, but they didn’t drop out of the pro-life movement. 

They went back to their communities. And they set up storefront CPCs (crisis pregnancy centers), worked with their churches, and had to start talking to their neighbors. And they became that infrastructure out there of citizens talking to other citizens. And that’s a huge thing. We don’t have a way of quantifying that. But over the subsequent years, when I would travel, I would meet people who would know my name because I had been visible. And they’d say, “Oh, yeah, I used to do politics. But now we do this.” And so it was interesting, you know, God writes  straight with crooked lines. So He got them involved in politics, but then they went and really started changing the culture.

I think the pro-life trajectory changed forever when, God bless him, Jack Wilkie had some survey done, and I remember him coming to the forum and saying, “love them both is going to be our new thing. Love the woman. We haven’t been talking about the woman.” And thereafter, it’s about the girl. At the beginning, we should have said “we love the sinner. And we deplore the sin” in whatever language that needed to be communicated in and our side didn’t do that. And so we have what we have.


REICHARD: That’s Connie Marshner talking with Marvin Olasky. To read more of their interview, check out the January 30th issue of WORLD Magazine. We’ll include a link to it in today’s transcript at worldandeverything.org.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next, a preview of Listening In

In 2019 WORLD Magazine published an article critical of the ECFA. That’s an initialism that stands for Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The article raised questions about ECFA’s spotty record of accountability. 

Over the last few years, a handful of financial scandals came to light involving ministries that belonged to ECFA. And some of those included a history of complaints that seemed to be ignored. 

ECFA hired Michael Martin as its new president in 2020. Here’s host Warren Smith.

WARREN SMITH: What do you do to police these ministries that are maybe bad operators or don’t comply with your standards any more? 

MARTIN: Sure. That’s a great question. What I would say to that Warren, there really is a very, you know, solid due diligence process that ECFA works through, like I mentioned, anytime that a concern would either be something that we’ve seen internally through our work that we do with the annual membership renewal process and the monitoring that we do of our members, but also in those instances where maybe it is a giver, or someone who’s been on staff at an organization who would share a concern, and they’ve gone through the process of trying to work with the ministry, and they haven’t been resolved. 

So maybe they come to us, or, quite frankly, there’s also some things that off, you know, we’ll see, maybe that have been even reported in media or otherwise, that we’ll follow up on. And ECFA does have a process in place, you know, to work with an organization to go through a formal review process. And we never make assumptions regarding concerns that have been raised, because, you know, 9 times out of 10, it can be a misunderstanding, and that sort of thing. 

But we do take all of those concerns very seriously and follow up on those, as well. And, you know, we also, this is probably something that should be clarified as well, for folks who are kind of watching from the outside with ECFA, we also follow a redemptive, biblical, approach to compliance with the standards. 

And so we’re always looking to, even in those instances where maybe an organization has gone out of compliance with the standards, what we’re trying to do is also to help restore them back into compliance with membership whenever it’s possible to do so. 

And in those situations where either that can’t be done in a timely fashion, or there’s a very egregious violation or an organization that’s not willing to make the changes in those instances. ECFA does, like you mentioned, have the ability under our bylaws and our agreement with our members to either suspend or terminate membership, and we hope that’s not you know, not the case. But ECFA does have latitude to do that to really, like you said protect the integrity of the seal and what ECFA stands for.


EICHER: That’s Michael Martin talking to Warren Smith. To hear the complete conversation, look for Listening In tomorrow wherever you get your podcasts.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, January 28th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Here’s WORLD commentator Cal Thomas now on journalism that really isn’t.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: There is a perception, supported by many surveys, that what passes for contemporary journalism is more biased, even propagandistic, than in earlier times. One of the definitions of “journalism” on Dictionary.com will affirm that attitude for many: “writing that reflects superficial thought and research, a popular slant, and hurried composition…”

Journalism has, in fact, been infected by bias and sensationalism from the start. In his book, Infamous Scribblers, Eric Burns suggests that colonial journalism would often make today’s tabloids look like real news. Their slogan could have been “all the unfit news we print.”

Newspapers of those days published unverified scandals and statements by rival politicians that would today be considered slanderous, even libelous.

Eric Burns put it this way: “The journalism of the era was often partisan, fabricated, overheated, scandalous, sensationalistic and sometimes stirring, brilliant, and indispensable. Despite its flaws—even because of some of them—the participants hashed out publicly the issues that would lead America to declare its independence and, after the war, to determine what sort of nation it would be.”

Fast-forward to 1920. Voters elect Warren Harding president. Initially, the press gushing over Harding could be compared to what today’s media are saying about President Joe Biden.

Washington journalist Edward G. Lowry described Harding this way: “Kindliness and kindness … fairly radiate from him. He positively gives out even to the least sensitive a sense of brotherhood and innate good-will toward his fellow man.” American author Irvin S. Cobb gushed: “I think I never met a kindlier man or a man of better impulses or one with more generous and gracious opinions of his fellow man.”

After his death in 1923, the Teapot Dome scandal and an extramarital affair came to light, erasing Harding’s virginal political image created by the press.

Which brings me to the media “reporting” on Joe Biden’s inauguration. Some of these examples make gushing over Harding and other politicians seem mild.

On January 20, New York Times editor Lauren Wolfe tweeted: “Biden landing at Joint Base Andrews now. I have chills.”

Here’s one from CNN political director David Chalian: quote—”Those lights that are just shooting out from the Lincoln Memorial along the reflecting pool, it’s almost extensions of Joe Biden’s arms embracing America. It was a moment where the new president came to town and sort of convened the country in this moment of remembrance, outstretching his arms.”

Major Garrett of CBS News compared Biden’s Inaugural Address to that of a priest: “The beginning had a soaring rhetoric. A tiny bit at the end. The middle it sounded like a homily. … But like a priest explaining something from the Bible or something. ‘I’m breaking it down for you so we can all have a common language and a common understanding.'”

Please pass the Communion wafer.

Former Clinton adviser and ABC News co-anchor George Stephanopoulos said Biden’s speech had “echoes of Abe Lincoln.” Really?

There’s plenty more and will be more to come. Some of these journalists should receive awards from the SPCA. They’re just lapdogs for President Biden.

I’m Cal Thomas.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: Culture Friday. We’ll talk with a women’s studies professor about the sweeping changes on transgender policy from the new administration.

And, a review of Wanda Vision—it’s a new Disney miniseries from Marvel Studios.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, make His deeds known among the nations. 

Go now in grace and peace.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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