The Corner

Dead Men Tell Tales

For reasons not worth getting into, I was reading the NYT obituary of Ronald Reagan this morning. It was published on June 6, 2004. It quotes Kenneth Lynn, a history professor at Johns Hopkins, calling RR “one of the most important presidents of the 20th century.” There’s more, and it’s nice, pro-RR stuff. What the NYT doesn’t say is that Lynn died three years earlier, in 2001. There’s nothing wrong with drafting an obit in advance, so that a quality piece is ready to run at a moment’s notice. But they do require updating.

John J. Miller — John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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