NRO's Smith: This Cowboy Is All Hat, No Cattle

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reading Tom Edsall's report on the NRO's W. Thomas Smith Jr., whose suspect writings are termed "insane" and "hilarious," two things stand out. First, it is said that he is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design. Really, could such a guide have any other demographic, other than complete idiots?

But secondly, and more importantly, Smith's antics in the war zone, described as "cowboy" (which defames the disciplined and decent men who settled the American frontier) are the sorts of things that get other journalists killed. As one says, "By openly bragging about how he conducts 'reconnaissance' on Hezbollah 'strongholds' and describing what weapons he's carrying, he's making it difficult for every journalist here to do his or her job. We're all under suspicion anyway, and his public cowboying doesn't help at all."

Thomas' completely-missing-the-point response:

"Frankly, I'm not concerned with what Hezbollah assumes. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, funded, trained, and equipped by the Islamic (Iranian) Revolutionary Guard Corps. My responsibility is not to concern myself with how Hezbollah perceives me, nor do I feel any compulsion to court them. They are the enemy as far as I'm concerned. My responsibility is to deliver the facts to my readers, which I have always done and will always do.

"Now, am I a 'cowboy?' Perhaps I am bit of a cowboy. I did, after all, snag a Hezbollah flag while I was there. Was that Thomas [Smith] the journalist snagging the flag? Hardly. That was Thomas the Marine. And that's part of who I am, which I suppose makes me part cowboy."

Thomas the Marine, eh? Let's see. Unit. Corps. God. Country. You hear a "Me, me, me," in there, Thomas?