Five Best Friday Columns

Bobby Ghosh on Anthony Shadid, Gish Jen on Jeremy Lin, Kimberley Strassel on Oregon's Ron Wyden, Bloomberg View on the next World Bank head, and  Charles Krauthammer on Obama and contraception.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Bobby Ghosh in Time on deceased New York Times journalist Anthony Shadid A fellow foreign correspondent, Ghosh describes the Times reporter and two-time Pulitzer winner (pictured above) who died Thursday in Syria of an apparent asthma attack. "That was Tony’s great gift: his insatiable curiosity about —  and deep empathy for — ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. His journalism was shot through with this quality, enriched by it. Yes, he interviewed heads of state and talking heads, but it was his familiarity with the lives of Iraqis, Lebanese, Egyptians, Libyans and Syrians that made him the best journalist operating in the Middle East."

Gish Jen in The New York Times on Jeremy Lin The op-ed contributor and author salutes the New York Knicks basketball star for revealing the complex relationship between culture and the individual. "Who knows what will happen now that athletic Asian-American kids can say, 'Look at Jeremy Lin!'?" Jen writes. "As the psychologist Jerome S. Bruner has observed, cultures do offer us templates, but even the simplest culture offers a variety of choices; culture does not determine us. And, as the anthropologist Richard A. Shweder says, culture and psyche make each other up. We shape our templates as much as they shape us."

Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal on the war on Ron Wyden For working with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan on a Medicare plan, the Democratic senator has been torched by the left. "'Ron Wyden, Useful Idiot,' railed New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. 'Is Ron Wyden trying to get Mitt Romney elected?' fumed the Nation magazine." Regardless, he remains popular in his state, Strassel argues, because of Oregon's predilection for constructive leadership. "He's best described as a wonk, a workhorse, a doer. That's kept him popular in his home state where—by contrast to the Beltway storm—the editorial boards praised his outreach to Mr. Ryan, and where seniors in recent town halls have been equally receptive."

Bloomberg View on why Obama should decline to nominate the next World Bank leader  The Bloomberg editorial board says the decades-long custom of the U.S. anointing an American to lead the financial institution is illegitimate and no-longer defensible. "The arrangement is rightly seen as an affront to Brazil, China, India and the other fast-growing developing economies. It’s also inimical to the very idea of international cooperation on terms of mutual respect -- and not just for the countries excluded from any say in the matter."

Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post on Obama's contraception pivot  "The trick is that these birth control/abortion services will supposedly be provided independently and free of charge by the religious institution’s insurance company. But this changes none of the moral calculus. Holy Cross Hospital, for example, is still required by law to engage an insurance company that is required by law to provide these doctrinally proscribed services to all Holy Cross employees."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.