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On the January 2 edition of PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, New York Times columnist David Brooks claimed that former President Gerald R. Ford's pardon of former President Richard M. Nixon "is now universally celebrated." However, Brooks ignored his own newspaper's December 28 editorial, which noted that the Times editorial page had criticized the pardon at the time as "a profoundly unwise, divisive and unjust act." While the editorial then noted that "[h]istory has been more sympathetic to Mr. Ford's argument that to allow Mr. Nixon's prosecution to go forward, perhaps all the way to a trial, would have been profoundly destabilizing to a nation that was already in shaky health," it concluded: "Our own bottom line continues to be the same: that the nation is strong enough to endure almost anything but burying the truth."
From the January 2 edition of PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer:
LEHRER: David, President Bush said that the country needed Gerald Ford at that time. The question, of course, is, is there a relevance for the same kind of need in the country now for a healer president? A healer national figure?
BROOKS: Well, clearly that's been the reaction to him -- to the death. The main theme has been his healing abilities. They could have picked out many different aspects of his life. But it was that. The pardon, which is now universally celebrated. The idea that he could move the country beyond partisanship. That is clearly what a lot of people want. Whether we're going to get there, I'm not sure.