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April 28, 2010


Speaking of the New York Times, did you notice that once the health care bill had safely passed, the Times suddenly discovered that there are serious problems with coverage of pre-existing conditions? See here and here.

In 1896, Adolph Ochs published a declaration of principles for the New York Times that included this inspirational language:

It will be my earnest aim that The New-York Times give the news, all the news, in concise and attractive form, in language that is parliamentary in good society, and give it as early, if not earlier, than it can be learned through any other reliable medium; to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved; to make of the columns of The New-York Times a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.
Measured against that standard, the Times's failure to report problems with coverage of pre-existing conditions when it might have influenced the pending health care bill is a shameful chapter in the Times's long history.

Obama urged his supporters to turn out "the young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008".

Is that playing the race card? Let's turn it around and see how it sounds:

Palin urged her supporters to turn out "the mature people, Caucasians, natural born Americans, and men who suppoted us so strongly in 2008".

Is that version OK?

David, your inverted test illustrates the isssue perfectly. Well done.

Brendan and his confreres at Media Matters are spinning in a panic, trying to distract their readers from coming to an obvious conclusion about Obama's racially divisive tactics.

And it's the Washington Times' "hypocrisy" that is "unbearable", right Brendan?

I fully agree with Brendan's criticism of Quinnipiac's press release. I think part of the problem is that the poll numbers really speak for themselves. An article is required, but there's really nothing to say beyond the numbers themselves.

A similar problem arises when business reporters write articles describing corporate earnings reports. The reported numbers are really the whole story. Unlike poll reporters, the business reporters simply repeat the key results in sentences rather than as a chart. That makes for boring reading, but I guess it keeps them out of trouble.

So David, you believe that the inversion of "Latinos" is "natural born Americans" (i.e. that the two categories are mutually exclusive)? Seriously?

daniel, I tried to think of something better, but couldn't come up with anything. I wanted to use a recognizable group, even if it wasn't the exact opposite. E.g., "Caucasians" isn't the complement of "African Americans". "Non-Latinos" isn't a group one normally thinks of.

Can you suggest a better term?

The opposite of Latinos would probably be Anglos.

Meanwhile, not content with his fellow Democrats' slander of Republicans as un-American (Teresa Heinz, 2004; Nancy Pelosi, 2009), Harry Reid has gone a step further and castigated them as anti-American. In Reid's defense, however, he is old and tired; even by Senate standards, he is quite stupid; and facing the toughest re-election campaign of his career, he stinks of desperation, decay and defeat. As Majority Leader, Reid is so over his head that it's only a short trip to the bottom of the barrel. We should cut him a little slack. Remember, no lesser a judge of character than President Obama previously said of Reid, "This is a good man who has always been on the right side of history."

After making the adjustments indicated by daniel to make the inversion more accurate, the following sentence results:

" McCain urged his supporters to turn out 'the mature people, white Americans, those of European descent, and men who powered our campaign in 2008' ".

This version looks even more divisive.

Neither Heinz nor Pelosi labeled Republicans as "un-American" in the respective links you provided, Rob, but if you want to get your arguments across with lies as well as with truths, I can't stop you.

Apropos of the Quinnipiac Poll reporting essentially flat results as a "bounce", here's a headline:

Melting icebergs causing sea level rise

The ninth paragraph of the article eventually points out that the magnitude of the "rise" amounts to 49 micrometers per year. By comparison, the diameter of a human hair ranges from 17 to 181 micrometers.

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