Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Two errors in One Sentence in the New York Times

Jonathan Zasloff notes

David Brooks [snip] comes up with this doozy:

All the habits of verbal thuggery that have long been used against critics of affirmative action, like Ward Churchill and Thomas Sowell, and critics of the radical feminism, like Christina Hoff Summers, are now being turned inward by the Democratic front-runners.


Ward Churchill? No, he's the nutcase University of Colorado professor who suggested that the victims of 9/11 were fascists.

Brooks means to talk about Ward Connerly, the African-American businessman who sponsored Prop 209, California's anti-affirmative action initiative.


He neglects to mention that the critic of radical feminism is named Christina Hoff Sommers as is shown by googling Christina Hoff Summers (that is of Germanic not Anglo Saxon ethnicity).

That's two errors in one sentence. No wonder the New York Times is our journal of record.

Oddly Zaslof described Brooks' column as "decent." I have a more substantive complaint than the difference between "Connerly" and "Churchill" let alone "Summers" and "Sommers."

Brooks says that "Obama ... [has] eagerly donned the mantle of identity politics." and presents no evidence whatsoever. My impression is that Obama is careful never to mention his race (this is based mainly on listening to his Iowa victory speech and the fact that everyone but Brooks says so).

Brooks presents no specific evidence to support his claim that the Obama campaign is playing the victims. He doesn't even hint that Sen. Obama himself has said anything which might be construed as playing the race card, playing the victim or noting that there might still be at least one racist in the USA.

Finally Brooks notes that Clinton supporters have said unreasonable things. Does this mean that Brooks is playing the race card ? Dedicating himself to identity politics ? Using all the verbal thuggery ...

Ok the answer to the last one is clearly yes. Brooks is insinuating something he can't prove, because it isn't true, then directly stating it using strong language, while hoping the reader hasn't noticed the weasel words where the evidence might have been presented.

1 comment:

HStewart said...

The names in Brooks's column have been corrrected, without, however, noting that changes were made. Newspaper of record, indeed.