Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Corrections Don't Always Correct
The other day, Jane Hamsher spotted an almost unconsciousable mistake in a column written by Dana Milbank for the Washington Post:
Continuing its tradition of journalistic excellence, the Washington Post sends its best and brightest to bash the blogs:
Elected Democrats and their liberal base are in one of their periodic splits between pragmatism and symbolism. Under pressure from blogs and liberal groups, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday attempted an obviously doomed filibuster against the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito -- and Kerry got only 25 of the 60 needed votes.
Don't worry Dana, we will unleash no swarm of "hate speech" upon your tender ears explaining the difference between 41 and 60...
Now the Post edited Milbank's column and added a correction:
Earlier versions of this story incorrectly reported as 60 the number of votes needed to sustain a filibuster. Sixty votes are needed to stop a filibuster. The incorrect information has been removed from this story.
This is the corrected line:
Under pressure from blogs and liberal groups, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday attempted an obviously doomed filibuster against the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito -- and Kerry got only 25 votes.
But now the paragraph doesn't really make sense.
And the entire column doesn't make any sense.
Because that one incorrect line was the glue that held it together in the first place.
Notice how the correction doesn't say "and Kerry only got 25 of the 41 votes needed."
Because the truth doesn't pack the powerful punch that Milbank intended.
See how the next paragraph continues Milbank's thesis (which I guess has something to do with his silly title: "Tasting Victory, Liberals Instead Have a Food Fight"):
Likewise, the chance of a Republican Congress moving to impeach Bush is close to zero.
But with the correction added....there is nothing "[l]ikewise" about this next paragraph.
Twenty-five out of forty-one votes isn't the joke that Milbank thought twenty-five out of sixty was.
Simply stated, the shit don't be making sense.
(Time to interject some meanness: Milbank is really stupid. This wasn't a typo. This was an error. An error which apparently inspired him to write an entire column making hay out of his error. The appropriate correction - in my opinion: This entire column should have been deleted.)
Speaking of corrections....
(Correction: At the time of writing this...I wasn't aware that Tenet ever personally admitted using the "slam dunk" line but somehow - like a klutz - I missed this link: "Those were the two dumbest words I ever said," Tenet said in a speech at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.)