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November 28, 2008

That Naughty, Naughty Charles Krauthammer (aka Lazy, Lazy Washington Post editors)
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

Tonight's game:  spot the inaccuracies in today's Charles Krauthammer column that even on a holiday WAPO editors should have caught.  I'll spot you two:

The forthcoming Chevy Volt "gets 40 miles on a charge," as if after that you have to push it back to the plug?  Uh, no.  Its small gas-assisted engine then gets another 300 miles -- at between 150 and 300 miles to the gallon, ten times that of the Hyundai to which Krauthammer unfavorably compares it.

"In the old days -- from the Venetian Republic to, oh, the Bear Stearns rescue -- if you wanted  to get rich, you did it the Warren Buffett way:  You learned to read balance sheets.  Today you have to read political tea leaves."

I don't know where to start with this sentence, which is an excrable construction that only a very turkey-saturated editor could love.  But never mind that, let's skip to the substance -- the happy myth of an uncorrupt yesteryear.  In less than two minutes of tooling around the Web (ok, my sister is a scholar of Venice so I had a bit of a head start), I came up with this, from Venice Reconsidered (Jeffries Martin, Martin, Romano):

As Grubb trenchantly writes, "The logical implications of an exemplary Venetian Republic, with blue-blood paternalism on the one hand and happily powerless masses on the other, are dubious lessons for our own day -- especially if we take seriously Ventura's demonstration of the patriciate's systematic abuses of justice, tax evasion, fiscal corruption, abuse of office, and in general thorough exploitation of class privilege at the expense of underlings."

Those Venetians - -they had everything except Blackwater.  (From what I recall from college, interrogation and torture were not outsourced.)

Anyway, add your own Krauthammer bloopers below.


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Why so bitter, Heather?

You can't rebut distorted arguments with distorted arguments.

Try again.

Indeed where does one start?

"Facing the prospect of two months of political limbo, the market craters. Led by the banks (whose balance sheets did not change between Tuesday and Wednesday), the market sees the largest two-day drop in the S&P since 1933, not a very good year."

Memo to Charles-the stock market is a forward looking, discounting mechanism. His attempts to explain recent moves are like most such attempts-ultimately not very satisfying or accurate, except in far hindsight.

Krauthammer's best days as a writer and public intellectual have long, long since departed. One concrete step that the WAPOs editors could take that may help: change that picture which makes him look like a perpetually petulant and very grumpy old man.

Sehr gute Seite. Ich habe es zu den Favoriten.

Posted by: Tom Davis | December 30, 2008 at 11:45 AM

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