Friday, March 9, 2007

Some paper of record you are

I don't talk politics much any more. I'm a uniter, not a divider.

But I will always take the chance to prove that I am smarter than the New York Times.

From an unsigned editorial, March 8:

That disturbing tale is one of several revealed this week in Congressional hearings called to look into the firing of eight United States attorneys. The hearings left little doubt that the Bush administration had all eight — an unprecedented number — ousted for political reasons.

This is a curious use of "unprecedented." Perhaps there has never been a previous time in history in which exactly eight U.S. attorneys were sacked at once. But there have been times in which more than eight U.S. attorneys were fired at once. In fact, it should be noted that Bush's predecessor fired every U.S. attorney except one upon taking office.

Of course, there's little point in debating facts any more. We have all entered our own personal Rashomons, in which we may pick and choose from a smorgasbord of information to construct the realities we wish to see before us. If the Times has decided that the firing of eight U.S. attorneys is "unprecedented," then they are free to believe it.


Skipperdee said...

I certainly have no quarrel with your point that "unprecedented" is the Wrong Word To Use. (I wish firing competent people for political reasons was an unusual act subject to universal condemnation, but even I'm not quite naïve enough to say it's never been done to this extent before.)

But is citing a National Review editorial in repudiating the NYT really going to help you make your case? Just sayin'.

Salieri said...

Very well, here's Think Progress citing Clinton's chief of staff, John Podesta, admitting to firing the attorneys, but saying that it wasn't politically motivated when they did it.