For equal-opportunity Picklering

I’m not sure I agree with Atrios that it would be better if all reporters printed whatever candidates say, without checking it for consistency either with fact or with the candidate’s other statements and positions. I think it would be just fine if Bush couldn’t get away with promising to “cut the deficit in half” without mentioning the tax cuts that created that deficit in the first place.

But the Nedra Pickler story Atrios points to is really outrageous, because it saves all of its fact-checking for one side of the dispute, and does the fact-checking itself rather badly. It asserts an inconsistency not really present in something Dean said, while neglecting to point out both the internal inconsistencies in the President’s claim to revere “life” and the blatant misstatements of fact that he used to justify his stem-cell position.

Atrios has been on Pickler’s case, and he seems to have good reason. Someone should remind her, and her editor, that while the Rev. Mr. Moon does own one of the two wire services, she works for the other one.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com