Political media quiz:

Which one of the following statements is NOT true?

1. Jeff Jacoby accused John Kerry of exploiting his newfound Jewish roots for political advantage, and said that Kerry allowed everyone in Massachusetts to think he was Irish, not correcting the Boston Globe when it so identified him in numerous front-page stories.

2. Mickey Kaus linked to Jacoby and endorsed the charge.

3. Roger Ailes demonstrated that the charge was false: there had been so such front-page story.

4. Mickey Kaus retracted and apologized.



I bet you thought the answer to the quiz above was (4). In fact, so did I. But it turns out to be (3).

Roger Ailes only thought he had demonstrated the charge was false, and that I only thought Roger was right. Roger now says otherwise, and has evidence in hand.

Mickey Kaus seems to have difficulty grasping the distinction between having made a mistake and being a fool, which is perhaps (1) the result of his own infallibility and (2) the cause of his reluctance to admit an error when he makes one. Since I’m not infallible (unless the College of Cardinals has done something really weird while I’ve been out of touch) I don’t feel at all foolish saying I was wrong.

I was wrong.

I will be wrong again.

When I become aware of having been wrong, you’ll be the first to know.

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