SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
In an op-ed column that appears in today’s Washington Post, the “dean of the Washington press corps,” David Broder, struggles with the trial and sentencing of Scooter Libby. It raises the question: does David Broder belong to the reality-based community?
Depends. On whether you read the central or concluding paragraphs, that is. For it turns out that David Broder is quite decisively of two altogether irreconcilable minds on the subject. On one hand, this whole trial is a farce and Scooter Libby never should have been tried. But on the other, it was completely reasonable for Judge Reggie Walton to have sentenced him just as he did.
Some may call Broder’s a liberal spirit. Others will opt for a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia. As for me, its plainly senile dementia. But then I don’t have a license. So perhaps we should call in Dr. Frist for a videocamera diagnosis.
One thing I do know, however: Broder said that journalists – he cited Sidney Blumenthal, Newsweek and Joe Conason – had done wrong by saying that Karl Rove was at the heart of the Valerie Plame scandal. Broder wrote:
These and other publications owe Karl Rove an apology. And all of journalism needs to relearn the lesson: Can the conspiracy theories and stick to the facts.
Of course, the prosecution proved that Broder was wrong, and that Blumenthal, Newsweek, and Conason were right on the money. So, it’s true that an apology is owing. From David Broder, a embarrassing example of an opinion journalist, to the serious journalists he maligned.
More from Scott Horton:
No Comment — March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm
On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers
No Comment — November 4, 2013, 5:17 pm
An expert panel concludes that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath
No Comment — August 12, 2013, 7:55 am
How will the Obama Administration handle Edward Snowden’s case in the long term?
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
Science’s crisis of faith