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:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Amount of laundry an average American family of four washes in a year (in tons):
A study of female Finnish twins found that relative preference for masculine faces is largely heritable.
It was reported that visits from Buddhist priests could be purchased through Amazon in Japan, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra began streaming performances through virtual-reality headsets.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”