Sunday, November 13, 2011

HuffPo versus a Kochtopus Magazine

David Friedman writes:
During the 2010 elections, I found I had a new hobby—defending Tea Party candidates from claims that they were nuttier than they actually were. One pleasant surprise was the discovery that the Huffington Post, at least in the cases I looked at (example), was a reliable source of information, even when reporting on people whose views they obviously disagreed with.

One unpleasant surprise was discovering, on, words attributed to a candidate, given in quotation marks, which the candidate had not said. The author of the piece had altered both words and meaning. When I pointed that out to him by email he defended what he had written. The misquote was only corrected after I pointed it out to someone else at Reason.
Here's Friedman on another Reason story:
In a webbed "candidate profile" of Sarah Palin, writes:
Regarding the invasions of Iraq and Aghanistan, she said, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God."
The actual quote is available in a variety of places. The following is from the Huffington Post; the accompanying video of the speech is no longer up:

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

What she is saying is not that the war is a task that is from God but that her listeners should pray that it is. She even says it twice over. Asking people to pray that something is true implies, not that you know it is true, but that you are afraid it might not be.

Reason converted "Pray that X is true" into "X is true." That is either incompetent journalism or a deliberate lie


  1. Reason=Neocons posing as Libertarians. HuffPo may be dominated by big-gov liberals but it is speckled with classic liberals as well. And right up front with the magazine's agenda as opposed to Reason's covert ways.

  2. Reason has repeatedly disappointed me.

    The name is great, the claims of libertarianism are great but the actual substance has proven to be stale statism, sprayed with perfume to hide the putrid stench from underneath...

  3. This article on Reason is decent:

    Ron Paul Changes the Debate
    But he is still outside the Washington status quo.

    Lucy Steigerwald | November 14, 2011

    (snip) You might not have guessed it from this weekend's "Commander In Chief" debate—where he was one of only two Republican presidential hopefuls not competing to be seen as the proudest torturer and most enthusiastic killer of terrorists and subversives—but Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has fundamentally changed the terms of next year's presidential campaign.

    Read more: