URLs du Jour (4/1/2005)

Happy April Fools Day. (Or maybe that should be "Fool's" or even "Fools'". I'm not enough of a pedant to look it up right now. Do any of the links below contain pranks? Not sure …

  • Lefties bewail media concentration, and one of their prime targets has long been Clear Channel Communications. But in an article for The American Spectator, Shawn Macomber describes how Clear Channel is partnering with the "progressive" Air America to actually turn the once-struggling pinko network into sort of a success.

    Shawn concludes:

    But let's not hold our breath waiting for a retraction or for the folks over at Air America to start advocating the further liberalization of markets. The underdog rhetoric just sells much too well abandon it, especially on the way up.

    Is this irony? I'm never sure.

  • Meant to link to this yesterday, but Warren Bell has a funny and insightful essay at NRO on the times when you should just say a few simple words. Buried within is probably the best explanation of why I like Dubya, and (maybe) why he irritates others to conniption.
  • Also meant to link to this earlier, but here is an interview with baseball stat guy and Red Sox employee Bill James, who gets smart questions and provides smarter answers. Recommended if you like baseball at all.
  • Ann Althouse has a great post today about, well, dust. I really liked this:

    I read a long time ago that the dust in your house is mostly flaked off skin cells.

    followed immediately by:

    What would you prefer it to be?

    Damn fine writing. As the Blogfather says, read the whole thing.

  • Google offers a new service, Google Gulp. (Perhaps only for a very limited time, so click today!)

Last Modified 2012-10-26 4:58 PM EDT

I Attempt to Emulate Volokh

In Slate, Timothy Noah has been trying to castigate Ari Fleischer's book Taking Heat in a series of articles billed as "an ongoing inquiry into dishonest or insane assertions buried inside Ari Fleischer's White House memoir."

The series got off to a lousy start when Noah tried to pass off a quote from the book as if Fleischer had uttered it himself, when it actually came from Mark Halperin at ABC's The Note. Eugene Volokh nailed the problem quickly, and Slate had to correct the article.

Now in "Fleischer Watch, Part 3", Noah tries to rip Fleischer for saying:

In the coverage of the president's court victory, two words jumped out at me—closely divided. Every network and all the major newspaper accounts accurately noted that the ruling came from a closely divided Supreme Court. The Court did rule 5-4, after all. … But four days earlier, on December 8, the Florida Supreme Court had delivered a major victory to Al Gore in a 4-3 ruling that could have made the former Vice President the forty-third president of the United States. Looking back at the coverage of that ruling, it's hard to find many references to a "closely divided" court.

Noah then attempts to refute:

… I performed a database search on Nexis for Nov. 8-15, 2000, using the phrases "Florida Supreme Court" and "closely divided" and the words "Bush" and "Gore."

It's pretty clear, given the previous paragraph, that Noah should have searched December 8-15, 2000. Probably meant that, too.

This is a much less serious error than that caught by Volokh. But where's the error: did Noah type "Nov" when he meant "Dec" in composing his article, or did he make the mistake in his Nexis search?

I've bounced off a message to corrections@slate.com about this, just for fun. It will be interesting to see what happens. Slate's usually diligent about fixing things.

Last Modified 2005-04-01 5:40 PM EDT