Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Hard-to-Break Journalistic Habits

Tbogg shares this editorial from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Looking back on Congress' handling of the Terri Schiavo controversy – which included passing an emergency bill aimed at prolonging Schiavo's life – it's hard to decide which of DeLay's comments was more offensive.

Was it when DeLay referred to Michael Schiavo's lawyer as "the embodiment of evil"? Or when he accused those who disagreed with him of being "so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death for two weeks"?
There's more, with the same level of scorn. But at one point, the paper, despite all efforts, can't quite say what it means:
DeLay believes that part of what is "going on" is that his political opponents are out to get him and other conservatives with what he considers frivolous charges.
...which assumes that DeLay actually believes that. I suggest a rewrite with "Delay contends..." and "...describes as frivolous charges", which are perfectly fine non-committal journalese, and which probably better express what the paper means.

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