Mystery score

Mystery score

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Annals of Proofreading and Stupidity

The NY Times's writers and editors have a problem distinguishing between "libertarian" and "liberal." Found on page two of the obituary for Warren Christopher:
After earning degrees at U.S.C. and Stanford’s law school, Mr. Christopher won a clerkship with the libertarian Supreme Court justice William O. Douglas, during which he helped draft book chapters.
Quoth Brad DeLong: Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?



6 comments:

Dan Johnson said...

I think "libertarian" is the word they were looking for—one who stands for individual liberties, as in "civil libertarian." (That used to be the meaning of the word, before it became code for "Republican.")

Lisa Hirsch said...

"Civil libertarian" and "libertarian" (i.e. Ayn Rand follower) are quite different things. If they meant the former, that is what they should have said.

Immanuel Gilen said...

If Ayn Rand follower is the definition of a libertarian, I too would be outraged at such a portrayal of Mr Douglas, but I personally think that's a very narrow and frankly incorrect way of describing libertarianism, which I don't (yet) experience as being code for strict allegiance to a niche figure.

Somehow this paragraph looks rather mean, but I assure you this is unintentional. :-) I do suppose there's an extent of political hijacking of the word libertarianism (much like maverick). But it's rational people's job not to let that happen!

Lisa Hirsch said...

I don't mind mean. My comment above was mean!

My other definition of "libertarian" is also mean: free-market Republican meets social liberal.

Joe Barron said...

I left a comment here several day ago, but it has not appeared. I don't feel like repeating it all now, so I'll just say this: The difference between a libertarian and liberal is that liberals think the poor are stupid because they're poor, and libertarians think the poor are poor because they're stupid. Everyone seems to agree on the stupid part, though.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Hmmm. Blogger completely lost your comment, Joe - it's not in Comments to be Moderated or the spam in box....