Wednesday, March 10, 2010

David Warren: errors, corrections, and chain email?

An update on David Warren's recent corrections regarding Senator Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. In an earlier post, I noted the similarities between Warren’s piece, and Bruce Walker’s 2008 article, and speculated that this might be the “item” Mr. Warren referred to. Puzzled by how Warren might have mixed up the Democrat House Majority Leader with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who is not a lawyer), I did a little more looking, and discovered that the Walker article had become a widely circulated chain email.

This wouldn’t be the first time.

Most versions of the email altered the format of the first paragraphs, and made the same error. If one of these (rather than the original article) is, as Mr. Warren puts it, the “item a friend forwarded this week”, and if this is the reason for the Pelosi error, the following questions arise: First, are sources such as chain email acceptable for journalists at the Ottawa Citizen, other CanWest outlets, or other newspapers? And given that (unlike those who forwarded the email) Mr. Warren is paid to practice and uphold certain standards of the profession, would it not be reasonable to expect that he or his editors would at least fact check the ‘items friends forward to him’ before publishing them?

David Warren: “This is a point brought home to me by an amusing item a friend forwarded this week, comparing Democrat to Republican party in the United States. The Democrat leadership is all lawyers, and has been for some time. Barack Obama, lawyer; Michelle Obama, lawyer; Hillary Clinton, lawyer; Bill Clinton, lawyer; Bill Reid, lawyer; Nancy Pelosi, lawyer; and so forth. All Democrat presidential candidates since 1984, lawyers — except Al Gore, who somehow failed to graduate from law school.

Compare, if you will, the Republican leadership over the last while, in White House and Congress. The last Republican lawyer to make president was Gerald Ford. Instead: movie actor, spy chief, businessman, successively. Last election: an old soldier, and a PTA lady. Look back at the leaders of the so-called “Republican revolution” in Congress: Newt Gingrich, history professor; Tom Delay, pest exterminator; Dick Armey, economist; Bill Frist, heart surgeon. (And note what the Democrat lawyers did to get rid of them).”

Sample chain email: The Democratic Party has become the Lawyers’ Party:
 Barack Obama is a lawyer. 
Michelle Obama is a lawyer. 
Hillary Clinton is a lawyer
. Bill Clinton is a lawyer.
 John Edwards is a lawyer.
 Elizabeth Edwards is a lawyer.
 Every Democrat nominee since 1984 went to law school (although Gore did not graduate).
Every Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school.

Democrat Party in Congress: 
Harry Reid is a lawyer. 
Nancy Pelosi is a lawyer. (my caps)

The Republican Party is different: 
President Bush is a businessman.
 Vice President Cheney is a businessman.

The leaders of the Republican Revolution:
 Newt Gingrich was a history professor.
 Tom Delay was an exterminator.
 Dick Armey was an economist.
 House Minority Leader Boehner was a plastic manufacturer.
 The former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon.

Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer?
 Gerald Ford, who left office 31 years ago and who barely won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, running against Ronald Reagan in 1976. The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work, who are often the targets of lawyers.

The Democrat Party is made up of lawyers. Democrats mock and scorn men who create wealth, like Bush and Cheney, or who heal the sick, like Frist, or who immerse themselves in history, like Gingrich….

As for how Harry Reid became Bill Reid, sloppiness, perhaps?

links (Some cite and/or link to Walker’s 2008 article. In a few, comments also include the Shakespeare reference Mr. Warren develops in his article):

Shakespeare comments:

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