Thursday, 20 October 2011

Odd journalism of the day

Because I gave up tribalism for Lent and it stuck, I read all shades of political opinion, from The Telegraph to The Guardian, New Statesman to Spectator. So, today, I was having a look at Daniel Hannan. He is, as far as I can tell, a devoted Libertarian. He was getting cross (Libertarians always accuse the Left of being grumpy, but seem quite livid themselves) about people sneering at The Tea Party. Then he wrote this odd sentence:

'Despite having been told in no uncertain terms what to think, most Americans remain stubbornly of the view that the Tea Party's central contention is moderate.'
This is odd because it is not true. The latest poll I can find, from late September, has Americans' view of The Tea Party at 28% favourable, and 53% unfavourable. I suppose one might imagine that the good citizens could decide that a contention is moderate, and not like it anyway, but it seems unlikely. 

Here is what I don't get: Hannan is very intelligent and articulate; he has an argument to make. I don't agree with it, but it is a perfectly respectable view. So why would he rely on a fiction to make it?

There's been a lot of this about lately, most especially the fantasy that the BBC had banned the use of AD and BC. That got huge play in The Mail and The Telegraph, despite endless refutation. My question is: what is wrong with facts?

The original Boston Tea Party. With added hats.

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