Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Little Fact-Checking Never Hurt Anyone

Investors who have heeded the advice of the Investor's Business Daily should hope that its investment tips are better grounded in fact than their editorials on health care.

As reported on Countdown by Keith Olbermann, and as posted by Ed Brayton on his blog under the header Dumbass Quote of the Day, I am submitting to you--my irony-loving readers--this gem from the Investor's Business Daily, which ham-handedly attempted to establish the superiority of the American health care system over its British counterpart thusly:

"People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."

Except that, as Brayton notes:

"There's just one tiny little problem with this: Stephen Hawking was born and raised in the UK and has lived there all his life. He teaches at Cambridge. That's in the UK."


The funny thing is that the editorial has been corrected in such a way that the correction is even more idiotic than the blunder it attempted to correct. Says the Editor's Note:

"This version corrects the original editorial which implied that physicist Stephen Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, did not live in the UK."

How does the editorial correct the mistaken implication that Stephen Hakwing does not live in the UK? Simply by removing any mention of Stephen Hawking from the editorial.

Dave in RI, on the Daily Kos, correctly notes the other, more egregious omission:

"They don't mention that the editorial also said Hawking would be dead if he did live in the UK."

The moral for conservatives: Never miss the opportunity to turn an honest blunder into a dishonest spin job.

Stephen Hawking himself felt a statement was needed on the Investor's Business Daily moronic editorial.

"I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS," he told the Guardian. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived." The article's author went on to say this: "Something here is worthless. And it's not him." Amen.

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