Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Journalistic idiocy

There was a story a few years ago about a paper where some editor changed "back in the black", to read "back in the African-American".

Yesterday, the august New York Times pulled a similarly bone-headed move:
But the network of so-called illegals — spies operating under false names outside of diplomatic cover ...
Read it again and ask yourself what exactly is "so called" illegal, as opposed to simply "illegal", about spies operating under false names. Of course what obviously happened here is that some knee-jerk politically correct type with a bumper sticker brain thought "no one is illegal" and inserted the fatuous qualifier.

At the risk of angering some readers*, the qualification is fatuous on immigration as well. Even if we favour more open immigration laws, it still remains the case that someone who enters the country without permission is an illegal immigrant under current immigration law. No matter what side of an argument we are on, we hurt everyone if we abuse language by saying inane things like "no one is illegal".

*I've had almost 200 people pop by now by the way. And there are about 20 people who come back on a regular basis. I blog in the old-fashioned way. I put down here exactly the same sorts of things I used to write in my diary. I've never advertised the site and have no ambitions for it but I am flattered and grateful that others are interested.

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