The Crikey bunker may be a glasshousebut we’re throwing a stone regardless: The Age needs to get itself either some better op-ed contributors or some better sub-editors – possibly both. Two articles from Saturday’s edition make the point.
First, Anne Summers on the prospects of Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton: “To become president she has to hold all the blue states captured by John Kerry in 2002 and to find an additional 34 electoral college votes. The most discussed scenario says she must win Ohio (20 votes) … and two other, smaller states.”
Well, for a start “2002” is obviously a typo for “2004.” But the real problem is with the arithmetic. Bush in 2004 won 286 votes in the electoral college to Kerry’s 252. So if electoral votes just came out of nowhere, the Democrats would need another 34 to draw level. But of course they don’t; one side’s gain is another side’s loss. (This is a more sophisticated version of the “John Howard one-seat Senate majority” fallacy.) The Democrats only need to win an extra 18 votes, so Ohio on its own would be enough.
Then in the same paper we have Allan Patience launching an attack on “neo-liberalism,” which he somehow associates with the Howard government. But forget the weird politics for a moment; en route to that conclusion, he refers to the indebtedness of conservatism to “18th-century Irish Catholic philosopher and MP Edmund Burke.”
No, Burke was a Protestant, just like his father and his brothers. And this is Ireland we’re talking about, so that’s not a trivial detail. It’s a bit like making a passing reference to Gerry Adams as “a prominent Irish Protestant.”