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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

First Draft of History, Not

The mainstream press seems to think that the government shutdown is do to a disagreement between John Boehner and President Obama. This is silly. The two of them are in broad agreement about what to do with the budget. 

The disagreement that matters is between Boenher and the suicide caucus. Does the confusion of the press on this subject mean that historians will also get it wrong? 


Journalists love to say that the news is "the first draft of history." But you know who never says that? Historians. 

That's because historians are interested in primary sources that record the facts of the past. Things like marriage and death records are reliable guides to what actually happened. Diaries and letters record what actual people felt. No historian worth his salt would rely on the guesses of some hack when facts are available. 

What impresses me is how polite they are about it. Doesn't Michael Bechloss ever want to just scream at Gwen Ifill?

"Gwen, you moron! Your question simply assumes that both parties are equally guilty!  In the history of the two party system that's never how things have worked!"


Eleanor Rigby Journalism At The NYT

Do The Right Least Unconstitutional Thing