Thursday, September 29, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

I respect Mark Kleiman’s academic work, and like his blog, even if we have a number of philosophical disagreements on a range of matters.

However, I can’t help but note that it is ironic, at a minimum, that a blog with the tagline “A weblog for the reality-based community” would give even partial credence to the National Enquirer, yet he does so here: Should we care if Bush is drinking again?

Yes, he does cast some aspersions in the direction of the Enquirer, yet the basis of the post is the “Bush is drinking story” which derives from the tabloid in question–albeit he is making a broader point about the issue of politicians and alcohol.

Nonetheless, I am not sure this passes the “reality-based” test at this time. Further, given the someone taunting nature of the “reality based” business, I find the whole thing interesting, shall we say.

Sourcing matters. I won’t say that I have never blogged a story from a questionable source, but I refuse to use sources like NewsMax because, quite frankly, their stories are often wither obviously slanted or too good to be true. I also refuse to use state-run media like Xinhua (or, for that matter, VOA). I have cited Drudge, but I have been more reluctant to do so as my time blogging has gone on. I must confess that I rarely check Drudge these days.

I will note that I did post twice on the Kerry intern story–once as a result of the Drudge story and again citing Kos noting that the story came from the Clark camp.

I do agree on one thing: if Bush is abusing alcohol (indeed, any President) then I do want to know.

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4 Responses to “Reality Based?”

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    1. Jack Says:

      I definitely took into account the source of that story when I read it, which is why I have not posted or even considered posting about it (not saying that your post asking to “consider the source” is wrong in any way).

      I agree with your statement that if any major leader of government is abusing alcohol, we should know. I doubt this is the case now, because especially after the unflattering portraits in both Time and Newsweek of the reaction of the administration to hurricane Katrina that was sourced by insiders, it is difficult to see how a story like alcohol abuse could remain hidden if true.

    2. Steven L. Says:

      I demand to know why the bloggers aren’t covering the “Bush is a half-reptoid alien clone” story from the same paper?

      I smell COVER UP, Mr. Professor.

    3. Mark Kleiman Says:

      If you’ll take the trouble to read my post, you will note that I don’t rely on the National Inquirer story. As I say in that post, Bush’s return to drinking has been well-established Washington gossip for more than a year. I merely pointed out that with the Inquirer and Letterman both mentioning the issue, the mainstream press has no excuse for pretending it doesn’t know that the question is out there to be asked.

    4. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:


      I did read it, and I did note in my post that you weren’t basing your post on the Enquirer and that you were making a broader point. However, the basis at the moment for even talking about this topic was the Enquirer story–indeed, I suspect that Letterman’s joke (which I saw as well as read on your site) was the result of the Enquirer story as well.

      I must admit I have a hard time believing that if there was solid proof (no pun intended) of Bush’s drinking that the MSM would cover it up. These are hardly the days of JFK when the press corps would look the other way.

      I simply found the very mention of the tabloid in question rather amusing with the “Reality Based” tagline. Even building off of gossip strikes me as questionable.

      As I noted in my post–I agree that if the President was, indeed, abusing alcohol that I would want to know.

      BTW–I tried to trackback your post, but got an error from your site when I tried to get the TB url.

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