Fair and balanced, pt. II
The mysterious typist behind TAPPED (The American Prospect’s weblog) does a poor job trying to … is “debunk” the right word? Trying to dismiss the story I blogged last night. They note the same “14 research assistants” passage as me.
Perhaps this is just a fault of unlovely prose, but does Kurtz really believe that the availability of research assistants inspired Franken’s voluminous use of footnotes and statistics? Perhaps Franken used a lot of footnotes because, um, he wanted people to be able to judge his evidence for themselves? You know, because he’s intellectually honest and stuff? Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Oooh! This is news! The American Prospect is calling Ann Coulter “intellectually honest”!
What do I mean? Last year, the Prospect fact-checked much of Coulter’s book Slander. They were able to so because the book includes several hundred footnotes. Another website credited this part of her book with making their job easier:
In her book she has included, and heavily publicized, 780 or so footnotes, in the hope that their very heft will buy Slander a credibility not shared by the books of, say, Bernard Goldberg, Sean Hannity, or (on the Left) Mike Moore. This symbol of accuracy and scholarship is meant to reduce skepticism, tricking people into thinking that her rants are factually-based rants.
My conclusion is that the book has 780 footnotes for the main purpose of having 780 footnotes.
But it had 780 footnotes.
I don’t side with Coulter on this one. I side with the old TAPPED and the critics of Slander – Franken is not so intellectually honest as much as he wanted to look like a real pundit. And the fact that he had 14 assistants cannot be written off by any serious person (or any serious anonymous weblogger).