DVORKIN: NPR often calls on think tanks for comments. But NPR does not lean on the so-called conservative think tanks as many in the audience seem to think.Only in [the] America[n press corps]! Dvorkin says that NPR does not lean on the so-called conservative think tanks as many in the audience seem to think. As evidence, he offers a numerical accounting which tilts almost two-to-one toward conservative think tanks! Only in our broken discourse could such logic obtain.
Here's the tally sheet for the number of times think tank experts were interviewed to date on NPR in 2005:
Center for Strategic and Intl. Studies—39
There are of course, other think tanks, but these seem to be the ones whose experts are heard most often on NPR. Brookings and CSIS are seen by many in Washington, D.C., as being center to center-left. The others in the above list tend to lean to the right. So NPR has interviewed more think tankers on the right than on the left.
The score to date: Right 239, Left 141.
Some have complained that Brookings and CSIS arent really think tanks of the left. But for the sake of argument, lets leave that point to the side. Where except in the mainstream press can we find public figures who reason so strangely? By any rational standard, Dvorkins figures represent one thing. So he says that they stand for the opposite!
By happenstance, we saw a similar bit of reasoning as we thumbed a book in a D.C. Borders last week. And, with some pundits suggesting again that Gore might be the best 08 Dem hopeful, this bit of odd reasoning has stayed in our mind. But alas! We cant find the books relevant text on line, and we dont have it here at our sprawling headquarters. Well offer you the text on Monday. But reread that puzzling piece by Dvorkin and ask yourselves what we often ask: Is it possible that we live in a comic dream universe—a realm constructed by the gods for their delight and amusement?
THE BOOK WE THUMBED: The book we thumbed was The Woman at the Washington Zoo; it was written by the late Marjorie Williams, of Vanity Fair and the Washington Post. By all accounts, Williams was a superlative person, considered one of the press corps finest. Well guess that Dvorkins a nice man too. Indeed, thats the puzzle and the problem.
The passage in question comes from Williams July 2001 Vanity Fair profile of the Clinton-Gore relationship. Well give you the fuller passage next week. But here, in a contemporary piece by the New York Posts Deborah Orin, is the sentence that caught our eye and led to our mordant musings:
ORIN (6/5/01): The report also says Clinton rejects the idea that Sexgate caused Gore's loss to George W. Bush, telling a confidant: "[Hillary] was able to figure out how to deal with her relationship with me and win by 10 points. [Gore] should have been able to as well.Did Bill Clinton really make such a statement? We dont have the slightest idea. But uh-oh! In Campaign 2000, Hillary won by ten points in the state of New York. Gore, who had to run nationwide, won this same state by 25 points! Here are the FEC numbers:
2000 presidential election, state of New YorkIs there anywhere but the mainstream press where such puzzling logic prevails? Dont you sometimes wonder if you live in a veil of tears—a comic stage devised by the gods, as divine Homer so often wondered?
Gore: 4,107,697 (60 percent)
Bush: 2,403,374 (35 percent)