Great Quotes, Lousy Editing At TPM Today

Two articles contained quotes that made me smile… quotes that obfuscated the actual substantive content of their respective stories.

The first:

The Republican Party has found a near fool-proof plan to avoid nominating a Sarah Palin redux as vice president, a high-risk candidate with the potential to alienate voters: It chose Mitt Romney for the top of the ticket.

No, the authors did not mean, as I initially thought, that the GOP’s solution to the Sarah Palin problem was to put the Sarah Palin equivalent at the top of the ticket instead of in the VP slot. No, they were comparing Mitt Romney’s style with John McCain’s. That certainly wasn’t what I took away from that lede sentence.

The second, even more amusing, regarding the Amish beard-cutting case:

Rosman also argues that the Mullet case shouldn’t have raised federal scrutiny because the activity did not have a substantial impact on interstate commerce. The feds had argued they could get involved under the Commerce Clause because the battery-powered hair clippers and sheers used in the attacks came from out of state and because the accused hired drivers to transport them to and from the location of their alleged assaults.

The feds were wearing sheers? Maybe so… they’re standard courtroom dress for half the population, and I believe there’s a history among men in the FBI leadership. The drivers were wearing sheers? c’mon, these folks are Amish! The obvious interpretation is that the alleged perpetrators in the case used shears, not sheersand that TPM sorely needs copy editors!

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  • MandT  On Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    The Amish also have beautiful baskets.

    • Steve  On Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      MandT, I am a great admirer of the Amish, though I could personally never live the life they do. They have made a decision quite foreign to the mindset of most Americans: they have frozen their society and their technology at some 19th-century level. Such early technology as they create is sometimes stunningly beautiful… two centuries out of date, but functional and beautiful. They seem rather rigid about gender roles; I would have a problem with that. But with few exceptions, they live the life they preach, and they don’t preach at me!

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