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Standards Have Left the Building



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The Washington Post seems to have let go all its copy editors. In today’s op-ed piece on McGovern, Bob Dole writes “. . . George McGovern never gave up on his principles or in his determination to call our nation to a higher plain.” This isn’t a typo, it’s a junior-high-school error.

Of course, even in the unlikely event he actually wrote the piece, Dole isn’t really at fault here because he was a politician, not, say, former executive editor of the New York Times. But Howell Raines is, and his Sunday WaPo review of a new James McPherson history of the Union navy contained this howler: “His summation seems imminently fair . . .” Really? So is the Newspaper of Record in the Capital of the Free World just a blog now, like Newsweek, where no one checks anything before hitting “post”? Mind you, these were both features, not breaking news stories written on deadline and incorporating changes made at the last minute as new facts come to light.

At least the Post’s stubborn insistence on spelling employee as “employe” through the 1980s showed it cared about the English language. Now, not so much.



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