It’s nothing new to learn that there are quality-control problems at the Washington Post op-ed page, but Kevin Carey’s demolishing of Lamar Alexander’s op-ed on SAFRA is really something to behold. If the Post feels that it has an obligation to print any op-ed that any Senator is willing to sign his name to, irrespective of accuracy, then I suppose that’s fine. But Senator-signed op-eds should come with some kind of warning label, then. Something like “I, Fred Hiatt, because I like making a mockery of the idea of ethical journalism, make it my practice to run op-eds by Senators whether or not they’re riddled with factual errors and deliberate efforts to mislead the audience.”
Meanwhile, I take it that if Lamar Alexander had something false he wanted to tell people about the SAT—like if he wanted to say it was bad test-taking strategy to guess randomly even if you’re able to narrow it down to two options—that Kaplan wouldn’t let him write that in one of their test prep books. Their feeling, as I understand it, is that if they expect people to pay money for test prep books then the information in the books had better be reliable and not just reflect something or other some powerful person happened to want to say..