If Kay Bailey Hutchison wants to claim that “A few of them have formal titles, but most are simply known as ‘czars’” then fine. Maybe she’s ignorant, or maybe she’s a huge liar. Either way, Amanda Terkel points out that this is completely false. There are zero officials in the Obama administration who lack formal titles and are simply known as czars. She’s totally wrong. Completely and utterly. Is she careless? Is she dishonest? Honestly, I don’t care.
What I do care about is The Washington Post. This is a newspaper. They charge people money to buy it. The idea is that if you pay money in order to buy it, you’ll become better informed. But they regularly publish material in their opinion pages that demonstrates a total disregard for this function. The article in question manages to not so much as mention that all of our recent presidents have employed “czars.” I find it completely impossible to believe that Washington Post editors are unaware that George W. Bush employed “czars.” I find it completely impossible to believe that Washington Post editos have completely forgotten the administration of a man who was still president as recently as nine months ago. And I find it completely impossible to believe Washington Post editors don’t grasp the relevance of this fact to assessing the credibility of Hutchison’s complaint. Her use of phrases such as “unprecedented” to describe Obama’s czar-related conduct, combined with the total lack of context, is transparently designed to mislead the audience. And the Washington Post decided to print it!
You never really hear about people picking up a Kaplan test prep book and walking away feeling as if they’ve been deliberately misled.
And in the spirit of accuracy, this post from yesterday now has a correction as I was totally misunderstanding the chart about Harvard’s endowment.