Humpty Dumpty landed in D.C.

By Thomas Jipping

Since, according to the media at least, there’s no media bias, something else must explain the odd-ball things appearing in the paper lately.

Just two days ago, for example, the media reported on a new study by the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation of the effectiveness of Internet porn filters. The Washington Times’ headline read: “Study Finds Porn Filters Leave Healthy Web Sites.” Its opening line: “Internet users can access most health-information sites even when their computers have pornography-blocking filters, says a study in a leading medical journal.”

But The Washington Post’s headline read: “Study: Web Filters Block Health Information.” Its opening line: “Software meant to protect young people from the seamier side of the Internet may also be blocking important health information … according to a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation study released yesterday.”

Huh? The Kaiser Family Foundation’s website easily says which of these is closer to the truth: “According to a new study by the Foundation, the Internet filters most frequently used by schools and libraries can effectively block pornography without significantly impeding access to online health information – but only if they aren’t set at their most restrictive levels.” Regulations requiring federally funded libraries to use porn filters say only that they be set at their least restrictive level. If not media bias, then what?

Another example comes from a pair of editorials, published on two successive days in the Post. The Supreme Court will consider constitutional challenges to a Texas ban on homosexual conduct and to the University of Michigan’s race-based admissions policy. The Post says that the courts should, in the sodomy case, take away from the people the decision about protecting public morals. The Post also says that, in the discrimination case, the courts should leave to the people the decision about achieving educational diversity.

Huh? “We the people” can make decisions about political or cultural issues for ourselves unless the Constitution already does it for us. The Constitution is silent on sodomy, but speaks clearly about race. So the Post wants to take away from the people what the Constitution leaves to them and leave to them the issue the Constitution takes away. (Insert sound of head-scratching here).

Wait, it gets even better. The Post on Dec. 3 huffed and puffed that anti-sodomy statutes “are not reasoned moral statements. They are discrimination, pure and simple, and the Supreme Court should say so.” The next day, the Post said: “Nobody ought to be comfortable with the state’s treating people differently by race. But the question for the court” is whether discriminatory admissions policies “so violate the basic ground rules of American democracy that they should be removed from the policymaking table altogether.”

Huh? The Post says the anti-sodomy statute must be struck down because it is “discrimination,” but a discriminatory admissions policy should be upheld despite “treating people differently by race.” Discrimination the Constitution leaves to the people is bad; discrimination the Constitution condemns is good.

Has Humpty Dumpty become editor in chief over at The Wonderland Post? After all, he once said to Alice: “When I use a word, it means what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.” At least Lewis Carroll admitted he was writing a fairy tale. The Post pretends it’s a newspaper.