The Times Does History and Geography

Let’s take a break from election-eve anxiety by making fun of the New York Times. Yesterday’s corrections section had a couple of doozies. First, the Times ventures into ancient history. Well, not exactly ancient–19th century American history. But that apparently is the dim past to Times reporters and editors:

The Table for Three interview last Sunday featuring Doris Kearns Goodwin and Rachel Maddow misstated the surname of the Democratic nominee for president in 1896, 1900 and 1908. He is William Jennings Bryan, not Bryant.

As so often happens, one wonders: does the Times not, in fact, have any editors, or are there at least two Times employees–a reporter and an editor–who have never heard of William Jennings Bryan?

William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan

Then there is geography; or, perhaps, the problem is arithmetic:

An article on Oct. 23 misstated the size of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is 1.1 million acres, not 1.1 million square miles. The error was repeated in a picture caption on Page A3.

The BWCA is Minnesota’s wilderness park, and it is a great place. But who could imagine that it occupies 1.1 million square miles? A person of normal competence understands that a million square miles is equivalent to a square 1,000 miles wide and 1,000 miles high. The BWCA is north of Duluth, Minnesota, but let’s take Duluth as a reference point. Just over a thousand miles East of Duluth is Boston, Massachusetts. And if you go 1,000 miles South of Duluth? Dallas, Texas.


The Boundary Waters seems big when you try to canoe it, but it doesn’t stretch from Duluth to Boston to Dallas. Once again, at least two NY Times employees apparently have no idea how big an area a 1.1 million square miles is. They obviously didn’t grow up on farms or in small towns–no rural person could confuse an acre with a square mile!

As we have said before, apart from entertainment value, there is real significance to the New York Times’s stupidity. The Times typifies the liberal “elites” who think they are smarter than the rest of us, and therefore deserve to rule. Only they are not, in fact, elite at all. They are not particularly smart or well-informed, and often are dumb or ignorant. There is no reason why you should defer to them.

Finally, a bonus: CNN tries to locate the State of Nevada:


The liberal media are not, in any respect, superior to you. Never forget it.


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