Questions To and About the National Review

Katherine Jean Lopez, editor of the NRO, writes about the controversy in which an NRO writer put up erroneous information about Hezbollah’s activities in Lebanon. The writer of those posts has “voluntarily” left the organization.

I’ve asked before, I’ll ask again… why is it a big deal that they would publish false information about a topic that probably will have zero effect on the lives of most of us, but not a big deal that they have for years published information about the US economy that is directly contradicted by primary sources, such as the White House’s Office of Management and Budget or the Bureau of Labor Statistics?

An obvious example… on the same day as Katherine Jean Lopez’ article, here’s Larry Kudlow:

Americans are working. The 4.7 percent unemployment number remains at an historical low.

It takes thirty seconds to find unemployment figures at the BLS. Thirty seconds. The BLS tells me that the annual unemployment rate in 2000 was 4%, and for the two years before that, it was under 4.7%. Go back to 1969, and it was at 3.5% – more than a percentage point below Kudlow’s historical low. In 1953, it was 2.9% – almost two points below Kudlow’s historical low.

This blog has pointed out such errors for years, and we’re not alone. Have there been corrections? Apologies? Letters to the reader from Katherine Jean Lopez?

Which leads to questions… is the US economy so much more irrelevant to readers (and the people who kept the recent fuss going) than the number of Hezbollah people sitting in tents or deployed in a given neighborhood of Beirut? And if not, is it National Review policy to misinform? Do the folks at National Review – editors and other writers – not care about the accuracy of the information they put out? Are they incapable of using search engines and checking?

I’d like to add… we all make mistakes. Regular readers are aware I know this better than most. I recently had a doozy… But at the first opportunity, as soon as I realized I had messed up, I put up a note (at the top and bottom of that post) indicating it was a mistake. And we here at Angry Bear are just a small, amateur blog with no editors. One expects better from a large, professional organization.