Thursday, March 20, 2008

Don't let the facts get in the way II

Jessica McBride's more than a little challenged when it comes to basic fact checks, as this previous post indicated.

On second reading (I must be a masochist) it turns out there's even another obvious error. McBride, always the teacher, tells her readers:
Note: For those of you who don't remember Lydia Spottswood, she is the liberal who tried to unseat conservative star Paul Ryan.
Actually, when Neubauer was contributing to Spottswood in 1997 and 1998, Ryan was not in Congress. He was a young whippersnapper who, the Journal Sentinel reported, had spent most of his adult life (which wasn't much, at age 28) in DC:
Ryan, 28, comes from an old Janesville family but spent nearly all of his post-college life in Washington, D.C. He worked there as a congressional aide and as a speech writer at Empower America, a think tank founded by Jack Kemp and William Bennett, former cabinet secretaries under President Reagan.

Ryan now works as a part-time marketing consultant for a family excavation business.
So the "conservative star" hadn't quite risen yet, and Spottswood was not "trying to unseat him." The Congressman at the time, "for those of you who don't remember him," was Mark Neumann.

If she were a student in my news writing class, she'd flunk. Or I'd at least make her take a remedial course in how to Google.


  1. Ryan was working for William Bennett, the same guy, that said "the crime rate would go down if you aborted every black baby?"
    That's quality time in DC.

    That's the rising star, this tabloid hack teacher, has the hots for?

    Why she is in any Wisc school is beyond me.

  2. A point of clarification, but you can still say that technically Jessica got it wrong. It was Spottswood v. Ryan in 1998. It was Ryan's first race after Neumann decided to run - and then failed - to get the Senate seat. Granted, he wasn't quite a "star" and she wasn't trying to "unseat" him. Spottswood did come close to unseating Neumann in 1996, which I think was the first time she ran.