Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Smug, Smugger, and Smuggest

This Nick Coleman column is in the classic mold. He goofs on an important fact, even though getting it right would not necessarily have changed his conclusion. We saw this pattern previously when he “fudged” the difference between Park Police and regular Minneapolis Police Department officers to suggest that the latter were wasting their time ticketing skinny dippers at the beach.

In the current column, Coleman uses a single paragraph to correct the mistake and to blast his critics for being “smug” about the very same error. We barely had time to read the correction, and now we are being criticized for our reaction to it! He is good at focusing blame on others.

The main point of disagreement is the role of society and race in the death of Sidney Mahkuk. Nick was the first to inject the issue of race into the discussion. He then takes umbrage that many readers are understandably not willing to accept collective blame for this tragedy.

Another interesting point is that Coleman mentions Tyesha Edwards as another failure of society. Powerline has been all over this story. They correctly point out that Tyesha’s death by a stray bullet, while studying at her kitchen table, was a failure of police practices handed down by City Hall, and not a failure of society in general. One of those involved in Tyesha’s shooting was a confirmed gang member with an outstanding warrant for being a felon in possession of a gun.

Finally, between calling his critics “smug” and saying that they feel “superior,” he pulls out Bible verses about not being judgmental. No comment.


Blogger Derek Jensen said...

I'm not Coleman fan, but is being 11 rather than 12 such an "important fact"?

November 08, 2005 12:19 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

The age of the victim was important to the story. Being 11 instead of 12 does not change his conclusions, and I acknowledged that in the post above. It arguably makes his argument even stronger. The point is that he made an error and corrected it, while somehow blaming the error on his critics. To be sure, it is not as bad as his "Park Police" and "textbook" gaffes, but it does fit the pattern of never missing an opportunity to attack his opponents, even when he makes a mistake.

November 08, 2005 6:57 PM  

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