A Lesson on Partisan Hackery

I was cruising Slate today, my typical source for keeping informed on current goodthink, and came across a few articles from that paragon of reasoned thought, David Weigel.

He provided an interesting lesson on what being a partisan hack for too long can do to a person’s brain.

At 2:03 pm, David  wrote about a Democratic ad that selectively quoted Romney on abortion. He said “so, yeah, that’s misleading.” He then goes on to justify it being misleading because it revealed something  he believed true about Romney.

At 9:25 am, David wrote about Republicans selectively quoting both Obama and Biden. His response, derision at gaffe-spotting and people are hyperventilating for thinking about it as it doesn’t reveal anything.

In less than five hours, he changed his opinion on selectively quoting politicians to mislead individuals from derision because its a waste of time to being justified because it reveals the truth.

Today’s lesson: Being a partisan hack can really damage your reasoning abilities.


  1. In the vast majority of cases, especially in cases, people will justify information with whatever they want to believe.

    When an Islamist killed children in France earlier this year, Tariq Ramadan disgustingly said:

    “MOHAMMED Merah is rather like an overgrown adolescent—unemployed, at a loose end, soft-hearted . . . Religion was not (his) problem . . . He was a young man adrift, imbued neither with the values of Islam, nor driven by racism and anti-Semitism.”

    This is one of the children he killed: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LmHd9PD9oTk/T2n3vaiC6bI/AAAAAAAAGOk/wy_AggR4BF8/s1600/girl.jpg

    (He chased her) into the courtyard, caught her by her hair and raised a gun to shoot her. The gun jammed at this point and he changed weapons from what the police identified as a 9mm pistol to a .45 calibre gun, and shot the girl in her temple at point-blank range.


    This makes me so unbelievably mad. I repeat. People will justify whatever they want, with the most warped reasoning imaginable.

  2. That’s been Weigel’s way since he was writing for Reason.com and then broke with the libertarians to write for Slate. Months worth of snark were devoted to him on the H&R forum. Good times.

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