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February 03, 2007

Spitting Angry: Dan Riehl Debunks Slate's Claim That No Vietnam Vets Were Spat Upon

The claim seemed rather stupid from the start. But the "study" purports to have found not a single First-person account Vietnam vets being spat upon.

Just an urban legend, the amateur webzine Slate claims, seeking to extirpate the bad behavior of its leftist fellow-travellers from the record.

Now Dan Riehl is known for being pretty damn good with Google searches. But
if he can find numerous instances of reporting of Vietnam vets being spat upon, why couldn't this researcher? Or why couldn't the amateur webzine Slate have had a couple of interns scouring the Internet as Dan did to determine if this claim was true before announcing, in a headline, that "the Myth of Spitting Upon Veterans refuses to die"?

It's relatively easy to not find evidence contrary to your thesis. After all, you don't want to find it. It will contradict your whole claim. Perhaps this researcher, and Slate, should have kept that in mind.

If Slate's going to represent itself as a quasi-reliable source, shouldn't they sort of do the slightest amount of homework -- just an hour or so of advanced Google searches -- before reporting their "facts"?

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posted by Ace at 03:57 PM

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