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December 23, 2017

The Washington Post Gets On its High Horse. Again. And Again. [KT]


Happy Saturday before Christmas. I have noticed that the news media seems to be on high alert lately. Ready to save us from tax cuts and so forth. I ran across a meme from a typical SJW suggesting that certain words, including "transgender" and "fetus", had been banned. I assumed that a news story about Trump must have something to do with this meme. But at the time I didn't feel up to exploring the issue. A few days later, I would learn that Fake News via the Washington Post was responsible for inspiring this meme, which has itself been shared thousands of times.

I discovered the origin of the puzzling meme (below the fold) when someone else posted a related article. Writing in Slate, Daniel Engber said that there was no ban on words at the CDC.


Engber expressed some requisite hostility toward the Trump Administration, but he also seems disgusted by the report in the Washington Post.

According to an unnamed, outraged CDC source, higher-ups instructed staffers to avoid seven phrases in budget documents: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based. In the days since, editorials have likened this to censorship in China, Cuba, and Belarus; to Polish laws prohibiting certain language to describe the Holocaust; and to the totalitarian regime described in 1984.* Follow-up reports said the "irrational and very dangerous" policy on budget language might put "millions of lives in danger" with its "an astonishing attack on reality-based medical treatment."

Millions of lives in danger. And thousands of SJWs feeling really, really superior. Engber could perhaps persuade a few of them to dismount from their high horses if they ever engaged with people other than their own kind.

We'll see if the Washington Post Editoral Board climbs down from their report.

A more sober measure of this soggy crumb of news--one that's, well, evidence-based rather than reflexive--suggests it should be understood as a byproduct of the Trump administration's much-less-secret war on science funding. It appears that the ban is an attempt by bureaucrats to save their favorite projects from unforgiving budget cuts.

Read the whole thing, which also notes some typical manipulation of language in other settings. Plus some details on how budgets are put together that may help explain some of the loony studies that get funded by the federal government.

I don't know if there is any chance of contrition on the part of Dana Milbank. Warning: Stephen Green includes a link to Milbank's separate WAPO piece suggesting that Trump's ticket to survival is to BAN ALL THE WORDS. He then provides several links for Mr. Milbank to read over the Christmas break. Heh.

Mission creep in the CDC has been a recurring theme at Instapundit. Wonder how many transgender studies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do, anyway? Does stuff like this distract them from their core mission?

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas weekend, mostly free from governmental concerns and the Washington Post. Yes, this is the Thread before the Gardening Thread.

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:14 AM

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