“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
How quaint seems this trenchant observation by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the greatest progressive thinkers of the 20th century’s latter half. Not because of the patriarchal pronoun presumptions of the aging white cis male.
I refer to Senator Moynihan’s very assumption that there are facts. That there is an objective reality on which we can all agree, even if we disagree about what it means. And equally important, that there is a way of getting to facts, a common language of reason that enables us to investigate, communicate, and explicate.
Senator Moynihan would not recognize that paragon of 21st-century progressivism, The New York Times.
On Thursday, with its snowflakes in meltdown, the Times issued an apology. What triggered the staff? Was it an earthquake, perhaps? A mass-casualty attack? An assassination? A cinnamon rugelach shortage at Zabar’s? No, this unspeakable atrocity was an op-ed … by a conservative Republican senator … and a combat veteran from, you guessed it, the South!
Oh, let’s not be too hard on them. It took a day of full-day mau-mauing before the Times said “Uncle” – or whatever non-binary relation we use to convey surrender these days. The Upper West Side can rest assured there’ll be no more Tom Cotton screeds to churn bile through the avocado toast – they can go back to the thoughtful essayists of Hamas and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
No more unnerving mentions of federal statutes like … dare I utter it … the Insurrection Act that have been on the books for two centuries. Fear not, the Gray Lady’s opinion pages will now get back to the laws that aren’t on the books – for example, did you know that “Without legal protection, a pedophile cannot risk seeking treatment or disclosing his status to anyone for support”? (And hey, hey, hey, what’s with the “his”?)