Saturday, March 05, 2005

With Malice Toward None, Especially Dahlia

We have to go to confession now. We insulted dear Dahlia Lithwick, Slate's Supreme Court reporter in a email message to a good left-leaning friend. He curtly replied that given our feelings, we should simply stop reading her. No one is forced to read Slate.

He's completely right, of course. But what's the fun in that, if we stopped reading Lithwick (or Slate)? Besides, the doctor tells us our blood pressure is really low, so we can stand to have it elevated for short periods of time.

Nowadays, we don't even have to read Slate. We were listening to our favorite radio station, Air America, and she came on The Al Franken Show. He gushed effusively over her, of course. Our favorite part was when she claimed that in one of the current 10 Commandments controversy, they weren't even using a universal Decalogue, they were using "the Protestant Version," which was different from the Jewish and Catholic Versions. Even Franken, who had a King James Version out on this special occasion for special effect (viz., reading the Exodus passage with the sound of crashing thunder in the background), knew this wasn't true and gently tried to correct her -- what he was reading in the KJV is an faithful translation of the original Hebrew that he recalled from his youth. But Lithwick stuck with her error, trooper that she is -- after all, she had passed this inaccuracy along in her Slate piece, why admit you're wrong if you've already gotten past your editor at Slate?

On the other hand, having now read her corresponding Slate piece, we like bits of it. She's occasionally silly (the whole opening and closing "Angels on the Head of a Pin" is a meaningless cliche, and it indicates the laziness in her writing), but a lot of it is fun, even when we disagree. And she's dead right about two important things: the current church-state jurisprudence is a mess, and Scalia's the only one there who's honest about it.

And she's pregnant, and we have a soft spot for pregnant women. So mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
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