First Principles

In search of the Unified Theory of Conservatism

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Sloppy Reporting

January 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

While reading this article about how the Democrats want to pass a $1 Trillion “rescue” bill in less than a week, I noticed this little paragraph that grated on my brain like fingernails on a chalkboard:

With an ongoing recount in Minnesota’s Senate race and the process for replacing Obama in the chamber still uncertain, Democrats can be assured of holding only 57 seats during January, three votes shy of a veto-proof majority.

Now what’s wrong with this picture? 

According to my copy of the Constitution, overriding a veto requires a 2/3 majority in both Houses of Congress, which in the Senate means 67 votes, not 60.

What the author certainly means is a filibuster-proof majority, where 60 votes can ensure cloture on a bill and force the issue to come to a full vote on the Senate floor.

Sloppy attention to detail like this from a reporter calls into question everything else in the piece.  What else is mistaken, or slightly off?  Where is the basic 9th Grade Civics education that ought to have made that sentence stand out to the reporter when he re-read his copy?  Didn’t an editor take a look at it, too?

At the end of the day, it’s probably a little thing.  But it’s a little thing that says a lot.

Tags: Media