Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

ABC refutes journalism’s layers of quality

Jerry Stratton, August 13, 2010

Maxine Waters refutes charges

Maxine Waters adamantly refuted those charges. By… denying them. A politician’s word is all the proof ABC News needs.

From the “I don’t think that word means what you think it means” department, ABC headlines their Maxine Waters article with “Rep. Maxine Waters Refutes Ethics Charges”. Reading the article, what refutes it? Nothing. Maxine Waters denies breaking the law. But she didn’t provide any proof or refutation.

I would have titled this post “ABC refudiates journalism’s layers of quality”, but that would imply that ABC has in recent history had layers of fact-checking. I don’t think this is a reasonably proven implication.

As a writer, I want to be understood. Sometimes, making up a new word is the best way to do that. If it weren’t for all the baggage around it, I’d be using refudiate in my next book. It’s a beautiful word.

What I wouldn’t be doing is using existing words sideways to their true meaning. Unless Maxine Waters proved that the allegations against her were false, she did not “refute” them.

Note: Eugene Volokh appears to have scooped me on this.

  1. <- Damascus Sherrod
  2. VJ Day ->